Saturday, May 30, 2009

Twenty Cent Rains

Dear Ella,
We had another of what the neighbor up the road calls, a twenty cent rain. The NWS out of Lacrosse forecast for the past few days was a 20% chance of rain. Elmer shortens it to 20 cents.

The Pooch was gone most of yesterday. When he did return he was owly as my mother would say. I vacillated between leaving him out all night to fend for himself with the local lions and tigers and bears. Then, I started calling him. My last trick is to walk up to the neighbors and talk to Ron, which I did. I notice he has a new riding mower. We discuss the new mower which he recently took on a maiden voyage. I mention that I'm getting impatient with the Pooch's bipolar behavior. Some days you can't pry him off your leg and others, he's gone all day. If I mention buying the friendly white horse Ron keeps in the back corral, I'll find the Pooch waiting for me by the deck. The Pooch dislikes the noise from riding mowers. The rationale is that he finds a quiet spot and hides out until the noise is over. Ron's test ride before dusk keeps the Pooch away from their place. True to form, the cat pops up from behind the deck as I walk in the house for the last time. He walks by me when I hold the deck storm door open. I thought he'd be hungry missing his pre-lunch snack, lunch, afternoon tea, late afternoon dry food crunch and pre-dinner warm up. His owly behavior keeps him walking to the sidewalk where he plops down on his side and rolls in the sand washed there from the patio under construction. I have many tools to lure a cat inside. I shake a bag of Good N' Crunchy treats and the cat follows me inside. I don't even say good night to the little turd. In the morning, there's the usual wake up call and short nap at the foot of the bed.

Remember Jorge? I have seen him once in the past year. In Lacrosse Dawn and I run into him and a girlfriend at our favorite Mexican restaurant. When he mentions her name everything becomes perfectly clear.

At the propane co-op I talk with the office manager about gas prices and the coming year. We're on a budget account. Instead of putting $1200 into a contract which freezes the price of propane, we pay a monthly charge. The price of propane is also contracted at the summer price. We just don't have to shell out lots of money. The office manager tells me we haven't used the minimum amount required for the budget program. But, she says, "Since you're a good customer, I'll waive that rule." Good customer means she's still thinking of me as a board member. I tell her, "I'll give you some good gossip in return." She knows Jorge and asks about him frequently. He's retired and once when he hadn't been around for a long time, the office manager asked him, " Where've ya been, Jorge?" "In jail," is his reply. She laughs at the absurdity of the statement.

You remember, Ella, that University professor and the African dance program we attended. The dancers all huddle together. They're bent over whispering. A narrator or one of the dancers, I don't remember which, says loudly, "Gossip is the glue of the fabric of society." I'll always remember how we laughed at that statement because it is so true in the world of the America Indian. The professor was chairman of the Native American studies department. I tell the office manager that I'll spread some more glue.

Jorge is dating. He tells me on a mountain bike ride down country lanes that a woman he met at the gym called him sixteen times in one day. I caution him. He also tells me that she is married. More cautionary remarks from me. When Dawn and I meet Jorge at the restaurant, Jorge spills out her name. It's the same woman. She's cute and about twenty years younger than Jorge. There's quite a few "oh my's" and "you're kidding" when I relate more Jorge gossip. The other woman in the office looks at us and shakes her head.

More to come.


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