hello, september

The golden-rod is yellow;

The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

'Tis a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.

- Hellen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)


TBTWhen I was thinking of what to enter for a "throwback Thursday" posting, I was coming up empty.

Then I remembered bumping into a friend, and like a proud parent pulling out pictures of their children, I started talking about my novel.

Yeah, I'm sure people are sick of me talking about it. I'm not. (Bill types with a big grin on his face.)

I try and work into my story that I had been working on that dang novel for over 10 years.

And what gave me the idea for the story in the first place?

Continue reading "inspiration" »

the blessing and lessons of Molly

Molly2This story dropped into my Facebook newsfeed the other day.  It's one of those universal tales that anyone who has cared for (a.k.a. "loved") a pet will recognize.  CAUTION: Grab a few tissues; you might need them while you read this one.

Almost twelve years ago, I saw a flyer in a grocery store advertising a dog available for adoption. She was a year and half old, 35 pounds, and spayed after already birthing a litter. My wife and I met her a week after that. She was goofy and sweet, friendly to people, but couldn't stay with the multi-dog family who'd taken her off the streets. Any female canine within visual range was on her "kill" list. That's part of being born as a street dog. I brought her home in the passenger seat of my 2000 Chevy S-10 about two weeks later.

My wife named her Molly.

Continue reading "the blessing and lessons of Molly" »

Throwback Thursday -- Beep! Beep!

TBTI had to update my iTunes programs the other day, and while I was waiting for the downloads and installs to complete, I happened to notice there was a new CD with music by Billy Ocean. And among those songs was the one I always think about when someone mentions his name.

"Get Out of My Dreams, Get Into My Car"

And cue the "way back" music. I started laughing and remembered the song he released in 1988 which I thought was one of the most clever pop songs I had heard. Even after almost 30 years it still is a toe-tapper - and just plain fun. Check out the fashions of the day!!


skunk wars

StinkyPeteYears ago we didn’t have residential trash pickup, a garbage disposal, or public sewer.  So we had a burn barrel for what we could destroy with fire, our wet garbage was put in a garbage bucket and dumped on a hill away from the house, and sewage which overflowed from an underground drainage field had to sometimes be scooped from an outside grease trap and dumped in another part of the property.

Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.

Continue reading "skunk wars" »

northmen ethics

I have long been intrigued by those who live off the land ("off the grid" as it's now called) - pioneers who for the most part were self-reliant.

I think it was the words of Henry David Thoreau which first set in my mind the challenge of such a life:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

And then there was that day I went to see the movie "My Side of the Mountain" based on the book by Jean Craighead George.

There was something that appealed to me about living alone. There is a sense of life being lived differently, with greater awareness.

Some of that awareness seems to be echoed in the Northmen's Code of Ethics.  Lots to ponder here...

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/henrydavid107665.html


wedding, post 1 - memories

I remember the first time I held her. So tiny and so wonderful. My sister's first child. My niece.

I remember the night she watched her first Disney animated movie - "The Little Mermaid".

I remember her driving around in a little motorized car my Dad gave to her one Christmas. I remember their smiles - big, broad, and so full of joy.

I remember her first day at pre-kindergarten and the days afterward when she would ride along with me to school. Me a teacher, she sucking a binky and singing along to the Bible tune tape she loved to listen to.

I remember holding her in my lap - and wishing she would never grow up. How desperately we wish that time would stand still.

I remember the time I made her cry because of something I said. One of the saddest days of my life. It still brings a lump to my throat when I realize how deeply she feels things.

I remember her struggles in school and college - and how wonderfully she overcame them through hard work and incredible creativity.

I remember her greatest victories and her private little bumps in the road.

She's my niece - and today she becomes a bride...


It's Friday...


Yes - it's Friday, and this weekend we remember our fallen men and women who died defending our country. Here is an emotional clip from one of Ronald Reagan's speeches reminding us that our brave soldiers gave up two lives - "...the one they were living, and the one they would have lived." 



Shack2Sometimes object lessons appear before us when we least expect them.

My dad’s old Amish shed sat unopened for many years.  During that time, ivy grew up its northern wall and around the ground outside of it.  Several holes appeared in its roof allowing rain to invade and rot the interior of the building.  A rose planted in one of its raised beds began to resemble the demonic thorn bush Maleficent magically grew to prohibit Prince Philip from reaching the sleeping beauty, Aurora.  A flowering shrub was planted to balance the rosebush on the front of the building and grew into a small tree.  Groundhogs and rabbits and snakes and spiders and ants took up residence within its walls and beneath its plywood floor.  A volunteer tree grew beside the building's south side in seeming sympathy – to keep it company and to shade it from the afternoon sun.

Continue reading "neglect" »