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Rumilluminations April 2021
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Thu, April 01 2021 - 4:42 am

April 30, 2021
Madison IN

Well alas, the foolish month is ending - but we have May first to look forward to. May Day!

No, although I'm often at sea not that mayday. Is it written differently than the festival day? I believe I've only seen it used in the movies.

I will look it up.

What do you know - Mayday as a distress signal is used as one word, but have you ever heard of Pan Pan?

Me neither. Pan Pan is also a distress signal, but it signifies that the situation is not life threatening.

Not knowing where the latter comes from, I am inclined to wonder at the seemingly Druidic sources for both these distress at sea calls.

Not enough to look it up right now, though.

April 29, 2021
Madison IN

I'm missing a pair of my old-lady underpants, which I am liking more and more as my potbelly gets bigger and bigger.

Well, I can just run up to Penny's and buy some more, I say.

The equivalent of nay, nay, says my partner, which this month is equivalent to April Fool!

Oh, that's right. We no longer have a Penny's in Madison.

Dang. Where to, what now? I don't want to shop at the company store (that is, Wal-Mart.)

P.S. Just went to make the bed, and found my lost clean underwear tucked inside a clean sheet.

April Fool again!

April 28, 2021
Madison IN

Woke up early early this morning and my reading mentioning moonlight reminded me of the pink moon that I thought was supposed to happen during the night. I went out onto the balcony barefoot and was perfectly comfortable.

Unfolding one of the chairs and grabbing binoculars, I sat down for a while. The moon was, as always, beautiful. For the first time I thought it looked like the earth, a little. The darker areas looked like continents and I thought of the lighter areas as seas.

It is a freaky thought - the idea that the Native Americans, with all their familiarity with the moon, could see it no better than I.

They had so many wonderful names for the moon that was full at different times! Harvest moon, blue moon - a few have been adopted by us, but they had as many names for the moon as we have for intoxicants. Blue moon, blue pill, pink moon, pink champagne.

Actually the color of the moon high in the sky tonight was the color of champagne - not pink at all.

No matter the color - I'm a fool for the moon.

April 27, 2021
Madison IN

The other day I got a strange letter. It was so bizarre that instead of chucking it into the trash without even opening it (as I have finally begun to do with most of what comes into our mailbox) I sat down and read it through.

It brought me to tears.

This is the first time "junk mail" has ever made me cry.

Who knew it had such potential?

You might be wondering - did it come from a health organization? A religious foundation of some kind?

Nope. It came from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky.

Maybe if you call them they will send their letter to you, too, and you will be similarly touched.

Now I know why my great aunt Mamie and my mother used to send them a check every year and I will too, as long as I have funds to spare.

Perhaps it's time for a drive down into the beautiful hills of Kentucky for a second visit to Berea, which impressed us during our first overnight stay a few years back.

Maybe I could even meet the creator of that impersonal junk mail that inspired me to tears.

Would that be a foolish thing to do?

April 26, 2021
Madison IN

This morning I took out the trash and saw a full, golden glorious moon over the western hills. Back on the balcony, though, I saw a dark spot obscuring some of its  perfect disc.

What could that possibly be? Too high for a tree. It seemed to be getting bigger. Oh, no, what is happening to the moon? An explosion - or meteor hit? I scramble for my binoculars.

April Fool! It was the cellular tower we depend on for our phone service in perfect black silhouette against that bright, glorious ball in the sky.

Our modern version of a witch on her broomstick, perhaps?

If it were October I'd be thinking - black magic!

April 25, 2021
Madison IN

There is a tour showboat out front this morning called the American Duchess. Another that may come along this year is the American Queen.

Funny that, since the U.S. has no queen.

Another that stops by sometimes is called the Delta Queen.

That name reminds me that we have lots of queens: homecoming queens, cotton queens, strawberry queens, sweet potato queens - maybe even rutabaga queens, for all I know.

We are positively dripping with royalty.

Hmm... I wonder if Harry and his American wife would have left the royal circle if he had been next in line for the crown?

Will they dress up next Halloween as royalty?

Will the British people incur fewer bills because they have dropped off the payroll?

See what foolish questions and concerns April folly leads me to?

How about the folly of trying to get our former President to pay security and other expenses related to his extravagant rallies?

Maybe a monarchy would be cheaper.

April 24, 2021
Madison, IN

"There's no rest for the wicked"?

Nonsense...  It's the victims of the wicked who get no rest, as far as I can tell.

(Gotta spend at least part of my April jousting against foolish truisms.)

April 23, 2021
Madison, IN

Yesterday I extolled Transition lenses because you can leave your glasses on inside and out, whereas with sunglasses you're taking them on and off.

Later in the day I went to the store with a mask on, and my brand new glasses fogged up. I took them off at the counter and almost walked out without them.

Luckily the woman who had gone through the line ahead of me and seemed to be waiting for a ride noticed them lying there.

April foolish me!

Now I have to figure a way to ensure that my glasses don't fog up.

April 22, 2021
Madison, IN

Well, I had high ambitions of spending the rest of April making fun of one fool article, but it turns out than even I am not that much of a fool.

I do have a couple more sallies, though. Who is Alex Jones? Never heard of him - 'til I was told I think he's cool.

Oh, well. 

I have heard of Transitions lenses, though, and they are very practical. If that makes them very cool, then I think Transitions are cool.

But by all means, take the advice of Payton Turner and juggle two pairs of prescription eyeglasses as I did for years after the last time I got new glasses. I invested $400 in polarized sunglasses which I almost left in several stores and restaurants until I learned not to wear them inside. That's in addition to the cost of my other prescription glasses. I still have the polarized sunglasses; they are great! Especially if you live in the desert.

On your average cloud-studded day, though, give me the pair I just bought: good prescription progressive lenses with Transitions and Crystal (sp?) anti-glare features for about $600.

I don't merely think they are cool: I love them. (Sorry, Granddad and Heidi's grandad.)

Obviously I'm a fool for love.

April 21, 2021
Madison, IN

You think a month in, that Spring is guaranteed? Well, April Fool! There is snow on the cars in the parking lot. 

Of course for some of you farther north this is just customary. But all of our beautiful blooms! I'll have to go out later and see what April hath wrought.

Meanwhile, though, I have a bone to pick (as my mother might have said) with the generational harpers (Harpies?) who think I am my grandmother. It is not my generation that typically swooned over patterned wallpaper and old china.

We often have encyclopedias in our homes bought before you were born because you can no longer give them away. Not even prisons or resale stores want them.

Why shouldn't they hang around the house in case of total societal collapse (or much more likely and frequently occuring in our household, Internet stalls?) Having submitted that defense, I admit I no longer have the Encyclopedia Britannica my husband and I bought from a traveling salesman in the eighties. Too many moves.

Normally I look up information on the Internet, which is just wonderful because you can find completely conflicting "facts" about anything you need to not be sure about, so you can keep on believing whatever you wanted to believe in the first place - like that 100% of my generation loved malls (I hated them! Just got used to them and I fail to see how massive empty structures with holes are an improvement.)

Phone books are like junk mail. I get them without asking for them and they are one of the bands of my existence.

Shag carpets? I always liked cleaner wood floors because you don't have to own a vacuum cleaner. Never had that choice for the whole dwelling while renting, although I did get lucky once and tore out an ancient carpet from one rental living room.

Ah, but today's April rant is over! Time to make coffee.

The "khaki Capri pants" pictured aren't even Capri pants, I don't think. 

April 20, 2021
Madison IN

So, April Fool!

Not all of the things we "baby boomers" are supposed to think are cool according to the author of Forty Things... are cool at all, according to booming me.

Unpaid internships, for instance, are foul and obnoxious. Why should an adult not get paid for her work?

And this "baby boomer" recoils at the sight of crocs the way I would recoil at the sight of a loose crocodile.

Never liked 'em, never bought 'em, never wore 'em.

I guess this baby boomer was more of a baby burper -and that is no joke.

(Ha, ha, my e-editor tried to change "burper" to "Butler". Who says cursive takes too much time? At least when I write cursive there is no one holding on to my pen erasing one word and putting another into its place. Are there no mothers among the users of the thumb board? As far as I can tell the biggest current enemy of creative writing is the Internet with its word-twisting force-feeding autocorrect features.)

Talk about unpaid internships!

April 19, 2021
Madison IN

The other day my partner shared an article to laugh at, but I find I just can't laugh it off and let it go.

Yes, I know it is stupid of me and ignorant and pathetic that I can't stop thinking about it, but I feel I have to respond to the idiocy of it - even if writing about it in my blahg is comparable to writing in my own personal diary.

The article is about forty things "all Boomers think are cool" and like all generalities, it is pretty uncool. No. To be honest, it is really off the wall.

This generational identification never made much sense to me, I must admit. Sure, I heard about the "generation gap" in the sixties, probably, but the generations do not have clear tiers.

I feel like going through the entire list, hacking and chopping away, but that would be beyond April foolishness.

For one thing, the list and what it says (or said) is constantly changing. For instance, yesterday it said cursive isn't and "never was cool." I about had apoplexy when I read that one.

What kind of foolish moon child would say that? What kind of April fool - nay, moron - would even think of saying that? Here I am, sounding like the bitches the author of the article describes going off on retail salespeople. I am usually always really nice to salespeople. And ha, ha, the illustration shows someone no older than forty-two screaming and shaking the finger at the camera. The youngest of my generation isn't that young.

Gee, what an April fool I am being. This is not how I wanted to go about this. But honestly, the complaint may have justification. After all, some of us remember a day when civility and good service were the rule. I cannot help wondering what set off the bitchy boomer. Something.

Come to think of it, I am wondering what set off the writer of the article in the first place. "All" of my amorphously defined generation can't be said to agree on anything.

In fact, Nate Silver (not of my generation) said anytime you say 100% you are most likely wrong.

So, generalizing so sweepingly is using a crazy big broom. Uncool, fool.

April 18, 2021
Madison IN

Maurice Sendak, renowned author of Where the Wild Things Are, said of all the work he did to achieve his current position in life (some years back): "It wasn't worth it."

I appreciate his honesty, especially since I have been one who didn't work hard enough at any one high-level goal to achieve wealth or fame.

It does seem to me, though, that it is kind of like a rich person saying money doesn't matter.

So who's the fool? The one on the hill or the one in the mansion?

April 17, 2021
Madison IN

April taunts. It gives you a gloriously sunny day filled with bouquets of flowering ornamental fruit trees (really!) and redbuds, then follows it with a gray day that has what feels like tiny hail stones suspended in the air. Unless you are in Denver that is, where April bestows you with six inches of snow after tantalizing you with crocuses and miniature daffodils.

April kisses (e-editor, you know very well that I wrote "pisses" - what century are you living in, anyway? (oh, right, put "living" in quotes.) April pisses you off by giving you what you don't want by trying to guilt trip you: "April showers bring May flowers."

Bah humbug. April Fool to you too.

We shall see what May will bring. I've already seen a lilac bloom - the usual offering of June.

April 16, 2021
Madison IN

Last night I was reading about a couple approaching the Caspian Sea. The wife says, "Can you see the water yet?"

Instant memory plunge:  When are we going to get there? There it is! There's the ocean. See that dark blue line? That's the horizon between the ocean and the sky.

Or after walking all the way from Valparaiso, Indiana to Lake Michigan. That first glimpse of the blue water that will cool you and wash away the sweat.

In New Mexico it was the Rio Grande after riding the sandy  Buckman Road through the dry heat. We did no bathing and I rode my bike all the way home with a cracked rib - but that first sight of the water heralded by greener vegetation!

I congratulated myself on living in a town right on the broad Ohio River. Why even on a hike you're rarely farther than half an hour from the blue (or green or... brown) waters of the river.

Why, even from our apartment we can always see the water!

This morning when I rose I looked out the kitchen window.

April Fool!

All I could see beyond the Riverwalk was a pale, even gray.


Well, that's water.... ....

April 15, 2021
Madison, IN

I just love living among people of my own kind.

April Fool!

I miss living in a more racially mixed community where people are more used to a variety of beliefs, appearance and lifestyle.

It's very beautiful here now, though. It is the height of spring flowering. If you can, come see!

April 14, 2021
Madison, IN

People who think scientists are know-it-alls don't read enough science.

Anytime you read about any branch of science you learn that the experts are always ultimately bumping into a "we just don't know" frontier of reality.

Some of the more regrettable verbal conflicts I have engaged in would have been resolved by a good fairy pronouncing benediction upon us, the people in conflict, and saying, "You are both correct - just limited in your knowledge and altogether too certain of yourselves."

Now the Internet could help us discover this, but sometimes we don't look far enough for our answers.

More the fools we.

April 13, 2021
Madison IN

Yesterday - April Fool! I didn't write.

Today we were planning a walk in the a.m. because it was supposed to be cloudy but not rain.

April Fool! It rained.

So late in the morning we went on a short drive, cloudy or not.

April Fool! The sun came out and all the beautiful flowering trees shone in all their glory. Especially the redbuds. They grow wild here.

Now, that's the kind of surprise I like.

April 11, 2021
Madison IN

I saw the word "septuagenarian" used in an article to describe a person in his seventies and thought about "octogenarian" (eighties) and "nonagenarian" (nineties).

Do we call people centenarians? ( I have had to add all four of these words to my online dictionary.) Are  people who have attained one hundred years of age respected so much for their longevity that we feel they deserve precision?

I guess it is all too obvious why we don't call people in their sixties "sexagenarians" - well,  I won't add that one to my dictionary, either.

We only use those terms for the elderly, obviously.

When a television show was written about trigenarians it was hiply called Thirty-something.

How kind it is to call people "middle-aged" I am not sure. The historical Middle Ages, after all, are also known as the benighted (and beknighted) Dark Ages.

Descriptors are often decried as signs of bias - but what is a poor writer to do? Let the age - or sex or race - of his character be revealed gradually? I certainly see that technique being used more and more.

I like it. Not every mystery revealed has to be a crime.

Meanwhile, what's going on with dosagenerians these days? There's a mystery for you.

No April fool jest intended.

April 10, 2021
Madison IN

April fooled me today in a good way. I picked up a new book I had chosen because of a review that said it was funny at the very least. It was supposed to be about the renovation of a house in the country by and for two New Yorkers.

It is entitled Toil and Trouble but it never occurred to me it would be about witchcraft.

How could it be? Just because those were the words some of Shakespeare's witches spoke didn't mean they would apply in the same sense.

Oh, but they do, they do!

This book is very different from what I expected, and much more fun! I am a quarter of the way through Augusten Burroughs' book and he and his partner haven't even chosen a house yet. And his name didn't even used to be Augusten Burroughs, which cool name was one of the reasons I bought his book.

April Fool! Yay! What fun!

Oh, I almost forgot the sentence that made me want to write about the book:

"Her smile was so big it spread all the way over onto my face."

I bet that now you are all lit up and smiling, too.

April 9, 2021
Madison, IN

Yesterday I got what I fear was a scamming phone call rather than a simple wrong number area coded Bisbee, Arizona.

I'm saying, no there's no Gregg here, and my partner nearby immediately starts saying and gesturing hang up, hang up! so of course I don't because I don't want to be rude (that's a real person on the line!) and no is my first answer to the universe - I had to be hauled out of the womb, after all.

The questioner at the other end of the line sounds completely innocent and personable so I say, no this isn't a business and next thing I know I'm saying yes this is a residence and my partner is tearing his hair out in frustration.

What's worse than saying yes was how I said yes. It was a round, relieved, happy here-is-a-question-I-am-able-to-answer yes as wholehearted as was ever given in response to a sexual seduction.

Yes, I am in a residence.

And also yes, I check my credit card charges and bank balances against weird and invalid assaults.

And yes, I am a fool who has maybe invited the necessity for such scrutiny into my life with a phoney yes (not to mention a whole month of posts related to fools, fooling, and foolery.)

But at least there was a real person at the other end of the line. It wasn't a virtual scam.

I am not such a fool either, as to intentionally treat life like a temporary form of entertainment in which I have fun fun fun followed by the death of prison existence.

So am I a fool?

Of course I am!


April 8, 2021
Madison, IN

Yesterday there was supposed to be a book club meeting, according to a Monday email, but just to be sure I checked my e-mail again. (Or was I just planning to delete emails and stumbled upon one from our book club maven by accident? Now I'm not sure.)

At any rate, the latest email postponed the club again, so I didn't go.

More the fool I! A couple of other members hadn't got the most recent e-mail, evidently, and went ahead with a discussion I would very much have liked to hear - and join.

Frustrating.When I went to the library a week ago the meeting was unmet, and when I didn't go yesterday I missed out.

Hey, this is too much misunderstanding and miscommunication for me. I refuse to be paranoid about it, but I think I'm done.

April has fooled me once again, but I wonder if there isn't a lesson in this for me.

After all most people seem to think a book club is the biggest yawn in the universe. Even more than books.

Maybe I should find out what they are doing that is so much more fun, except I strongly suspect it is drinking and/or doing drugs.

What are people who think book clubs are boring doing for fun?

Tell me.

April Fool! Although I really want to know, I am aware you cannot respond on my site.

Lack of interactive capability is one of its flaws - or one of its virtues, depending on my mood.

April fool fool fool, foolie woolie wool.

April 7, 2021
Madison, IN

Last week and again this morning I walked through the gardens of the Lanthier Winery and it was a complete disappointing bust.

April Fool! A week ago I visited a sea of daffodils. There were so many blooms I couldn't believe there would be any room for anything else. What could there be to look forward to?

I needn't have worried. This week there's a forest of tulips - again, like last year, in awesome variety of shapes and colors, including the biggest blossoms I have ever seen. I don't know their name, but I would be tempted to call them magnolia tulips.

Visit the winery and be blinded by the redbuds and weeping cherry as well as even brighter borders of tulips.

Do that and you will be no April fool.

April 6, 2021
Madison, IN

Today after doing some mending I threw away the thread - unfortunately with the needle still attached. I searched a little in the nasty kitchen trash bag, but couldn't find it.

More the fool I, since it is one needle (perhaps the only one) that I could still use.

At this point you may be suspecting that I am unconsciously making these mistakes so that I will have something to write about.

Not at all, I have plenty to write about.

I got a bill this month which has two items on it which I will have to either dispute or rectify.

The first is a Spectrum charge which obnoxiously is trying to make us pay for a full month of service after we switched to another server. Outrageous! They may consider us fools, but we consider them robbers.

The other charge was for an annual pass to Indiana State Parks. We bought it at the gate. I'm pretty sure I had to pass over my driver's license to get it, which shows I am obviously a senior.

Imagine my surprise when I get a bill for fifty dollars! Seniors are supposed to pay $25.00.

I may be flattered if someone took me for a woman ten years younger than I am, but I'm unwilling to pay twenty-five dollars for the compliment.

It's April Foolery schulery schmulery pure and simple and I am tired of being the unwilling victim of the greed and carelessness, respectively, of others.

And April isn't even a week old!

When I told the Spectrum representative at the other end of the line that if they persisted in being so unreasonable we would never subscribe to their service again, she said mincingly, "That's your choice."

You bet it will be. I may be a fool, but I won't give them another opportunity to rip me off.

Not even if it is April.

April 5, 2021
Madison, IN

Usually I find in myself an element of folly early in the day. Today it happened at 6:00 a.m. in the tub, when I forgot to check whether I had shampoo or cream rinse in my hand and wondered why it didn't suds up properly.

April Fool! I play it on myself more often than anyone else does...

I think.... 


April 4, 2021
Madison, IN

This morning being Easter Sunday, I thought I might walk across the bridge without too much noisy traffic.

And I was almost right; not a single semi went by while I was on the bridge.

But April Fool! So many cars and small trucks have noisy souped-up engines that speeding as fast as they could up the bridge, accelerating as fast as they dared, their drivers made noisy mockery of Sunday peace.

I made it more than halfway across the bridge and enjoyed the view, at least.

The only time to walk the bridge in relative peace is in the very early morning, and thanks to the earlier-in-the-spring time change it is now light too late to beat the commuter traffic.

Again - April Fool!

April 3, 2021
Madison, Indiana

April Fool's Month celebrated itself this morning by making a fool of me for thinking I might take a walk on this sunny gorgeous day.

I discovered a leak under the kitchen sink and spent half the morning emptying dripping rusting cleaners and scourers out from under. Luckily my partner, who insists on packing the area up to the top with supplies, had a tiered system which kept the stuff that absolutely should not get wet, dry.

It's Springtime, so a good cleaning and sorting is in order anyway, I figure, but head under the sink is still not the way I planned to spend my time after laundering clothes this morning.

I think my partner will be in charge of that procedure. Between that chore and working all of Easter weekend, he is certainly not sliding through the first days of April, either.

Ah, April is the cruelest month!

P.S. I found no Easter eggs under there.

April 2, 2021
Madison, Indiana

On the second day of April my screen got integrated again. I could use it the way it was, but the big hole in the keyboard was disconcerting and when the gap is absent my thumbs get more stretchy exercise.

There is this teeny keyboard symbol to the left of and above the spacebar that I must have touched when I was drowsing, which looks impossible to touch normally. Yesterday when I tried to hit it and got the comma instead, that was my experiment for the day.

Like March, which keeps marching all month long, April promises to keep right on fooling us. It is 27 degrees out there, for pity's sake! You'd think it was Febbing out there.

The steamboat park in front of our apartment building gave me a belated April Fool experience (but now we know it is not belated at all but is going to keep happening all month long!) by appearing to be flooded.

Of course the illusion is intentional, since the play structure is a steamboat and has safe surfaces beneath it that are supposed to represent river and bank, but today I thought the park was flooded.

Whoa! I thought. How did this happen without my knowing? No warning at all - no gradual rise in water level. How could this have happened?

The "water" under the "boat" was exactly the same color as the river water and the small leafless trees around it looked like reflections in the flood. That's how.

It was a trick of the morning light. A glance at the opposite shore reassured me that no unexpected flooding was occurring.

But an April Fooling was! Yay!

Happy second day of April!

Maybe more fooling is to come on every day - and more the fool I.

April 1, 2021
Madison, Indiana

April Foolie Woolie to you,
April Foolie Woolie to you,
April Foolie Woolie dear Everybody,
April Foolie Woolie to you!

Think it's easy to write such nonsense?
Ha! You just try it with an external editor (a word processor) as well as an internal one (all the grammar teachers and red pencil markings you've ever seen.)

Without constant checking up on my external e-editor that sentence would have come out

Happy Cookie Cookie to you!

And maybe all the better. Er, batter? Er, battier?


A happy Foolish Forever to you!

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