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darned socks

I took a year off from college once and traveled around the country. For a while, I stayed out on the farm where my grandmother had been born, living with my great-aunt.

I was helping my grandfather paint houses. I came home one day to find that my great-aunt had darned a couple pairs of my socks.

Really: she took needle and thread and created these deft cross-hatchings that patched holes. I remember I was touched.

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Shortly after dawn this morning I was walking Edie along the shoreline of the old naval air station, when I noticed a large, circling flock of dark birds overhead. Continue Reading »

It began when the missus and I went up to Mendocino for Thanksgiving. Our friends were staying in Little River, on the coast, and as we drove to the house they were renting we drove through a meadow full of robins.

Mrs. O exclaimed that she had never seen so many robins at one time in her life. Many dozens of them, more than we could count, flew up into the cypress trees along the road!

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Changing Time

Time has morphed since I left the court. Perhaps metamorphosed? Or as Calvin (of Hobbes) had it:  transmogrified? When I was still working, there was a need to get done what I could when I could with the free time I had. I was often focused on time efficiency, and all too often at a certain point had to leave some aspect undone until later. Now there is the concept of plenty of time, which inflates the expectation of how much I can get done.

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We have two freezers: the bottom compartment of our kitchen refrigerator, and the larger one in our downstairs garage’s side-by-side fridge.

Containers abide in them so long we might well be preserving mammoth meat.

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Life, Itself

Last night CNN broadcast the movie Life, Itself about film critic Roger Ebert, focusing both on his career as well as the difficult final months of his life.

I greatly enjoyed the retrospective, and getting a stronger sense of his place within film criticism, particularly as a populist critic in counterpoint to cerebral critics such as Pauline Kael.

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It’s time. I’ve saved for years. I bought five extra years’ service with the state, bolstering my pension. I don’t have to work in the court system any more. The judicial process is painstaking, and as a citizen I appreciate the serious efforts of the courts to apply the law, to resolve conflicts, to get things right — at the same time, I don’t have to take those pains myself any more.

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