Author: LindaLee

Midday Matinee – Fear and Strangers

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I went cross-country skiing with a friend recently. We headed out in the late afternoon and hoped to finish before it got completely dark. Since my friend was very familiar with the trails in the county park, I wasn’t particularly worried. After an hour and a half, we arrived back at the parking lot, tired but with a sort of skiers’ high. (I made that up but if runners can have a high from exercise, I think skiers can have one also.) I sat in the passenger’s seat to take off my ski boots and put my regular winter boots back on. My friend was standing up on her side of the car, also changing her footwear. Her golden retriever was already asleep in the back, snoring. The sun was an orange ball, setting over the frozen lake and the trails we had just left. My friend is in much better shape than I and I was settling into my heated seat and wondering if I could make it until bedtime. I was physically pooped. The snoring dog didn’t help. On the way home I started nodding off. My friend suddenly starts cursing. Loudly. Okay I am once again awake and ask what’s going on. As she starts to...

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Midday Matinee – Asking for Help

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I grew up in a do-it-yourself family. In high school (in the 60’s) I was at a friend’s house and a service man in a Sears’ uniform came through the kitchen. I asked Patty why the Sears’ man was in her house and she told me he was there to fix something. “Doesn’t your Dad fix stuff?” I asked her. “Are you kidding?” she replied. “He can’t fix anything and the one time he tried he made it much worse.” This was a totally new view of life for me. I am one of two girls and perhaps without a son to educate, my dad taught my sister and me to fix stuff. The Sears’ man was the first time I realized that some people paid to have things fixed by someone else. We were taught how to use tools and also how to return them to their proper place on the pegboard behind the basement workshop table. I have remodeled three older homes. I am a very good sheet rocker and an efficient joint taper. I can spot a supporting wall and know how to calculate the supporting beams required to knock out the wall. I am competent at electrical stuff and can do plumbing but I hate it....

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Midday Matinee – On Having a Cushion

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I played bridge yesterday with my aunt, my cousin and my cousin’s wife. My cousin and I, early in one game doubled their bid (they were vulnerable) and set them three tricks for which we got 800 points above the line. In a rubber taking two games is worth 700 points and taking 2 of 3 is worth 500 points. Individual tricks are worth 20 or 30 each. A game is 100 points. You now know enough about bridge to understand the psychological impact of having that “cushion” on the way Greg and I bid and played for the rest of the afternoon. We play a friendly but competitive game of bridge. Several times, during later rounds of bidding Greg said, “What the heck. Go for it. We’ve got that cushion.” It didn’t make us reckless but it did give us a certain cockiness. My afternoon of bridge got me to thinking about how much fun it was to play with that cushion. It’s a lot like it being easier to look for a job if you have a job. It’s like not worrying overly much if you get a flat tire if you have a spare in the trunk (or AAA if you are really flush). It’s like...

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Midday Matinee – Grab a Shovel

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Sometimes it’s hard to explain the differences between Democrats and Republicans, especially to indifferent independents who think all politicians are the same. The Great Holiday Blizzard that stalled over the eastern seaboard this week has given us a perfect true story for making the point. Let’s just look at New Jersey’s Republican Governor, Chris Christie and his Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno. From Salon.com: So New Jersey’s tough-talking, take-no-prisoners governor is literally at Disney World while dozens of vehicles remain stranded on highways and some post offices are unable to deliver the mail. The worst part is that Christie left on Sunday, when the storm was on its way up the coast and his Lt. Gov. was already in Mexico. Christie’s already less popular in Jersey than his non-Jersey-residing admirers would have you believe, and this embarrassment certainly won’t help. Unfortunately for Chris Christie, snow doesn’t go away when you post a video of you yelling at it to YouTube. Nor can you fire it. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, meanwhile, has been going around town personally shoveling people’s cars out of snowdrifts. (And talking about it on Twitter, so that everyone knows he’s doing this.) From New Jersey Newsroom .com Acting Gov. Stephen M. Sweeney Tuesday directed Gov. Chris Christie’s...

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Midday Matinee – Birthday Clusters

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Today Crissie and I share a birthday. I also share this birthday with my younger sister and my oldest son. When I was 4 ½ years old my parents told me I would have a brother or a sister sometime after Christmas. My sister was “due” January 15th. Every night in my prayers I told God I wanted a sister on my birthday. You can imagine the dilemma this presented for my mother. I can remember her trying to tell me that it would be after Christmas but after my birthday. She said there would still be snow on the ground but the baby might be a boy and that my brother or sister would come after my birthday. Undeterred by my mother’s comments, every night I told God I wanted a sister on my birthday. I wasn’t asking God by the way, I was telling her. I was the only one who was not at all surprised when I got a sister on my birthday. I will admit to occasionally thinking that December 27th was not the best day to have a birthday. Way too close to Christmas. I wondered why my parents couldn’t have planned to have me in the summer. Then when I was pregnant with...

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