Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bird on a Wire

This owl danced for us as we walked back to Dad’s house.
Like a bird on a wire,
Like a drunk in a midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free.
—Leonard Cohen

Once we got moving, things went much better. The trip down to Dad’s was smooth sailing. Traffic was light, and we made really good time. We got there before noon in spite of not getting up until after I had planned on leaving. On the way down, we passed some interesting sights:

  • A Christmas tree made out of old tires—painted gold and decorated
  • Christmas tree made out of round bales—painted green and decorated
  • Kids out playing on the street with their new toys
Dad watches the Cowboys lose.

Dad was in good health and spirits. He seemed really glad to see us and expressed how much he really likes Suna. We ate lunch at Aunt Di’s. Dad and Suna cleaned their plates. I couldn’t finish my usual order, and that is a good sign that I’m continuing to change my eating habits.

Back at the farm, we watched the Cowboys play poorly and lose. We went for a walk back to the stock tank. Once you get used to the emptiness of the countryside, you start to notice the biodiversity that is recovering now that more farms are retuning to grazing and pesticide use is declining. We saw lots of birds and got covered in floating spider webs.

AppraiserMan built a deer stand right on the property line. He and his son were watching the deer in distant field, but the animals were too comfortable where they were to come any nearer. He said that a few days before he had sighted some wild hogs walking right up to the stand. But when they got to where he had a clear shot, they scented him and ran. Too bad. They do a lot of damage to the habitat.

This is a good spot.
Photo by Suna

I had a really good time fantasizing about where I would site a house. But I will probably never build there. The local flora keep my sinuses in an uproar most of the year. Even in the winter, my sinuses were burning and my eyes were watering by the time we got home.

Photo by: Suna
Motion blur by me not stopping completely

On the way back to the house, I noticed a big fire on the horizon. We kept checking in periodically as we walked back. It continued to grow until it was truly frightening. Dad said it was 20 or so miles away, and he is a pretty good judge of distance. He has spent most of his life on that farm. When we left, we verified the distance, just for our own comfort. It was at least a few miles south of Yorktown, which is nine miles from the farm.

On the way home, I took Suna by the Christmas light display that Cuero sets up in the city park every year. She was really impressed by the community effort (each display is designed and maintained by a local business, charity, or group of individuals) it takes to put on such a display (more than a mile of individual creations) in such a small town. My favorite remains the sea monster swimming toward the paddle wheel boat, both of which are set in the lake so their lights reflect in the water.

It seems that just getting out of the house and doing something really improved our mood. This is something to remember when we start getting grumpy.

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