Tag Archives: nostalgia

The Grass is Way Greener

These photos are from over a month ago.

Bob put fertilizer on the lawn and then we got tons of rain. He was in the midst of finishing the school year so he had hardly any free time and it seemed like when he could carve out some time, it was too rainy.

So the lawn was abandoned and grew hilariously out of control.

When he finally had time to get to it, it took 2 days.

Friday when I was in the market, Please Mr. Please by Olivia Newton-John came on. I don’t think I’ve heard that song since I was in junior high but I remembered almost every word. Now I have an earworm. I have to include the wikipedia link because that is quite an entry. The song was released by ONJ in 1975. I don’t think I ever had the single to this one. But I for sure had the single to Have You Never Been Mellow.

When I was in 5th grade two of the girls in band learned how to play Have You Never Been Mellow (flute and oboe) and they got to play it at the end of an assembly with piano accompaniment. I was so jealous.

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Playground Competition

This is what a busy intersection in downtown Portland looks like on a weekday during quarantine. It was painful not to be able to take advantage of all that street parking.

When I was in elementary school the playground had a set of hanging rings in a circle — I can’t believe I can’t find a photo of this type of thing to link to. I guess this isn’t hasn’t been normal playground equipment in eons.

They were tricky to do — you had to learn how to swing your body around to get from one to the next and then you needed to time it just right so you could re-catch the swinging rings once you completed the circle and were going for another round.

I finally learned how to do it. I think maybe me and a friend rode our bikes over there on weekends to practice? I don’t think there would have been enough time at recess. There was always a line to get on and if you were taking a turn and you missed the next ring you had to jump off and let the next person go.

On Fridays after school there was a contest on the playground for who could catch the most rings and I thought I had a chance. I was really timid in elementary school (or my entire life) so it was a big deal that I even tried.

I made it the first lap around but couldn’t figure out the timing and I can still clearly see myself hanging from one arm back and forth trying to catch that swinging ring.

The girl who won was one grade ahead and the mean older sibling of one of my friends. She won the contest every week. I can’t remember the prize. Candy?

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Crying Over Creased Pants

That one tulip looks like its wiping its face. I thought about going back in and drawing eyes on it — but we have Creative Cloud and when I have Photoshop open my computer runs like it’s stoned so I hate using it. We’re going to give it up when Bob retires and I’ll learn to use something else which I’m sure will go smoothly.

Awhile back, one of the ladies at the retirement home good-naturedly told my dad that people were talking about him.

Later she told him it’s because he irons his jeans.

I shared this with colleague and he told me about a friend of his whose older dad likes good crease in his jeans.

This reminded me of once when I was in middle school, my grandma was staying with us and she ironed a gnarly crease in my jeans.

There was no way I was going to go to school and endure mockery on that scale and for middle school reasons, of course I wasn’t flexible enough to change my plans on what to wear.

I stood there at the ironing board, in my underwear, frantic to get out of the house, sobbing and furiously trying to get the crease out, blubbering with preemptive dread about the field day the kids at school would have with this nerd blunder.

Actually dork. That’s what I said to my grandma, “I’LL LOOK LIKE A DORK.”

She rescued me. She put a damp towel over the crease (a very specific detail I remember 40+ plus years later) and ironed it right out while gently tutting: I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

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Plastic and Pasty

These are my flowerbeds 2 weeks ago. It would have been headline news if not for all the other stuff going on. Long gone by now.

When I was a freshman in high school I arrived at my locker one morning and someone had hastily scrawled “plastic and pasty” in pencil across it in small letters.

Because of course I did, I fretted about this.

Was this intended for me? If so, what did it mean? It’s a strange insult.

Did people thing I was plastic? Or pasty? I didn’t have a huge circle of friends or enemies. I kept to myself so it was unlikely that I had stirred up trouble with someone.

Plastic I can guess — phony? At that age anyone can be accused of acting phony. But pasty? Pale?

I didn’t erase it, I left it there. I mostly hoped the message wasn’t aimed at me.

But 40 something years later I still remember it. I can picture the exact location of my locker — I can’t remember my locker location for any other year.

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Do They Know It’s Christmas?

I’m scheduling this in advance and this is the forecast for my destination. Looks good, huh? Luckily there will be lots of food and fine company, plus puzzles and books. It’s going to be good.

60s Christmas. Are those bathrobes epic, or what? Going to be celebrating with my family again this year

There is a trio of elders in our neighborhood who walk every morning.

One morning we were going for a walk and as we made our way down our street we noticed a large number of cats lurking at the curb and watching. We were half joking about it and half creeped-out.

Then lady walker came around the corner with a little bag. She gives treats to all the cats. It’s very cute. Yesterday I was up early and I looked out the window and I saw two yellow safety vests and a third figure wearing several red blinky lights giving one of the neighbor cats a treat.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may the new year be filled with people bringing you treats.

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Remember iPods?

Bob getting this life-changing gift years ago. I would be surprised to learn that any other iPod in history was as well used as that one. Even after he got his first iPhone he hung onto that until it gasped its last gasp but I bet it’s still in a drawer downstairs.

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I just started watching Manhunter on Netflix. It’s set in 1977 and about the FBI starting to work with criminal psychology. It’s hard to imagine right now that there was a time where that wasn’t a mainstream approach to crime solving.

One of my favorite things is when I hear a song that I haven’t heard in decades and the minute it comes over the loudspeaker at Fred Meyer, or in this case, appears during a TV show set over forty years ago, I can remember the entire song.

Anyone else old enough to remember the disco version of Beethoven’s Fifth?

I didn’t even remember that song existed until I heard it on the soundtrack. I had the 45 and used to try to make up dances to it with my friends.

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The Kids Are Alright

The three kids on the right are all grown up now. That’s my head on the kid with the brown dress and wearing a ginormous backpack (?) who was visiting and I don’t remember anything about her. I thought it would be hilarious to photoshop my head into all the photos for November but lost interest after this one.

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I’ve had this picture scanned and in my main photo folder for months. I can’t remember what the intent was.

This is my room in college in 1985. Normally four people would be in this room and I would have had to confine my stuff to only one of those closet things — what are they called? Armoires?

I don’t think I was always this messy. I think I was crazy busy with school and jobs and social stuff.

Almost all those photos taped to the walls and armoire doors are of Def Leppard.

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Remember When Banking Was Harder?

This is Percy the Desert King fig tree, year one. It’s going to be so sad when he’s just a couple of little sticks with no leaves.

I’ve been complaining about how technology makes me want to pull my hair out but remember the olden days of banking?

I recently received a letter from my bank telling me that my branch was closing and they would be “moving my account” to another branch.

I haven’t been in that branch, on the Washington side of the river, since we opened the account. I do about 99% of my in branch banking in Portland at one of two branches that are an easy walk from my office.

But remember when you had to do business with your branch? And had to move branches when you moved? And doing stuff out of state was giant pain in the hoohaw?

I remember waiting in a long line on Friday afternoons when I got my paycheck from Jack-in-the-Box to get cash for the weekend. I was only allowed to work 19 hours a week while I was in school and I earned $3.10 an hour. After taxes, what was my paycheck? $90 for two weeks’ work? I have some really old check registers somewhere, I could probably figure it out.

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