A happy Spring Saturday morning. Winter is done, just a bit more of that ‘quirky’ crossover weather.

Baseball season is starting this coming week. For us, here in town, it’s much to do. See, as the oldest professional team is baseball, the Reds are celebrating the start of their 150th year of play. Prior to the tossing of the first pitch there will be a three-hour long parade. And lots of other hoopla.

Which leads me to another Riddle – this concerning baseball:

Three old ladies are at their first baseball game. The friends are quietly sipping from a bottle of Jack Daniels tucked in a paper bag, and the bottle is now almost gone.
What inning is it and how many are on base?

Chaos & Mayhem – And you thought that I couldn’t keep this corner update going on a weekly basis. Wrong!

At the corner of C&M we knew that Spring had arrived when the ‘roaming’ mechanics began to make their appearance – it’s an urban thing. This scene is from in front of our sun room, the object of interest was a replacement bearing. Marcia stopped her knitting and sat watching, both mesmerized and delighted.

Then, the other day in late afternoon had the dear folk downstairs lost control over the dinner on their stove top. No worry, all worked as it should. The alarms went off; our Fire & Security Company called me and advised that the city Fire Department had already been alerted. Moments later the ladder truck rolled up; reset the alarms and placed fans in the culprit unit. Ten minutes later all was back to normal. A little stinky, but normal. We take all of this in stride.

Tar – The brain is an amazing thing. How the mind can retrieve something forgotten for decades with total clarity, down to smell and taste and do this in an instant is beyond comprehension.

I was on my walk and happened on some repair work on gas and sewer lines in our adjacent little community. Work was complete; the little Ditch Witches were scurrying about filling the trench. Meanwhile, a large dump truck had just emptied a large pile of asphalt.

It was the smell of the steaming asphalt, especially of the hot tar, which brought back memories of seventy years back.

I was somewhere between seven and nine years of age. After the War the reconstruction in The Netherlands was in full swing. Little pots, heated to soften tar to be used on roof repair work, were all over the place. However, for us kids, chewing gum was something totally unavailable. So, sneaking a small chunk of cooling tar, popping it in your mouth, made it act just like chewing gum. We all did it; even parents didn’t mind too much.

But that smell and that taste put my whole childhood remembrance front and center. And, it really was a good memory.

Update on automobiles – Shortly after we got married we bought a new car. Brand new! Not just any car but a Volkswagen Camper Van – complete with a 24,000 mile warranty.

By 26,000 miles and one set of tires later, Marcia, baby Kirstin, and I were on vacation. We had just been at White Sands Missile Range visiting brother Art at his station. Leaving the complex is where we blew the engine. 26,000 miles and the engine blew!

Fast forward to 2019. This past week I received a letter from Ford Motor Company that my model F-150 has an issue which warranted a recall and a ‘no-charge’ repair. The truck has 65,000 miles and they’re still tracking it.

All I can surmise is that way back as newlyweds in 1972 we got screwed.
(If you want the gory ‘recall’ details, it’s a downshift issue. On the highway the vehicle can suddenly downshift into first gear. Although it hasn’t happened to me I understand the problem to be between driver/passenger and the windshield)

Lenten Fish Fries – One of the great benefits of living a predominantly Catholic-German town are the Lenten Fish Fries.

This week we tapped into one of them. Marcia had fish and fries plus a four-glass flight of fresh beers. Me, fish and braised Brussels Sprouts and a great glass of craft brewed German Lager. It really doesn’t get much better.


Finis – While writing, Kirstin, Derek, and Kellen are making final preparations for heading home from Derek’s school band trip to Hawaii. From photos, video clips, and conversation the trip has been beyond expectation.

To make it even better, the two guys have totally expanded their food selection to now include things such as Sushi, a new array of veggies, and Dole smoothies.

Meanwhile, Cathy and Dinah should now be home from her school trip to Washington, DC. She was so looking forward to visiting the monuments, museums, and a trip to the White House. I can’t wait to get updated.

Since its Spring Break I am being pressed into service. Yesterday it was off to the Zoo. Next week it’ll be on duty for three days; and with some research I am certain it’ll be a great time for all.

Do well and make it a safe week.
(PS. The Riddle answer is in the ‘comments’)

One Response to “Tar”
  1. Dirk Says:

    Bottom of the 5th and the bags are loaded