It all started when my three-year-old printer went down. I called Staples to complain and was told flatly and unemotionally, “Yeah, they’re only built to last a couple of years. If you got three, you’re lucky.” I didn’t feel lucky as I plunked down money and then tried to figure out how to hook up and use the new machine.
Next, the DVR malfunctioned, which necessitated a visit to the Cox office and another machine to install and master. The mastering took a couple of days. I celebrated with popcorn and a freshly taped movie.
Strike three happened a few days later when the cable AND the internet went down on the evening I’d planned to watch the Golden Globes. It was AWOL the rest of the night. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing maybe I’m a little too attached to my television, which is depressing! I spent a quiet evening reading a book and cleaning my bathroom. I know, I know – I really should get a social life.
Sunday, I had planned to write poetry. Rarely, do I have a whole day for this thing I love so much – venting at the computer, in meter and rhyme. Grumpy Father Fate said, “I don’t think so,” and senselessly murdered my computer. All the king’s horses and my best computer Obi One couldn’t put Humpty Computer back together again. At this writing, Bob is draped in black, waiting for Obi One to arrive and breathe life back into him. Yes, I do realize naming my computer is a little weird but I thought maybe if I named him and talked sweetly to him, he might live longer. Apparently not. He’s barely three.
All of this makes me long for those childhood days, when the television repairman came with his suitcase full of glass tubes, took the back off the TV and tried tube after tube till he found the right one, bringing black and white magic back into our lives – those days when workmanship was a given, repairmen became lifelong friends, and we weren=t a throw-away society.
I have a computer named Bob,
who sometimes sits down on the job.
I warned him today.
He will have to pay.
Tomorrow he meets the Geek Squad.
(You can read more of Sharon’s poems about aging in our technological era in her poetry book, Tapestry.)
Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of two children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big Black Shiny Thing, and Revolt of the Teacups, and a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains. Her poems are also included in an anthology, Captured Moments.
My hair now is graying.
My knees creak and crack.
My back aches in rain storms
I can’t eat Big Macs.
I cannot climb mountains.
My kayak is gone.
I won’t wear a swimsuit.
I don’t mow the lawn.
Some things, however,
are freeing and fun.
There’s more time to travel,
just chasing the sun.
I write in my pjs,
curled up by the fire,
while housework gets done,
by someone I hire.
I say no without guilt,
to meetings and clubs.
They now run without me,
while I get back rubs.
On bright, sunny mornings,
I wake up at nine
and thank the Great Spirit,
I still have my mind!
(You can read more about Sharon’s humorous approach to aging in her poetry book, Tapestry, and her memoir, ADaughter of the Mountains.)
Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of two children=s books, AHerman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black Shiny Thing, and Revolt of the Teacups. Her poems are also included in an anthology, Captured Moments.
A bit of the then and the there worked themselves into my here and now as I gazed out the window at dawn on a late February morning. You see, it was my father who taught me to love, respect, and commune with nature, and though no longer a child, I still am drawn to spend a little time gazing through the window as the world wakes up. Bathed in the warm gentle glow of the rising sun, once bare tree branches burst with buds, and jonquils and crocus, having pushed through leaf blankets, bask in the warmth and brighten the landscape with bursts of green, bright yellow and purple. As the sun rises higher, I watch squirrels scamper to the ground while overhead a rainbow of birds flitter and twitter between feeders or feast on holly berries. As a family of rabbits hop from their burrow under the deck to dine on succulent sprouting dandelions, deer amble out of the woods. Making their way to the seed block, they displace a gang of five crows loudly refusing to relinquish feeding rights, until hooves close in. Because size matters, they take flight, settling on branches of a nearby tree to voice displeasure at being displaced. With so many hungry mouths feeders empty quickly and all anxious eyes focus on my window. Chatter increases, alerting me that it is time for Dunnigan’s Feed and Seed to replenish empty seed and suit baskets. Task completed, I watch renewed activity around now full feeders. I enjoy the sun‘s warmth and remember early morning nature sojourns and conversations with my father as together we watched the world wake up. Those memories and his words of wisdom ring true, that an understanding of the world in which we live begins with an understanding and respect of and for the natural world. My wish for you, that each new day begins with a look through Mother Nature’s window.
Ever since Roy Rogers and Trigger, and undoubtedly before, people have been fascinated with golden (palomino) horses. Mr. Ed was another famous palomino.
A golden Alkhal Teke horse has been making the rounds on FACEBOOK as “The World’s Most Beautiful Horse.” He is indeed handsome. The Alkal Tekes, a very old breed from Turkmenistan, are known for their gleaming metallic coats. So in addition to being a palomino, he had the metallic sheen gene.(Doesn’t that sound cool?) At the rare breeds horse show held at the Virginia horse center in 2016 I saw buckskin, silver, bay and golden models. The sheen is the result of a particular gene or genes. Since these horses originated in the desert, I can’t help but wonder if this coloration causes them to reflect more light and thus is a cooling mechanism. I am fascinated with this breed and feature them in my novel, Turkmen Captives.
I have seen beautiful palomino horses, but also ugly ones. A pretty color can’t disguise a poor conformation. And a pale washed out dirty yellow may even distract from an otherwise attractive horse. A true palomino has a chestnut gene along with a cream dilution gene. True palominos have white manes and dark skin. Palomino is a color, not a breed, but there are palomino breed associations. The problem is since the color is the result of a hybrid state, a palomino bred to a palomino can produce a cremello, a chestnut or a palomino, so it is not really correct to call it a breed.
When I was growing up, my father traded a horse for a palomino parade horse named, (you guessed it—Trigger). He was a handsome fellow, probably mostly American Saddlebred but he had no papers. He came with a very fancy faux silver saddle. (I think the metal was stainless steel, but still very heavy.) One day my father agreed to saddle Trigger in his parade outfit and let me ride him down the road. I mounted up and headed out the driveway, only to have one of the stirrups fall off. We stopped and screwed it back on (literally—the heavy stirrups are attached with metal screws) and off I went.
I had no sequined garb or fancy hat, but I still thought I was the hottest thing on four legs.
A great fog descended on the land and not a car appeared in my entire two mile round trip. What a downer!
Susan Williamson is a lifelong horse person, former newspaper editor, food coop manager, extension agent and college adjunct. She is the author of two mystery novels: Turkmen Captives and Dead on the Trail and two e-books published by High Tide Publications: How to Buy Your First Horse and How to Get By as Time Goes By.