Don’t try this — Ever

Will someone tell him this is not an air race

Will someone tell him this is not an air race?

Austin didn’t win
At the end he spun up high
Don’t try this at home

At the end of a rain delayed Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, a freak accident sent 25-year-old Austin Dillon flying inverted over two rows of cars.  That phase of his terrifying ride came to an end at the catch fence.  His car went from 180 MPH to full stop in about two car lengths.  The car fell back on the track and slid to the side.  The ride wasn’t over.  An out of control car came spinning his way.   Another hit sent the demolished vehicle into another spin.

Shock and near panic followed.  Crew members ran to Austin’s aid.  He climbed out and waved at the crowd.  Austin suffered a bruised tail bone and arm.  Some spectators were also injured.

Can you believe he finished seventh?  He did.

This is not why I watch NASCAR races.  I like to see the ballet of a well executed pit stop.  Or a clean, smart pass.  It’s good to see a different strategy develop and bring the driver and car to victory lane.

I suppose it’s like water polo or hockey, if you don’t understand the rules and strategies, it can be very confusing.

Life is like that too.

On Schedule

Spring Begins

Winter bows to spring,
Grass changes from brown to green
Soon the earth will warm.

Last evening looking out my office window

Last evening looking out my office window

There is a fourth critter (rabbit) in the left foreground.  It was dusk when I shot this and it was handheld, thus the less than sharp image.

Spring Develops

Slowly days lengthen,
Warm gentle rain falls down,
Earth awakes to life.

On Wheels

Sylvia and a few other women took the children roller skating last night.  And . . .

roller_skate

News

Called from the meeting
Sylvia on Roller skates
Fell upon her wrist

Not really my doctor.

Not really her doctor.

Help Sought

Emergency Room
This night it is filled with folks
Each with their own need

The fall resulted in a distal radius fracture.  In other words, she broke her wrist.  She’s doing well, but the next six weeks should be interesting.

Wandering Mind

Do you remember the radio program, X Minus One?  It was, in their own words:

. . . Adventures in which you will live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds.

I really liked that program, but they don’t do that on radio these days.  That genre doesn’t do as well (for me) on a screen–be it big or little.

Are modern minds being limited and imagination stifled?  I hope not.

Free-ranging I go

Free-range

My mind wanders far,
Time, space impose no limits,
Imagination.

A Mind Walk

120606aObligatory post of an outdoor scene (my pic from another time)

I was in a meeting recently, and from where I sat I could look out a window.  I tried to stay alert and attentive, but my mind went for a walk.  I tried to get it back, but once again it strayed.  My third attempt was also an exercise in futility.  Then the wayward one spoke clearly to me

The Sun Calls

Brightly the sun shines

Inviting me to come, play

But I’m trapped indoors.

Has this ever happened to you?

Almost Here

We’ve been eagerly awaiting spring and it’s coming soon to your neighborhood and mine.  I’m talking about spring.  It may shock some, but it is not my favorite season.  The joy in seeing spring, for me, is winter’s end.

150314a

Earliest Spring

Lead-gray sky above,
Thick clouds sent from the west lake,
Earth is cold and damp.

Maple Tree in Winter

Naked she stands guard,
Watching over the bleak land,
With spring comes glory.

Why plant a tree?

I was a youngster when my grandfather planted three trees–three tiny trees.  I asked, “Whatcha doin’ Grandpa?”

He responded, “I’m planting these three trees.”

Still curious, I asked, “Why.”

“So they’ll grow tall and give shade to this area,” was his reply.

My questions continued, “How long will that take?”

He responded, “Probably thirty years.”

I Thought about that for a while.  Then I asked, “You probably won’t be around then, huh?”

“I probably won’t,” he agreed.

My final question followed, “So why then are you doing it?”

He proceeded to explain life cycles people, plants and animals.  He told me about the importance of leaving your part of the world better than you found it.

The Life of Midnight

I’m going to try to write this on Sunday afternoon for posting on Monday.  Sylvia is reading a book while relaxing in her recliner after our walk together.

Midnight was born probably in late March of 2009.  (We don’t know the exact date, so I have celebrated his birthday on the first of April.  I do things like that. ;)) His mother, a feral calico cat we called Checkers, gave birth to a litter of kittens in neighbor Meghan’s barn.  When the kittens were a little older,  Checkers moved four of them to our barn, which was her home.  Sylvia and I enjoyed watching the little ones when they would come out to play with their mom and with each other.

Checkers, gray tiger & Midnight enjoying summer weather.

Fall came and so did a strange queen.  I don’t know where she came from, but she was ready to pick a fight with anyone or anything.  One afternoon, I heard a terrible sound and looked out to see that queen attacking Checkers, and the fur was flying.  It was all Checkers’ fur.  Checkers was driven off and we didn’t see her for several months.

The kittens were never to be seen again either.  That is except for a little guy that was mostly black.  To tell the truth, he didn’t seem to be the cutest kitten of the litter, but he was the only one left.  We didn’t see him for a while.  Every day Sylvia or I would put out food and water for feral cats in our barn.

One day, Sylvia came back from feeding the cats and reported that the queen had hissed at her and acted aggressively.  I decided put an end to that and did.  (Don’t ask!  And don’t mess with Sylvia.)

Then Midnight appeared we fed him and watched him play as the days got shorter and the air got cooler.  He was a lonely little fellow.  He would play with an old stick he found laying on the driveway.

Midnight and his friend and playmate, the stick.

That little guy would pick that stick up in his mouth and carry it around and play with it.  He seemed to never tire of his “friend.”  We could tell that he was lonely.  Whereas he would run and hide when Mama had been around, he now would come running up to us wanting our attention and affection.  How can you not love on a cute kitten like that.  (By then, he had become cute to us.)

Midnight loves on Sylvia.

Midnight works his magic on me.

A major storm and cold snap was forecast for the night of December 3, 2009.  I said something to Sylvia about the poor kitten out in the barn not being likely to survive being alone in the cold weather.  She thought briefly then spoke, “Let’s bring him in.”  We did that the same afternoon.

Our life changed radically that day.  We are glad that it did.  Midnight spent many evening stretched out beside Sylvia in her recliner as she read a book or watched TV.  He bonded very well with me.  We had many a nap together.  We would play peek and chase games.  One his favorites was to bat a ping pong ball back and forth with me.  He loved to play “Horse in the house.”  The day before he came down sick he was particularly crazy playing that rambunctious game.

So many of you have expressed sympathy and have even said prayers.  Sylvia and I appreciate that.  Our thanks to two very special friends who even posted their tributes to midnight.  Thanks Lin and thanks Rebecca.  We feel the love.

I’ve written plenty about him on various Mondays.  If you’ve been around here for a while you are well acquainted with Midnight.  He’s gone now.  But the memory lingers.

Midnight

No “Horse in the House”
Our kitty has slipped away
We miss you Midnight

Midnight 2009 - 2012

Echoes of Spring

I had taken these two photos earlier this spring. I had planned to use them for a Wordless Wednesday post. But the best laid plans . . . as they say.  Indeed, events overtook my plans and I never did post this.  If flowers make you happy, then this is for you.

A crocus, and another crocus

There is an explanation for that silly caption.  The truth is I don’t know if the plural of crocus is crocuses or crocii.  The spell checker indicates a preference for the former wouldn’t the scientific approach lean toward Latin and the latter?  Can you help?  One thing for sure, the crocus on the left is not going to work today.

What's that on the lovely flower?

As you can clearly see the crocus on the left has a bug.  Cough.  Cough.  I’ll try to make it in to work tomorrow boss. 😉  Pity these pix weren’t posted on a Wednesday.  If that had happened, you would have been spared such horrible humor.

Crocus

Lovely Miss Crocus,
Announces arrival of spring,
With merry colors.