27 January 2009

Up From Mediocrity

Today, I confess that I need to redirect my thoughts into happy things or, at least, into things that are not depressing, hopeless or curmudgeonly. Were I to be triaged this evening, I’d like to be able to volunteer for something other than a black tag. My possibles bag of topics isn’t brimming with such happy thoughts, so I’ll have to stretch a bit.

Coffee, The Culvert & Lunch

For years, I’ve had coffee across the street from the Courthouse with my best friend at 8 AM. Since he’s now not an active judge (between engagements, let’s say, or looking at his options), he doesn’t need to come into town often at all, but nevertheless comes frequently so that we can continue to solve all of the world’s problems over Jeri’s coffee. I appreciate that an awful lot.

Dave was describing his activities planned for today, which included a long walk down the road where he lives, out in the county. The Department of Highways is replacing a culvert out the road, and so he needs to “superintend” the project just a bit. He told me this morning that the property owner where it’s being done (and whose property the project most benefits) arranged a lunch for the DOH crew last week. The owner spread out a picnic table with a soup beans & corn bread dinner for the road crew. In West Virginia, that’s just a nice thing to do. I’m thinking that most other places, that would be an unheard of thing to do, or even a weird thing to do. We are all in this together.

A Gaggle

I was prepping at my desk yesterday afternoon for a high-hostile mediation in a human rights case which was scheduled for this morning. I’ll grant that I was feeling rather low. I looked out the window of my room (it faces roughly south) and saw a “vee” of geese flying directly at me. As they neared, I could hear the honking, what made the Indians around the Cheasapeake call them the “onkor.” Geese can be symbolic of a lot of things in our culture, but the thing that heartens me most is that they are here. After DDT, overharvesting and other manmade stumbles, the population (which had shrunk to zero in West Virginia) is healthy and beautiful.

Handling Sin

Pastor Josh Patty told me Sunday that he has finished my copy of Handling Sin, by Michael Malone. If I were given the near-impossible task of naming “my favorite book,” I think that would be the one. Years ago, I sent a copy of it to my former partner’s daughter in San Francisco. She gave it to a friend whose father was on his deathbed from cancer. She wrote me some weeks later that this was the last thing that he read and that he enjoyed it so thoroughly he was able to forget his troubles for a time. That is power. I think I’ll tell Josh to pass the book on rather than return it.

Look At Me, Ma, I’m a Writer

I write, I like to write, I tell people where to find my blog, and I enjoy sending quirky things to newspapers, magazines, and (especially) Courts. The first thing I had put in a national publication was in the Journal of EMS around 1985. However, everything I’ve ever had published has been done purely gratis. Yesterday, that changed. I received my very first check for writing an article. Mind you, it was not a big check. It was a little check. Hell, it was a puny check. But I just thought it was pretty neat, and I’m all inappropriately giddy tonight.

OK, I’m not what you’d call overjoyed, but I’m better. There is an ice storm outside, and I don’t care. It’s just weather, and I’ve been in weather before.

Pippa passes.



schell said...

Congratulations. You can buy a round of Jeri's coffee.

Beysshoes said...

Oh Roger! What a thrill ... you are no longer an amateur writer. Let us know when you're ready to share more on that article. I know I'd love to read it. Que? It's many many pages long, you say? Okay, then, how 'bout just letting us in on the topic yes?
... On the spread for the crew: it does sounds sweet. We do stuff like that here on these rocks too. See ... you'll feel right at home when we home swap!