Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hearts and Flowers

I had more company this rainy morning: the Dutch couple who rented this place before me and who told me when they were moving out, to California, so I could move in. They are great, and visit whenever they get to Missouri to see the cabin they lived in for a decade. She's an artist, he's a professor. When I moved in I saw that kitchen and "dining room" ceilings are stenciled with flowers and hearts. I know immediately who painted them. Pink and blue. What purpose do these little paintings serve? I guess they're just for the spirit. This October it's done nothing but rain.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two Brothers

Had some city guests out on the property today. Their boys went right for the firearms -- and we shot .22s practically all day. They'd never done it before, and were hooked. But their parents did prevail upon them long enough to take a walk with us through the autumn woods, and here they are, Steven, 11, and Jackson, 12.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Deer in the Ditch

On a walk along the edge of my own property, about 4:00 p.m. yesterday, I found a doe in a roadside ditch, eyes closed but still breathing. She didn't look all that torn up but I was so shocked I didn't do a full inspection. After sunset, the coyotes would come whether she was dead or not. I raised my eyes and saw bits of car parts in the road.

My options: Ignore it; try to put her out of her misery with my .22 long rifle (the biggest gun I have); or get someone braver to do it. I thought all sorts of things: "Let nature (!) take its course." "I can't shoot it, it'd be too horrible, I'd never forgive myself." "Should I shoot it in the head or heart? What if I did it wrong?" "For this I need a bigger gun." "Maybe she's just stunned and will get up and walk away." "Am I obliged to do this?" "Whom should I call?"

I did nothing. About 7:30 p.m. just as total darkness fell I heard one terrific shotgun blast from that part of the road. Haven't been back there to look.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Floodplain in Autumn

This floodplain is in Allenton, Mo., a tiny ghost town between Pacific and Eureka. When I moved here eight years ago Allenton was still a town, but it's across the freeway from Six Flags, and development -- the enchanting idea of a retail paradise -- has threatened to flatten it ever since. The post office closed about three years ago. But people still live and farm down the back roads and on the Meramec River floodplain where nobody can develop. Oct. 1 was my eighth anniversary on the Divine property and I thank God. Of all the things I have ever done, I love living here the most. I love this land, hills and floodplain and whatnot. They will remove me from this property feet first, if at all.