Thursday, October 15, 2009

Five random words

Do you like memes? I love ones that make me think, but I suppose that is what memes are all about...

Violet Sky was doing one that I thought was interesting and she has some excellent responses to the words chosen for her. I wanted to play, too, so she came up with some thoughtful words for me to kick around.

I suppose you could say that jars are an important part of my life. I grew up beside my mother who filled jars every summer with wonderful things from her garden. If she didn't can the green beans, corn, pickles, beets, jellies and jams, we would be sorely lacking for food in the winter. She even canned meats, especially sausage, and even squirrel. I know some of you might think that eating squirrel meat would gross you out, but when you live on a very limited income as we did, you learned that many things that God provides make good eating when you're hungry. Squirrel meat is pretty tasty when you stew it, then dredge in flour, salt and pepper and fry it in an iron skillet. My sister Judy always complained when we had it for supper. She said she always got a piece of buckshot that escaped my dad's fingers when he was picking it out of the flesh.

I save jars. My mother-in-law cans a lot, so of course I save them for her, returning the ones that she has given me containing her hard work. I also save nice ones that I buy from the grocery store with jams, jellies and preserves. Sometimes they're just too pretty and useful to throw into the recycling container.

looking down from Mt. Washington at Point Park in Pittsburgh

Rivers have always been a part of my life. I grew up in southern Ohio near the Ohio River. We weren't right alongside it, but I would see it every time we went to town. If we wanted to go to Ashland, Kentucky or Huntington, West Virginia, we had to cross the bridges. I remember my mom (who was full of superstitions) would tell us to raise our feet off the floorboard of the car when we drove across. I'm not exactly sure what evil this peculiar gesture was supposed to ward off, but we always did it. I have a feeling it led to my unreasonable fear of bridges.

I've lived near other large rivers since I've been married. We lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, whose very high and curved bridge gave me apoplectic fits just thinking about driving over it. We lived there five years and I finally, in the last couple of months we were there, made myself drive over it to try and conquer my fear of it. I did it, but I can't say it made me any less fearful.

After that, we moved to the Pittsburgh area, where there are lots of bridges and tunnels. Anyone familiar with Pittsburgh probably knows that there are three rivers. The Allegheny River and the Monongahela River merge to form the Ohio River. Once our son got stuck in the city and called me to come and get him. Of course, I immediately started panicking, because the highways in Pittsburgh are like a big spaghetti bowl with scary bridges that lead to god-knows-where...sometimes baaaad places. Well, I took off, my heart pounding, and of course, I got lost...stuck on top of Mount Washington, with no clue as to how to get where I needed to be. I called David at work, sobbing so hard that he could barely understand what I was saying, and he had to first rescue our son and then rescue his hysterical wife. I did finally learn a little about driving in Pittsburgh with my friend Lynn, who had almost as much trouble with it as I did.

Here in central Ohio we have several rivers...the Olentangy, the Scioto (which flows into the Ohio River), Mad River, and the Big Darby Scenic River.

I love maps. David tells me I'm a great navigator when we're traveling. I like to find out-of-the-way places on maps, because I'm not fond of interstate travel. I like the little towns and the big cities. Our kids are good navigators as well. When they were young, they would spend hours in the van on our road trips learning about the highways and byways in the atlas that was always kept handy in the car or van...we have one in each vehicle.

Every time we moved to a new place, the first two things we did were study the city or county maps, and then find the local library. Then drive around to familiarize ourselves and find landmarks to go by. They're also handy for games to play on the road; such as, naming state capitals, state flowers and trees, etc. I know, we're such nerds.

Lately, my maps and atlases have been feeling a little lonely. We have come into the 21st century with GPS navigation. David has one in his vehicle and my recent purchase of a new cell phone gave me one I can take anywhere. I love gadgets and this one fits right into my love of navigation. But I still look at the atlases occasionally. I wouldn't want my faithful companions to think I've deserted them!

I'm really picky about purses and wallets. When I find one that works for me, I hang onto them forever, and it's starting to show. I've been scouting recently for a new wallet, but I just haven't been able to find the right one. This one is getting very worn around the edges. To me it's just broken in, but it is a little embarassing when I take it out to pay for a purchase. Anyone know where I can find one just like it?

Who doesn't like penguins? When I take my grandkids to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, we always have to watch the Humboldt penguins. It's especially fun when it's feeding time. Watch this video (by someone else) of our zoo's penguins following the reflection from someone's camera.

This is a no-pressure meme. If you would like to play, let me know in a comment with your email and I will try to come up with interesting words for you.


Char said...

great choices. funny thing - my sister hates penguins. she was terrorized by an emperor penguin when she was young and visiting the philly zoo. it's carried over to adulthood. sorta like me and goats.

VioletSky said...

oooh, that's a nice looking wallet - I want one like that too!

you didn't waste any time, thanks for playing.
and I would be right there with you on the maps and checking out my new surroundings.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Such fun! Great to get to know you better. :)

CottageGirl said...

Canning is the ultimate nesting skills! Haven't canned in years, but like you I love those jars! They hold the promise of so many things to come!

Those rivers provide such a wide range of environmental contrasts.

As you know, we live relatively close to the Mississippi River. We also live close to the Illinois and Missouri Rivers as well. Those rivers can provide such wonderful relaxing scenery. But they also can spell destruction to those who live close.

Love the penguin video! Their reaction to the reflection is priceless!!

Elle Bee said...

I too love jars! I love to make jam, so I'm very partial to those gorgeous squatty jars.
This was a neat game. And a nice way to read more about you.

Deborah said...

You defy that old saw about women not being good navigators - and what a great thing to do for your kids perspective on the world by having an atlas in every car.

And as for the meme, yes I'd like to play please!

Susan said...

Char, funny story! I was terrorized by a rooster when I was'd think I wouldn't want anything to do with chickens! My sister was scared to death of anything with feathers, probably because of said roosters!

Susan said...

Sanna, if I ever find another one like mine, I will buy for me and one for you! :)

Susan said...

CG, it's true....most people who live on rivers have a love/hate relationship with them. Terrible destruction can be wrought by what is usually thought of as beautiful. I feel for those who have lost their homes and sometimes their lives to that water.

Susan said...

Elle, you are much more proficient than I am in the kitchen. I always plan to do more canning, but I would have to buy everything that goes in those jars. Our garden is usually just enough for table use. We have too much shade. :(

Susan said...

Deborah, thanks for visiting! I think that a lot of women have convinced themselves that they're no good at directions, so it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I will be so happy to give you words to write about! I visited your blog for a minute, as that is all the time I have this morning. I love what I've seen so far and will read more this afternoon and decide on what I would like to learn more about from you.

Susan :)

Susan said...

Natashya, always happy to let you see into my window!

ds said...

Love the penguins. Mr. L-S does the same thing to the cats with his watch. And the jars. My mother and grandmother canned everything. It's how it was done. So I am hopeless about saving nifty jars and bottles for things...Great idea to have atlases in the car!

Susan said...

ds, one can never truly get lost if there's an atlas in the car! Glad to see I'm not the only jar saver here!

Ruth said...

I could have sworn I left a comment here! Hmm, I wonder if I had it written and Blogger wimped out.

We have jars in various parts of the house, sitting here and there. I say something sometimes, and he says, "that's where I keep them." And I smile and wait for another opportunity.

So rivers are quite an essential part of your life, Susie. That's a cool thing. They are very spiritual - represent spirituality in dreams actually. And somehow your love of covered bridges (not big high long ones like the Mackinac Bridge, which you must promise me never to drive on - remember the Yugo incident?) also symbolizes your nurturing ways, along a river.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I can just picture Don saying that! hehehe

I promise, cross my heart, never, ever in a million years and 49 Sundays to drive across that monster of a bridge! I could barely stand to open my eyes when David drove across it....(((shudder)))

Meggie said...

I really enjoyed meeting you, via the five word meme. Very interesting pieces for all your words. I enjoyed doing it, also.

Susan said...

Oh, hello Meggie! Thank you! I will come see what you did with your five words.

Oliag said...

How much fun to learn more about you this way!

I'm right there with you about a good wallet...why are they so hard to find?...They are either too big or too small it seems:)...Mine looks worse than yours for sure...

Susan said...

Oliag, I don't know! They rank right up there in difficulty with bras and panties IMO! lol Mine looks a lot worse than the picture shows...the camera was flattering it! :)