It’s as clear in my mind as if it had happened yesterday. The conversation was with a skilled biologist I had just met, someone who would become a close friend. Without prompting, I offered a prediction. “I don’t think the environment will get us,” I said. “I think it will be a bug.”
Modern communication offers many wonderful advantages. But it might be a mistake to forget that these come at a cost. This came to mind the other day when I happened onto a conversation with a fellow from Amesville, whose way of saying things — accent and usage — are what we might have found here a century ago.
Did you hear the old saw? If you live near me, you did. People have asked, so I suppose it’s right to tell: yes, the woodstove got installed and yes, the ornery old locust tree that had been the bane of my timber disassembly efforts has gotten cut and stacked.
The holiday season can be a little bit of a minefield, especially in a place where everyone is a good cook and many are great cooks. Let me tell you what I mean.
Wisdom and depth are often found in quiet country folk.
We live in a world where it is common for total strangers to confide in us the most intimate details of their favorite subject: themselves. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, I think, and it wasn’t always the case. Once upon a time, a degree of genteel reserve was thought to be one of the fundamentals of politeness. Now it’s all but extinct.
It could be genetic. My father was a reporter and columnist, too.
What makes me think of this just now is something he wrote in his column more than 40 years ago. Though it was written in early October, I always think of it and re-read it around Thanksgiving. It sums up the season for me better than anything else. I think that you might find it nice, too.
Winston Churchill famously said, “there is something about the outside of a horse that’s good for the inside of a man.” He was right.
Down at the Marathon the other day I saw a man buying a lottery ticket.
A nondescript fellow he was, middle-aged, appearing neither particularly well-to-do nor poor. He got me to thinking, which is sometimes a dangerous thing to do (as those who gazed upon the contraption I invented for fixing my gutters can attest).
This week, OFB is pleased to welcome Dennis E. Powell as a regular contributor with his column, “the View from Mudsock Heights.” Everything must start somewhere. For Dennis, it starts with a woodstove.