Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

Item 1: Recently Jeanie Ramos had a wonderful and well appreciated “Welcome Column” about the old home place. Sheila and I purchased our beautiful home in Turlock May 1980 and here is a little bit about our old home place.

2010 home interest rates are at an all time low of 4˝ %. In May 1980 interest rates were at 18% and climbing one percentage point daily. Sheila and I were lucky to assume a loan at 8˝ %. The owners had just put in a pool which required another loan at about 12% interest. We were a bit short on our down payment so we had to take out a 5 year loan at 22%. Ah, home ownership!

At three loans I was bound and determined to utilize every inch of our new home and swim in our pool the very first day we moved in. May is usually pretty hot in Turlock, but in 1980 interest rates were up and the temperatures were down. May gave us cool weather, thunderstorms and hail. Nevertheless, the first day we moved in I donned my King Farouk sized swimming trunks and dove into the 58 degree water. Thus, a new tradition was born. So when May 1 arrived each year, I would take a dip in our non-heated pool regardless of weather, temperature, health, attitude or alien sightings.

2010 was our thirty first May spent in our little piece of paradise and I was set to take my traditional first swim of the summer. But we had mild to cold weather, rain and wind, and even though I was tempted I couldn’t bring myself to jump into the chilly waters. Every day I would don my tie dyed swimming suit, go outside and lovingly look at the not so friendly waters of our pool and prepare to dive in. The chilly blue waters would call my name like Parthenope and her siren sisters to Ulysses and crew mates, enticing me to jump into their chilly, icy, deadly arms. The sirens songs were tempting but being 62, not 32 I opted to go back inside and brew myself a fresh stimulating mug of Ovaltine.

June came and temperatures began to rise. I was able to jump in our pool, get onto my extra durable Wal-Mart rubber raft and absorb God’s gift of the warmth of His sun. July snuck in very quietly and things began heating up. We are now experiencing our normal hot summer that will in all probability run until Thanksgiving.

About 17 years ago, Sheila began planting trees and bushes in our backyard and all around our pool. Now our back yard is a miniature, lovely, tropical rain forest. Nothing is as calming and serene as quietly going outside at 5:30 A.M. into the 65 degree weather with the Chronicle and Bee in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other. I sit down at our table, turn on the Sirius to the 50’s station and read about my beloved Giants and work on my crosswords. I could spend hours gazing at all the greenery that Sheila so carefully planted that protects our home like a glorious, giant, green cocoon. As J.D would say, “Boy, it doesn’t get better than that!”

Item 2: CBA members love their dogs. I’d say they love their dogs as much as they love their instruments, huckleberry pie, and in some instances their spouses. This related item is culled from THE MODESTO BEE. It took place in Macungie, Pennsylvania.

“A veterinarian says a dog trapped in a car on a 90 degree day honked the horn until he was rescued. Nancy Soares said the chocolate Labrador was brought to her in a Mancungie Animal Hospital last month after he had been in the car for about an hour. She said Max’s owner had gone shopping and was unloading packages when she returned but forgot that Max was still in the car. She later heard the horn honking and looked outside several times but saw nothing amiss. Finally, she went outside and saw Max sitting in the driver’s seat, honking the horn. Soares said the owner immediately gave Max cold water to drink and wet him down with towels before rushing him to the clinic. Soares said Max was very warm and panting heavily but had suffered no serious injuries, only heat exhaustion.”

I have a vision of Max quietly sipping on a RC cola, flipping through the newspaper, and then looking around, he wonders where his master is. He puts the RC Cola and paper down and begins to honk the horn, looks around again and honks until someone shows up. That is one smart Lab.

Item 3: Words I wish I knew and capable of using in a sentence:

Item 4: “Quotes from famous Americans” Part 1: “I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won’t deceive you except in matters of this sort.” OK, who said it? All right here is a hint. Our mystery American also said this: “In the U.S. today, we have more than our share of nattering nabobs of negativism.”
Until next time, read a book, pet a dog or cat, make a child smile, and don’t be afraid to say yes to something.
Posted:  7/29/2010

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