Saturday, March 4 was special to me, because for one day each year, I get to let the years fly behind me and become someone else. Back on this special Saturday in 1973, you see, I was Number 37. I had the Number 37 bib pinned on my parka that early morning at the baseball diamond in Anchorage, and
I don’t mind Boots. He just curls up quietly against my belly and stays put. But sleeping with Desdemona can be a bit unnerving. She snores. Sometimes she gets little bad dreams and scratches me, too. But hey, I get to come in out of the cold and sleep with Aunt Ada’s cats on her sofa, and a guy
When Windy walked into the Mule Barn during that cold snap last week, we knew he was getting frantic for an audience. He has a hard time getting us to listen to his version of history, his notions of what was going on now, and his prognostications of the future of mankind.
But it was cold, and sitting
The problem was Mrs. Doc, you see. Oh, don’t misunderstand. She’s a perfectly wonderful lady and we all think the world of her, and as far as we know she has yet to burn down a house or start a war or anything.
The problem is, we don’t know her first name.
If you just come out and flat ask her
It began the way most miracles do: by accident or the hand of God, take your pick.
It might have been the weather, at least partly. For December, the day had been almost balmy and warm. You know, sweaters instead of heavy coats. No mittens in sight.
Then there were Christmas lights on the stores, and
Dewey Decker, that accident-prone neighbor of ours, is the undisputed Pharoah of Fertilizer, the Monarch of Manure. He has turned a shovel-ready business into a going concern, with the help of the woman of his dreams, Emily. But in the quiet times, when it’s only Dewey thinking to himself, he really
Dewey Decker showed his new business cards to the other guys at the Mule Barn Truck Stop’s philosophy counter, and each member of the world dilemma think tank got to keep one.
Steve, our owlish-appearing cowboy, scratched his head as he studied the card.
“Okay, Dewey, I’ll bite … what’s
Mrs. Forrest has always been a compulsive feeder. Before she retired, she was cooking for the Mule Barn truck stop’s customers, and is singularly responsible for about three flabby tons of avoirdupois on this nation’s truck drivers, and may have been marginally responsible, third-hand, for a cardiac
I was studying my card when the guys walked in for coffee.
“What did you get?” asked Doc.
“Yeah. The boys caught me when I was kinda short, so I only got the one this year.”
“They hit me for ten,” Doc said. “In E section.”
Dud looked at us. “I think E section’s
The evening was one of those that come back to you time after time, year after long year. It comes back and whispers of how good life can be when you’re well fed, enjoying life and a good friend shares the front porch with you on a summer’s evening.
It was that way with Doc and Steve the other
“Sanctimonious siphons, it’s hot!” said Dud, sitting at the philosophy counter and turning over his coffee cup for action with a single smooth move. Dud is a regular at the Mule Barn truck stop’s legendary world dilemma think tank.
“Epithet time again, Dudley?” said Doc.
Mrs. Doc watched the dancers swirl around the cleared hardwood floor of the Legion hall, and smiled to see her husband, Doc, waltzing with Ardis Fisher. But Mrs. Doc was never one to sit out a waltz, so she looked around at the menu.
Over in the corner, smiling and tapping his foot, was Pop Walker
The annual Fourth of July picnic is a celebration of time and freedom. We’d all watched the parade, earlier, because that’s what you do on the Fourth, and we believe in it.
Our parade features Scout troops in uniform, the high school band, floats with pretty girls … well, okay, it’s actually
Steve looked out from the turret of his cabin and watched the sun set behind the mountain. Branding is over for the spring, and he was able to get away from the ranch for a few days, so here he was, in his private castle, sipping private coffee, looking down at his private horse eating hay in his
Steve reached up and put his cup of coffee on the floor of the turret in his cabin, then climbed the ladder until both he and the coffee were comfortable, looking out at the world.
The only people who didn’t understand why he built a turret on his little cabin up here high on the mountain were folks
Billy slowly raised one eyelid and looked around. Boots and Desdemona, Aunt Ada’s cats, were curled up, one against his belly and one against his back. Billy hated to wake the cats, but when a guy has to go find a tree, well, call it collateral damage. He got up, stretched and yawned and trotted
Windy’s pickup truck was the third one to arrive at the scene of the fender bender. Both cars pretty well plugged up the road, and once it was determined no one was hurt, and the police had been called, Windy surveyed the situation.
1.Weather – decent if you’re wearing a coat.
2.No one’s going
Marjorie Pincus looked out the front window at her husband, Marvin, and smiled. No matter how old he gets, she thought, he’ll always be the boy I remember, riding his bicycle through this town so many years ago.
Marvin had stopped picking out the nutgrass and was watching a small group of children
Windy Wilson was cruising around the other day, in search of an audience, but the cold drove him indoors…at the elementary school cafeteria.
“What’s that you say? Coldest you ever been? Well, kids, let me tell you somethin’ about cold!
“When I was just a tad, we was comin’ off what they
Well, the first archery tournament to raise money to buy warm clothes for some of the local kids is now in the history books, and it would have to be considered a success.
Doc, who has more initials after his name than anyone in town and therefore is considered by strangers to be smarter than anyone
Well, it’s Fall and time once again for Doc’s annual golf tournament to raise money for kids’ winter clothes. But the recent heavy rains have kinda wiped out his “golf course” on two adjoining farms and a patch of woods. But Doc is nothing if not creative.
“This year, boys,” he said
There’s something so satisfying about getting out of bed when the world is still dark and quiet and resting. Making the coffee gives us time to scratch and think. Well, scratch, anyway. Most of that thinking will start after about the third cup of coffee.
But it’s a quiet time. A private time
In honor of his entirely fictional pet squirrel, Doc is calling the annual golf tournament the Chipper Invitational this year. He’s thinking of making that a permanent name for his invention, the most unusual golf tournament in history.
Oh, you remember how it began, when Doc decided to raise money
It was Thursday again. Mabel Adams asked at the desk to be sure.
“Thursday all day, Mabel,” the girl said. “Don’t forget to get your hair done today. Two o’clock … right?”
“Right,” Mabel said, locking the time away in her mind. “Two o’clock. On Thursday.”
She took her purple
It was lunchtime at the sale barn on the edge of town and the guys were milling around. They didn’t really want to eat there, as the regular cook had a family emergency in the next state, so it was a substitute named Leroy and the guys knew that everything Leroy cooked tasted like toast.