The chimney sweep comes today. 
It’s still mostly dark at six o’clock. 
Lovely warm sunshiny days
are shorter and in short supply
nighttime being in the majority. 
Somehow coffee is better today. 
I’ll lay in some kindling soon.
Some strike anywhere matches.

I’ve been thinking about biscuits as well.

Saturday morning, fog bound. A gentle rain keeps all but the hardy tucked in bed. I, one of the hardy, am tucked in a soft chair with a cup of darkroast at my elbow – a real he-man.

It will be a low key day doing several housekeeping chores such as getting a head-start on packing, visiting with Barbara our host, spiffing up the place and taking a short walk around the southwestern tip of the island to complete our circumnavigation for the week. I am thankful that this is one off the least strenuous parts of the perimeter trail, known as Trail #1.

Black Head in the distance. One of the two highest promontories at 160 feet.

Tomorrow at home, I think we will do pizza while the washing machine pounds out a week’s grime and we rethink life in a faster lane. Home sounds good to me.

It’s pouring down just now. A real island rain storm. At least it’s not cold. Thunder can be heard rumbling in the midst of it all, lending weight to the unanimous decision to stay in for a while and wait out the thunderstorms.

Actually only half of us is even out of bed at the moment. Each of us, in our own way, enjoying the ambience of being home and dry on a stormy morning: the freedom to do so being the essence of vacation. Meanwhile, I am considering cup # 2. I’m actually considering the whole damned pot!

We will get out later on. We have some “inside” trails to do and that will be better than slipping and sliding on wet cliffside pathways. Then for supper it’s Thanksgiving at the Trailing Yew. Every Thursday it’s turkey and dressing.

Now for breakfast it can be salsa chicken on black beans – leftovers. Sounds terribly delicious.

Stay tuned

The weather prognosticators say rain for the rest of the week.  Boo! Hiss!  But it won’t alter the plan, which is to do all the trails.  We are something just under half way there and won’t have any trouble completing the job having enough foul weather gear to handle any but the severest storm.  Hopefully we have had that for the year.

But another way to see inclement weather is to realize it is most photogenic.  So there is a bright side to rain and wind while on an island.  But just now, it is near perfect, if slightly cooling down for the sunset time of day.  My spot is nice and will soon give way to the warmth and conviviality of a plate of ravioli.

I know there are more serious matters to claim my attention.  Like world peace, or the lack thereof.  Like an actual deliberative congress.  Like a really good 10? cigar.  Just kidding.  Or maybe not.  Oh who gives a….

It’s not even fall – – yet. It’s around 42? this morning, so it’t not that chilly. Ha! Like a frost alert for most of the state. That must be it, coupled with the dusty green that covers the woods out back and the few leaves already on the ground.

Whatever it is, I woke up this morning thinking of biscuits. I resisted for an hour or so and finally said to myself. “Boy! What are you waiting for? There’s no rule about it. You want a biscuit – you get off your butt and make some.”

I’m well over half way into my second one now and of course, chasing it with sips of darkroast, X-Bold. I don’t do this every morning, even when it is snowing and colder than a witch’s broom handle outside. I don’t think I’ve made a biscuit all summer. I’m due.

By the way, after one and a half of these flaky Bakewell Creme delights, I have been suddenly infused with a feeling of joy and wellbeing. I began to think, what if everyone could start their day like this. Peace would break out all over the world. The positive energy generated would run the drug companies and even a few cartels out of business. Who, after all, needs drugs when happiness is as near as a hot biscuit?

I ask you: who indeed?

I spent half a day at Un-Named Hospital today.  I’m having my lungs checked out.  Oh, I can breathe OK, it just that I do a fair amount of noisy clearing the “pipes” every morning and I am wondering if there isn’t something in the magical quivers of modern Medicos that would help me ease further along into even more acceptable old age.  All in all, it was a pleasant enough experience.

First off was the X-Ray department – the waiting room.

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I don’t think the sign on the left wall is quite visible but it reads thusly:

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT A RADIOLOGIST WILL BE READING YOUR EXAM.  YOU WILL, THEREFORE RECEIVE THREE BILLS.  ONE FROM THE HOSPITAL AND ONE FROM THE RADIOLOGIST, AND ONE FROM THE LITTLE BOY WHO LIVES IN THE LANE.

I’m sorry.  That last part is my own invention.  It kind of fits, though, doesn’t it?  This is the same hospital that – even though I ALWAYS pay my co-pay at the point of service – usually bills me for the amount anyway.  Not only that, they keep on doing it even after I send in copies of my payment receipts.  I can’t even imagine what this visit will do to their billing system.

I mention this to the very nice lady helping me and she just shakes her head, knowingly, and I detect some sincere sympathy showing through.  I suggest that even lowly “I” might be able to help them to fix the problem and tell her that a simple telephone line to the provider’s office would provide the information and it probably could be hooked up to the computer system and it would all happen while everyone in the billing office was sleeping.  I get no real response from that, except that there was an on-going consideration to outsource the problem.  Well, I can just see it now – me trying to understand some Indian in Deli trying to wade through my account in a language quite incapable of getting him through any elementary school in the USA.

So I pay with a debit card and ask for a paper receipt as well.  Just being cautious.

The refrain, “Customer Service” keeps reverberating in my mind. All I am saying is that the system should not increase the suffering.  Hippocrates?

A single payer healthcare system might help. Probably would.  But only if you don’t depend on Unnamed Hospital to do the billing.

I am sure the little boy who lives in the lane would be happy with a sack of marbles and a double header ice-cream cone.  I know I would.  Right now, in fact.

Remember “The September Song”? In one version it used up all the keys on the piano, over and over again. It was a big hit. In fact, it was a Hit Parade hit song. If you know what I am talking about, you’re old enough for a walking stick.

It’s September, the month of fall – the season. I spent a few hours outside yesterday with my chainsaw and chipper, cleaning up some downfall from our recent storm. I was impressed with how the deep green of summer has now changed into a dusty faded green sprinkled with the occasional yellow and red “signal” leaves with their clear message: “Clean your chimneys, keep your wood dry and don’t let these hot muggy days lure you into complacency”. Or something like that.

I think it’s interesting how I find that I am “ready” for the next season when it’s time has come. I am not, to be clear, done with summer, but I don’t resist the coming season. I have a friend north of here off of Rt.1, who can’t wait to light a fire and spend the day in front of it listening to books and watching movies on his iPad. Personally, I can wait for that first fire.

There are several remedies for adding warmth before lighting a fire. You know, shut the door – close the window. Long pants help some as well as wool socks. A sweat shirt is a sure sign that change is in the air. I flat refuse to wear long underwear inside. It’s the southern boy in me I suppose. I do know some folk who joyfully wear them all winter long, inside and outside.

You ever hear the story of the guy who took off his long johns to wash them one January and died of pneumonia? Sounds to me like a tale told by a winter’s fire, drinking Wine Spodeeodee.

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Be well, and stay tuned –