bits and pieces

I took off of work last Friday as a sort of mental health day (and also because we now have “unlimited” vacation time, which tends to cause employees to take less vacation time than if they knew they had an upper limit). My plan was to go out to my little cabin and relax, maybe do some chores, maybe do some writing, maybe swim in the lake.

What I had dismissed was the unpleasant (for our part of the world) heat and humidity. I arrived at the cabin early in the afternoon and the temperature on the shady porch was 90 degrees. The temperature inside the cabin (with a metal roof) was a cooler 88 degrees. There was certainly no way I was going to do chores in that heat, especially since I was alone. That left all of the other activities. As you can see above, I did do some writing on that hot porch, but it was impossible to concentrate. Not only were the fish jumping on the lake, but birds were flitting in the trees all around me, including hummingbirds fighting at the feeder I set out, and I had further confrontations with those wasps (see here). I finally took a scorched earth policy that included bug spray, a swatter, and removal of their nest. My shirt was clinging to my sweaty skin, and I imagined other insects biting and stinging me through it.

I had intended to stay the night, but the prospect of sleeping in an 80+ degree cabin was not appealing. Once I resigned myself, I packed up and headed home where there is running water, clean sheets, and air conditioning.


Not the finest photo I’ve ever taken, but it depicts what I want to show. Some critter has moved one the large grandchildren marbles from the gravel up onto the stone step to the cabin porch. (Note that one of the seven grand marbles is missing altogether.) My guess is a raccoon did this but I have no idea why. Before leaving I returned the marble to its peers and stomped them all more deeply in the gravel.


As I write this I am about 1,000 words from being finished with the complete draft of Ouroboros – Omphalos – Obelous – Olios. (I’ll probably call the collection of the four sections Oeuvre. That will be about 110,000+ words, written in seven months. I’ve never done this kind of thing before: the pace, the frenzy, the story evolving as I write it. Parts of it are with readers, but once I have those responses, I think I’ll be able to complete the comprehensive rewrite, and then . . .


I’ve invented a new game called Lasts. I list the last things I did before quarantine and invite you to do the same:

  • last time eating out – First Watch for breakfast in March
  • last haircut – February. I’m just a few weeks away from sporting a sweet ponytail.
  • last public entertainment event – A musical called Fun Home at the Missouri Repertory Theater
  • last movie – Dr. Doolittle (!) in January

What about you?


Before going to the cabin on Friday, I rode the recurring 26-mile trek on the Indian Creek and Blue River Trails. Because of the heat, and because the trail can get crowded, I started at 5:00 a.m. Technically, I don’t think I was supposed to be on the trail for about another hour, but I knew the route, and I had a light on the front of my bike, and who ever heard of getting pulled off the hiking/biking trail by the police?

I got pulled off the hiking/biking trail by the police! Sort of. The trail in this stretch passes through a lot of neighborhoods, which means it crosses a lot of surface streets. As I was approaching one of them — in the moonless dark with only by former running headlamp strapped to my handlebars to guide the way — I saw a bright light far ahead of me. At first I thought it was just another cyclist coming my way. The closer I got, however, the larger whatever it was, was. Then I guessed it was a maintenance truck (though the trail is in fine condition here). When I finally reached it, I found that it was a police car shining an intense light down the trail where I had come from. I stopped beside the officer, thinking I was busted, and he asked me if I’d seen any juveniles hanging out on the trail. I hadn’t, but there was apparently a runaway incident the night before and the police were looking in likely places for her. I have seen a lot of kids hang out on and beside the trail, though none ever at 5:00 a.m. The officer wished me well, and I was on my way again.

Explore posts in the same categories: Omphalos, Ouroboros, Ramblings Off Topic, Roundrock

One Comment on “bits and pieces”

  1. markparis Says:

    My hair got so long I was thinking of a pony tail. I looked at a picture of myself back in 1977, when I had very long, very red hair, and thought, that doesn’t look so bad. Then I looked at myself in the mirror. No, I’m going to have to risk a haircut.

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