Daily Archives: February 14, 2011

Perfecting the fine art of putzing

It’s funny how we use certain words in a perfectly innocent way, only to suddenly discover that there is a not-so-pleasant definition associated with the word. For example, “putz”. It’s one of my favorite past times. Technically, I could use “putter”, but I like putz so much better. I just looked up the word and I’m not going to include the definition I found, but let’s just say it’s not the definition in my book.

One day last week, my husband asked what I planned to do with some much-needed free time. I looked at him blankly. PLANNED to do? Plan wasn’t a part of my evening. This is where he and I differ. He has his whole day organized, down to the walking of the dog. I, on the other hand, can while away an entire day, putzing. Doing this and that. Whatever strikes my fancy.

As it turned out, we took a few hours to putz around my mom’s condo. If she reads this, she’ll wonder what we got into. Not to worry, Mother. We watered some plants, and then decided to look through old photos and slides. You have to understand, I come from a family with a long-standing tradition of taking photos of everything. My grandfather and his twin brother were in competition for who could take the most photos, and Grandpa passed on this affinity to my father…and on down the line. So we have a massive collection of slides that date back to the 30s.

While Fred fiddled around with the slides, I looked through photo albums. I picked out a few favorites — including one of a bunch of Suter cousins crammed onto Grandpa’s wagon. My cousin, Claire, says  just looking at the photo brings back the pungent, but wonderful, smell of that wagon…straw and manure. And we were sitting on it. Of course.

When we tired of flipping through slides and photos, we migrated to the other bedroom, where we putzed our way through another hour of weeding through old record albums and books. My dad’s old stereo, complete with tuner and turntable still produces the best sound from those old vinyl 33 LPs.

Two hours later, there we were with a pile of old photos and not much else to say for our time. But it was fun. What better way to relax that putzing with no plan in mind? Here are a few of what I found…

Mother and Dad in a 1978 Caddie...sadly, not theirs

1956 -- James, Phil, Tom, Mother, me, Dad, John

Lindsay, my niece, Ginny, and Anne...probably the summer they all had chicken pox

How many Pannabeckers and Shooks can you cram into a wagon?

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