Walking (36)

Friday, June 30, 2017

So much to see on my 8-miler at Fort Ben this morning.

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This final day of June — a hot and muggy morning.

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A gaggle

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Trail to Duck Pond

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Water lilies

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Pathside decor.

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It assumes right-of-way.

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Mattie

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Can’t find the identification of this butterfly.

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Fisher on sand spit on Delaware Lake

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Fall Creek

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And back to the car before the rain.

Sentences

Thursday, June 29, 2017

I’ve given this advice to would-be writers: get a nice notebook and record one sentence per day for a year. I tell them that the practice can turn into a discipline with results they shall always treasure.

Easier said than done. Today, for example. What one sentence might I write for today? Here in this blog I’ll try out several. One about a bird.

What is the bird that sits on the patio rail mornings and chirps a non-stop plea for a handsome, faithful mate?

Perhaps this one about a sales rep.

When I told the Sprint chap whom I later learned is E-Vonte Bailey that I’d like for him to show me how to remove the cover of my phone so that I could clean it, he not only thumb-nailed the heavy plastic loose but put my iPhone to looking new.

The sentence could pertain to what I did today.

The huge pile of mulch, purchased and delivered in March, is now, finally, off the blacktop and under, around and sometimes above the flowers and vegetables.

Or this one.

Late afternoon I took a big chance that a thunderstorm would refill the five rain barrels which justified my opening the spigot for a slow watering of the hydrangeas and euonymous.

Dare I even return to a strange thought that came to me as I was happily working today?

When I can no longer keep a nice garden, what will we do — buy a service, move to a condo or just sit and remember?

It would be good for my reputation, I guess, if the sentence were about the lofty cogitations of the day, but indeed I didn’t cogitate excepting for an aside to Jim about taxes.

The current politically loaded target practice on Obamacare quite effectively omits a discussion of the function of taxes in a democracy.

All of these sentence try too hard. Why not a simple statement?

Made a good smoothy long about 4 PM: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, banana, yogurt, milk and ice cubes.

Walking (35)

when: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

where: city — Indianapolis; township — Warren; community — Irvington

what: a six-mile loop

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a mailbox

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a hibiscus tree

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a water drain

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an old house

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a visible fence

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a tree-lined street

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a retro house

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a garden shed

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a stump

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a golf course

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an ivy-covered house

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a wood stack

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a hosta bank

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an American flag

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a playground

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Ellenberger Park

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a chicken coop

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a footbridge

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Pleasant Run Trail

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Pleasant Run

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a newly planted tree

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loading items donated to a homeless shelter

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a Spanish-style cottage

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the Irving Park

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wall art

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Coal Yard Coffee Shop

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Eichenachea

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Presbyterian Church

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Irvington Library

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Washington Street … and then home again.

A rural note

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Indy skyscrapers gradually diminish in the rear view mirror as I head northwest, leaving Marion County and all things urban. In western Boone County I turn off Route 32 where I have met 13 semis in about seven miles.

Before many squares of fields, I find the kind of road writ deep in my memory.

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And several stone (“dirt”) roads. My eyes lift and I see sky.

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The kind of sky that uses its own units of measurement. To live under such a sky means a three-meal day of soul nourishment. I imagine the folks who use this barn to be of that size.

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Simplicity. Tranquility. Yet hard work, no matter the season. Hard work blessed by a ripe yet minimalist ambience..

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I remember those days from my childhood. I stop to take an imaginary truck load of chicken feed out the field lane to the range coops.

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And wish to remain there for a spell.

A family reunion

Monday, June 26, 2017

What a treasured heritage — one that presents us with happy family reunions. We just returned from a gathering of my siblings and their families; I am grateful.

We had trouble driving to Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in southwestern Pennsylvania because of torrential rains. Just as we were arriving, the little creek next to our cabin turned into a roaring, rock-throwing, tree-downing surge.

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By Saturday afternoon, the creek was returning to normal.

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Thirty two of us came to warm greetings, big smiles, eager conversations and of course a group photo.

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Laurelville Mennonite Church Center offers much for an extended family. Hiking, for example.

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kickball,

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swimming,

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chatting,

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a campfire,

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good food,

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and for the Hesses, a place and even song books for singing.

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Here we are — my three brothers and one brother-in-law. Hal, Ken, Merv, me, and George.

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In remembrance of our parents — Mervin and Ella Hess, and of Kelly, Erma, Jared and Valerie …

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Names

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Having always been attracted to words, I’ve wondered how many different word-labels a carpenter uses in building a house, how many words are in the lexicon of a lab tech and how many words define the supplies in a typical surgery room.

As a child I wondered at the brilliance of Adam who had the unequaled ability to name everything.

I myself have increasing difficulties in learning names. At one time I was rather good in learning and remembering students in each of my classes. But of late my memory skills seem to be clouding over.

This is particularly evident in plants. Now that I volunteer in a top-notch greenhouse, I want to know the names of all the plants but alas, how is one to recite this roll call: Stanhopia, Paphiopedilum, Anthurium, Talanzia, Gongora, Epidendrum and Lepanthes?

Here at home in our garden, I can do well with vegetables and my favorite flowers. Shown below are growing cannas, surrounded by chard. To the right is a tomato.

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Further along the driveway is a row of beets, a row of beans, tomatoes to the right, and in the background a tall cucumber and on this side of the cucumber a mix of herbs.

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The flower beds offer a larger challenge. OK, at the corner is salvia. The row of blooming plants — I put in the bulbs and tried to plant the names as deep into my brain as the bulbs were deep into the soil — ¬†has a name that Adam knows, but I can’t recall it. The item in the foreground are the remnants of grape hyacinth.

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Is it OK if I call this plumbago?

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That’s the name in a brain cell but I’m not sure. Just know this: here in the house is a huge encyclopedia of plants, apparently written by Adam, that I consult regularly, with each consultation ending in awe and a measure of confusion.

Can you not understand my empathy, then, when my neighbor showed to us a plant that she could not identify, nor could my wife nor anyone else she has contacted? I shall enjoy it as a nameless neighbor with a spotted trunk.

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Days of our Life

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What if we had an album with one photo from each day of our lives! The idea is fanciful, but here is is one week from my life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
waiting at airport to pick up my son
waiting and watching clouds

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Thursday, June 15, 2017
walking in Fort Ben at dusk

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Friday, June 16, 2017
a twelve-mile walk at Eagle Creek

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Saturday, June 17, 2017
showing off the air plant at IMO

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Sunday, June 18, 2017
finally, a glimpse of Lake Monroe
from Pate Hollow Trail

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Monday, June 19, 2017
driving among  storms
enroute home from Wabash
where I lunched with a friend

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017
cutting and processing spinach
from our garden

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017
a lush garden
a short walk
a bit of shopping
a meal with son and grandson
but no pictures yet!