Turning gold in the drumlins

Posted on October 24, 2009


Yesterday I gave myself a day to read.  First I finished Ted McClelland’s The Third Coast: Sailors, Strippers, Fishermen, Folksingers, Long-Haired Ojibway Painters, and God-Save-the-Queen Monarchists.  It took me a good part of the week just to read the title, which I found captivating.  As a native of what McClelland calls the Freshwater Nation, I found a lot to like in his stories.  (I had quibbles, but what the heck, I have quibbles with various translations of Genesis, too.) 

He celebrated the kind of Up North I recognize.  Food that is oh-so-good in direct proportion to how oh-so-bad it is for you.  Time outdoors paying attention.  Hockey and beer.  Cabins–or Writing Studios and Bait Shops– in the woods with blue tarps covering the woodpile.

WSBS in October

And always the lakes, never very far out of sight or hearing.  We get itchy if it’s been too long since we’ve walked along the shore. 

Lately, though, we’ve been spending some time walking up and down the drumlins, building up the old cardiovascular system, watching the leaves turn to old gold.  It’s an open question whether we’re doing ourselves any good.  Going up we huff and puff in satisfactory endorphin-pumping fashion.  Going down we step sideways, trying not to break a leg slipping on wet leaves or tumbling over fallen trees.

Back lane

People ask if I get spooked living out here.  Mmm.  Not really.  I have Robo-Dogs, and I’m a bit of a piece of work myself.

Robo-dogs on guard

So, I finished The Third Coast and dug into some more histories in search of my Civil War veterans.  Finally, I picked up a paperback mystery and curled up on the couch with the rest of the pack.  We had a good fire going, and it was quite cozy.  I fell asleep in an awkward position and am paying for it this morning.  It was worth it. 

Thoughts for the day:

  • According to today’s Writer’s Almanac novelist Norman Rush said, “The main effort of arranging your life should be to progressively reduce the amount of time required to decently maintain yourself so that you can have all the time you want for reading.” 
  • According to the message board outside the Eastport Baptist Church, “even Moses was a basket case.”