Sunday, July 19, 2009

banking like yesteryear

yesterday (saturday) i was driving in our little downtown. we are not totally rural but for a milwaukee suburb, we are small, our population is about 8,000. as i was driving by one of the 2 banks in town i spotted an elderly gentleman walking out of the bank. he had his wallet out, and was counting his money before he placed it into his wallet.

it suddenly brought back a string of memories of when i was little. i can strongly remember going to the bank with russ as he would cash his paycheck from work. some he would put into a savings account and a certain amount he would take home to cover expenses such as groceries and gas until his next paycheck. he also knew most of the bank tellers and would catch up on each others lives since the last time they saw each other.

i must admit when i saw this gentleman yesterday he looked a little out of place. he did not seem to be in a hurry as most of us are these days. it made me think of how now everything is automated. most places of business have direct deposit for their employees. one can transfer money from accounts on line as well as pay most bills that way. credit cards are used frequently in grocery stores and now a lot even seem to have the self service checkout line. most gas stations you can pay at the pump and never walk inside to talk to the cashier, much less have the attendant come wait on you.

but for a fleeting moment, this kind gentleman took me back to a time where life was different and definitely a slower pace, and maybe a friendlier one too.

Monday, July 6, 2009

my run-in with a nail

boy i'm beginning to feel a little jinxed. just when i have pretty much gotten full use of my finger (from the avocado incident) i had a encounter with a nail, and needless to say, the nail won.

we have a beautiful large deck out back built by the previous owners. well, yesterday i was carrying out some cushions for the lounge chairs to enjoy the beautiful day and did not see a nail that had worked itself up out of a board about 1/2 inch. well, my foot didn't either and it shaved back about an inch of skin like a potato peeler would. it hurt like hell, of course nobody was home, so i let out a few expletives. after attempting to clean it out and getting it to stop bleeding i got a hammer and pounded the heck out of the nail, to which i felt somewhat better. i then relaxed in the pool, thinking all the chlorine would help as well. it burned a little but the coolness of the water felt good.

now the real trick was determining which if any shoes i would be able to wear to work today. also keep in mind, with the ball of my foot being affected, i can not walk normally, i have to walk more on the side of my foot, and with an obvious limp. this isn't hard for short distances but considering i walk over 3 miles a day in hospitals, this is a little tricky. i managed to find a pair of crocs that were large enough not to be constrictive and also cushioned my foot. they are open toed and hospital rules only allow closed toed shoes. so on went the white socks underneath them and my fashion statement left a lot to be desired with the rest of my attire. with pumping the motrin to the max i managed to get through the day with only a few weird looks. one of the case managers i spoke to today told me she did the same thing last summer and it took months to feel better. GREAT....just what i wanted to hear. it is less tender tonight than last night so i hope tomorrow will be better too.

luckily i had a tetanus shot last summer so that was one less thing to worry about. i've now been 2 for 2 with injuries on summer holidays. maybe i should stay in bed on labor day!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy 4th of july

the 4th of july has always held special memories for me. ever since i can remember it is a day filled with family, fun and traditions. growing up we always went to see the parade and then fireworks at night. once gene and russ bought their house up in door county we started celebrating the 4th up there. that is where my fondest memories are from. there were even a few years that i remember that russ and his brother-in-law were in the parade. we helped him decorate his mopeds with crepe paper streamers so that they could ride in the parade. and talk about candy being thrown out - garbage sack fulls! such fun.

gene always outdid herself with the food - either brats or burgers, with tons of sides, including a 3 layer red,white and blue jello. for dessert i was in charge of making a flag cake - pretty easy, a white cake with cool whip as the frosting - sliced strawberries for the stripes and blueberries for the stars.

of course being the superstitious person i am, you HAVE to wear red, white and blue on the 4th. it was always fun to see my sister's family scrambling around in the morning, borrowing things from others to make their red, white and blue outfit. no matter how many times gene or i would remind them to brings things up, they never seemed to remember. i wonder if they remembered today? doubtful....

watching the fireworks at night was the finale of the days activities. we would either sit on lawn chairs or lay on blankets and ooh and aww as the fireworks were shot off. a few years it became pretty funny as there seemed to be a 3 minute pause between each one set off. we kidded each other that the town was short of money and wanted to make the show last more than 2 minutes. i will never forget the year my sister tried to parallel park and ended up in some poor souls bush, or the year matt set off a smoke bomb in a porta-potty. of course i didn't find out it was him until much later!

this year will be quiet and different than those previously remembered. we have renters up in door county so we will not be up there. both boys are working so we will have our meal tomorrow. bob and i are invited over to some friends for a drink before the fireworks start. however, i may pass on the foreworks and come home to watch them on tv. the mosquitoes have really hatched the past few days and i guess i'm not as tough as i use to be, especially without my family peer pressure. the only thing i know for sure is that i made certain that mark had his patriotic boxers on before he left for work and i will make sure matt does the same. bob will also get the "inspection" when he gets dressed for the day.

happy 4th to all.