Monday, March 28, 2005

Notes From My Knapsack 04-03-05
By Jeff Gill

Spring break right after Easter with heavy rain outside can only mean one thing: Peeps in the microwave!
That’s right, put your Marshmallow Peeps (any color, bunny or bird shape) in the nuke chamber for ten seconds on low power, and watch them puff up to basketball size!
Eat after with a spoon; they deflate pretty quickly, but after the science lab stuff with six varieties of egg dye has worn out . . . or you now have 23 glasses of grey colored water . . . inflated peepery is pretty darn fun.
Then it’s 10 am, and the day looms ahead, with more rain.
So the Little Guy and I will likely hit the Columbus Zoo (the aquarium could care less about precipitation), along with The Works, staffing the William Kraner Nature Center out Flint Ridge way for a volunteer afternoon with Licking Park District, and the bird viewing room at Dawes Arboretum.
It’ll stop raining by the time we’ve finished all that, right?
We have been working on our card manufacturing, too, covering the dining room table (“so what’s new?” asks the Lovely Wife) with paper, early attempts, and triumphant works of festive greeting art. Hallmark quakes with fear in their Kansas City citadel, as we laugh away commercial sentiments in favor of colored pencils, crayon, marker, and watercolor vistas (can you say “mixed media”?) surrounding unrhymed truisms as direct as any display rack can provide.
St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and First Day of Spring Break cards have all gone into production in Little Guy Studios, with Time Change cards our next project.
(We interrupt this homey meandering with a public service reminder: set clocks forward Saturday night, prepare coffee-maker for painful recurring darkness at wake-up, and change your batteries in smoke detectors, testing them and your CO sensors with a quick “bzzzz.” We now return you to the sentimentality, already in progress.)
But first, a Fiftieth Anniversary card for my beloved’s parents, united in marriage on what was, this year, Easter day! The design for this salute is a bigger challenge, since no one he knows well has hit this big 5-Oh. My own folks, currently basting and marinating in Rio Grande heat, are just a couple years off their own Golden Occasion, and of course we Loving Parents are only on the brink of their twentieth, not even worth a capitalization.
On the other hand, 20 years ain’t too shabby nowadays, and we might just celebrate it anyhow. Keeping a marriage in good repair is an art form that some say is fading, and even our 30 years less than a Fiftieth can draw the occasional “what’s your secret to a good marriage?” query.
To which I answer: we have . . .oh, sorry, the sun just came out and we’re getting out of the house and away from the keyboard! Answers next week, or if you have your own tips, send ‘em in and I’ll post ‘em up here along with our own. Go ahead, write my column for me, I dare you! (Paging Tom Sawyer, Tom Sawyer to the front desk . . .)
Send your thoughts to, and they’ll go in the knapsack until we finish Spring Break and get this kid back into school, when I can go back to bloviating beyond my word limit.
And don’t forget to set your clocks forward.

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