Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pour Myself a Cup of Ambition

Lonely Rivers is rapidly growing tired of being in charge. Challenges inspire creativity, there are no problems, just opportunities. Hire great people, treat them well, teach them well, celebrate their success, keep building the team. And let them know that the the buck always stops here. Bring on an earthquake, a flood, three weeks of too much snow, a recession, or the swine flu and LR begins thinking about giving up the "big bucks" for a nice job as a follower, a taker of directions, a passive recipient of the decisions of others. Oh to be able to sit around and criticize the boss, complain about the lack of plastic spoons in the lounge, and second guess most anything. Pass the buck. Dream on.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Slip Sliding Away...

Lonely Rivers walked five miles and in the final stretch took a spill. Good thing she had walked five miles ... everything all warmed up and ready to fly ...splitsecond trip over a crack in the sidewalk. Loss of contact with earth, brief instant of amazement that this is happening, maybe it's not happening, oh for sure it is.. the smash, the crash, the glasses flying..the thirty something kind as could be dad out with his two kids running to the rescue, the "No, no, I'm all right. Really, I'm all right!" The short limp to the car. testing real damage, scraped knees and hands. When sixty four falls, it hurts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Death of a Salesman

When we were seven we were inseparable. My cousin was my best friend. He had blond curls and a sweet, sweet smile. He was brave and smart, afraid only of garbage men, but reckoned he could ride his bike faster than they could drive the truck. Together we dreamed up skits and performed miracles. We dressed as Dagwood and Blondie in the fourth of July parade and won first prize. We played "office" taking turns being boss. He was great at typing receipts and ordering parts. Our premier enterprise was the Cousins Custom made Potholder Caper. Our business plan: hit every house in our little town. Everyone needs potholders, no one would resist the sales pitch of Dagwood and Blondie. We spent months and months weaving loops on looms creating amazing color combinations and patterns. We plotted and schemed. We stockpiled our product in a huge suitcase and dragged it with us everywhere. Eventually we pitched every house in town..potholders twenty five cents each, five for a dollar. We made a fortune. We grew up. We lost touch. He and a friend fell off the face of the earth. No forwarding address. Just disappeared. He died. In Florida. Maybe of Aids. He could have told us. We loved him. We would buy any story he wanted to tell. He didn't want to tell.

Corner Store

Corner stores, the 7 Elevens of my childhood, were owned by real people. My people. My grandfather started the little market after he retired from banking and happily turned it over to my father and uncle when they returned from the war. As kids we helped out on slow days,sweeping, stocking shelves, taking out the bottles, filling the cooler and cleaning up the produce. On busy days we mostly ate popcicles and stayed out of the way. My grandfather could slice cheese from the big wheel to the ounce. My dad could charm any customer into buying bananas, mustard, and white bread. My uncle made a mean sliced meat and cheese sandwich and he effortlessly handpainted news of the week's specials on the windows every Monday. Neighbors had good credit at our store, and just about everyone in town ran a bill. People came just to hang out and share stories. June, July and August were BUSY when the tourists were in town. Summer Sundays were banner days and the place filled up after each of the Catholic church services. The store was the center of the universe, an endless supply of double bubble gum, and malted balls two for a penny. A perfect place for two wartorn soldiers to do something they never dreamed for their lives. After a few years the men got their real dream jobs in the city, and my mom reluctantly took over the store. The Oneida Market up the street became a SUPER Market. The days of the handpainted windows were over. Mom tended store, but mostly read books and waited for us to come home from school.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

And Called it Macaroni

Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring came to town riding a yellow bug. This little pig went to market and found a little cottage with windsock in the tree. She sat in her cottage...and frightened the spiders away. Jack be nimble, Jill fell down and broke her crown. All the kings horses and all the kings men and little maids all in a row are still ticked off after all these years!!