Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Oh Lord help me! There’s no sugar-coating the situation, I’m a blurter! If I hadn’t been quite sure that this is a bad thing, one look at our Dear Leader plunges me into the depths of despair over my situation. This blurting business is not a good thing: raucous laughter, streams of invective and unkind opinions really are best kept internalized.

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

If you are a reader of either the books or newspaper column by Miss Manners, you may have noted that she uses a question and answer format: etiquette questions from readers: answers from Miss Manners. She prefaces her answers with the salutation, “Gentle Reader.”

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Mostly, people hate change. Sure, there is the occasional insurrectionist who wants to overthrow the existing government, but generally, the bulk of people just go along, thinking something along the lines of “Better the Devil that I know.”

Thus, it is with great interest, and maybe a little skepticism, that we on my block are looking at the coming of the “new house.” It’s not enough that our little enclave is currently undergoing the gutting/renovation of one of the existing homes on the block, but now this, on the previously vacant corner lot.

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

When you were a child, do you remember any place that you saw in your big ol’ geography book that captured your imagination? Other than those cowboys with the bolas, the section on Brazil held little interest for me, so I surreptitiously paged back to look again at the post and lintel standing stones in England, the pictures of olive trees in Greece and the lone little picture of Lhasa in Tibet. These were the places that I wanted to know more about and maybe even see.

Let’s talk about talking. From early on in our lives, it’s a topic with which we all are fairly conversant, so there must be a lot to say. And maybe that’s the problem. As my friend, Patsy, once said, “You spend two years trying to teach a kid to talk, and the next 18 years, trying to get him to shut up.” As a society, we are pretty verbose, aren’t we?

Maybe you remember Andy Rooney, an essayist and commentator on CBS’s 60 Minutes? There is no way that I can compete with his voluminous eyebrows, but I often feel akin to his grumpiness. He didn’t have that Eeyore kind of hangdog grumpiness. You know, the “I don’t know, but I don’t think that’s right . . . “ style.  Nooo, Rooney had a fire-in-the-belly, I’m-so-irritated kind of grumpiness that almost made his eyebrows flap in the stout wind generated by his ire. That’s my brand too: a fueled grumpiness. The kind that is fierce, judgmental and self-righteous.

Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Often in these minutes, I relate light-hearted things. Not so much today. In the cold of the New Year, refugees are on my mind.

Eileen Fisher

“I wonder if I could do that?” Maybe you have had that thought when you have heard or read of some challenge that someone else has embraced. Well, I have. About this time last year I read Ann Patchett’s op/ed in the not-yet-failed New York Times concerning her going for a year without making clothing purchases: and not just clothing purchases, but anything that she deemed to be unneeded items.

 

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Larry Taylor

Vices versus virtues: sounds like a sports team rivalry, doesn’t it?

Here we are in the heart of sunshiney, joyous summer. Here we are in the heart of hot, oppressively humid summer. If ever there was a conflicted season, summer is it. For me, at least, it definitely is a love/hate relationship.

Summers bring longer lightness--that translates to a lightness of spirit. Early morning birdsong, breakfasts on the screened porch, evening drinks on the screened porch, occasional naps on the chaise lounge on the screened porch: a freedom of attitude that gives one permission to lull, be languid, and luxuriate in life.

“Sometimes you have a little trouble taking ‘no’ for an answer, don’t you?” That’s what Larry, my beloved, has said to me in the past when I have been, well, having trouble taking “no” for an answer.

Trippin'

May 11, 2018
Jeanette Saddler-Taylor

Oh good, you’re here. Please come and sit down so that I can show you the 2713 (According to mathematician Larry, that’s a prime number.) pictures that I took on my recent trip. What? This is radio, and you can’t see them and thus are spared from this “opportunity.” Well then, a thousand words, give or take, will have to suffice.

“My little body is aweary of this great world.” Portia blurts that out early on in “The Merchant of Venice,” and it’s one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes. Being something of a blurter myself, I empathize with both her method of expression and her sentiment. Frankly, I’m disgusted with having to be in this mood though. Here it is spring; life should be full of beauty and promise, but my mood is one of a great big whine: a spring-slump.

“Well, it's Groundhog Day... again.” Yes, you guessed it: as well as being a fact today, it’s also a quote from the movie, Groundhog Day. Apparently, many folks watch this movie every year. Larry’s and my friends, Linda and Joe, do. And, when they learned that we had never seen it—apparently some of the last people in America to be in that predicament—they  generously lent it to us. So, in the name of research for this Michiana Chronicle, we, along with our also-still-living-in-a-cave friend, Patsy, sat down for our maiden voyage.

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