Friday, December 10, 2010


"Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By & by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie..."

- G. M. Hopkins

My shady past is not so shady any more.  The eight large trees on my lot have dropped almost all their leaves, and there are days when sunlight brightens every corner.  But it seems, now that illumination doesn't require much effort, the Sun has gone lazy.  Most days here at the beginning of winter are gray, the sky off-white and darkening toward the corners, and leaves lie about in disorderly piles, much like the dead at Waterloo.

Waterloo was a long time ago.  It does not oppress me now.  But leaves do, for soon I must rake them up, bag them, and argue with the garbagemen about going 20 bags or so over my weekly allowance.

I tell them to blame God.  I had nothing to do with it.  Leaves fall from heaven, like manna.  If they don't pick them up from me now, then they'll pick them up later.  If I let them just blow, they'll be picking them up from my irritated neighbor, or someone further down the street.  It is fate.  I urge them to accept the gravity of the situation.  It's only once a year.

Some years they have taken that argument in good humor.  Some years they leave the pile of bags at the curb, diminishing it only by the miserly allottment of 5 bags a week.

Such are the trials of living in a stick house.  If you are lucky enough to be living on the road, I advise you to stay there.  Let the wind do your raking with a clear conscience.

I've worked up a couple of excuses to leave them lie.  I'm industrious that way.  I've had another cancer cut from my left hand, and the wound is still in stitches.  Don't want to stretch that into a monumental scar, right?  Another surgery, on my right hand, is scheduled for the 22nd.  Soon I will have more stitches than Raggedy Andy.  Perhaps even enough to keep you in stitches.  And then there's this sinus infection I have only narrowly escaped, and still may succumb to.  No point in testing it with all that leaf mold and dust up my nose.

I should really move all this unfortunate ambition into the New Year, where Resolutions belong.  There, I'm convinced.  Where there is life there is procrastination.  Best to leaf it for another week, and work instead on developing a decent pun for the holidays.

In other news, Mike is back in Rehab.  The infection that laid him low last Sunday has succumbed to the miracle of antibiotics.  Deo gratias.  He is still seeing two or three of everything, and is fed through a hole in his stomach, but he seems relieved to be back.

He even asked me to give him a haircut this weekend.  Now there's a guy with a healthy sense of humor.



Anonymous said...

the best compost comes from the procrastinator - ever thought of throwing a big bin back behind that tree?


The Tusk said...

I compost, then sometimes I drain my pond sludge into the compost, I think I'm helping the compost, sometimes I think it must be toxic.

What do I know.

Thanks Bob, I visit from Gonescamping to you.

Anonymous said...

Just checking in here. Hope you and Mike are doing well.

- Joe

The Tusk said...

Recently read your New York Times link to parenting you left on the Gone Scamping Blog.

I took exactly the same view the Author of the article took. I think blogging builds community and those bloggers are just more willing to share the downtimes in their life.

After, one year and six months of reading and attempting to write some blogs, I've witnessed the loss of two bloggers to cancer. Another fighting cancer in Australia right now, another trying to get from Australia to Arizona to see a boyfriend who was run over and suffered head injury in the past month or two. She since has suspended her blog. He has come out of coma and appears to be recovering. Two of the parties mentioned have children.

The only other Blogger I regularly follow old dog was finally put down, which with all said parties involved inspired me to write a fairy tale using all of the parties names. I since have removed their names from the story, but there was so much sadness going around, I felt what better way to find a happy ending, then to write one.


Shadowmoss said...

I wondered over here from Living In My Car awhile ago. I got caught up in your story about your brother, and keep checking back in to see how he and you are getting along. I'm hoping that you aren't posting only because you are busy helping him get back involved with life. I don't always manage to keep my own blog up to date, so I know how life can get in the way of posting. Know I've been sending good thoughts your way.

Suzanne said...

I miss the "Garrison Keillor" of the RV Blogosphere....

Anonymous said...

Hey, there are a lot of us wondering how you --and Mike-- are doing. No blog posts for months have your public anxious. Wanna chime in soon.

DownUnder Pete said...

Hope your brother is recovering apace, and that you can get back out on the road before the wolves of winter start nipping at your heels to trip you up!

Cathy said...

Like everyone else, miss you and hope all is well. I agree, we care. Best to you and Mike.

Anonymous said...

Your my favorite writer. Can't you even throw us a crumb?.

It's April and we havent seen a post in 2011.

Ed said...

Catch Bob If You Can has been caught. I think this blog is finished. If Bob ever blogs again it will be under some new name with and totally different focus. Good By Bob.

hobopals said...

Just checking.