sunset

The Scoop

It’s been a month since my last confession… or my last post.

I don’t know the proper penance for blog neglect, so I’ll just say “sorry” and move along.

Here’s a book report on my absence.

I tackled the Vineyard in a prior post, but this is my photo book report. I’m kick-starting it with a sunrise shot from the island.

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photo by Mike Johnson

 

Things are pretty loosey-goosey during beach week. We sneak the dog along; everyone eats junk food; the grown-ups booze it up; the kids stretch their artistic wings.

And any canvas is fair game.

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Sadly, all vacations must come to an end.

Back home and a week later, a stranger deposited a car on the farm. Unfortunately, the delivery method obliterated two sizable sections of our pasture fence. Wood shards, mangled wire, and vehicle shrapnel laid in the car’s wake.

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Said vehicle did not fare well, either.

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The driver was not present when Martin discovered the car “parked” in our pasture. Thankfully, the horses were not in that field that night. The sheep were, but they avoided impact and didn’t have the sense to capitalize on their nocturnal freedom.

The police documented the scene and the tow-truck driver removed the car and gathered most of the mangled, scattered car parts.

Let’s see…what else happened?

Well, I tried to make sense of our cluttered kitchen. It wasn’t as disastrous as the vehicular damage above. But the outcome was lackluster.

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Foxhunting kicked off a little early this season. (The first weeks are focused on legging up horses and hounds). Brynn and Hadley made it out a few times — of course, with me in tow.

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I rode Jazz in a horse show at the Maryland State Fair at the Timonium fairgrounds. Jazzy was surprisingly tolerant of the carnival rides and the fair’s freakshow environment.

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Tempting and allegedly famous, but no pork sundae for me.

 

Amidst all these events — right when the kids went back to school — my mom decided to downsize her living arrangements. And when she makes a decision, she’s off to the races. In an instant, I was catapulted into 4 days of sorting through 150 years of family records, photos, documents and momentos from my father’s side of the family — in preparation to show the house and move on. (No time to shop for school supplies; the kids went to class with pencils in sandwich baggies and IOU notes for supplies later.)

Much of what I’ve earthed is boxed and stored. I’ve had scant time to review anything but here’s a sampling. This photo dates back to 1877 and the faint scrawl on the back is in Hungarian.

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Other photos are well marked, like this one of my father and grandparents after the war. Their years of DP camp living were history; in 1951 they were happily living outside Philadelphia.

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There’s lots to peruse, catalogue and label, when time allows.

Back to daily farm life.

Frog the cat disappeared in late-July. Although I hoped she’d found better digs, after a five-week absence, I feared the worst. But then she reappeared — dirty and scrawny but alive. I rehabbed her in Martin’s office. (“Why is Frog living in my office?” he asked as I set up a litter box. “Because she’s filthy and might have fleas or something else,” I said. “I’m not putting her in the house, for Pete’s sake!”)

Fortunately for Martin, Frog recovered quickly. Now we feed her far from the barn bullies.

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There’s more I could add to my book report. For example, Rocky, our beloved pony, had eye surgery last week. But it’s late and that story can wait.

And I’m not closing with a picture of a cancerous tumor bobbing in formaldehyde.

I began with sunrise and I’ll close with sunset. We have some fabulous ones here. My photos sell them short, but this one will have to do.

 

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Sorry, one closing journalistic sidebar: I planned to call this post “The Down-Low.” (Later, I realized that I confused “down-low” with “low-down.” But you get the idea… I wanted to give readers “the scoop” or “what’s new.”)

Anyway, I checked “down-low” to confirm that it’s hyphenated, and I spied the definition: down-low: pertaining to men who secretly have sex with other men. “What?” I thought. “WTF?”

So I looked up contemporary definitions and the results weren’t much better: a discreet activity or relationship, or men who identify as heterosexual but secretly have sex with men, particularly African American men who want to avoid the stigma in their community.

Wow, well there you go. You learn something new everyday!

Now that I’ve got the low-down on the down-low, I’ll just dish dirt, share the latest, or tell it like it is.

Happy Friday Visual

Our friend Mike Johnson was recently hanging out and shot this time lapse video from the deck.

Check it out; the passing planes look like shooting stars.

And thanks, Mike. I dig the ethereal music, by the way.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Rivulets Run Through It

After a snowfall of any size, there is always mud. Gradual melting is a rare event. Instead, after a few chilly days, temps rocketed up to 50 or 60 degrees. And if you’re lucky, a heavy rain lumbers through — like yesterday — and voila!

Major mud… plus a bit of flooding, free of charge.

This afternoon, as I waded through the mire to hay the horses, I heard running water. Clearly, Martin forgot to turn off the tap after filling the water trough. It’s a common mistake — I’m guilty, too. It’s a 150-gallon stock tank and it is slow to fill. You get distracted, wander off, and that’s that. Eventually, someone walks out and hears it: that steady rush of water cascading over the side, pattering the ground, and burbling as it forges its way along the slopes.

So today, when I heard the sound of forget, I bee-lined for the trough. But the water was steady and nowhere near the rim. The hose wasn’t even hooked to the spigot.

It turned out, the sound was emanating from the vast amount of rainwater and melted snow flowing unfettered through the horse field, carving rivulets in the grass. There wasn’t a visible origin or a final destination. It was just water on-the-run, racing to congregate and make mud.

More damn mud.

I refuse to photograph mud. Instead, here’s a look at this week’s sunsets. Each night threw a different hue.

Monday, we saw the faintest peep of departing sun, shrouded in snow-fog.

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Last night, after a day of rain, a strange gale wind roared through like a rogue wave. It blew for 10 minutes and then fizzled out. But it thinned the fog and cracked the cloud cover.

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And finally, tonight. Uncomplicated and uneventful, but colorful enough to upstage the mud below.

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