Feeling the effects of a full moon, from hope for hair to late-night prowls

This Tuesday’s breakfast was at a type of the old-fashioned railroad dining-car diners in Princetown, called the Chuck Wagon Diner on Route 20. The Chuck Wagon-style diner first appeared in the early 20th Century along with many of the Old Men of the Mountain who this Tuesday morning had breakfast at the Wagon.

The OMOTM noticed the full moon, and many had a reaction to it by prowling the halls at night. Some were up especially early and out looking at the moon.

As most of us age, like OFs, the tendency is to lose hair. On a full moon, some of the OFs do go out and hope for the werewolf effect to grow hair, but hair on the knuckles is not that attractive.

The OFs roaming the halls are looking for the bathroom, because, as you know, the full moon does have an effect on the tides. Seeing as the bladder is full of water the full moon has an effect on that gland also.

Mice seek Warm homes

Now is the time the pesky little field mice start looking for a place to stay for the winter. These critters start to check in at their apartments in the house, barn, shed, or garage.

The OFs began talking about keeping these critters from moving in. The OFs mentioned how small a hole they can get into.

This changed the conversation to what they can do and what they actually do once they get into other places than the house. Rumor has it that peppermint oil is helpful in keeping them out. Mice don’t like the odor, but humans find it quite acceptable.

The OFs mentioned cars, truck, tractors and other pieces of equipment that are prime targets for these rodents to hole up in. One OF who is repairing a dozer for another OF said he has the engine all done and it runs perfectly.

However, the dozer can’t go anywhere because mice have made a home in the dozer’s clutches. The OF doing the work told the other OF who owns the dozer that it is a ton of work to get these varmints out.

The pathway to the clutch encasement is a maze, and exceptionally small, yet the mice found a way to get into this clutch. One OF mentioned storing a car that is run only in the summertime in a barn; an OF can find mice anywhere, in the exhaust, in the engine, even inside the car.

The question was asked, how can the mice get in where even water can’t?

One OF said that his father — way back when — not only fed milk to the cats but he also had a saucer outside the door to the granary for the snakes. Most OFs said they didn’t know snakes drank milk; this OF said they did.

The OF said that his father kept the snakes happy because they kept all of the mice out of the granary because they would chase them right into their holes. The only problem was occasionally a cat would grab a snake.

Laundry duty

The OFs discussed basically the women’s role in housekeeping. The following sentence will cause some consternation among readers, but in many cases it is the truth.

The quandary is doing the laundry. The OFs have to admit there are a few OFs who do their own laundry but it is only a few.

Then conversation was on how the laundry was dried when the OFs were young. To this day, some of the OFs remember how the sheets felt, and their aroma when they were dried outdoors, even in the winter time.

A few OFs still have the laundry dried outside but most do not. Their clothes are dried in a dryer. J. Ross Moore, an American inventor from North Dakota developed designs for automatic clothes dryers during the early 20th Century. This scribe’s wife thinks Mr. Moore deserved a Nobel Prize for his efforts.

One OF said that he remembers the clothes being dried on racks around the stove in the wintertime. This OF said this served two purposes; not only did it dry the clothes but it added moisture to the air and was the early form of a humidifier.

To take care of the house when the OFs were young was work. The OFs’ moms did the laundry, took it outside, hung it up, and then brought it in and put it away. Some did the laundry in a tub with a plunger-like thing and lye soap.

“A lot of work but we were clean,” one OF said.

Another OF mentioned today all the household gadgetry we have. For instance, there are different kinds of washing machines and dryers, usually side by side. Wash the clothes in one and, when done, stand in one spot and throw them in the dryer. One OF said there is a secret to doing laundry that he could never figure out, and that is what goes with what.

The OF said his wife has clothes all sorted in piles and the OF has no idea what is in each pile, and his wife has a fit if he throws something on the wrong pile. To this OF, laundry day is still work, but he has clean clothes thanks to a lady.

The Old Men of the Mountain who were showered, most shaved, and in clean clothes gathered in clean vehicles, and then drove to the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown, were: Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Bill Lichliter, John Rossmann, Harold Guest, Wally Guest, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Rick LaGrange, Glenn Patterson, Pete Whitbeck, Roger Shafer, Duncan Bellinger, Chuck Aelesio, Richard Frank, Joe Rack, Warren Willsey, Russ Pokorny, Wayne Gaul, Ted Feurer, Mace Porter, Jack Norray, Lou Schenck, Mike Willsey, Gerry Chartier, Elwood Vanderbilt, John Dabrvalskas, Harold Grippen, and me.