Day 261

There was a time, and it seems to be receding further and further into the mists, when I would have enough idle time to play with the seeds of the maple trees – I would hang over the fence and drop them down on the cats and watch them catch them out of the air.  Sometimes I would just drop them to watch them spin to the ground.  I need to carve out some time for that kind of idleness – it is constructive in a way…the way I would walk down a road and throw them to watch them spin probably started more than one new maple somewhere…at least I suddenly very much like that thought.

Heading out for breakfast

Heading out for breakfast

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Resisting Temptation

Day 260

I’ve been contemplating all kinds of temptation lately, and doing so with an open J. Peterman catalog sitting on my desk.  J. Peterman is to me now what I can remember the Sears Roebuck catalog being in advance of school shopping – the reference for what to wear, the mail order answer to shopping for the next adventure.  With the Sears catalog, that was typically shopping for school – the adventures are by far and away better now, so the gear must be too.  As an aside, the adventures are usually more educational now, too – but really…

So I tackled this particular temptation (after all, she who already has the world’s largest private collection of outer wear does NOT need another coat) with a pair of scissors.  I need guitars.  I don’t need coats – no, not even that cherry red one with the leopard print lining.  Not even that.  260_365 Guitars

So guitar made, I’m headed out for a walk.  The early pictures of the day are taking me out there…

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Crab Apples

Day 259

It is harvest time.  I know this (for among other reasons, really) because farmers are up early and out on the road disturbing the usual quiet of my walk with the sounds of tractors moving from field to field, the cutting of silage, and overhead, a crop duster whose job it is to fly wheat seed onto the fields for the next crop.  There is a tremendous lot of industry first thing in the morning, and conversation too – every pickup truck that goes by holds a neighbor who wants to postpone crawling onto a tractor for just a few more minutes – so will stop and discuss the weather, the state of the crop, the beer bottles tossed into the corn.  As near as we live to each other, we don’t really see each other much – mostly for these roadside chats.

So it was challenging to build a guitar on the road today – but it was gratifying too as I talked to Miss Katherine, John Henry, Ronnie, and Kenny, and waved to everyone else.  Miss Katherine was the only one who wanted to know why I was kneeling alongside the road – but her job is not to crawl into tractors, but to make sure everything is being done.  Makes sense that she would need to know.  The guys really want to just get the work done and not have to deal with what they think I might be doing out there.  If it comes down to it, they are more likely to ask Miss Katherine.

So it took a long time to organize this little guitar.  For one thing, crab apples roll around a lot.  Especially whenever a tractor lumbers by…259_365 Guitars

Run ’em ’til They’re Gone

Day 258

Flowers used in making guitars are really too easy.  I know it, and yet I am drawn to making them…knowing that in just a little while I won’t have the option.  On days like this when the expedient guitar is a godsend, well, I’m still in clover.  (I apologize for that…but I did get a little giggle out of it.)  Now, on to the way too much business of life 🙂  258_365 Guitars


Day 257

I have a friend who basically thinks that nostalgia is for losers.  While in some respects I agree that dwelling on the past is not a way forward, I also think that there are moments when our personal history should be softened back into remembering good things.  After all, we are seldom nostalgic about misery – which is why in many cases families have more than one child…

But this morning’s musing is nostalgia of a different source, and does, to some degree involve misery.  As a person who has written since I could write, I have been one of those people who has written in a fast paced world with wonders of technology rising around me.  I have rolled with most of them, embracing them with passion as they have made it so much easier for me to capture the quicksilver of thought.  I can almost type as fast as I think – or I can record what I am thinking directly into a program that will type it for me.  I rarely do that because it just seems too disconnected – if I ever get really rich and famous, I think another living being to take down my musings would be a better choice….but that is something else.

Anyway, as a person who writes I am of an age where I was able to quite honestly develop a pat set of gestures that usually worked this way:   (type, type, type, slap, return, type, type) expletive, another expletive, grab paper, frrph! Tear paper from typewriter, expletive, heavy sigh, crumple, toss vaguely at the trash can.  Miss.  Watch cat turn an hour’s work into a toy.  Grab fresh sheet of paper, insert, trrf, trrf, trrf, (type, type, type, slap, return.)  And oh yes, my first typewriter was an Underwood.  Additions to the above scenario included running to the end of the typing ribbon, getting 7 or more keys actually tangled inside the machine (slamming down on the keyboard in disgust was usually greeted this way – action/consequence – instant karma.)

The upshot of new technology is a much greener set of similar actions and fewer cat toys.  While this is good, there are moments when the act of crumpling paper and tossing it were cathartic and creative.  You can’t imagine how good it felt to crumple up last nights spoiled report… Nostalgia has a place.  257_365 Guitars 2

Clic Clac

Day 256

It is one of those mornings when there is enough mist in the air to make the actual air pink with the rising sun.  An unicorn coming down the driveway would be every bit as unsurprising as the herd of deer eating acorns out there now.  It is a morning you just want to get IN to.

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256a_365 Guitars 2But don’t ask me what possessed me to dress and go right out the door reaching for my sécateurs on the way.  Perhaps I just needed a grander guitar to go with this morning, or I needed an excuse to stand on a ladder in the cold dew.  I was thinking, maybe, of Michelangelo’s response when asked how he cut the David out of a hunk of stone.  He said “I took away all that was not David.”  (ok, or something like that….) So I approached a wall of china berry and reversed the process a little and left all that was not the guitar.  I did this before feeding the cats.  Who knew they would follow me outside and wander around under the ladder discussing at length and loudly the way in which I had totally lost my mind?

The china berries have not changed from green to turquoise yet – this may have been more impressive if I had waited, but on the other hand, they are still going to do that, so all I’m going to need is a follow up photo.  But dropping the bunches of berries as I was cutting made me think of a wine harvest song from Bourgogne…I have a standing invitation to go cut grapes some day and to hear this in person – and now that I’m all warmed up, I really want to do that… http://youtu.be/NjiSt3tktk4

The cats are fed now – but they are still talking…


Comfort Zone

Day 255

255_365 GuitarsThe cornflowers continue to bloom along the fields of drying corn.  It is chicory, and it is probably only called cornflower locally, but it remains beautiful and blue in the changing year.  So of course it ranks among the flower guitars.  It is not only a pretty thing, but it is a sure way to extend the life of my coffee supply in case of emergency.  Coffee with chicory is best served with beignet (and fresh squeezed orange juice) at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, of course, still it is a back up resource if it ever comes to it…a small comfort stored somewhere in my psyche…

In the Aggregate

Day 254

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Another  beautiful morning, though it looks like it might cloud up later – I don’t know.  A good morning for an early walk, anyway.

254_365 GuitarsThe road out front of the farm is tar and chip, or so they call it – a relatively soft mess of goo that potholes and buckles in bad weather, but beats a dirt road by a long shot.  Interestingly, things pitched out or dropped tend to get sort of mosaic-ed into it, but often you can pry them out and leave only the imprint  – and take the tire puncture in the rough home and properly dispose of it.  And unlike the grubs that are migrating, I will stop and pick up the snail – photo him in a guitar and take him to a much safer place.  He doesn’t really need to be a part of our own little Berea tar pit…though I’ll be doggoned if I know what he is doing laying in the road…


Give it a Rest

Day 253

A big rain last night means that I am not out watering hydrangeas this morning.  After the rains we have had this summer you would think there would be no need to water again, but hydrangeas (even 50%of the word is water) need a drink to look healthy.  So today, no, I won’t have that on my list.  The sky is beautiful again, the air on the cool side.  It is a delicious day for the autumnal equinox.

So autumn is like a closing down, right?  Like getting ready to hibernate, regenerate, renew?  Someone really needs to tell the weeds in the walkway – even the wee, lovely weeds like the violets, that it is time to give it a rest…I need a few months for a break on this…it seems fair.  I’d say that yes, I need to really work on regenerating my enthusiasm for weeding…253_365 Guitars

A Coming Together

Day 252

More signs that the year is changing.  The sunflowers have gone to seed, and the seed has been mostly consumed now – by any number of bird varieties, but most especially by the mourning doves, for whom they were planted in the first place.  It is a hunting technique – plant a field of food and shoot in the general direction of the birds that come to feed there.  It is not an easy thing to kill a dove with a shotgun, let alone the dozen or so that actually make the exercise worthwhile from a culinary standpoint.  But the first weekend of September brings a ritual that brings a lot of people together to do something in the out of doors, and that in of itself is rare enough anymore to make the rest understandable.  There is often a big picnic at the end of the day’s hunt, and laughter and camaraderie – very old school.

I don’t hunt, but I understand certain things about it.  My grandfather was a hunting guide, and there were a lot of years of my life when hunted meat fed me.  Aside from the practical side, the sense of brotherhood that was gained in the field was sort of amazing to see – I guess you put a bunch of guys in the field with weapons and have them all watching out for each other and coming home intact is a powerful bonding thing.

And even after it is all over, there is food left in the field for the birds.   As expensive a proposition as it is to plant sunflowers, it seems the birds come out ahead.

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