Saturday, December 31, 2011

Rockin'-chair moments

Back in the day when this journal began, it was intended as a couple of old friends passin’ ‘round the good times and a decent screw-top bottle of wine out on the porch. Preferably the back porch as we expected there’d be bits best not exposed to the street. Let's face it. Until old men's bladders get larger or their prostates get smaller, not every urge is worth the trek into the house when the backside of a shed is so much handier.

When did we launch this journal, anyone recall? Had to be back in the River Bend days, as the journal also was conceived as observation and comment on and from Nature, a legitimate excuse for rockin' on the back porch and/or taking up camping once again. Hence the name Rolling Plains Journal. A quick glance  down the archives shows the first post in August of '08.

Sometimes you need to look at where you started to figure out where you are and which way you wanna go.  What better time than New Year's Eve--the 2011 version now some four and a half hours old as I write-- for such reflections?

I first caught the writing virus back in 1958 in Mrs. Johnson's 3rd grade class at E. 35th Street Elementary School, Kansas City. Have I ever said how much this small-town Texas boy loathed Kansas City? The afternoon before a book report was due I had yet to pick out a book, much less read the damn thing. The thinnest volume to be found among the stacks of 10-year-old approved tomes in the school library was The Old Man and the Sea. We were up all night...literally... a flashlight-under-the-covers and coffee-on-the-
hotplate kind of “all night”. By the crack of dawn "Write like Hemmingway" stood alone atop my bucket list.

Writing the "Great American Novel" fell to the wayside some decades back, but the infection to put words on paper lingers on and on. That urge seems to gnaw more persistently now that we've reconnected with the grandkids and with the first great granddaughter Maura J. due inside of three months. So it is we have dusted off the neglected journal and resolved yet again to maintain and publish in a more timely manner, shall we say?

It's all good, this New Year's Eve falling on a Saturday as it does. May go down to the Drafty Ol' Craft Shop a little while this morning to work on Maura’s new old cradle. Last report, Maura J. is expected about March 16, spookily near that Ides of March of which Mr. Shakespeare warned. Not that I'm looking for any devil's child. But knowing Maura's mamma and grandma and great grandma and great-great grandma as I do, the girl is bound to have spunk.

End of December or no, the back lot wants mowin' and Beano has left any number of dried blessings scattered across the patio deck that needs tending to as well. With an afternoon high temperature reachin' near 70 degrees, will be a good day for yard chores.

No big plans for tonight. Don’t let on to AnniePie but I suspect my boot-scootin’ days are done. Oh, I still like the music; it’s the steppin’ out that’s sorely lacking. City's finally gonna shoot off the 4th of July and Labor Day fireworks tonight that were put off because of severe drought conditions. I imagine we'll take a pass on that, too.

My old runnin’ buddy Dean and his honey might drop by. More motivation to clean the rough edges off the backyard. Deano and I keep dreaming up a campfire under a sky full of stars, but I suspect our backyard is about as close as we will get any time soon. Badly as we hate to admit it, old bones and cold, hard ground don't go together all that well. The "theme" for the evening, New Year’s Eve 2011, is straight out of John Denver's Poems, Prayers and Promises:
“...lie there by the fire 
And watch the evening tire
While all my friends and my old lady
Sit and pass the pipe around

And if it proves to be just me and Mrs. Miller tonight, well, that’s fine...not to mention dandy. This year’s closing weekend is a good time to kick back and think about where we’ve been, where we are and which way to head from here.

Thanks for droppin' by. Y'all come back now, hear?

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