Lottery Winners: All of Us

In vitro fertilization was a topic in a science magazine I was reading a few years ago, and the complexity of producing “test tube babies” was only part of the fascinating concepts the article examined. More striking were the facts about normal human reproduction and the sheer numbers involved in the process that has populated the world since homo sapiens emerged. The article explained these numbers: A woman in her reproductive life produces about 450 viable eggs; a man during a single sex act ejaculates between 40 million and 1.2…

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The Cynic Tackles Everyday Life

Perfect Timing Contractors finish building your new garage and leave only one nail behind, which you run over squarely with your front tire. The best guarantee of a 50mph blizzard is the day after you put inflatable snowmen outside. The likeliest days for your hot water tank to fail are Thanksgiving and Christmas. Toilets know to fail the day you are babysitting for eight grandchildren. Home computers delight in failing on April 14 just as you try to file your taxes. Sundays, Christmas, Superbowl day and New Year’s Day increase…

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Spinning Spaghetti Sauce Cans and Other Kitchen Anomalies

The electric can opener in my kitchen is such an indispensable small appliance that it never occurred to me the potential it could have for making a huge mess. Enter: The Spinning Sauce Can Incident. For years I had struggled with the difficulty of opening spaghetti sauce jars and tried every brand before deciding that the Ragu, Prego and all other sauce makers had sincere grudges against old people with arthritic hands. What a victory it was to look higher on the grocery store shelf and discover Hunt’s sauce in…

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The Crooked Home in Leroy

When my husband Chuck and I married in 1966, we were both highly motivated to tackle the rejuvenation of some old home and turn it into a lovely dwelling. It didn’t take long to find what we wanted: a Century Home of 103 years on Madison Avenue in Painesville Township. The location seemed ideal for both of us since he was employed by Avery Dennison in Painesville, and two years later I would leave my teaching position at Mentor High School and begin at Riverside. The home was in need…

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The Printing Behemoth Has Been Replaced

Observations about how much things in our world have changed in size can turn into wonderment if a person remembers how, over a few decades, things that used to be small are now huge, whereas many other functional items have shrunk. Compare, for example, the Wright Brothers’ flyer to today’s massive airliners or cargo airplanes. On the other hand, consider how huge computers used to be relative to ones now carried in hands or pockets. Recently, while typing and copying an article for the Riverside On-line Log, I thought back…

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El Communicado Non Comprehendo Part III

(A View of an Orthopedist’s Office from the Inside Window Looking Out) By the time I was nearly an octogenarian I had assumed new environments would not often be part of my life. I had been in my home community for decades and was used to its attendant communication challenges. My high school teaching days were long past, which made the memories of overcoming generation gap challenges more amusing than challenging. I had lived at Pheasant Run Airport for 40+ years and dealt with hundreds of people visiting and attending…

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Portia, Porsche, Calpurnia, Or?

Not long after my husband Chuck and I purchased a home on 68 acres in Leroy Township, Ohio, in 1977 and started developing the land into a private airport, we wondered if there was some force out there that spoke special messages to stray dogs and cats saying, “Go see the Reeds; they’ll feed you and give you a home.” Over the years, we took many cats and a few dogs to rescue centers because of the number of “drop-offs.” Further complicating our animal ownership was my severe allergy to…

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Wisdom of the Aged Not What It’s Creaked Up to Be

The theory that advanced age and wisdom pair well together is an appealing concept until one actually approaches old age. All senior citizens would like to think they had been adept at predicting the future. Remembering past decades can make an older person realize how clueless he or she was about reality. For example, I doubt my teenage peers in the ‘50s were thinking that most married women of the future would hold jobs outside their homes. The first moon landing seemed a distant mirage. Most of us thought classes…

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El Communicado Non Comprehendo, Part II

Because northeast Ohio is a region with widely varying demographic locales, it is easy to encounter residents from areas that are much different from one’s own. Therefore, a person living, let’s say in Cleveland or its suburbs, might have little or no experience with rural areas, even though many exist to their south, east and west. Because my husband and I established, in 1977, a small airport and aviation museum in Leroy Township, we often encountered visitors who had no idea that a home on such an expanse of land…

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El Communicado Non Comprehendo, Part I

In a country with diverse nationalities and languages, it is hardly surprising that some difficulties arise in communications. However, listening to and understanding others often happens between people who speak the “universal” English language as well. For two examples about misunderstandings that can happen even when an American native knows another language well, retired RHS Spanish teacher Marietta Lipps knows how confusion can arise. She wonders sometimes about what happened when the Chevy Nova automobile was named because “no va” in Spanish means “It doesn’t run.” One can only hope…

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