Friday Firesmith – Hairy Larry

When a man starts working as a Construction Inspector, there are many contractors who see him as a possible ally. They try to educate him, teach him how things work, tell war stories, and generally speaking, they develop a relationship built on mutual respect and a quest for a better product is formed.

Hairy Larry and I did not have that sort of relationship. He was one of those construction foremen who saw inspectors as the enemy, and he meant to confound me as often as possible. There were two men working for the same company named Larry, and I was the one who tagged Larry as Hairy Larry. The man looked like a cross between a Skid Row bum and a Sasquatch. He worked without a shirt, and who could blame him? He didn’t have hair on his back, he had a pelt.

He did not like the nickname.

But Larry was one of those guys who liked to mess with people but got mad when they dished it back at him. I got him busted for missing one bar in a bridge deck and his boss made him put it in. It took three hours to remove the steel and put that bar in, and Larry was pissed.

We all took the same road to the project, US 84 east out of Valdosta, and he loved to ride on my bumper, all the way to the project at the Lanier County line, if he got behind me. One day I watched in the rearview mirror and as soon as he looked away I slammed on brakes. Larry’s crew screamed like hell, and he had to lock them down to keep from hitting me.

That got him in trouble because a steel bucket that held their hand tools crashed into the back windshield and cracked it. The crew thought it was hysterical and told anyone who would listen what had happened. Larry got written up for following me too close, and he got sat down and told to back off, in more ways than one.

When it came to bridge decks, Larry did them better than most, and I admired him for that. Other than that one bar missing in that one deck, (and that burned him like a slow fire in a pit), Hairy Larry did good work. More than once, we clashed on details, but I trusted Larry to produce as good as he could, and there were times he admitted I had helped made the bridge better by staying on him.
Larry made some parking lot markers out of spare concrete, and there’s always some left over after a deck pour. His boss showed up and wanted to know what the hell he was doing, and I stepped in and told his boss they were for me. I think he knew I was lying, but I also think he knew I was trying to stop the war, and he allowed it to pass. Larry wasn’t overly grateful, but he did see it as a path to peace. We shook hands after the last concrete pour on that project and he called me, “Cuz.” Larry called everyone Cuz. If you didn’t know him as Hairy Larry, you knew him as Cuz.

A week ago today, Larry died of COVID. He had gone to the ER complaining of feeling terrible, left because he was there too long, went back the next day in worse shape, and was put on a ventilator almost immediately. He died three days later.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – The Riot

When George Floyd was murdered, thousands of citizens marched peacefully on the Capitol, where they were met by a force of hundreds of soldiers, just in case a riot broke out. No one died, nothing was burned, and other than traffic being worse than normal, life went on. All of this was brought on by a sense of social justice.

Yesterday, a mob of white conspiracy theorists, encouraged by a one-term president and social media false information, “swarmed” the Capitol, broke into buildings, vandalized offices, stopped the legal certification of the duly elected next president, and people were killed.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, after a massive turnout by black voters, both Senators from that state will be Democrats. Control of the Senate shifts with this election.

Witness if you will, the methodology of those people who are looking for change, as opposed to those people merely pumped up by partisan politics and social media demagogues. One group hit the streets and got voters to the polls. The other group rioted because they did not get the votes they wanted.

One group of the two, has been gassed, shot at by rubber bullets, and beaten with clubs, yet they remain steadfast in their belief America is still worth voting for. The other group rioted because the election ‘had’ to be stolen, because they didn’t get what they wanted, despite dozens of court cases, and despite dozens of recounts.

Here’s what happened Tuesday: In Georgia, a grassroots voter drive defeated two incumbent Republican Senators, shifting the balance of power in this nation. It was driven almost entirely by black voters, who in an effort to change this country, voted.  If this doesn’t push you away from supporting Trump, I’m not sure what will. There is no evidence, anywhere, in any state of voter fraud of any kind.

Here in Georgia, look at Governor Brian Kemp. He was the Secretary of State for Georgia when he ran for the state’s highest office as a Republican. He refused to resign, which meant any reported malfeasance was reported to him during the election. That tells you what sort of person Kemp is. Do you think that man would allow evidence of foul play to pass? Kemp is screwed now. His career is over now that the Democrats control the Senate, and the Presidency. Do you think that man threw his future away for Joe Biden? Do you not think for a moment if he and the Republican Secretary of State could find anything, something, a scrap of evidence they wouldn’t be hailed as Republican Heroes?

I can’t speak of what happened anywhere else, but I do know the two men who wanted most for Trump to be president couldn’t find evidence of fraud with the resources of the entire state of Georgia at their fingertips.

What happened in DC was wrong, it was criminal, and it was Un-American. It was Anti-America.

Trump is Un-American. He’s Anti-America.

If you still support him, then you are, too.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Nashville

The troubles went on in Northern Ireland for thirty years or so, with one side trying to unite Ireland and the other trying to keep Protestant Northern Ireland as a part of England.

Bombings and shootings were common. Most notably were the assassinations, or more precisely, the murders of Ross McWhirter, co-founder of The Guinness Book of World Records, and Lord Mountbatten, who was nearly 80 when a bomb planted on his boat exploded.

Terrorism works, killing civilians and blowing things up, disrupting the normal with bloodshed, and tying your opponent down with hit-and-run killings and destruction, is a time-honored and proven method of bringing power to the table to talk.

Personally, I think attacking civilian targets in general, and the elderly in particular, is cowardly and destroys any moral authority a cause might have, but it does work. It did bring about change in a system that had been in place for quite some time.

When a bomb exploded in Nashville Tennessee on Christmas Day, I waited. I waited for a message from some fringe group, some lone wolf terrorist, somebody out there who was about to open Pandora’s Box in America, a country founded on fighting the same empire the IRA waged war against many years ago.

The idea that it might have been a suicide bomber never occurred to me. My mind had skipped off down the road of worse cases, and in my mind, trust me when I say, worst cases are exactly that. I saw an America torn apart, a police state where everyone was a suspect, cameras everywhere, drones patrolling sports events, people mistrustful, hate building between one faction and another with every attack, reprisals between groups, roadblocks manned by soldiers, and the blood of those whose capability, and willingness, to wage war upon their fellow citizens would be nonexistent, yet spilled nevertheless.

Nashville would be the beginning, and perhaps the epicenter, and it would join a long list of cities like London, Saigon, Beirut, and a thousand others in human history where bombs spoke louder than any other voice.

Yet we are not there, not yet, and we should listen now, to voices other than bombs, for now, we realize we still have time, and we still have peace, such that it may be in this country, and it is not too late, at this moment.

We can still set aside our differences, we can still speak without fear and grief, we can still come together as one people, if not with one ideal for this nation, then with one voice against what will happen if we do not. We can show America to be that place, that dream, that can avoid what others could not, to see past the vision of destruction, and rebuild before there is a fall.

The sound of an explosion woke many people in Nashville, a city of music and of talent and of song. Perhaps, we should hear now, and perhaps that sound is a clarion call, not of hate and of violence, but a call to action, a call for patriots not to arm themselves, but to sit together and see, eye to eye, with those with whom they disagree, yet still see America.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – I Hate Christmas

My dislike, disdain, and outright abhorrence for Christmas was learned behavior, and then like all prejudices, it was sown with the self-support people will apply when they are emotionally detached from a cultural event. But there are more people like me every year, for every year Christmas becomes less and less about some festive event celebrating the religious aspect of December 25th, and more and more about keeping America’s retail businesses up and running.

I hated Christmas as a child. I hated that we were ping-ponged from one house to the other because of divorce, and I hated the idea there would come a day we would choose not to go to one home or the other, or ultimately, we would all just go our separate ways, to escape Christmas altogether.

The waste would be enough at this point, the mounds and mounds of ornaments, wrapping paper, tinsel, cheap plastic displays that will be thrown away after one use, the electricity wasted to light up the entire world in a tawdry display of gluttony and excess.

The despair would be enough at this point, the desperate parents selling their souls trying to do enough for their kids to prove there’s love there, somewhere, even though most parents proved during the lockdown they rather risk their offspring being infected, and infecting others, rather than spend weeks on end, in the same house with their kids. It says a lot that there’s so much distance between families now, and Christmas is when we try to bribe children into believing that there’s a Santa Claus, and also these days, that family is more important than work. Both are proven myths at this point.

I hate Christmas because once upon a time, family would come together, and there would be a commonality between relatives, a sense of connection, and a feeling of gratefulness that we were back in one place at the same time again, but now there are just people with the same last name staring at their cell phones until they’ve been there long enough so it’s polite to leave now.
By tomorrow afternoon, Christmas will be over for most Americans. They’ll begin a massive movement of material to the landfills, and they’ll throw away a lot of leftovers, wasted food in a hungry country, and a lot of them will start drinking because it’s the weekend. DUIs go up this time of year, as people self-anesthetize to get rid of that feeling there should have been more something on Christmas, but there hasn’t been for a while now.

When Christmas died, when we killed it with excess, when it became an event for buying rather than a time to give, we destroyed a lot of what was good in America. When buying became an obligation, rather than simple gift-giving, we murdered the idea of sharing, and it became a cultural bidding war where the price of a present was the honest measure of love. When we became more interested in cellphones than cousins, we forgot our families and became strangers at home.
Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Fenny, My Dream Girl

In case you’re new here, I have very vivid dreams. There are places I’ve dreamed about, dreamscapes I call them, that repeat, and they do not exist in the real world. There’s an entire dreamscape city, with a tall building where all the floors look exactly the same and it is difficult to tell where the hell you are. There’s a building at the edge of the dreamscape city where the public works department stores all their emergency signs and stuff like that. It hasn’t popped up in a while, but it will.

Monday night, I dreamed I was with a group of people, and I knew some of them from this world and a couple were from the dream world. Dream people used to show up regularly, but it’s been a while since I had a repeat offender. Until last night. Last night marked the return of Fenny, a young woman, likely in her late twenties, dark hair and dark eyes, too skinny, fairly tall, and covered in tattoos. She smokes Pall Malls. Fenny is in constant motion and does not like to sit still.
I have no idea what she was doing in the dream, it was not like she was the main character or even did anything noteworthy, but left her phone in my car, which wasn’t my vehicle in the real world.

What makes this interesting, is how much detail her phone had in the dream, and how much detail there was about me using it. It had a black cover with red roses on the back. Not knowing whose phone it was, I opened it, which wasn’t very likely in the real world, looked up her name and number in the settings, and then called the number to leave a voicemail. (In reality, I was unable to leave myself a message on my phone.) But her voice said, “This is Fenny,” and that was all. How she was supposed to get the message, I cannot explain.

I have dreams about driving a car or a truck frequently, but I’ve been driving for a few decades. Operating a cell phone is something I started doing in 2006, up until I owned one, I had never used one before, and didn’t want to start.

Anyway, last night I dreamed I was at work, talking to someone I know in real life, and a car drives by, and Fenny waves at me, holding her phone, as if to show me she got it back. How, I do not know, but apparently, we know mutual friends. That was it. That was almost all the dream.

Questions here: Are there people who show up in your dreams, repeat performances, the living or dead who you once knew or mind inventions? Have you ever dreamed of your cell phone? Your car?
Anyone here know a woman named Fenny?

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – The Confessions of the Southern Baptist Atheist Snake Handler

I’ve been reading the book, “Jew-ish” by Matt Greene, and he’s trying to explain a concept I’ve known about for a very long time, but the fresh look at it is a revelation. Regardless of what you might believe, or what you might not believe, the culture you were raised in will influence your life strongly, that’s nearly inescapable.

Greene’s family was Jewish. They celebrated all the Jewish holidays, went to all the Jewish classes, ate the right foods, followed tradition closely, but one day Matt Greene came right out and asked his father if he believed in God. A complicated question, to be sure, for then you have to define of whom you speak. At the end of the day, Greene’s father was revealed not to have a real belief in a deity.

So why bother? Why go through all the Jewish stuff if you don’t believe?


Part of Greene’s whole point in being not so much Jewish but being Jew-ish is that it’s a cultural thing, a family thing; religion and belief aren’t as important as defining yourself, in the same way the people with whom you share your genes do.

As an atheist, I’ve had people come to me and confess they have doubts, and have always had doubts, but they were in church every time the door opened. Why? Because their family always did, and their neighbors did, and because it felt comfortable inside the church with other people.

I had a Jewish roommate at one time, and for years I was in love with a Jewish woman. I would have married her if things would have been different. She was never very Jewish around me, but I never had any problems with her culture or her beliefs. As far as how I view Jews, the Nazis hated them, and that’s good enough for me. An enemy of my enemy is my friend. But at the end of the day, I’ve always admired the Jews, not so much for what they believe, but for how much they have endured. It’s not easy being a Jew in this world, and as an atheist in South Georgia, I can understand that perfectly.

I can see now, in retrospect, that I would have converted to Jew-ishness, had I married the woman. Not because of belief, but because of a need to be a part of the world she grew up in and still lives in. I think we all do that, in small ways, when we are around different people if we’re smart, because it does close gaps between people.

Three years ago, I joined a writer’s group that was a part of the Snake Nation Press in Valdosta Georgia. Their ringleader, the famous and popular, Roberta George, had married a man from the Middle East and had seven children. George, as a writer, lived in both worlds, wrote about them extensively, borrowed parts of her life and the lives of others to create characters in books, and championed that ideal as what all writers ought to do. Now, at 81, Roberta George has not lost a step in her writing. Her group’s members, and disciples, are known as “Snake Handlers”. 

If you are going to write, your writing becomes both a benison and a wound. Your work can turn on you, like a snake, and bite you, envenom you, or not, hence, Snake Handlers.

I think your culture, who your people are, who you were before you realized there was a choice, affects you very much the same way, as does whatever your craft guides you, when you are an artist.

We are all very much like the members of a high school clique; we all like to think who we are, what we are, all of us, globally, an entire species, is somehow different, but here we all are, thinking the same thought. We are all human-ish.
Take Care,


Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – We’ll go fishing next Saturday

Jan was one of those truly beautiful women who everyone liked, and most guys lusted for, and her boyfriend, Tim, was one of those guys that most people merely tolerated. The two of them always had good pot, sold it pretty cheap, and their house, an ancient and huge wood-frame building, was the center of gravity for those of us looking for a place to light up and sit down.

We had a massive party there one night, to celebrate someone’s birthday, and we played poker until about two in the morning. I was far too wasted to try to drive, and so were most of the other revelers that night.

There were still a few people wanting to play poker, but I went outside to sit beside the fire, with the rest of those who were losing money or just too stoned to try to figure it out. I was never any good at poker. I suspect, and this isn’t a scientific theory, is that well-liked people win more in poker than less-liked people. No one minds losing to someone they don’t mind spending time around, but if a man doesn’t like you, he’s going to hate losing to you, and he’ll try harder to get his money back. I read thick books about science fiction and wasn’t a redneck. I didn’t kill snakes and I caught venomous ones barehanded. Most of the people there considered me just short of an alien.

Out by the fire, there was one guy, Carl, still upright, and a couple of other people half asleep. There was a couple who pulled a blanket out into the weeds, out beyond the light, and she was trying to keep her jeans on, and whoever she was with, was trying hard to get them undone. Drunks are never quiet people, and horny drunks even less so. Carl and I whispered about possible candidates and combinations of who it might be when Barbara Whitney came out looking for her husband. She glared at us both for laughing hard, but a few minutes after Barbara left, her husband Tom came out of the weeds, pulling up his zipper, and saying he just had to take a leak, that’s all, nothing to be seen here, move on.

Sandra Smith emerged from the weeds a few minutes after that, clothes on, kinda, hair a mess, with the blanket, and she neither looked at us nor spoke.

Carl and I waited until Sandra had left before dissolving into laughter again, but it was getting late, and I was sobering up, some.

“My Belle just died,” Carl said, looking away. Carl was famous for having an old mutt that looked like part Black Lab and part bear, who rode in the back of Carl’s truck.

“Damn, man, I’m sorry,” I said, and meant it deep.

“Fourteen years. Raised her from a puppy,” he said and lit another cigarette. “She just went to sleep one night and didn’t get up the next morning.” Carl’s voice cracked, and right then, I liked him a lot. There’s something really good about a person who gets hurt bad losing an old dog.

“Where’d ya bury her?”

“Down by Sowhatchee, near the old mill, that’s where I found here. That’s where I like to go fishing. I got a place the warden don’t go, I can seine enough for a fish fry and don’t nobody know about it, mostly.” Carl was also famous for providing fish for fish fries.

“You ought to come with me, tomorrow morning, I could use a hand with the net,” Carl said, and I could tell he meant it.

“What time?”

“I like to get out there ‘fore light, set a fire, and then get them out of the water about sunrise,” Carl said.

“Way too early for me, hell, that’s just a couple of hours from now!” I protested.

“We’ll camp out on the sand bar next Saturday, get Sandra to come out and keep us company,” Carl laughed as he got up to go. “Really, help me get some fish next Saturday morning.”

“Okay,” I said and even though it was illegal to net fish, hell, it sounded like a great time.

Carl left and I stared at the fire until I started to fall asleep. Carl was a few years older than me, so he must have found Belle when he was just old enough to drive. Fourteen years. That’s a long time with a dog, and I know that now. I know what it feels like to raise one from a puppy, and then lose an entire lifetime of a dog.

I woke up about noon the next day, still slightly stoned, but sober. Jan called me, in tears, and told me that Carl had fallen asleep at the wheel, and slammed into a tree on the way home. He was killed instantly.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith – Larry

It’s difficult to describe Larry in terms so people might understand him, mainly because I didn’t. He was a few years younger than me, and light-years smarter, and by that, I mean off the charts intelligent. Larry was one of those people when you first met him you assumed he was some sort of brain-damaged alcohol-fueled pothead, and he was. But then there was the satellite dish, and that’s where things got really, very, impossibly strange.

Larry was good with electronics, and this was all back in the ’80s before everything had to have a computer in it. He repaired televisions and radios, as well as anything else that had juice flowing through it. But Larry drank, a lot, and he smoked a lot of pot. Living in a single-wide trailer on a patch of land just big enough for it and a small shed, Larry was also a bane to his neighbors, and none of them were much better off.

Some people lack an understanding of boundaries and that would be Larry. He walked into any house if the door was unlocked and take anything he could pick up. His tiny shed was filled with tools that belonged to people he knew, and people he didn’t know. Larry didn’t seem to understand ownership and privacy. But that man knew electricity and how to make it work.

About the time his neighbors were planning to burn him out of the community, Larry came up with a satellite dish, yes, one of those big ones. How he got it to his trailer, no one knows, and he never said, but suddenly, he was snaking cables and lines to anyone who wanted three billion channels of television, and coming up with those huge satellite dishes, all for free. Larry helped set up a dozen more dishes, and all was forgiven. There was a chip that connected each dish with something way up in the sky, and Larry discovered computers, and how to speak to them. But Larry also discovered porn, a thousand channels of porn, and that was a very bad thing.

Larry watched porn like he drank cheap beer and smoked homegrown pot, which was all the time. To go over to ask him to help set up a dish was to walk in with porn on his television. People could put up with the missing tools and Larry just wandering into their homes, but when kids started going over to Larry’s to watch porn, things got weird and illegal.

Larry was arrested for stealing cable from the power company. He pedaled his bike to the Gold Plate restaurant on Patterson Street and sawed off ten feet of cable from a truck parked in the parking lot. The guys inside watched him, called the cops, and Larry was arrested. When they searched his trailer, they found the illegal dish, some pot, and three kids in his living room watching X rated television.

There’s no evidence, really, Larry ever touched a kid, or was interested in such a thing, but simply having kids over to watch that stuff was enough to get him locked up. Larry wasn’t capable of sticking to a cover story; he never lied about the tools he took or anything else. But people were happy to see him go, and after he was gone, they lived in peace again, albeit without free television access to a billion channels.

I helped his sister and her boyfriend clean out his place, and found a stack of technical manuals and a lot of books on electronics, and of course, porn. I never did figure out the connection. I never understood why electronics and people having sex were connected in Larry’s mind, but they were. I always wondered if there wasn’t some way to get that man into a shop of some sort, where he had everything he needed to work on, all his mind could handle. I wonder if that might have been enough to burn through the beer and the pot, and the porn.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit. Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.


Friday Firesmith Extra – Giving Thanks

On this day of giving of Thanks, I think we all should stop for a moment, and do exactly that. Of all human faults and vices, I consider ingratitude one of the worst, right up there with driving slow in the fast lane.

I want to thank all of my conservative friends, those who are philosophically opposite of myself, for making this 2020 election what it was. Whatever else can be said, more people went to the trouble of voting this election than ever before, and no matter who won, what this tells us is people are more active, and they care about something. These people have families, they’ve served in uniform during times of war, and they have dogs. They are good, solid people, and their opinion matters to me, even when we disagree, and I want to say thank you to them.

If who someone votes for is the single defining issue for you, I’m good with that, it’s you. But it is not me.

To those of you who agree with me, thank you for being there. It’s been a long road. But we have to reach out and make peace with the people we do not agree with, and we cannot afford to lose them.

To the people in rescue, thank you. Every pet deserves a home, and you are an awesome group of people.

To the frontline healthcare workers, thank you. In this time of Plague, no group of people have done more to save lives than you have.

To first responders, always, thank you.

To the men and women who are law enforcement, thank you, again, for suiting up each and every day for a hard job in a very hard time. We still believe in you. Thank you.

To the men and women in the uniform, away from home, perhaps in a combat zone, we love you, thank you.

To the people who work in jobs like restaurants, and bars, and who have to deal with the public in this time of plague, we see you, thank you, and I tip heavy and hard on take-out orders, no matter how small.

To the parents of children during this time of plague, you had the hardest job ever before the virus hit, I cannot imagine how you deal with raising kids now. Thank you for trying to mold young barbarians into fully functioning adults with no training manual or heavy drugs.

To the people who have helped me with Mom the last couple of years. Thank you ever so much. It’s been an adventure and it still is. For those of you who have an elderly parent living with you, hang in there. Don’t let it wear you down.

To the community of “Bits and Pieces” I want to say thank you. I’ve met some really great people here, and I hope to meet more as long as Jon allows me to stay. Thanks, Jon for keeping this place open, and the lights on.

What would you like to say “Thank you” for or to who?

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – November

Back during the Summer, we paved on the hottest day of the year, with the Heat Index being sued in copyright court by Satan. Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon, I drank my last bottle of water, but luckily my supervisor showed up with a cooler. I took a long cold shower after I got home, and honestly, it felt like the water was warm coming out of the showerhead. It took a few days to get over that shift.

Today, and this was written on November the 16th, one week after my birthday, it wasn’t cold in the morning, but I had to put on a heavy shirt. The day never really heated up, there was a nice breeze, and no gnats or mosquitoes. The high today was likely around seventy-something, low seventy-something at that.

We used to do that before the digital age. We once were vague about time and temperature. It was always, “A little past two” not “two oh six”. It was always “close to 90” not 91.3 degrees”. We didn’t gain anything by knowing that much about that little.

I got home today and it was odd not to feel warmth in the house. It wasn’t cold, not by a long shot, but the heat of the day had not built up, the AC wasn’t on, and the humidity was way low. I walked the dogs in the woods and it was cooler, and darker, than I thought it should have been, as if I hadn’t noticed the Equinox is further away than the Solstice now. The dogs love it, running around like mad, jumping onto logs then springing off at the others, and it’s a good time to be a mutt here.

Lilith has reached the November of her life. She waddles now, doesn’t run much, and doesn’t play with her packmates anymore. It’s been a while since she chased anything other than a nap.

Back inside, the house feels cool, maybe too cool for mom, but she’s not complaining. The heat was terrible this Summer, and the heat pump died in August. I got her a window unit until we got the heat pump replaced, but it was a very long week or so. At one point we had two window ACs and even though the air was cooler they both made noises like a 747 landing in a herd of metal wildebeests migrating through a junkyard.

November is here. It’s good bonfire weather. It’s good blanket and good book-reading weather. It’s a good time of year to work all day in the yard with some beer, and not feel like Death is waiting for you to push it a little too hard. November means that you’ll hurry to get things done while there’s still light enough to work, but at the same time, it’s cool enough to work hard, and it feels good when you do.

Right now, there’s a lot of planning being done, around the Plague, so Mom can have a decent Thanksgiving meal, and perhaps even see a grandson. We have to be careful because other people aren’t, or won’t be. But this is November. The last month before the last month, the beginning of the frenetic activity that only Americans could call “The Holidays”. November, the month that brings cooler, darker, and rainier weather, snuggle weather, fires and alcohol, food and more food, and perhaps, some peace.

Take Care,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.