Patsy Porco

Archive for May, 2016|Monthly archive page

My Brain Needs Pruning

In gardening, Humor on May 30, 2016 at 8:03 pm

Last night, my husband and I played board games at our friends’ house. I lost at Scrabble, but I sometimes win, so I was happy for the winner, sort of. When we played Trivial Pursuit (original edition), though, I was slaughtered. I knew some of the answers to the other players’ questions but rarely to my own. The two wedges I got in my pie were from answers that I pulled out of my … hat. I never even heard of the song, “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte,” so guessing Patti Page as the singer was sheer luck.

The thing is, at one point in my life I knew that Khartoum was the capital of the Sudan, and that pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth were called “the seven deadly sins,” but not now. Now, my mind is so cluttered that I have a difficult time recalling what I need until the day after I need it, if ever.

But brain jam isn’t my only problem. My always-present unknowledge (my word, feel free to use it) is getting worse. Here is just one example: My town and the surrounding towns all have Facebook virtual tag sale sites (aka virtual garage sale sites). Because our hosta has reseeded itself and the plants are overtaking our yard, I decided to sell them all. They’re extremely healthy and some of the plants are enormous. You can pay a lot for plants from the garden stores, so I offered them for much less: $5 for a regular plant and $10 for a giant plant (with leaves that make the plant at least two feet in diameter). Once sold, I would dig up the plants that were purchased and deliver them to the buyer.

The only problem was that the administrator posted this under my listing: “Take this post down right now. These are weeds!”

Hosta 1.jpgHosta 2.jpgHosta 3.jpg

Great. Not only does my brain need weeding, now my “garden” does too.

 

 

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A Dog’s Life

In dogs, Golden Retriever, Humor, pets on May 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm

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A Lesson From My Dog

In dogs, Golden Retriever, Humor, pets on May 22, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Anywhere Is A Good Place To Have a Great Time

Dirty Dog

In dogs, Golden Retriever, Humor, pets on May 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

I haven’t taken our Golden Retriever, Rudy, to Norwalk’s Cranbury Park for several years. I used to take him all the time, but then we fenced in our yard to cut down on his daily escapes, romps through the neighbors’ yards, and mad dashes across busy streets. Instead of going to the park, we’d open the back door, throw out some biscuits, and out into the yard he’d go. I would occasionally still take him to the park, but then I stopped because he always got dirty … much dirtier than any of the dozens of dogs there at any time.

Today, though, I had him in the car with me and we were in the neighborhood of the park, so I decided to take him. Cranbury Park allows dogs to be off-leash in an area called “The Orchard,” as well as on the trails. I figured that now that he was eight years old, he would be slower than he was when he was a puppy, and I’d be able to stop him before he jumped in the creek.

I was wrong.

I'm not dirty enough yet. 05212016

That sure was fun!

It was worth it, even if I have to have a bath now.

The Harlem Serpentine

In Humor, New York City on May 19, 2016 at 4:41 am

My cousin, Melon, recently assured me that Harlem is perfectly safe and not at all like it used to be, when it was dangerous. I was impressed with Melon’s knowledge about Harlem, since she lives in a Washington, D.C. suburb. But, in her defense, her daughter attends an excellent college not far from Harlem, so Melon has probably driven through the neighborhood.

Melon has not, however, stood on the corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue for half an hour, looking like a lost tourist, like I did this evening. Due to a fire on the Metro North train tracks in Harlem yesterday, the train schedules are in disarray. If you are lucky enough to be on the platform when the rare train arrives, and are able to spot an opening in the aisle where you can forcefully cram your body and belongings, you’ll be rewarded by standing for an hour, shoulder to nearest body part of your neighbor, while rocking to the gentle rhythm of the train and trying not to fall into the lap of the nearest seated passenger.

This morning, my husband kindly offered to take me away from all of that by driving me from Connecticut to the Bronx, where I could catch the #6 train to Grand Central Terminal. I agreed to his plan, and my morning commute was very pleasant. He also offered to pick me up after work at the same place where he dropped me off. However, later in the day my husband had to go to Queens, so he suggested that I take the subway to Harlem and he’d swing by on his way back.

We agreed to meet at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue at 7 p.m., right outside the subway exit. I got there 15 minutes early, while he got caught in traffic, due to the mess that was created by the fire on 118th Street. Every ten minutes, he called to say he’d be there in ten minutes. I received at least three of those calls.

Intellectually, I knew that my cousin, Melon, was right. Harlem had undergone a gentrification over recent years, and people were rarely murdered there anymore. Even President Clinton rents office space there now, which could lead one to infer that he feels comfortable and safe in Harlem, or he was paid to work there to promote the neighborhood and his bodyguards are former Navy Seals.

In truth, as I waited, I really was never afraid. It was still daylight, and while the intersection I was in was not even mildly touched by gentrification, there were plenty of people around — people who would deny seeing anything even if I were clubbed over the head in front of them. But there were also lots of respectable people coming home from work, and bus drivers standing on each corner awaiting the arrival of their busses, so I tried to ignore the clots of dissolute loiterers lounging against the rails of the subway steps, jabbering senselessly on the street corners, and skulking in the shop doorways, all while sizing me up with side glances.

Each time my husband called and said he’d be there in ten minutes, I would immediately dash into a store for five minutes. But then I’d panic that he’d get there early, so I’d run back to my corner. The traffic at that intersection is non-stop and if I weren’t on the correct side of the street when he pulled up, he’d have to keep driving, without me. Therefore, being in the correct place at the exact time he arrived was crucial.

So, while, as I said, I wasn’t fearful, I also wasn’t carefree. As I waited, I instinctively started meandering side to side, and around in circles. I did it slowly, so as not to attract attention. I probably did attract some notice, but I didn’t want to check, in case I made eye contact with someone. I didn’t realize at first why I was zig-zagging. Then, it came to me: I was following Peter Falk’s instructions to Alan Arkin, in The In-Laws, regarding how to walk (“Serpentine, Shel!”) in order to avoid being shot. I didn’t really expect to be shot, but I thought a handbag-grab wasn’t out of the question.

Eventually, my husband showed up at the intersection, I got in the car with my handbag, and he said, “Now, isn’t this much better than being on a Metro North train that is delayed 60 to 90 minutes?”

“Why, yes,” I said. “It is. Thank you so much for doing this for me.” He did have good intentions, after all, and he went to a lot of trouble getting me to and from work, and I was grateful for that. Then wasn’t the time to complain. There would be plenty of time later.

Besides, I suddenly had a craving for fruit. “Would you mind pulling over near that cart?” I asked, pointing to a fruit wagon on Lexington Avenue. “I would love to get my hands on a melon.”

 

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