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Wiser’s Wramblings-Solo Sunflower a Symbol

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By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

One lonely Sunflower standing tall and proud. The birds and the wind left it behind for us to see. Reminds me of a Country standing against a much larger and more powerful aggressor. May they both withstand and prevail. 

This picture with the above statement/caption was shared to a popular social media site recently. The statement almost begs me to turn it into a poem and I may well do that, in the near future.

Today’s offering will be a return to the more mundane wramblings as I built up quite a collection of my “post it notes” as reminders. Last week’s column was somewhat of a diversion.

Despite the recent declines, gas prices are still noticeably quite high according to my checking/debit account balance and given that I have made more trips to Rochester over the past few weeks than I had for nearly a year beforehand. One blessing in disguise, I guess, is the $4.15 gas price at the Henrietta Road BJ’s. Road construction and detours are numerous and continue to be a challenge. I had mentioned the Interstate 390 “on ramp” as you leave or try to enter Mount Morris on my “Short Tract” route a few weeks ago, and it has only gotten worse. This trip, ignoring the suggestion from my wife that I take the Dansville route right out of the gate, I persisted to abuse myself. Previously you could get on 390 Northbound from Mount Morris. You can’t anymore. Expecting to continue to Rte. 63 or have Detour signs directing you in that direction or at least toward Geneseo where you can access 390 North, you are left completely to your own devices, and one such device does not happen to include your Garmin. I turned onto the Rte. 63 designation, and it headed South. Turning around and taking a chance on the alternative Rte. 44, it eventually takes you through Geneseo wherefrom you can get to 390. Not a single sign indicating access to 63 North, or where 44 goes or anything. Garmin had me trying to go in circles.

Absolutely the worst detour and road “markage” I believe, that I have ever seen, or not seen. My return trip home was nearly as bad, but of my own doing. A couple of weeks ago I attempted to come back to Allegany County what I call “the old way” which we used prior to 390 being open. I headed South on 15 thinking it was the correct route of days past. It wasn’t, I ended up going through Wayland and then headed west through Hornell. So much for my memory of trips made decades ago. On the route home however, I had seen a turn off for route 19 and that was the route I needed. I was ready this time around. I would take 15 South again but then take the Route 19 diversion. I never did see the Rte. 19 turn off and damned if I didn’t end up going home through Wayland again. I guess a little planning aforehand might be in order on my next trip. Two days later upon returning to Rochester again I travelled through Dansville with the plus on the return trip as a stop at Arby’s to pick up supper.

Having mentioned Arby’s, we still are in withdrawal having lost our Olean Arby’s several years ago and keep hoping that one of these “development” construction projects will return that favorite “food stop” to us.

Recently, I saw a real estate ad for a property and dwelling North of me in Scio, on Back River Road headed toward Belmont. The ad made mention of a peaceful country road or something akin to that. I would debate the “Peaceful” designation especially, between the going to work in Belmont traffic , and returning from work in Belmont traffic. I have dubbed this the “Back River Road Wraceway” in previous writings. I’m not sure which is worse; The people that wait until the last possible minute to leave for work, thus having to travel at warp speed to get there on time, or those that just can’t wait to get home to “have a cold one”, turning up the speed in anticipation.

Why is a “sweater” called a sweater? Calling “sweatpants” and “sweatshirts” what they are, makes sense as originally, I believe, they were designed for athletic or exercise work outs, and thus sweating. I seldom see anyone working out wearing a sweater.

Recent shopping trips have caused me mixed emotions for a number of reasons, but more for the positive as one example makes me proud of my fellow human beings. A few weeks back I purchased bags of mulch and bales of peat moss at Home Depot in Olean. As I returned to my car preparing to pull around to facilitate loading them, I sat and watched a few moments while a young couple loaded their purchases in their vehicle. When they pulled out, I backed around and up to the bales of Peat moss. The young fellow had not left, but merely pulled ahead out of my way, exited his vehicle, and came to help me load mine. All is not dire in the world.

I had occasion to empty another couple of prescription bottles this week reminding myself that I still puzzle as to why we can’t recycle for use, rather than melting and rebuilding them. Given the millions of bottles that are discarded I’m pretty sure that many, if not most people, just throw them away in the trash. Sterilization and reuse would seem possible and preferable.

Well, it appears that the first of our migratory feathered friends have left us once again. Until a couple of weeks ago there had been a feeding frenzy as both Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Orioles were feeding the fledglings. Early last week the Oriole fledglings were pretty much feeding themselves. Then, seemingly over a short week or so, the traffic fell right off to none very quickly and the Orioles now seem to all be gone. There are some people that claim that the Orioles are still around but rather than feed on the feeders, they are getting their natural diet of insects from the trees and bushes. Were that the case, we should still be able to hear their pleasant songs and chattering. The Grosbeaks seem to have had an extended “birthing period” as I continue to see first time fledglings nearly every day still, and the visits continue to be plentiful.

Running into former locals in the Rochester area isn’t that uncommon, but I had one enjoyable encounter on one of my last trips up there. Scheduled for an MRI of my “good” shoulder in anticipation of further bionic parts renderings at 7:15 AM last Friday, followed by a doctors appointment at 1:45 PM for the results and consultation, I had some time to kill. One of my many shopping or window-shopping stops took me to the “Sportsman’s Outlet” nearby to Dicks Sporting Goods. I was in search of a new “varmint control device” and was directed there.

The Dicks Sporting Goods had to surrender its rifle sales when it took over the former Field and Stream store as they couldn’t be a competing entity. Field and Stream then became Sportsman’s Outlet. While chatting with the salesman he asked me where I was from and I replied the usual “near Wellsville, down by the PA border.” Where abouts he asked, stating that he was formerly from Bolivar. As we narrowed down my residence location, he advised that he often fished the Genesee River in that area on the other side of Knights Creek closer to the town of Scio. He knew exactly where my house was relative to the gravel piles that separate me from Rte. 31. 

Throughout my teaching career I used to stress Grammar, seeing a significant deficiency in many having come to college lacking in that area. Many students had “technical computer and trades skills” surpassing my own. I laughingly told them they already had the “Technology” training that we were noted for providing, so we would have to swap topics and teach them the English skills that somehow escaped them. I gave one group this quiz as my going away present on my last day. I provided the answer key after they took a shot at their version of humorous vocabulary definitions.

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