Tuesday, March 5, 2019

How Much Longer?

No. 5 of 31 -- Thermometer series

Grandma is a memory to me now, like the Beatles, my hair, and the city dump. A lot of us are in that situation. You have the dearest people on earth to you, grandmas, who were already old when you were born. Then they're suddenly gone.

That’s what happened, and even though I regret it tremendously, with everything wrong with her I’d never wish her back -- sniffle-sniffle -- never wish her back --- blowing nose -- O hell, Grandma, if you're somewhere near by, the key's still under the pumpkin. But we haven't got the phone anymore -- it's a long story -- just report to a place called "Verizon" and sign up for a new one. If you don't know what Verizon is, ask around...

But when she was alive, wow, she did everything. Things I could never accomplish if I worked all the time. Look at her pulling on the yarn, working on a spool there, picking it up and tying it together, or churning it out, maybe even making it in the first place. We think you just go to the store and get another spool if you need it, which I don't because now I buy my undies ready made, but somehow she had the skills to fidget strands into form from scratch. If she could handle that, Verizon can't be too hard.

What I have for myself now, in addition to the memories, is the knowledge that SHE knew what she was doing. And the same lesson has to apply here: Do I know what I’m doing? Do I know what I have to go through to get places? Yes, sometimes I do know. But sometimes I don’t. My memory, for one thing — please don’t get bummed out by this — is a little shaky. I’m not quite in the total pits yet; the worst thing is figuring out who the ugly guy in the mirror is. But with discipline, mental devices posted here and there, and a notebook for my enemies list, I'm doing all right.

Today I'm clear as a gun shot, what I’m engaged in, this filling of thermometers, each thermometer indicating the popularity of my precious blog. I started out a long time ago, just a guy and a keyboard, then I saved up and got a computer. And slowly, more or less daily, I filled in the blanks and those were my posts. Then I needed friends to read them and give me constructive criticism: "Go to hell, loser." So now I'm filling in thermometers, a whole box full, trying to get better friends.

You go back to your sewing, dearest Grandma! Knit that thread, tote that bail, piece that thing together -- work it, work it! -- making Grandpa a new sweater, or a pair of undies too, whatever he needs. And call me if you ever figure out the phone thing.

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