The cabin

He had lived in the mysterious cabin all his life, there in the northern woods.

If once he had parents, during his childhood, he did not remember them, nor did he recall being a child.

He had always been a man.  Once a young man but not anymore.

And he had almost always lived alone in the cabin.  That’s the log home in the photo, deep in snow with no neighbors. The sky is gray, and the occasional blackbird sits in the trees.

The sole season is winter.

There is always just enough firewood to maintain life.  The man doesn’t know where the firewood comes from nor who keeps it lit, but it is always lit, low.

Every night it burns down before he sleeps, and every morning he wakes to a higher fire.  There is always food and water, and he does not know where they come from either.  The food is just enough.  He is neither fat nor thirsty.

Now and then someone appears at the door with a suitcase to stay a while.  These surprises begin the best times. The fire is warmer, and there is more food which tastes far better.

Outside in the limbs of the cold trees he will spot a cardinal or a golden finch.

Each visitor stays a while, sleeps under the sparse blankets, warming him, and there is food and water enough for both.

At some point the visitor will leave as unexpectedly as the arrival, and he will be alone in the cabin again.  And just a blackbird will be seen in the trees, and the fire hovers low and the food tastes dry.

And his heart will crack again in the cold.

Altar lite

It’s the Day of the Dead.  For the past eight years, my child bride has constructed a rather elaborate altar in the living room.

But not this year.  We took a minimalist approach on a table top because you gotta do something.  We have quite a few deceased.

In previous years we held hands and walked to the neighborhood cemetery after dark.  It’s just a few blocks away.  That would have been last night.

But not this year.  We walked there yesterday afternoon in sunlight, and the cemetery was full of folks tossing marigolds.

It was a fun switch because we noticed a number of our neighbors who might have gone unseen in candlelight.  And there was a partial moon last night.

Living as Gauguin

Lazing on the porch, I sometimes feel I’m part of a landscape artwork.  As the northeastern United States is freezing, and Texas is parched, I sit here with this.

It ain’t Tahiti, but it ain’t bad.

Yeah, I realize I’ve run this sort of photo before, but you can’t get too much of a good thing.  It’s a beautiful day, this first of November.  And it’s either this or Kristanabel the serial killer.

End of October

My child bride sells pastries on the sidewalk downtown now and then, the only former civil engineer here who does that.

She builds banana bread as well as she once constructed railway overpasses.  How many can make that strange claim?

Here is how her basket looked on Saturday, adorned for the season.  Have a nice Halloween, but watch out for calories and needles in your neighbors’  Snickers.

* * * *

(Note:  Click on the Cine Zapatesque link in the right-hand column.  New video called  The Shadow that lasts just one minute of your time.)

Gray autumn

Decked out in a red watch cap and the black shirt-jac I bought from Robert Redford long, long ago, I head out for morning yard chores.

Dense fog hides the mountains. It’s very chilly and a raven flies low squawking what he calls a song.

Rod Stewart is singing Mandolin Wind from the living room, one of my favorite tunes.

When I moved to this mountaintop way over a decade ago, winter started in January, sometimes late December.

It was painful and brief, those winters.

But last year, the first frost came in early November, and the winter dragged on and on.  A fluke, I thought.

Last week (October!) a light frost covered the morning grass.

Where is this global warming we hear about?

Down and out

DARK CITY (Reuters) — Myron Blade, the middle-aged lover and insurance broker who murdered his wife and two children for the favors of a teenage foster child, was hanged last night.

The state offers condemned prisoners their choice of execution:  Hanging or the firing squad.  Blade choose the noose.

Just six hours before Blade’s execution at 7 p.m., his accomplice, Kristanabel Wasoo, 18, escaped from the Women’s Prison on Dumaphry Road.

A guard had opened the cell to deliver a rare roast beef sandwich and a chill dark ale when Wasoo leaped upon the guard’s back and slit her throat with a homemade shiv carved from cold steel.

The guard’s body was found during a routine check 30 minutes later.  There was no sign of the young Wasoo woman, just a plate of bread crumbs on the bed, two bloody slivers of beef and an empty bottle of dark ale.

* * * *

(One of a series titled  The Marbol Hotel.)

Avocados and sour cream

Like your first kiss, one tends to remember other breakthroughs.  Like sour cream and avocado.

As a child, I ate neither of these things.

Where I came up, sour was a stand-back adjective, and avocados were something in storybooks.

I first encountered sour cream at age 19 in a restaurant on the edge of Merced, California.  Eating with me that evening was Staff Sergeant John Carnes.

I was in the Air Force.

Carnes was an alcoholic who looked like Jack Kerouac.  He was about 40, my boss though he didn’t really care about that.  He only cared about booze and women.  He was a womanizer.

But he was nearly sober that night when I ordered baked potato.  The waitress asked, You want sour cream with that?   Yuck, I thought.

It’s great, said the sergeant, so I ordered it, and I’ve loved sour cream on baked potatoes ever since.  It’s been years, however, since I’ve seen sour cream because it’s nearly impossible to locate on the mountaintop where I live.

People hereabouts recommend something similar, but I don’t want similar.  I want real sour cream, and I cannot get it.

Sometimes in life you have to live without things you love.

Another decade passed before I ate my first avocado, so I was about 30.  I may have eaten an avocado in my 20s, but I don’t think so.  The first that I recall was eaten in Puerto Rico.

You pretty much have to see palm trees to find a good avocado.

If you hear Spanish, all the better.  That means you’re in an emotional world, and eating an avocado is an emotional experience.  It’s very close to the texture of other stuff you don’t speak about in polite company.

I bought that first avocado from a brown-skinned boy speaking Spanish and carrying avocados in a cardboard box in the parking lot of a supermarket.  He was a young entrepreneur, and there were palm trees too.

Sour cream has left my life, but I eat avocado every day, which makes me strong.  I live in an emotional world.  I hear Spanish, and I see palm fronds.

American twilight — 2

Barack Obama is the most dreadful president ever to sit in the Oval Office.

Here’s why:

1.  He’s anti-American, and he hangs out with anti-Americans.

Married one to boot.

His administration has included green czar Van Jones who believes 9/11 was orchestrated by the Bush administration.  Plus, Jones publicly admired Mao Tse-tung.  Obama had to let Jones go.  Regrettably, I imagine.

Perhaps Jones moved to Caracas.

Speaking of admiring the Commie mass murderer, Obama had an interim communications director, Anita Dunn, who also publicly admired Mao.

Dunn was let go too.  Poor baby.  Maybe she’s moved to Cuba.

Obama embraced the “Rev.”  Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, sat right there in the church and listened to this venomous character for all that time.

Here’s a  taste  of the “Reverend” for you.

Yes, that was our president’s pastor till Obama was forced by political ambition to distance himself.  Bet it pained him to do it too, dumping his old pal.

Would any other American president of any party have sat in that church for half an hour, much less 20 years?  Not a prayer.

Almost immediately after taking office in January 2009, Obama began apologizing to the world for America, and this is precisely why he hilariously won the Nobel Peace Prize 45 minutes later.

The Nobel people have become blatantly political.  You can just spot them out there on the Far Left somewhere.  Can you make them out?  Got your glasses on?

I could make some snarky comments connecting Obama with the former Weatherman bomb-thrower and now college professor Bill Ayres, but I’ll leave that to others.

Don’t forget kisses tossed at Hamas and Hugo Chávez by the borderline Bolshevist in the Oval Office.

Obama couldn’t literally marry Jones, Dunn, Ayres, Chávez or the racist Pastor Wright, but he did marry Michelle.

She graduated from both Princeton and Harvard and yet only saw something admirable about America, she said in 2008 at the age of 44, after her hubby was nominated for president.

Oooooooh, I’m gonna be First Lady!  Now I’m proud.

Someone should have given her the elbow to wake her up during American history classes.  Of course, it’s quite probable she’s never taken an American history class.

Her Ivy League liberal arts requirements likely were met with courses in Hyphenated Americanism, Maya Angelou, Everybody’s a Racist But Me,  Chris Columbus: Mass Murderer, The Philosophy of Janeane Garofalo, The Sayings of Sean Penn, and The Horrors of Old White Men.

That last class is wildly popular, standing room only.

I’m sure Michelle aced all those courses because you don’t have to study those subjects. You only have to parrot the party line.

2.  Obama wants to redistribute income.  Instead of having a nation of equal opportunity, he wants a nation of enforced equal results.  If you think this is a sweet idea, look at what’s happening in much of Europe where that bankrupting philosophy has held sway for too many years.

Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, etc.  Or look at Cuba.

This notion appeals primarily to two groups of people:

(a)  The unfocused and clueless.

(b)  Idealistic, martini-sipping, Ivy League-educated* elites who live mostly on the West Coast, in the Northeast and, lastly, Madison, Wisconsin.

(c)  While  (b) = (a), (a) usually does not = (b).

America is drowning in debt.  Yet Obama and his pals do not want to turn off the cash spigot spewing red that will one day bring complete prosperity, equality, and we’ll all be living next door to somebody who is different from us.

* * * *

* Using the term educated cavalierly.

(Note:  This is the second in an occasional series about the ongoing collapse of the United States of America.)

Going swimming

Beauty is a form of genius — is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.

— Oscar Wilde

We’re heading to the white sands of the Pacific for a few days.  When we return we’ll have a serious talk about Barack, Michelle and the gang of Fellow Travelers who have invaded the White House with a small majority of the public’s uninformed permission.

Till then.  Vaya con Dios.

Fact, Fiction and Opinion Stirred in an Odd Pot

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