Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Ms. CRANKY'S HAT, well, one of them

Monday, July 28, 2014


Ms. Cranky is just back from her idyll in the Adirondack Mountains where she goes each year to a writer’s retreat.  She is in a good mood --- so far.  She knew the mountain chain as a young girl and was always happy there and still is though she travels to a different section of the area now.  

It was a wonderful week, Ms. Cranky even did homework, a lot of homework and partied less (oh, well) and came away sad to go but full of good intentions, fervor and even a promise to her friends to get back to writing this column. 

And, then there was AMTRAK out of Albany, a train Ms. Cranky loves as it travels, seems to glide, along the brilliant shining Hudson River.  She was in such a good mood from her week of writing, friends and cookies when, of all the cars on the train and all the seats in the cars, a very young woman behind her  started shouting into her cell phone and crying at the same time, really openly and loudly sobbing.  

Ms. Cranky is very used to cell phone screamers, they are the bane of her existence in an otherwise beloved NYC and all its boroughs but she is not used to cell phone screaming on AMTRAK.  Late Friday afternoons when Ms. Cranky always comes back from camp are usually full of business people trying to impress you with their ‘big important’ phone talks, she hates that too but they do not cry. And on city transportation, cell phone screaming is simply accompanied by lots of swear words.

So, this particular abuse of cell phones in public and abuse of Ms. Cranky’s ears and peace of mind, had a new and very loud wrinkle, so to speak.  Ms. Cranky knew she could move to another car but why should she?  Her luggage was above and some cute guy had helped her get it up there!!!  Whew, and she and her friend were comfortably ensconced in their seats rolling along the glorious river.  

Comfortable, that is, until Ms. Histrionics began right behind her.  Why her, why???  “Of all the gin joints, etc.”  One of Ms. Cranky’s favorite quotes from Casablanca

Her friend tried to calm Ms. C. down and told her to ‘ignore it’ but that’s hard for Ms. Cranky being way too familiar with hysteria and people who work at making things worse than they already are, which is a ‘calling’ for some --- like the convent might be for others.

Ms. Cranky is very allergic to this behavior and can actually break out.  

Hysteria gets the person nowhere and Ms. Cranky feels that she has enough of her own problems so that when people throw theirs out in the world willy nilly, it’s very upsetting.  She has her life and her home and earning a living to worry about, not to mention a cat needing very expensive medicine, the Ukraine, Libya, Iraq and the impeachment of the President --- just to mention a few things.

So, after the fourth go-round of screaming and sobbing, Ms. Cranky walked two cars south, then five cars north, to find the conductor and get ‘rational information’, something the woman probably did not want because usually in cases like this, Ms. Cranky finds that the person wants to be in this place and to ramp it up even more.

The woman did not seem to know the name of the next train station to get off so Ms. Cranky walked through the whole train to get the proper information from the very attractive (either this was a good day for men or Ms. Cranky had been in ‘the woods’ too long) and walked back through the railroad cars to give the sobbing woman the information she probably could have retrieved from her very smart phone in two seconds if she had stopped wailing into it. 

This action on Cranky’s part quieted things somewhat because now there was ‘a solution’ but not for long because usually the upset people do not really want a solution.  They want to be upset and to drag you through the mud with them, if at all possible.

But, then, ahem, the very attractive, conductor Ms. Cranky had talked to came and did all the right things for the young woman.  And they all quietly ventured onward towards New York. 

Ms. Cranky wants to thank all the cute guys on the train (yet another would offer to help her get her bags down!), the sacred Adirondack Mountains and Ms. Cranky’s amazing writing retreat --- brilliant teachers, kind, funny and gifted students, smart helpful staff, great meals and, mostly, freshly baked cookies at each and every lunch. 

And, she thanks all at the retreat who encouraged Ms. Cranky to get writing again and she thanks God for the joy of coming home, no matter the home --- it’s full of flowers, lots of flowers, only one cat but this kitty so rich in love and joy of life makes Ms. Cranky laugh out loud.  She lies beside her desk as she writes this now.  She’s a ‘buddy, a true true bud.

And, so the rituals of daily life begin again, the things that Ms. Cranky loves --- refilling the water bottles, watering the plants (lots of water images --- hmm?). Home, blissful for now, home.  Cut off the yellowed flower leaves and spent blooms, put away things from the luggage, start supper, wash to do in a pile --- begin again, oh, yes, sacred again.

Ms. Cranky, Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Thanks for stopping by, sorry was away for a while, Ms. Cranky would say she was on ‘hiatus’ except that she abhors that over-used word, one of many words she used to love until every movie star on TV mentioned they had been on ‘you know what,’ --- starts with an ‘h,’ ‘venue’ being the last word, Ms. C. turned on, sad to stop loving a word --- it’s not the poor word’s fault!

See soon, have a great week.  Ms.C.