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Grandmothers swatting flies

I’m trying to get some work done here. Really I am.  And this damn fly just won’t leave me alone.  There’s a whole huge screened-in back porch here, and he just won’t stop flying next to me, literally, right in my face.

I don’t want to or have to kill him. I mean, I could.  It’s a skill that I learned from my father, how to kill flies by clapping your hands just above where they are going to fly, unsuspecting, upwards.  I can get them almost every time. Continue reading


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Lambs in the basement: a winter flashback

A hot cup of coffee.   Crispy, almost burnt toast.  An uncomfortable sense that I’m already behind in my day.  The only thing missing in this flashback to my childhood is the sound of bleating lambs coming from the basement, awaiting their breakfast.  I half expect my mother to turn the corner into the room, berating me for still lingering at the table instead of mixing up their vanilla-smelling milk concoction, made from powered Real Imitation Milk. Continue reading


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Paradise

Last night, I was sitting in paradise.  I was on the front porch of my country house, watching the most spectacular natural light show I’ve ever seen.  Hundreds – maybe even thousands – of fireflies were out in force, making the air sparkle.  The position of our house is in a valley, and so there is a dark mountain backdrop that accentuates the pinpricks of light even more.  Even in all my years on the farm, on all those acres, I never saw so many fireflies in one place, so earnestly calling to each other with light.

While I was on the porch, it was completely silent except for the drips of gentle rain hitting the leaves.  There were no cars, no electric motors, no phones or airplanes – nothing but nature itself to break the silence.  It’s too early in the season for crickets and other than the rain there was only a very occasional chirrup from some night bird or chipmunk.  It was complete and utter paradise, and exactly what I wanted. Continue reading