Somebody’s bright idea is banging around in my chimney right now, and lest there be any doubt, I don’t much like it.
It’s enough to give you a headache.
A few years ago I was working on a book with Dr. Morris E. Chafetz, and in the course of conversation he said, “Maybe time doesn’t really exist. Maybe it’s just something we’ve created for our own convenience.” As a child of the space age, I’d heard speculations of all sorts and now, with a book to get out, I didn’t see where we had time to discuss it. “Yeah, maybe,” I replied.
There was no way to tell whether the old fellow thought he recognized me or would have begun the conversation with anyone who happened by. Nor, really, did it matter. Our meeting outside the store on one of the warm days week before last began with his question. “What do you think of that tomb of Jesus they say they found?”
Before it gets much warmer, I need to fetch out the ladder and put up an obstruction so the phoebes won’t build another nest over my porch swing.
If you’re new to this area and are even a little observant, one of the first things you’re likely to notice is the wave. You won’t see it in town, but on country roads it is almost a rule of civilized behavior.
One doesn’t hear a lot of complaining out here in the country, but a fairly consistent complaint is about telephone service. I think that this is unfair, because the phone lines seem in as good a shape as they were the day Alexander Graham Bell strung them.
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.