Is Rust a Color?

“Why did you pick such an ugly color for your truck?”
“It’s the only color rust comes in. It goes a little faster than my old truck. I just got a speeding ticket.”
“Just because they put all those extra numbers on the speedometer does not mean they expect you to use them all.”

I would stare at the offensive stuff taunting me from my dinner plate. A plate that had once been a member of Mom’s good plate club, but had been relegated to joining me for meals due to a small chip.
After a proper amount of time had passed, my mother would watch as I attempted to stare my food away and say, “Just think of all the starving children in China who would love to have that food.”
I was told that we are here to help others. I wanted to stuff the succotash—or at least all the lima beans—in an envelope and address it to “Starving children in China.” 

On a rare occasion, I would accompany my mother to the Dime Store. They had a lunch counter, where for a small recompense and a kind word, a grilled cheese sandwich could be obtained. I loved having a grilled cheese sandwich at the Dime Store. Grilled cheese sandwiches made with the cheapest cheese taste the best. I would sit on the stool anchored to the floor, push against the counter and make at least two full rapid revolutions before stopping. The store’s custodian must have greased the stools every night after closing. Spinning on that stool was like going on a carnival ride at the county fair. The grilled cheese sandwiches were excellent and came with potato chips and a slice of an extremely sour dill pickle. I would take a bite of the grilled cheese sandwich, add a potato chip, a bit of dill pickle and then take a spin on the stool. Life didn’t get much better than that. 

I enjoy Jimmy Stewart movies. In “Made For Each Other,” starring Stewart and Carole Lombard, my favorite line was uttered by the hired woman, Lily, who said wisely, “Never let the seed stop you from enjoying the watermelon.”

Black-capped chickadees are whistling their spring song. This is a clear whistle that sounds very much like "phee-bee" or perhaps, or “spring’s here!” Blue jays are doing their pumphandle call. Cardinals are singing “What cheer.” Hairy and downy woodpeckers drum on resonant trees to establish territories.
Flocks of horned larks appear. They are our first migrants.
Red oak leaves that have hung on all winter, have begun to fall.
“A winter’s fog will freeze a dog.”
Goldfinches are beginning to show yellow plumage. The bills of starlings are beginning to turn yellow.
Red-tailed hawks perch side by side. 
Migrating robins are flighty, noisy, and more colorful than the robins that have spent the winter here.
Weeping willow branches are a beautiful yellow.
Snow crunches beneath our boots when the temperature is 14 degrees or below.

I was talking to the Holstein the other day. The Holstein is a retired milk cow, so she has time to talk. I asked her what she thought was the meaning of life. 
The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “I’ve discovered that doing something good for someone else gives me cause to feel worthy. In Monty Python's film ‘The Meaning of Life,’ Michael Palin summed it up thusly, ‘Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.’ I’d add that tossing a bale of alfalfa to a Holstein would definitely give your life meaning.” 

Congratulations, you are the millionth reader of this column! Look for our prize van to show up at your house next week.

My faithful canine companion, Towhee, died recently. I shall miss her. I hope to one day be the kind of man she thought I was. 

There was a rich but disillusioned young man from Hartland who asked the local wise man (he’s part-time) the secret to happiness. The young man brought all his money along to pay for the knowledge. Without a word, the wise man grabbed the billfold containing the young man's entire fortune and ran away. The wise man ran and ran. The young man chased him over hills and through valleys until he became exhausted and turned back. When the young man returned home, drooping, distraught and defeated, the wise man appeared and handed him his billfold. The young man jumped for joy.
“Are you happy?” asked the wise man.
“Yes!” said the relieved young man as he clutched his billfold.
“So there you have it,” said the wise man. “Now you know the secret to your happiness.”
What would you miss if it was taken from you? Cherish it now.

©Al Batt 2007