Other Stuff


Some things you keep.  Like good teeth.  Warm coats.  Bald husbands.They're good for you, reliable and practical and so sublime, that to throw them away would make the garbage man a thief.  So you hang on, because something old is sometimes better than something new, and what you know is often better than a stranger. 

These are my thoughts, they make me sound old, old and  tame, and dull at a time when everybody else is risky and racy and flashing all that's new and improved in their lives.  New careers, new thighs, new lips, new cars.  The world is dizzy with trade-ins.  I could keep track, but I don't think I want to.

I grew up in the fifties with practical parents - a mother, God bless her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it - and still does.  A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.  They weren't poor, my parents, they were just satisfied. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused.  Their best friends lived barely a wave away. 

I can see them now, Dad in trousers and tee shirt and Mom in a housedress, lawnmower in one's hand, dishtowel in the other's.  It was a time for fixing things - a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress.  Things you keep. It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy.  All that re-fixing, reheating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful.  Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant there'd always be more. 

But then my father died, and on that clear autumn night, in the chill of the  hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there  isn't any 'more.' Sometimes what you care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return. 

So, while you have it, it's best to love it and care for it and fix it when it's broken, and heal it when it's sick. That's true for marriage and old cars and children with bad report cards and dogs with bad hips and aging parents. You keep them because they're worth it, because you're worth it.

Some things you keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate you grew up with, there's just some things that make life important .... people you know are special....and you KEEP them close!


The Cost of Raising A Child

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 and came up with $160,140! That doesn't even touch college tuition. For those with kids, this figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked if not for (insert your child's name here). For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.44 a Day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you ever want to be "rich." It is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?

- Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

- Glimpses of God every day.

- Giggles under the covers every night.

- More love than your heart can hold.

- Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

- Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

- A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.

- A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.

- Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up!

- You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.

- You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies,

and wishing on stars.

- You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnet and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck!

- You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

- You get a front row seat to history; to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

- You get to be immortal.

- You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.

- You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

- In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.

- You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

Enjoy your children ... and Your Grandchildren!!



(Humorous Lines)

My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned...couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the ax.

After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it...mainly because it was a so-so job.

Next I tried working in a muffler factory but that was too exhausting.

I wanted to be a barber, but I just couldn't cut it.

Then I tried to be a chef -- figured it would add a little spice to my life but I just didn't have the thyme.

I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

Next was a job in a shoe factory--I tried but I just didn't fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

I got a job at a zoo feeding giraffes, but I was fired because I wasn't up to it.

So then I got a job in a workout center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

So, then I retired...and found out I was perfect for the job!