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Today’s Blast From the Past

June 6th, 2006 – A Day in the Life

Starbucks Coffee

I order. “Mocha Frappacino, venti, please. Yes, put all the unhealthy stuff on it. Oh, and I’d like a banana muffin, too!” I casually extend my arm from the window with the Starbuck’s card held jauntily between my fingers. The kid at the window makes a grab for the card, misses it and the thing goes flying out of my hand and under my car. UNDER MY CAR.

I am dressed up: skirt, blouse, high-heels, and my hair is just so. I open my car door and look down. No card. I step out of the car and kneel down. Still I cannot see the card. Of course the heel of my shoe has caught on the hem of my skirt. I lose my balance and topple into the car, leaving a clean spot on the driver’s door. Luckily most of the grime has landed on my hands and my arms which — thank you, God — are wash and wear.

I step back into my car, put it in gear and backup about 12 inches. I might have backed up another two or three inches, but the fellow in the bright red SUV behind me was honking his horn and yelling, “Stop! Stop!” I am not sure why. There were still three or four inches between our bumpers. Maybe he thought I didn’t see him?

Anyway, I get out of my car again and there is my Starbuck’s card, just peeking from beneath the edge of my front bumper. I grab the card and turn to present it to the kid behind the drive-thru window. He says, “Keep it, Lady. This is on me.” Darn, I think as I’m driving away. I should have ordered two muffins.


June 6th, 2006 — The Grownups Wanted Us Dead

The Swing Set

The daily injury report from the swing set ranged from paltry half-inch blood blisters to gruesome compound fractures complete with protruding bone and gore. I suppose the swings themselves were not really dangerous – but, oh, the things we did with them!

Playground swings no longer seem to exist, so incase you’ve never seen one, here’s a description: ten foot high steel frame; two sets of tripod legs, between them spanned a four inch steel pipe; suspended from the pipe were pairs of heavy steel chains; each pair of chains was connected to a thick, black, rubber seat.

The Winton School swing set had four seats. Four seats – if you’re a kid you know that means at least a dozen kids can play on the set at once. But sometimes – sometimes someone would get greedy – he’d want a whole swing for himself. One kid I remember in particular who did not like to share the swing was my cousin, Rumble.

I don’t know why I always competed with Rumble; whenever I tried I always lost – spectacularly. For instance one day we left Gram’s house – Caution, Rumble, Angel, Smiley, Tattle and I – headed for the playground. Somebody called dibs on a swing, I don’t remember whom, but they were echoed by five other voices. We went from walking to rushing, to running and shoving in three seconds flat — because every child knows that calling dibs doesn’t mean a dang thing unless you can enforce the claim.

Caution was the eldest, had the longest legs, and naturally was the strongest runner. He was going to win. Tattle was the baby and she was going to win because we didn’t want to hear the whining and the crying (from the grownups) if she didn’t. That left four kids and two swings. Angel and Grin headed for one. Rumble and I headed for the other. I have no idea how the girls’ race went, but Rumble and I were neck and neck, arms outstretched, until we were just a few yards from the swing.

Now, I don’t know if it was because Rumble was taller and his arm a little longer than mine, or if he’d pulled just a millimeter ahead, but I realized his hand was going to grasp the chain just before mine could; so I did the only sensible thing – I jumped.

So what if Rumble had the chain? If my body occupied the seat, obviously the swing would be mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!

I launched myself into the air; arms outstretched, and flew like Wonder Woman. Guess what? Linda Carter I’m not. Rumble’s fingers wrapped around the chain and he pulled. The swing lurched drunkenly to the left and, instead of doing a spectacular swan dive into the seat of the swing, I did a beautiful belly-flop into the dirt and gravel beneath it.

Twice in my life I have had the wind knocked out of me. It is not an experience I recommend. However, if you have the great, good-fortune to have Rumble as a cousin you are truly blessed. He abandoned the swing immediately and came to stand over me – in fact, all of my wonderful cousins did – and they made such helpful suggestions; things like: “Breathe!” “Talk to me!” and, “Stop turning blue!”

Tattle asked, “Is she dying?”

If I had had the breath I would have answered, “Not until after I kill Rumble.”


        1. Actually, Doug, it may have had more readers than one, but it only collected one comment — from Bill — and that quite a long time after the post was written.

          1. Something must have gone wrong, then. I remember reading it and I can’t believe I didn’t leave a flattering comment.

    1. Thom — I don’t know how long I will keep sharing my old posts. These are from when I first started blogging and neither of them were very well read. I suppose in a few months when I get up to the ones most everybody remembers, I’ll stop. I just don’t know yet.

      Oh — and yeah — I have received Starbucks coffee free from the drive thru window twice. Both times when the clerk was clumsy and caused me an inconvenience. The second time was at the same drive-thru, but the clerk lost control of my frappacino and bathed my arm in iced, sticky mocha & coffee with a generous helping of whipped cream. I actually had to park, go in the bathroom, and bathe in the sink! I was just relieved I hadn’t ordered hot coffee!

      1. Well thanks for the explanation. What would you like to inspire others to do? I’m confused…which is nothing new and different, but I do think you inspire without your old stories myself. I enjoy them as I never read them and so to me they are new..Thanks for doing it Am I ill…what a nice comment *pats himself on the back LOL

        Thom’s last blog post..What Season Do You Feel Like?

    1. Kristi — I am posting my old stories as a means of inspiring myself to write new! It would be great if I inspired others, too!

    1. Melli — yes, I was sad at first to find no drive thru Starbucks here, but it really is for the best. It is bad enough that in Waikiki there are Starbucks on every corner and that means there are two within a block of my office!

  1. I hate drive in windows because I can’t trust myself not to drop something. I always go in. The one place that that’s not possible is toll roads, which I have to deal with everytime I drive to and from NJ to visit my family. I can’t begin to remember how many coins I’ve dropped.

    silverneurotic’s last blog post..Nevermind

    1. I rarely drop anything, but if I do, it’s pretty spectacular. I am not content to be an ardinary nuisance.

  2. I’ve been up and down ladders all day….verrry carefully. I was a rough and tumble kid like you…can you imagine doing that now? Diving for anything is out of the question…sure wish I had save some rough and tumble for my later years…think I used all mine up.
    If it makes you feel any better, I dropped one of those bank cannisters, it rolled under my car and I drove over it….ooopppsss.

    Shelly’s last blog post..Crazy Recycle Lady

    1. Shelly — I have gained much more caution as I have gained age. Somewhere down the line it finally dawned on me, “That hurt!”

  3. I loved both stories, I am going to have to search your archives and see what I said way back then. Next time order the muffins, and throw the Starbucks card under your car, who knows it may happen again. You know the Once Bitten saying.

    Bill’s last blog post..Some Scots Songs

    1. I went and searched and I quote

      “I just left a comment on your “Day in a Life”, does that count??


      I really didn’t have all that much to say back then. , I am going to have to search “Day in the Life” now to see what “Profound Thoughts” I had to say.

      Bill’s last blog post..Some Scots Songs

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