Sunday, May 26, 2024

Lotsa Ketchup

 During a busy holiday weekend, turnpike service areas have a relentless stream of visitors who stop to grab a meal and use the restrooms. It's not unusual to see crumbs on a table or a stray napkin that did not get tossed. But 20 ketchup packets? There is a story here. Did someone sit down for a serious ketchup binge and then decide to finally commit to eating fries with no condiments? Did an overly active youngster work off some of his energy by retrieving one ketchup packet at a time until the parents decided they had no recourse but to abandon the collection and head to their car? We will never know.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Inside The Claw

 A fixture at carnivals and arcades, the Claw is designed to instigate desire. Instead of stuffed animals, this one offers a rainbow's worth of rubber duckies in disguises. Operating the mechanical arm takes practice. How many dollars have gone into developing the skills required to successfully grab a toy? Surely a parent could simply buy the toy and skip all the striving and concentration, but the reward is sweeter if you have really worked for it.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Hidcote In May

 In late spring, the White Garden at Hidcote in the English Cotswolds is far more colorful than its name suggests. One of a series of garden "rooms" designed by an American, it encapsulates everything one would expect. Peonies, bluebells and alliums spill out over the winding path. Topiaries hint at other more formal gardens just a stroll away. There is even a thatched-roof cottage. Who would not want to linger a while? 

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Gnomes Waiting On The Porch

 I barely noticed the gnomes. Half hidden from the street, their slightly faded outfits seemed in keeping with the not-bright-enough look of the house and its porch railing. Although each gnome wore a permanent grin, there was an air of longing about them. They looked out into the side yard, waiting for the day when they could be out in the sunshine enjoying bright green grass and colorful flowers, a plastic gnome’s natural habitat.