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Tuesday! Ah Tuesday! The one day The Old Men of the Mountain are sure to get out of the house for awhile and forget all the chores that have to be done. This Tuesday, October the 29th, the Old Men of the Mountain met at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh to do just that. There is one big thing that comes up though and that is that the chores are not forgotten ─ the OFs bring them to the breakfast.

Along with the morning greetings comes the familiar question, “What are you going to do today?” There are a myriad of answers ─ from “nothing” to “enough work lined up to last the rest of the week”. One OF said he is getting ready for Christmas and has a boat load of mantle clocks to make. These clocks are works of art and if any one wants to see one in operation they can stop in at Mrs. K’s restaurant (in Middleburgh) and see one there.

Another OF said that he has just a few more cords (full cords) of wood to split for his winter supply. This OG burns about nine cords a year. This OF is not alone as the wood cutting and splitting is a common chore for many of the OGs. Others do not have all their storms windows on at this point and want to take advantage of this good weather to get it done.

One OF mentioned the snowbirds that take off at the first sign of a chill in the air. They miss all this fun stuff. They close up the house here, and head to the home in the south where none of these chores are necessary. Some of the OFs call these snowbirds wimps who can’t take the winters of the northeast, while other OFs note an undertone of jealously from some of the loud naysayers.

The OFs discussed the situation of the basketball coach at the BKW School, and most think he got one heck of a rotten deal. This scribe will leave it there because the balance of the conversation is not for a family newspaper.

The issue of the Hilltown Bus also came up and the East Berners, and Berners said they don’t know how it operates. The group from Knox didn’t have a clue as to what was going on with that set of wheels. “I guess we will have to see what happens,” said one OF, “and we’ll wait for those who use it, and then eventually rumors of misinformation will become sifting out so the OFs can understand how it works.” It is important to remember here what the name of this group is “The Old Men of the Mountain” with the emphasis on “Old”…maybe there isn’t even a bus.

From the Enterprise of October 2 the scribe hit on this information:
[OK, here it is! The new Senior van will be available to take people shopping on Wednesday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and every two weeks thereafter. Trips will alternate between Wal-Mart and Crossgates Mall and Wal-Mart and Colonie Center.
You must contact CDTA at 437-5161 (TDD 482-9024) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to arrange for a pickup. All reservations must be made at least two days in advance. Please use the van and support this program.]

This looks like hauling the OFs to the restaurants is out, and the OFs knowing two days ahead of time is not to practical. The OFs hardly get any advanced notice when they have to go to the bathroom.

Some of the OFs think everyone should learn to drink their coffee black, whether it is high test or decaf. That would save a lot of time at the table passing the cream, and sugar or Splenda or Equal up and down the table. One OF thought it should go one step further and the salt and pepper should be taken off the table also. That would save a lot of time if the OFs learned to eat the food as it was seasoned from the kitchen. This did not go over very well, because there are a few OFs that can and do use half a shaker of pepper on their food. When these OFs have pancakes and gravy before they take their first bite the whole thing is covered with so much pepper it is black, and all around these OFs with the pepper the other OFs are sneezing.

In the column last week (or maybe the week before that) there was a discussion on the making of cider. Well, the cider has been made. Gallons of it! The OFs were talking about how good fresh cider is and how much they can and do consume. One OF likes it after placing it for a little while in the freezer and so that it gets ice crystals in it. That was a little unusual. The OFs talked of a Halloween special, and a Thanksgiving treat of mulled cider, nice and hot on Halloween with the cider doughnuts. A couple of OFs said they like cider but it does not like them. These OFs that can’t drink cider claim it is the best laxative going. If you are bound up, take a glass of hot cider, and then it is ─ ─ Exlax! Move over. You have met your match.

Senior trips are another topic that pops into the OFs conversation quite often, almost as much as hiking. Dormitory style living in the OF’s younger years, either college, or the military, or CC camps, was great training for senior trips. In this atmosphere the OFs learned to live with other people and adjust to other’s habits, eating, bodily functions, likes and dislikes, and attitudes. The OFs say the dormitory situation comes in to play on senior bus trips where the OF has to adjust to other people’s way of doing things, and conversely they have to adjust to the OF’s way of doing things. The OFs who do the trips say most do (adjust), and everyone has a good time.

“We have had good training,” one OF said, “For when you do get old, and no longer can be independent, you can still get on the bus and go where and when you want to pick a trip that is interesting to you.” The many reasons could be money, or health, or no wheels, or having to give up a license. If the OF grew up working on the farm, and stayed on the farm and became very independent this is quite an adjustment but it is worth it, the OFs say, because it is much better than just sitting and watching TV. The OFs say get your butt off the chair and on the bus ─ so what if the guy in front of you snorts a bit, you snort right along with him.

Those attending the breakfast at the Middleburgh Diner in Middleburgh and wondering if the bus in Berne would use Middleburgh as a destination – and maybe a few other places – were: John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Roger Shafer, Steve Kelly, Frank Pauli, George Washburn, Robie Osterman, Karl Remmers, Andy Tinney, Gary Porter, Ken Hughes, Jack Norray, Mace Porter, Bill Keale, Bill Krause, Duncan Bellinger, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, Harold Grippen, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Mike Willsey, Jim Rissacher, and me, and me found out tough luck on the transportation to the resturants.

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