Off in the Tall Grass

Sorry, I forgot to post this. Dusty arrived to inspect the second microwave, also badly dented, and then Shelf-a-Palozza planning commenced. In all the excitement, I failed in my blog duties.

tall grass 0819I have less for you than usual today. The third and final bicycle grand tour of the year, La Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain) started Saturday, but I’m so far not paying much attention, and I completely missed the four-stage bike race that finished in Denver yesterday.

I did, finally, find spare checks, and you won’t believe me, but it was eminently satisfying to sit and pay bills. And to have some grasp on how we’re doing financially. Since I haven’t had a clue all month, and we’ve been spending quite recklessly, it’s good to have some sense.

Now I did have to do this without a calculator, despite owning at least three, but I figured out how to use the one on my phone, except I never figured out how to tell it to start from a negative number.

Two of the bills were from the electric association, closing out the meter we’ve only had since January and the other opening our new net meter. That’s because of the solar panels, and I have no idea what any of this means, but I’ll keep you informed as soon as I get that way.

We successfully hosted our second gathering, for breakfast yesterday, although Lynn did learn her stove is sloping — and it’s away from the grease trap. We maybe should have Kevin Davidson, an appliance professional, come out and make sure all our appliances are level and functioning correctly, preferably before the washing machine takes out the half-finished pet station.

[Speaking of Kevin, for all you HOQ’ers: we saw in the Gunnison paper that his daughter-in-law is a new teacher in the school district, back with husband Kit after a decade in Vietnam, along with their twin boys. I’m sure Kevin and wife Gail are ecstatic to have grandkids — oh, and kids — so close after being so far away.]

Here’s another aside: I am having serious issues with my space bar (on the computer, not a cantina like in Star Wars), so if words are running together or widely spaced, I doubt it’s my fault.

Marrakesh has made no improvement, so he is headed back to the vet’s this afternoon. This has probably made our house transition easier, not having to argue with him about going outside, but I would have preferred that to this passive, sleeping cat with zero appetite (not even tuna!) and no interest in water.

Is it wrong to say I had a good time at the memorial service yesterday? Joanne Williams’ service itself was quite satisfying, conducted by her son and filled with touching tributes from Joanne’s friends from many walks of life. Everyone in the room seemed pleased when we learned that her son is going to keep her house. For now it will be his vacation home; he and his wife hope to retire here in a few years.

Afterwards I talked with several people I hadn’t seen in awhile, including my friend Grant Houston, editor of the Lake City SilverWorld. He always like to bring up the time we got his jeep stuck in a mudhole high on Stony Pass and how I didn’t want to get out in the mud to get the winch. I like to bring up how he didn’t want to get out in the mud to get the winch. And now neither of us can remember what exactly happened, but perhaps we spent long enough arguing about it that the engine dried off; anyway, we managed to get out of the mud without either of us getting dirty.

I saw Debbie Moore, whom I last saw at another memorial service earlier this summer, and Nola Means, and they both want to go to lunch with me. That’s because I told Debbie at my last sighting that I used to go to lunch with her mother, Janelle Cantrell, and Toddy Means (Nola’s mother-in-law) and laugh so hard that we were sure we were going to get thrown out of the Cattlemen’s. With both Janelle and Toddy gone now, Debbie and Nola want to hear the stories that made us laugh so much.

There’s a little problem, though: it was a long time ago, and I only remember one story. I mostly remember just laughing uproariously, and then one of us would say, “We’re going to get thrown out of here,” which would make us laugh even more.

Here’s the story, because it’s still funny (it does involve necessary bad language): Toddy’s brother-in-law Claude was on the tractor, baling hay but not paying any attention to what was going on behind him. The baler malfunctioned, and when he finally thought to look around, he had something like 50 bales strung together. “Jesus christ goddamn sonofabitch!” Claude shouted. Toddy paused in the telling of her story with an aside: ‘That’s how we get our religion on the ranch.”

That’s worth laughing so hard we nearly got thrown out of the restaurant, right? (Not that it ever happened. Maybe we made the people around us smile, these two women who were probably about the age I am now and me, a cub reporter in my early 20s.)

Also after the service, I caught up with Clark Stukey, whom I probably haven’t seen since high school. (It’s funny, the people who know one another and you never have any idea until you show up for a big event like a wedding or funeral.) He is retired — damn him! — from a career as a special ed teacher at Chatfield High School in the Denver area, with two college-age daughters.

I shook hands with Walt Barron and Jim Starr, talked briefly with Paula Swenson, sat next to Steve Ogden and Neva (whose last name I’m blanking on) — she who keeps trying to retire but keeps getting calls from Steve, an Edwards Jones advisor, to come back and bail him out. Frank Vader offered to watch my cap, but warned I might not get it back if it fit him.

And I talked with Narcissa Channell, who has long been my champion. She reads this blog, so today I would like her — and all of you — to know how much she means to me and so many others in this community she serves so well. She and her husband Hap were tremendous friends to Joanne, who was also their neighbor. But Narcissa has been a tremendous friend to lots of people, and I count myself fortunate indeed to be included on that list.

The one person missing from the day was Joanne. She was certainly all around us in spirit, and her picture was on the wall, but I kept expecting to look across the room and see her. It seemed like the sort of gathering she ought to be at.

Well, it turns out I had something to say after all, and if I had more time, I probably ought to go back and edit out extraneous stuff. But I’m sure you’d like to know the status of my electric bills, so I guess I’ll leave it all in, set the computer aside and take Oz for a walk, and then stroll into work a half-hour late. That’s just what I do.

Perhaps tomorrow I will be more together and have a better plan for a topic. Perhaps.



One thought on “Off in the Tall Grass

  1. I’m lying in bed treating myself to reading your blog like I usually do . Surprised but gratified to see my name. Thanks for the compliment.

    Liked by 1 person

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