I flunked another milking this morning, which sent me to a remedial class. As I finished stoking our woodstove, I heard "James, when you get a minute...." I found a minute and my teacher waiting at the kitchen sink. She held a water-ballooned rubber glove. "Pretend this finger is a teat," she instructed. I guess I've been using too much thumb instead of closing the milkflow with my top finger and squeezing with the other fingers. We may test this conclusion tonight. Thank you, glove.
Chores finished, I plan to enjoy a day inside, as cozy as the unharvested carrots I covered with hay yesterday. They're receiving a retention award today, as a thickening layer of white falls on top of the hay. Everyone, everything in the area gets to share this bonus, not just the bigwigs.
This may be gardening's slow time, but I have a long list of things to do. Any of them would add pounds to my shoes, so the best thing today is to sit by a window and envy snowflakes enriching the soil my presence would damage and -- gosh, I don't know if I'm up to my usual approach to bad weather -- kill a writing deadline so when it's dry and sunny I can be outdoors. Forget that. Virginia waits.
She doesn't always. Sometimes she simply arrives, talking away, along with her friends, acquaintances and fellow travelers. It's not schizophrenia, I tell you. I know what's real and what's not.
"Then why are you writing a stupid blog?" she asks. Good point.
When I look back thirty years
I wonder how I got here.
I did not expect my future,
I did not plan it.
I knew the dreams I had were fiction,
professional basketball player,
Supreme Court justice,
father of six or seven.
My short-term goals were something less,
chosen just before each gentle turn
I charged with focus down the line.
Then something happened,
I shifted right, then left, then right again,
and I landed exactly
where I wish I had dreamed
I would be today.