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Good-bad attitude; good-bad reasons

Good bad attitude

Thursday, I went to that place I inaccurately refer to as The Big City. Mostly it qualifies as The Big City only if you’re used to places like Chicken, Alaska, or Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.

Still, despite not being as cosmopolitan as Casper, Wyoming, or as bustling as Pocatello, Idaho, our Big City has its metropolitan moments. Not all of them good.

To wit, we were at a stoplight, third in line to make a right turn, when an elderly gent started hobbling across the street with the aid of a cane. He was moving at a pretty good clip for a bent old guy. But that wasn’t good enough for the jerk whose truck was first in line for the turn.

Honk! Honk! Honk!

Said cretin laid on the horn. Hoping to accomplish what, I can’t imagine. Did he expect the old guy to hop on his cane and fly the rest of the way across the street?

My friend L. and I were indignant and feeling very bad for the harrassed octogenarian. But he didn’t need our sympathies. As he stepped to the curb, he raised an arm high over his head and gave the truck jerk an emphatic “friendly finger” before striding onward.


Bad good attitude

The occasion for the Big City expedition was birthdays. Two friends are about to have them and a third missed hers a few months ago because she was in the hospital wishing she were dead.

So I told the three I’d take them to lunch at a lovely winery near the Big City. We’re blessed to have a gorgeous winery in this otherwise dreary working-class area and it’s always a treat to go there.

Two of the birthday girls (sisters) have a little money and prefer to be the ones doing the treating. They protested against me buying lunch, even after I pointed out it would be a heck of a poor birthday present to make them buy their own food. (Anyhow, the treat was actually on someone else, as I explained over lunch. See below.)

L. and I met them at the winery and they reluctantly “allowed” themselves to be treated — each of them carefully ordering the least expensive items on the menu.

Then they sneaked into the the winery’s gift shop and emerged with bags for L. (the third birthday girl) and me containing goodies that outdid the entire lunch.

“You need to learn to receive graciously,” I told them.

“We’re not good at that,” they admitted.

“Practice,” I said, receiving a bottle of the world’s best Gewurtztraminer and other delicacies gratefully, but less than graciously.


Good attitude; bad reasons

The lunch was originally going to be on me. As it developed, it was Frederick who treated us all. And then some. Frederick — that long-time, great-hearted freedomista who has decided to end his days doing good deeds.

The day before the birthday lunch, Frederick quietly slipped a gift into my PayPal account with instructions only to “pay it forward.” I don’t know whether a birthday lunch counts toward that. If not, there’s plenty more opportunity.

And Fred, I want you to know that on Thursday four happy, caring ladies enjoyed a fabulous lunch with even more delectable dessert. And we raised glasses of the world’s best Gewurtztraminer to you. You created memories.

(ADDED: I forgot to mention when I first posted this, but the winery, too, pays it forward. Every variety of wine they make supports a different local charity. The world’s best Gewurtztraminer benefits a regional orchestra (I didn’t even know we had one). One of their reds is responsible for a substantial sum that comes every year to the animal rescue group I work with.)


Good attitude; good reasons

Finally, salutes to all who’ve been using my Amazon links for all your online shopping.

December was the biggest Amazon month ever. But it’s 2014 that’s surprising me. Normally, January and February drop off a cliff. To my surprise, even though they’ve been (naturally) way below the holiday months, they’ve been above typical good months.

Somebody or somebodies out there must be equipping spectacular kitchens. 🙂 And a couple people sure did need high-power vacuum cleaners to pick up their pets’ hair. Those car parts, cameras, computer monitors, gift cards, Dockers, and diet supplements really contribute to blog health. But the wonderful thing is that even the tiniest purchases (those dozens of Kindle books, for instance) contribute. Because remember, Amazon bases commissions on a combination of the prices of items and the number of items sold in a month.

So thanks for doing good for me — even during those weeks when I wasn’t able to do my best for the blog and you.


  1. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty February 22, 2014 2:08 pm

    Yes indeed… paying things forward is just about one of my favorite things to do. 🙂 And I’m so grateful to have had so much opportunity to do it. Recently learned that a dear friend has terminal cancer… and I’ll be able and allowed to care for them in a significant way. How wonderful to be able to use my experience and hard won skills again to benefit someone I care so much about.

    Do you get commissions on the things bought by “subscription?” I sure hope so. Found some things, not available locally, that I’ve been going to the city for, spending more than it was worth on gas. The Amazon subscription turns out to be less money per item, with free shipping, than I paid at WalMart in Rapid City or Gillette… and it doesn’t take me a whole day to get them!

    Anyway, hope it helps you too. 🙂

  2. Joel
    Joel February 23, 2014 7:11 am

    It can be hard to get other people to unbend enough to take a gift, even (maybe especially) when they’re used to giving them. There’s a couple out here who have been unbelievably generous in arranging trips to the big town about 50 mile away for my ophthalmologist appointments. And they always insist on buy my lunch at Wendy’s. Last month I was unusually flush and wanted to buy their lunch for once. Wasn’t happening.

    But at least they’ll let me help with labor when they need it. He’s laid out from hernia surgery at the moment, and about every other day she’ll sneak a call to me so I can “fortuitously” show up to help with something heavy, and prevent him from doing it. 🙂

  3. Jim B.
    Jim B. February 23, 2014 9:40 am

    I do agree that some people have a problem with learning to accept things graciously. I believe that’s why one of the reasons “giving anonymously” was established. Just do what you can wherever you can.

    On another note, here’s something to put the “ammo conspiracy” into perspective.

  4. LarryA
    LarryA February 23, 2014 1:44 pm

    Growing up my parents were pretty well hammered with “It’s better to give than to receive.” My Mom was one of many who took that to the point it was hard to give her Christmas gifts without her “repaying” the favor. It took me a while to figure out how to accept a gift with “Thank you” and mean it.

  5. ENthePeasant
    ENthePeasant February 23, 2014 3:34 pm

    Not to out you or your location, but not a bad idea to name the winery. Knowing a bit about the business, it’s tough to say the least. Wineries are usually run by people who have several million dollars… and make wine until it’s gone; sell it to someone else with a several million dollars, wash and repeat. They can always use the publicity and some of the best wines on the West Coast are being made in the PNW. They need their due.

    It sounds like a great time. To have an old cripple flip off an asshole, followed by a world class Gewurtz (and hopefully cheese, fruit and honey) is my idea of the perfect day. One can die happy with such experiences. Glad you got to treat someone to it.

  6. Winston
    Winston February 24, 2014 8:12 pm

    I myself always find it kinda odd when people get weird about gifts…my folks are like that too. I try to tell them that they don’t need to feel weird about getting gifts from me since i,m going on 23 and they, you know, spent so much on me when I was growing up. I guess its hard to get out of that nurturing mindset with your kids no matter how old they are.

    And yes…I’ve been ordering a ton of kindle books and 4×4 stuff lately, hope its helped some. (My new addiction is pretty bad so if you see anything that looks like its for a jeep, probably this guy…)

  7. TomCat
    TomCat February 26, 2014 6:55 pm

    That old geezer not only endangered his life (which he’s free to do), but he also endangered the life and proprty of everyone at that intersection. He blocked the right of way. He is the one who should be ashamed. There is no excuse for blocking traffic. Making rude gestures afterwards just proves he has no class and is probably a menance to everyone in any sistuation not just when he plays in traffic.

  8. Claire
    Claire February 26, 2014 6:56 pm

    How was he supposed to get across the street, then, TomCat?

  9. Claire
    Claire February 26, 2014 6:59 pm

    BTW, you weren’t there. You didn’t see. That old man wasn’t endangering anybody or anything. Everybody who was there saw him. Everybody was waiting for him. Except that guy in the truck. He wasn’t willing to wait another five or 10 seconds as a courtesy to an old person who was clearly doing the best he could.

  10. furrydoc
    furrydoc March 2, 2014 1:28 pm

    We got an amazon prime account this year and use for every little thing that has free shipping that we cannot buy locally. So I am glad to hear it is helping. Sounds like you had a wonderful lunch; I hope all the ladies had a wonderful birthday.

  11. Claire
    Claire March 2, 2014 2:02 pm

    I’m only sorry you couldn’t have joined us, furrydoc. Well, maybe later.

    Isn’t Amazon Prime wonderful (though also a wonderful temptation to buy more)? And yes, it really, really is helping. Thank you.

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