Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Okay, now--it’s time for the ALL ME Show!

Got home Friday and after the normal bit of finding out who all did what to whom, things settled down a bit and I gathered up Boy and we went outside to feed the hogs little birdies. Opened up the Big Plastic Playhouse That Also Makes a Dandy Place to Store Lawn Equipment and got him to carry the bucket for me. As he oomphed it up, I saw the lawnmower sitting there and asked, “Hey, Jonathan--do you think you could use the lawnmower and cut grass?” Not really trying to pressure him or anything, but he is getting big enough to begin doing man-work and expose himself to the inherent fun of rapidly rotating steel and hot exhaust gases. “YES SIR!” Hmmmm. “You sure about that, Bud? I mean, it takes lots of muscles and stuff.” “Yes, I could do it!”

And thus, my justification for having a large family is validated! YARD HELP!

We didn’t cut anything this weekend, but now that soccer practice is over for the next three months, I have something to occupy him. And there’s plenty enough to do. But before that, time to feed the birds. I let him do it all, which he enjoyed, and then as we were hanging the one up by the pine tree in the corner of the yard, I spied something two doors over hanging in our neighbor’s backyard.

The lovely yellow top and gently swinging cone-shaped bag that can only mean it’s getting close to Japanese beetle season. After spending the past three years fighting these buggers after they’ve attacked everything, last year I decided to get some of the traps to try and get a head start on them. They start coming out in June, so I suppose it’s probably not too soon to set the traps out--we had a mild winter, and it’s already getting nice and hot outside, so Pappy Possum is predicting an early visit. And anyway, I just wanted something to tinker with.

After we had the birdseed put back up, Boy and I went back inside and found the plastic bag full of traps and handy metal rod stands to hang them from, and set to work with the delicate assembly process. I put one together so he could see how to do it, then, being really smart like I am, I opened the flower-scent lure while still in the kitchen.

Aaaaaahhhh--just like drowning in a swimming pool of Glade air freshener!

“Whoa, Dad--that smells funny.”

Thank you, Little Lord Obviousleroy!

I didn’t really say that. I just said, “REEEALLY!?” He giggled and we went outside and after a careful survey of possible routes of attack and potential targets, we stuck the stand down sort of close to Catherine’s cherry tree that always gets eaten up. Back inside, then three more stands and three more traps assembled, then back outside to open up the “flower” scent. See? I’m teachable! Sorta. Got them all staked out and we sat down on the stone bench to survey our manliwork.

“Think we’ll catch any?”

“Don’t know.”

“If we do, would you like me to make some Japanese beetle omelets out of them?”

“EWWWW, DADDEEEEE! You’re gross.”

Well, yeah.

Anyway, back in the house, did some laundry, ate some supper, then sent them upstairs to get ready for the next day. Which turned out to be very long.

Up early for Catherine’s game, which they lost. She was just glad to be through with it--her coach is almost as bad as the coach I complained about during their tournament, and now that the season’s over and he can’t retaliate against her, the director has just been sent a special message from me about his conduct. I hope something positive will come out of it, although it’s probably a bit much to hope he’ll be tied in a sack and beaten with a shovel. But you know, hope springs eternal.

Afterwards, it was back to the library to see about getting the squids signed up for the Summer Reading Program--alas, they don’t start signing kids up until June 1. Which seems to be something they could schedule a bit better--seems like they would make it start when school’s out. Oh well. It promises to be very fun this summer, because there will be two different age groups, and Catherine’s will be called…the PENGUINS! YEA PENGUINS! As you can see from the linked graphic, although penguins may be flightless, it doesn’t impede their ability to ride a unicycle while playing an accordion, a bass drum, and a indistinct sort of brass wind instrument! They truly are one of Nature’s most versatile animals. And they taste great.

On back to the house, did some more laundry, then got Jonathan ready for his final game against Mountain Brook. Despite having a reputation for being all a bunch of high-dollar sorts, the concession stand was just a little tiny thing, and it was CLOSED. Hmph. They did have a truck pulled up there selling ices, but still, you’d figure they’d have guys out there with silver trays taking orders from people. And other guys with fans. But no. I must say I am disappointed in my bedollared brothers. Although they do seem to have figured out how to get their kids to score goals. As has so often been the case this season, yet another loss to a team we could have played better against. But didn’t. ::sigh:: Must have been the weather--it started off blazing hot, then it came a cloud (as we say), and then it was blazing hot and humid.

Anyway, they finished up, and although Cat didn’t enjoy her season, Jonathan seemed to have. And he really did get a lot better, so I suppose it was okay for him. Off then back toward the house, but on the way out, I decided we’d go up Overton Road and go by our first house. Catherine was just a tiny baby when we moved to our house now, and she was baffled when we pointed it out to her. Looks pretty good--they’ve replaced the porch, and the corkscrew willow that I tended from a mere sprig is now a giant. And they finally fixed the mailbox post. Not long after they moved in, they hit it and knocked it over, and it stayed that way for years afterwards. Hard to describe going back by--I suppose melancholy is the best word. Such wonderful times, but seeing it look different meant that all of those old times don’t really seem as real. And the neighborhood is becoming increasingly locked in by commercial development all around. It’s changing, which is what stuff does, but sometimes you sorta hope things will be familiar, and, well, still homey. It wasn’t. Which is why is was good to get back to our house, even with all the dishes in the sink and the toys strewn all over the floor, and the slow-running drain in the kid’s bathroom, and the backpacks full of school ephemera. Good or bad, clean or dirty, it’s still home.

AND, it’s time for lunch. See you all in a bit.

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