Being A Nobody

We’re having another of those wee small hours of the morning snowfalls as I write this. Poco came in a few moments ago with something he just had to talk about right then and he woke me up to discuss it. When I reached over to pet him, hoping he’d go back to sleep, my hand ran through wet fur which meant he’d already checked out the weather and found either rain or snow out there in the beyond. Grumbling to myself, I got up to check.

Pure white flakes, quietly dropping straight down through the beams from the porch light. Pretty mellow thing to see, even at one a.m. .

My most profound experiences with snow came when I lived in the UP of Michigan. Snowfalls there were gorgeous things, usually windless, and amazing to behold. The only drawback was that one snowfall could literally go on for days. That meant that even as you stared in wonder at how lovely weather could be, your delight was marred by knowing that someone (you) was going to eventually have to go out and dig pathways through that stuff in order to escape to the larger world.

It also meant that when you answered a three a.m. call and made a trip down the hill to the hospital you might not be able to get back home when you had dealt with the problem. Because the snowplows only went out in the morning … one time … and you were on your own after that until the next day. There weren’t enough dollars in the local treasuries to cover plowing snow all day long.

The most snow our family saw in the UP was the year that the record was broken. Three hundred and sixty inches that year. By February the only thing you could see from the windows of our one-story house was piled-up precipitation, front and back. Even our snow blower was overwhelmed … where do you blow it to when you are in a narrow canyon that is seven feet high?

But this morning I can watch without worry. When daylight comes I will scrape away the couple of inches that have fallen, the sun will melt away whatever I miss, and life will go on without all that drama.

These few photos below are not mine, but they do show something of the flavor of the area in winter. For some reason during those UP years, I never felt like taking pictures of the stuff. Probably hivernal depression.

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50 Words for Snow, by Kate Bush

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Granddaughter Elsa shared with me a couple of restaurant reviews to brighten my morning. She is well acquainted with my dry and occasionally twisted sense of humor, as well as my delight whenever I run across particularly heartwarming examples of human quirks and oddnesses. She found two restaurant reviews that dealt with the Cracker Barrel chain.

What is great about both of these is the sort of detail that you might expect in a review of a Michelin three-star establishment. Only here it is applied to a chain that has no stars at all.

I have always loved Cracker Barrel, even since I was a kid. I even happily worked there for several vears and in two different states. But since founder Sam Evans passed away they have been declining and this visit was better than some but still not up to the quality Cracker Barrel standards. I will start with the positive.

First our server was very nice and she kept my tea filled. My husband’s coffee was kept filled and warm as well. The biscuits were like delicious pillows. It’s been a while since I have had them that good. I liked that even after sitting on the table for awhile the gravy and grits didn’t turn thick like paste. Okay now for the not so good parts. When we first walked in even though they were not busy nor was the dining room full by any means but the hostess seemed to be moving in slow motion. We asked for a kids menu and were given 2 but no cravons.

Instead of seating making sure we had space were seated right next to another table which is fine if your busy not when you are half empty.

My bacon came out visibly burnt. The hash brown casserole which is one of my favorites was mushy and had no texture. The dining room was very cold especially for a rainy spring morning. The divider wall next to use didn’t look like it had been wiped down in quite awhile as seen in the photo included. I did not once see a manager enter the dining room.

robandmere

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I had the grilled rainbow trout with mashed potatoes, green beans, one corn meal muffin and one biscuit. I also had the peach cobbler for dessert with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. Everything was delicious. The rainbow trout looked dry, but it was wasn’t. It was moist and perfectly seasoned. The mashed potatoes were also moist. And so were the green beans.

My peach cobbler was mainly several slices of warm peaches in a dessert bowl with a lot of peach juice, and a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. There was very little crust. It was very good. The portion sizes of the meals at Cracker Barrel are small in comparison to what they use to be before the economy shut down due to COVID-19. And the prices of their meals have either stayed the same or increased. The price of my meal was $13.09. The price of my dessert was $3.99.

NM

My favorite line might be “the rainbow trout looked dry, but it wasn’t.” This observer most certainly has special fish powers.

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There are days when I rejoice that I am a nobody. A blessed state where absolutely nothing about my life would merit being made into a biopic. Today is one of those days.

Robin and I are watching The Dropout, a limited series streaming on Hulu. It deals with the saga of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, the company she founded. Pieces of this story have been in the news for several years, and she was recently sent off to prison for fraud.

Two thing about this series. I’ve never thought much about Amanda Seyfried as an actress. I just didn’t see what was there. But in this series she displays some serious acting skills, as well as something you don’t find every day – a beautiful woman willing to appear haggard and harrowed for long periods of time.

The other thing is the part that makes me rejoice this morning. If someone made such a film about me, and took the dramatic liberties with my story that must have been taken to create this series, it would drive me mad.

My anal-compulsive nature would rise up until it overwhelmed the fragile behavioral cobweb that I call my sanity. Watching the movie I would be muttering continuously “No, I never said that,” or “That never happened,” or “Yes, I said that but meant something entirely different from the context here.” In short, I would have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, just like Alexander in the children’s book.

So I can sympathize a bit with Ms. Holmes. Not only does she have to go to jail, but there is this to deal with. Maybe she’s lucky and doesn’t have television viewing privileges where she’s incarcerated. I’ll wish that for her.

Phone Call From Leavenworth, by Chris Whitley

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