Life is good in the summer in the Flint Hills of Kansas if you can somehow force yourself to overlook the heat, humidity, grasshoppers and chiggers. And adding fresh sweetcorn — ambrosia from Mother Nature in my books — to the garden mix of green beans, zucchini, new potatoes, and a few tomatoes right off the vine makes it easier to overlook those negatives listed above.
Plus, I butchered the “big half” the “dumb meat chickens” this week and will do the other half in a few days after they grow a bit more. It’s always a pleasure to be rid of those ignorant, grub-gobbling fowl, but it will be more of a pleasure when ol’ Nevah starts popping them into the skillet to add fried chicken protein to our summer cornucopia.
I recently had a couple of visits to the doctor. The first was for my annual physical. During the interminable long question/answer session with the nurse, she eventually asked me how I would assess my diet.
I politely told her that I make it a point to eat a balanced diet. I told her I eat lots of the so-called “good stuff” — fruits, veggies, nuts, eggs, fish, fiber, milk and butter. And then I told her that I “balanced” that “good stuff” with an equal amount of the so-called “bad stuff” like potato chips, processed meats, gravies, cookies, ice cream, snack crackers, lots of different kinds of cheeses, and plenty of animal protein in the form of beef, pork and chicken. I told her at my age, I eat what I want to when I want to.
The poor nurse just shook her head, rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Whatever trips your trigger.”
The second medical appointment was with Dr. Rooter for one of those dreaded colonoscopies. After I awoke from the anesthesia, Doc gave me a literal “clean” bill of health, and said he’d see me for another one in five years.
I replied, “If I make it another five years, you wanna bet that there’ll be a next one?” As he curtly left, he shot back, “We’ll discuss it when the time comes.”
I recently had a pleasant visit to Damphewmore Acres from ol’ Burny, an avid column reader from Glen Elder, Kan. Burny and his wife were traveling through the Flint Hills in his camper and made it a point to look up Nevah and me for a visit.
It turned out that we had a lot in common in the way we grew up and we chewed the fat for more than an hour while drinking iced tea on our deck.
I also informally met a lady reader from Deer Trail, Colo., during the annual Flint Hills Rodeo in Strong City.
Ol’ Nevah and I were “manning” a contestant gate when this lady came through the gate and commented on the high humidity. Since it was a very pleasant evening with low humidity by Kansas standards, I commented that the humidity wuzn’t nearly as bad as it can get.
That’s when she said, “It never gets this humid at Deer Trail, Colo.”
That’s when I took a shot in the dark and asked, “Do you ever read a column by Milo Yield.”
She brightened a bit and said, “Every week! It’s the third thing I read every week right after the horse and hay classified ads.”
Then I said, “Have you ever met him?”
She replied, “No, but I’d like to.”
That’s when I stuck out my hand and said, “Howdy! Now you have.”
“You’re kidding me,” she replied.
I pointed to my cap that read, “Milo Yield — Thoughtful Bull, Tastefully Slung” and said, “I’m about the only person who wears a cap like this these days.”
I think I convinced her I was the “real Milo.” It wuz fun.
Some kindly soul, knowing that I’m getting older by the day and less able to care for myself, sent me the following helpful information.
Avoid cutting myself when slicing veggies by getting someone else to hold the veggies while I chop.
A set mouse trap on top of my alarm clock will prevent me from rolling over and going back to sleep after I hit the snooze button.
If I have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxative. I’ll be afraid to cough.
Only keep two tools — WD 40 and duct tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use WD-40. If it shouldn’t move but does, use duct tape.
I’ll close for this week with a few wise words about tools. Thomas Carlyle said, “Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” And Chinese philosopher said, “The mechanic who would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” I guess that explains why I’m a wordsmith, not a blacksmith.
Have a good ’un. ❖
The mechanic who would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.”