It’s Greek to Me

Three times a year for three weeks each time, my life partner returns to Athens, Greece, his hometown. After we met and fell in love, he moved in with me here in St. Petersburg, I joined him several times on his trips to Athens. What I learned by being there was that, unless I was willing to learn the language, I would be bored when being in Athens, especially for multiple weeks. When he was back in his hometown, Dimitris wanted to visit with old friends. Although would go along with him, I had no idea what he and his friends were saying. The TV in Athens was in Greek. What Dimitris and I came to realize was that it was easier for him to make the trip alone than me make the trip with him. Dimitris is now planning his last trip this year in September so I must plan ahead. His being gone means I will be alone, negotiating the house and meals. In order to have assistance, I will hire caretakers while he’s gone as I have done the two trips he made earlier this year. The caretakers will help ease the loneliness while he’s gone. Because I know his time schedule for being away, I start dreading his departure weeks before he leaves. I call it pre-partum depression.

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My Constipated Clock (updated)

When I left my wife and moved out of the house, I left almost everything behind. One of the things that she offered me later was my Centurion chiming clock which I had bought with my CITGO credit card. She didn’t want the clock; it was too noisy. That clock is now many years old and still works like a charm. It requires winding only once monthly, and its chimes greet me each morning…well, most mornings. During the years that I had a roommate, I was asked if there was a way to mute the clock, which is possible as there is a mechanism for turning off the chimes. The only problem is that, when the chimes are turned off, the clock, instead of chiming on the hour and half hour, makes a strained sound as though it might be constipated. Now that I’m living alone again, the chimes are on. I never hear the clock during the night, but I hear it each morning as it chimes five times, the time I should rise. I never wear a watch which keeps me from becoming a clock watcher, but I depend greatly on my chiming clock, my no-longer constipated companion.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 488 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

My Constipated Clock

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“Boo” Movies

When I was younger and going to the movies every chance I got, one of my favorites was the scary movie. At that time, most movies were in black and white and could easily be staged to show something dreadful emerging out of the darkness. “The Thing,” one of my favorite scary movies of that era, was one where audiences were leaning forward in their seats whispering to each other, “Don’t open the door!” “Do not open that door!” Of course, someone does open the door, and there is “the Thing.” I call those “Boo” movies. They said boo, and you were scared. Today’s scary movies go beyond scary. Movies today must be able to petrify the audience, usually employing a bloodbath. Alfred Hitchcock made a whole career of making scary movies. He became the master of the “Boo” movie, weaving in psychological plots along with the tensions. “Psycho” was his ultimate shocker with the lead female getting killed in the shower during the first few minutes of the movie. Give me the old formula “Boo” movie anytime.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Don’t Let It Snow! (repeat)

When I was growing up in South Carolina, one of my dominant thoughts during the winter months was: is it going to snow? I had never seen a very heavy snowfall but dreamed of the possibility despite the scarce records for snow in the Piedmont region of the state where I lived. I studied the cloud formations and frequently was certain that snow was imminent. It seldom came. Instead we had overcast skies and temperatures in the 40′s–cold but not cold enough to snow. In January, 1961, I decided to enlist in the U. S. Navy and see the world. I was given the option: boot camp in San Diego, CA; or boot camp in Great Lakes, IL. I chose Great Lakes. Why? Snow, of course. The winter of 1961 in Great Lakes was one of the coldest on record while, ironically, the big snows that winter fell in the Northeast. I was chilled to the bone, so chilled that I vowed I would never again be that cold if I had a choice. I raised my fist like Scarlet O’Hara in “Gone With The Wind” and vowed, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be this cold again. If I have to cheat, steal….As God is my witness, I’ll never be this cold again.” So ended my romance with snow and guess what, Reader: God answered my prayer.  My last Navy duty station was in Pensacola, Florida.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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On Broadway (updated)

I was fascinated by the theater even as a young person. Growing up in a very small town in South Carolina, I went to the “picture show” as often as possible. In high school, I was in a couple of plays and dreamed of being a movie star. In college, I actually worked as a singing waiter in Lake George, New York. During that summer, I received attention from a Broadway producer who said that southerners were “in.” When I contacted him later, I learned that he was on the west coast rather than in New York and he never followed up again. After my stint as a singing waiter, I was courted by a supper club in Charlotte, NC. Since I was still in college, I had no idea how to make an entertainment career happen while going to school. Realizing my life was not going to be spent on stage, I made it my goal to see as many Broadway plays as possible, and I have done very well. I saw Ethel Merman in “Gypsy.” I saw Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl.” I eventually saw plays starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. I saw “Les Miserables” in New York City. The most recent play I saw and loved was the musical, “Billy Elliott” with Faith Prince, one of my favorite actresses. Now I have a granddaughter expressing love for the theater. Could it be that my dreams come true through her? I hope so.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Teaching the Crucible

When you are an English teacher who teaches American Literature, as I was doing at Northeast
High School until my retirement, one of the pieces of literature you will cover
will probably be “The Crucible,” written by Arthur Miller. It is a
magnificently written play, based on the Salem witchcraft trials. As the play
progresses and men and women are accused of witchcraft, one of the ways they
can save their lives is to be able to name all ten of the Ten Commandments. When the main
character, John Proctor, omits the commandment regarding adultery, he is
condemned to death. At this point in the play, I ask if any one of my students
could have named all ten commandments in order to “save their lives.”
Inevitably, someone would ask, “Can you?” I would then quote the following,
which I learned in Sunday School as a child:

Thou shalt have no God but me,

Before no idol, bow thy knee,

Take not the name of God in vain,

Nor dare the Sabbath to profane.

Give both thy parents honor due,

Take heed that thou no murder do.

Abstain from words and deeds unclean,

Nor steal, though thou art poor and mean,

Nor make a willful lie, nor love it,

What is thy neighbor’s, dare not covet.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Shots and Slots

We have just gone through the COVID pandemic and are re-emerging on the other side. While I am eager to resume hugging, I do so with some apprehension, knowing that not everyone has been vaccinated. I have missed hugging, especially among friends in church. Although our church doors are open on Sundays again, the rule is: no hugging. I have already violated that edict several times when I saw friends I hadn’t seen during the time we were having only virtual worship services on Facebook. I don’t mind wearing my mask and singing only the last song at the end of the service, but please don’t forbid my showing joy when seeing once again dear friends. Yes, during the period when the virus was threatening, we learned to bump elbows and sit apart at home when we had friends in the house who hadn’t been able to get a “slot.”. I pray that we don’t regress because of those who have not yet been vaccinated, causing the spread of the new Delta variant. Misinformation has been creating doubts regarding the shots and side effects. I have been calling myself a “shots pusher” as I confront everyone with whether or not they have had their shot/s. I am praying that it will not be long before we can hug again without fear.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Record Keeping

Since having my home built in 1989, I have year after year renewed my maintenance contract with the company who installed the air conditioner. Several years ago, the owner of that franchise died, and the business closed. I received word that the new owners, Bayside Heating & Air Conditioning, would honor the maintenance contracts of the former company. I had learned over the years that it was best to request the same technician every time, knowing that a repeating technician would arrive with knowledge as to what had been done during the previous visits. Today was the day for my six-month checkup, and I was told when I made the appointment that my maintenance contract had run out. I was therefore anticipating renewing the contract and hoping that no repairs would be necessary. However, I was told that some ducting needed to be redone and that I needed to replace two UV probes. The price would be $712.20. I declined the ducting repair as I learned from my journal that I had not had rats in the attic since 2014.  Next, I remembered receiving in the mail a 10% discount coupon to be used to reduce the cost of the UA probes. Finally, I searched through my scanned documents from Bayside and found that I had renewed my contract last year. My journal writings and my scanned documents had saved me $364.20.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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A Miracle in my Living Room

I’m not sure whether or not I believe in miracles. I used to joke about “minor miracles,” a radio that re-starts working or a broken clock that suddenly starts chiming. I believe that Jesus must have done miraculous things as people were amazed at him. I don’t feel a need to try to explain miracles away, but I have asked myself, “Why would God go against the rules of Nature that He created?” Regardless, there are things that appear to be miraculous. Everyone has read about someone who has incurable cancer whose cancer disappears miraculously. The school bus that dangled precipitously over the Sunshine Skyway bridge in Florida could be called a miraculous event. A child surviving a plane crash is frequently described as a miracle. One day here at my house, I saw something that amazed me. The phenomenon occurred in my living room where I have an overhead fan and the skylight that I have blogged about many times.” I walked into the living room and saw what appeared to be a miracle. It has never happened again, but it was indeed amazing, and I’m so glad my curiosity caused me to photograph it.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 487 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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Sincere Politicians

One of the most used words in a social context is the word “sincere.” We have traditionally used it as a complimentary close in personal and business letters. It’s meaning is clear. The use of the word means that you are not being false in any way but are writing, in the case of a letter, with no hidden intent. In other words, you mean what you say. The same applies to the oral use of this word. When someone says they sincerely believe that they are going to be successful, they truly believe it. I learned years ago, certainly before I read about it in Dan Brown’s novel, The Lost Symbol, that this word takes on even more clarity when its derivation is revealed. “Sincere” is derived from two Latin words: “sine,” meaning without, and “cera,” the Latin word for wax. It seems that, in the days of Roman and Greek classical architecture, some columns were made of wood. The more expensive the wood, the fewer flaws or holes it contained, caused by decay or insects. However, in order to conceal some of the flaws of imperfect wood, wax was sometimes poured into the holes so that the wood would appear to without any flaws. Therefore, the perfect wood columns were sine cera, without wax, and therefore more stable and worthy of the classicism they illustrated. Would that we could count on the “sincerity” of many of today’s politicians who are known to campaign, waxing eloquent quite insincerely.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to www.bobosbest.wordpress.com and, on the bottom of the right hand corner, you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you can receive bobosbest automatically every time it is published. At present, I have 488 followers. If you’re not already a follower, click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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