We are anticipating Halloween at the end of the month. The reality is that we’re not really excited about it. Our town health officials have not made any recommendations, yet. But we have decided to “go dark”. It is not a happy decision. We love to see all the kids coming to the door with their costumes. This year, we’ll not do much decoration, and the front porch light will not be on. Still, this 3D print hangs in the doorway. Our spirit is dimmed, but not entirely missing.


Art Appreciation

On your time I must encroach,
But I’m not sure of the approach
Which I should choose to take
Because of what’s at stake.

In the muck I’ll wallow
Though it’s tough to swallow.
I am just out for attention,
Though it is with apprehension.

You may choose to ignore.
It’s your right for sure.
But I hope you may appreciate.
What the artists here create!

Duck Out

The waves crashed over the remnants of the sea wall. Bob stood well back from the ragged shoreline but still was glad he had worn his high rubber boots. An occasional sluice of foamy salt water raced past the remains of his beachfront house onto the eroding street where he stood. His insurance adjuster had sent a nice email note but said she would not be visiting him any time soon. In fact, she implied that she was really just contacting him because, what the heck, she was between jobs, anyway. Who insures the insurance companies?

It was three days after the latest midsummer nor’easter, and the devastation in Oxbury was almost complete. The golf course was mostly just a water hazard, now. The sailboats which had not been trailered away were bashed and broken on shore. There wasn’t a single intact craft left afloat in the harbor.

A total loss, not one which even the governor’s state of emergency declaration would begin to cover. All up and down New England’s shore, the destruction was similar, if not worse. Bob had heard that Cape Cod was just a sliver of its former self. Provincetown no longer existed at all. Parts of New York City were being pumped out for the fourth time this summer.

The Congregational church steeple lay halfway across the main road, not that there was really that much traffic beyond dazed locals driving their Lexus SUVs to find groceries further inland. Only 25 percent of the houses in town had escaped damage from the month’s three major storms. Even then, trees which had been there for over a hundred years were uprooted or split down the middle and would take weeks or longer to be cleared.

The forecast was bleak for August, too.

Bob got back into his own ride, a more modest Jeep Cherokee SUV which he liked better than the upscale versions most of his neighbors had. “Neighbors”, hah! There were probably not going to be many of those in Oxbury over the next few years.

Bob turned the key, rotated his head and avoided the rubble of downed trees, roof shingles, and even a partial fish carcass as he backed away from his former summer home. Time to duck out of this lost cause. The claim he had filed was possibly stacked (at least electronically) somewhere in the insurance system files along with the thousands of others filed by homeowners up and down the eastern seaboard.

Bob waved to Earnest, the mailman as they passed each other. How did the US Postal Service always seem to keep on with their rounds? Were some postal workers being furloughed? How much work was there when the town was mostly not there at all? Driving slowly away, Bob left the shore behind. His mail would be forwarded.

The mountain chalet beckoned.

Unsolicited Advice

I just visited the blog of M.L. Woldman who is also working through the effort to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month. M.L. has successfully made it half way through the effort along with lots of others working on NaPoWriMo.

Poetry, for the most part, escapes me, as some of you who see this site have noticed. Instead, I find myself satisfied (maybe compelled) to randomly rhyme, keeping it short most of the time. After leaving a comment at M.L.’s site, I seek to apologize here. (M.L. has visited before…)

I’ll get no prize
When I advise
Writing Rhymes
Of tiny size.

The rhymes they gush
All in a rush.
And it’s darn near impossible
To make them shush!

But I’m not sorry
Though there’ll be no glory.
That’s how it happens;
And that’s my story.


Down the Rabbit Hole

Once begun, an Internet search is difficult to end.

Armed with a large, strong cup of coffee, I sit down to begin the day. Since it is earlier than usual, I take my time, reading last night’s email, answering a few.

But before I hit SEND, I check my understanding of my facts…Maybe an hour later, I surface from the Internet Rabbit Hole, edified, but noting that I have forgotten to click send.

Stylized light gray rabbit headed down into a black hole on a green background with the text "Down the Rabbit Hole" in white letters.

I checked the Internet’s understanding of the phrase, of course. One resource: