Fire In The Hole

A bit of excitement in our normally quiet neighborhood. I was surprised Sunday morning around 6:30 by a vigorous pounding on the front door. It was one of our neighbors alerting us to the fact that five doors down there was a house afire.

The residents of the home and all of their pets were safe, but the house itself was a total loss, with significant heat damage to the dwellings on either side of it. Robin had to leave for church duties at 7:00, and since the water hose from the hydrant was blocking our only way out by car, off she went on her bicycle with the communion linens safely stowed in a pannier. Ninety minutes after I took this video, the fire had been extinguished and all of the emergency vehicles were gone.

It was almost surreal how quickly it all took place. All the way from quiet neighborhood to danger and emergency to quiet neighborhood once again, but now minus one house.


Robin and I watched an unusual movie this past week, Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. It has received quite a lot of hype recently because of its treatment of the subject matter and the fact that the venerable actress Emma Thompson appears completely nude.

Plot: a 60+ year-old widow whose sex life until now had been uninspiring, to say the least, hires a sex worker to try to fill in some of the gaps that she is keenly aware of, including the fact that she has never had an orgasm. The film’s treatment of their relationship is the difference here. It is not exploitative, tawdry, or judgmental, but matter-of-fact and sensitive. When the nudity rolls around, it is right for the story. [After all, and I hate to give away personal secrets here, but don’t we all get naked sometimes, with some of those times being less pleasing and more daunting than others?]

So, is the movie therefore 97 minutes of uninterrupted lasciviousness, or to use the film’s word – concupiscence? Nope, not at all. To me, what it is about is acceptance. Acceptance of others, by others, of ourselves, and especially of the body we inhabit. Quite a lot of ground to cover in so short a time.


From The New Yorker


I have come across a puzzlement. After being force to listen to a codger relating a handful of his stories last evening, I found myself wondering … why is it that most other folks’ stories can be so tedious, while my own recitations are endlessly fascinating? Last night it was all that I could do to keep from spinning ’round on my heel and making for the car. The alternative, which was homicide, seemed a bit strong as a remedy for the occasion, although the ancient one certainly deserved it and no court in the land (except for the Supreme, perhaps) would convict me once they’d heard the details.

I’m sure you’ve noticed it. I enter a crowded room and all faces turn toward me. Immediately the crowd begins to shift as everyone in the room tries to come closer. If they can’t be in the first rank, at least they might get close enough to pick up the odd phrase or two.

This happens again and again, so much that I fear that I have begun to take it for granted. It seems to be partially genetic, in that my voice has been described as a cross between that of a nightingale and a California Condor. I don’t know why, but my oratory seems to be entrancing to others.

Then there was that great uncle who had practiced the art of embezzlement and was housed at Leavenworth Federal Prison for several years. As the story was told to me in my youth, he was kept away from the general population because he sang so well. To the prosecution. But he must have had a lovely voice to get that special treatment, don’t you think?


A Dick Guindon cartoon


Robin and I went for our first strenuous hike since her knee surgery last Fall. We chose the Black Bear Pass trail and found that we had picked the perfect time to do it. The wildflowers were crazy at 11,500 feet. Positively crazy. While these particular blossoms were not the larger, showier ones seen in some areas around the Western Slope, you can’t complain when you look down at your feet and there are thirty flowers per square foot to marvel at.

We didn’t actually make it the last quarter-mile to the pass for a couple of reasons. One is that I hadn’t paid enough attention to my aerobic conditioning this Spring and was not finding enough oxygen molecules at that altitude. The other was that up high we ran into a steady and quite chilly 25-30 mph wind in our faces. We had layered up enough that hypothermia was no worry, but it wasn’t pleasant any longer, we had nothing to prove to ourselves, and so we descended.

Good outing, all in all.


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