Back-to-school, bacon, and …

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… the Boys of Summer.

The Summer is zipping by far too quickly.  Between work, walking and writing (or trying to), lately I seem to be flying by the seat of my pants, and hopelessly behind in everything.  I am reminded of that quote by Lewis Carroll in the tale “Alice in Wonderland” … the hurrier I go, the behinder I get!”

Mother Nature continues to tweak the weather – yesterday was beautiful and breezy, this morning was buggy and muggy.

The ads nowadays are all about back-to-school, plus all the facts and figures on what it costs to get your child ready to hit the books once Labor Day is over.  This morning I heard a story about the new craze and must-have for school kids, and no, it is not the latest electronic device, but scented  pencils.  The most-popular pencils smell like bacon or donuts.  Hmmm – what if the student was so busy dreaming about bacon and donuts that he forgot to pay attention to what the teacher was saying?

When I was a young tyke, I remember graduating from the really wide pencil that we’d grip in our chubby fingers while practicing cursive, to a bright yellow and very slim #2 pencil.  Then we got older and thought we were pretty cool if we had one of those pens that had multi-colored ink in one barrel – at the click of a button you could have red, green or blue ink.  We were easily amused, but easy to please back then, weren’t we?

I know the term “Boys of Summer” usually refers to baseball, but I’ve not seen any baseball practice by the Little League teams at Council Point Park this year.  Perhaps they have another venue?  So, I’ve decided the new Boys of Summer are a local soccer team because those kids have been running and kicking their hearts out every morning at the Park.  They may be middle school, or even high school boys.  Their coach totes along a big net bag full of soccer balls in one hand, and the other hand holds hula hoops.  I’ve watched the coach place the hoops close together on the grass, then the boys take turns jumping back and forth between them – pretty fancy footwork by those Boys of Summer.  I’ve not heard anyone yell “goal” yet though.

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After the boys run all over the soccer field, their coach makes them run laps around the Park.  They often pass me up and last week I called out to them “future World Cup champs!”

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This morning along the perimeter path, I saw a goldfinch flitting between the trees.  I had my camera ready should he alight somewhere where I could take his picture.  The birdsong from this wee soul was just incredible.  He was so high up in one tree, but how those beautiful  notes carried all the way to ground level.  I tried to whistle back at him to lure him to a lower branch, but a noise startled this beautiful bird and he disappeared into the dense treetop.  That was the first goldfinch this Summer and they used to be more plentiful, especially perched on a thistle and enjoying its seeds.

The past two days at the Park, I’ve become accustomed to scanning the not-so-friendly skies, before handing out peanuts to any of my squirrel friends.  I am mindful that the Cooper’s hawk descended on Stubby out of nowhere.  His swift, stealth-like movements took me by surprise and I’m glad my little peanut pal escaped those sharp claws.

Last night, while catching up on Facebook and perusing the local crime sites, I was dismayed to discover there are many hawks in and around our city.  I live one mile away from Council Point Park, but this Park is right in the middle of the city and we are not rural at all.  For years, it was just a 27-acre wooded area close to the Ecorse Creek, and in1994 it gained amenities like a perimeter walking path, a pavilion area for picnics, a playground and separate fields for baseball and soccer.  On the Facebook crime site, Lincoln Park residents posted various pictures of hawks lurking around their backyard and told how the young hawks were learning hunting skills with mice, birds, bunnies and yes, … sadly, squirrels were among the victims.  That sure was a surprise to me.  You never know what is lurking out there when you are walking around.  I thought it was bad enough running into those near-invisible and sticky spider webs that often cross your path in late August.  They are spun overnight by gargantuan garden spiders which have grown fat feasting on everything that was caught in their gossamer traps.

Not only was I  pounding the pavement with five miles under my belt from my morning walk, but I also have been pounding the keyboard all day.  My boss completed the three-day hearing and I have been hunkered down working on a long, post-hearing Brief.  Today he was in Florida on another hearing, and  yes, that will yield follow-up work as well.  Both these hearings are the culmination of a flurry of documents and preparation the past few months.   My brain needs a breather so I was grateful to go to the Park and just BREATHE this morning and I look forward to going on a few jaunts this weekend as well.

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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35 Responses to Back-to-school, bacon, and …

  1. Rebecca says:

    I got to watch my little granddaughter play soccer this week. They start playing on a team as early as age 4 (but don’t keep score). I agree about the goldfinch. I see one occasionally, but not near as often or as many as I use to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I have never seen girls playing soccer at this Park but have seen girls in their soccer outfits in the grocery store. Amazing they start them as early as age 4. It would be good exercise as this coach has these boys doing a vigorous workout the entire time I’m at the Park (usually an hour). I thought the cool Spring and late Summer may have not ripened their thistle seeds yet. This little guy was so beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda…………………………………so that’s new news to me too that hawks will prey on squirrels too………………………………..shameful……………………………….thanks for the short history of our Council Point Park……………………………..I never knew…………………..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – I was astounded to read how many hawks are in Lincoln Park. People took pictures of them sitting on light poles or in trees. This is not in the neighborhoods by Council Point Park either – right in the middle of the City! The Park has the history of the Indians from a long time ago. The reason I went there in the first place in 2013 is they were celebrating the 250th anniversary of a council of Indian tribes convening at what is now the Park to make an attack in Detroit, and the meeting is where the big stone is near the pavilion. I heard about it on the radio, so went down to see what it was about. It has not been there that long as a Park as you and I know it though.

      Like

  3. AJ says:

    I love it when people yell encouragement at me when I go by them:)
    I also remember being super excited about being allowed to use a pen. When I got that three colours in one pen, it was a gold letter day!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes, it’s great because you are all pumped up and enjoying your run. They are fast and get around that path in a heartbeat. When I’ve been in 5K walks there are people stationed along the way, some volunteers and just some other people, and they cheer us on and it makes it fun. Even when we pass through the neighborhoods, people come out on the porch and give us a thumbs up or say “good going!” I thought I might be dating myself with those tri-colored pens … it was a gold letter day, just like using your first fork after giving up the baby spoon!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked “muggy and buggy”. Very fitting. Scented pencils are new to me. I want to see if they are on sale at our stores. I think school begins in four days here. Since I haven’t been shopping other than at the grocery, I probably missed all the back-to-school hoopla.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I had never heard of them Anne and this morning it was a story on the local news, but they didn’t mention the store. Meijer where I shop for groceries is like a KMart or Walmart in that it carries everything. They had their back-to-school stuff displayed right after 4th of July and will start the Halloween costumes, decor and candy as soon as the kids go back to school. They only mentioned donut and bacon smell – that would be a hoot for Nathaniel, David too – but for Nathaniel, what a fun little “going away” gift if you could find some.

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      • I might find them at Walmart.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’m thinking so according to that article. Your schools start really early Anne. I think the Catholic schools here start the week before Labor Day. It is a bone of contention with the tourist bureaus in northern Michigan because the schools systems want to start earlier to accommodate the snow days lost, or the really bitter cold days lost, but the visitors bureaus up north say it is a big weekend for business as most people take the Friday as well.

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      • When I was growing up, country schools started in August. They would close for a week or so for cotton picking. Back then, children were needed to help support the family.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        My grandmother had 8 siblings and they lived on a farm in rural Guelph, Ontario. Once she and her siblings left the farm to get married, they all came back for two weeks in August to bring in the Summer crops and they had been doing that since they were kids, It was expected of the, even though some of them had their own farms in the area.

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      • Life was not easy back then.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        No, it sure wasn’t Anne. I think my mom said the only thing my great-grandmother bought was flour and spices – the rest she made on her own.

        Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes it was really muggy for that early in the morning and mosquitoes galore.

      I just looked around quickly and I found an article which my radio station no doubt got it from. I had to sign up to read the story so I used an address I rarely use … I’ll cut-and-paste the story here. Looks like Walmart and Target has them if you are near one:

      Here’s the paragraph re: scented pencils:

      SCENTS AND COLORS: Elmer’s has been expanding beyond its famous white school glue to purple, pink and blue glitter glue and even a slime starter kit. Retailers are also widening their arrays of scented pencils. Walmart has added smells such as bacon, grass, onion, mud and pickle. Target’s scented pencils feature smells such as cola and jelly doughnut.

      https://www.newsday.com/lifestyle/family/school-supplies-trends-kids-1.20362740

      Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Anne – AJ says the Walmart near her has the scented pencils. She told me they have scented markers too … when I was a kid it was just those smelly, toxic-smelling markers and I told AJ that. Even the school glue now is colorful or glittery – we had that mucilage or Elmer’s white glue. We sure were a boring lot weren’t we?

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  5. When I was a kid I was excited when I graduated from pencils to fountain pens. I went to an old school that that the ink reservoir in the wooden desk. My hands were always inky!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I never used a fountain pen Kate, but I did us a cartridge pen – almost as messy as the cartridge would invariably leak. My mom used to have a fountain pen and she’d use it for Christmas cards and it always looked so elegant. My handwriting has never been nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We didn’t use fountain pens long (kids and ink reservoirs don’t mix) and I remember the cartridge pens. I also remember the first felt tip (I was already working). So cool! My handwriting was good when I was young. Now I’m too impatient or something.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, ink was not a good idea as kids wanted to dip the little girl’s braids in the inkwell – was that a story or a movie? It would be messy at any rate. My mom had me practice handwriting before I started school, and it was good when young and through high school, but, when I started working at the diner during college, my boss (whom I adored and was like a grandfather to me) said: “Linda, if you have to write out each customer’s receipt with the nice handwriting, you’ll never get them their orders!” So I started making shortcuts and scribbles and pretty soon I realized the “regulars” always ate the same thing every day so I just memorized their food orders … voila, I just wrote the total. My writing never recovered, even after leaving the diner in 1978.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. msluckyduck says:

    So many thoughts running through my head.
    1. The COOPER’S Hawk descending on your sweet Park makes me sad!!! Wonder what it is about that spot—which makes me wonder if there’s any thing you could do to disinterest them??
    2. I love the daily sense that your life has. Mine is so incredibly out of control right now that nothing is done as clean and peacefully as your. I’m envious!!!
    3. My boy plays competitive soccer/club soccer. Those boys have to work hard and be very dedicated to their team. We travel constantly, used to drive our boy to soccer practices/friendlies/tournaments/invitationals daily—esp during the summer!! It is a ton of work but it has taught my boy a lot. Love ⚽️!!
    4. I so enjoyed hearing about the goldfinch. “birdsong from his WEE SOUL was incredible”.
    5. I hope your weekend adventures are fabulous!!! Wish I could tag along. I’ll look forward to reading about them next week.

    Enjoy your weekend dear friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Jennifer … I am glad you enjoyed reading the posts and I worry now for my little Parker … I’d be devastated to see a hawk lift him off his feet and carry him away – it was bad enough with the other squirrel, who luckily was quick thinking and dove under the picnic table and I hope that hawk does not have a vendetta against him now.

      I am glad you think I seem organized because right now I’m feeling a little scattered but my reasons are not as dire as yours. I have just been incredibly busy at work and been staying later every night, and have gotten behind with things in the house like housework especially. My later hours to try to get some posts done, stay caught up in Reader, try to read the news online after work have gotten me a little frazzled. I have to get some outside work done as well, but it’s been so darn hot all the time.
      I nodded off uploading my pictures I took this morning and again a few times while proofreading my long blog. I do try to make the most of the weekends, as to walking especially, especially after last year and the three plumbing disasters plus the mess with the insulation … I vowed then that I was going to take back my weekends again!

      Like

      • msluckyduck says:

        Hi
        On my you are busy!!! I’m sure that feels crazy too. Perhaps we all have busy crazy stress at times but it comes in varying degrees. Right now mine is off the charts.😳😶😧

        Oh my —seeing a hawk fly off with a squirrel would most incredibly upsetting. I’m not sure how I would handle such a sight.
        You’ll have to tell me about the 3 plumbing disasters+installation mess someday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I did not do any work for Robb over the weekend as I stayed late to get as much as I could on Friday night. I got out and walked as much as I could and took some photos. I had to stop and clean the house today which was looking bad and I should have done some weeding but I looked the other way when I passed the weeds. I told myself after last year I would enjoy my Summer not work away doing constant clean-up, then we’ve had so much rain, many weekends in the Spring and early Summer were messed up. I wrote about all my issues with the house on January 1st so going to give you the link … it is in between the paragraphs about New Year’s resolutions. I was writing about it as I went through the year … the whole-house insulation was a mess beyond belief and the plumbing disasters as well – money-wise, time-wise and cleanup-wise.
        https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/01/01/happy-new-year-3/

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  7. I hope you get that much deserved chance to just breathe and be. Thank you for triggered those lovely memories in me too of being allowed to go from pencil to pen in school and also when we were allowed to start joined up writing, it was so exciting. Mine was a total mess but still it made me so happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad I evoked some nice memories for you Zena. I remember my mom practicing with me before I set off for kindergarten. It was exciting and didn’t we feel like “big kids” graduating to a yellow number two pencil? Simple joys when you are a child.

      Like

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