Random Acts of Observation
“You must have been something when you were a young man?” I said to the resident of a nursing home.
“I suppose I could have been,” was his reply. “I don’t remember.”

My mother had one rule when it came to cooking—more is better.
My father, a noted salad dodger, had two rules—meat and potatoes.

Rules passed on by my farming father.

Always carry a corncob in the toolbox on your tractor. Toilet paper can be hard to find in a field.

Never have more cows than your wife can milk.

Nothing good happens after midnight.

“Work on Sunday, it will rain on Monday.”

“If a turn signal is on, all that means is that it’s working.”

“If it can be baled, it’s hay.”

“Always talk into a man’s good ear.”

I was doing a Christmas Bird Count.
It was 4 AM.
The full moon was bright and beautiful.
It illuminated the landscape.
Why do we have sunny days, but not moony nights?

The snow crunches beneath my feet as I walk in the sub-zero temperatures.
It doesn’t surprise me. I was raised in a hyperborean home.
Mark Trail taught me that snow crunches when the temperature is 14 degrees or below.
What brings a man who someone once called “almost normal” out in such weather? 
What causes a man who has tropical dreams to dismantle his Antarctic inhibitor and trudge out into Minnesota’s winter wonderland?
I am taking part in a Christmas Bird Count.
I will walk for hours in the bone-chilling cold in search of the next bird.
I find joy not only in the birds I find, but in the habitat that some forward thinking people have provided for the birds.
Snow crunching under my feet is but one of the many things I have to be thankful for.

Winter meant cars would be stuck in the snow.
We pushed a lot of cars out of that position.
It was not proper etiquette to pass a stuck car without offering to free the vehicle from its predicament.
It was a good exercise freeing a car. 
It taught us teamwork, the importance of giving, and the ability to stand upright on icy roads.
We’d push the car one way and then the other, as the transmission worked harder than it should.
We rocked.

Wildflowers fade quickly, but blooming idiots last forever.

Isn’t it amazing how all the states fit together without any land left over?

If you don’t think attitude is everything, consider how you react to the attitudes of others.

Everybody has a story to tell about learning how to ride a bicycle.

No matter what shape a stone is, Mother Nature finds the perfect fit for it.

In every winter there is a bit of summer.

You do not truly understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.

My wife was brushing my teeth the other day when she started to complain about my laziness.

The only certainty when you reach a particular age is wondering how you got there so quickly.

When joining a parade, make sure to get in ahead of the elephants.

According to a new study by the Census Bureau, 20% of people in the United States speak a language other than English. And 98% of those people work in customer service.

Kevin O’Keefe’s book, The Average American: The Extraordinary Search for the Nation's Most Ordinary Citizen, tells us that the average American eats peanut butter at least once a week and prefers smooth peanut butter over chunky. Can name all Three Stooges. Lives within a 20-minute drive of a Wal-Mart. Eats at McDonald's at least once a year. Takes a shower for approximately 10.4 minutes a day. Never sings in the shower. Has fired a gun. Is between 5 feet and 6 feet tall and weighs 135 to 205 pounds. Is between the ages of 18 and 53. Believes gambling is an acceptable entertainment option. Grew up within 50 miles of current home. Drives an eight-year-old car. Is regularly in bed before midnight and doesn’t floss often enough.

The old farmer drove into town each morning to buy the Austin Daily Herald. One day, the store clerk warned him that there was a blizzard predicted for the following day. 
"In that case," said the old-timer, "I'd better buy two papers--I might not be able to make it into town tomorrow."

The Swedish proverb says, “Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours.”

©Al Batt 2006