Thursday, March 5, 2015


Thinking of Anni of Hootin' Anni and Bird D'Pot today.  You can read my previous post about Anni being in hospital and I send her my love and wish her a speedy recovery. 

I am a little late for Good Fences as we only just got our power back after several hours.  It starting snowing and it is still snowing. We have got about four inches so far.  

I am sharing another lovely entrance on our way to Skyline Drive a few weeks ago.  

And now for Willy-Nilly Friday 5, in the order that they happened.

1)  I am an admitted wimp this week.  I let the cold get to me and have not been out much.  This is me, Denise, Queen Wimp!  Our friends up north, not just in the USA but in other parts of the world, have my utmost admiration.   They enjoy the winter, they ski, they sled, they fish in holes cut in the ice, they put on their snow shoes and get on with it.  Queen Wimp decided to stay home this week but I had fun, just inside not out, and my niece in Germany called.  We were on the phone for over an hour.  I love catching up.  We never pause for breath but yes, we do shut up long enough for the other to get their four-pennyworth in.  It was a great conversation and almost at the end of it Gregg came home and it went on for another half hour.   Lovely!

2)  I went grocery shopping a couple of times and enjoyed it, after I carefully eased over icy patches.  Memories of many falls on ice in winters' past are still etched in my brain and subsequent long recovery periods from badly sprained ankles, damaged knees and consequent hip problems that took months to heal.  I heal slowly.  A voice just popped in my head, my dad saying, "We're slow healers in this family."  I think this is why I am now cowardly Queen Wimp in the wintertime.

3)  I read, I cleaned house, played on the computer, watched TV quite a bit, some British cops and robber who-dunnits mostly, and Gregg and I enjoyed watching The Barefoot Contessa and Tricia Yearwood on the food channel, and I read some more.   When I was young I used to love reading about Greek Mythology, filling my bicycle basket with books after pedaling up to the library.  Not even when my back wheel was picked up, hooked somehow by a small truck that came in too close and threw me across the road, literally, did not stop me from going up to the library.  I have told this story before but it has come to the fore again as Gregg mentioned yesterday how he is looking forward to us buying bicycles for our summer exercise.

4)  I never told my parents what happened that day.  I never told my sister.  When I found myself sprawled in the middle of the road, a car literally skidded to a halt inches from my head.  Its driver ran out to see if I was okay, his face was a look of sheer fright and horror.  His face scared me!  The truck was oblivious and didn't stop.  More people came rushing towards me to see if I was hurt.  I had skinned elbows and knees but apart from a few bruises I was very lucky, I was okay.  I was more embarrassed than anything else.  What????  It wasn't even my fault.  I was 12 and so embarrassed.  I was helped to my feet and walked to the side, and I heard them say, someone should get a policeman, that driver, he came in too close.  I just wanted a hole to appear in the ground and swallow me up.  I hated all this attention.  Another kind soul picked up my bike which had a few minor dents in it but this very nice gentleman said it was fine and I could ride it.  People were asking me if they should call my mum and dad, but I certainly didn't want that to happen.  I knew my days of biking through town would have been at an end. I said no, no thank you, that I was fine, honestly, and as I saw a bobby heading in our direction, I quickly thanked those kind people and pedaled off down the road as fast and as steadily as my legs could take me, hoping that bobby wouldn't have seen me or recognized me, and crying all the way home.  That bobby would have known my dad and I was very thankful that he came when things were starting to calm down and did not see anything amiss as far away as he was.  I was probably acting like I had robbed a bank, I just wanted to get away.  If he had spotted me earlier he would have asked for my name and I would have to have told him that my dad was a policeman.  My dad would have been informed, horrors!  There would be no more peddling up to the library every week to get my precious books on Greek Mythology, no animal books, no cooking books, which were my all time favorite reads of the day. In seconds I saw the resulting scenario, the same look of fright and horror on my poor mother's face, the talk she'd have with my dad about my precious transport, transport gone, all this in the mind of a 12 year old flashing through in seconds.  When I got home my mum was out visiting a neighbor, and I quickly tidied myself up and covered my scrapes and bruises pretty efficiently.  And you know what?  I never ever told my mum and dad about that day, and I used to tell them everything.  But I did have a few more years of peddling up to the library, with one slight change.  When I came to that busy area I always got off my bike and walked the rest of the way to the library.   It was about a mile from home, two miles to school.  I was never allowed to ride my bike to school but I could walk there with my friends. Years later my son came to me and asked if he could pedal seven miles to a comic book shop with three friends, all whose parents apparently, so they said, had given their permission.  This would have involved contending with rush hour traffic.  I had 'the' look on my face and said, "Absolutely not!  That's way too dangerous!"   And I found out later that all of the other parents had said the same thing, no way!  Poor kid, hobbled at such a young age.  Actually he was also around 12.  So if he reads this story of how I almost got clobbered by a truck, I hope he understands why I said "NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!"  And at the age of 18 he went head over heels of the handlebars on his bike and fractured one elbow and badly sprained the other?   Cripes!   The same look of fright and horror on my face when I heard.  It's amazing how one's own memories come flashing back.

5)  I had a very nice encounter at the supermarket yesterday.  A lady standing behind me at the register looked in my basket and joked about us all getting lots of food in before the snowstorm tomorrow.  I chuckled and said, "Yes, we have all got that 'time to batten down the hatches' mentality."  She had a lovely accent but I could tell she had lived in the States for many years, like me.  In a short space of time she volunteered the information that she was originally from Austria and had come over here when she was young as an au pair.   I told her a good friend had done that and had married an American.  I said, "This is my American" pointing to Gregg, "but I met him in England."  While my groceries were being checked we had a lovely conversation, one that I was disappointed had to end when Gregg said to her, "Sorry, I'm going to have to drag her away now".   Our groceries had been bagged and we couldn't hold up the line.  It was a busy day, everyone was getting ready to batten down the hatches for the snowstorm tomorrow.  She asked me if I knew Innsbruck and I told her yes, that I had visited it when I was on my holiday, that I remembered it as a beautiful city surrounded by mountains.  She had gone to school there.  I found out that she loved to ski but had to quit when she broke her ankle a few years ago.  I told her that I had been in Austria in my early 20s on skiing holidays, but that I wasn't very good at it, that I kept falling.  I told her I never broke any bones but I did sprain an ankle or two, but I still kept going.   Sound familiar?   She spotted an impulse buy of mine.  Salt and pepper shakers in the shape of two bunnies in a basket.  She said "I was admiring them in your basket, I collect them."  I laughed and told her that I have several salt and pepper shakers for every season.  She shook my hand and said, "Auf Wiedersehen", and I said "Auf Wiedersehen" in return.  I told Gregg when we got out of the store that I wanted to bring her home for a cuppa, she was such a delightful lady.   It really does make a day meeting warm and friendly people. It is one of life's blessings.

Impulse buy!

And Queen Wimp says bye-bye for now.  I don't think I will be getting out today either.  Son was supposed to come over but the weather put paid to that.  Rats!

Thank you Ladies for  these two fun memes.

Theresa at Good Fences and Tanya's Willy-Nilly Friday Five.


  1. Denise, I remember a dear friend of my parents who married a soldier in England and I loved to hear her talk. Maybe we will talk for real sometime. I'm a whimpy winter person as well, and I grew up in the north. I've lived in the south long enough now that my blood's too thin to be out and about. My daughter had an encounter with an old guy in a car with her bicycle, and she suffered a broken femur that kept her in a cast for several months. It was tough.

  2. Denise, I must admit I am a WIMP too. I am not a winter person and I am just wishing spring was already here. Do you think your mother learned of your bike accident anyway? I love your cute bunny salt&pepper shakers.

  3. That's a really fine fence in a beautiful landscape.
    But I really loved to read all of your stories, they are just wonderful :))
    Stay in, if you don't feel like it, I do the same here ;)
    Wish you a wonderful weekend

  4. What a scary story, and now I never want you to leave the house!! I have the same salt & pepper shakers, but without the tray. Your flower arrangement is beautiful! I was so stunned about Anni yesterday!! And I think she does quite a bit of exercise.

  5. before i forget, thank you for the lovely fence scene!

    the bunnies are adorable. i hope you can run into that woman again. it sounds like you'd be fast friends.

    as for biking, hoping you and gregg can enjoy some summertime fun w/o any trucks, scrapes or need for 'bobbys'. :)

  6. I love the light in that shot.

    I've enjoyed Greek mythology as well, Denise. I'm assuming you've seen the D'Aulaire books on Greek and Norse mythology?

    I got hit by a car years ago- I had the right of way as a pedestrian to cross the intersection, the driver was looking left to make a right turn, didn't even see me, and knocked right into me, sending me over the hood of his car. He drove off in a panic- and was caught by a police officer who'd been in his car down the road and saw the whole thing.

  7. An amazing post. I hope you meet up with your new friend again.
    I too have a few things I never told my family.
    There was a park I wanted to ride my bike to. I was told it was too far, and the roads too busy.
    So I rode my bike down to the lake and swam across to the park. Over a mile each way.

  8. Wonderful connection with woman in line at grocery store...I hope you see her again sometime. I am glad you've got pretty posies!

  9. I would love to have a driveway like that.

    You're no wimp Denise!!

  10. Oh my goodness Denise, what a wealth of amazing childhood adventures you've recalled within the confines of your kingdom ;D) You had the best reaction from your bike accident in that you then used to get off your bike and walk through that section. What great stuff you're made of!
    I can feel your delight at having exchanged a lovely few words with that lady at the checkout. Things like that really put the icing on our days don't they. Often, it can be as fleeting as a simple smile exchange but it means a lot and its a beaut feeling having shared in it.
    Cheers across the water :D) xx

  11. Oh thank you for telling us about Anni, as I have had little screen time the past few days. Your "admission" is so interesting and pertinent. Sadly, kids just cannot be given the kind of freedom that I enjoyed when the only admonition was to be home when the street lights were turned on. Interestingly, my Dad, when in his 70s, was struck by a "young" guy (in his 60s) when riding his bicycle on a snowy day. He was scraped up a bit and did not want to press any charges and never told my Mom who would have "grounded" him for sure!

  12. What a pretty entryway in your fence shot. Love the way the fence line curves.
    What a scary story of being hit on your bike at a young age. Our daughter had that happen as well on her way to Middle School one day. She didn't say anything about it until she'd was in one of her classes and then they made her call home and had me come get her as she was in a bit of shock, not hurt though. I don't blame you for being a "wimp" about not wanting to be out in the cold.

  13. I recently broke my foot so I am overly cautious about slipping/falling. Don't want to go through this again any time soon! I love to watch Barefoot Contessa and Tricia too - two fav. shows. I enjoyed your answers and I hope you will enjoy your evening. Mildred

  14. There's nothing wrong with being a wimp especially when winter is at a close, oh yeah, and we all are looking so forward to spring!

  15. Cute bunnies! I would have bought them too. That first photo is lovely!

  16. Denise, your photos are lovely. I am fine when I am walking in the snow providing it is a flat terrain, but when it comes to mountains of snow or ice I am really nervous. I love Barefoot Contessa! :)

  17. I must admit that I often meet the nicest people while waiting on a line, I have had the same experience so many times!!

    I did not know about Anni, I am glad you mentioned it!!

    I know I am missing stuff, I loved the bunnies!! oohhhh and the fence, a beautiful image!!

  18. What a pleasant thing to happen...meeting the lady while in the checkout line. I think I would have had to exchange names.

    I have avoided getting out too much either...just don't want to fall and break my neck!

  19. Hi Denise, Oh I so loved this post. Beautiful fence photo!!
    I grew up in Michigan where the snow was waist high at times in the winter. Since then I live in Texas and I'm not a fan of ice and snow any longer ~ afraid of falling too. Yesterday we got 4 inches of snow which is very rare here.

    How great to meet such a nice person at the checkout line and I hope you meet up with her once again and can become friends.
    Love those darling shakers!!

    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Hugs, CM

  20. Great first shot for today. Loved your stories and it was a pity you had not offered her a cuppa at your home but you just might bump into her again

  21. it seems to me that you have adjusted really well to the terrible weather. those bunnies are adorable..the would be cute in an Easter basket. that was a near miss on the bike. my boys new not to ask because i said no, they just did it first and let me find out from someone who saw them...

  22. I fell off the bike when it rolled over a garden hose, and again when I banged into the side door of a parked car. Bikes and I were not meant for each other.

    Lovely conversation with the store clerk. Do invite her over for refreshments.

  23. The cold is getting me down a bit too! So weary of it all!

  24. Kid accidents are horrible. My nephew was hit and killed by a car when he was age 7. I have witnessed three other incidents where a pedestrian was hit by car over the years. Probably why I drive like a little old lady.

  25. I hope my first comment "took' Wanted to say, I enjoy your writing about the past. I'm sure your son does too.


  26. Denise, this was a fun read! I like hearing your stories! As a Mom i wanted you to tell the bobby about what happened, but when I think back to my 12 year old self, I totally empathize with you and I am glad you did not tell and were able to keep riding to the library! Greek mythology at 12? Oh my, you are something else!

    I do not blame you for being a wimp in regards to ice and snow. A fall can change your life, as I well know. Stay inside and stay safe until all this snow and ice melts!

    P.S. I love your salt shakers. I have a few sets as well, but not enough for every season...yet!

  27. Fascinating post! Wow...that horrible near-disaster with the bicycle! I am so surprised you always kept it from your parents! I would have been scared I would lose my library privileges also. Anyway, and what a nice "friend" you met up in the grocery store line. Love your bunny salt & peppers!

  28. love your fence and your bunnies.

  29. Hey Queen Wimp, I enjhoyed your post very much! Did you meet that lady from Austria again? Innsbruck is indeed a lovely town!
    Your bike accident reminds me of a bike accident I had as a student that also never prevented me from biking. Unfortunately my bike got pretty shaken off and since it was my only "vehicle" I had to walk a lot until it was completely repaired again which took weeks because the shop wanted to sell me a new bicycle instead of repairing this one. Grr.

  30. How sweet to make a connection in a grocery line. Love those bunnies! I hope you enjoy your bikes this summer.

  31. Oh my! Those are the cutest little bunnies. It's always great to meet someone friendly and kind. I wish you could have prolonged the meeting.

    As for bicycles... How scary!!! We went to the Netherlands on a bike trip and I never want to do that again. I hadn't been on a bike in 30 years and riding a bike alongside the highway added a lot of gray hairs to my head.