Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2019

Archive for the category “Community”

Yes! No! Maybe! No! Yes! I Don’t Know!

 

BY AND LARGE TERRE HAUTE (THAT’S FRENCH FOR, “I CAN’T MAKE UP MY MIND.”) is a quiet town that lives life one day at a time – except when it comes to making decisions. The civic power structure of this town can never make up its mind about anything. I’d hate to go to lunch with Terre Haute; it would never be able to pick what to eat.

Whenever the City and its elected officials, are called upon to make a decision it must first go through a lifetime of hemming and hawing. They will make up their minds and then immediately reverse themselves and go back to square one. It is as if the City is being run by a collection of squirrels who are trying to cross the street.

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Who Is Normal?

EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE I AM ASKED TO GIVE SHORT SPEECHES or presentations to civic groups or service organizations. I’ve done a few things for the likes of Kiwanis and businesses. Lately I have been asked to speak before an organization that serves citizens with special needs.

A couple of months ago I went downtown and spoke before both clients and staff of this same outfit about the value of writing down their own personal stories.

I said to them that, “No matter who you are you are a special and unique individual and you have a story worth telling.” I spoke to them about how to write down their stories and how, in doing so, they would be able to both learn and to teach. They would learn more about themselves and they would teach everyone else about their uniqueness, challenges, and gifts that they have to offer to the world.

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Call Me Mr. President 

IDLE HANDS ARE THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP or so I’ve heard. I have been officially retired for about six years now and I’m thinking that maybe I should get a part-time job – just to keep active you understand.

On the front page of the local daily birdcage liner I saw a very detailed Want Ad announcing a job opening that looks right up my alley.

It seems that the President of the Indiana State University is retiring. I could do that job in my sleep. I bet that the person who gets that job gets free pens and some ISU sweatshirts anytime they desire and I say that you can never have too many of either item.

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A New Game In Town

IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU CAN SAY about Terre Haute (That’s French for “What time does the game start?”) it is that this town loves Sports. Basketball is the King of Sports around here. It is as close to a secular religion as one can get without taking vows. After basketball you can always find an organized football game going on any time of year.

Terre Haute is the home of the Terre Haute Rex minor league baseball team. Just about any sport you can name will find avid aficionados here along the banks of the Wabash, but now a newcomer has joined the list of sports being enjoyed here: Cricket.

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The Latest From Unalaska, Alaska

YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME. Today I found out that I became a loser.

Several times over the last couple of years I have posted excerpts from the Official Police Blotter of the metropolis of Unalaska, Alaska – a fishing port far out in the Aleutian Islands.

When I logged in last night to check on the latest doings up north I learned that they weren’t going to be posting the blotter on line “For some time.” Someone up there was upset. That broke my heart. There have been times when I would read the blotter just to cheer up myself after a rough day.

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A Quiet Morning – Screaming Comes Later

quiet2ON A QUIET MORNING LIKE THIS ONE WHEN IT’S JUST ME AND MY COFFEE I can feel the tensions of Life sloughing off like frost off the car’s rear window.

It is 16° degrees outside, but I don’t mind it right now because it keeps some people at home and away from me.

These days it seems like most people are screaming – at one another, at the government, at the world, at themselves. When things don’t go the way they like they start to scream thinking that will make things better – “Better” being the way they want things to be. It doesn’t work of course. It never has, it never will.

Self-Delusion is so much neater than Reality.

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We’re Doomed! What’s For Lunch?

happy-danceICE? WHAT ICE? I DON’T SEE NO ICE.

I take that back – I see ice in my coffee, but there is no ice on the roads or on my windshield. I’m not complaining mind you. In fact, I am doing my Happy Dance – big time.

For the last week the Weather Bunny on Channel Two has been predicting that Terre Haute (That’s French for “What’s that floating in the Wabash?”) was going to be hit with several days worth of ice storms, Sleet, Freezing Rain and NCAA Athletes. I don’t mind the athletes, but the ice, sleet and freezing rain I can do without.

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Stop, Look, And Breathe

anger1 IT MAY BE THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH LOADS OF HO! HO! HO! and your basic good cheer all around, but it seems to me that there are still a bunch of angry people walking around out there. Seriously angry people. Fearful people.

They are angry about a variety of things – some of which are worth being angry about, but so many of these people are worked into a lather about things that are not worth the effort. If you were to stop and ask these folks what it is that has their dander up, most of them could tell you, but a fair portion might be hard put to put their finger on it. They are angry to be sure, but it is a rather non-specific anger. It is like they’ve shot off their arrow even though they couldn’t clearly see the target.

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Welcome to Holland 

holland1A FEW WEEKS AGO I WROTE ABOUT A RETREAT we took in the Holland, Michigan area. It was an intensive week, but it was not all work and no play.

On Thursday afternoon we had some time off to relax and let our brains blow away the sweat. It was listed as free time so we decided to morph into tourists for a few hours. After stops at the local St. Arbucks for coffee and a mini-mart for a Dr. Pepper we headed into downtown Holland.

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Hey, Gomer!

tdn1“I’VE NEVER BEEN TO SPAIN, BUT I HAVE BEEN TO GOMER.”

OK, so that is a paraphrase of the old Three Dog Night song and I have to agree that the Gomer part doesn’t work. But I have been to Gomer.

Recently my wife, the lovely and true to her calling, Dawn, and I made a short visit to the town of Gomer, Ohio. We had to drive there (260 miles) because the Gomer International Airport was fogged in.

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What Is That Sound?

The-Birds I HEARD AN UNWELCOME NOISE as I stepped out of my car this morning at St. Arbucks. It was a noise I’ve heard a million times before. Each time I hear it I cringe and wish that Annie Oakley was still alive.

The Crows are returning to the city.

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Now You See It And Now You…

Cliff1

Charley Weaver

“THINGS ARE FINE IN MOUNT IDY, SHE GOES ON.”

That was the opening line that an old comedian used at the start of his act. He would read fictional letters from his Mamma back in the old home town of Mount Idy. I think you would have to be at least 60 years old to remember him.

He was always introduced as “Cliff Arquette as Charley Weaver,” and he was a regular guest on the Tonight Show for years. Later he was part of the “Hollywood Squares” collection of celebrities.

The reason I bring him up today is that I feel a bit like Charley Weaver some days as I report on the “goings on” in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Elsie Krack doesn’t live here.”). This is a town that has a rather sordid past and a questionable future, but right now there is an abundant supply of strange, unusual, crazy, and “you gotta be kidding me,” stuff going on.

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I Thought It Was Springtime.

1April 7, 2016

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – and it’s cold inside for that matter.

We have arrived in Ireland in the midst of one seriously nasty cold snap. I’m not up on my Metric/Celsius scale of measurements, but I remember enough to know that 0 degrees Celsius equals 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which in my world equals freezing. I do not like freezing. I am not a quart of ice cream. I am not a package of pork chops. I am not an animal, I am a man!

Sorry, I got carried away there. That last bit is from an old movie, “The Elephant Man.”

What I’m trying to say is that it was cold. And rainy. Why do I act surprised? It’s Ireland and I’m a Yankee Flatlander used to central heating.

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Groundhog Day Eve

Groundhog day 2Groundhog Day – a cherished annual celebration with no real meaning other than the fact that it is done every year. Kind of like Election Day.

The ostensible reason for Groundhog Day is meteorological – predicting the weather by dragging a hibernating rodent from its den and observing if its shadow is visible or not. Anyone could predict the outcome of that by looking up instead of down – Sunny = Shadow. Cloudy = No Shadow.

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My Barista, My Hero

YESTERDAY AS I WAS GETTING SOME TEA at St. Arbucks I was told an interesting and true story.elder abuse

Don’t expect a lot of laughs today.

My Barista said that something upsetting had happened to her the evening before.

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Strawberry Shortcake Is A Young Man’s Game

20130613_194208THIS MORNING IS THE MORNING AFTER our church’s Annual Strawberry Fest and I feel like a piece of meat with shoes on.

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