Saturday, October 6, 2012

Teaching Old Dogs: The First "DUH"

Our prized possession
After a series of sad events, a lot of discussion and planning, we did it.  A month ago, Robert and I finally made our very long move from the mountains of Pennsylvania to The Villages, in Florida, and it's everything we hoped for and more.

This place is like Disneyworld for grownups!  Here, everyone's second car is a golf cart and you have free membership for life in the many world-class country clubs and golf courses scattered throughout The Villages.

We can drive our golf cart  anywhere we need to go, whether it's to a restaurant, a town square for free nightly concerts, or to shopping centers -- even through the drive-through lanes at the bank --or Dunkin' Donuts!

Robert and I love going on adventures to see if we can find our way to the many different areas here -- you have to understand it's a BIG place -- for instance, there are several Super Walmart stores here, but our favorite one is five miles from our house on one of the major roads, a road you can't drive a golf cart on unless it is street licensed and ours is not.

We found that out quite by accident when a Sheriff's car in the next lane backed his car up to ask us what the hell we were doing on that part of Morse Road without a street licensed golf cart.  We apologized and explained that we were new and learning.  He pointed out a golf cart tunnel and told us to get our butts off the main road and into the tunnel ... whew, that was close.

Like most people, we now use the specially designed golf cart roads, paths and tunnels to wind around the many golf courses, individual villages, and shopping areas. You can get anywhere you need to go in The Villages -- but first, you have to know where those roads, paths, and tunnels ARE when you're in a golf cart.

Anyway, Robert and I set out last Sunday to find our way to our favorite Super Walmart Center, five miles away, on one of the main drags.  We did it -- although we learned something very important on our little trek.

On the way home, every time we hit a bump, we heard the blast of what sounded like a car horn.  At times, we heard it without even going over a bump.  "What the heck IS that?"  We both asked, looking at each other in horror, the noise filling the air around us.

Even other folks in golf carts gave us funny looks as they passed by us.  We asked one couple if they had ever heard their cart do that.  They shook their heads and said, "No".

We pulled off the path and Robert called the golf cart dealership and explained the problem.  The guy on the other end of the cell phone told him we probably had a short in the horn.  He said we could bring it in on Monday and he would check it out.  Horn?  Hmmm, what horn?

Robert tentatively asked where the horn was -- there wasn't one on the steering wheel, only a small clip to hold a golf score card.  There was silence on the phone.  Then the man calmly explained that the horn was on the floor, just to the left of the brake pedal.

Problem solved.  Robert had been resting his foot there intermittently.  DUH ... I guess you really DO learn something new every day, even old dogs like us ... but I wonder how many other golf cart owners don't know they have a horn on board?

How to Make a Memory
The Ultimate DUH

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck

Friday, October 5, 2012

Me and Rusty Daily: Poems

I'm lucky to have a grownup friend who, like me, also likes to get into a child's mind and write how they think. 

Rusty Daily
His name is Rusty Daily and, while I've never met Rusty in person, he is a good friend.
Rusty and I have written many poems together just like this: He'll write a few lines and email them to me. Then I read what he wrote, (and usually I laugh), then add a couple of lines of my own, email it back to him, and it goes back and forth, until a poem is born. 

It's fun! The biggest challenge about co-writing is coming up with the title!

Here are a couple of my favorites! Thank you, Rusty-friend!

All By Myself

by Rusty and CJ

I gotta play by myself today
'cause Mommy is cleaning and mopping.
Then she’ll be calling a sitter
for when she goes grocery shopping.

The sitter, well she’s really boring.
She’s always on the dumb phone,
or painting her nails, or combing her hair,
so I guess I’ll be playing alone …

I think I will get out my play dough
and make a spaghetti pie.
Or maybe, I'll feed all my dollies
so they won't be fussy and cry.

At two, I’ll watch my TV shows.
Till then, I'll build with my blocks.
When I'm done, I'll pick them all up
IF they'll go back in the box.

Maybe my secret friend and I
will draw a picture or two
with all my favorite crayons,
'specially the red green and blue.

I really like my toys and games
and my other good stuff … but gee,
I think ALL playing is funner
when my Mommy is here beside me.

Tattle Telling

by Rusty and CJ

Little sister is a pain.
She makes me so darn mad!
She does this little sister stuff
that's always silly and bad.

Like at supper tonight,
she hated her meat
and after chewing it up,
she spit it at me.

When mom wasn't looking,
she flipped peas in the air.
They were all over the floor,
even some in my hair.

I yelled to my mom
and I yelled to my dad.
I said Sissy was naughty
and being real bad

but I'm the one sitting
all alone in a corner
like that silly old guy,
Little Jack Horner.

Mom put me here
in a stupid time out,
'cause Sissy was crying
and starting to pout.

She said I teased her,
then she started yelling,
and like dumb little girls,
she started tattle telling.

She told mom and dad
that I said she was fat,
that I called her a stinker
and a spoiled little brat.

I showed them the stuff,
like the peas in my hair,
and the yucky chewed meat
that was still on my chair.

but I'm still in the corner
and I guess I should be,
'cause I shouldn't have said
all those things to Sissy.

I agreed I am older,
wiped the peas off my chin,
and told Sissy I'm sorry.
Geez, big brothers can't win!

We have to keep Sissy ...
she's their pride and joy,
but I wish they'd just bring me
a new baby ... a boy.

"A writer soon learns that easy to read is hard to write." ~CJ Heck