A leaf is to catch with a stick

First thing on a walk is to find a very useful stick. A stick is to imitate old relatives with canes. A stick is to poke and scratch the sand. A stick is useful for pointing grown-ups where to look. It is very good for fling-flanging about in the air.

A leaf passing by in time is for catching with a stick. A pinecone is difficult to catch. A stick is for emphasis when telling Daddy to find a rock to throw in the lake. A lake, of course, is for throwing rocks into.

Picnicked on my lunch break watching a little boy and two grown-ups select sticks for hiking and for retrieving tennis balls from the creek. The perfect stick was elusive. "Look, Dad! I upgraded my stick!" Easy to download and install.

With thanks to Antoinette Portis, Ruth Krauss, and Maurice Sendak.

© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder


Thanksgiving memories first and ten, Alps and zen

Football memories in black and white on a very small, snowy screen--

Football and pitted black olives on Thanksgiving. Corralling my siblings to make construction paper, toilet paper tube, and crayon holiday table decorations for Pilgrims + Indians, and Cornhuskers vs. Sooners. For many years this Big 8 Conference rivalry held the gridiron centerpiece on Thanksgiving Day, right after the parades. The 1971 meeting was dubbed the "Game of the Century." In my mind Jeff Kinney is not the famous creator of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series, but the Cornhusker teammate of Jerry Tagge and Johnny Rodgers.

1971 The Husker offense was led by junior flanker Johnny Rodgers, a future Heisman Trophy winner, senior quarterback Jerry Tagge, and bullish senior tailback Jeff Kinney; the latter two were first round picks in the 1972 NFL Draft. The Sooner defense was anchored by all-Big 8 defensive tackle Derland Moore, a future All-American and NFL Pro Bowler.[
In 1971, in what has become known as college football's "Game of the Century," Rodgers returned a punt 72 yards to score the first touchdown which set the tone for his team's 35-31 victory over the University of Oklahoma SoonersESPN describes Rodgers' performance as "unforgettable." However, some observers consider his greatest single performance to be in the 1973 Orange Bowl when he led his team to a 40-6 victory over the University of Notre Dame. Rodgers ran for three touchdowns, caught a 50-yard pass for another touchdown, and threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to a teammate. He did all this before leaving the game with 21 minutes still to play.[1]

Brand new at the library, Chuck Carlson's book about the "Ice Bowl" of New Year's Eve, 1967, set off this personal pigskin reverie.  Bart Starr was my favorite as a kid growing up in the Vince Lombardi/Bob Devaney years.  Good was good. (Evil was Oklahoma). That the game was played at minus 45 degrees was abominable evidence that grownups made some questionable decisions -- and not just your father's necktie.

Perhaps a book about the "Heidi Bowl" will be next.  Joe Namath vs. alive-hilled Alps. November  1968.  Curt Gowdy announcing.  The network leaving the tense game to show the scheduled family movie, "Heidi."

Practiced a "mountain meditation" in class Tuesday. We imagined a mountain, observed every detail of the mountain through the hours of the day and the seasons of a year. Then we brought the mountain inside ourselves. I felt very calm and heavy and immovable. No goats, cheese, or embroidered aprons on my mountain.

And because this is a post-Thanksgiving post, I will leave you with the Leon Lett fumble in the 1993 Classic  between the Cowboys and Dolphins in the snow and sleet in Dallas -- view here.

© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder


Get that guy an egg timer

How many sudoku do you do, dear, before you call the cops?

One clue.
Assumptions of gender and age.  Male. Teen.
No pounding on the bathroom door. Only child.
Possible crime or accident scene.

You've  read the book. You've seen the movie. 

The victim is only discovered when the water overflows into the next apartment.

Natural causes?
Water waster?

Saturday evening just home from work to the plumbing roar of the shower running in the next apartment. Kick off shoes, get a beverage, boot up computer, plug in phone, write to-do list for the weekend. The shower is still running. This guy (I assume) must have a hot Saturday night date. Or, more likely, the tenant has fallen and hit his head on the faucet, his blubbery, wrinkled body blocking the drain, water overflowing down into the vacant show model unit.

Time to dial 9-1-1?

But, no. The shower is off.

Alarm rings at 7:20 this morning and the shower guy is cleaning up again. Unbelievable! I do a sudoku (medium difficulty), write a grocery list, and begin a second puzzle. Water is still running. This is serious. Either the guy is a serial bathtub murderer, or he just uses up all the hot water for the entire building to torture us. He must  be stopped! I'm calling the cops!

P.S. No singing heard.

© 2013-2017 Nancy L. Ruder