There are two organizations from whom I do not want to hear again. One is the National Rifle Association. Several weeks ago I got a letter from that … that — well, you don’t want to know what I call that outfit. I’m sure some of you call it the same thing — got a letter, as I was saying. I didn’t open it because on the envelope it said in big red letters THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE. I still don’t know if it’s my last chance to join the association (when pigs have wings, and I don’t expect there to be pork in the treetops before morning) or perhaps my last chance in general, in which case I’d like to know where they get their information. As it is also the first communication I have received from the NRA, I am wondering where they got my name, since I can’t remember having donated recently (or ever, for that matter) to a right-wing cause or bought something from a right-wing store.

I don’t even know if there are right-wing stores, though when I was married and lived in Texas, my husband and I used to love to go to the John Birch Bookstore and see what madness they were peddling that day. We always followed that up with a stop at Stanley’s Drive-In, which advertised milkshakes so thick that if you turned your cup over and the shake fell out you got another one. Personally, I felt it was just as good an idea to drink (sort of; really, you spooned it up) the milkshake I got as to see if it stayed in the cup. Back in the day, Texas was full of wonderful encounters like that. I do not hold out much hope for it today, though Arizona is creeping up on it.

The other people from whom I do not wish to hear are at the Scooter Store. It’s not that I have anything against scooters (though I can’t help thinking of Phil Rizzuto every time I hear the word), I just don’t want them in my face all the time. I suppose that when you join the Medicare crowd you get on a lot of mailing lists you’d never heard of before (though I had heard of the Scooter Store — on the television — which is one reason I do not watch that useless piece of wasted space any more). But I seem to be on their bimonthly list (do you think that means twice a month or every two months? I’m not going to help you out), and I don’t even have a self-propelled lawn mower. Is that what I mean? I push mine; in fact, I mowed my lawn the other day for the first time this spring and the first time since I got my new knee. My knee and the mower performed beautifully. Unfortunately, the rest of my body is not new (though it’s trending in that direction), and the last 15 or 20 minutes of the mowing were pretty well divided among panting for breath, trying to figure out where I’d already mowed, wondering if I could possibly finish and cursing Chairman Mao for having made me take the first step. Speaking of Chairman Mao, by the way, whoever said one picture is worth a thousand words (and I know Mao didn’t say it but it was someone of his ilk) really said one picture is worth ten thousand words. I just thought you might want to know that. If you don’t, forget it.

Mowing is fun. It’s great exercise, it is guaranteed to give you the feeling of having accomplished something and it’s free. In fact, it makes money since you don’t have to pay someone to do it. Of course if you figure it at my hourly rate it’s pretty dear, but then I’m saving even more money by not having to have a personal trainer. My friend Dave, my personal trainer when I had one, endeared himself to me forever when he told me that pound for pound I was the strongest woman he’d ever trained. But that was then, and this is now, and mowing the lawn just about does me in, never mind leg-pressing 250 pounds.

I’ve been having some interesting medical events lately. The blood tests done at one lab indicated a perfectly healthy liver but a slightly problematical kidney; the results from the other lab were just the opposite. I’m a little afraid to try a third for fear that one or two is right.

I wish everyone could read my friend Bob Manns’ plays “Lincoln Part 1” and “Part 2.” It’s not unusual to meet people who share my passion for and fascination with the Civil War, but it’s pretty unusual to meet someone who has written two splendid plays about it. For the time of the reading I was in another world, populated with people I thought I knew but found myself hearing for the first time and hurtling toward that April day in Ford’s Theatre and one of the greatest tragedies in this country’s history, following so closely on that other tragedy.

That delicious smell on Main Street is from the lavender in my friend Lorie’s Glendarragh Lavender shop. On a recent hot day it was the only place to be. I could have nestled in among the big bags of lavender and slept the sleep of the innocent (well, maybe not — the just? perhaps not that either) but I settled for an eye pillow.

I am also wondering where my state income tax payments go. It is certainly not for roadwork. Maybe I mercifully forget every spring, but it seems to me that this year the roads are worse than ever. I always look to be sure a patrol car is not following me when I drive from Camden to Rockland on Route 1, as one must be all over the road, especially in Rockport, to avoid losing vital parts of the car and oneself.