Robert rules over crankiness


Ann Kuehn - Contributing columnist



I am cranky! It is allowed in the Old Ladies Bill of Rights — along with wearing purple and spitting in the street.

Purple is not my color and spitting in the streets is not only disgustingly unsanitary, but the prerogative of the male population. Little boys at age 3 learn to spit as a rite of passage at T-ball and, despite maternal admonishments, never get over the habit.

Why am I cranky? Let me count the ways:

The weather. It would not stop raining in May and June, putting my garden quite behind schedule. Just now the Kentucky Wonders are yielding.

Rain then decided to call it a day and night, necessitating watering. Sprinklers forever confound me as to proper distance, direction, and how to turn off the stupid things without getting soaked.

A late afternoon brought the sound of cicadas. Don’t tell me it is the 13th year when the bugs in frenzy bombard every moving thing, causing dogs to howl, cats to hide, quiet people to swear, and windshield wipers to start. They are big bugs and the mounds of carcasses at the foot of trees smell.

According to the calculator, I have endured 6.461 cicada matings. How many more until I pass into the great beyond? But the noise has abated, and I have only found one cicada shell.

Its occupant, no doubt, misread the calendar.

Another crankiness is shared with members of Friends of the Library, an independent LLC under the auspices of the Wilmington Public Library. The Friends normally have four sales yearly to dispose of excess materials. Three years of Covid put a stop to that. Imagine a book tsunami which never retreated. The Friends assigned space is inundated.

An extremely nice gentleman was contacted. He and his daughter own a company which buys, recycles, recirculates, sells, and donates books. Instead of departing with the optimistic 500-600 books, they were only interested in 101. We could hardly tie them to a shelf, but it was a great disappointment.

We will figure it out with the help of a large bottle of Aleve.

Hardly the least, is an upcoming meeting of our resident association which likewise, has been unable to meet quarterly. With or without that hiatus, the meetings traditionally drag on forever — references to Robert’s Rules resulting in a quagmire.

Henry Robert, a U.S. Army officer, wrote a manual of parliamentary procedure, first published in 1876, as an adaptation of the U.S, Congress rules and procedures to be used in non-legislative gatherings. Frankly, Henry, you should have stuck to cavalry maneuvers — and the U.S. Congress could use a refresher course.

We are an association of retired people. We have each been there, done that, and been successful.

We don’t care about Robert and his rules other than “motion, second, discussion, vote, adjourn” then back to watching the Congressional hearings, otherwise known as “Days of Our Lives.”

Alas, I am the new resident association president with the meeting scheduled for July 28.

If Robert keeps ruling, my crankiness may turn into a blood sport.

Ann Kuehn resides at Ohio Living Cape May in Wilmington. She says, “I gravitated to Ohio at age 18 and never left” and moved to Sabina in 1987.

Ann Kuehn

Contributing columnist