Gary Larson’s Far Side animal caricatures have ruined me for life. I swear, the instant before I rounded the curve on this Floyd County back road, the cows were walking upright, leaning on fence posts, one or two smoking cigarettes, when they heard me coming. “Car!” the sentinel cow called, and they instantly assumed the quadruped habit for the benefit of romantic humans who think they look better that way, grazing peacefully in a lush pasture. Vegetative Phase This is the time of year …

…May Be Closer Than They Appear Read more »

I thought I might die. Stupid way to go, really, but not unprecedented–to choke to death, at home, alone. I could breathe, mind you. It was only a stupid bit of chip I inhaled while laughing (“My Cousin Vinny” I think was the cause) and at first it was only a mild nuisance of irritation just past the point in the back of the throat where voluntary muscles can contract to expel bits bound ominously for the trachea and parts south. But an hour …

The Slippery Slope of Mortality Read more »

This image (click) of the lovely wear and fade of time will be calendar-coordinated soon, though the greens still dominate–at least from a distance. Up close, hardly a leaf remains unblemished, invaded by tiny colonies of fungus, giving up the greens of chlorophyll to reveal the xanthophylls and carotenes of oranges, reds and yellows underneath. Soon, those too will fade, and death is brown and gray, the color of mold and decay. Autumn is one of those several times the bell tower plays a …

Bells of Autumn in the Distance Read more »

I found myself filling time pleasantly in a gentle mist between errands and home patients on Monday. Walking back up to pick the car after repairs at Harvey’s, the old Via Electric building seem stark and imposing, now padlocked, but an active electrical parts and repair shop when we moved here. In earlier incarnations, it was obviously a church. You might be able to tell if you click the image for an enlarged version, the door under the porch on the right has in …

Via Electric Church Read more »

I don’t remember having any symptoms before a routine office visit to the local optometrist back in 1995 when he detected early signs of a detached retina. Within a week, I was having laser surgery to weld the retina in place to solve the problem. Every time I see our local optometrist in Floyd (Mondays and Tuesdays in a permanent office in what was originally a suite at the Pine Tavern) he asks “are you seeing any floaters or flashes of light?” and I’ve …

In-sights and Old Eyeballs Read more »