Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lemonade and License Plates

Houston enjoyed a long, delicious spring, but the heat of summer has descended, and the kids on my street have set up a slip-and-slide and are busy fashioning a lemonade stand from appliance boxes. The stand will open for business at an upcoming garage sale. I know this because I bounded over to the pint-sized entrepreneurs as soon as I figured out what they were doing. Alas, I noticed a slight standoffishness on their part. Did they think I'd criticize their construction methods? Give them a hard time about blocking my view of a neighbor's bouganvillia? Never! I'd hurried over to advise them to use concentrate instead of the powdered stuff. 

Shoot. I'm that interfering adult. 

Ever have a string of days when you could do or say nothing right? My streak started last Friday and lasted through Tuesday, and, boy, was it a doozy. It started with day job matters and went on to encompass every part of my life. For example, the Daughters came over on Father's Day, and one of them spied my new license plates. (They'd come in the mail and were sitting atop a chest of drawers in the family room. I should have tidied them out of sight but had a streak going, remember?) Older Daughter approved of the new plates, but I disagreed. 

"I like the current plates with the cowboy, the oil rigs, the space shuttle, and the starry sky."

Older Daughter's lip curled. "Those are cliches."

"All states have cliches on their plates. Georgia has a peach, Oklahoma has the Native American headdress."

Older Daughter is pleased I've proved her point. "Exactly."

When comes to license plates, I like cliches. Meanwhile, I regret ever encouraging OD and her sister to "collect" sightings of out-of-state tags while on road trips. I should have made them stick with "I Spy" and "Slug-a-Bug."

It's been almost five years since Hurricane Ike hit Galveston, and some of us (okay, me) in the Houston area have lost our preparedness edge. While we ached for victims of Hurricane Sandy, that storm didn't send water sloshing into our houses and thus didn't prod us into topping up our stash of batteries and canned goods.

After Ike, Older Daughter's house and neighborhood was without power for 17 days. The experience turned her into a survivalist, but even she's grown a bit complacent. 

Show hurricane season some r-e-s-p-e-c-t and check out writer/publisher and former Green Beret Bob Mayer's posts on preparedness. Here's the first: The Green Beret Survival Guide: Ref Tornadoes and Hurricanes | Write on the River And here's the second: The Grab and Go Bag: An Essential Survival Thing You Must Have | Write on the River

If there was a lesson in my can-do-nothing-right streak, I missed it, so I can't say I made lemonade from lemons. I did make lemonade, though. From concentrate. 

What's your view on license-plates? Do you like them plain? Illustrated? Do you have a favorite state plate? 

If you live near the coast, are you ready for hurricane season? 


Jennette Marie Powell said...

I like illustrated license plates if they're well-done and attractive. The old base design here was called "Beautiful Ohio" and is anything but! I made sure not to damage my plates while that one was out just so I wouldn't have to get them! I need to get that Bob Mayer book. Hurricane Ike hit Ohio in the form of six hours of 50+ mph wind, and some people's power was out for over 2 weeks!

Anonymous said...

I remember Andy Rooney on 60 minutes years ago satirizing the mottos on some state's license plates. "Big Sky over Montana" was one he poked fun at - "the sky's no bigger there than any other place".

What does the "je me souviens" mean on the Quebec license plate? I know it means "I remember" but what is exactly that they remember?

- Patrick

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Jennette,
I'm going to get the Mayer book, too. I'm not saying I will follow it 100 percent, but it will give me better odds when Im sheltering in place.

Ike put out power in Ohio for two weeks? Yet it made U.S. landfall in Galveston, Texas. That's scary.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, Patrick,
I thought Je me souviens on Quebec plates was meant to remind the Quebecois of their immigration from France and the reasons for it, chiefly the search for religious and political tolerance and an economic second-chance. Nowadays, thankfully, I don't have to rely on my assumptions. (I am often full of hot air.) I Googled the expression but will have to post the link in a separate comment as Blogger will not let me leave this page, retrieve the link, and hop back on.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Hi, again, Patrick,
I found this Wikipedia article fascinating:

Lynette M Burrows said...

Pat, I'm forever saying the wrong thing. Not just the wrong words, though that's an increasing problem, but AFTER I've said something I intended to be a good thing, I realize it must have sounded like anything but.

I'm planning on getting Mayer's book, but tell me, have you found one on how to say the right thing the first time?

Anonymous said...

Salut Patricia, je vous remercie beaucoup pour l'information. Je suis d'accord, c'├ętait une lecture fascinante!


- Patrick

Coleen Patrick said...

I don't want to think about hurricane season. Our neighborhood has a tendency to lose power at the slightest breeze (for days, the longest being i think 12 days). I guess I am currently in the category of a complacent survivalist. :)

Lark Howard said...

We were without power for 22 days after Ike and that has made me an escapist, not a survivalist. Not doing that again!!

As for license plates...I have no idea what mine looks like or the number. Pathetic, huh? I know it says Texas somewhere, though.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

De rien, Patrick!

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Lynette, a book on saying the right thing the first time would be a bestseller. Unfortunately, I only say the right thing the first time half the time. Sometimes I miss the third time around. Sigh. Right now, my youngest sister doesn't seem to be speaking to me. Uh oh.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

I wish you a season of power--and I mean that on many levels.

Pat O'Dea Rosen said...

Twenty-two days, Lark? My Older Daughter has lost her bragging rights. How did you manage?

Lark Howard said...

I went to my office during the day where we had power and AC, Pat, and took my sweet puppy with me. Nights were miserable, though. Never want to do that again!!!