This is such a wonderful day! It may be cold on the
outside, but I am feeling all warm and fuzzy on the
inside! We were finished with work at four o’clock
and we all felt like ‘prisoners being released!’
Or as one young fellow coworker exclaimed, “There’s
light outside! This feels like school’s out for the
summertime!” We chuckled along with him, amused by
his enthusiasm. The elderly security guard and I
exchanged a knowing glance.
After I warmed up my car for a good ten minutes to
get the temperature to come up to ‘cold’ the car
thermometer that I assume measures the outside
temp, read “9 degrees.” Not at all registering
the ‘wind chill factor’ outside.
I was concerned when I spotted a young man from
work, walking away from town, so I pulled over
and stopped. His name is Cody, he said, as he
so graciously thanked me before I even took him
I told him that I was only on my way to the library
and that I used to take a nice young man named David
home. I began to tell him about how my youngest
daughter, Felicia, was friends with the singing group
that he was in. That their name was “Team KNYCE.”
He was nodding his head and smiling before I got any
farther. He knew David and had heard the group play
at one of the VFW’s. I asked, mainly out of curiosity,
“How did that audience respond?”
The group includes an eclectic musical style with
some rap but have a little rhythm and blues, with some
hip hop music woven in, too.)
Cody laughed a bit, “I know what you are getting at!
There was quite a mixture of ages and levels of
But a good crowd of local followers were also there.”
I told him that I had been so happy about their tour
last summer, wondered how they all were? I told him
I have known Josh Moore, the lead singer, since he was
in middle school with Felicia.
By the time we got to his grandmother’s house and he
offered me $5 (of course, I declined this generous
offer!) we had become closer than if we had worked
across from each other all week. Cody is a new heavy
bulk worker. I told him to “Hang in there, with the
job! Or at least until what your chosen field comes
around. The pay isn’t too bad, in this tough economy.
Oh, and say ‘Hi from Robin to the boys,’ if you
remember to, next time they are singing here locally.”
(This story makes more sense when you check out the
rap group Team KNYCE and my story, “Local Musicians.”)
Here are two stories that have had conclusions recently
that some of my faithful readers may be interested in
hearing the results. The oldest ‘loose end’ I traced
a lead and got a response back. I had written “Chasing
Shadows of the Past,” about a long ago student who my
mother had taught, had been to our home and become a
friend to me, later a pen pal.
His name was on a bulletin board around Veteran’s
Day, (my gosh, how time flies!) and my Mom and I
had gone to the front desk of the senior apartments,
found out this man’s room number and taken along her
dog, Nicki, along for the trek to the assisted living
wing of the building.
Just to fill in folks who may not have heard about
this, we had thought that the age of the man in
the picture made him a cohort of my mother’s age,
but we had hoped that he had a son my age with the
same first and last name. It had turned out to be
a rather nice conversation with the ‘wrong’ man!
He did give us the lead of another man with the
same last name, but a different middle initial.
This man was living in Mentor or Medina, he said
and was a doctor. Apparently his mail was going to
his son’s and vice versa, both living in the same
Well, I left a message on Facebook on the page
that allows visitors and onlookers. It was not
answered. I waited until I had time over the
next visit with Mom, Thanksgiving, to try and
get a phone call made, using a local phone
directory. I found a doctor’s office with this
man’s name attached to it. I left a voice message
on their answering machine, mentioning that possibly
my mother had been his teacher, her name is rather
unusual, Mrs. Oldrieve.
I did not bother to leave my Mom’s phone number
since she may totally blank out, forget our quest
for her old student and everything would be for
Anyway, on this brisk, freezing cold Winter’s
day, I received a very pleasant message on my
cell phone. The man who graduated from Westlake
High School, had my mother for both Spanish
and World Literature classes, who had exchanged
several letters and visited for a few holidays
to talk presumably to her, but also including
me, left me his details!
The details included his family’s phone number.
Jim is married and has two grown children. He was
very warm in his message and requested that we all
wait until Spring, when he would enjoy coming over
to sit outside with Mom, Nicki, his wife and me.
I eagerly look forward to uniting my Mom with one
of her favorite students, exchanging life stories,
revelations and engage in a lively conversation. It
was very fun having that open-ended ‘maybe?’ out
there for awhile, since I still have two of his
pictures, one his senior high school and the other
one from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
The last loose end is from a recent story about
work safety and a recent ‘rant’ about administration
in my distribution center.
I am not sure if there was a personal visit from the
Fire Chief, if there was someone sent from their
department or if just a phone call took care of my
The action was carried out over the weekend!
There is no longer a black trash bag over the
only direct EXIT sign in an area delineated or
named the ‘bomb shelter.’ I work above this
circle where the pallet riders pick up flammable
fluids in cases and aerosol cans in bulk. I am
usually above, filling hampers with aerosol cans
that are being sent out in singles or six packs.
With such flammable products, I had been concerned
about the exit sign being covered and the door
having a sign that said, “Do Not Use This Door
As An Exit.” This had been going on for a month
now. We had an opportunity with that safety
meeting for me to mention this dangerous
The door has been newly painted red!
It has a sign posted, “For Emergency Only,
Alarm Will Sound When Door is Opened.”
Sometimes, I found out, you have to ‘rock that boat’
to get some waves (or actions!)
A poster on my college dorm wall held an appropriate,
short, but sweet message that seems rather apropos:
“Behold the turtle!
It only makes progress,
by sticking its neck out!”