Farm chore of the week: spreading fertilizer around 1,600 young Christmas trees. Dad and I did some today and some yesterday. More await us on Friday. Yay.
The late-summer sun felt plenty warm to me, and the humidity had it beat by a couple of percentage points. My bandana got quite a workout; not only did I wipe my face fairly often, I used the blue hanky to mark my spot in a row. When I walked back from the fertilizer cart, I always knew which was the last tree I’d surrounded with 14-7-14 granules.
That bandana cost me a buck several years ago, and has been in my backpack ever since. Who carries a pocket handkerchief any more? I do, and you should, too. It’s incredibly useful for a number of tasks.
Children’s entertainment. Apparently some people can turn a hanky into a little bunny. I can’t do that, but during particularly long Little League games I distracted my three-year-old great-nephew in other ways:
- Tied it to Britain’s belt loop and told him he was a cat, a monkey or a puppy. Many animal noises ensued.
- Tucked it into the back of his T-shirt as a superhero cape.
- Tied it in a corner where two fences met to create a hammock for the Beanie Baby he’d brought along.
My favorite, though, was the pirate headscarf. After all, his first name is the name of Capt. Jack Sparrow’s country.
Bib or bandage?
It has other uses, too. This is one multi-purpose square of cotton.
Cough-muffler. I have asthma. Sometimes I have what I call a “bad air day,” which means I cough a lot. No sense grossing out folks on buses and planes; I grab the folded-up hanky to silence the hacking.
Tablecloth. While having picnic lunches in the United Kingdom earlier this year, I’d spread out the bandana on whatever patch of grass or piece of wall I chose.
Napkin. Sometimes a hostel’s kitchen doesn’t have paper towels. I’m a messy eater, so it was good to have the bandana as backup during my travels. Speaking of messy eating, the hanky may also double as….
Bib. While in South Jersey I’ve been eating frozen custard as often as I can get away with it. On a warm day it’s hard to keep ahead of the drips. Bowing to the inevitable, I tuck the bandana into my collar – where it probably looks dumb, but definitely protects my shirtfront.
Washcloth. Hostels provide towels only.
Emergency bandage. Last January I fell down the steps at a house-sitting gig in January. Tied around my sprained ankle, the bandana helped me hobble around until I could get an elastic bandage.
Hyperthermia prevention. I was in Death Valley in the summer. Yes, on purpose; my then-husband was covering a sporting event called the Badwater Ultramarathon. Dipped into ice water and placed on the back of my neck, the bandana kept me from overheating. It sure dried fast, though.
Which is actually another thing to recommend it. I can wash it daily at the hostel and it’s always ready to go in the morning. It doesn’t stay damp and start smelling mildewy, the way a terrycloth rag might.
The only thing I don’t use it for? Head colds. Although it’s a silly thing to be squeamish about, I don’t use bandanas to blow my nose. I’m not quite eco-friendly enough to eschew tissues. Gesundheit.