Writers’ Group – March 2024


Ruby Regina Witcraft

Just in time, and as I was sensing a writer’s block, the phone rang. Not being one to miss an opportunity, I decided to write on my, not so good, relationship with the phone. It was my best friend when inviting a caller to join a riding class in horsemanship but such an annoyance when trying to get a clue across to the horse I was training.

I only have a landline, as I found a cell phone to be an unnecessary nuisance and got rid of it. There are two phones in strategic places, such as my desk and reading chair. Therefore, I never have to search the house or pockets for the illusive, chiming, aggravating device. Besides, I have never been a phone person to start with. The fire alert squeal, though, alarming, not included.

The annoyance starts at 7 in the morning and as late as 8, which is my sleeping time. Would you like to sell your house? How about a trip on a ship? Does your car need maintenance? So on and on, as you probably get the same ones. To say that they are irritating is putting it mildly but the 8 o’clock one does get my dander up. Being of a fairly placid nature the one that strikes me awakened, as if I am a she-bear with two unruly cubs, a sciatic pain down my left hind leg, and a few new cuss words that I would like to try out.

My idea of a good service person is the trash pick-up guy, with his clever truck, “grab um and dump um.” No telephone!

I do realize and appreciate that these people are trying to do a somewhat thankless job, but what I don’t appreciate is that they are phoning on my dime. By not paying a soul they are using my paid-for facility to drum up their business. Once, I got the nerve to explain my displeasure about this to a lady. She hung up!

Oh well, I just won’t answer the phone after 8 o’clock.

February Holidays

George Stahl

February 14. There are only two events to remember on this date. One is Ash Wednesday. Several Christian churches observe this day as the beginning of Lent. Each sees it as the start of the Easter season.

The more publicized of the two is Valentine’s Day. It is the day that any un-astute, un-endearing, and inappreciative, absent-minded male member of society should see as a very special day. Feb. 14 can easily be said to be the most important day (second to anniversary) in a relationship. But there’s more to this special day than black soot, roses, and heart-shaped chocolates.

It is also National Have a Heart Day, stemming from the notion that our hearts are at the core of our connections with others. It is a reminder to cherish our loved ones and show compassion for those in need. We also see ourselves in the middle of National Women’s Heart Day. No foolin’! It actually started in March of 1857 as National Woman’s Day based on an urban legend about a garment worker, a protest, and wages. Over the next 160 years, it morphed into National Women’s Heart Day and went from March to February. By the way, there is no record of a National Men’s Heart Day being recognized … ever. Just sayin’.

There is one more heart day thing on the calendar. It’s called World Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetie and, oh yeah, I almost forgot, Happy Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day while you’re at it. Love you, my little Valentine!”

Cupid and his quiver of arrows share the day with a gang of thugs and their Tommy guns. It’s as famous as Custer’s Last Stand and the moon landing. On Feb. 14, 1929, in Chicago, at 10:30 a.m., four men walked into a warehouse where seven other men were playing cards, waiting for a shipment of illegal whiskey. The four opened fire on the seven, and when the gunfire stopped, six of the seven were dead and one was not going to make it. The four got away and were never identified. The encounter that morning became known as The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Note here, the four worked for Al Capone, and the seven for Bugs Moran. So, it was more like a business meeting gone bad than a massacre.

As you can see, Feb. 14 is a lot more than hearts and kisses. It has elements of crime, booze, bullets, CPR, and dirty foreheads. But putting all of that aside and focusing on the one person in your life who gives you that special feeling when he or she walks into the room. The way he or she smells that reminds you of a fragrant flower or a man’s aftershave, even after a sweaty workout or a hot day mowing the lawn. Love! Love! Love! So, take that man, or woman, in your arms and look them in the eye and smile, “I love you! Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetheart!”