The Children-Avatars of Goose Creek

It is a fact (barring worse-case outcomes in the real estate realm) that this date a year from now, I will not be sitting at this desk in this room at these coordinates on Planet Earth. But someone will be just about to experience their first spring on Goose Creek.

Who will it be? What will it be for them? How will they become embedded in the local ecology, or will they be “summer people” who simply recreate and vacation here and then go absent–snow birds wintering in the Caribbean?

I try to imagine this house with the enlivenment of other souls than ours. It never has been and never would be OURS, other than in the legal sense. They too will be semi-permanent transients, pretending their own OUR-ness for a few years, a few decades. But what do I want to think their lives will be like, in my most hopeful moments? How might the Whole Ecology of this parcel and square mile of corrugated ridges and forest become home for them?

And the thought that has given me the most pleasure to project across the next decade of new owners here is that there will be children. A boy, Ethan, age 5 and a girl, Brittany, age 8 let’s say. Their parents are educated, adventurous, curious and nurturing for their children’s nature literacy and broadest-possible citizenship among people and all creatures. And it is for that kind of living education that they chose to buy this particular and unique property.

And so, while I have decided not to flesh out this fantasy here in vast detail, I feel certain that it is something I will muse about, before and after the sale, regardless of the childless buyers who winter in the Bahamas.

It will make me smile to “know” that these two children will carry on with my “knowings” of this place; will extend my memories of some of the very same rocks that they will turn in Nameless Creek; the very same fallen logs where they will find perhaps the same Slimey Salamander I found last summer.

They will walk the length of the creek, from the bluff and well past the Fortress of Solitude. (What if anything will they call that tranquil place where so many hopes and dreams once visited an old man?) They will walk in cold kettles up to their waist, in the dappled light of a green corridor of moss and fern, and learn early on how stinging nettle got its name.

Ethan and Brittany as teenagers will delight in inviting their friends here, who discover a wildness here not present even in many places within Floyd County. They will proudly show their visitors where the water snakes sun by the barn; which trees to watch for mountain boomers; and how to find water pennies under just the right creek rocks while collecting crayfish just for fun.

While not many children their age can identify a dozen spring and summer birds by their calls, they will know the Louisiana Waterthrush; they will know when and where the Scarlet Tanagers will build their nests; and they will stop in their tracks (just like I do, I just know they will) any time a raven makes one of a dozen different calls five hundred feet above them.

They will come to know who they are because of where they are. They will be rooted, grounded and placed humans because of what this place will offer to teach them, and because they have willingly and enthusiastically offered to learn and to know and to care.

Their laughter and their music fill my imagination, though they may never fill these heart-pine walls. Even so, I will think of them often, next year and beyond, my avatars who will live forward the life I leave them here. Tend the details and the lessons, and cultivate them, children. And share them in words and pixels. Perhaps someone will listen.

More Shorts for Cold Weather

Here is served more high-fiber roughage, I suppose, that helps keep the old information digestion system moving regularly. One has to take the time to slow down and spend a few moments of quiet reflection, and just let go. Pass it on. Share and flush. You’re welcome. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

We Welcome Your Stories and Poems! | Chicken Soup for the Soul

I am waiting to see if my piece gets final approval (after two exchanges for edits and permissions.) If so, should be one of several dozen selections in Laughter is the Best Medicine in book stores in April.

17 Items That Require Climate Controlled Storage |

I hear from a staging professional that short term (in our case, hopefully max 4 months) the items in this list should be okay–in a POD–a storage option about which I’m coming up to speed and welcome your experiences.

‘Observe everything’: Neil Gaiman’s celebration of culture’s journey from science to knowledge | Aeon Videos

The graphics are worth the viewing, the text lifts up humanity’s–and especially women’s–evolution from superstition to science. (and maybe back again? stay tuned. News at 6.)

Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day. | Inside My Mind

I think I want to riff on this at some length–at least that is what the voice inside my head has discussed with me. You don’t hear it?

Signed up for 100GB Google Drive at $20/year

What the heck. Google docs and spreadsheets are pretty useful, and Google Photos–now I can back up full-res versions and free up iCloud and iPhotos on the iPhone. iCan.

iPhone Stuck on Spinning Wheel? Here’s Every Fix You Need to Know

I’ve had a smart phone since 2008, an iPhone since 2010, and thought I’d had every possible weirdness bring my device to the brink of tragedy. Nope. Had another last week, this page helped.

Get Started with Earth Engine  |  Google Earth Engine

Google Earth repository over time: check out a favorite location, the click TIMELAPSE. Not uncommonly, find contiguous forest fragmented or missing, fields or asphalt taking over.

Contagion: Contained?

As a biologist, I’ve always been interested in epidemiology of disease, and as a zoologist, particular those that originate in wild or domestic animals. And so there has been quite a bit to keep up with regarding the zoonoses of the past few decades.

And so the Wuhan Coronavirus is something I’m following daily, more to see how the medical staff inside the ambulance are dealing with the patient than to chase the ambulance. This is a study, more than ever, of how national medical systems around the world communicate and cooperate, as well as a revelation of how a generally science-illiterate world populace adjusts their thinking and their behavior in light of the level of risk where they live.

And towards the end of keeping up, no great surprise, I have a “ledger” of facts and opinions worth noting, in my digital clipboards (plural, since I use several methods of grabbing and organizing stuff.)

Recently I’ve become interested in spaced repetition learning and tools that make that so much easier than distant-yesterday’s “flash cards.” And one tool of note is still in fairly early development. I had a video call a month or so ago with the very young and helpful developer of RemNote (take a look) and am hoping to interest the rising students in our family in this (or this kind of) tool.

I only this morning poked the button that tells me I can share the “narrative” version of my notes. I could share the “testing’ version as well, in which case every phrase on either side of : becomes question (on side one) and answer (on side two) of a “rem” card for periodic study.

So click on the Blue Button below for my “pertinent facts” gleaned from a very current very informative NYT article that you can consume in 90 seconds. You’re welcome.

[su_button url=”″ target=”blank” style=”3d” background=”#6fd2eb” color=”#1f1717″ size=”6″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”5″ icon=”icon: medkit” icon_color=”#ffffff” text_shadow=”1px 1px 0px #000000″]Notes regarding CoV on Monday 3 Feb 2020 from a NYT article called How Bad Will the Coronavirus Outbreak Get? Here Are 6 Key Factors[/su_button]

Sunday Shorts: 020220