The leaves are starting to turn in Paradise, at least above 7000 feet they are. The dominant color is yellow, but even the aspens are not monochromatic, often shading all the way from gold to a lovely red on the same tree.

A brown and curled-up leaf fluttered to the backyard deck yesterday and is still lying there, waiting for Willow to bring it in as her offering. She will carry it in to just inside the door and quietly place it on the kitchen floor. Willow is a humble gift-giver and doesn’t hang around waiting for praise. Instead what we find is a single leaf or twig waiting for us to discover it. It’s a signature move of hers.



I have no idea what sadistic person first came up with the term “the golden years,”to describe the December of our lives. But they were more than a bit off base. Probably worked writing treacly verses for Hallmark Cards as their day job.

Golden years, my sweet patootie is more reflective of my attitude.

Lest I come off as a crybaby, there are many good things about not having to go to work, not having to get up early if you don’t want to, and having grandchildren come to visit, not to mention acquiring a library of experiences over a lifetime to help guide us on our way, etc. But the list below makes golden seem not quite the right word.

(The photo at left is of a typical person well into their golden years)


Here’s the list:

  • joints hurt
  • hair thins
  • heartburn
  • dry skin
  • shrinking stature
  • constipation
  • urinary tract difficulties
  • fragile bones
  • hair springing from unwanted places
  • cataracts
  • hearing loss
  • dental problems
  • can’t remember squat
  • et al, et al, et goldarned al

Like I said, something less than golden … . And that doesn’t even consider the more serious occurrences, like heart attacks, strokes, and cancers of endless varieties. Plus, just think … you could have massive tufts growing out of your ears AND a stroke at the same time! And there is no limit on afflictions per day per customer!

There is, however, a good side to that string of hits in the list. They prepare us for the day when the time for shuffling off this mortal coil approaches. It’s easier to walk away from a basketful of miseries than it would be if one was in their prime. The process is similar to what happens when Mother Nature prepares us for winter by throwing sleet in our faces now and again in October and November.

However, despite this mournful set of circumstances, each of us (the golden ones), bravely buckles up our swash each morning and ventures forth as if it were the best morning we could possibly have.

And if the Buddhists are right, it is.

Old Folks Boogie, by Little Feat


Former Pres. Cluck needs to go to jail. Period. And everyone who voted for him needs to be taken to the woodshed and given three sharp strokes with a willow switch. After which they would be sent to bed without any supper, as we do with anyone who has done a particularly bad thing.

All of Cluck’s business holdings should be gathered together and sold at auction, with the proceeds going to a foundation devoted to promoting the study of democracy and honesty in political discourse.

Melania Cluck should be returned to the replicant factory where she could be disassembled and her materials recycled. In addition, her particular model line (the Stepford-27b) should be retired as a product with no legitimate use whatsoever. If she does not surrender voluntarily, we would then send a blade runner to bring her in. End of story.


An esthetic crime has been perpetrated against America by the substitution of graceless steel buildings for the artful wooden barns of yesterday.

Without our permission or any warning at all, these …


… have been replaced by this:

Shocking, no? And it happened right before our eyes, one barn at a time. I know, I know, those metal buildings are eminently practical and economically justifiable. And I know that no farmer needs a haymow any more, not with modern hay storage methods. But jeez, these things have all the charm of a $2.00 mailbox.



Suddenly that river of sweet and juicy goods from local farms has dried up. No more excellent sweet corn from Olathe or succulent peaches from Palisade. Oh, there are substitutes shipped in from elsewhere on the planet, but let’s face it … they are not the same.

What we have available to us locally these days is a nice selection of roots. But while I like a good parsnip now and again, I have never quivered in anticipation of eating one.

But wait … there is one last flood of delectables to come, and this is one that endures for more than a few short weeks … apples. The orchards of the Cedaredge area bring their best to their Apple Fest in October. It’s my favorite of the local festivals, not that the others are unworthy. But the aromas once you hit the park in Cedaredge could drive a person mad.

Mark this. You are actually allowed to purchase warm slices of … can’t go on … too choked up … fresh apple pie. One of the most fragrant desserts in all of Christendom. Alternatively, you can walk up to those booths in broad daylight and say: “Give me the pie. Not a slice … but the whole darned thing. And one of those flimsy white plastic forks as well, if you please.” And they will sell it to you! (No extra charge for the fork.)

What a great country we live in!

Next step is to find a spot on the grass to eat what you have purchased, which can be a slight problem because of all the bodies lying about. These are people who bought just what you did a few moments ago, ate it, and are now slumbering in an apple-pie induced coma, all wearing foolish smiles on their faces, and bits of piecrust at the corners of their mouths.

Not to worry, it’s a self-limited disease. In an hour or two they will waken, find the fronts of their shirts and blouses encrusted with pie juices, and slink home to toss their clothes into the laundry basket. They might feel the slightest bit of shame that once again they have succumbed to their appetites, but that quickly passes. The taste will linger, however, oh yes it will.

Milagro, by Dave Grusin


3 thoughts on “Changes

  • Good read. Interesting, anyway. Have to be more than a little off’d by the launches against former President Clown. Only, well, especially, since current almost president Sleepy Creepy shows he’s as good at sleaze, corruption, and (senile) idiocy as Pres Clown ever was, yet MSM and select political bents ignore that fact or at least don’t give Pres Sleepy Creepy appropriate press. Don’t particular care for either of those humadoids (or any politican for that matter) but I weary of one-sided mud-slinging. I lie, it’s a lie; you lie, it’s that I don’t understand what you said. Please explain, any Democrat, any Republican, any Tree Hugger – I’m all ears.


    • And here I thought I was being particularly kind to Mr. Cluck. Perhaps I should work on that, being more even-handed, I mean. However, I think I can see a pretty clear difference between the two men you mention, and don’t see them quite as equals in the sleaze department. And there are politicians that I do like, I find that they are often cute and still honorable when they are small. But, hey, what do I know? I’m an old guy living in a valley in western Colorado, and the news from Washington D.C. still comes in on horseback. Thanks for the comment.


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