Swimming in the iPond

I have an app on my iPhone that gives me weather information. I can check the daily forecast, the weekly outlook and the two-week outlook. It even has a radar map. I love the radar map. It shows me exactly where the storm is and approximately where it will be over the next few hours.

I plan my day, and even my week, accordingly. I know what I can wear, what I can do and where I can go. Snowstorms and thunderstorms can no longer surprise me. I know when I can go swimming in the pond or go skating on it. Not that I have a pond, although I do have a Great Lake on the other side of town, and I neither swim in it nor skate on it. I do like to walk along the shores of it, however, and the weather app helps me decide if it’s feasible to do so. I don’t know how I managed to go through life without my weather app.

When I was small, I remember listening to the weather reports. They usually consisted of a few basic words: sunny with cloudy periods; chance of rain/snow. That was it; no barometric pressures, no wind chill factors, and no mental calculations of Celsius to Fahrenheit. The weather seemed simpler back then and we expected those surprise storms.

We’ve come a long way with our knowledge of weather. We have meteorologists that love to educate the public with full reports of what is happening in the atmosphere. We have funny weathermen who can make us groan at their silly jokes, no matter what the weather. And we have our own friends and relatives with whom we can commiserate when a snowstorm forces cancellations or when thunderstorms threaten a garden wedding. Heck, we even have a television network devoted to telling us what to expect!

How did we do it back in the day? Oh right, we would just step outside to see if we needed a jacket. If we got caught in a thunderstorm, well, we just got wet. And it didn’t matter what winter brought because we always wore our coat and boots. We could always rely on that trustworthy forecast: sunny with cloudy periods; chance of rain/snow.

Our weather reports have come a long way, but we’ll always have our funny weathermen. Like the one I remember from years ago who proclaimed, “Relative humidity is 65 percent, which means that 65 percent of relatives are sweating.” Groan.

© 2015 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

The Gemologist


Prompt: …the blue was sapphire…

“The blue was sapphire.”

“Excuse me?”

“And the red was ruby. You have quite a few errors on your test”

I looked down at the chart. “I don’t think so, Professor. See those white veins running through the gemstone? It’s a lapis lazuli. As for the red gemstone, it’s a dull red, a garnet.”

Professor pointed to the black gemstone veined with red. “That is the garnet. You identified it as bloodstone. How can you even suggest being a gemologist if you don’t know your basic gemstones.”

“For now I’ll suggest you get a new chart. This one is faded.”

© 2015 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers

Still Learning How to Swim

I’m looking at a photo of Kevin Costner, who is gracing the cover of a senior’s magazine. A sideline refers to his being an icon at the age of 60. 60? I thought he was my age. Oh right; he is my age. Well, not quite. He’s a couple of months older. Besides, 60 is the new 50, right? There, now I feel much better. Not.

It can’t be all that bad, I keep telling myself. Didn’t I just use the word “not” in the right context? And I also know what IK,R stands for. I know, right? I’m still cool, right? It still doesn’t make me feel any younger.

What does make me feel younger, however, is the fact that I actually don’t know everything. I’m not the wise old crone I thought I would be at this age. I thought I would be handing out wisdom to my children. Oh sure, I did my best to guide them down the right path so that they learn to choose wisely. What I didn’t know is that as adults, they are guiding me down their own path so that I choose wisely. Choose this iPhone, Mom, we’ll show you how to use it! Choose vegetarian, Mom, for heaven’s sake you’re eating an animal! And my favourite, choose skinny jeans, Mom, you’re still young enough to wear them!

Okay, so I wouldn’t be the first 60ish person to bang her head against a wall when it comes to figuring out anything that has the letter “i” in front of it. Thank goodness for the younger generation where technology is concerned. I don’t have grandchildren yet, so I’m not totally embarrassed by my poor techie skills, although I’m sure my Chihuahua could work my iPhone better than me.

As for eating vegetarian, well it certainly is healthier. And it helps me fit into those skinny jeans that apparently I’m still young enough to wear. It’s just a little harder for my generation to step away from meat. And is it my imagination, or are my canines a little sharper than my children’s? Will the future generations be without fangs? Who knows? I certainly don’t. I don’t seem to know very much at all.

I always thought that by the time I waded into the sexagenarian pool, I would be a seasoned swimmer in this ocean called life. I thought I would be able to take on any whirlpool or waterspout that came my way. I would know how to avoid the sharks and seek out the dolphins. Instead, I find myself treading in new unknown waters and still learning how to swim.

I guess I won’t be earning my mermaid tail any time soon. Just as well; mermaids can’t wear skinny jeans.

© 2015 – All rights reserved Loretta Notto @ Mermaid Fingers