Deadlines always sneak up on you


Deadlines are so hateful. They sneak up on you at the most inconvenient times. Like yesterday, I was regretfully pulling put my poor dead flowers and all of a sudden it hit me: I should have written my column two days ago!

But between the beautiful weather, Veterans Day, getting storm windows up etc. etc., the days just flew by.

This morning I watched the platter-size sycamore leaves float down, even without any wind. All the other trees have surrendered and my good neighbor, Glenn Anthony, came with his helpers and presto! the fallen leaves were gone. I had enjoyed the pink “skirts” they had made beneath the maples, which for so long were gloriously red.

In the crotch of two branches, a small tree of some sort has taken root in whatever soil must have settled there. I’ll let it alone just to see what happens.

* * *

Reading has helped while away the rainy days and the early darkening evening and I especially enjoyed one book. I decided a friend would like it, too. I called Barnes and Noble to see if they had it and when I asked if they had the new book Homer’s Odyssey, there was silence on the end of the line.

In a give-me-strength voice, the clerk finally said, “Yes, we have it, but it is not new. It is aeons old. We have it in hard cover and paperback.”

Fighting hysterics, I explained this was not Homer’s ancient Iliad version but a delightful true story by Gwen Cooper about Homer, a blind cat. And yes, they did have it.

Isn’t it nice to call a business place and get a real person on the line rather than a series of “Press this, press that.” And it is also nice to have the caller identify himself or herself and ask if they might be of help.

* * *

Did you know that in the Boston area — maybe elsewhere too — there is a “Rent-A-Coop” program that allows urban residents to rent a small flock of chickens. They come with food and bedding and a large crate and a printed sheet of information. The families are thrilled with the fresh “egg a day” delivery and kids think it is just great. So do the chickens, which usually end up as named pets.

It probably wouldn’t work here, as zoning limits “livestock” in most urban as well as suburban areas. “There could be an odor…”

* * *

Speaking of odor, now that the insulating leaves are gone, I hear the roar of invisible traffic, and exhaust fumes pollute the morning air.

* * *

I wish you all a very thankful Thanksgiving. I hope it is in the company of family or friends and I hope you are mindful of the blessings of our country even though there are flaws.


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A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Janie Jenkins retired in 1987 as a feature writer and columnist at the Youngstown Vindicator. In June of that same year, she started writing her column, "On My Mind" for Farm and Dairy. She loves all animals and is an accomplished equestrienne. Local history is also one of her loves, and her home, the former Southern Park Stables, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



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