last days of summer

Duck and cover
 I had been wan ting to take a picture of this place for a long time. I wanted the kids in the pool, the folk barbecuing and sitting on the trailer steps, the laundry on the line. But I didn't have an opening until they decided to hold a yard sale. So Todd and Carly, my houseguests, and Dianne and I went with that excuse. We met Christa, who let me take a picture of the pool and showed us her bunnies. I asked, "Are they for pets of for meat?" She said, "Both." I did not tell this to animal lover Dianne or tender-hearted vegetarian Carly. 

Snuggle bunny.
Christa checks out the shoppers.


the reveal, 2018

Not as much progress as I had hoped. Particularly when you realize that the footprint is only 16 by 22, and the bathroom takes out a hunk of that. I basically got two walls mostly done. Didn't get to the bathroom or the floor, either. I like the color scheme though. The shelves ate up a lot of time, but it was worth it. Like the new dishwasher too. And I fell in love with the styrofoam it came packed in. How many places do you see it used?
Doing a round of entertaining before I hit the road on Tuesday. Houseguests tonight.


the slab

An inadvertent self portrait wrecks a beautiful scene.
 It's not the slab itself I like so much, although it has a certain concrete charm, but the road that traverses the slab. One of the first things I do when I get to Missouri is to drive that road. And one of the last things too. I guess I have one trip more tomorrow before heading out on Tuesday. But yesterday the timing and the light were perfect.
My favorite tree is, sadly, on its way out.

David at the slab


evening in the ozarks

 I don't usually post sunset pictures (because trite) but once in a while I'm wowed. Thomasville on one recent evening put on quite a show, with a beautiful sky and roping practice—with a fake calf towed by a four wheeler. When I pulled up in my truck, several people came over to see who I was and what I was doing there. They chilled when they found out I was a neighbor (and which neighbor).


politicks is local

Onward and upward. This is Missouri, where Trump won with 20 percent of the vote and Sen. Claire McCaskill is a lone, endangered Democrat. Her fate (and maybe ours) will be decided in November. The big primary race here in the West Plains, Mo., area is for circuit judge. My cronies are supporting Melissa Stewart. I don't vote here and thus don't follow too closely, but you can't but note that a lot of women are running. Stephanie Kernodle, for instance, and the thought of Kernodle in a kerfuffle. . .


brunch with punch

 We foregathered at 11:30 am. We parted around 8 pm. In between we ate two types of gazpacho, shrimp ceviche, peach and cherry salad, watermelon surprise and quiche. And, oh yeah, the lemon-raspberry-blackberry (? post Champagne and wine and etc) sorbet-granita.
  The guest list included a former owner/publisher/editor of the local daily newspaper, a rancher, an AIDS activist, a former judge, and the town's only writers of reknown, Katie (Dahlia's Gone) Estill and her husband Dan (Winter's Bone) Woodrell of country noir fame.
  We all had a swell time talking to people (of about the same certain age) with evolved vocabularies.


selfie in the acka emma

 The upstairs of the Goose was untouched by the flood. Had I been here, I would have been out on the porch being rescued by boat. The porch now overlooks a concrete slab where Bear's house used to be and a lot of greenery where other houses used to be. Bonfires and bulldozers and dump trucks ply the neighborhood with the remains of Thomasville. But a fair number of people are rebuilding. Some have gifted land or house shells to younger relatives or others who have the energy to start over. Me, I think this is the last time I can renovate. I just can't paint any more!


country life

Always love birds on a wire—even if they are always starlings.
    It's August. I just realized I have to leave this country pretty soon. With my painting of the Goose downstairs only about half done. How can it take so long to paint one room? And not even beginning the bathroom. I guess part of it is it's hard to paint and live in the same 16- by 22-foot space. And part of it is I'm a shitty painter who hates painting.


virginia's dream

Virginia got all dressed up—"with a necklace and everything"—to get her picture made for her new driver's license, but the DMV wanted an eye test. Whoops! No renewal until she gets new glasses.
   On her way back, she saw me in the yard and stopped. We sat on the tailgate of my truck, since I had mopped myself out of the house.
   "I had this dream about you last night, that you drove me to New York City." She had already told me that she would love to visit and see the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade memorial, the Empire State building. I'm sure they wouldn't measure up to the Bible theme park in Tennessee (the one with dinosaurs coexisting with people) where, she said, "I learned so much history." Sigh. But anyway her husband, who calls her "Baby," doesn't want to go to the city. I told her I could drive her one way, but she'd have to fly the other. She wondered how much that would cost.
   We chatted, and she gave me a hug as she left, saying, "I just love visiting with you."



news from all over

So this happened outside Frank and Dianne's driveway last night. Dianne took the picture from the tractor, where she sat preparing to  flip the truck back over, with the counsel of the sheriff.
  She did it! Dude put a wheel back on and drove off.
  In other Ozark news, here's a video urging tourists to return after last year's floods.
  And in Block Island news, here's a brief video urging tourists to help preserve the island.
  And in Thomasville news, now I mop.



If they can't grow it, there's always the grocery store.
An Amish group has moved nearby, probably seeking the same thing most incomers are looking for: cheap land, privacy and little government interference. They sell produce and handcrafts at the just-opened farmer's market in Alton. We now have highway signs warning of buggies. Plenty has been written about the Amish and their approach to modern society, but their separateness is still striking to the beholder. How they hang onto these kids is beyond me.

Transportation parked under the trees at the farmers' market.
Wishing they had Internet?