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     It was impossible not to wonder if the man hated his job, people, or both, just as it was inconceivable that Herr Mister went home at night and bid his dog, his children, his wife, or, far more probably, all three, goodnight without first soundly beating them.

    The passion, fury and decibel level with which Herr Mister chastised errant North Carolina Motor Vehicle Department supplicants had the intentional abrasiveness usually reserved for carnival barkers whose livelihoods rely on taunting hapless passersby to mindless, unreasoned anger.

     Herr Mister began every inquisition with squinted eyes and a tight-lipped smile, his guttural, inquisitorial Prussian voice demanding, “Und vat is your mission?”

     Granted, the Nazi accent and preposterous monocle existed solely in my imagination, but surely delivering his more in anger than in sorrow verbal lashings were the part of Herr Mister’s job that he looked forward to more than telling a weeping teen that he had failed his driving test and that perhaps he should undergo further instruction before again entering the hallowed halls of the Cary, North Carolina DMV.

     Herr Mister hardly looked the part of a Third Reich player. His shaved, smooth as a baby’s bottom head was not incongruous with our TV and movie stereotyped Nazi henchman, but Herr Mister’s coffee with the slightest touch of cream colored skin would certainly have stirred up trouble in the Berlin of the nineteen-thirties and early forties.

    Herr Mister’s walk was a bit of a roll as he propelled himself with equal parts Goose Step and hip rotation, advancing from locale to locale within the Maynard Street DMV office.  Not a young man, his ample midsection complemented his middle-years, and arrived a split second before the rest of him, as he journeyed from location to location within his fiefdom.

     Rabid, rotund and recalcitrant, Herr Mister embodied all the stereotypical sins of State Motor Vehicle departments from sea to shining sea. Having risen through the ranks, he was more than willing to use his position of authority and penny-ante power to lord over those whom he “served.”

    My wife and I had encountered Herr Mister one afternoon during the final week of 2017, when we’d visited the Maynard Road DMV office in search of North Carolina driver’s licenses. Herr Mister had been holding court from a lectern at the head of a dozens deep, snaking line, standing with feet widespread, hands resting on his hips balled into fists declaring, “We are no longer issuing numbers for DMV services for today. I repeat, we are no longer issuing numbers for DMV services for today. As you can see, the DMV is full to capacity and we will not be issuing any additional numbers and we will be unable to conduct any further business today.”

    Herr Mister had gone on to explain that volume at the DMV was higher than usual, that appointments could be made, that on-line license renewal was available and, playing what he knew to be his trump card, holding a piece of paper that listed DMV offices in the greater Raleigh metropolitan area that, “may be able to accommodate you in a timelier fashion.”

    My wife took one of Herr Mister’s eight by elevens, looked at me plaintively, and marched us to her car where we used GPS tracking to find the second closest DMV to our home; a DMV where we just might be able to be helped in a timelier fashion. Falling for Herr Mister’s bait, we drove to said DMV only to find it equally overwhelmed.

   The second DMV office held a friendly and public spirited, though equally beleaguered, DMV employee, and, after confirming that there was indeed no room at the inn, she told us that arriving at the DMV an hour or more before the official eight o’clock opening would be the best bet to avoid long wait times.

   I looked at my darling, she at me, and we gallantly exited the building before simultaneously turning to one another and declaring, “Arrive an hour or more before the official opening is our best bet to avoid long wait times!?”

    My wife, as far from an early-riser as conditions permit, was crestfallen. She went home and tried to make an appointment via computer only to find that, while appointments were available, they were scheduled out for a month. “A month! What if we get pulled over before we get our tags and licenses? We can get in real trouble,” she fixated.

    Me, the voice of reason (HA!) pointed out that neither of us had received even a parking ticket in two decades and that perhaps her perception of risk far outweighed the actual. She agreed, declared that it didn’t matter, and set her alarm to go off at six the following morning.

    The goddess was a bit slow in responding to the gentle chimes of her alarm and did not arrive at the DMV office until 7:30 where she discovered that 19, that’s nuh-nuh-nuh-nuh-nineteen, people were already shivering in the frosty, before-the-sun-rises morn. Two hours later, she returned home with Real ID, North Carolina Driver’s License in hand and demanded (suggested?) that I do likewise pronto, tonto.

     Fool that I am, I agreed to follow in her footsteps, “On the next weekday that I have off from work,” i.e. today, which leads to me relaying the exploits of Herr Mister and his DMV counterparts.

    I did not do as my wife suggested. Rather, I left our home just after eight, which led to my 8:30, gosh there’s barely a seat available, arrival time. After standing in line and dealing with Herr Mister’s inauthentic question of, “And how may I help you?” his demand somehow producing in my somewhat overactive imagination an implied monocle and heal click, I explained the reason for my visit.

    “I’m from out of state and I’m here to get a North Carolina Real ID and driver’s license.”

    “Papers?!” was the honest to dog reply that he uttered before chastising me publicly for not having Passport, Social Security card, Florida driver’s license, car insurance and TWO pieces of paper identifying my current North Carolina address at the ready.

    I replied, “Ya vol, mein capitan! I have mein papers here in my briefcase!” My left hand reached for my brief case just as my right arm had a small spasm that made it rise straight out at a 45-degree angle. Herr Mister looked at me in disgust.

    “Your bag? Dumkopf!” he bellowed. Raising his already loud voice he addressed the entire room, nay, the entire building, declaring, “Achtung, everyone! Have your papers out and ready for inspection!”

    He glared at me, took my papers, gave them the proper stamps of the Third Reich and, after raking me over red-hot coals for my dereliction of duty, returned my processed papers to me. (The only reason my papers were in order was because my dear one had prepared them. Danke, Liebling!)

    Supplied with the scared slip bearing the magic alphanumeric C409, my veritable ticket on the last flight out of Berlin, I fled from Herr Mister and, slumping into my seat, shook with shell shock.

    I cooled my heals for ninety minutes. For ninety long, frightening minutes I waited. I waited for an electronic voice to summon me by declaring, “C, four-oh-nine, window three please.  C, four-oh-nine, window three please,” which, when it finally happened, turned out to be populated by a lovely and helpful Latina whose nom de gurre is Riviera.

    Riviera navigated the mine field that is applying for a North Carolina Real ID and driver’s license. She soothed me, comforted and aided me and, finally, I left the building with proper papers in hand and the hope that I shall never again cross paths with Herr Mister, the sadistic majordomo of DMV.




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Got transistors, and transgender, transatlantic, trans-terrific.
It’s a current that’s free flowing, not abhorrent, so prolific.
Cage that held us, we have broken, we’re revealed now, shredded labels.
No more hiding, light is shining, freedom’s calling, we are able.

All the labels Man’s created, arbitrary, so restrictive.
Leave binary for computers; we are fluid, not dismissive.
Understanding that the corset that has bound us, reinforcer
of a vision not enlightened. Just sex symbol? Lot of bullshit.

Host that is so Transubstantial, executed, Pontius knowing
words have power to transform us. Just embrace us, we are growing.
We’ve a vision, revolution, Holy Rabbi, brilliant teacher.
Love’s the answer, what’s the question? So much hatred from some preachers.

Here them whisper from a distance, “Is he mister, or a misses?”
What’s the difference? Wanna ask ya, are you aching hug and kiss us?
Justifying disposition, what I’m wearing, why you caring?
I’m not planning to seduce you, are you hoping I’m for sharing?

Expectations so cisgender, view is narrow and damn rigid.
Caught you looking, caught you staring, are you wond’ring if I’m frigid?
Stop day dreaming of my moving private parts of procreation.
(Transcendental meditation may be best for situation.)

Transformation isn’t easy; to see clearly, it’s required.
Wearing blinders is for horses, just remove them, ascend higher.
Higher than the narrow vision; one perspective? It’s a prison.
Don’t be frightened, don’t be fearful, just apply a little reason.

Got transference of your problems? Daddy Figure? She’s a baller.
Some have pistils, other stamens, there’s no call for gun you’re aiming.
Open up and feel the glory. It’s all wholesome, it ain’t whorey.
I’m transmitting, you receiving? Will you go on being deceived?

My transponder in the ether tells you clearly, I am right here.
Climb a mountain, swim in ocean don’t be poisoned, sex-role notions.
Blue is color for boy babies. Really think so? Are you crazy?
Teaching infants to be fearful of their feelings? Bloody dreadful.

Transpiration, tranquilizer, transformation world is taking,
What’s with burka? Mighty Allah, to God praying, “Let girls do this!”
Fluid sex roles ain’t heretic, doesn’t make us gender Judas!
Trans-genetic and transracial, don’t be pissed off; transurethral!

Chains that bind us, thoughts that blind us to the beauty of transparent.
Shed the masks of rigid sex roles. I’m not talking about sex holes.
Got a penis? Or vagina? They’re just plumbing, don’t define us.
Strength’s a value, fear’s a weakness. Don’t be frightened, don’t shriek, “Freak-ses!”

Got transistors, and transgender, transatlantic, trans-terrific.
It’s a current that’s free flowing, not abhorrent, so prolific.
Cage that held us, we have broken, we’re revealed now, shredded labels.
No more hiding, light is shining, freedom’s calling, we are able.



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Diamond sparkled are roads I roam
Refused to quit, to piss, or moan
Blue sky mornings, stars for return
Split lips, chapped hands, with miles earned

Pushed through cold and I rode through rain
I’ve fierce resolve as miles I tame
Won’t pause, won’t stop, just carry on
wary of circling carrion

Welcome spike of warmth, salves old bones
Crocuses line my path to home
The seasons changed and so did I
Hope to ride to great by and by

Blades Deux


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Reaper swings scythe when life he sows,
today we live, tomorrow die.
With long, sharp blade death’s said to mow;
all turn to dust in by and by.
“Lazarus rose,” was John’s report
Long Howard’s chant when dark nights come?
The phrase they give as death retort?
“Days are short but the years are long.”

Flat Out Annoying


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Flat tire prevention and repair by Keith A. Kenel. Presented by CSH, your community bike shop.

The only thing we have to fear…
Fear of being stranded due to a flat tire is the number two concern cyclists report as a limiting factor in riding further and/or more frequently. (Number one is fear of vehicular traffic.) I can’t conjure magical roads or trails to alleviate concerns associated with sharing the road, but I can help you learn to both prevent and quickly repair flats.

An ounce of prevention…
Pinch flats, the most common cause of flats, are avoidable nearly 100% of the time. Pinch Flats, aka “Snake Bites,” occur when tires are ridden at too low of pressure and a rider strikes an object such as a pavement joint, pothole or curb. The ounce of prevention is confirming proper inflation before setting out on a ride.

What’s proper inflation? The answer will vary on the size of the tire, the total weight the bike will be carrying and where and how the bike will be used. Smaller tires and bigger riders require higher pressure, so check your psi’s before every ride!

Your tire’s sidewall is marked with a minimum/maximum inflation range. Consider using wider tires if your bike will be carrying a heavy load or traversing rough terrain.

That ounce of prevention (28.35 grams) is only effective if administered regularly. If you want to minimize your chance of getting a pinch flat inflate your tires before every ride.

It is normal for narrow, high pressure tires to lose between ten and twenty percent of their volume weekly. A tire inflated to a safe 100 psi today could be just north of a flirting with disaster 65 psi in two weeks. To ensure that you’re not part of the Stranded Majority, then your most prudent move is to top your tires off as often as daily.

Out with the old…
Flat tire repair is dependent on minor damage to a tire. If you are riding with marginal tires you are putting both your safety and your ride in jeopardy. I can help you learn to replace a tube and be quickly and safely on your way, but you must set the groundwork for success.

Tires wear both with usage and age. Compared to fronts, rear tires wear at an accelerated rate because they hold more weight, are the bike’s driving force and are far more likely to be skidded. Many road tires have wear indicators to help you know when it’s time to re-tire your old rubber and install new. If your road tire has flattened visibly where it contacts the road, it’s time for new rubber. Likewise, if you have bulging or damaged sidewalls!

Over time, tires dry rot as the latex that binds tire threads together sublimates into the air. If your tires’ sidewalls have that coarse, rough, emery board feel, it’s time to lay them to rest and install fresh.

For want of a nail…
Don’t lose the battle because you’re unprepared; with a few easy to carry items you can continue to roll smoothly, sporting a smile on your face and feeling the wind in your (helmet covered) hair. Let’s take a quick look at what we need to keep rolling merrily along. (Boldfaced, underlined and italicized items are must haves.)

At Home-

Floor Pump for your valve type (i.e. Presta or Schrader)
-Talcum Powder
-Tire Gauge (high quality pumps sport built-in gauges)

On the Go-

Spare Inner Tube(s)
     –Tire Levers
     –CO2 or Mini Pump
     –Bike Bag (“Burse”), Jersey Pocket or Hydration Pack
-Tire Boot (?)
-Patch Kit(??)
-Spare Tire (???)

Floor Pump– If you own, ride, or maintain a bike a good quality pump with an accurate, precise gauge that speaks the language of your valve stem is necessity numero uno. In the US of A bike valves come primarily in Presta and Schrader. Since the turn of the century quality pumps have been equipped with heads that are bilingual and are able to inflate either traditional car-style valves or the lighter, simpler, bike style ones. Make sure to get a pump that fits your valve and your body size.

Inner Tube(s)– Size matters! Rim diameter and tire width are our must knows for tire size. Throw in valve length and we have the trifecta for tube selection. (Sure, sure, there’s tube materials as well, but what do you want for a free class?!)

Tire Levers– These rim and tire friendly pry-bars are used for removing (NOT INSTALLING!) recalcitrant tires from possessive rims.

CO2 or Mini Pump– When all is said and done, you can’t say you’re done until you pump up the jam!

BURSE!– What? You got a team car following you with your flat kit? Gotta carry your materials somehow.

Talcum powder is great for reducing friction and extending tube life, knowing how much air is in your tires is essential (BTW- your thumbs make TERRIBLE tire gauges,) patch kits are a good last defense when you’ve used your last tube and a “boot” or spare folding tire are perfect for the belt and suspender or mega-miles-from-home crowd. These italicized items are smart to own and use but not necessarily things most of us need on an everyday basis.

Give a man a fish…
Looney Tunes would start with, “Overture, curtain, lights, this is it, the night of nights! No more rehearsing and nursing a part, we know every card by heart!” So, in true, “On with the show!” presentation, let’s teach you wascally-wabbits to fish.

You can run but…
all you really need to do is get to a safe place. After initial prep, i.e., gathering your tools and remembering to carry them with you, the next thing to consider is safety. Did your flat occur in a dangerous location such as a blind-curve, just after a hill’s crest or in a locale that makes you uncomfortable? If your tire has a slow leak you can ride it a few hundred feet to safety. If you’ve had a blow-out you can PUSH or CARRY it. Remember, your safety is your concern and you can change the odds in your favor by taking an action as simple as a small location change.

Don’t talk to…
strangers! But they’ll talk to you. One of the great things about cycling is that other cyclist will offer you help. The problem is, it’s hard to tell a competent Samaritan from an all-thumbs, well-meaning, disaster meister. And, sadly, there’s personal safety involved as well. My advice? If someone offers you help always tell the noble neighbor that you have help coming but that it would be great if the bike could be fixed before that help arrives. The impending arrival of assistance is likely to ward off wolves in cyclist’s jerseys and will allow you a polite out if the well-meaning Josephine mechanic makes you fear for your BIKE’S well-being.

The wheels on the bus…
No, no. Not, “go round and round,” rather, “must come off.”

Step number one in flat fixing is wheel removal. Most bicycles are equipped with the quick release (QR) mechanism invented by Tullio Campagnolo after his apocryphal frozen fingered 1927 race debacle. These-no-tools required, wheel retention beauties are simple, elegant and, when used properly, effective.

Quick release mechanisms are usually emblazoned with the words OPEN and CLOSED. It is inarguably essential that QR’s say CLOSED when wheels are on a bike. Using a QR like a wing-nut rather than a cam mechanism is a prescription for disaster. Don’t do it!

Quick release levers use a cam to pinch a frames’ dropouts, or the part of the bike that holds the wheel. When Tullio designed the QR, one simply had to pull the lever from the closed to the open position to release a wheel from the drop out.

When retention tabs for forks were federally mandated three decades back, front wheel quick release added the extra requirement of loosening the QR by turning the threaded portion. Removal of a front wheel with safety, or “Lawyer Tabs,” requires loosening the QR sufficiently to allow the front wheel to drop out of the fork.

The number of turns required for wheel removal varies, but the magic number of SEVEN COMPLETE TURNS is usually necessary and sufficient. To remove your front wheel, open your brake’s quick release, flip the wheels QR to open and, while holding the nut of the QR, turn the lever counterclockwise seven complete turns.

Rear wheel removal is no more difficult than front. Activate your shifters and pedal your bike forwards so the chain rests on the smallest/hardest cog in back and the smallest/easiest cog in front. The gears come off with the wheel and you’ll want to place the chain back on the smallest/hardest cog in back once your repair is complete and it’s time to reinstall the rear wheel. Just put the chain on the cog, line the wheel up in the dropout and pull back slightly on the rear derailleur. With proper set-up the wheel will fall beautifully into place.

Step number two is tire removal. Sit on the ground, out of the roadway or path and away from vehicles either motorized or pedaled. If you have daytime flashing lights (YOU SHOULD HAVE DAYTIME FLASHING LIGHTS!) leave them on. They will alert fellow travelers to your presence and help remind them not to get too close.

Take a tire lever and insert the rounded section under one bead of the tire. The lever’s concave section should face the tire bead. Pry up slightly on the bead and try to rotate the lever around the rim. Many tires can be removed with a single lever, but recalcitrant ones may require the use of two levers. If two levers are needed, place the second lever about a palm’s distance from the first and pry the hooked or flat portion of the levers downward rather than trying to rotate them. When you feel the bead release from the rim then rotate the lever to the right clockwise to free the tire from the rim.

Step number three- Once the tire has been removed from the rim, pull the tube out of the valve hole and either dispose of properly or take it home to patch. (I am a pretty green fellow, but I have given up on patching narrow road tubes. The fatter the tube the greater likelihood of a successful patch.)

Step number four- Something caused your flat and, since you inflate your tires before riding, it likely was a foreign object such as a piece of glass, metal or thorn. Search the entire tire for debris. You may wish to use a glove to avoid slashing a finger. There may be multiple pieces of debris embedded in your tire. You MUST remove all debris before replacing the tube.
Check that your rim-strip is fully covering spoke nipples or spoke holes.
Make sure the hole in your tire is in the one or two-millimeter (teeny-tiny) range. If the gash is large you will need to “boot” your tire.

Step number fivereplace one bead of the tire back on the rim. Note that many tires are directional. Arrows point in the direction of travel or “forward.” Cool kids put logos directly over valve stem holes. This not only looks good it also makes finding foreign debris imbedded in your tire easier by reducing your search area. Sometimes it’s necessary to inflate a tube and follow the hole to the glass, metal or cellulite marauder. Using the hole in a tube greatly reduces our search area.

Step number sixRigatoni not fettuccine! Tubes packed in boxes are as air free as possible. When installing a tube, we add just enough air to make it grow from completely flat to barely rounded. Give your tube a single puff of life.

Step number sevenreinstall the tube beginning at the valve. Once the valve is in, work the tube inside of the tire without twisting the tube.
NOTE I- only one tire bead is installed. Be patient!
NOTE II- talcum powder reduces friction between the tire and tube. If you’re changing a tube at home, talc up. (I don’t carry talcum powder when I ride.)

Step number eight this is when things may get difficult! Using your hands and nothing but your hands so help you dog, you must work the second bead of the tire on. Start at the valve and work your right hand in a clock-wise and left an anti-clockwise direction. The last two to six inches of bead may cause you to utter words that your mother frowns upon. The “secret” is to apply force in the proper vector, victor. Palms of hands and twisting are called for.

Step number nineInspect the tire and tube. Push on the sidewall and visually check that the tube is 100% inside the tire. Pay especially close attention at the valve where the tube is wider. When you are certain that the tube is 100% inside the tire and the tire bead appears equidistant around the rim commence inflation.

NOTE I prefer pumps to CO2 because they give us more control. When filling a tire with a pump, check the sidewall after every 15 strokes or so to ensure that all is well. This will minimize the risk of blowing a tire off the rim.
Field repairs using CO2 are trickier. Do the best you can and watch for bulging tire beads.

Step number I don’t care– some people use valve collars or nuts, others valve caps, while some use both. I don’t use either. Too lazy. Your bike, your call.

Step number almost done– Put your dag-gone repaired wheel back in your dag-gone bicycle frame.
Make sure the bike is sitting fully upright and that the wheel is 100% in the dropout. Close your wheel quick releases, making sure that they are tight enough to leave an imprint in your palm. Too loose equals unsafe. Too tight and you can break the lever. Baby-bear is your friend. He likes everything, “just right.”
Close your brake quick release. Squeeze you brake levers. No rubbing equals success. If your brake rubs your wheel open the wheel quick release, make sure the bike is upright and then close it again. If the brake still rubs, then your brake may need centering. Centering brakes can sometimes be accomplished by pushing on them with your hand.

Step number lastpedal your bike onward, making sure that the gears and brakes work properly before bringing the DeLorean to that magical 88 mph.


“VANISHING POINT” has me in a funk.


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I’m working on another serialized long piece of fiction and it’s got me feeling dirty.

Vanishing Point is the fictional story of Karla Karen Kisor, who, as a Gadsden, Alabama ninth grader, found herself pregnant after her first “sexual” encounter. Date raped by nineteen-year-old Caleb Ezra Moore the first time he takes her out, the fourteen-year-old finds she has “allowed” herself to get pregnant. The Moores begin a campaign to convince Karla to, “Do the right thing,” and abort the child but when she steadfastly refuses Caleb is coerced by his family into marrying Karla.

After suffering through five years of an abusive marriage, Karla seizes an opportunity to leave Caleb while he is incarcerated in the Jefferson County Alabama correctional facility.  Karla flees with daughter Skylar to parts unknown, telling complimentary lies to Caleb that Skylar has died and to Skylar that her daddy is dead.

Caleb, after being paroled from prison a year later, is hell bent on finding his wife and delivering God’s holy punishment to Karla for allowing Skylar, the only good thing in his life, to be destroyed. Skylar, who has been uprooted from school six times as Karla has fled from town to town in an attempt to stay clear of Caleb, is now finishing third grade at Interlachen Elementary in Trinity, Florida,

After receiving a solid lead from his compatriots at Elohim’s Army, a loosely knit terror organization who proclaim themselves Jihadists for Christ, Caleb has traveled to the north of Tampa suburb where he spies a little girl whose walk reminds him of his precious, now four-year-deceased daughter.

It’s not a fun story to write, but I hope you’ll enjoy reading it.

Simmer to Full Boil


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Tiny houses on T.V., currently the rage,
knowing they’d be trouble hardly takes great sage.
Three-thousand plus square feet of furniture and crap,
small flat can’t accommodate, no debating that.

Ask a sailor inside close quartered submarine
what it is he longs for, of what it is he dreams?
Give ’em land, lots of land, with starry skies above;
doesn’t take a cowboy for elbow room to love.

Tiny, close-camped quarters where wife and I abide
surely were more fitting when we’d turned groom and bride.
Three decades of marriage, stuff does accumulate,
did a little culling, too little can’t debate.

Only temporary our living mighty close,
of apartment dwelling we quickly had full dose.
Six month lease we bought out right quick at just six weeks,
our profligate game plan not for the mild nor meek.

I’m a penny-pincher, of that there’s no debate,
we needed room to move ‘fore our love turned to hate.
Quickly took house hunting from simmer to full boil,
three bedroom and two bath was what we hoped to uncoil.

Longed for bungalow in hills of Hollywood,
where Jim, Ray, Robby, John, spout wisdom like Talmud.
Search took us high and low for home of modest size,
selected new abode, we’re once more super-sized.

McMansion in suburbs was not the home we sought,
location dictated four bedroom that we bought.
We’ve once more elbow room in house shared with my wife
Adios, tiny flat, hola, suburban life!

Hills are not Hollywood in southwest Raleigh town,
with our house we’re hoping to turn frowns upside down.
We’ve open-spaced design, that is the latest rage
and North Carolina’s where plan to end our days.

Know floor plans are like life, there’s some things just can’t get;
we two will make a home, and that’s a certain bet.
Wherever we do roam, with all life’s twists and turns,
it’s she who makes me whole, and she for whom I yearn.

We’ve blue skies up above, for now we’re riding high,
could change in an instant, but I won’t run nor hide.
My love’s the foundation, my love’s the master plan,
wherever we two go, we’ll get there hand in hand.

Tiny houses on T.V., currently the rage
knowing they’d be trouble hardly takes great sage.
We’ll hit thirty-two years, come middle of next spring
and I can hardly wait to see what else life brings.



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Our hands have wrought what our minds conceived,
got calluses with my rolled-up sleeves.
Tabula rasa with our new place,
gonna make house a home at post-haste.

Marriage bed’s seen half-a-dozen states,
Mount Everest highs and Dead Sea straits.
Fate has tossed our little ship around,
survived typhoons where I feared we’d drown.

Tranquil port that we’re declaring home,
pray that at last we’ll no longer roam.
Temperate spot, not too hot nor cold,
where we’ll start anew at being bold.

No more cowering with curtains drawn,
my soul’s reborn, I embrace the dawn.
The seeds are planted in deep, rich soil,
and with Lord’s help I’ll advance through toil.

Working hard is not a dirty phrase,
I’ll reap what I’ve sown at end of days,
but the work at hand is great indeed
from weighty travail don’t feel dirtied.

I’m hewing wood, I’m igniting fire!
My soul’s uplifted as I climb higher.
I’m not a rat chasing after cheese,
from my enterprise it’s me I please.

Nooks and crannies to personalize,
what I have planned, my hands will devise.
Sideboards display curiosities,
sturdy workbench for tinker’s hobby.

I’m building high and prospecting low,
progress is steady, though rather slow.
I won’t hurry to make place our own,
with craftsmanship as our cornerstone.

My sites are set on long road ahead,
mighty weary when I hit my bed,
come daybreak before the crack of dawn
with great verve I’ll keep on keeping on.

It’s less than one man in a million
presented with chance I’ve been given.
Blessed by a spouse who’s a mate for life
entwined with her life is full and ripe.

Our hands have wrought what our minds conceived,
got calluses with my rolled-up sleeves.
Tabula rasa with our new place,
gonna make house a home at post-haste.