What I Learned This Weekend

Sunday, 30 September 2012, 15:58 | Category : Life, Mississippi
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A couple of years ago I posted about learning to drive a tractor. While I’ve continued to have my sessions with the tractor every 4-6 weeks during the spring and summer, my tractor-driving skills haven’t really improved much. OK, maybe a little, but I still don’t like slopes – and what I call a slope, from my perch up on the seat, probably would just be called uneven ground by someone used to being on a tractor.


And this summer, I’ve had to use a bush hog instead of the finish mower deck, because the belt broke on the finish mower early on this spring; I got another and it promptly broke too. We haven’t replaced the belt yet, so we’ve been using the bush hog the past couple of months. I don’t like using the bush hog – it doesn’t cut as neatly, and the tractor doesn’t drive as easily with it back there. And yesterday I came up with yet another reason to dislike the bush hog. I ran over a couple of fresh cowpies, and discovered that somehow, a bush hog has the ability to hurl pieces of a cowpie directly forwards from underneath the deck. Directly forward, onto the person sitting on the tractor seat. I looked back at the bush hog, and for the life of me I can’t figure out how that happened, but it scored two direct hots, one on my calf and one on the back of my neck. And I said, these were fresh. Very, very fresh. Needless to say, I avoided the ensuing cowpies. Lesson learned. I miss that finish mower.


Friday, 28 September 2012, 22:20 | Category : BlogStuff
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Blog upgraded to WordPress 3.4.2, successfully I assume.

The Artist And The Lady

Thursday, 27 September 2012, 22:14 | Category : Life
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They were the glamor couple of my senior year of college.  He was an accomplished artist already, someone we knew would make some sort of living from his art.  She was a free spirit, actress around the local scene, creative.  They were so obviously a couple that before you even actually met them, knew anything about them, you could see they were together, even if they weren’t actually being together at that moment.  They married right after college and embarked on their fairy tale, always living a semi-counter-culture life, it seemed, not bound by the compulsions most of us felt to be adults in a grown-up world.  I wasn’t part of their inner circle in college, but through mutual friends I was part of the larger group.  Through the years since I’ve crossed paths with them at times;  he remained a popular artist and they stayed in the area.  Looking back, maybe she gradually set pieces of herself aside while he garnered more and more acclaim, locally, regionally, maybe even nationally.  I’m not a connoisseur of art – I appreciate it, but the subtleties sometimes escape me – so I wouldn’t know.  I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook, I blame it for killing off blogging as we knew it just a few short years ago, but I do play there, more than I wish I guess.  And through Facebook I reconnected with them.  And in her stream-of-consciousness way, I gradually came to realize that what she was describing in her status updates was the dissolution of their marriage, their partnership, after all these years.  I’m not good enough friends to ever ask what happened, but it seems like they just fell out of wanting to be together.  Or maybe just one of them did, or one wanted to be together in ways that the other couldn’t handle.  But it’s been a sad slow progression that’s been responsible for shaking loose memories of a time long, long ago, of the people and places I knew at that time.  I guess catalysts are what they are, not what we expect them to be.  And I’m sure that the memories I have of them don’t really match what their lives were really like, since our respective circles of friends were only tangentially related.  But they were small groups at a small college in a small town, so the spaces in between were never great.  I’ve painted those times with a soft sepia that never included realities like divorce.  Unfortunately, life paints with harsher, sharper colors.