September 25, 2013

It’s over.

No.

Not the drouth.

Summer.

Officially over.

Autumn took its place.

Scooted in on Sunday.

Made itself to home.

Bringing cool mornings.

With rain to beat the band last week.

A nice send-off to Summer.

And a fortunate herald to Fall.

Must be the season of the witch.

Manna from heaven.

Liquid gold.

The perpetual topic of conversation.

Rain.

We pray for it.

We wait for it.

We give thanks for it.

As it falls from above.

Without legislation.

Taxation.

Discrimination.

Registration.

Proclamation.

Administration.

Regimentation

Violation.

Recrimination.

Or indoctrination.

Rain.

Pure as the driven snow.

Independent.

Free for all.

It falls where it will.

When it will.

Stays as long as it wants.

Moves as fast as it likes.

Favors no one.

Answers to no one.

Owes no one.

And no one owns it.

Rain never cowers.

Or backs up.

Or looks over its shoulder.

It endures.

Like faith, hope, and charity.

Rain.

La lluvia.

May las gotas de lluvia keep falling on our heads.

That’s Mason.

September 18, 2013

Bog.

Cog.

Clog.

Dog.

Flog.

Fog.

Frog.

Grog.

Hog.

Jog.

Log.

You could tell a whole story with those words.

And then there’s “blog.”

Which sounds like some kind of obstruction.

Impacted.

In need of removal.

“Oh man, I got a blog in my [blank].”

“The engine sounds like it needs a new blog.”

Or something heavy.

“Yeah, the party was a real blog.”

“He was last seen wandering the blog.”

And yet…

And yet, blog is a…, well, it’s a thing on the internet.

Both a verb and a noun.

We not only have blogs.

We blog on our blogs.

Which makes us bloggers.

The word is a contraction of “web log.”

Basically, it’s a personal website or web page where one records personal

opinions, links to other sites, and so forth on a regular basis.

A sort of “open book” diary.

“Dear Diary…and all my most intimate friends throughout the free, and not so

free, world (which could be a billion or so) who have access to the Internet and are reading this…”

It’s a laughable word.

Maybe because it resembles “blob.”

Some might remember that movie.

Blog is one of those fun words to insert in place of the usual one.

Such as in songs:

“All my blogs live in Texas…”

“What the world needs now is blog, more blog…”

“I left my blog in San Francisco…”

Or titles of movies:

The Blogfather.

The Lord of the Blogs.

Dirty Blog.

Or books:

Moby Blog.

Lady Chatterley’s Blog.

The Blog of Monte Cristo.

To blog, or not to blog.

That is the question.

It’s enough to bloggle the mind.

That’s Mason.

September 4, 2013

Litany of the Working Person

Give out.

Tired.

Tard.

(As Grandma Nano used to say.)

Plum tuckered out.

Spent.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

I’ve had it.

I’m toast.

Kaput.

Finito.

I’m outta here.

Get-up-and-go has got up and went.

No energy.

Pooped.

I got nuthin.’

I’m beat.

Worn out.

Weary.

Depleted.

Dead tired.

Fatigued.

(Sound familiar?)

Run ragged.

Run down.

Done in.

Bushed.

Worn to a frazzle.

Cansado.

Fatigado.

Aburrido.

Dog-tired.

Dead on my feet.

Exhausted.

Drooping.

Petered out.

I’m ready to drop.

I need a vacation.

I need a day off.

I need a break.

I need a nap.

But since I just got up…

I need coffee most of all.

You can get good java at Stripes.

Short Stop.

Gigi’s.

Nu-Way.

Topaz Confections.

And Willow Creek Café.

Or at church on Sunday.

The day of rest.

For some.

That’s Mason.

August 28, 2013

[It’s tradition to run this column every year]

Last week Mason County News published the School Supply List for Mason Elementary and Mason Junior High.

You can probably find most of these items at Hinckley’s General Store.

Anyway, I was so intrigued I just couldn’t put it down.

The list began with Pre-K.

And was appropriately short.

One large box of crayons.

One box of Kleenex.

And a rest mat.

Ain’t life grand?

You can color.

You can cry if you want to.

And you can take a nap.

Then it goes to Kindergarten.

Suddenly  the whole world opens up with watercolors, scissors, glue, No. 2 pencils, crayola markers, crayons, and even a notebook just like the big kids.

Plus the rest mat.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

First-Graders, buckle up.

There’ll be no more rest for you.

Mats are a thing of the past.

But you still get that box of Kleenex.

You’ll probably need it since they replaced your rest mat with a backpack specifically for “carrying books and papers” (do you see where this is going?).

In Second Grade, things really heat up.

There’s red pencils and colored pencils plus lots of regular pencils and a pencil sharpener (which means you’re gonna be wearing out those No. 2s) plus erasers and a ruler and two spiral notebooks and (gulp)…two boxes of Kleenex.

Whew. We’re now at what age?

Six? Seven?

Ah, childhood is but a fading memory.

Third Grade also gets two boxes of Kleenex.

Which is good because they’ve now added one more spiral notebook (that makes three), grading pencils (don’t dare draw with them), five pocket folders, and a pencil box.

So cry your eyes out while you can because in Fourth Grade you’re back to one box of Kleenex.

And lose the crayons.

Who do you think you are? A kid or something?

And you can kiss color goodbye.

You’re entering the black-and-white world of reality, except we’ll let you keep a red pen and some colored pencils just to help you through this transition.

Because Fifth and Sixth Grade ain’t for sissies.

It’s a black-and-blue world out there.

You get notebook paper, pencils, a ruler, scissors, glue…and black and blue pens. And one red checking pen. So don’t go thinking that’s for fun or anything silly like that.

The good news is you still get one box of Kleenex.

You’ll need it as you enter Seventh and Eighth Grade.

If you thought it would get easier, forget it.

By now, color is a distant memory (notice the watercolors didn’t hang around very long).

So is the rest mat.

Instead, you get even more notebook paper, more dividers and markers and pencils and pens and spiral notebooks and folders and reinforcements (reinforcements?).

Plus, an extra-large binder. 

A protractor (that sounds like it might hurt). 

A big ol’ backpack to carry it all.

And one box of Kleenex.

Because no matter what age, there’s nothing like a good cry.

That’s Mason.

Pathfinder

The clouds went one way.

Black birds went the other.

Why must we bother

To record the days

When all that comes and

Comes undone

Goes forth without

Any aid.

Calendars of other years

Were torched and set a-sailing.

This should be the way

Of all yesterdays.

This could be the way

To the pass.

Fine grass invades the glade.

Black bear smells the air.

 

[from the Watermark series, by Renee Walker]

Learning To Stay In One Place

I.

The storm tears ’round

And the wind bears down

On the rooted things.

What is rooted will cling

To the deep-set stratum.

What is new will bring

No strength from its planting.

The new will cower under stormy stratus

As rain beats into dying grasses.

Storm! Tear ’round!

Whip the morning-glory!

Near to the ground, the new will spoil.

Next Spring will find its roots in the soil.

 

II.

The frozen soil,

Turned up next Spring,

Will sing the song of rooted things.

A calm pervades as the cold blows over,

As the bees come ’round

For new-sprung clover.

What was new is newer still—

Verdant under April’s chill.

The sun, urging forth its warm,

Fondly fingers the freshly born.

 

III.

Summer finds the newly-set

Older some, stronger yet.

More certain now, it sends its roots

To cleave to granite:

Grow into it!

The roots obey; the roots go fast

To grasp at clay, rock, and grass.

All is set, deep-driven, firm.

When frost appears,

It is Austumn’s turn.

Autumn takes the earth in hand

‘Round to orange, red, and brown.

What was new, rootless once,

Is settled well for Winter’s crown.

 

[from the Watermark series, by Renee Walker]

 

 

 

August 21, 2103

What’s in a name?

Funny you should ask.

Just about everything.

One’s history.

One’s ancestry.

One’s creativity:

Copper Penny.

Cherry Wood.

Or sense of humor:

Muddy Waters.

Rip Torn.

Perhaps nobility reigns.

Von this.

Van that.

Or one’s trade.

Cooper.

Potter.

Farmer.

Miller.

Even funnier is what’s in a nickname.

Pinky.

Shorty.

Peanut.

Fish.

Tiny.

Red.

Chili.

Boss.

Anyway.

Names for animals are just as fun.

And endearing.

Poppy.

Olive.

Buster.

Holly.

Kiko.

Dozer.

Big.

Biscuit.

Tux, the cat.

Pete, the horse.

Rudy.

Rooster.

Daisy.

Elvis.

Emma.

Sissy.

Frieda.

And, of course…

Old Yeller.

That’s Mason

Cloudless

I need

No more time

To divine

These dull seasons.

Reasons

Are unreasonable excuses

To me.

It seems like

Traveling time

Has arrived.

I found a five

In my old coat pocket.

The door?

I’ll lock it.

The garden

Can go to

Seed.

The seeds

Can remain beads

In their packet.

Tracks

I will make

On this dirt path,

Swept leafless.

 

Cloudless

I need no more time

To divine

These dull seasons.

Reasons

Are unreasonabl excuses

To me.

I found a five

In my

Old coat pocket.

The door?

I’ll lock it.

The garden

Can go to seed.

The seeds

Can remain beads

In their packets.

Tracks

I will make

On this dirt path,

Swept leafless.

August 14, 2013

Flower Power.

Flowers have it.

Fresh flowers, that is.

On bushes and vines.

From seeds and bulbs.

And also cut flowers.

Flower bouquet.

Flower arrangement.

Flower petals.

Or a single flower.

Like one red rose.

Symbol of love.

Buy flowers.

Bring flowers.

Give flowers.

Send flowers.

No matter how you do it—

Say it with flowers.

The Petal Patch can help with that.

And so can Wildflowers.

Something for every occasion.

Wedding.

Funeral.

Anniversary.

Birthday.

Congratulations.

Get well.

Church.

Reception.

Retirement.

Dinner party.

First date.

Nothing says it quite like fresh flowers.

Whether in a basket or vase.

A box lined with gold foil.

A bouquet wrapped in paper and tied with a bow.

Or an orchid corsage on Prom Night.

(That might be passé these days.)

Nonetheless…

Flower power is here to stay.

Speaking a language all their own.

In whatever form.

A hand-picked posy of wildflowers works as much magic as a dozen long-stemmed roses.

It’s the thought that counts.

Cheer up.

I’m sorry.

Thank you.

Best wishes.

Good luck.

I love you.

That’s Mason.

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