Skating in the Birdbath

A few mornings ago, perhaps a week ago, it's hard to tell ... it's not like I write these things down ... (actually you do write them down) ... yes, yes, but in this case I lost the note ... (shut up already and tell your story) ... Okay! Okay! Don't you just hate split personalities?!

Anyway a few mornings ago I awoke with a tune in my head. God no, it wasn't anything from Richard Wagner's opera Gotterdammerung - I won't go down that path again. I think my longwinded operatic blog back in September about the gods of Valhalla and their quest for the ring of the Nibelung lost me quite a few readers. No, no, this time the tune was God Gave Rock & Roll to You. You know, by the rock group Kiss. Strange song to be waking up to. But it got me thinking how today's high school kids are into the music from the 1970's - Kiss, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Who, etc, etc. It's funny how they talk with those of us in our mid-40's about those times and about the music from that period as if we of parental age are all veterans of some Rock & Roll War waged long ago. "Tell us again about when the Beatles broke up." "Tell us about when Keith Moon died." "Tell us about when Ozzie Osbourne bit the head off the bat." I got into a discussion recently about Pink Floyd with a couple of teenagers. Unfortunately, I lost them when I brought up Atom Heart Mother(*). My fault for casting back into the 1960's.

***

Noticed this morning that there is ice in the birdbath. Bad for the birds. Good for us ice skaters. Not that I plan on skating in my birdbath. But there's a thin layer of hope that there might be some ice skating this winter - yet not unless we get a good, long cold blast from Canada, and soon, to sufficiently freeze over the kettle pond behind my parents' house. I skated there when I was a youngster. My kids learned to skate there. It's been the site of some legendary hockey games.

Some of the best skating was at night, under a somewhat full moon. Sometimes a neighbor might bring a lantern to throw a little more light. But nowadays, though the pond is full up with water after all the rain we've had during the past year, it is very far from frozen. Any hockey this year might only be courtesy of the Boston Bruins, the Beanpot(**), and the Frozen Four. One morning, way back when I was still living there with my parents, I awoke to find a car floating in the pond. How it got there was a mystery, probably something to do with a faulty emergency break, an incline, and a late night out on the town. Anyway, my mother made me scrambled eggs and bacon, and I went on with my day. Ah, the good old days.

***

What is it with dogs and vacuum cleaners? I don't know about your dog, but most times when I vacuum I have to fight with Lucy, who attacks the attachment thingy. (What did you call it?) Oh, I don't know ... the attachment thingy! (That's not what you call it!) Oh, leave me alone! You don't exist anyway, you blasted second personality! Anyway, Lucy's got something against the vacuum. I don't know if it's personal, or if it's some inner primordial instinct. Perhaps ten of thousands of years ago there once existed some kind of sucking-type of animal (now extinct) that used to plague early man and his wolf companion on cave cleaning day. I don't know. Either way, it's amazing how much fight a 21-pound Boston Terrier possesses when pitted against a Hoover(***).

***

Wrote out the first check toward our daughter's upcoming college education. It was a relatively small $250 check - just to accept the college's offer of acceptance. Larger checks will follow. We're going the state college route. Private college is just too expensive. I went to a private college, but somehow paying for college was easier in the "good old days." You know those days, when we walked uphill through 10-foot snowdrifts back and forth to lectures ... back in the days when we used to protest things, like the US war in Grenada and broccoli quiche.

Nowadays, the cost of attending college has skyrocketed. Heck, tuition, room & board, books, bail, and attorney fees to any of the private colleges can come to about what the average person makes in a year. State college isn't as "cheap" as it used to be, either. Perhaps it would be best to just take the circa $75,000 that four years of state college is going to cost and hand the check to our daughter at high school graduation this spring. And do the same for our son two years from now when he graduates. And tell them to invest wisely, work hard, eat right, read a good book(****) every now and then ... and for the last time, turn down that darn rock & roll music!

(*) Atom Heart Mother was a Pink Floyd album released in 1968; (**) Annual college hockey tournament between BC, BU, Northeastern, and Harvard; (***) Model number 20712008X; (****) I mean it. Stop by the library. We have lots and lots of new titles to choose from. And old ones too (we call those the "classics").

Jack Sheedy

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.