We Didn’t Start the Fire


We Didn’t Start the Fire

Ravens and marmots and bears, oh my! I’m writing this post on the afternoon of Anne’s birthday. The Grand Canyon does not have bears, but it does have mountain lions. We saw a yellow, diagonal, crossing sign for them, but I doubt any self-respecting mountain lion would come anywhere near where we are camping in the park, too many people. What we do have are ravens and in abundance. Grok! Grok! They too like to prey upon humans. With all of our high calorie foods and most people’s general messiness, we represent a bonanza to them. We saw a trio of ravens swoop down on a neighbor’s campsite, after they drove off. Unfortunately for the birds, our neighbors are tidy folk. In addition to food, ravens are also attracted to shiny things, think car keys. So far, we’ve managed to fend off these large black birds. Tomorrow, we face an epic drive to Sequoia National Park, where there are bears. In preparation, I had packed my bear spray, until I read that bear spray is illegal in Sequoia. I imagine that our campsite there will have a bear box. There are only black bears in the park, no grizzlies, but unlike anywhere else in this country where with black bears you can store your food in your car, Californians have taught their bears that cars are just giant tin cans full of food and fortunately for the bears, nature has equipped them with five giant can openers per paw. We’ll have to be aware of the bears, but what I’m really worried about there are the marmots. Marmots are large rodents and are not usually a problem, but Sequoia’s marmots have developed a taste for ethane glycol, think antifreeze. Poisonous, it still tastes sweet. When we first moved to Saint Louis there was a crime story about a wife that had murdered her three husbands by spiking their beer with radiator fluid. After the third one died, the coroner finally wised up. It was said of the two previous husbands, after they exhumed that they were unusually well preserved. Anyway, back to the marmots. They like to gnaw on radiator hoses. The NPS instructions for starting your car sound eerily familiar to those that you might follow if you’ve crossed the mafia. “First turn the key to accessory, before engaging the ignition. Check the warning lights. If everything looks OK, turn on the ignition. At any sign of trouble turn the car off.” The NPS also recommends that you wrap the undercarriage in a tarp. I don’t think that we will be in the vicinity of the marmot problem area, but unwitting Californians have been transporting problem marmots about the park. It will be an adventure.

M Is for the Many Things She Gave Me

Flowers for Mom

The original lyrics were written in 1915 by Howard Johnson and the song is titled Mother: It turns out that Howard Johnson also wrote, “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream”.

M Is for the Many things she gave me,
O Means only that she’s growing Old.
T Is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H Is for her Heart of purest gold.
E Is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R Means Right and Right she’ll always be.

Put them all together, They spell MOTHER

A word that means the world to me.

The picture with this post is of some flowers for Mother.

This is a repost of a post that was written several years ago. It was written for my mother, but also for my mother-in-law. My mother had passed away, and now recently, so has my mother-in-law. Actually, Gene, my mother-in-law really owns this post. Her three lovely daughters grew up singing this song to her, much to her chagrin. Maybe this parody of the Mother song that I found on the internet, is closer to what she hears when the original lyrics are sung:

M is for the many things she gave me
O is for the other things she gave me
T is for the things she gave me
H is for her things, which she gave me
E is for everything she gave me
R is for the rest of the things she gave me

Anne asked me not to originally post this post for fear of the pain that it might cause her mother. I only heard her childhood guilt speaking. In truth it is I who should feel guilty, because it is my naked ambition that drives this post. My informed readers might ask, how is this different? Since, ’09 this post has been a gold mine of blog hits. Every April it begins. In May, it begins to crest and come Sunday, interest will peak and then crash. That is why now is when I should act. I just did a google search looking for the author of this song. I typed in, “M is for the many things she gave me lyrics” and RegenAxe is the number one website returned. I feel lucky. Thank you, Mother.

To all of the forlorn sons and daughters that have found the previous post, the poem MOTHER is in the public domain. It is an old troupe, much copied, but it is free to use. If you are emailing your mom, I cannot compete with the simple cut and paste. If you are willing to go the extra mile, I offer this advice. Say, “I love you Mom.” Praise her. Say she looks nice, say she said something interesting. Tell her something you did that would make her proud. This last is the toughest, but is the one that will make her the happiest on Mother’s Day.