Little Things

     The whole day stretches ahead. There are vague dark clouds of laundry and a dinner thawing in the sink hovering on the proverbial horizon. But that dinner is hours away and I’m sure that everyone has at least one ugly laundry day outfit to get them through the afternoon. Nirvana consists, in this one moment, of a steaming cup of coffee (1 sugar and cream), scissors, a ballpoint pen and…sighhhhh… the Saturday paper.

     I love the Saturday paper. It has a weight and a presence. Although it will be censored and bent to whatever political leaning that is particular to the paper owning conglomerate some trickle of truth always finds it way through.

     The Saturday paper has the best obituaries and the personal page is full of pictures of people celebrating their 50th wedding anniversaries, college graduations and first birthdays. The pictures I like the most are the old photos that tell a story even without the captions below. The opinion section and the editorial letters are always a topic for discussion and I clip and circle the workings of minds and philosophies that parallel or challenge mine.

     I have scrapbooks of photos I’ve clipped from the Saturday paper. These pictures come from all and any pages and depict everything from Mayan Temples to cenotaph ceremonies. Most people don’t realize that you don’t have to look very far to see artists at work. It’s been in the paper that I’ve seen the most compelling and emotional photographs. I collect the ones that touch me the most.

     The members of my family recognize and grudgingly accept my love for the Saturday paper.  It’s a get out of jail free card and I’m not required to answer the phone, curb the dog or find those elusive nail clippers that seem to run from everyone else but me (popping into view when I open the drawer instead of hiding when whoever had said they looked “really hard”).

     There is a method to my pleasure. I do divide the Saturday paper into sections and read them from least favourite to the most. The sports, cars and classified are my brussel sprouts…I read them quickly. I don’t enjoy them but one’s “diet” needs to be well rounded. Tragedy is liver and onions…if you love liver and onions my apologies but I detest them. A steady diet of force fed liver and onions suits some as does a steady diet of tragedy but that has never been my taste. In my youth, when it was my turn to cook dinner, my mother knew better than to put liver and onions on the menu if she didn’t want to find herself eating burnt shoe leather…my philosophy being if it was burnt we wouldn’t be forced to eat it. Everything else falls into place. Carrots are the politics and regional events. Steak and shrimp are the last three sections I read, the colour comics (Bizarro is the best), the Editorial Viewpoint pages and finally the Entertainment section.

     The Entertainment section carries reviews of galleries, movies, CDs and books. I love the book reviews. I’ve always been a book person and I’ll take a book over a movie any day. I love words (you may not have noticed). I suppose that’s part of the reason I love the Saturday paper. I could read the paper on line but I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. There’s something satisfying in seeing the whole thing laid out there in front of me, the large pages full of print, pictures, events and thoughts. I love the sound of those pages turning. Sometimes I forget that the ink dirties your fingers and later on in the day I’ll see a smudge where I’ve rubbed my nose or brushed my fingers across my cheek (hopefully it’s not after I’ve come in from a quick trip to the store in town).

     After all the recipes, photos, opinions and events it is time for dessert, the Saturday Stumper crossword puzzle. As the week advances each day the crossword puzzle increases in difficulty until Saturday when the stumper is posted. I love a really hard one that might take you an hour or two to finish, those are the very best. The Saturday Stumper must be done in ballpoint pen, well at least when I do it. It’s not that I’m arrogant about my crossword skills. I simply like the way the pen feels against the paper as I fill the squares in. It’s not exactly living dangerously but since you do only live once (unless you’re a Buddhist) why not do the crossword puzzle in ink?

     I’m always a little sad to see the end of the Saturday paper but not overly so. I know there will be one for me next Saturday barring my death, nuclear war or an unusually quick sell out at the store. The big adventures in life are lovely and nice to have every once in a while but big adventures can be demanding and difficult. It’s the little things, how we choose to spend the time between those dramas and expeditions, which determine the timbre and quality of a life. Next Saturday, if I’m lucky enough, I’ll let go of the wheel and let the household drive itself for an hour or two while I enjoy my get out of jail free card, a cup of coffee and a bit of nirvana with a ballpoint pen and a pair of scissors.

15 thoughts on “Little Things

  1. I have a sure fire way of making my family stay at bay . Just play with something that is either way too dangerous or noisy and the result is peace and quiet . I know it sounds silly but it really works …. If I let the house drive itself we would surely be dwelling in the rhubarb.


  2. Oh, I do miss reading the SUnday paper-that was the one full full of things- and the comics! in full color!
    But here on the mountain, there isn\’t a paper – and part of me doesn\’t want it now, as if I\’m afraid I\’ll learn things I don\’t want to know that will disrupt my peace – although I watch the news.
    but, yes, the heaviness of the paper – all the glorious heavy of it


  3. @Cheryl
    We have absolutely lovely obits. I know it sounds weird but I love a really well done one (I actually wrote a blog entry about them).It speaks of a life well lived.
    I understand your reluctance to invite the baser aspects of the world into your lofty garden. I try to avoid too much of the tragedy. I find it can become overwhelming after a while.
    The weight of paper, the smell of an old book store, the potential in a new book… I love all of those things. When I was 15 I had a job at the library. My official title was a page so I was a page in the library (groan, lol). I usually took twice as long to shelve all the books as anyone else because I\’d disappear into the stacks and spend my time reading the books I was supposed to be putting away.  
    Don\’t even whisper the word rhubarb around here or we\’ll be up to our necks in those massive leaves. Something noisy at my house just means a louder television or radio in retaliation. Around here the sound of a turning page and a deaf ear to demands for food and clean laundry seems to work better. =) 


  4. I used to savor the Sunday paper but I just don\’t enjoy it anymore.
    And the crossword was definitely the bonus.
    Replaced it with other/new interests I guess.
    And that\’s okay too.
    Happy Valentine\’s Day


  5. i like reading the paper too.. i dont have the patience for the crossword though (LOL).  i usually end up getting one while waiting for an oil change or sometimes at work for lunch.. i like escaping into it for awhile, and one can certainly hide behind those huge sheets of paper when held up! perfect for all those late afternoon interruptions "i\’m sorry i\’m in the middle of something here.." ha!
    Happy Valentines Day Lorna!


  6. @Sal
    The Sunday paper is somewhat abridged in my neighbourhood . Each publication seems to have its own ways doesn\’t it? =)
    Many returns of the day to you as well!
    "Trip over love and you can get up. Fall in love and you fall forever."
    Are you steady on your snowboard? lol
    Happy Valentines Day
    It is true that interests come and go. 10 years ago I wouldn\’t have bothered with the paper on any day of the week but now it\’s like a habit that\’s hard to shake. I guess I could have worse vices! ;P
    Happy Heart Day to you and "that man". =)
    Do you poke eye holes in your paper before you lift it up as a shield against the interrupting irritating hordes so you can see them coming? lol
    Speaking of irritating…Have you seen the newest Burger King commercial? The one with the guy and his girlfriend on the bicycle built for 2. The word creepy doesn\’t even cover how absolutely wrong it is. brrrrrrrrrr It gives me the shivers =p
    Happy V day!


  7. i love your writing and your photos, plus i wanted to say thank you for always leaving a positive note on my page.  Things sometimes seem so exaggerated in my mind – it\’s nice to get someone elses comment.


  8. Hahaahaa Lorna, well, it\’s been a whirlwind two weeks.  I have to admit, lately during some of my \’coversations\’ with you know who, I feel a little thrown off balance… a little wobbly on my feet as it were.  She\’s very intelligent, witty, and fun.  Reminds me of someone else I know. 😉
    Anyway, we\’re having a blast catching up and getting reacquainted. 
    And you… what can I say about you other than I feel naked and transparent to your keen and cutting gaze.  Thank you for the wonderful feedback. 🙂


  9. @Holly
    It\’s a little easier to see things when you\’re not stuck in the middle of them. It will work itself out. You\’ll see. =)
    It\’s not always a bad thing to find your feet a foot or ten off the ground!  It can be both exhilarating, frightening and oh so wonderful.
    Best of luck Simon.


  10. Hmmm… I never really know what to say on your site because I have a brain the size of a pinky toe. But do not fear! I can say something! This is a belated thank you/return comment for the one you left on my site.
    Thank you indeed. And I totally wouldn\’t object if you came to my site again. Do not worry; you will understand mine no problem.


  11. @Ben (the Bean)
    As I said to your brother Jack many moons ago… you are welcome anytime. As for the size of your brain-I\’ve been to your site more than once and I know that your brain isn\’t the size of a pea even if you say it is.
    See ya round =)
     Thanks Ears ;P


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