Thursday Tidbits

Posted on September 23, 2021 under Thursday Tidbits with 3 comments



“Can it be that it was all so simple then,

Or has time rewritten every line.”

The Way We Were – Barbara Streisand

Please bring back the wringer washer!

I rarely start off a Thursday Tidbits with such an esoteric subject as the merits of the modern washing machine, but it’s been a long week at school. You can tell. I’m talking about washing machines.

As I step out of the shower each morning, I stare at the washer and dryer directly across from me in the bathroom. I am used to doing my own laundry, so it didn’t take me too long to figure out this baby. I have to admit that the manufacturers and marketers of wash machines have come up with an endless number of possibilities for doing your wash. If you ask me, it is a buffet of buttons, bubbles and bullshit. Come on, does it really matter in the end if you use the active wear setting, the jeans setting or towels and sheets? In the end, it’s just a round tub filled with water and detergent going around in circles (something like the author of this piece).I find this agitating. It makes my head spin.

The old wringer washers were so practical. You could wash every stitch of clothing using the same water more than once. And when it wasn’t in use, you could put your baby sister or baby brother inside the drum and wheel them around the living room. The good old days. I always seem to cycle back to them.

Lord thundrin’ jaysus. I was running in the hallways of the school earlier this week. Kids aren’t allowed to run but 70-year-olds can do whatever they please. Ok. I wasn’t running but I was moving quickly. It had been a dreary day, cloudy, wet and cold. I heard what sounded like a sonic boom. “Len, there’s thunder and lightning.” This in itself isn’t particularly unusual but, it was also snowing. I must admit that I had never witnessed this combination before. Thundersnow is a rare winter storm (hm…it’s not winter yet) event that occurs when thunder and lightning happen during a snowstorm. According to legend, this is the harbinger of a heavy snowfall.

I’m not a counter of steps or distance. Monday was a particularly zany day for this secretary/all-purpose guy at the school. You see, this summer, there was a major construction renovation going on in the school. This included our large industrial kitchen. In order to do all of this work, everything in the kitchen (everything except the kitchen sink!) was brought to the gym. This was a very good solution for the construction worker as the kitchen was across the hall from the gym. However, there were construction delays leaving the gym unusable since the start of school. On Monday, I agreed to coordinate the gargantuan task of moving everything out of the gym so that classes could resume. One small problem is that the kitchen is still not ready to go so we had to find a few empty classrooms to put all this stuff.

Now let it be known that I was a hands-on foreman. I enlisted the help of some teachers and students, but I did my fair share of lifting and moving. Later that night my back was severely pissed off at me for trying to be a hero. This was the same day as “THUNDERSNOW”. By the time I got home at suppertime, I was whipped. Just for the hell of it, I decided to see how far I had walked at the school that day: 12.5 kilometers and 21,542 steps. The good news is that all of this activity, combined with a healthier lifestyle (the summer was a bit of a write off) has resulted in a loss of 7 pounds.

I am proud of all my children. They all work hard and have a sense of social justice. They are good parents and good people. They call things as they see them, and they possess a good sense of humour.

I don’t think Pete, Ellie and Margaret would mind me giving a special shout out to their sister, Betsy today. She had a very busy summer working for the NDP party of Nova Scotia in the provincial election. She put in an extraordinary number of hours. The ink was barely dry from the election results when she agreed to be the banner carrier for the NDP federally in Central Nova. The riding (it’s massive in geographical terms) was held for almost 4 decades by Conservatives Elmer and Peter Mackay and for the past several years by Liberal Sean Fraser. In other words, it has been barren ground for the NDP. This did not stop her from campaigning hard and having a very respectable result. I think that Betsy gets her significant energy from her grandmothers. Well done, Betsy!

After reading this disjointed piece, you probably think I’m all washed up, something normally reserved for my GE wash machine!

Have a great weekend.

P.S. Thanks to Shelley Carroll for the co-write on Monday. We had fun and it brought back a lot of memories for hard core fans of the Montreal Expos.

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