Archive: » 2020 » October

We’re In This Hostage Crisis Together

Every day I wake up, hummin’ a song But I don't need to run around, I just stay at home And sing a little love song, my lover, myself If there's something that you wanna hear, you can sing it yourself  — “Everything is Free,” by Gillian Welch |———| Late every afternoon, just before decamping to the back-deck gazebo to read and listen to NPR, I pick up my Yamaha classical guitar and run through several scales, then play a half-dozen or so songs. The lyrics above are part of one of the songs I have learned to play. “Everything is Free” ostensibly is about how streaming music...

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Seeking The Beauty, The Blessings

A large succulent grows in a pot on our side deck, under the careful care of my Beautiful Mystery Companion. She often moves plants around, trying to find just the right combination of sunlight and shade. This season, she scored a goal by placing this succulent, called the Zulu Giant, or stapelia gigantia, in this spot. It has exploded in size and bloomed for the first time in the years she has cared for it. The bloom is exotic and somewhat creepy, as can be seen in the accompanying photo. That dark spot in the center of the bloom consists of the detritus of dead flies, which is how the bloom is pollinated....

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Adding a Greenhouse Before Winter Arrives

I recently bought a greenhouse kit on eBay for my Beautiful Mystery Companion, who loves nothing more than to play in the dirt — unless it is playing with a puppy. We have a bevy of decorative plants she tends to, while forbidding me to do anything more than admire them. I am happy to oblige. I can kill a plant just by staring at it too long. It’s a gift. For years, the plants in winter have taken up residence either in the house or the shop, which is a one-car attached garage filled with power tools rendered useless when the plants arrive. They don’t fare well in either location — not enough...

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Mucking About With the Muscovy Ducks

Just off Judson Road in my hometown of Longview, there is a creek behind an apartment complex that was dammed up decades ago to create a small lake. I lived for about a month at Willow Lake Apartments when I first returned to Longview in 2008, while the house I had purchased was being remodeled. I am not positive that Willow Lake is the official name of the lake (it doesn’t show up on any maps I could find online), but since it is partially surrounded by willow trees, that works for me. I often cut through the narrow road on the west side of the lake to get from our house to the Big Box Stores....

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The Last Handshake Amidst The Pandemic

The last time I shook hands with someone was in early March. A friendly fellow, who occasionally came to the CrossFit Citadel gym, stuck his hand out. I shook it, really before thinking. The coronavirus was already in the news, a faraway threat but rapidly drawing closer. After the handshake, I unobtrusively went into the restroom and washed my hands. The last time I hugged someone besides my Beautiful Mystery Companion occurred the next day, when a woman who I hadn’t seen at the gym in months got out of her car the same time I did. She’s what we call a “hugger” in East Texas. It was good...

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