Is It Really October?

Today it is Dave's Birthday and it is supposed to be 80 degrees+.   I can't remember it ever being this warm this late in the year.  There is a light breeze and it looks like a blizzard of leaves falling every time the wind stirs the branches.  Dave's cats are fascinated by the activity.  This especially applies to the 7 month old kitten.  In addition to the Attention deficit, he has the hyperactivity of a kitten.  he is prone to attack anything that moves and then rush off to something else.  The female cat has just started bopping him on the head when he attacks.  I am pretty sure that he is keeping his claws unused or there would be hell to pay. 

When we were teenagers, this weather would bring out the football games in most of us.  In spite of the lack of protective equipment, we played tackle football.  The funny thing is that I don't think we really kept score and our teams rotated players from side to side.  I kept the big lot next to the church mowed and we felt that it was fair for us to play football there.  It was a fairly wide and deep lot so it was pretty much like a football field.  We tried to keep away from the church on one side and a row of trees on the other.  Rather than using the rules of football, our rules were closer to the Marquis of Queensbury.  No fists or eye gouging, no kicking the other player unless he falls down, and piling on was a given.  I remember that when Kennedy was assonated, we had about three days off and we spend most of the time playing football.  I remember it was cooler and wet most of the days.  One day it was like water polo and the sweatshirts became extra weight with the water they soaked up and held. 

What was it you liked about your first car?   I drove a couple of cars my father owned and didn't really like either one all that much.  The first was a Hillman Californian.  It is the car that the detective Colombo drove in the TV series.  His was a convertible and ours was a sedan but basically it was a small underpowered car that served the transportation needs.   One time one of my friends had a lot of that clear red plastic plug wire that we all thought looked cool.  I replaced the old black rubber wires and the next week my sister drove the car to Arkansas.  On the way home, it overheated about 15 miles east of our house.  When she pulled up in the yard, you could hear the engine about to give up the ghost.  It had stopped steaming because there was no more water in the radiator.  I raised the hood and the engine was bright red.  My sister was sure that the plug wires had caused all the problem.  Dad asked her when she had checked the water or oil on the trip.  She hadn't.  Once the engine cooled down, dad went out and tried to see if it would turn over.  Nada, zilch, zip nothing.   He simply took the battery out of the car and sold it to the foreign car salvage in  Andover for scrap.  There were no motors for that year car in Kansas.  That was in the days before the Internet and what the local guys had was about it. 

The next car dad bought was a mini minor.   It had been in an accident and the passenger in that accident had died.  Dad bought it and brought it home.  He could take a couple bolts out and lift the body off the front drive wheels.  He made sure it was all straight and then started banging out the dents in the body.  Once he hit the fenders with a torch, lead spilled off the car.  It was probably 5 lbs. of lead where it had been fixed one time before.  Dad had no intention of ever really fixing the body back to look nice.  Had I not bought a can of spray paint, he probably would have just left the fenders with great chips of bare metal showing.  I didn't know anything about body filler then so it looked OK at a distance of 15 feet but pretty bad up close.  That car was a hoot to drive as it was more like a go cart than a real car.  It would go around the corners almost as fast as it would go in a straight line.  I came about as close to killing myself in that car as in any of the other cars I drove later on in life.  I was out east of Wichita and blasting down a dirt road and came to a rail road crossing.  The car leapt into the air and as I watched, I looked straight down at the ground.  All the weight was in the front end and it fell nose first, fast.  Just as the front bumper hit the ground, it just settled back down on the wheels.  I just knew I was going to turn into a 60 MPH Rolly Polly bug and go head over heels out into the field next to the road.  It didn't and I was saved from another adventure in the life of MUD.

For some reason, I have been thinking as lot about the elementary school I attended as a kid.   From Kindergarten to the 9th Grade, we attended Minneha Elementary on the east side of Wichita.  One of my "Girl" friends lost her husband this year and just went in to surgery for Breast cancer.  I put the word girl in quotes to make sure that everyone knew she was a girl and a friend but not a kissy-hold hands girl friend.   Later on when I went into the service she told me that she worked for my Dad at Beech Aircraft.  I didn't know any of that until years later.  I don't know why I am having flash backs in my idle time except that I guess old people start to remember things from their childhood better than where they left their keys.  Oh well.

Yesterday I got the leaf blower out and cleaned the deck on the east side of the house because it had about 6 inches of leaves on it.  This morning when I went out to fetch the paper, it has 3 inches of new leaves on it.   I guess it is fortuitous that I left he leaf blower out there by the deck. 

Better go blow some leaves around.

MUD, aka the leaf blower and Bwana the mouse killer.  8 of those little rodents have been dispatched this year.  My defense in depth is working. 

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