September 1, 2014

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On the Other Hand
Who’s your neighbor? PDF Print
Saturday, July 26, 2014 8:00 PM

A knock came at my door Friday morning. How odd, I thought. I wonder who it could be.

It was the neighbor lady asking if our vehicle was wrecked before or if it could have happened in the early hours of the day. She and her husband had heard a loud bang and wondered if it could have been someone hitting Sable. We had parked her in front of the house because my husband sprayed for weeds in both driveways on Thursday.

“No,” I told her. “Sable hasn’t been the same since she hit that herd of deer at Christmastime several years ago.”

We both laughed and took a few minutes to wonder what the noise could have been and then we went about our day.

Come to think of it, she never told me her name and I never asked or gave her mine. Shame on me.

There was a time when I knew everyone in my neighborhood for at least a two-block radius. I knew the parents, the kids and even the family pets.

I spent hours at the Schabbing house across the street, playing kickball, tag, hide ‘n’ seek and of course with dolls. They in turn spent many hours in my toy room. (I was a little younger than my siblings so I got to have my own toy room. Don’t hate, just accept.)

We also spent an inordinate amount of time behind the laundromat playing in the milk crates. I can’t explain the appeal they had now, but we spent hours rearranging them and making “rooms” and hideaways.

If we misbehaved, our parents heard it from the “neighborhood watch.” Now people just call the police so they don’t have deal with the parents. Sometimes that might be wise.

It was not uncommon for people to sit out on their front porch after supper and just visit.

Casseroles were delivered to sick or grieving families. Children were swapped for a special evening out or just to give a harried parent a break.

A world champion in the family PDF Print
Saturday, July 19, 2014 8:00 PM

We have a world champion in the family!

My husband has spent this week in Virginia Beach with our niece, Lotus, his sister and her husband and dozens of Dancesensations Dance Center dancers at nationals.

On Wednesday, my Lotus Leaf was named Miss Teen StarQuest, the highest StarQuest honor! She won every one of her categories and racked up the hardware and other prizes. I have to tell you, next to her parents, you couldn’t have found anyone prouder than Jay and I. He was so stoked he was actually there to see the performances that led up to this prestigious award.

We were worried when she hurt her knee last fall and had to have surgery. Sometimes even the littlest injury can end a career. She came back better, stronger and more determined than ever rise to the top and be the best. That is one little girl with her eye on the prize and her gaze never wavers.

We were part of something great PDF Print
Saturday, July 12, 2014 8:00 PM

I pretty much plowed through high school paying little attention to anything except what I was focused on. I know this is shocking coming from a teenager. However, I still hold a special place in my heart for band. Yes, I was a band geek and given the opportunity, I would probably be one now, too.

My sister played in the band and I can remember her bringing her instrument home and practicing and at the time, I wanted to do everything my sister did. I’m sure she was thrilled most of the time. So when the clarinet came home with me in the fifth grade, I don’t think anyone was surprised. Well, maybe the dog. There was quite a bit of howling and ducking for cover until I stopped squeaking and squawking.

I love music of all kinds and I really enjoyed learning to play my humble wind instrument. There was quite a feeling of accomplishment when I could play my scales and that first simple song correctly. A few sighs of relief were also heard I’m sure and the dog emerged from under the couch.

Finally, I’m the Bingo Queen! PDF Print
Saturday, July 05, 2014 8:00 PM

I won’t insult anyone by saying I never win anything. I have won a thing or two in my day but I NEVER WIN at Bingo!

It never used to bother me because I enjoy playing. I enjoy the suspense. I like waiting breathlessly for the caller to say B-5 or N-27 — the last number I need for Bingo. And usually, it just doesn’t happen.

I found out I’m pretty much a poor loser when there are big-ticket items involved — like, let’s say, purses.

I attended the first Canal Days Purse Bingo and I was so excited. Some people are into shoes, some people are into hats — I love purses! I don’t have a lot. Just a few select ones I just couldn’t live without.

I went to the Purse Bingo with a friend and we found a few more to sit with and then we were off. The caller was flying through the balls and still no Bingo. A few cards held only two or three sad little dabs. When the purse I had my eye on came up the butterflies started in my stomach and I held my breath with each new call. I just had to have that purse!

Well, that didn’t happen and I am ashamed to say it made me a little angry. OK, I was mad. I wanted that purse!

So, the rest of the games I pouted as purse after purse went to someone else. All I wanted was the Bingo madness to stop.

Then, on the way home, the lady who won my purse was walking north on Main Street toward my house. Hmm. I had a few evil thoughts and then I went home and pouted some more.

Bingo returned to Canal Days the next two years and every time someone asked me if I was going to play, I just shook my head and said I had to be somewhere else. Why put myself through all that? I was also a little embarrassed by my own actions and feelings the first time. Really, Nancy. Pouting over Purse Bingo?

Excuses, excuses PDF Print
Saturday, June 28, 2014 8:00 PM

We’ve all been there. You’re sick and you miss a few days of work and need a doctor’s slip saying you were too sick to work but now you’re all better and can rejoin your co-workers.

What if you’re not sick and you want a day off or maybe just an afternoon to … watch the U.S. mens soccer team play for a spot in the next round in the FIFA World Cup.

Most wouldn’t dare sneak away from the factory or office for such a thing. What if it was OK? What if it was sanctioned by U.S. Men’s National Team head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and carried the seal of someone really important … like the President?

On Thursday, Klinsmann posted this for Americans to print off and take to work to gain a few hours off the clock to cheer for the U.S. team.

To whom it may concern:

Please excuse (insert name) from work on Thursday, June 26th.

I understand that this absence may reduce the productivity of your workplace, but I can assure you that it is for an important cause. The #USMNT has a critical World Cup game vs. Germany and we will need the full support of the nation if we are to advance to the next round.

By the way, you should act like a good leader and take the day off as well. Go USA!

Jurgen Klinsmann

Head Coach

U.S. Men’s National Team


I wish more occasions cropped up like this. I’m sure it brought a smile to or two and perhaps bosses were willing to look the other way for an hour or so in support of the team. New York Mayor Andrew Cuomo fell in line and gave all state employees an extra hour for lunch to catch the game.

I haven’t been watching a lot of the FIFA World Cup; just enough to know that I don’t understand the rules and Marouane Fellaini has some fine hair. He rocks it! I love the caterpillar eyebrows, too. He knows who he is, has no apologies and has used the beautiful bouffant to score goals.

Cameron played soccer for a couple of years. He played defense and wasn’t bad. He said he just got tired of running. Um, it is soccer.

I have found myself following a play and all of a sudden the inner dialogue starts: Oh, to the left. No, no, no. Don’t go that way. Yes, pass it to him and then get back. Yes. Run. No, no. Don’t kick it from there. How did you think that shot could ever have been a goal? Oh, man. Now it’s all the way down at the other end.

I love the goalie mitts, too. Nothing like some big ol’ cartoon hands to make the game fun.

Dang. Now I want to see Fellaini with the mitts on and that big hair.


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