SYNCHRONICITY: 42 AND 42 – Marilyn Armstrong

Today was Jackie Robinson day in baseball and everyone wore a shirt with the number “42” emblazoned on it. Now, I’m enough of a baseball nerd to know that Jack Robinson’s entry into Major League Baseball was a big deal. A huge deal. It was the true beginning of the break from segregation to whatever we are doing these days.

We watched the movie “42” again. And loved it. Again. You can read the review here and it is one of the best reviews I’ve ever written, along with Garry, the total complete baseball nerd.

The thing is, I’m also a total science fiction nerd — and, speaking of freaky coincidence — Douglas Adams shares my birthday. And we ALL know what he thought of forty-two. It was the number that made the world … well … the world. 42 is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” It is the answer.

Sadly, the question remains unknown.

So how could Jackie Robinson and the answer to the question “what is the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything” be the same number?

Synchronicity of course. History rhymes and so do numbers. Phone numbers and house numbers and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. I’m absolutely sure that Douglas Adams knew exactly what he was doing when he picked that number. He knew.


Jackie Robinson and his number, 42, IS the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. It is. Think about it. He broke the world open and it will never, ever go back to the way it was before he did it. 

 

THE BEST WAY TO CATCH SOMETHING – Marilyn Armstrong

In my many long years of getting sick, sicker, even sicker, and under the wings of hovering Death, I have concluded there are four ways uniquely suited to get you sick, sicker, then sickest.

I do not count sitting in a doctor’s office full of people NOT wearing masks who claim their cough is “just an allergy.”

No, I mean “out in the real world” where shit happens.

These are the four best ways to catch whatever is going around.

1 – Be an elementary school teacher. You will be sick ALL the time. Just keep the Tamaflu handy and the tissues and throat lozenges nearby.

2 – Work in a mall. You will earn very little money and you are doomed to endless disease. A single sneeze can infect everyone in half the mall. Two sneezes? Total collapse of all immune systems.

3 – Be a working reporter. You will meet everyone everywhere and at least 75% of them will have something lurking, just waiting for you and your cameraman to show up. When Garry was working, he had a cold, the flu, bronchitis, sore throats, ear infections. You name it, he had it. Four days later? I had it too. We believe in sharing.

This probably applies to politicians on the stump and performers on tour. Which is probably why they won’t shake hands. All they see are germs.

4 – Take an airplane anywhere. The recycled air is putrid. I swear this is true — takes whatever diseases every passenger has on the plane and pumps it up. I have never taken a flight anywhere and not gotten sick within 10 days.

Except Arizona. Maybe it’s that lovely, hot, dry air or something. We survived both trips to Arizona and we felt actually better after a week in the warm, dry air.

I should add one more: life in the cold north of America where it’s always damp and the air is full of allergens. And never, ever go to see the doctor if you aren’t already diseased unless you know for sure nobody sick will be there. Those allergic coughs  are not allergies.

IS THERE MORE MONEY THAN MONTH? OR MORE MONTH THAN MONEY? – Marilyn Armstrong

Depletion is our current financial state. This is because this is the time when we pay the mortgage.

It’s The Big Bill of the Month and it pretty much sucks us completely dry until the next fly by of Social Security. We get through the month, but there is usually more month than money. They would have to take away at least a week of month (and probably add one more check) to make it come out even.

I am also contemplating whether or not having taken — as of this morning — THREE antibiotics and a good deal of Flovent — if I am improved from yesterday. I thought when I could get up from the john without a sky hook and grabbing onto the sink, I must be better. But I don’t feel better right now and going back to bed sounds way too yummy.

Regardless, I need to sit up for a while. Drainage. Garry’s sore throat is gone. Now he feels bad everywhere. Welcome to my world.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I actually had to put the drugs from the doctor on a credit card yesterday. I hate that. The clouds are piling up, the temperature is dropping and we are getting sleet for the weekend.

How is this fair? I ask you? Okay, don’t make me rich. Just make me warmer. Make a few flowers bloom.

Is that too much to ask?

COINCIDENTALLY – Marilyn Armstrong

A good friend of mine had a crisis today. She inadvertently dialed a very out-of-date phone number. It had — a long, long time ago (more than 25 years) — had been Garry and my number. Back when we lived in Boston. I think before we were even yet married.

When she called the number, she got (on that number) a high school boyfriend from whom she had not heard since high school.

How do those ancient phone numbers somehow creep back into our files? It was originally a secondary phone number belonging to Garry, back when he had two phones — one for the office and the other for personal friends. Before cell phones. Before even the giant old brick of a cell phone.

She was convinced there was some cabal behind it. How could that ancient boyfriend from high school somehow wind up with her college best friends’ out-of-date telephone number? There had to be collusion of the most heinous kind.

Maybe it’s the times we live in. Or maybe the problem is that we read too many books and watch too much television and old movies where “there’s no such thing as a coincidence.”

Except, really, there is. Not just one, but many coincidences. Reality is full of things that just happen. Entirely by chance. No collusion or planning.

It took a delightful hour of chatting for me to almost convince her there was no cabal or conspiracy — and the Russians had nothing to do with it. It was just “one of those things.” Stuff happens. For no reason.

I don’t think she really believed me.

A DRIVE THROUGH EVERY KIND OF WEATHER – Marilyn Armstrong

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – April 13, 2018


We took a long drive through sleet and snow and rain and traffic jams. Considering it was April and not January, this was an awful lot of weather for such a relatively short journey.

These are some of the pictures. Are you impressed? You should be. It was a hell of a drive!

WILD HORSE PASS: THE SHOWDOWN – GARRY ARMSTRONG

Story by Garry Armstrong
Pictures by Garry & Marilyn Armstrong

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THE STORY OF THE POSSE FROM HELL – Garry’s Tale

More than a week in Arizona and we couldn’t lose them. We couldn’t see them. The big country that protected us shielded them, too. It was the posse from Hell!

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We kept to the high country, hoping the cactus, tumbleweed and narrow trails would distance us.

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Scorpion Gulch was the way to the mountains and beyond. We saw a few pilgrims here and there taking in the view. They ignored us. Good for them.

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This was the same trail used by Waco Johnny Dean, Long Tom and Dutch Henry Brown in the relentless chase for that Winchester ’73.

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The same trail used by Sheriff Pearly B. Sweet and the posse from Welcome and Carefree who pursued Bob Hightower, Pete and the Abilene Kid, the three Godfathers.

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There was no losing our posse from Hell.

Rawhide, we figured, might be a good place to lose those guys … whoever they were.

Rawhide — a place where dudes are welcome. We wouldn’t be noticed as the pilgrims sashayed up and down Main Street. Maybe the posse from Hell might have paper on a few of these strangers.

Rawhide also was a good place to grab some grub. Maybe even some shut-eye. But no time for real fun if you get my drift. Those pilgrims kept giving us shifty looks.

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Back on the trail, I thought we saw an old saddle pal. He rode with us in the old days. He was a good old boy. Turned out he was dead and just a statue, probably done in by the railroad men who dogged us for too many years. Close up, our old pal still looked good. They don’t make men like him any more.

We had to move on. No sense chasing memories. We wanted to head back to the high country and the safety of those mountains. But time was running out. We knew the end was near.

Just as well. We were running low on luck and bullets.

The posse from hell finally cornered us at Wild Horse Pass. They stayed with their long guns as we faced them down. It was a long day’s siege into night.

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We would not go quietly. We could see the fear in their eyes as we held our position. Clearly, we  had them on experience, as we stared across the pass and other confrontations which have blurred over the years.

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In the distance, we heard the strains of “Shall We Gather At The River” sung mournfully by the good folks at The Light of The Desert Lutheran Church. Was this a boot hill elegy?

Print the legend.

A CONVEYOR OF OUR BEST WISHES FOR MRS. ANGLO SWISS

A CONVEYOR OF LOVE AND AFFECTION FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD


Pat Gerber — Mrs. Anglo Swiss, mother of Tabby the blogging cat and wife of Marcel Gerber — took a bad fall this past weekend and has been in the hospital with a broken thigh. Marcel says she is doing okay. At our age, I’m not exactly sure what that means, but hopefully, she will be home soon — at least, by the end of the week.

She and I are always in touch. Every day unless she was out of the country or I was too sick to talk, we always chat a little about something. Cats, dogs, flowers, life, and our world’s worst president.

Please, everyone, send her your best! I am sending virtual flowers in lieu of the real ones I would like to send!

Her site is “CHRONICLES OF AN ANGLO SWISS” at this address: https://angloswiss-chronicles.com/

She isn’t getting messages right now, except through her husband, but I bet she’ll be glad to see something from her many friends around the world when she comes home. Being a big far away to send bouquets, I thought I’d go wild and send a lot of flowers!