Broken Strings of Thought

There’s a chill in the air, if one believes 61 degrees can constitute a chill. And I believe it can, when one finds oneself in mid-June in the Bible belt. It’s not an uncomfortable chill, though. It’s the sort of chill that accelerates the heartbeat and makes one grateful the temperatures aren’t hovering near 80 in the early post-dawn hours. It’s only a few minutes before six and the sun’s light is sufficiently bright to make nighttime a distant memory. I love cool mornings that hold the promise of a warm, but not hot, day ahead. Tonight’s low, though, is forecast to dip only to 70. Dammit. I prefer 61.


Today, I expect I’ll spend time outside, sanding wood damaged by too-aggressive power-washing. And I’ll smooth the edges of paint still attached to the wooden substrate. If time and energy permit, I’ll start painting, but I doubt I’ll finish even the first coat. There’s a lot of deck to paint and there’s only a little energy in my muscles and bones. Depending on our neighbors’ decision as to whether to go boating tomorrow, I may continue the job tomorrow. If they opt to take us out on the lake, though, completion of painting will wait until another time, when my muscles and bones have had a chance to rest and recover from what I’ve been putting them through these last few days.


I’ve been coughing almost non-stop, it seems, for several months now. I think I might have an allergy of some kind, though it could be the aftermath of surgery and radiation and chemotherapy. Spending time inhaling paint dust and pollen can’t help. Does a man ever really grow up and become a responsible adult? I’m stubborn and stupid and forever a child.


I just watched a deer amble by the window. It looked like the same deer I watched last night, just before dark, heading in the opposite direction. Last night, the deer walked up the hill beside the house to the driveway, where it took a sharp left and walked through the front “yard” and disappeared from sight. I enjoy watching wildlife meander through the neighborhood. Even though I know deer tend to eat gardens and flowers and other carefully tended plants, I’d rather have them around than not. The armadillos and raccoons, on the other hand, are welcome to relocate out of state.


I’ve let my coffee get cold again. I did that yesterday, too. But yesterday, I had an excuse. While my wife slept, I cooked bacon and prepared the batter for pancakes. Those tasks drew my attention away from my coffee. The pancake batter, especially, required my attention. I didn’t make the “normal” pancake batters. I jazzed it up with the addition of baking powder and vegetable oil and sugar and vanilla extract. That jazzing prevented me from focusing on the coffee. Unfortunately, the jazzing had no appreciable impact on the flavor or fluff of the pancakes. It was as if the additions constituted wastes of time, energy, and products. I’ll complain to the pancake batter adjustment corps, the party responsible for the suggestions I followed.



About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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