I was poking around the file cabinets up at church the other day and I came upon several scrapbooks full of my clipped-out columns, along with the original photos much of the time, dating back to 2005.
I brought them home down here and during the storm I sat here watching the feeders and perusing the scrapbooks. I had to stop after I read “Amy is gone,” written many years ago when one of my kids overdosed. I was reduced to tears by the things I said, which would be outrageously sentimental if they weren’t so heartfelt.
Amy died when hard drug use was a trickle and I have watched in horror as it has become a tidal wave. With so many indulging, it is getting to be the usual thing. Isn’t that an awful thing to say? Kudos to the cops who caught the meth-makers! Hope they rot in jail.
I picked up the scrapbooks again later and read for a while. I forget that I wrote the columns and start thinking: “Wow, this guy’s got brass! This guy ragged out a whole town! I can’t believe he says such private and personal things!”
The problem here, folks, is that with my recent heart and seizure problems, I have lost a giant chunk of my recent memory. Though I can quote people from years and years ago with great accuracy, I can’t remember writing most of the stuff that is there in my scrapbook.
I have a new folder full of cut-out columns and I can remember most of those. I am happy to see in the scrapbooks a visual history of the building of this underground home, the cathedral, and all else. I must have spent many happy hours saving the columns and photos.
So I guess we are stuck with my writing about current things going on around here and it will become a part of a future scrapbook. The photo shows my scrapbooks beside my computer as I write this.
I got very good support concerning last week’s column. One comment from a very dignified older woman even used a forbidden word when suggesting what my critic could do to himself. So life goes on and I will continue to share with you all.
We have been getting cabin fever being cooped up in cold weather with no money to go do anything. We have had several all-day fights, with hard feelings and snotty, sarcastic comments. We don’t get much company at this time of year, especially when the weather is bad.
We got hit by the storm and just when we needed it the most, the hydraulic pump motor on the plow busted. I learned a few new variants of trucker swearing. When Robin calmed down, I called Darryl, who came down today, took it off, and took it home with him to fix in his workshop. I had forgotten that Darryl went to vocational school and studied electric motors and pumps.
On Darryl’s advice, Robin finished the plowing with the plow on the ground. Did a decent job and didn’t seem to hurt anything on the plow. At least we can get in and out (and so can the rescue squad).
The Gradys and I have been friends for many years, as the scrapbooks attest, and Darryl likes to sit by the fire and visit and tell stories. Today he entertained Robin and me with this story about ice fishing on the Eastern River about 35 years ago.
A certain pair of friends went smelt fishing in their shack there. This was back in the days when ice fishing, especially smelt fishing in shacks, was considered an acceptable excuse for getting quietly drunk while you fished and diddled your lines.
Now folks, there is drunk and then there is drunk: One of the men staggered to his feet, reached out with his hand, swept aside all the fishing lines and clothes, and dived into the fishing slot!
The current carried him away under the ice. His friend, horrified, rushed out of the camp and screamed and yelled for help. All of a sudden, several hundred feet downriver, there commenced a commotion in one of the shacks. Suddenly, the door burst open and out staggers our friend, none the worse except for being soaking wet!
Darryl swears it is a true story and he told me the names of the parties involved but I can’t tell.
(Douglas Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.)