My New Car "Abie" Lincoln

Ken decided that due to increasing gas prices, it was time to replace our old  pickup truck with a newish pre-owned vehicle.  His heart was set on a 2009 Lincoln...I think he reveres Lincolns from when he was a kid...only the rich drove Lincolns or Cadillacs. 

Anyway, we now own a 2009 silver Lincoln is a nice vehicle and gets 19+ mph in the city and over 30+ mph on the highway.   BTW, what is the big deal for advertising the great mph on the highway...we live in the city, I haven't driven on a highway since last year when we drove to Naperville, IL to visit our daughter and family.  We want something that gives us great mpg IN THE CITY!!!   We wanted something that didn't suck gas like it was a Pepsi cola on steroids when I drove to the grocery store, went shopping or just plain drove around town.
The Lincoln MKZ was purchased last Friday....Ken is not usually stubborn about things but getting this new vehicle was one thing he was determined to do.  I am a worry wart and didn't want to face car payments when our income (retired folks here) was teetering on income-in and income-out being pretty close together.  
The car (I call it "Abie"...after Abraham LINCOLN) is very nice and has a whole bunch of buttons that we, especially me since I am the main driver, have to acquaint ourselves with.  Case in point...driving Abie home from the dealership (me is now MY car) , Ken sitting in the passenger seat, started pushing buttons on the console. 

Suddenly, I have flashing yellow emergency lights on the dashboard.  "WHAT DID YOU DO????"....push another button and a swerving  little orange car pops up next to the flashing lights. The Lincoln then decided that English was no longer the language of choice, and my mph appeared in km (kilometers?)....push more buttons and it wants to know if we want English or French (car was assembled in Mexico...but French is it's native language).....all I wanted was to get off the highway before  Ken pushed something else....he was hoping if he pushed the right button "Abie" would recognize the touch of an English speaking person.  No such luck. About this time, Ken took the "how to" instruction manual out of the glove compartment.  I suppose that if you are a person who buys lots of NEW vehicles, or are teenagers, you understand the language of new cars.  We aren't either.  We drove home with km, flashing warning lights and swerving little orange car all doing their thing. 

On Saturday, we drove back to the dealership ... our salesman came out to the car and we went through the buttons...I still don't know how they all work...but we're in English mode now and that's a step forward.  Somewhere in the system "Abie" holds the secret of how many miles I can drive before running out of gas, how to get my seat to either warm up in winter or get cool in summer and what the buttons on both sides of the steering wheel control.
Did you ever see the commercial where a lady and her husband (Bob Newhart) are standing next to a beautiful new car and she is pushing buttons on her remote trying to open the door?  She says something like "whats wrong with this remote???".....he leans over and says, "you're trying to open this car and we drive that station wagon over there".
Duhhhh, that's exactly what happened to me. I played tennis with some friends on Tuesday  (only had the car a few days) and they wanted to see the interior.  I walked up to the shiny silver car and pushed the remote button....nothing happened.  I pressed it again...nothing happened.  Oh great, what do I do now.  
My friend Mari, said to me (after she stopped laughing"Jean, your remote button won't're trying to open my Lexus".....yep, her silver Lexus was parked next to my silver Lincoln.  

I am still not familiar with the buttons on the console, there are waaaaay too many of them.  Plus, when I need one I am actively driving the car....why are the windshield wipers, fan, and assorted buttons located in the right side of the console hidden under the radio and disk player?  To see them, I have to bend over and decide which is which.  Then I am a danger to other drivers since I have now  taken my eyes off the road.  

My thoughts were that this car was obviously designed by guys....those who have short, sturdy fingers and fingernails.   The trunk only opens 1/2" to 3/4" when I push the "open" button.  It does not have a handle, slot or anything to grasp to open the trunk.  You have to slip your fingers under the trunk lid and lift it up.  Want to guess how many fancy fingernails I have sacrificed doing this.  Plus, we live in Nebraska...we have SNOW....the little 1/2"- 3/4" crack is hard to find when fumbling through the accumulated snow..  And, since it is usually frozen down, it doesn't want to open anyway.    
I took Abie to our local dealer to see what could be done...answer..nothing!  He said that "they" found that if the trunk opens too far it could be caught by a gust of wind, blow open, hit the owner/opener in the face and cause an injury resulting in a lawsuit.  I'm not sure who would be sued...possibly the manufacturer.   He also pooh-poohed my idea of putting a little silver handle or knob on the side of the lid.....  "Over the years the necessary hole in the trunk could rust - the car's value would be depreciated"  I'm sure that "over the years"  there may be rust elsewhere on the car which would also cause it to be "depreciated"....duh...  

He suggested that I attach a piece of microfiber belting to the inside of the trunk lid and when closing the trunk leave a tail of the belting hang out.  Therefore, giving me something to open the trunk with.    

Yeah sure...I've put that suggestion on the back burner.

Here Kitty Kitty

We have a nice-sized flower garden in our yard, complete with a pond with a little fountain.  It’s Ken’s pride and joy.  Every year we stock it with goldfish and once in a while, a tadpole or two.  The fish are fun to watch, and will come to the surface if you twiddle your fingers on the edge of the water.
Unfortunately, this has been their downfall.  We start off with two dozen goldfish, the ones that survive the summer are put into our family room fish tank to grow bigger for the next summer season.  By the end of this summer, there were only about 5 or 6 goldfish left…we’ve seen a raccoon several times during the year (I even caught one in a critter trap..but released it…we were trying to catch the rabbits that have eaten our hostas and other flowers down to dirt level) I had always blamed the demise of  the goldfish on the raccoon.
However, this morning, I looked out of our kitchen window and saw a big cat on the back first glance, I thought, “oh my gosh” there’s a baby mountain lion”….four years ago a big, fully grown mountain lion, aka Puma was taking up residence in our neighborhood park.  He is now living in the Henry Doorly Zoo cat complex.
Anyway, this turned out to be a large, beautiful tan and black Siamese cat.  I could see that it was wearing a collar, so I know it was not a feral cat…it jumped off the fence and walked around the edge of the pool…ha!  Bet I know where our missing goldfish went….kitty breakfast. 
I walked onto the back deck and called, “here kitty” and up he came.  He stayed around for a while but decided to investigate the rest of the yard.  I don’t know if he was a neighborhood cat that is allowed to roam or if he had escaped from home and was exploring.  He didn’t have a name or license on his collar so there was no way to find out who he belonged to.  And, he definitely did not want to come with me into the house…I didn’t want to be scratched or bitten so didn’t force the issue.

Edward Rosewater School, Omaha, NE – Class of 1952

If you’ve ever attended a College World Series (CWS) game in Omaha, Nebraska, you’ve probably seen my grade school, Edward Rosewater.

It’s on 13th Street, just opposite the entrance to the Henry Doorly Zoo and close to the "Zesto" ice cream store that is ALWAYS talked about by CWS commentators (I think they get a discount every time they mention "Zesto" on the air!)  A big ice cream cone from Zesto was always a "must have" when we walked home from school ... $.20 bought a good-sized cone in those days.

 Edward Rosewater School, was named after an Omahan who is credited for creating the first Omaha Board of Education and was regarded as the father of Omaha (NE) public schools.

Rosewater was the editor of the Omaha Daily Bee, had a reputation for always being "aggressive and controversial" and was influential in Nebraska politics as one of the leaders of the state Republican Party. During the American Civil War, while serving at the White House telegraph office, Rosewater was responsible for sending out President Abraham Lincoln’s “ Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

I LOVE my old school, although in 1985 it was converted to apartments. I think of the thousands of kindergarten to 8th grade student’s running (excuse me) walking through it’s halls. Whenever I drive past it, I remember the wonderful teachers I had, the great friends we all were, and the love for America and the American flag that was instilled in us. I entered kindergarten at Rosewater when I was 5 years old (1943) and graduated in 1952. My kindergarten teacher was Miss Brown (all the teachers were called “Miss” if they were single or not). We learned social skills…how to not fight over a toy (yep, we actually had toys in kindergarten), played house in the little play kitchen complete with dishes and pans and discovered that being the “mother” had a lot more responsibilities than we ever knew about.

We napped on our little rugs every afternoon and learned that the teacher was “boss” even if our mother’s thought we were special and above reproach. Miss Brown gently but firmly molded us into good kindergarten citizens. I was in school during World War II, and patriotism was strong at Edward Rosewater. We stood each morning before class, put our hand over our heart and recited, “I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all” .  "Under God" was added in 1954, two years after we graduated.

To this day, I can’t watch our Flag in a parade, hear a patriotic song or recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” without getting teary eyed. Can’t help it….this is my country.

Next time you are watching a sports program TV or are at an event where the National Anthem is sung or watching a parade when the American flag is raised or is carried ...look around you. Those people with their right hands over their hearts were taught that many years ago in school......and haven't forgotten.

Note:  United States Code, 36 U.S.C. § 301, states that during a rendition of the national anthem, when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart; Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present and not in uniform may render the military salute; men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold the headdress at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note; and when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.

However, this statutory suggestion does not have any penalty associated with violations. This behavioral requirement for the national anthem is subject to the same First Amendment controversies that surround the Pledge of Allegiance.

Miss Reilly, our Principal (“always remember that the Principal is your “Pal”….well sometimes anyway), would call a school assembly every Friday afternoon and each class from kindergarten to 8th grade would sing. We learned all the verses to “The Star Spangled Banner”, “America the Beautiful”, “America"  (My Country Tis of Thee), and every patriotic song she could think of.  We sang the songs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and probably some I can't remember....and we sang with gusto! 

My brother Bobby, was in the Navy and at every Friday assembly, Miss Reilly would ask us to think about those who are fighting for our freedom. I don’t remember if she asked us to say a prayer for them, but at that time, she probably could have.  I know my nighttime prayer always ended with “Please God, bring my brother Bobby home safe”

This is my kindergarten class…we must have been warned not to smile....I'm not in it. I don't remember why not..

Several of the kids left Rosewater after kindergarten.….the neighborhood Catholic school, St. Rose, didn’t have kindergarten so the Catholic kids started kindergarten at Rosewater and then transferred to St. Rose Catholic School which was just down 13th Street from Rosewater.

I believe this is the 2nd and 3rd grade combined class, second row, 2nd from the right.

Finally, our graduating class of 1952.

In 2012, we had a small class reunion of the Edward Rosewater graduating class of 1952.  Not all were able to attend, but those who did, had a great time seeing friends and classmates that they HAD NOT seen since 1952.