Talk of traffic, the king of spices, and life-changing events

On Tuesday, April 25, the Old Men of the Mountain met at Mrs. K’s restaurant in Middleburgh.

Mrs. K’s is just down the street, towards the creek, from Middleburgh Central School. When the little darlings are going to school, particularly in the morning, traffic is held up so the buses can leave and enter the school discharge area.

In the street are two traffic wardens holding up traffic in either direction so this can be done. The lines of traffic that are held up both ways make the OFs wonder if there are any cars left in the county. Tuesday morning when some of the OFs left the restaurant, the cars on the street went from the school, to the bridge (and over it) that crosses the Schoharie creek in Middleburgh.

To continue with the early morning of the 25th, the weather was great, but about two days prior to the 25th the OFs talked about scraping ice and frost off their windshields. No wonder so many people have the sniffles, the OFs say; their old bodies don’t handle this 70 degrees one day, and 30 degrees the next, then back to 70, then down to 40 the next day very well.

One OF said that, with this weather, spring has sprung (and that is what it is doing, acting like a spring and bouncing all over the place) and he was digging large holes for transplanting shrubs. One of the shrubs the OF mentioned was the Beauty Bush.

The other OFs around our end of the table could not picture what would be called a Beauty Bush and they had no idea what it was. The OF said that, for some reason, when he was digging the hole to have a good earth ball on the plant, he found the ground (where that shrub was planted) was very dry.

When he lifted the shrub out of the ground, all the earth fell off the earth ball that was supposed to cling to the plant and the OF was left with just a collection of roots. The OF planted it anyway and hopes it will take hold.

There is such a thing as a Beauty Bush and a characteristic of the bush is its perfume-like fragrance when in flower. According to Google, the Latin name (in parenthesis) for the shrub is Kolkwitzia Amabillis. The OFs may have seen this bush but had no idea what it was called; again, it was those at this one section of the table.

Spicey question

Does pepper help in the aging process? Many of the OFs douse everything in pepper — well, almost everything. To see some of the OFs’ plates at breakfast, it makes other OFs wonder if their colons are made of cast iron. No matter what they order from the kitchen, the first thing these OFs do is make it black with pepper.

We have yet to see these OFs order oatmeal but, if they did, they would probably cover it black with pepper. With all the pepper in the air used by many pepper shakers being shaken, no one sneezes.

There is one OF who uses so much pepper that the other OFs around him either grab it first so they can also have some, or hide it so he can’t get to it before their meals come out. If this OF can’t find the pepper shaker, he goes and snitches one from another table.

Difficulties of death

The OFs are close to the end of having to get up in the morning so a discussion was had on how to provide for the kids when the time comes for the morning of all mornings. The discussion was not on stuff, but on all the legal hassle, paperwork, burial arrangements, and all the entanglements that can ensue.

The conversation wound up nowhere because even though some of the OFs have been through it and think they know what to do and how to set it up there always seems to be problems, and all of it costs money with nothing to show for it.

There must be some way, the OFs think, that, upon their passing through the pearly gates, their kids are not bogged down in legal entanglements and they realize their parents really did their best to try to avoid problems and thought they did all the right things.

That is one thing the OMOTM does not have in the group — an attorney that is crowding the end of light to give us advice on what he has done, and what the OMOTM should do.

No woe

There was also another discussion that was somewhat like the aforementioned, and this, again, is events that are life-changing and how that can turn a jovial person into an old crank. But as a member of the OFs there is much support to prevent this from happening because so many are in the same boat.

Operations that can go wrong, and operations that are just are operations. One OF mentioned he went from working out in the gym, to doing four- to five-mile walks, to doing nothing in one day. The OF said, “Thank goodness they have stuff other than rat poison to thin the blood now.”

Some of the OFs knew exactly what he was talking about. So sitting across from people who truly understand the OFs’ predicament is a big help. Much better than sitting home and going “woe is me.”

Going to the OFs and doing your “woe is me” here, you still won’t get any sympathy because you will be out-woed.  (Does anyone think that should be “woe am I”?)

Those OFs who made it to Mrs. K’s Restaurant in Middleburgh and who beat the morning small-town rush hour were: Miner Stevens, Roger Shafer, Glenn Patterson, Mark Traver, Robie Osterman, John Rossmann, Roger Chapman, Otis Lawyer, David Williams, Bill Lichliter, Harold Guest, George Washburn, Jim Heiser, Chuck Aelesio, Ray Frank, Don Wood, Mace Porter, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, Herb Bahrmann, Bob Fink, Bob Benninger, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Ted Willsey, Jim Rissacher, Elwood Vanderbilt, Rich Vanderbilt, Jess Vadney, Mike Willsey, Warren Willsey, Harold Grippen, and me.