Monthly Archives: October 2010

First Hard Frost

It always makes me sad to see the flowers after the first hard frost–so mushy and transparent. On the other hand, I get a little thrill at the thought that I don’t have to do yard work for several months. At my book group last night we were planning our books for 2011, and we were talking about March, and it made me realize that by the time we get to the March book, that winter will be essentially over and spring will be on the way–and that was a good thought!

Emily Dickinson put my emotions about frost into one of my favorite poems, and I like to sing it to the tune of “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.” When I establish my new church–the Church of Naturalism in the Last Days, this will be one of the hymns. Our scriptures will include the ones my friend Susan is writing–the book of Fallopians. Meanwhile, I’m working on Ecceselastics. I’ll be sure to let you know when we are ready to start taking your money!

Apparently with no surprise
To any happy Flower
The Frost beheads it at its play —
In accidental power —
The blonde Assassin passes on —
The Sun proceeds unmoved
To measure off another Day
For an Approving God.


A windy day

It’s windy here today. It’s so windy that it almost blew my jacket off. It blew down signs. It took my breath away. It made girls’ skirts fly up ala Marilyn Monroe. It swirled the leaves in mini tornadoes. It’s windy. It rattled the windows. It made kids laugh. It made flags make loud clapping noises. It scared me. It messed up my hair. It’s windy. It made the oak trees rain acorns. I did not see flying cows, but it is still a very windy day.

Where squirrels hide nuts

I like squirrels. I have a friend who doesn’t–and who calls them rats with fluffy tails. But as I said, I like them and think they are fun to watch. But that doesn’t mean I think they are particularly smart. Au contraire, mon frere, as Bart would say. I have new proof of their fairly small rodent brains. I have a black walnut tree in my yard, and I try to leave at least half of the nuts on the ground to help the squirrels through the frigid Indiana winters. But they like to hide them in very funny places–like in the mailbox. Today I saw that a squirrel had “hidden” one in a hanging basket:

See what I mean?

A Walking Tour of Mt. Pleasant, UT

I recently spent a few days with my brother, in Mt. Pleasant, UT. Mt. Pleasant is as its name implies. It’s in the mountains–and it’s pleasant. It boasts one of two stoplights in the county. It has a grocery store, several good places to eat, a drive-in movie, a drug store, and lots of other amenities. I went poking around and took some pictures of things I thought were interesting.

Our tour begins at Paul Hart Violins, where this mannequin watches the world go by from his perch. My brother made this figure, and it sometimes wears different outfits depending on the season.

As you walk to the back of Paul Hart Violins (where the mannequin lives), you will see a partially completed picture on the back wall. A local artist offered to do it at no cost, although my brother will probably give him some money anyway, because that’s just how he is–a good human being.

Continuing around the block, you will find a freshly painted fire hydrant. The reason it’s freshly painted, is that it is an Eagle Scout project for one of the boys in my brother’s scout troop. He helped him paint them.

Some houses in Mt. Pleasant are very well cared for–some might say TOO well cared for:

And some are falling apart:

But one thing you should not miss if you go to Mt. Pleasant is a chocolate malt and a Navajo taco from Rodger’s Drive Inn.

If you don’t know what a Navajo taco is, I’ll show you a picture:


Indiana morning in the fog

A lot of people on the coasts just fly right over the midwest, not realizing how beautiful it is. Mind you, I didn’t necessarily think that 30 years ago when I came here for the first time! But this morning I was out bright and early (brighter and earlier than I wanted to be!) I drove Paul to the airport in the dark at 5 am, I guess because I am a martyer–a cheapskate– such a good person. Coming back, the sun was just coming up, and there were patches of fog that floated just above the partially harvested fields. Sometimes the fog would cross the road, and it felt like I was driving on top of a cloud. There were big yellow school busses picking up rural kids, large combines, trucks, tractors, and other vehicles set to work on the harvest, and a possum that got across the road to live another day. It made me so happy I had to sing out loud, and the song that came to mind was Arlo Guthrie’s version of “City of New Orleans”–you know the one, with the chorus “Good morning, America, how are you?” I blasted that out for ten minutes or so, feeling pretty happy I live in Indiana.

Can people change their sexual orientation?

I grew up hearing a lot of people say that sexual orientation was a choice, but I don’t believe that. It is absolutely clear to me that there are genetic components that make up our sexuality, and that those things typically cannot be altered. I openly admit that I am heterosexual, and I don’t think there’s any amount of therapy that could make me be anything else.

In the 70’s I was at a university that reportedly did research where men watched movies of gay men having sex–electroshock aversion therapy. If they became aroused, they were given electrical shocks –a sort of sick “Clockwork Orange” experiment.

I guess I just want to say that I love my friends and relatives who are gay, and I accept them for the warm, funny, wonderful people that they are.