default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Did you hear the one about the scarecrow? Plus other seasonal gleanings

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:24 am, Sat Nov 3, 2012.

In a recent copy of the Lodi News-Sentinel, there was a quotation from John Muir saying that he had never seen a discontented tree.

Well, I have. If the wind and rain hadn't come along when they did, I'd swear my pin oak tree would have torn its considerable roots out of the ground and stamped its feet. It was time for the children to leave home, and they just hung on and hung on, acquiring aphids along the way. Finally, they got the idea, and while there are still a lot more on the tree than on the ground, they are finally moving out. The parent tree wants its winter rest and a respite from leaf-sitting.

Even while leaves are falling, some plants just keep on flowering; roses, of course, and pineapple sage, among others. And the toad lilies have just finished. When I saw their picture in a catalog, I thought they would be as large as day lilies and blooming the same way — large blossoms on strong stems. Instead, they turned out to be small flowers strung along slender, bending stems. They are creamy white, with little purple spots, and they add their own tone to the garden, not having to compete with their larger, brighter cousins.


Something really thoughtful and generous is going on in Lodi. There is a group that calls itself the Lodi Cash Mob, which, once a month, selects a local small business to support by making purchases there and urging others to do the same. This can be a real help to a small business owner, who can be really struggling to keep going in the face of local, county, state and federal rules and restrictions. It is very important to keep small businesses going. They are the backbone of this county.

People who are brave enough to go into business for themselves spring from the same independent, responsible stock that left all they knew and moved west to grow the country. I wonder how many of us could do that today; how many have the vision and the endurance to cope with hardships instead of sitting around whining when they can't have what they want.


"Quite expensive, quite expensive," my washing machine remarked as it was swirling a load of clothes this morning. True enough, I thought as I coddled it through its paces. (My various appliances speak to me from time to time.) The washer, dryer and refrigerator are really quite elderly, but they work, and are probably better built than anything new. (I must cross my fingers and whisper a blessing on them lest they decide to stop working and retire — just because I'm talking about them.)

I don't think about it often, but when I was born and brought up, there were no washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, DustBusters, TVs, electric typewriters. Radio was just coming into most homes, and of course there were telephones and electric lights and very elementary and cumbersome vacuum cleaners. Computers and all their electronic spawn weren't in the general ideas of anyone — except the scientists who were forging the way ahead.

I'm all for labor-saving devices, but some of the stuff now in use smacks of gadflies more than anything else. Ah, yes — I am indeed growing old!


This weekend, we have the Sandhill Crane Festival, Nov. 2-4, headquartered at Hutchins Street Square and including tours featuring the cranes, other birds and wildlife, photography, and Bald Eagle boating tours and kayak tours. Of course, there will be vendors, presentations, workshops, live animal shows, and music and dancing. For more information and tour times, call 800-581-6150 or email info@cranefestival.com.

And then there's Veterans Day, remarked by the date, time and year when the World War I Armistice was signed. The annual ceremony will be observed at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the American Legion Hall, and of course the commemoration has grown far beyond the original observance. Ironically, the war to end all wars didn't do that; we have been engaged in some kind of war ever since — with peaceful respites in between now and then.

Please plan to come; this is another welding of the country like Patriot Day. Call 209-368-1420 from 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays (except Mondays) for more information.


Can you stand another one? Thinking of Hallowe'en, what kind of music do ghosts dance to?

Soul music, of course! And, if you coped with that one, tell me: Why did the scarecrow win so many awards? Because he was out-standing in his field! But then, you knew that!

Gwin Paden is a former newspaper reporter and teacher who takes a lively interest in Lodi and its happenings.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 1 hour ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Chuckle, I don't know how many times you have muttered (in so many words) you are on the side of those who are opposed to an armed society…


Posted 1 hour ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

And those of you planning a trip to Phoenix. It's one of the most bicycle unfriendly metro areas. I suggest a rear view mirror on your helm…


Posted 1 hour ago by Brian Dockter.

article: Steve Hansen: Driving through the gaunt…

Steve, I sympathize with you. However, the Phoenix, AZ metro area is the red light running capital of the country from what I hear. The pau…


Posted 2 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: Eat at Chili’s to help Raymond …

Why is it that people such as that below who claim to have a belief in God and throw around their religious beliefs are the ones most likel…


Posted 2 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Letter: No one’s faith should be scorned

The hypocrisy here is just amazing. One only has to enter the name of this letter writer into the Lodi paper search and find all of the …



Popular Stories



Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists