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Gwin Mitchell Paden Back after a great party — and a not-so-great bite

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Gwin Paden

Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 12:00 am

Well, I'm back after a hectic two months. April was, of course, largely taken up with plans for my 90th birthday (these days, 90 is nothing of an age) and arrangements to celebrate with various groups of friends here and there, so as many people could be included as possible. If I had invited all the people I wanted to the actual party, we would have to have rented the Grape Pavilion! Not possible, unfortunately.

Anyway, it was a great occasion, and I am grateful to my family for providing it.

What followed was not so great. Over the years, Toby Cat has had occasion to nip me if he doesn't like what my hands are doing. Nothing much to this: soap and water, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic ointment, and a Band-Aid. But the latest occasion was a Bite, deep and painful. My hand swelled to twice its size, so that meant seeing a doctor, a tetanus shot and strong antibiotics. The hand went down rapidly in four days, but I am so sensitive to medicines that the antibiotics were affecting me in many ways, so was taken off them quickly. I am still having fallout after two weeks, and I simply have not been able to think too clearly or write, let alone have the energy to do so.

Toby paid a price, too. He had been quarantined to the house for 10 days, and lack of outdoor exercise caused him some problems, which meant a trip to the vet for treatment and observation. He's home now, and seems fine. I guess in cat years he is about 98. We're a fine pair!


Whatever else has been going on, the garden has been blooming nicely — lots of roses and bushes vying for attention from hummingbirds and butterflies. Unfortunately, carpenter bees are around, too. Not enough honeybees. Because of all the wind, there is always mess to clean up, too. But the mockingbirds are back, and sing almost constantly, bless 'em. Gardener John has really been working at revamping places that have been left alone too long and need cleaning out.

Of course, during all the hurrah about my hand, the city chose to present me with the water meter box. Since the connection was way back at the back of the house, the crew had to hand dig a trench down the west side through all the roots of about five large trees. They also had to dig up a lot of the brick sidewalk. I will say this: they put everything back very nicely. Whoever worked in my yard that day certainly earned his pay!


Lest I forget: Seems I had a list of words in the last column, some of which were misspelled. Here's the list of those, corrected: carburetor, environment, seizure, questionnaire, superintendent, accommodation, all right, gauge. Hope you all did well! English has never been an easy language; so many of its words having come in from many other languages, and logic as to spelling and sound does not always apply.

That's about it for now. Sorry this is kind of heavy-handed, but things will lighten up. To prove it, here's a couple to end on:

People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention.

Somebody once figured out that we have 35 million laws trying to enforce the Ten Commandments.

Gwin Paden has been around town since 1957, and has been busy with several careers and active in a number of community organizations. It's been a good ride, shared with a lot of good friends. You can reach her at

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