How to improve your life and save the world.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Before we invaded Iraq I started mowing a peace symbol in my field which Air Force One flew over when "W" visited Kennebunkport. I have kept the symbol mowed ever since. It is over an acre in size. To see it google 802 Bald Hill Road Wells Maine. The marker is not quite on the right place but if you center the largest field you can see and zoom in you can see the symbol at the back of the field.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I don’t care much for church goin’. Mom likes to go but the church she likes to go to is in town which she would have to drive to and would cost gas money she doesn’t want to spend and, besides, there’s lots to do on the farm so she doesn’t really have time. Mostly I like that she doesn’t go because she usually cooks a big dinner on Sundays.
She took me to the church in town Easter. It’s a nice church with big stained glass windows. Mom said it was stained glass but I can’t figure out how you can stain glass and it was all different colors and shapes making up pictures of people in the Bible I guess.
In front of where we were sitting were a whole bunch of gold pipes standing on end, all different sizes some of them as big around as our toilet vent pipe and different lengths, too. Mom said they were organ pipes and that I’d hear the sound come out of them when the music started and, boy, did I! That music felt like it was inside of me vibrating my pipes and then a bunch of people came in and lined up right in front of the pipes and they waited a little while and then they let out a whoop and started singing. It sounded nice and then everybody stood up and started singing the same song from books that were right in front of us. I took out a book and mom handed me the one she was singing from and pointed to the place where the words were but I didn’t really get into it.
The minister got up and read from the Bible about Jesus getting killed and how his mother went to the grave and…no, wait, it wasn’t his mother; it was another woman named Mary. I guess that was a pretty common name back then and anyway he was gone from the grave. It was a pretty interesting story. Then they found him walking around though they didn’t recognize him at first and I wondered what he was wearing since the stuff he had been buried in was still in the grave and later when Thomas, who said he wouldn’t believe it until he saw it did see Jesus and he put his hand in the hole that had been poked in his side and blood and guts had poured out. Anyway after he read this story he sat down and the organ played and some men passed around trays with little glasses of grape juice and other men passed around trays with little squares of white bread and Mom told me to hold the bread and juice. Then when everybody had some the preacher got up again and told us the grape juice was Jesus’s blood and the bread was his body and we were supposed to drink his blood and eat his body which I thought was pretty yucky but I did it. Then there was some more singing and then the preacher got up and gave a speech about Jesus and going to heaven and that Jesus was sitting on the right hand of God and that we could all go to heaven because Jesus had showed us the way. Tell you the truth I was pretty glad to get out of there.
On the way home Mom asked me how I liked it and I said it was OK. I didn’t really like it except for the windows and girls and women dressed up in dresses and stocking and their hair all done up pretty. What I didn’t like was that I had to get dressed up in a suit and tie. My grandma gave me the suit for my birthday and said it was my birthday suit which got everybody laughing and so it’s always called my birthday suit which is a joke because everybody says I’m in my birthday suit when I’m naked ‘cause that’s the way I was born. I think my other grandma started that back before I can remember.
Dad asked what I thought of church and I told him the windows were awful pretty and I described the organ pipes but I thought the rest was pretty boring. I told him I wasn’t too happy about drinking Jesus’ blood after Thomas had stuck his finger in it which made him laugh. It seemed like he already knew the story. I asked him what he thought of heaven and he said he didn’t think much of it. He said he was busy enough worrying about this life to get involved with another one which made sense to me.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I'm writing another book, this one about a boy growing up on a small farm in the 1940s. His name is Orvie and these are his stories.
Dad docks my allowance a nickel for every Colorado potato grub he finds Ya see, if I can find and squash all the orange bunches of, what-a-ya-call-it, eggs, I guess, before they hatch there won’t be any of those red things hatching out which is what eats the potato leaves. You wouldn’t believe how much they can eat and how fast they grow. Why I’ve seen it where there was just stems left. That was before Dad had the idea of hiring me to go after ‘em. I can spot the eggs easy enough, they’re bright orange, but it sure would be easier if they laid ‘em on top of the leaves. I gotta to pull back every plant on both sides to check for the buggers. Once they hatch the bastards head for the top of the plant to eat where, of course, they are easy for Dad to spot and he checks the patch every day.
My dad isn’t a bad guy. If I do a real good job on the egg clusters once a week in normal weather and twice a week if it is nasty hot, I can kill all of them before they hatch. Besides, I can tell when dad is getting ready to do his tour of the gardens and get out there ahead of him just squashing any grubs that I missed. He usually leaves his inspection of the potato rows ‘til last and I don’t think he counts all the ones he sees. I’ve seen him squash a few without saying anything or docking my pay.
I gotta tell ya, that is tedious work though--bending and looking under the leaves. I try to keep my mind off the heat and the mosquitoes. Mostly I think about Ginny. She’s not my girlfriend. I don’t even talk to her ‘sept maybe “hi”; but she just pops in my mind a lot. She’s on my school bus and I try to work it out so I’m right behind her when we get on the bus coming home and on a really good day I’ll be able to sit behind her; that way, when I’m getting into my seat, I can bend over real close and smell her hair. Gosh, I can smell it now.
She lives on a horse farm nearly five miles away. Last week I rode my bike over to her house, well, to the end of her lane. Her house is down a long lane and all their fields have white fences around them. I was hoping I would see her; maybe she would be out brushing her horse and I could just ride down her lane and say “hi.” No luck. I just sat there on my bike rocking back and forth wishing I could at least catch a glimpse of her. She has the most wonderful really blond hair.
I get paid for picking cucumber beetles. That’s the allowance that gets taken out of. Pretty good allowance, I’d say. It only took me two years to save up for my bike. I’m saving up for a car now. I don’t get docked for any cucumber beetles my dad finds. They’re a lot trickier because you can’t see their eggs and when they are grubs, that’s before they turn into beetles, they are underground. Worst of all potato beetles don’t hardly ever try to get away so they’re easy to squash but when cucumber beetles see me they usually stop moving but as soon as I move toward them they fly or drop or run. Ya gotta wonder how they know I’m after them; and why do they do different things? And how am I going to get down this row without being bored out ‘a my tree?
When I’m not thinking about Ginny I get to thinking about the beetles. I’ve got this game I play with the ‘em; I pretend they’re my friends in another life. Well, it’s not exactly another life it’s like if life was a pinball game? I would be the pinball? But I’d also be playing the pinball game but as the pinball I wouldn’t really know that someone, actually myself, would be playing the game. Awe, well, I hope you get it. Now in this game it’s not just me and my pinball. In this game I am the star of the show but my friends can also come into the game as different characters.
So my friends are watching me in the game in the cucumber patch, like they are hanging around the pinball machine, and one of them says, “Let’s go play hid and seek with Orvie.”
“Count me in! I’m going to freeze when he comes along so he won’t see me,” says another.
“That won’t work. Have you forgotten the yellow stripes on your back? You’d have a better chance if you dropped off the leaf.”
“I’m going to do a Peter Pan and fly away,” says a fourth.
Got to admit that’s a pretty good strategy but the one I hate the most is: “I’m going to run down the stem. If he tries to squash me, the spikes on the stem will hurt like hell.” Now you see, that’s not real friendly.
I wouldn’t exactly say that hide and seek (and thinking of Ginny and a car) make the job fun but it does help pass the time plus now I’m wondering if instinct really is something like that. I haven’t heard of a better idea.