Hello October

Temps have been in the 60’s – great gardening weather. Plants have been moved, shrubs trimmed, plastic fencing is up and anchored, daffodil bulbs planted, and 103 potted plants are in the ground for next year’s plant sale. I have maybe two more sessions of deadheading, and the list is done. Rain is forecasted for the next two days so everything gets watered by Mother Nature. Life is good.

As we head into October, the subject of flu shots rise to the surface. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of a flu shot, but I saw this USA headline and had to laugh. They actually went back 100 years to find a headline to scare us with?

I’m so vintage I remember when I tuned in to hear and see the news. Now, we’ve seen and heard it a dozen times on line, and they need something to intimidate us with so we’ll stop. I’m to the point I just laugh and move on.

Maybe as I get older my sense of humor is warping or maybe if truth be told I’ve always had a warped sense of humor. Either way,Β I’m currently reading a mystery by Lisa Gardner, and the handwriting expert was analyzing a particular note that has been written in cursive.

As the expert was summarizing the characteristics that might help lead to the offender, he commented,Β “I mean no one learns to write this beautifully without wearing a plaid uniform and being beaten by a nun.”Β I almost spit my coffee out. Yes, I wore that plaid uniform skirt, was slapped once by a nun, scared too many times over twelve years to count, and to this day have good cursive handwriting.

Times have dramatically changed and everything is done on a keyboard. In most cases our grandchildren’s generation won’t be able to read a letter written in cursive unless a check is included, and then they’d figure it out by checking the numbers. But, even writing a check is outdated because we transfer money these days using our phones.

My husband and I ate lunch out last week, and to our left, a mother and her son were talking while they ate. There wasn’t a phone in sight. They were not only talking, but playing math games on a piece of paper. I know it was impolite, but I stared. I couldn’t believe it – talking, smiling, looking each other in the eye.

Down the road, some think tank will issue a report that costs tax payers $,$$$,$$$ telling us that we’d be healthier, mentally and physically, if only we put down our devices and talked and listened to each other, like in person. Imagine that. Who knew? πŸ™‚

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in New England and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to Hello October

  1. Nancy says:

    You speak the truth!

    When we go out… my phone stays in the purse…!
    (Unless I have to check on a score for my beloved Buckeyes! Lol!)
    Happy October to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said. I saw a similar headline but it was about the plagues caused by rats.
    I do think people can get addicted to their cell phones or computers — that urgent need to find out what’s going on, or fear of missing out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was doing errands this morning and making sure I checked the crosswalks for people. I see a lady waiting, I stop, she waves, starts walking, and then scrolls her phone the entire time across the road. Really? She can’t cross the two-lane road without checking her phone? It just blows me away how addicted the younger generations are to their phones. I wonder if down the road, we’ll have an AA type organization dedicated to those who can’t put their phone down.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan Antion says:

    This autumn pick-me-up is just the thing I needed to read while enjoying a fresh coffee.

    I didn’t attend Catholic school, but we went to a local convent for their annual Polish dinner. There was a raffle (of course) and I bought $10 worth of tickets. As I started to fill them out, the good Sister saw they way I was holding the pen, and slapped my hand. My wife, who had gone to Catholic school just laughed.

    Seeing the mother and son talking and playing a game on paper was a rare treat. That’s like seeing a soon-to-be-extinct animal in the wild. I’m sure that study is coming, and we’re all doomed.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Thanks for the humor this Monday morning!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy October! I had to laugh about the cell phones. And don’t get me started on cursive writing (I said while tapping away on my computer)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Who knew, indeed? Happy autumn! Phew, you’ve done a lot of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pastpeter says:

    Glad the weather is more comfortable for garden chores. The lower humidity now is a blessing. Our generation learned cursive, with or without nuns. But my sons’ generation have yet to master joined-up writing, even the English prof! Happy Fall! We are still 10-15deg warmer than you, and no colors in the trees yet. But the flower garden is fading fast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you ever in your wildest imagination thing we would stop writing by hand as a society? It never occurred to me we wouldn’t ‘write’ and only key letters. I’ve always been a fast touch typist so I enjoy that, but hand writing something was just part of life. My but if you live long enough things sure change. We are seeing very little color right now. Apparently, there is a little more up north, but it is still 90% green here.


  8. Suzanne says:

    Nothing like temperatures in the 60’s to encourage a little lighthearted post. Thanks for the chuckle and send some cool air my way. So. FL is still in the 90’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Joyce says:

    LOL!!!! I write like a nun, too! Thinking back, it’s amazing the stuff nuns got away with (beating on kids, etc) without intervention by parents who, likely, were also products of Catholic schools! I lived in fear of them from K-8th grade, and then an additional few in high school – and college! I don’t regret my education, though. I write cursive well enough to author an instruction book, have NEVER been late for an appointment, and have a healthy respect for “the fires of hell!” They say God knows in advance what each of us needs to save our souls – for you and me, I guess, he picked out fearsome nuns! Love you, Judy! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you’d get a chuckle out of that quote. Hit home didn’t it? πŸ™‚ You are correct – good education, great cursive skills, appreciation for time, and by all means consider the fires of hell when you make a decision. To this day, if someone gives me too much change, no matter how little, I take it back. And, out of my mouth rolls “I’m not going to hell for that.” πŸ™‚


  10. Mary says:

    Great post Judy – it’s nice when people actually are present when they are conversing instead of having their noses plastered to a screen. My nephew is up in NH right now doing the Appalachian Trail hike and today is expected to hike up to Mt. Washington, did Mt. Madison yesterday. He said the leaves are gorgeous. You live in the most gorgeous part of the US – enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Almost Iowa says:

    It is in the 40’s here – with temps bouncing off the low 30’s. So now is the time to wander in the vegetable garden and evaluate what worked and what did not. We do that every year. So here is the scorecard:

    Sunflowers; worked.
    Volunteer squash: worked too well. How to stop from working?
    Cherry tomatoes: worked but were had to get at because of the asparagus.
    Asparagus: needs to learn manners.
    Broccoli: plant more.
    Beets: plant less – like none.
    Wild onions: spectacular success! Made for fabulous omelets.

    Minority opinion (from the one who refuses to weed because she might step on a snake)

    Plant less broccoli and more beets – and for pity sake, do something about those horrible wild onions.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Murphy's Law says:

    You nailed it my friend, and gave me a good laugh to boot! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I went to public school, and those teachers were as bad as your nuns. Two in particular….one would walk around classroom and crack you across the knuckles with a wooden ruler if she didn’t like the way you held your pen.

    The other one would grab hold of your pen and pull up. If you were holding the pen too tightly, causing your hand to raise up, you were in for a 1 hour detention after school, where you wrote I WILL HOLD MY PEN PROPERLY for the entire hour! 😑

    But we damn well learned to write cursive, and legibly!! At 79 I still get complimented on my handwriting. Of course, that’s ALL I get complimented on. πŸ˜³πŸ€—

    As for the scare tactics regarding getting flu shots and a multitude of other things, I try to use common sense, practice good hygiene and live a reasonably healthy life.

    Glad the yard work is almost done. Enjoy this beautiful weather, including a bit of rain we all can handle.

    Wish you had gotten a video of the mother and son having lunch, talking to each other, playing a MATH game, and enjoying themselves. If you posted it, it would have gone viral, and maybe even ‘caught on’!! Wouldn’t that be something?!!
    πŸ”Ή Ginger πŸ”Ή

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was so struck by the two of them having a conversation, smiling, laughing, and doing math at the same time, I considered going over and telling her how impressed I was. Then, I thought she’d think who is this crazy woman talking to me about my son and I having lunch. But, as you look around a restaurant people just don’t talk anymore. Everyone, even the toddlers have some sort of electronic device in their hand that is taking all of their attention. To me it is sad and a loss, but they seem to enjoy living on the net.


  13. I put my phone away and only take it out to snap a photo of food when we’re going out, but really I’m so hungry by the time the food arrives that I forget to take the photo most the time!

    I was thrilled to see our elementary school is still teaching the D’nealion alphabet so cursive should come easier or naturally when printing. I hope! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Joanne Sisco says:

    β€œI mean no one learns to write this beautifully without wearing a plaid uniform and being beaten by a nun.” I snorted when I read that line! My uniform was solid navy rather than plaid but yes, I had my knuckles rapped more than a few times at Catholic school. I must say that handwriting is one thing I do very well!

    One hundred and three potted plants put in the ground?! I’m ashamed of how little I’ve done in comparison … but every day I look at the yard and imagine it finished πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sue Harvey says:

    Some of the best advocates and encouragers I ever had were nuns. Have had the opportunity to thank a few. Wish I’d thanked and hugged a few others before they were gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I would really welcome temperatures in the 60’s. It’s been a steady 90 degrees or more since we returned from the UK. Much too hot for gardening, although brave hubby does venture out there some days. I think cell phones should be banned at meal times. I love chatting face to face over a nice dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. germac4 says:

    That is some impressive gardening Judy.. ..and in spring you will get your reward πŸ˜€πŸ‘Œand yes, even in the middle of Africa where I grew up, the nuns used to go overboard about handwriting …no one dreamt we would use computers & not need cursive handwriting! Life was so simple then. And yes, I’ve seen people crossing the road looking at their phones…Crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. My grandchildren are home schooled and learning cursive….they will no doubt be anthropologists! So vintage….I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. joey says:

    I share your sense of humor with these statements.
    My brief Catholic school time still makes me feel guilty that I don’t hold the pen right. I’ve tried to accept myself, but I still feel guilty. My writer’s bump is on my fourth finger. While I know God loves me anyway, I know Sister Cecilia does not.
    It could happen again, that flu. Or aliens could land. Or the sun could stop shinin. Any number of things, I reckon. That ad is just a wee bit over the top! Not how I’d motivate the public at large.
    Sometimes we eat out and while we do use our phones at first, to take pictures of one another and the food, we don’t actually eat our meal with phones out. One of my teenagers has been living without a phone for a good six months. She ain’t dead. She will probably be more careful with her next phone, too πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I hadn’t thought about a writer’s bump. Mine is on my third finger. πŸ™‚ Six months with no phone, and she’s alive. Who knew a teenager could last that long. She’ll be telling that story the rest of her life. πŸ™‚


  21. I didn’t attend Catholic school but that line made me laugh. I can just see a nun hovering over her little charges as they practice their penmanship. A bit off the subject but I remember REFUSING to take a typing class that was offered in elementary school because I WAS NOT GOING TO BE A SECRETARY!!! Haha, the joke was on me… I had no idea way back then (in the 60s) that everyone would be using a keyboard, not just secretaries (which I don’t think exist anymore, anyway).

    Liked by 1 person

    • You brought up a potential post – learning to type in the 60’s. I had a good chuckle just thinking back. Yes, I think the days of a secretary taking care of all the paperwork for the boss are over and mostly because of the ability for each to do their own paperwork via electronic device. Interesting how that has evolved.


  22. tonytomeo says:

    Have you tried to explain how telephones used to work to young people? My little sisters did not know how to operate the old rotary telephone in my desk (next to my typewriter). They were fascinated by the weight and bulk of it, and the wire that kept the whole contraption from getting too far from the desk. They asked how I knew who was calling when it rang. I tried to explain that when I was their age, that in order for my grandmother to telephone my great grandmother, she had to telephone a long distance operator in San Jose who would then telephone a long distance operator in Tulsa who would then telephone another . . . . and so on . . . until a connection was made to a group of telephones near Bugtussle where one never knew who would answer. We had to write a letter to my great grandmother in advance to tell her when we would call, so that she knew to answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Oddment says:

    What a history book is in these comments! My phone remains a little flip-top that is a total embarrassment to my grandchildren, and I’m grateful for it in emergencies, but I prefer the world around me, and I have lost all patience with drivers who THINK they can phone while they drive.

    I never wore a uniform, but I clearly remember a moment in penmanship (for real) class when Sister said, in obvious exasperation, “Who taught you to write?” I almost answered, “You did, Sister.” She scared the anklets off me, so I kept my wise-guy answer to myself. Many years later, I was shocked to discover she was a totally delightful person. These days I think of her because I’m trying to go back to cursive as a way to regain some skills with my right hand. Life often turns us back.

    Yes, there was corporal punishment, and it will ever be a blight on those schools. I think the sisters were not treated very well either.

    And, yes, there was a time we actually “tuned in” to the news. Now we can’t get away from it. I completely agree with you that we are awash in sensational headlines. Fear sells.

    Fortunately, there are gardens and gardeners, so some parts of life make sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The comments have been great. My husband has a flip phone, and it works for him, has reception wherever he goes and costs less than $10 a month. Those of us with the ‘smart’ phones can’t say that all the time and never ever has it cost $10 a month. I love ‘scared the anklets off me’ because that certainly applied. Some of the things that were acceptable in school then would warrant a 911 call today. I glance at the news because that is all my mind can take. Plants I understand and can appreciate their calming influence.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I don’t know about the American school curriculum, but here in Australia we still teach handwriting as a part of English studies. In the early years it’s printing and from Year Two cursive writing is taught and practised daily. So hopefully your prediction that our grandchildren won’t be able to read cursive writing won’t come true. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  25. KerryCan says:

    I can’t believe you’re done all your garden chores . . . wish I could say the same! It’s been pretty rainy here or at least that’s my excuse. I’m getting my flu shot tomorrow–yay.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve had rain for a three days now, so I’m really glad I got all those plants in the ground. I have a couple of things to get in the barn but they have wheels. πŸ™‚ Yep, flu shot is on our schedule as well. My husband has a few lung issues so we feel it’s better to be safe than sorry.


  26. bikerchick57 says:

    It really is too bad that the younger crowd does not know cursive. It’s a beautiful way of writing that I hope never truly dies.

    Great story about the mom and son engaged with each other and not the cell phone. In my case, I get so addicted to what it tells me – the weather, Facebook updates, blog comments, etc. – that it’s difficult to leave it alone. But with this post, I will try very hard to do so the rest of this week. Thanks for the nudge, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Today’s phone is something else – a computer in your hand or pocket wherever you are. I just wonder sometimes about what families are losing by not talking to each other. Maybe I’m just comparing it to the childhood of yesterday and I shouldn’t. Do what works for you. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I haven’t read, watched, or listened to the news in years, and have been a far happier person. But it gives you an odd perspective on other people: how sad and tired and frightened they seem all the time. They must have heard some horrifying things in the last five years that never materialised in the real world!
    It’s a nicer place most of the time without the editorial spin of the media.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. It’s such a funny balance for us bloggers, isn’t it? I think about this sometimes. We are helping to figure out how to best use technology to create social circles and will be passing that info on to the next generation. They will no doubt improve the process further. Yet, like anything in life. Moderation is important. We have a responsibility to teach young people the power of the technology and how to set their own limits around it.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The only phone booths some may know about these days are from “Dr. Who” or “Superman” (although does the latter even use phone booths anymore?) I was encouraged by the story of the mother and son. I have my phone with me all the time for photo ops, but I try not to be on it all the time for other things and the same thing for my laptop at home. Speaking of that, it’s time to have some breakfast and finish getting ready for church. Have a blessed Sunday, Judy.


    Liked by 1 person

  30. We don’t really know until an expert tells us. Smart phones and the internet seem to be the ultimate sort of devil’s bargain.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Tina Schell says:

    LOL Judy. I loved the line about the plaid skirt. Me too!!! I got my ear pulled from one room to the next. Seriously?!?!? My granddaughter’s school dropped cursive 2 years ago. Guess no more signatures. She did send me a hand-printed letter tho, which made me smile (she’s 11)

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Karen says:

    To have so many chores behind you must be a relief this time of the year. You work so hard, I hope you now get lots of time to enjoy your lovely New Hampshire fall. I guess I march to a different drummer as I have a cell phone but never use it. As to the flu shot, my husband and I get them early every year right before we head off on vacation as flying is the easiest place to catch something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If there is a research report on people who have smart phones and don’t use them for making calls, I’d be at the top of the list. It’s a great in your bag computer, gps, and camera. πŸ™‚ The photos from up north are beautiful. It’s still green down here with very little color. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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