I’m lucky. Or old. Or both. I don’t need a haircut.
A few weeks ago, a friend asked how things were going at my house, what with the stay-at-home lockdown we had been enduring. At the time, we had not been in it very long and, as regular readers will recall, I was, and am, a believer in the mental medication of getting outdoors to commune with nature.
So I told him after nearly 50 years as a journalist, I was used to working alone. I love wandering along or in a forest or a stream and making friends with the critters who live there. It makes one feel pretty special when those critters start to trust you. Continue reading It’s not the haircut
A friend recently related a conversation in which he mentioned to someone that a certain insecticide has been declared dangerous to humans when used as directed. Roundup has been in the news the past several months, the subject of some court cases involving the cancer- and sometimes death-causing nature of the compound. Continue reading Life on the third rock
Some recent gray rainy days of “look but not too closely” at my fellow walkers have been cutting into my enjoyment of outdoors. I don’t need sunshine every day, but I have a rule I’ve stuck to as long as I can remember being allowed to make rules. Continue reading Wet cold days in quarantine
Several years ago I was lucky enough to be visiting Las Vegas with in-laws who were able to score tickets to the Siegfried and Roy magic show. As though that were not enough, we had seats right up against the stage, as in my left arm could rest upon the stage. The show was as good as its reputation. Maybe even better. Continue reading Siegfried and Roy
I often talk of two-lane roads and roadside creeks. They often can be found together, a good reason for which there is. Streams have been sources of food, pathways for travelers, and the most direct route from the pasture to the barn for millions of cows. Continue reading Silver lining
In some ways, this “stay home” situation has not been terrible. It’s been a couple weeks since I had to buy gas (which is almost a shame with prices so low).
On the other hand, keeping track of time is a bit more difficult. It is weird, for instance, when Friday I think of something I must do Sunday, and when I wake up Saturday morning, I spend the first hour reminding myself it’s not time yet. Continue reading Be social, from a distance
I was standing by the stream when I noticed a wake tracking along the far bank. The head surfaced, and it crossed the creek to the salad bar.
Continue reading Muskrat in the afternoon
The dogwood outside my window is popping like floured corn. Every hour I look at them, the gray-green buds are bigger, pinker four-petaled blooms. I should set up a time-lapse camera. Continue reading Spring has sprang
I think I started noticing trees when I lived in Alaska. I wrote a weekly column which my faithful companion, a Bald Eagle named “J Edgar,” delivered from our home in a hollow log to the editor of the community newspaper. Readers were not surprised “The Ol’ Tundra Stomper” (“Tundra Stomping” being Alaskan for “back country hiking”) had an eagle partner.
Continue reading 50 years, yesterday to an Ent
I was out for a drive and a wander when I happened upon a pair of turkey vultures, perched in a tree, staring down at the road, waiting for dinner to be served.
“Not today,” I said.
Continue reading A-sauntering we should go
Age begins to be an important thought-subject when you start running out of fingers to count the decades. It is easy to look at young folks and say, sometimes in the same breath, they are the future of our existence and they don’t know a darned thing. Continue reading Contemplating kids
The manager of a 24-hour grocery was faced with a reality of calculations. Some people shopped late at night, but not nearly enough of them to pay the bills.
“I am about to change the hours,” he said. “We will open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.”
Some of his customers would complain for a short period, he said, then they would adjust to the new hours. Continue reading Thoughts on a new normal
I visited my niece in Philadelphia last weekend. Wow! It was cold. A little scattered rain, but it was the wind funneling between the buildings that really cut into the weave of my fleece-lined jacket as we walked the half-mile to the BBQ joint where we ate a late lunch.
We passed a pipe from which steam poured out like fireplace smoke – and froze into an icicle on the grating mounted to keep critters and human fingers from touching the pipe. Continue reading No place for no trees
The kid and his dad left Norfolk on the Harley touring bike, day after school was out, with a two-man tent and a couple sleeping bags bound to the luggage rack, and headed north. Continue reading Zen and the art of conversation
I learned about recycling from my mother. Dad was the inventor of the family, who bought what he needed to build what he wanted and then threw away the scraps. Mom just wanted the place to look clean so she could find the scraps she had saved in hopes that one day a thing once destined for the town dump would find usefulness in some new endeavor.
Continue reading History of development is in the waste piles
So far, the snowthrower is safely near the shed door. I suppose I should bring it out and see whether it will start. I gave my snowshoes to my nephew for Christmas. It’s weird in the middle of January to be thinking Spring! already, two months in advance.
Continue reading Winter is springing, already
One weekend a few years ago, a friend needed some brush cut behind his house and I had a gas-powered weedwacker that needed exercise. I three-bladed through two-inch vines like a scythe through a hay field, working up a sweat scattering poison ivy chips all over that part of York County. Continue reading Of Kudzu and poison ivy
Christmas brought me a book store gift card, and I had half of one left over from last year, and now I’ve got three new books and $4 remaining on one gift card. The young woman who tallied my purchase said I could use the money in the snack bar. She didn’t mention, but I’m pretty certain, there is about enough on the card for one cup of coffee. Continue reading Neighborhoods and straight lines
This is the time of year for taking stock of experiences and places, and for celebrating having survived some of the riskier events.
Such as the time we left a four-engine airplane lying beside the runway halfway home from a U.S. Navy deployment to the Philippines. Continue reading A thrilling ride, and it ain’t over
Time, and age, comes on, and things change. Continue reading Coming of age