The good, the bad and the not so pretty

Friday, January 2, I looked out at the birch tree below the garden and there perched in the top was a beautiful fellow.  A fine example of a red-tailed hawk.  I walked swiftly to the office and returned to capture this image of him.



Life is like that.  Sometimes.

After missing Dad’s flight to Florida on Friday.  We were able to keep him with us for another three days.  I think we all enjoyed that.

This morning we loaded luggage and people into the Jeep (just in case) and started for the airport.  Everything was going fine until I went to enter the I-96 expressway.  As I approached the speed of surrounding traffic, the vehicle began to shake a lot.  I drove into town under 60 mph.

We did get to the airport on time and Dad was securely “stowed” aboard.  We watched until his plane pushed back from the terminal.  Sylvia called her sister to confirm that Dad was headed her way and on time.

After Sylvia made a few phone calls, it now looks like we’ll get a repair estimate sometime on Wednesday.  (We are not the only ones to have a bad day on Friday.)

Speaking of Friday, that was also the day that something went wrong with this computer.  It appears that MS Office is the only software that refuses to work.  I tried running the repair utility.  No joy.  I ran the more extensive repair procedure.  No change.  I uninstalled and reinstalled.  Still ugly.

I’m not a very happy camper just now.  And still I think of the words of John Carter,*  “I yet live.”

* John Carter is the protagonist in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tales of Barsoom.  John is from Earth and wakes to find himself on Mars (Barsoom).


I just received a callback from my friend and computer guru, Robert.  He’ll pick up my computer this afternoon and repair it for me.  That’s his business so it’s not just a favor for a friend, but I’ll not begrudge him a single cent.

Hey look.  I’m smiling.  A little bit.

Her Birthday

This morning I read the latest post from our friend Sharkey at MQD as she blogged about silos.  It took me back many years.  I had just started my senior year in high school.  On a Saturday, I went back to the farm where I had worked in the summer.  The job was to help fill silo.  It was a long hard day, and I returned home tired, stinky and sore.  I just wanted to stay home and go to bed early.  Yet it was my best friend’s birthday and so I showered, put on clean clothes and went to his house on the other side of town.

There were folks that I knew and others that were new.  There was one girl present who was very quiet.  I almost didn’t notice here.  She was sitting next to me at a card table where four of us were playing a game.  I was losing.  Bad.  Teasingly she touched me on the arm with words of mock comfort.  I looked at her as I have never looked at another woman–before or since.  (Four years later, we would marry.)  Today that young woman celebrates another birthday.

Sylvia in Cartago, Costa Rica

Sylvia in Cartago, Costa Rica

That picture is one of my favorites.  Sylvia is standing beside the man from whom we would buy oranges every Saturday morning.  This picture is the right one on bitter cold and windy day.  Road accidents abound in this part of the state.  Slippery roads and a steep ditch foiled our plans to get Sylvia’s dad to the airport to catch a flight to Florida.  Everyone is okay and we’ll try again on Monday.

Happy Birthday, Sylvia.  I love you.  Here’s wishing you many happy returns of the day.


Do You Ever Wonder?

Today, as I made my usual morning blog rounds, I came to my friend, Vanilla’s, blog.

Our friend has a sense of humor!

In today’s post, he asked us if we’d ever the clicked the “next blog” link on a blogger blog.  I had, but I spent an hour doing that again.  The two interesting blogs that I found had been inactive for over a year.  About half of the blogs I visited were in a language other than English (mostly Afrikaans).  My exploration of “next blog” ended in a loop that switched between two blogs written in Afrikaans.

Vanilla asks several other questions that I’ve frequently asked myself.  As an active blogger, I found this post to be quite interesting.

If you haven’t done so already dear blog bud, please visit my friend’s blog and today’s post: Blogging: Thoughts on a Snowy Day.


Magi followed the star

Magi followed the star

Today, January 6 (aka Epiphany) is the day that western churches celebrate the visit of the eastern magi to the young child, Jesus Christ.  It is also the twelfth day of Christmas.

Today, some of our Puerto Rican friends will have gathered in Hartford, Connecticut for the Three King’s Day celebration and parade.  If they follow their tradition, there will be camels, donkeys, elephants and other critters along with all the human folk.

In our house, we will wrap up our Christmas celebration and tomorrow we will pack up decorations for another year.  Which is to say until after Thanksgiving this year.

Feliz día de los tres reyes magos.
Happy three kings day.

Dios les bendiga a todos.
May God bless you all.

R.I.P. Nellie

The house is very quiet today.  Their is an air of mourning about this place.

Uggh!  Monday.


For the past several months Nellie, our kitty, suffered gastrointestinal problems.  We tried several things to help.  The vet concluded, “I can do nothing to help her.”  Still she soldiered on.  Eventually, the problem became too much.  I was with her when she passed yesterday (Saturday) around 2:15 PM.

I hope you understand.  I don’t want to talk about it.

Sixth Blogaversary

Secondary Roads

Secondary roads,
Made for folks in no hurry,
Better for the soul.


It was six years ago today, that I published my first blog post.  At this time each year, I reevaluate my continued activity in the blogosphere.  I’m surprised that this year I’m more happy than usual to continue.

A lot of friends have come in the last six years, and most of them have gone.  Many have dropped out.  Others just drifted away.  That’s not why I’m content to continue this blog.

There is another group of friends that have come and have remained.  I’ll not name them lest I omit one, which would be an unforgivable error.  These friends keep me interested, informed and amused.  Words and images skillfully crafted and arranged keeps me coming back to them for more.  My blogger buds, are always posting fresh, creative material.

This post was going to be a retrospective on Secondary Rds.  I was diverted from that path.  In thinking back over the life span of this blog, it became obvious that the blog, as life itself, is not so much about me and what I have to say as it is about the connections that I make with others and the relationships that together we develop and nurture.

Thanks to you for being there.  Are you ready for 2015?  If so, allons-y.*

* Any Whoovians out there?

The Road Ahead


Yesterday, I had a session with my chiropractor.  Afterward, I returned home.  Shortly after I left the office, I turned onto to the state highway.  About a half-mile ahead it was l like a white sheet had been draped across the road.  It might have been a fog bank, but conditions weren’t right for that.

As I neared that area I could see that it was the edge of a snow storm.  I drove a few miles through that, and then came out the other side the way was perfectly clear ahead.  I made a turn off the highway and after going about a mile.  Another white “sheet” limited my view.  It was not falling snow.  It was wind-blown snow, or drifting.  Through that area the road is a few feet above the fields to each side.  This results in an aerodynamic effect that lifts the snow from the grown and “sucks” it up into the wind. (It’s the Bernoulli effect if you’re interested.)  I was soon past that spot and the way home was once again clear.


Sometimes life is like that.  You can’t clearly see the way forward.

I’m Funned Out

This past week was a flurry of activity.  There was always something happening.  It wasn’t my usual, “It’s been a very quiet day,” routine.

Christmas eve (Wednesday) church service while snow accumulated on my car. Christmas (Thursday) we were with family (Bryant, Barbara and Briana).  Friday evening featured the wedding of two friends–more on that coming up.  On Saturday, Sylvia’s family held their traditional Christmas dinner.

I get tired just thinking about that schedule.  (Things don’t move as fast out here on our secondary road.)  Saturday night it caught up with me.  Sleep fled while I pursued.  It was 4 AM before I caught sleep and wrestled it into submission.

I missed church on Sunday.  Now, this week will seem completely out of whack.

The Wedding

Frank and Missy have been dating for years.  Now they are man and wife.

Newly Weds

Newly Weds

Aren’t they a beautiful couple?  They’ve been married before, so some of the traditions were dropped from the ceremony.

The crowd was assembled at tables in the hall.  Then the theme from Rocky began to come out of the speakers.  People began to stand.  What?  We stood.  There came Frank with Missy on his arm.  They walked briskly toward the altar.  Near the altar stood Missy’s father.  The couple stopped dad hugged daughter and spoke into her ear.  Then dad shook Frank’s hand and they walked up to the parson.  After the exchange of vows and rings, they were pronounced man and wife.  The reception began.  It all went perfectly!

I leaned over to Sylvia and said, “My feet are killing me” (arthritis).  She replied, “I have to bake three dozen rolls for tomorrow.”  I asked, “Do you want to go?”  “Let’s.”

It was nearly midnight when Sylvia came to bed.  The end of a beautiful day.  The beginning of a wonderful marriage.

May God bless this couple.

After the Shepherds

Shepherds visit the new-born Baby

Shepherds visit the new-born Baby

At His birth, shepherds who had been informed by angels, came to visit the babe.  Later, Magi from the east came to visit the young child.  (See Luke and Matthew)

Magi pay homage

Magi pay homage

After breakfast on Christmas morning, I changed the reenactment scene.  This scene will remain until the evening of January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas (aka Epiphany).

If you are interested in the star and the timeline of Christ’s birth, visit or search YouTube for “Frederick Larson Bethlehem.”

Yesterday, we celebrated Christmas with Briana and her parents, Barbara and Bryant.  We had a wonderful time with them.  Lots of talk about Briana’s upcoming move to Wisconsin.  We are all very happy for her and the way that details are falling into place to make everything go smoothly.

Tonight, Sylvia and I will attend the wedding of our friends, Frank and Missy.  We are very excited and happy for them.

Tomorrow, Sylvia’s family gathers for their traditional Christmas dinner and celebration.  We always look forward to that.