June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Life’s pressing questions

Excuse me … may I ask a few questions?

How come I don’t mind loading the dishwasher, but I dread unloading it and putting the clean dishes away? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Maybe putting them in doesn’t seem like work because I’m so happy not to have to wash them by hand?

Does anyone else experience a vague sense of guilt when cashing a check at the bank? I always worry the teller is going to say: “Don’t you think you should be putting some of that money into your savings account, young man?”

Why am I feeling tired and dizzy? I mean, didn’t I just eat a whole bag of candy orange slices for lunch?

Op-ed writers better than I have been asking: If New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was a woman (wouldn’t even have to change his name), would comedians (aka political commentators) be making so many jokes about his weight?

Do you know one of the best benefits of getting most of your national news from the radio (as I do) is you are unable to form a snap judgment based on a person’s race, size or appearance? A novel thing these days to judge someone by their words instead by of what they look like, isn’t it?

See, long-time Cleveland Cavaliers broadcaster and Lafayette Township resident Joe Tait retires and the whole NBA goes straight to heck, doesn’t it?

Why do some motorcycle riders turn up their radios louder than their exhaust pipes? Do loud radios save lives?

How is it my 11-year-old daughter can speak more words in a five-minute conversation than I can write all day?

Why are more and more examples of the toys and lunchboxes I had as a child showing up in antique stores?

Why is my first thought always that there’s a bee in my pocket when my cell phone starts vibrating? Will I ever reach the point that I do not jump a foot into the air when it goes off?

Please don’t call me just to see this happen, OK?

Does anyone else have one of those inflatable swimming pools? Notice how the instructions show a woman in a bikini setting the pool up in no time flat? Where is she when it’s time to take this darn thing down and put it away?

Don’t you feel sad for New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox fans? Pardon me a minute while I fall on the floor laughing, will you?

Ever notice the first fire of the season in the wood stove on a cool fall night feels even better than a fire on a cold winter’s night?

Speaking of which, why does my wife keep closing the bedroom window? It isn’t snowing outside yet, is it?

Isn’t it exciting to live around walnut trees this time of year? Every time one hits the tin roof of the garden shed outside, I think: “Was that a shotgun blast?”

You know what the old-timers say when the walnut trees are really loaded with nuts, don’t you? They say: “Wow, those walnut trees are really loaded with nuts, aren’t they?”

When I start to clean out the garden for the year, I think: “This is so much work — why do I do put out a garden?” By the time the ground is mostly bare, I’m eagerly thinking: “How soon until next season’s seed catalogs arrive?”

Have you met Ella, the virtual librarian on Wadsworth Public Library’s website? She’s sort of cute, isn’t she?

So I’m an English major and we have a thing for librarians, OK?

Even when you’ve lived your whole life in Ohio, isn’t it reassuring to be stunned every year by just how beautiful autumn is? Well, that’s grace for you, wouldn’t you say?

On a personal note

To quote Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

This week, I begin a new job as community information coordinator for Cloverleaf Schools. While I will continue to do other freelance writing, I’ll be retiring my weekly Gazette column to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

I began writing for The Gazette in 1990 and have formed a special bond with readers. It’s hard to say goodbye, so I’m not. I’m not moving, after all. I will still see you at the fair, at the local diner, at the farm market, and in the cereal aisle at the grocery. In the meantime, please stay in touch with me via the email and Twitter addresses below. We’re just a click apart.

I’m ever so grateful to The Gazette’s publisher, George Hudnutt, and to its managing editor, Liz Sheaffer, for permitting me this honor for so long. Mostly, I am thankful for you.

Now, to quote Yogi Bear: “Boo-Boo, I smell a picnic!”

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Contact John Gladden at gladden@frontier.com or on Twitter @thatjohngladden.