I received one of those e-mails that has been spinning around the Internet for several years about the old Burma Shave signs that used to line the highways and byways of this great country. The e-mail listed a bunch of the signs, but neglected to list my very best favorite. I don't know where or when I spotted it, but it has stayed with me ever since. For those too young to have ever seen any, they were a series of five small signs - about 8" by 24" - that contained verses about driving on the first four, then the last was the Burma Shave ad. So here's my favorite: Famous last words About lights that shine: If he won't dim his, I won't dim mine. Burma Shave.
Take heed all you drivers!
By the way, I never knew anyone who used Burma Shave.
On Saturday, Grandma and I went to Muze Lounge for CrawfishEtouffe. We had first had it during one of our RV trips to Louisiana, and have kept looking for it ever since. Muze Lounge is owned by the same people who owned Foster's Seafood restaurant, now closed. They received an offer from an out-of-state bank that they couldn't refuse, so closed and moved their staff and menu to Muze. We had eaten dinner there on Thursday with our friends, the Painters, so made reservations for the Crawfish special. Every few years, they order fresh Crawfish to be flown in. It seems like about four years since they last had it. The good news is that Grandma was not bothered by an outbreak of hives, so we know she can eat the Etouffe without worrying. We hope she is getting over her sensitivity to food, but we continue to be vigilant. The Etouffe was served in a large bowl; a layer of rice smothered with Crawfish then all drowned in a mildly spicy sauce. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
Corine sent me an e-mail that mentioned a bunch of things that us older folks would remember, but might be a surprise to the young 'uns. That started me on a mental journey back to the 30s and 40s, this is what I wrote:
"To all you young 'uns, being born in 1931 meant no Little League; we played baseball in the street with a ball that was showing string through the ratty cover. Everyone was on the lookout for cars so we could clear the way. We were lucky if we owned a glove, so when we up to bat we loaned our gloves to the fielders. In the fall, we played in the leave piles at the curb, until they were re-raked and burned; anyone remember the smell of burning leaves? During the war (that's World War II), we learned how to take oleomargarine and mix in a capsule of coloring to make it look like butter; my Father said after the war that he didn't want another stick of margarine in the house, so we had butter from then on. Anyone remember Victory Gardens? Or chasing the iceman's horse and wagon, hoping for a sliver of ice to suck on? We had a milk box by the side door where the milkman would pick up the empty bottles and leave the fresh milk; the cream would be at the top of the bottle. In the winter, the milk would start to freeze and sometimes pushed the bottle top right off the bottle. I suppose all this would make a good blog. I'll have to collect my thoughts and see what comes up."
Now it's a new day and a new thought: Kemtone. Anyone remember Kemtone? It was the first of the water-based paints. We lived on Linden Street in Rochester, NY when my father came back from Wabnitz Hardware with a gallon of the paint. We painted the side room where my brother and I had our hobby tables. It was a robin's egg blue and had a strange odor. But the clean-up was with plain water. An amazing discovery. We don't think about the miracle of water-based paints these days, but back then, it truly was something revolutionary.
Whoopeeeee! Thanks to Google, I've found the poem I've been looking for as I noted on March 22, 2006. I had some of the words wrong, that was the problem. The Poem was written by John G. Neihardt and published in the early 1910s. Here it is:
WHEN I AM DEAD
When I am dead and nervous hands have thrust My body downward into careless dust; I think the grave cannot suffice to hold My spirit 'prisoned in the sunless mold! Some subtle memory of you shall be A resurrection of the life of me. Yea, I shall be, because I love you so, The speechless spirit of all things that grow. You shall not touch a flower but it shall be Like a caress upon the cheek of me. I shall be patient in the common grass, That I may feel your foot fall when you pass. I shall be kind as rain and pure as dew, A loving spirit 'round the life of you. When your soft cheeks by perfumed winds are fanned, 'Twill be my kiss ~ and you will understand. But when some sultry, storm bleared sun has set, I will be lightning if you dare forget.
Well, yesterday, I painted half the laundry room cabinet doors, plus the framework - two coats. So today, so far, I've put the first coat on the rest of the doors and sprayed the hinges. By tomorrow, everything should be put back together, and my indoor painting jobs will be over. For a long, long time, I hope. Photos will be forthcoming. Don't know when, but they'll be forthcoming. We have two folding tables which I set up in half of the garage. The Aspire spends the night outside in the fresh air so the Escape is protected from the ravishes of the weather. I spread old sheets over the tables and on the floor to try to contain the mess. Using a spray can on the hinges fills the garage with fumes, so I do that last thing, then open the door a little to let the fumes wander through the neighborhood. The painter we had do the walls and ceilings used Dun Edwards paint, which I'm now convinced is much better than Behr from Home Depot. He had left us a gallon to use on the cabinets ("us" means me). I'm content to do the painting as long as Grandma keeps cooking up those delicious meals.