Usually, by mid-April, the snow has receded from the narrow valley in which my cabin is located and I am able to drive
in and see how everything has overwintered.Yesterday, that girl, her sister, and I drove up to the cabin to do just
Big news: We did not experience a
Something close to three feet of
dense, crusty snow remains spread across most of the valley like a hard shell.The road in is still no more than a narrow
trail cut between snowbanks. Parts of the
road have degraded into full-blown mud bogs.All along the creek, the once upright willows have been squashed utterly
flat by winter’s inordinately heavy snows.
Not terribly far from the cabin, I
managed to find a wide enough spot in the road to park.The girls pulled heavy boots onto their feet
and we crabbed across the surface of the snow to reach the cabin.Each of us crashed through the snow at
various points—often finding ourselves buried nearly waist deep.
We found the cabin still held in snow—looking
like a precious stone fixed in place by a heavy white setting.
We poked around.The cabin had fared well.
After leaving the cabin, we drove into
Lincoln.There, we stopped at Lambkin’s
for a Bloody Mary.I chatted about the
snow and our long winter with the woman tending the bar as she scuttled about
mixing the drinks.
Long, this one.
When I asked her how deep the snow was
in Lincoln at heart of winter, she said: “Deep enough that we had a few roofs
collapse under the weight.”
We drove home by way of Stemple Pass.
As we ascended in elevation, we encountered
cabins and homes along the road with several feet of snow still remaining on
their roofs.I spotted one log cabin
with an addition that had experienced a total roof collapse.Every mountainside supported at least one temporary
cascade of snowmelt crashing down onto the roadway.
Early this morning, while soaking in
my hut tub, I witnessed as a meteor stabbed a brilliant blade of white deep
into our starry sky.
Consider: the chunk of debris that I
saw as a shooting star was born of violence and then hurled through empty space,
without meaningful contact, for untold years, only to perish in a brief and
nameless flash upon reaching our vital atmosphere.
Late yesterday evening, I glanced over
at that girl while we were sitting together on the sofa and asked: “Is that a
jet I am hearing?”
“Yes,” she answered.
I could hear deep rumbling over the
sound of our television.The sound was profound
enough I felt it lightly tickling at my skin.
Curious, I stepped outside the front
door and looked up into the sky.High
above our valley, slicing through thin layers of clouds, I saw a formation of four
jets flying straight southward.
Big jets.Transports or Bombers.
I returned to the sofa and gave the
jets no more thought.
At 4:30 this morning, I stepped out
the front door after getting my coffee started and scanned the stars, as is
always my habit.Low and to the east, I
noticed what I thought was a cluster of four stars blinking.
What would make stars blink like that,
I studied them more closely.
They were advancing against the
stationary stars nearby.
Curious, I walked out into the chill
prairie darkness and studied the blinking stars.The stars began to approach more rapidly as I
watched.Soon, they transformed into a diamond formation of four jets flying westward high above our valley.
A spoonerism is an error or purposeful
play in speech where consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched between two
corresponding words.A famous and
somewhat crude example is saying “He is a
fart smeller” as opposed to “He is a smart
Spoonerisms are named after a rather smart
feller named Reverend William Archibald Spooner.Mr. Spooner, a Warden of New College,
Oxford, was afflicted with a propensity to regularly (and accidentally) flip
words in what we now term spoonerisms.
Spooner, who died in 1930, was an
albino.He also suffered from poor
eyesight and was said to be somewhat absentminded.One of his more famous spoonerisms was this: “It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.”
Pretty good stuff, right there.
Spoonerisms and other forms of
wordplay are something of a bane in my life.
I enjoy them a bit too much.
In my mind, I don’t walk “around”
something.I walk “asquare.”I don’t “forget” something.I “fiveget.”A carpenter buddy and I have been calling the backing boards inside
My list on this kind of wordplay is
On occasion, I will fiveget my place and use wordplay during
the course of an important meeting or while instructing a class.I suppose I should, at this stage of my life,
outgrow such childish habits.But…no…I
have a few more to toss out there befive my done is day.