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Wednesday, January 16, 2019
  • I write, as they say around here, on the last day of the year. Well, I type; this sort of rambling essay is hardly ever composed beginning-to-end while sitting at a computer. More typically my occasional contribution develops . . .
  • Begging your patience, I offer a holiday coffee break on a blustery afternoon. I wrote the following bit of foolishness several years ago while stranded in Rockland, and some friend of questionable taste asked that I dig it out of the pile. . . .
  • A couple of days ago I heard something on TV about how 80 percent of Christmas tree purchasers this year will be buying an artificial tree. Yeah? Oy vey. Some other fun facts, according to that little fluff news clip, which I have done . . .
  • I’m sorry, I just don’t get “doorbusters.” I must be pretty dense, or cheap, or un-American, but all that elbow-sharpening, hypothermia, and retail hysteria doesn’t look like fun to me. If you enjoy a good street fight, find yourself a nice authentic . . .
  • We three passengers piled our bags and bins and Bean boots and Jax the dog into the airplane, had the usual short discussion about who wanted the front seat (I do not always get it), shoehorned ourselves into our seats . . .
  • Matinicus Island is one of the smallest municipalities in this country, and our not-quite-a-town may well be the easiest place to vote on the planet. I am absolutely serious. No, you still can’t vote here if you aren’t of age and registered . . .
  • Now and then somebody will ask whether I have ever thought about writing a novel, and the answer is no because, I explain, I do not know how. I have never written an earnest word of make-believe in my life. All the fiction required of me in . . .
  • Tuesday last week I sat in the Rock City Café worrying over the marine forecast and scrutinizing far too many online weather prognostications. Eventually, I presented myself at the ferry terminal to ask the question: “Do they think we’ll go tomorrow?” . . .
  • In a perfect world there would be more time. Maine tomatoes would ripen before the Saturday afternoons got chilly, and there would be time to harvest and use or preserve every soft, warm, red fruit in decent weather before things get . . .
  • The chirp of crickets makes it begin to sound like autumn in the dooryard. Brand-new monarch butterflies emerge from their chrysalises to dry their wings and get their bearings on wheelbarrows and extension ladders around the premises . . .
  • As I write, the weather is extraordinarily fine. Kevin’s airplanes of Penobscot Island Air are buzzing overhead as they should, and the harbor must be full of visiting boats — and, I suspect, empty of working boats — because my bakery has . . .
  • Last time we discussed birthday parties for little kids, including how a John Deere tractor is as good entertainment as any ol’ for-hire pony or prestidigitator. Those laughing children (and adults) hoisted aloft in the tractor bucket . . .
  • As our kids were growing up on Matinicus — they having been littles in the 1990s — we took note of the way in which island children’s birthday parties differed from the cliché suburban stress-bombs described by those who bewail . . .
  • This time of year I wake in the dark, force my feet to the floor in the dark, and start my job in the dark. I keep what you might call lobsterman’s hours, depending upon the lobsterman. I run a little seasonal bakery, and through July and . . .
  • We sit around the woman in the bed, sometimes in turns, sometimes together. We sit sideways in the standard-issue health-care-facility recliner, which is slippery and awkward. We sit in chairs swiped from the activity room next door . . .
  • happy lowercase 75th birthday to nikki giovanni. i will have to fight the word-processing program in this computer, as of course it “thinks” i have made accidental errors as i neglect to capitalize. i do know the difference. . . .
  • Over the past few months I have been studying my circuit diagrams and electronics terminology for a little course of study I have foolishly undertaken here at home because I haven’t got enough to do writing newspaper columns . . .
  • When I was a child, I remember watching my mom glaze windows. The DAP putty she squished and rolled between her hands looked like modeling clay, and I thought it looked like fun to mess with, but I was not allowed to touch . . .
  • I have written a handful of trashy articles and columns recently in my various local papers — or, at least, pieces about trash and recycling and marine debris and all that. It is safe to assume the reading public around here could stand . . .
  • Next week I will be standing up in front of a roomful of nerdy but relentless recycling activists, old-time transfer station operators who have seen everything, garbage chemists, statistics geeks, terrifyingly gung-ho volunteers . . .
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