Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom… and Whimsy

Posted on September 14, 2022 under Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom with 3 comments

My kilt shrunk


“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,

Those days of soda and pretzels and beer.”

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer – Nat King Cole.

And red wine. And ice cream. And patio bars. And barbeques.

I’m back!

So, Len. What did you do on your summer hiatus from writing?

That’s an easy one. I got fat.

I might as well get right to the shaming part of this piece. A few weeks ago, I was pressed into service to perform at the Antigonish Heritage Museum at one of their weekly summer ceilidhs. As it turned out, on that particular night, there was a group of Airstream travelers staying overnight at Whidden’s Campground and many of them decided to come to the ceilidh. Many of these people, mostly from Ontario but also from Washington State, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas, enjoyed some fiddle tunes along with some Celtic and Maritime songs.

The following Thursday, the P.D. MacDonald family performed at the final ceilidh of the summer at the museum. My sister, who produced the set lists for the singalong, asked the male MacDonald’s to wear their kilts and a white shirt, a seemingly simple request. My wardrobe closet (what a misnomer) is pathetic in the extreme. I discovered the day before the concert that I did not own a white shirt. This required a trip to Mark’s. As fate would have it, my other two brothers had the same idea and we showed up well coordinated. The shirts were on sale. Scots rarely miss a bargain!

Now, about the kilt. Having spent three years in the north, where temperatures can reach -60, there weren’t many opportunities to wear a kilt. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I had worn mine, but it was several years ago. Forty-five minutes before show time, I hauled the kilt and the black belt with the shiny silver buckle that goes with it, out of the closet. Something was terribly wrong. I wrapped it around my stomach and when I tried to affix the small belts that keep the kilt in one piece, I was unable to perform this menial task. At first (deluding myself), I attributed this to my bad back. Even putting on a regular belt through the loops of my shorts requires some effort. I tugged and grunted as small drops of perspiration appeared on my forehead. Try as I might, I simply could not attach the small buckles.

I was perplexed. Was it possible that my kilt had actually shrunk over the past five or so years? Maybe the combination of the dark closet and neglect, had caused the fabric to shrink. We all know the reason the kilt wouldn’t fit. The clock was ticking, and an impending sense of doom passed over me. Fortuitously, I had a friend visiting me that day. I sheepishly asked for a bit of assistance. She tugged and she pulled as I sucked in my gut. It resembled the tug of war at the Exhibition. The kilt was on me, but I could barely breathe. I went from a bass to a tenor in a matter of minutes. I grabbed the large ceremonial Scottish belt. It laughed at me as I tried to put it on. Forget about attaching it. The ends wouldn’t even meet. It was a very humbling experience.

I am happy to report that the concert went well. One my way into the museum, someone asked me if we had practiced before the performance. “Yes. For 70 years” was my cheeky reply.

The kilt is now back in the closet where it shall remain for the foreseeable future… maybe forever unless I lose some weight.

BTW. The Town of Antigonish is having a Bulky Waste pickup day next week. I was wondering if they might stop by my apartment?!

Ah, the joys of aging. Several weeks ago, my neighbour accepted an invitation to visit her friend who lives in the adjacent apartment building. She exited her apartment and was making the two- minute stroll when she was met by another resident of our complex. They had a nice chat on the sidewalk. She then climbed one flight of stairs and rang her friend’s doorbell. She waited for the expected footsteps but heard nothing. A second attempt rendered a similar result. Understandably, she was somewhat perplexed at this sudden turn of events. While pondering her next move, she looked up and noticed a very familiar wreath hanging on the door. She then realized that she had rung her own doorbell. The chat with her neighbour on the sidewalk had distracted her and she ended up going back to her own apartment, which, by the way, is in the exact location as her friend’s in the nearby apartment building.

I had a good chuckle at her expense when she told me this story.

“He who laughs last, laughs best.”

Not long after this incident, I was in the parking lot getting ready to head out for groceries. I own a 15-year-old Prius which is a hybrid. It runs on gas and electricity. When the car is in neutral, you can’t hear the engine running. I started the car and was waiting for the air conditioning to kick in as we were in the middle of a heat wave. I noticed another resident backing up and I had something I needed to tell her. I left the car running and hopped out to have a chat. When I returned to the car, I was appalled to discover that I had locked myself out. I wasn’t terribly concerned because I had a spare set in my apartment, but I was mad at myself for being so absent minded. Disgust quickly morphed into humiliation as I realized that I had been trying to get into my neighbour’s car which was parked beside mine. Both cars are gray and look alike at first glance. I looked up to the second floor of my building to see if my neighbour (the one who had gone to the wrong apartment) was giggling.

My 7th book will be heading to the printer in a few weeks’ time. I’m excited to have this project completed.

Have a great weekend.

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Highland Hearing Clinic

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