OFF THE CUFF

In part because of recent unprecedented circumstances and in part despite them, I’ve become aware of or witnessed numerous interesting tidbits of information and occurrences.

Here’s a few.

•Our oldest daughter has been in town for a while, and she’s an expert with regard to natural foods that can be found in the forest.

On a few occasions, she has put together a “natural salad” using several types of greens and other plant-based ingredients found on our own property and a couple of nearby public tracts.

While I can’t name most of it, I have to admit that the leafy, flowery stuff she uses makes for a delicious salad. And if you realized how odd it is for me to say that, you’d be impressed. I’m not one to seek out that kind of thing, but I know something tasty when I eat it.

And it’s even healthy. Hide the kids and the dogs, there’s something amiss here.

•My wife and a friend of hers were recently sitting outside on one of the many beautiful spring days that have graced this region over the past couple of months, and they hear a thud not far away.

Upon investigation, they discovered that the sound was caused by – wait for it – a dead squirrel falling from the sky. At least, part of a dead squirrel. The animal’s body was missing its head and shoulders.

After the women went “eeewww!,” they regrouped and cleaned up the unexpected incomplete visitor.

After I heard about the incident, I envisioned a hawk, eagle or some other raptor going, “dang it!” just after dropping its snack.

•Speaking of nice days, so how about the weather as a whole this spring?  

Man, it’s been hot, cold and often wetter than heck over the past two months. And unusually stormy at times, too, what with the giant hail on March 27 and the super-strong winds on May 4.

Hopefully we’ll get some consistency sooner than later, because we’ve had anything but that for quite a while now. But I guess it’s almost inevitable that before long we’ll be complaining about oppressive heat and humidity.

Welcome to the Ozarks, right?

•I find it interesting (and fairly entertaining) that the parking lot at Houston’s Walmart has been about as full as usual throughout the whole “pandemic” ordeal, as people have been obtaining their “essentials” at Houston’s primary outlet for obtaining “essentials.”

I’ve been there a few times myself over the past several weeks, and about the only noticeable differences from a normal day is the long walk that’s necessary to get to the store’s main entrance, the employees wearing masks and all the markings on the floor based on social distancing.

Oh, and the sparse selection of meat.

Many of you will be old enough to recall this: I’m reminded of Mad Magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman, who was famously associated with the phrase, “What, me worry?”

•The other day I asked a friend what he missed most during the disruptions of life in general caused by COVID-19 and he had a few great replies.

I really related to his comments about not being able to share hand-shakes and how it’s been hard to adjust to not being able to do that. Surely we’ll reach a point where we can extend our hands again, right? And watch live sports, gather in packed auditoriums, make reservations to sit down for dinner at a fine restaurant, etc.

It’s safe to say you don’t know what you’re taking for granted until it’s taken away. We know that now after having had so much taken away.

•And, of course, Gertie (The Permapup) has weighed in on the COVID-19 situation, and her viewpoint of it is not surprisingly 100-percent that of an opinionated Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

“Coronavirus shmoronavirus,” she said. “Let’s get real and move on from all this nonsense.”

I’m with her.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.

Email: ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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