Sunday, August 29, 2010

Magpie Tales #29

For a tiding of magpies go over here......
Dear Mr. Paige,
I drove by the old homestead the other day. My granddaughter, Crystal-Lily was with me. We'd been out to the cemetery to tend the flower plantings and she began asking who all those people were whose names were chiseled on the various stones. I introduced her to a goodly share of her French and Irish ancestors. Soon she asked if she could see where I grew up. We got back in the car and I gave her a tour of the neighborhood where I'd grown up.. when we drove by the church, Notre Dame, where I'd been catholocized, she was awed by the size and grandeur of the place. Any way, I'm getting away from the the point of my letter.
Next we drove over to the Oak street bungalow that you sold to dad for $3,000.00 in 1948. I told her we'd moved to this house when I was 3 years old, and I didn't leave 'til I was 17 and joined the Navy.
Lily wondered if the place had changed much since I'd lived there. Noting the changes; additions and renovations I mentioned what wasn't there: the old chicken coop. No longer housing chickens, that dilapidated old building provided a grand stage for all my friends and my imaginary feats. The building was a pretty good size for a coop; probably 400 sq. ft. with a sloping roof from 6 or 7 ft. on the high side to maybe 5 ft an the low side.
"What kind of things did you do out there grand-paw?"
"One time, my friend Donny and I were playing on the roof, of the coop, pretending that it was the deck of our pirate ship. Pretty soon we'd inadvertently stirred up a hornet's nest under the high side eave."
"Did they sting you grand-paw?"
"No, but they took after Donny, and he took off running so fast that he didn't touch the ground 'til he was twenty feet away and even then he didn't fall but continued to run as fast as his legs could move and he never stopped 'til he'd run through the field for the two blocks to his house."
Lily and I laughed as hard in the retelling as I did that day.
Yours in memory,

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Although official autumn is near a month away, it's this time of year, when we get teasing glimpses of the season to come, that has always been my favorite. The cooler nights invite one to fill the chiminea with seasoned wood to sit and gaze into, enjoying the blaze's warmth both physical and psychological.

The morning sun creeping up over the clouds to the east illuminates the west setting full moon.

At the same time backlighting the tremendous cacophony from the murder of crows holding court for all to hear for miles around.

It should go without saying that this is the time of year when the majority of the season's gardening efforts come to fruition

The humidity falls, the morning air is cool, crisp and fresh, especially coming south from Canada. Only a few breaths are necessary to infuse me with energy, looking forward to the new day.

It's a good day to count our blessings: good health, close family, comfortable circumstances amidst trying times nationally and world wide.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

After a reasonable difficult paddle yesterday morning into a north wind pushing the river against it's natural current, D. and I went for a training walk. Me, to get ready for the portages on the 90 miler and she, to get back into it after a 6 week hiatus due to her back muscle tear. I have a 4 mile route mapped out that includes some (4) steep hills; 2 going and 2 returning. It takes the better part of an hour to finish. It was just a tad too long for D.'s first back-at-it, but really she did great. I was fine when I sat down to a lunch of a fresh tomato sandwich with a handful of scoops and a sugarless cran-raspberry seltzer my daughter left here. However when I tried to get up I realized the next stumbling steps would be to the nook where the Motrin bottle is stored. ;)

Shortly after lunch we made the trek home to do the daily chores there: get the mail, feed the cat, get the newspaper (to include the Sunday paper which I missed due to Sunday's 3 1/2 hr. paddle in the rain with my partner Leigh), do some laundry and check the garden. 'Heavens to Murgatroyd' the garden was in dire need of harvesting. First of all the beans were far too big to be good eating so they're done for the year, but they did provide us 3 good weeks of fresh beans every night for supper. The eggplants had 4 ready to harvest, the cukes, all but one, were too small, but they too provided a bushel full this summer and more are coming, the broccoli and cabbage are ready to harvest and plentiful enough to feed the county. Tomatoes? No you don't even want to know about the tomatoes. I picked, conservatively, 80 lbs. (I lift weights regularly, I know what 40 lbs in each hand feels like!) of tomatoes, both Romas and Big Boy. Perfect, yes perfect they were in their full ripe voluptuousness, red, red, red, succulent ripened by the sun just waiting to be gently caressed as they were plucked from their vines.

There are dozens of winter squash finishing up the ripening process. Both the deep forest green Acorn and the creamy Waltham butternut will soon be stored in the root cellar ready to bring their sweet yellow flesh to the winter table.

Rutabagas, dozens, are huge and ready except for the frost that will sweeten them and make them then ready to pull and store in the cellar too

Back to the camp for a supper of cheese, crackers,and Merlot (Red Diamond: try it, you'll like it!)
D. filled a kettle with scalded and skinned Romas to be cooked down into sauce today.

And all is right with our world. Except that rel II got strep throat on his return to Texas.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

When I arose an hour ago and peered out through the twin windows that face the shore my eyes and mind noted the placid stillness of the water. Following the dock out into the depths the mist to the right was ethereal and tempted me to sally forth in search of meditation in the cockpit of my water craft and to hunt out photos of misty shorelines. Across the mile wide river, rising above the water a thin line of transparent fog drifted along the Canadian shore line. I thought: Yes perhaps after a coffee and a check of my emails I will slip out into the peaceful calm.
Forty-five minutes later, fortified by freshly brewed java and having updated my Facebook status, I venture out-of-doors to evaluate the air temperature and to go to the shoreline to estimate the density of the morning mist. Finding the air uncomfortably chilly and noting the wispiness of the diminishing fog , I decide to return to the comfort of the cottage with its oscillating heater and to there-in indulge myself with en autre tasse de cafe and read some more pages of my novel "Oxygen."

Coming to a chapter end I glance again to the river through the window to see , or not to see. For now the dock, the river, the Canadian shore line have disappeared in the dense fog. The cedars, only a few feet from the cottage, are now draped in a negligee of misty air. The surreal landscape begs to have it's photo taken. I'm reminded of a similar morn a few years ago when I ventured out, only to get lost and disoriented in the dense fog for a good part of an hour. Afraid to paddle for fear of getting into the channel and becoming flotsam for some ocean liner knifing through the water.
Suffice it to say I'll let caution dictate that a photo from the shore will be sufficient to satisfy my imagination and bring a meditative peace to my inner being.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

It's raining this morning. Actually, it's been raining for greater than 24 hours. I mention this not because of any chagrin on my part, actually I enjoy rainy days, but to bring your attention to a "political" observance. The river level is going down. It goes down at this time every year. Yesterday as Leigh and I headed out for a long training paddle, I noticed that the shore had receded a couple of feet. Now when marinas and boaters question the "authorities " as to why the water is receding they are told that it's because of the minimal rainfall through the summer. Well, this summer we've had ample rainfall and the fact that it has rained continuously for greater than twenty-four hours to date I'm puzzled as to why the shore has receded another 3 feet over night. I know the reason, so what irks me actually is the lieing pablum they feed us; the gullible. It's always about the money, always has been. "They" need more depth in Montreal. Plain and simple. So why not just say so and be done with it.
Today I'll be reporting for jury duty: 0930 at the county court house.
The family have all returned safely to their respective homes away from home. The Texas crew were delayed x 1 day in Atlanta but got to San Antonio on Saturday and after a two hour drive arrived home in Corpus Christi. The girls start school today. Talk about a whirlwind August. The time flew by as it always does when you pack in tons of activity but it was great having everyone together. It's a rare occasion when all the family can be together here with they're being scattered far and wide.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

She slipped into her bath with a contented sigh. Jennie loved the afternoons she spent with Alex. Being with him made her feel much younger; he had such a joie de vivre and it was infectious. She loved it when he held her hand and those times when he curbed his energy long enough to look into her eyes and say, "I love you."

But now it was time to soak off her afternoon delight with Alex before Jim came home from work looking for his supper. He liked her to smell fresh and clean for him and he'd be irked if he smelled a hint of her afternoon pleasures. Ooo, just a few more minutes here in this hot, lavender scented bath luxuriating in the warmth of both the water and her thoughts.

Startled by the opening of the bathroom door, Jennie stared with surprise into the eyes of her husband Jim, twinkling with desire, as he took in the scene of his wife in her bath. His lips turned up in a grin that telegraphed his lustful thoughts.

"Oh my", she said demurely, "You're home early. I'm just getting out. Will you grab my towel for me?"

He took the violet colored towel from the heated rack and held it open for her. Opening the valve to let her day with Alex swirl down the drain, she stepped out of her tub and into the waiting towel and the arms of her husband. As he wrapped the towel around her his hands found her breasts and cupped them firmly as he pulled her butt tight against his thighs. He inhaled deeply the heady aroma of her freshly shampooed hair and gently ran the tip of his tongue up the side of her neck and carefully sucked the lobe of her ear between his lips and whispered, "how was your day with Alex? I hope he knows how lucky he is to have a grammy like you."

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Photo by Willow

The river is calm; not a ripple to be seen.
The flag hangs heavy
From yonder pole.
In the far distance
The rumble of
Water filling
His watering can.
There’s a storm abrewin’.
Gunmetal gray
Sieve drizzles
To pock the placid surface.
Drip, drip, drip
Drip. Drip, drip, drip, drip
On the metal roof;
Drop, drop, drop
To the stone landing below.
His garden watered,
The river restored;
The tap is closed.
All is plumb.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

The sun was
Up this morning;
Now hiding under
The quilted sky.

The angry river,
Quieter now,
It’s undercurrent
Still displayed
Across it’s surface.

And the reservoir
Awaits patiently
For busy hands
To return.