I’m Not Sayin’ It Was Windy…

…but a red-shafted flicker got blown tail over head into the bird bath. Literally.

I laughed.

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The Citadelle Museum, Canadian, Texas

My folks and I drove two hours each way to go to a little art museum in the northeastern Texas Panhandle. This was the second attempt. The first time, we didn’t know the museum was closed for Christmas and New Years. Then we tried to go before school started and the weather intervened (8″ of snow on narrow, winding roads.) The third time was the charm. We got to see the Rembrandt etchings.

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A What to Society?

What had been a mild mental fog thickened into a cloud of confusion over our heads and the commencement speaker continued, saying, “You have been granted a special gift. You were allowed to go to college instead of working, or raising children. Never forget this. You owe a debt to society, one you must pay back, a dept to the community that let you go to college.”

The woman sitting beside me didn’t just bristle, she dang near turned into a cross between a porcupine and an echidna. She’d worked a part-time job off campus, plus an on-campus work-study, plus earning two scholarships in order to go through school. I think I might have heard something about “I don’ owe society nothin’.” Continue reading

Shopping for Uncle Eb: Shikhari 5

This takes place just after Tomás informed his wife of Uncle Eb’s retirement, and broke some less welcome news (the return of a blast from their past).

Rigi did not trust herself to speak further. Instead she returned to more pressing concerns. “What does Uncle Eb not have that would be suitable for his retirement and not lead to Aunt Kay sending him to our home in a crate with both ends labeled ‘this end up’?”

Tomás chuckled and his shoulders and jaw relaxed. “Something to use to clean those trophy heads of his, perhaps?”

Rigi covered her eyes with one hand. The last time she’d spoken to their uncle by vid-comm, the striped-lion head sported a feather-bedecked sunshade in addition to the colored scarves drooling from its lower jaw. She had not inquired. Some things were best left unknown. “I will keep that in mind. And no star-rind.”

“A share in that tam-patty stand might be welcome, at least by Aunt Kay.” Tomás wrinkled his nose as he spoke, a feeling Rigi heartily concurred with. The Staré in her household, and Uncle Eb, loved the bitter, slimy native root vegetable and ate it with delight, especially when lightly battered and deep fried. Rigi refused to permit it at her table in any form. The liver of an aged wombow that had eaten nothing but bitter wind-vine all his life tasted better than tam. Continue reading

The Ghost of a Lake

Once there was a playa, a rainwater lake. It nestled between two low ridges, collecting water from the slopes and the rain and snow. At its fullest, it could stretch over a mile north to south, and as wide east to west. In dry, droughty years it shrank into a puddle, a refuge for water plants and ducks.

Over time, a city grew toward the playa, expanding east to west. The two could not coexist well, and so the city dredged the playa, added plumbing, and turned the remains into a storm water catchment. Houses and businesses, roads and parks covered the old playa bed, leaving only the rainwater catchment to show that once a playa covered the land.

Except… Continue reading