HLRGazette Archives

Relive some of our best stories.

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Holly Lake Effect

E-mail Print PDF
On Making Lists:
Way back when-sometime be
fore the 21st century that is-
people went to the store with lists. They weren't ashamed of those lists either, didn't try to hide them under their raincoats or sneak a look down into a jacket pocket where just the top of the list would show. People just plain depended on those lists and they didn't care who knew it.
Well today the whole list thing has taken on a new meaning. First place, most lists are on little screens that are part of an intricate wireless method of communication. The little screen, when a button is pushed, will say things like "one dozen eggs, brown....milk...biscuit mix...Gorilla Glue..." stuff like that. Essentials. Stuff no household can do without for long. It's ok to carry one of those little machines around with you and consult it in public because everybody thinks you are getting ready to talk over your cell phone which is acceptable practice everywhere except maybe in church or at the opera. So if you don't have one of those electronic reminding machines, you can, in fact, talk over your cell phone as you pause somewhere between the leaf lettuce and the mangoes (4 for a dollar). You can then ask your daughter or your husband or the maid what you were supposed to bring home from the grocery. Nobody in his or her right mind would drag a crumpled piece of paper out of a pocket, squint at it, put on their glasses and then start their cruise through the grocery aisles.
Now if you happen to be of those who still depends on archaic methods to get along, you might be one of the few list toters who isn't ashamed to peruse it in a public place. I did that the other day. I dug in my pocket, panicked for a moment as I didn't feel anything there except a second hand paper nose wiper, and finally touched a somewhat crisper piece of paper which "ah-ha!" I thought happily, was my list. I dragged it out, walked over to the light and read "two gallons" but I couldn't decipher the rest. Two gallons of what? Couldn't be milk. I don't drink that much in a year and I haven't had a cat since the one that scratched the president of the civic club and had to be taken to the SPCA. That was ten years ago. Two gallons of what? Oh well , next item. I figured that given time, the whole thing would eventually come clear to me. Box of golden raisins. I thought I'd wandered into a dream world. Was this somebody else's list I'd taken by accident? Was this some body else's jacket? Nope, mine is the one with the last button missing. Golden raisins? I seemed to recall that "sure cure" for arthritis popular back in the early nineties-what was it-a bottle of gin and a box of golden raisins not to be consumed all at one sitting. I think I ate them and got rid of a dozen sets of symptoms I didn't even know I had.
Well to continue with the list: "Nasturtium Seeds" (I didn't even know I knew how to spell that), "Three in One Oil" (do they still make that?), paper towels, large flower pot (nothing about color or style), shoes. This can't be a grocery list. What kind of shoes? I'm sure I don't need shoes. This had to be a list from long ago, back in the days when my toes were showing through the front of at least one pair of shoes that I periodically mended with black linen thread. I haven't needed most of this stuff for eons. I dug in my other pocket. Hallelulia! Another list. Much cleaner and crisper than the first one. Stuff I recognize. "Frozen dinners...frozen biscuits...frozen peaches...frozen waffles..." What would I do without a freezer? What did I used to do without a freezer? Then the list would have read (probably) fresh spinach, potatoes, apples, flour, sugar, baking powder (the things you make waffles and biscuits with)
Meanwhile I can continue with my shopping, the authentic list firmly in hand. Oh no! I stick my hand in my inside jacket pocket and what do you know-another list!! This one says: "artichokes, garlic, pickle relish, acorn squash". No sign of the word "frozen". I must be getting more creative in my old age.