Monday, April 29, 2013

No foul. Play through.

Professional basketball player Jason Collins says he is black and gay. I didn't know that.

How long has he been black?

Friday, April 26, 2013

More -- from very near Mayberry

You know it’s a retirement town when the back page of the daily newspaper features five puzzles and a bridge column. Brain fodder.

And the best read adv in the paper is a folksy ditty from the most expensive men's clothing store in town. It’s a 1 x 5 adv with a paragraph and photo about the customer of the day. Must reading.

Then, this morning, it finally happened. Someone actually honked a horn on our little one-lane street. We both jumped at the sound. Intrusive.

Woke the dog sleeping at my feet.

And I almost forgot: the hot new band is called Spencer and the String Ticklers. Three banjos, one guitar and a fiddle. Toe tappers, every one.

Love it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's wrong with reporters?

I loved being a reporter. Not only was the job laden with a sense of duty, it had sizzle.

Not anymore.

These days, nobody slithers lower than us. Not even politicians. What the hell happened?

Newspaper reporter job beats out lumberjack, soldier as "Worst Job of 2013" (click here)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The glory of Americans after the blasts

We all read about the Boston runners who kept running after the two bombs mangled so many people. They kept running to the hospital to give blood.

There’s a good chance some of their blood was used to save the life of the second bomber.

The irony. The glory.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Name that pond

Walden, Thoreau, Doonesbury – they all named their ponds. We should, too.

Shangri La, Valhalla, Dreamsicle Falls. Pick one.

“Why don’t we call it The Fish Pond?” she said and went back to sleep.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flowers -- for the living and the dead

Here’s the thing – because of the slope, the people who planted these flowers can barely see them from their porch. They grew this beauty for the rest of us.

Thanks, folks.

We need more beauty on days like today.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The wood pile in search of a fireplace

No. We don’t have a fireplace – I just like the way firewood looks stacked against the fence. Comfort for the eyes while promising warmth for the soul. 

It’s art.

For chilly nights, we do have an outdoor fire pit to sit around with friends, or just each other, That, too, it art. I grew weary of paying jacked grocery store prices for plastic sacks of firewood that was oft too green to catch. Heck, the way I figure it, this half cord paid for itself before the first snow.

As a bonus, this little woodpile is home to some bumble bees, at least one snake and a vigilant frog.

Buy some firewood. Make art.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Shopping local can be fun

Have you ever come from the grocery with this in your sack?

-- Good and Evil Pickles w/Garlic
-- FROG Jam (figs, raspberries, orange, ginger)
-- Mayhaw Jelly
-- Dilly beans
-- Boiled peanuts (an acquired taste)
-- Local red, local white

Shopping in Saluda, N. Carolina. Twenty minutes from our front porch.

Historic Thompson’s Store has been operated by the same family since 1890. Plus we gin up a little business for the M.A. Pace Store, which is also family owned and operated forever.

A bridge? A tunnel? Both?

This is what we almost got to see:

The guide book didn't say the road in was a loop. Naturally, we entered from the back side and that's when the adventure began.

The road, we couldn't help but notice, was gradually getting more and more narrow. Finally, room for only one vehicle at a time with damn few spots wide enough for you to pull off.

The houses looked dark and mysterious in the fading light filtering through the barren trees.

Around a sharp bend there was the most foreboding sight I've ever seen. We were too shocked to take pictures but vow we will return. What got us gasping was the small tunnel we had to drive through to get out of there. Backing up was simply out of the question. No shoulders. Just canyons. Yawning canyons.

Inches. That's all we had to spare. Inches -- top, side and bottom. It was pitch black and wet. I have no depth perception. As we neared the exit hole, the dim light revealed the walls were covered with graffiti. Solid graffiti. Gibberish. Nothing was decipherable. Oh god, we got out. Alive. In the distance, I could hear banjos begin to duel.

Our hearts were still racing when we came upon the next strange thing. Battery-operated traffic signals. Bridge repairs forced traffic into barely one lane. But there were no other cars on the road for miles. Could it be a trap? Did you hear that? Highwaymen?

Finally, we crunched our way to the guard house at the gate. A kindly guy came out to greet us and take our five bucks. "You'uns come up the gravel road, did ye? Passed through that tunnel, did ye? Only it hain't no tunnel. Hit's a bridge." I was not prepared to argue the difference.

We never got to see the falls. There are over 200 steps up the mountain before you get to any sort of vista. Among the three of us, two were sporting pacemakers. We demurred. And the gatekeeper generously refunded our five dollars.

But we are going back for pictures of the tunnel/bridge. I promise.

In a smaller car.

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