Someone once said that watching baseball was like watching paint dry. I’ve seen paint dry faster than a baseball game.

We watched a movie and CA decided it was bedybye time for her and I decided to watch a RedSox ball game just because I was still awake and felt adventurous. I can’t believe it. Live and learn.

First thing I want to say is, “Who cares?”

Second thing is, paint really does dry faster.

Third thing is, who the hell are those over-the-hill jerks with diarrhea of the mouth who think what they have to say is in some way what we all want to hear, or in some remote way is related to a baseball game? I found that I could turn the sound off and actually enjoy the game. Why in the hell are they even there? Is it some kind of jobs program? Would they all be in a half way house for the un-talented were it not for this job? Give me a break!

So I drank a beer and ate a few nuts and went to bed. Did I miss anything? I guarantee I did not. I can remember whole years without seeing a baseball game. Several in a row, as a matter of fact. I don’t feel neglected. OK, it was something to do. I suppose that is the genius of he game. It’s something to do. I actually get more out of solitaire. Or even the beer. Well, I’d say it’s toss-up.

Good night Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea. I always wanted to say that. I thank you Walter.

It’s funny – but that’s what we say sometimes when it isn’t funny at all – how that first taste of strong dark roast in the early morning sets off a stream of consciousness, a series of images downloaded wirelessly from that cloud of memories to which we all have lifetime paid-up access.  Here are three of them.

Funny – there’s that word again – how I often see the image of my friend Bob and me sitting in those LazyBoy recliners of his, looking out on his expansive back yard down in Lulling LA, I think it was.  We were sipping strong, un-creamed and un-sugared Community dark roast coffee.  Our lives diverged after I parted company with the Baptists but we remained friends and called each other now and then until Bob died of Alzheimer’s a few years ago.  That’s how those memories go.  Once they start there’s no stopping them.

Then there was that moment before our day began when my wife Billie and I would sit, weather permitting, on our little stoop that overlooked the busy intersection of Seminary Drive and Hemphill Street in Fort Worth when we were in school there.  We didn’t say much.  Just sat there sipping that dark roast.  It was a kind of daily meditation seeking some hidden strength to do what we were doing.  If it was cold, we would sit at the kitchen table listening to the morning farm report on the radio.  Now, that’s really funny.

Then, in the true spirit of auld lang syne, I remember that primal cup, that first sip provided by my dear aunt Clara when I was a child on her back porch next door.  Shug, my grandfather, sat there sipping his cup and now I could join him with my own which was doctored with milk and enough sugar to qualify as a candy bar.  We sat in silence.  We sipped our coffee.  When I think of that, I feel truly blessed.

Anyway, it’s funny how the first sip of that dark brew in the morning brings to mind, those vivid images, those tender coffee moments that always included someone I loved.  

CA and I were in the market a couple of days ago cruising about for a few things we didn’t know we needed when we passed the pie counter. I was standing there in pious reverence when she walked up and said, a little loudly, it seemed, “Are you going to pay $10 for a pie?” “Nooo!” I said in grocery store sotto voce. “I am going to make one for a quarter of the cost.”

I proceeded to pick out a blend of Braeburn, Granny Smith and some off shore brand I never heard of and we drove home the long way through the woods and hills so beautiful this time of year.

After unpacking things,I secured my Jim-Dandy apple peeler to the counter and went to work. I sprinkled a little lemon juice on the sliced apples and mixed the spices and set that all aside. Next the crust. I’ll not bore you with the details of what is arguably the world’s worst pie crust making disaster. OK, if you insist. Three. Three times I whipped up the dough and three times it failed to a degree that I am at a lost to find words that describe it. Remember: I always have the words. This is affecting me at a deep and emotional level. I may need medication of some kind or other.

I have been making pie crusts for longer than most of the people I know have been out of diapers. Yes, now and then the effort is less than perfect but it is always usable. NOT this time. Did I say three times? I finally pieced together a fourth batch, which should have been trashed, and made enough repairs with glue and some adroit stitching – the whole thing resembling the face of Frankenstein – to put it in the oven.

The moment of truth finally arrived. As I sliced into the crust, with hand trembling, scarcely breathing, I made the move to lift a piece out of the pie pan fully expecting it to fall apart. To my complete surprise, it lifted out as though it were on TV! I actually laughed out loud. Furthermore, it was drop dead delicious and the crust – as long as you didn’t look at it – was perfect! Go figure. Some of the patching and stitching was apparent but I did make it for a quarter of the cost of the market brand, but considering the time I spent, and my time is way valuable, the pie cost at least $15 a slice. But I will eat it down to the last delicious crumb and remember it as one of my finest pie making experiences.

I think the lesson here is – and there is always a lesson, if you are paying attention – never discount the effort you make. It is often the sweat that you invest that carries the day. Anyway, that’s what I’ll say, should anyone ask. Why would anyone ask? No one ever does. Well, it was just a thought. Sometimes, I wish someone would ask.

Oh shut up Henderson!

OK –

Be well, and stay tuned. I’m Jerry Henderson.

It got up to about eighty today. That’s a credible early to mid September number. In the sun it was down right warm. but slide over into the shade and the warmth does not follow. What is that? Dry air? No real fat on the warmth? The last two nights it has fallen into the forties.

It was a similar kind of day yesterday. I decided to do a little ( It turned into a lot ) field trimming out in the woods where there are four distinct, more or less, clearings that used to be mowed as lawn until the ground became just too littered with emerging roots to keep a mower in good repair – so I use a big trimmer with heavy string on it that cuts a 22″ swarth on almost any kind of ground, through almost any kind of grass or weed. But it is not self propelled. There is a message there.

In the beginning, since it was cooler I did not feel the heat but with the effort of going up and down my skin began to collect the moisture that was in the air. I thought, as I got done, that I would sit on the back porch a bit and cool off and enjoy the flitting about of the finches at the feeders there. I quickly cooled off as the breeze coming around the corner of the house did not let up, and I actually became chilled. September. I took a hot shower and fantasized about a cool drink and that welcomed transition into the evening hours.

This afternoon I decided to go out and collect the daily mail. I had on a sensible combination of gym shorts, a sleeveless “T” and sandals. As I passed an open kitchen window and felt the breeze coming in I decided to throw on a corduroy shirt that was hanging on a peg.

Slipping from one zone into another this time of year is a study in thermo-consciousness. It’s cool here but warm there. I keep thinking about long pants, and for me, that is a major concession.

So I walked out to the mailbox and most of the way I am in shadow so my corduroy shirt felt good. But as I reached the mailbox on the sunny side of the road the heat was beaming down energetically. There was a bit of a breeze so the warmth of the sun was tempered by a southwesterly wind. As I turned around to walk up the incline into the yard, pondering the package from my health insurance company, I turned downwind and the relative breeze dropped to zero while the sun kept bearing down on my back with unexpected force. Cool one way and hot the other. September.

At least it’s not January. There’s never any doubt about January. It will be long pants going and coming.

There you go.