Monday, January 2, 2012

When None of Us Wore Shoes

It was about 13 F outside, and snow and ice were packed hard on the ground. The older woman wrapped in scarves and jewelry next to me slyly pulled up one leg of her floor length bell-bottomed pants to reveal a naked foot.

"I love being barefoot," she said, smiling. "It's something left over from my years in Gaborone, where my husband was an architect and I was a city planner. The days my children were young, and none of us wore shoes. To this day, almost 40 years later, when I put on shoes, I feel like I lose a part of me."


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wooden Spoons

Told to me before a dinner party...

I went to the kitchen store today and bought some new wooden spoons. 

I love wooden simple, so useful, lovingly handcrafted, and universal in every kitchen. Over time, they absorb the flavors I love and take on a character all of their own. 

Is there anything more perfect that we humans use than a simple wooden spoon?


Toe Jammin'

Tom and Vinny, the Toe Jam Puppet Band...

We've played in bar bands, and I've sung in a punk band. Zoos and libraries are where it's at...

 I love this so much, I've never going back...

Part of the Community

10 pm, on a summertime Tuesday night, Clemson, SC...

The desk work isn't all that great, but it's part of what I have to do.

I'd rather be out helping people. I love feeling like part of the community.

Let's go catch some speeders...


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bike Sale

In our town, there's a group of retired guys who fix up discarded bikes, selling them at community events to raise money for the local food pantry.

This particular sale took place in my front yard.

 One little bike had belonged to a young girl, now a teenager, who had learned to ride on the road in front of our house.

 And there was an elegant roadster, maybe 60 years old, that had been ridden to the post office daily by the woman at the other end of the street.

Sometimes it’s not the bikes that get old. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not What I Was Expecting Her to Say...

 On a recent plane to Philadelphia, the woman next to me said:

I'm an executive in a tech firm in Seattle. I love my job, but my heart lies with an orphanage in northern India, in Utter Pradesh. I've visited there every year for the past 10 years, watching those precious children grow up. They have so little, but they do so much. And I try to help every way I can. 

Talk about perspective, it gives me plenty.



Friday, March 11, 2011

All To Yourself

Do you have any favorite quotes, Mr. Rhymer?

      Yeah...Why do you ask?

Well, I have one. It's by my dad.

      Will you share it with me?

Sure. It goes, "True happiness is having something that you love that no one else loves, because that way it's all to yourself and you don't have to share it."

      Nice. What do you think it means?

I dunno. Maybe that it's OK to be myself and follow my dreams without worrying what others think about me.

      Your dad sounds like a smart man.

He is. 


Living Balls of Earth

Told to me before dawn in the rainforest...


This may be way too obvious, but I love frogs and toads.


Ever since I was a kid, crawling around on my knees on my grandfather's farm, I've loved them...finding them, holding them, watching them. Little living balls of Earth.

This is Where I Live

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Job Done Well and Faithfully


There's a certain order to life in the henhouse...

...particularly in a flock of 26 birds.


The smallest of the hens are two bantams, Evie and Ivy.


They are quick and resourceful, unwavering in mood and temperament.

Every day, the tiny sisters take on the biggest job of all...

...gathering up the eggs, no matter to whom they belong...

... safely brooding them beneath their tiny bodies.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Getting Older

Photograph by Michelle R.

How old are you, Mr. R?

49...almost 50.

Don't you love getting older? I do.

What do you mean?

I mean I've got the rest of my life ahead of me. I can't wait to see what happens.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sense Emerging

Light snow overnight. Morning sun. My intent was to capture the size and shape of the tracks of wild turkeys. As I looked, however, I stopped seeing tracks altogether and saw something else...Silhouettes of mourning doves and swallows. Falcons, and parrots flying...if I believed in angels, I probably see them too. 


"...sense emerges like the outline under a rubbing." - William Gass

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No Chain

Cruising along at nearly 20 mph on the road bike...

No chain.


No chain. There's this perfect point on the ride when you no longer feel the push on the pedals. It's effortless, like flying. The road is smooth, the view is beautiful, the bike is running flawlessly, and you feel great, like you could go on forever. Perfect cadence, perfect breathing. You no longer feel the muscles in your legs, and you don't feel the chain.


Lance Armstrong writes about that in one of his books. It's a joke between him and George Hincapie. I guess it's why I ride.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Better than Old Friends

In a van going 85 mph, the driver said...

Trees. I love trees.

Cruising down the highway like this, and getting back to places I haven't been in long time, seeing trees is better than seeing old friends. 

Loblolly pines, slash pines. Magnolias and live oaks. You can know more about what kind of place you're in from the trees than from the people and the maps. If you know your trees, you'll never feel lost.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Brushing My Teeth in Winter

Shared by cousin John as we jogged along the Schuylkill River Trail in East Falls, Philadelphia yesterday in a bitter wind:

The only thing I don't detest about winter is ice-cold tap water. I love how cold the water gets in the pipes.

Brushing my teeth before bed in that cold water coming out of the faucet...I love that.