Grand Pockets’s Blog

Genealogy, Family, Poetry and Peeves

Ice Cream in Winter and Damn the Economy

Man it is cold. I mean it is eskimo cold outside and this afternoon it was in the 40s. Now its about twelve and wind chill of “oh hell no”.  I went to Walmart and I swear to heaven when I got to the car from the store my nuts had climbed under my armpits it was so freakin’ cold.

And I’ m not too intelligent anyway – I went in a tee shirt and jeans because the wife wanted ice cream. I slipped on my tennies, a jacket and hitched my henpecked ass out the door. Okay. I love her. So into the midwestern artic I go to fetch ice cream, thinking how this is sort of like selling ice cubes to eskimoes. My wife would buy them. She’d buy them and make me dog sled to the damn outpost to fetch them back.

Ice cream. Really. If you stuck your tongue out the window for 2 seconds you’d have ice crystals – couldn’t she just sugar her tongue with a dollop of vanilla? I am not a shopper. But I went to WalMart no less. I hate WalMart. Going to Walmart in our town is like going to one of those crowded hip dance clubs where no one has room to breathe only you dance while toting a shopping cart at the WalMart ball.

I’ll give it Sam’s gang, there prices are hard to beat and in Saint Joe that’s all it takes. Cheap. Not saying Saint Joseph is economically depressed but they’re thinking of renaming the town Saint Appalachia. Akron and Detroit and other steel belt cities are bigger and depressed, too, but really they are just what Saint Joe would be if we’d ever had big industry here in the first place. At least they had something to go backward from.

So Wal-Mart makes out as house prices tumble, factories are shuttered up, and the chamber of commerce whoops it up when another burger and fry chain opens up and creates 40 new jobs at 6.50 an hour. Seems to me that’s how the American economy has gone flying off track. It’s like a national burger joint. You have one guy making a helluva lot of money off the place and 40 employees who can’t even afford the food they’re serving.That’s all right, though. If the owner mucks it up, cooks the books as well as the burgers, mis-manages the thing into the ground, fails to capitalize in new equipment and cook up food that people ask for – well, heck, he can just cry to the government that he’ll have to put those people out of their jobs – and how it isn’t his fault that people don’t want the menu he insists on offering. And after studying this in several committees and disagreeing about how many pens they’re going to use to sign the various parts of the bill and adding a few hundred pork barrel entitlements to the bill – they’ll bail out the businessmen and offer them bonuses to stay on that some small countries would love to have as their GNP.

I hope my wife reads this. She needs to see what she started – all by craving ice cream. Okay, I feel better. Ggrandpockets1ot it all off my chest – and my nuts have finally dropped back where they belong. I’m signing off and getting myself some Neopolitan.


January 10, 2009 Posted by | humor | , , | Leave a comment

Church Steeple Storm Brewing

Church Storm Brewing

Church Storm Brewing

Downtown Saint Joseph, Christ Episcopal Steeple against a Stormy Sky.

I just like the way it looked with the oil painted sky and photo-shopped picture.


January 1, 2009 Posted by | Poetry & Art | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attack of the Ice

How it all Began...

How it all Began...

Last night about 5 pm  it was 60° outside, wet and melty, this morning its all frozen solid in sheets of ice. Big icicles on the eaves and tree limbs and walking out the door is a an invitation to go “ass skating”.  The snow is melted off now so it isn’t even good sledding weather – just cold, and brown – that midwest drear that get the winter blues a-goin’. Winter is gorgeous when there is fresh snow and ice – but old snow and snow melt puddles are dirty and brackish, a Saint Jo townscape all done in browns. The orange cone monsters are out too – street crews everyhere, and those signs  “Your tax dollars at work” – proclamations that we’re too stupid to realize that for ourselves.  Six guys are working on the Belt and I see three of them sitting on the truck watching the other three work. The sign should say “Half your tax dollars at work.” That’s when I even see anyone there. Usually its just a long file of orange soldier cones congesting three lanes into one without a worker bee in sight. Our subdivision has a great idea to save money, though.  Don’t do a thing to the roads – let the potholes patrol the speed limit. Saves on road crews, tar and gravel and on police enforcement. Locals call them speed slumps.

Speed Slump at Work

Speed Slump at Work

Speed slumps are most useful – mini skating rink, local swimming hole, speed enforcement, and eventually becoming gravel quarries – at which the neighborhood will need to incorporate them and hire a personnel manager.

I write poetry at odd times and more in winter than summer since I’m inside more, I guess. All the road crews and orange cones and delays get me to thinking and I write about it:

Its winter whiteness now
preparing the roads for the season
of eternal road repair,
a slow lift and collapse like bolsheviks:
the white revolution,
fought against asphalt and pancake sidewalks
ice upended like flapjacks
come spring, like breakfast for the roadcrews
that whistle “The Great Pretender”
while they fill blacktop buckles
with tar slurry syrup
in the heat
they’ll repeat
when the cold jester follows
undoing their labor.

They tar and gravel cars here
before they salt and slosh them.
Its winter whiteness now,
except for the edges
where the myth is sullied
and dirty, gutters of exhaust
fumes made visible
our dark environmental secrets
exposed by the snows.

©Chuck Elledge2008


December 27, 2008 Posted by | humor, Poetry & Art | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Jeweler of Winter:Poetry

Winter is here. It’s colder than the proverbial well digger’s heinie outside. Already had a radiator problem and a dead battery. Just when it seems too frustrating the sun goes down and its rays are reflected off the ice crystals encrusted like diamonds on every branch, twig and brave brown shred of grass in the field across the street. The Good Father is telling me to slow down and savor it all. It’s ironic that the greatest beauty in nature goes hand in hand with the harshest weather isn’t it?  Truly Ice is…


The Jeweler of Winter

Ice is the anvil

Its hammer, the wind

As the smithy of winter

Gets busy again.

Ice sings on wires,

Makes rifles of limbs,

Rivers seem solid

But shiver within.

Frozen and flaring,

Reflecting the light,

Ice is the jeweler

Of cold winter nights.

© Chuck Elledge 2001



December 22, 2008 Posted by | Poetry & Art | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ass Skating and First Snow

ass_skatingSnow fell all through the night. I went out this morning and caught flakes on my tongue. I always do that when snow first falls. Tasting winter, my father called it. Did you ever make snow cones when you were a little kid? We used to pack the snow in plastic buckets, take it inside and scoop it into cups and pour nearly frozen kool aid over it for slushies. Then we tried mixing kool aid powder and sugar right into the snow outside. It was hard to get our concoction just right and our faces and hands would get died red and blue and be nearly frozen but it was delicious and fun.

I hope it snows enough to go sledding in Hyde Park. You ever sled on those round plastic saucers? My grandsons and I sled down the long hill in Hyde Park on them, until I am too dizzy from the darn thing spinning to stand up. Then the old man goes and sits in the car and watches the boys. Kids have no bodily thermostats. Just let them have fun and they are unaware it is cold. We seem to lose that as we get older.

Can you skate? I have tried to ice skate. I can after a fashion. I can ass skate very well. I do that on purpose. Really. It is called ass skating. I did not fall down. I am ass skating. Propulsion is the only problem with ass skating really. It is hard to make your butt wiggle enough to get going. This is why you start out on your feet then proceed to sit down and ass skate. It is NOT falling down. It is ass skating and I’ll have you know it is harder than it looks. Try to steer through a crowd of ice skaters when ass skating and you’ll see what I mean. If it gets cold enough I may gather the grandkids and go ass skating at Corby Pond. I’ll let you know about it. Someday you may even want to try it. I have to warn you though. You will need your butt rubbed after your first session of ass skating. I, of course, being the considerate guy that I am, always volunteer to take care of that for Renee as soon as we get home.

Downhill Ho!

Downhill Ho!

Slippery Slope

Slippery Slope

Orange Flyer

Orange Flyer

December 21, 2008 Posted by | family, humor | , , , , | 2 Comments