First Day Of School

County schools opened today.  Kids lined up for yellow buses everywhere.  It seemed too early–weather was still too hot for school.

Did teachers ask students to write compositions about what they did on summer vacation, to then be read aloud in front of the class?  I dreaded every new school year because of this.

Of course, the other elephant in the room, was the eclipse.  Compared to drama in other parts of the country, it was a non-event here.  The sun went in-and-out of clouds so much, it was hard to tell what was eclipse, and what wasn’t.

What had I done on summer vacation?  The question answered with shoulder shrugs and general indifference.  There were some things one didn’t ‘fess up to.

The truth was–I went to the creek with my brother.  Skipped rocks and committed numerous infractions.  Going to the creek was forbidden.  Skipped vespers at church camp with a partner-in-crime.  Sworn to secrecy.  I could have been excommunicated; or something worse if my parents found out.

 

 

Another One of Those Days

The day started as usual. When I returned from walking the dogs at seven this morning, the doors to the sunroom were closed.

A bad sign; the thermostat near the A/C read nearly 80 degrees. Our patched-together HVAC unit bit the dust. After mowing and trimming the lawn, we holed up in the sunroom–which had its own HVAC system.

Technicians worked till around 3:30 in the afternoon.  All turned out well in the end–although a few dollars poorer. Chalked up as another chapter in the joys of home ownership.

Sticks and Stones

Away from home

While missing home

Tropical uncertainties traded

For low humidity, blue skies

Family traditions

Free room and board

Minor discomforts

Boring road food

Some of it was acting

Acting, for the benefit

Of those in attendance

Buddy Holly tribute eyewear

In fashion–without thought

Given to rockabilly legends

Some left to make room

for those, yet to come

Modern-day prophets

Rested, never knowing

Their promised lands

Mere words unimportant

Sticks and stones

 

Moving Ahead

Getting ready for a trip out of town. It’s supposed to rain as much as ten inches in the next three days because of a tropical weather system.

That’s making for additional preparations. Should I take umbrellas, rain ponchos? A towel to dry off our two mutts that always travel with us? All of these will be likely be taken.

A new pet barrier was installed between the two front seats in the car. Our dogs are too big to be lap dogs while driving. Maggie will probably still poke her nose behind it–as she tends to get bored easily.

Hoping the rain slacks off as we head northward. Some cooler weather, would also be nice.

The Snake Road

Nobody called it “Snake Road” back then–when we passed en route to family reunions.  Where?  Ware. Where? Ware.  There was no escaping kid silliness at the turn off from tiny Ware, Illinois.

LaRue Road and Forest Service Road 345–better known as the “Snake Road” in the Shawnee National Forest of Southern Illinois is closed for reptilian and amphibian spring migrations from limestone bluffs to nearby swamps–as it has been for four decades.

The road is closed again, when migration reverses from summer to winter habitats. It’s a herpetologist’s dream come true.  For those squeamish about slithering creatures, a place to avoid.  For those that don’t mind creepy things crawling around their feet–pedestrian traffic is welcomed.

Would you dare brave the two-and-a-half mile “Snake Road” on foot?  It may be small comfort to know that snakes keep the rodent population in check.

The list of amphibians and reptiles given right-of-way is quite diverse–from bird-voiced tree frogs, eastern hognosed snakes, worm snakes, five-lined skinks, to timber rattlesnakes, and much more.

Nature’s wonders allowed to progress, with the minor inconvenience, of a twice-yearly blocked country road.  Have a “slithery” day!

 

http://www.mailroom_r9_shawnee@fs.fed.us/–

What Would It Take…

…To get you behind the wheel of this new Chromemobile 500 today?  No money down, easy on the budget, payment terms.  You know you like it.

After car shopping yesterday, my wife and I were completely exhausted.  For the record, it was her idea this time.  Why was this process like having multiple root canals?  One dealership completely ignored us.  How did they stay in business?

I’m aware that I have “car-it is.” It was inherited from my father.  That was why I stayed away from car dealerships, car shows.  The first step was admitting there was a problem.  Confession was good for the soul.

It had been five years since my last obsession.  There was a slick-looking compact pickup truck my wife fell in love with.  She did her best to persuade me.  It’s parked in our garage.