Definitions that Noah Webster Would Have Rejected

MEDICARE ADVANTAGE ADS ON TV – New venue for decrepit NFL stars to maintain the spotlight. WASHINGTON, D.C – Center of United States government, much beloved by Chicagoans because it knocked them out of first place as “America’s Most Dysfunctional Metropolis.” ZEALOUS TOURIST – Person who walks all the way around Mt. Rushmore to check whether the presidents’ butts are as large as their busts. QUESTION ASKED BY A ZEALOUS LAS VEGAS RESIDENT TOURING ALASKA WITH PARK RANGERS –“What time do you guys turn on the Northern Lights?” POT –…

Read More

Butt-first: Not an Expedient Way to Enter the World

Now that I have made clear my gratitude about how my life has unfolded in my other article this month, I feel justified in expressing a complaint about a disability that has plagued me all my years. I have always had difficulty with spatial relationships, and anything related to understanding directions, whether traveling on foot or by vehicle. It wasn’t until a few months ago that an epiphany occurred to me that seemed to explain my failures in correct navigation. I started life at its very beginning attempting to go…

Read More

Gratitude Going Back a Century and a Quarter

As strange as it may sound, this January has offered us in northern Ohio some of the most unpleasant weather conditions ever, but I am filled with gratitude at experiencing it because I have learned to appreciate the big picture. Plus, there is a big difference between “unpleasant” and “devastating,” the latter word often used to describe weather in our country. In fact, most meteorologists agree that lands north of the equator and in the western hemisphere, which would be us, suffer the most destructive weather events on the planet.…

Read More

A Beautiful Woman of Substance in a Superficial World

Magazines in my home tend to arrive and land in a stack until I am in the mood to read or recycle them. However, as I looked down at the cover of one this month, I immediately thought, “What an absolutely beautiful woman that is.” No, it isn’t Britney Spears, Taylor Swift or any one of entertainment’s current sensations. This woman has gray hair pulled back into her signature ponytail; long upwardly curled laugh lines going from the corners of her eyes all the way to her hairline; deeply wrinkled…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More