Corn, Corn, Corn

Looking out the Happy Camper this morning, my coffee in hand, my ceramic space heater humming at my feet, and Kiki the traveling cat is rolling around on the foot of my bed loving the warm tastiness of the camper. It has rained a lot over the last 12 hours, and wind has rocked the camper, temps were down in the low 40s last night, the morning gray and windy still.

Across the Ohio River, on the hill that makes this valley, the trees are starting to turn colors. Last week it was a few tree tops, now most of them are changing, but not at peak yet. Most, but not all, of the corn crops have been harvested, the naked fields tilled under for next year. Until the last few days, the machines in the corn and soybean fields stirred up a giant brown cloud of dust. I know the rain is a blessing to us all.

I have watched the whole cycle of the corn this summer, from tiny green sprouts in Northern Indiana and Central Ohio, to tall green stalks, then glowing golden at the end of their live cycle, brown rattling in the breeze, stubble in the harvested field and plowed under to rest for next year.

No, Carol Jamison, I will NEVER watch “Children of the Corn”!!!


Maples tipped with gold
The geese are V-ing southward.
Mornings cool and crisp
The wind no longer warm.
Clouds are full of gray,
Echos of warm days
are drawing me away.

Summer of my life
New places and new faces
Shots of lakes and birds
Never seen by me.
I could stop but won’t.
Something says get on
the road and go.

Take my fill of days
The 24 hour kind.
Seeing life in pieces
A Life I left behind.
Watching clouds float by
Hearing eagles cry
Keeps pulling me away.

I have drawn new strength
From being near my fam.
Charging up on love
Enough I feel will carry me
To my next quest,
Further than the rest
And then back again . . . .


Screw The Lift Kit

Trying to put a lift kit under my bed for easier access to the under bed storage really kicked my butt today. Along with having to prop the entire mattress and storage cover with a stick, I have to crawl over and around the fresh water storage tank to get to the far end of the bed. After the first attempt it became apparent I was not going to be able to get it to work there; so I decided to just do the right side which was the original storage area.

Two more attempts on the right side ended when I screwed my right hand to the bed base between two boards.

The location of the bottom brackets was awkward, causing me to have to hold the bracket with my right and use the drill with my left hand. While trying to line up a screw with a hole the drill bit caught perfectly and ran that wood screw through the base plate and in to the wood bar behind it. Fast and hard like a pro . . . . .only problem was my right hand was stuck behind the two pieces of wood!

“Imagine, if you will”, your left hand is inflicting pain on the right hand, and your brain has to response to get the left hand to STOP!! Damn it!! Interestingly enough, the speed with which you right hand signals pain to the brain seemed to be much faster than the signal from the brain to the left hand to pull back on the freakin’ screw driver!!

While I am ambidextrous, my left hand is slower and a bit less strong as my right. But the difference was never so noticeable as when the piece of wood was being cranked down on my fingers!

First realization – my hand hurts! My hand is stuck! My hand hurts really bad!!
I’m going to be stuck to the bed frame the rest of my life!!

I sit down the drill and pull up on the board, which scissors the wood causing more pressure on my hand. I have to twist around behind my right hand with my left and find a better spot to pull on the wood, bad angle but DAMN I pull it free.

After the cussing was done. After the ice pack had done its duty. I take the entire kit apart, put it back in the box along with the instructions.

Someone with more “cajones” than me will have to install this lift kit.

No blood was shed in the making of this “screw-up.”

Life Goes On!

“Oh, yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” I have always hated John Mellencamp for that line, (that and the one “Dribble off those Bobby Brooks, let me do what I please”) He was so arrogant, and represented the youth-centric attitude that thinks when you get older you have no reason for living.

“Life goes on” especially rankles as I get older, the only upside to Mellencamp’s arrogance is he’s older than meeeee!

But really, when do you settle in? When do you settle down and wait for the downhill slide? So many times we emulate our parents in our attitudes and life expectations. “People our age shouldn’t do or say things like that.” Attitudes about clothes, our appearance, sex, expressions of affection all seem to be molded by what our parents did.

But not just ourselves, go to a department store and look at the clothing, compare the “Misses” with the “Womens”. Yes, age does cause us to pack on more pounds, but from one department to the next you go from cute dresses and tops to gunnysacks. Different materials, different designs, and patterns that are less flattering than our smaller sister’s cloths. What the HELL???

I stepped out of my comfort zone and shook up my life to go on the road. Look what I have done! With a few exceptions this has probably been the best summer of my life. What do I do next? Do I continue to push my limits, or do I settle?

I have known so many people who have given in to the inevitable, and sat down waiting for the end of their lives. I have known so many people who have been working productive people into their 70s and beyond. I would like to think I am somewhere in the middle. I am not ready to call it quits yet, but my body is protesting but I think I should push against it.

I cruised out of Ohio, back to Indiana, to hole up at Hoffman Like to ponder my next step in my adventure. I left there and came to Clark County still pondering the same question.

I can not tell you how soul enriching it is to set in total quiet and watch the geese on the pond, or the fish jumping. Listen to the birds chatter, or soar overhead. I watch spiders build incredibly complex and beautiful webs – what if we had to do that every day to eat!? I watch herons catching blue-gill (no artificial bait necessary!) Some days it is so coooool, I just giggle right out loud!

It looks like the pesky Canadian Geese are gathering their brethren around them for their flight South. The tips of the trees are turning orange and yellow. I have watched them for weeks and listened to people who must be in denial say, “I guess it has been so dry they are turning colors already.” Hahaha! Fool, winter is on its way.

Most things about nature you just can’t stall, it rolls over us whether we are moving with the waves or standing feet planted and pushing back. This I know for sure.

Into The Light

The cobwebs are hanging heavy on the electric lines, and fences. It is very foggy today, about 6am a barge was moving up river blaring its fog horn. It was kinda sad mournful sound and lasted 10 or 15 mins as they move slowly in that direction. I thought it was someone on board pranking someone who lived along the river but when I woke up later and looked out I couldn’t see the cabins, let alone the river.

This is September 11, it has been 14 years. I try very hard never to do anything serious on this day. Unfortunately, today my schedule is loaded. Along with the sad news that my friend’s little sister passed away during the night. I remember a beloved family friend, Jack Vickers who passed away at this time about this time 14 years ago. I have to get my head together for the day that awaits me.

I just passed a hedgehog standing on the white line on the side of the road, looking at me as if to say, “What the fudge!” He was standing on his hind legs, munching on grass, and didn’t move, didn’t care. Poor fool.

Mother Nature is good, Mother Nature is beautiful. While camped at Bushman’s lake, I have seen a number of deer as I drove back and forth to camp. One was a huge buck with a big rack and he had one hoof on the road looking at me.

I flashed my bright lights and laid on the horn. Thank God he turned and ran the other way. Ooooh, I would not have wanted to hurt that baby…..nor my truck, “Brad”.

What a beautiful animal, how anyone could shoot one I have no idea. Like the 17 inch cat fish I caught. (Maybe not “beautiful” except to his mother.) I could see the perfect fillets on the side of that baby. I could almost taste the crunchy breading, the flaky white meat.

Nope. Not in me. It’s a sport. Tossed him back in the lake. I “recycled him”, like my friend Georgia said.

(Heavy sigh.) Well the rest of this day has got to be better than the start! When I get up out of the river bottoms the sun is shining bright and warm! Puts a whole different perspective on things, maybe it will bring my heart “into the light” as well. Amen.


Warm sun, cool breeze,
White fluffy clouds floating by.
Minnows churn the surface of the lake,
While a heron watches.
The lake reflects blues and greens,
The air is full of quiet and birds,
And occasionally a boat or golf cart.
The cat dozes at my feet as
I doze in my chair.
Damn, retirement is tough,
But I am going to keep at it until I get it right!

Sumpen’s Going Right

I haven’t had much time to settle and relax; once I left Hoffman, I went to Monroe Lake/Bloomington and watched a friend’s daughter get married, I had visitors, I went to Charlestown, had lots more visitors. I love Charlestown State Park, I just don’t agree with all of their policies. After 14 days I had to leave CSP so I found a nice little space at Bushman’s Lake, on the River about 7 miles away from CSP.

My daughter and her husband closed on their first/new home on Monday so I have been helping with little chores there for the past few days. She cut-in/edged, we’ve rolled paint on most of the rooms, she changed her mind on several colors, we’ve re-rolled! I installed a range vent, two ceiling fans, one of which almost got the better of me!!

A trip to PC Lumber in Sellersburg solved the problem of additional support for the weight of the fans. Rachael researched it on YouTube and Bob Vila suggested this device that pushes against the ceiling joists and cranks tight with a wrench. WHAT A GENIUS INVENTION!!

Thank you Bob Vila! But most importantly THANK YOU to the guys and gals at PC Lumber! I stopped there because I felt they would have more knowledge than the big box store’s sales people. And I was right, they knew what I needed, had the devices, they assisted with choosing additional hardware, wires nuts, and a tiny saw to cut through the electrical box strap. PC Lumber is a great hardware store and I highly recommend them!

Ok, testimony over . . . . . Rachael and Nick have chosen such homey colors and turned a whitewashed house in to a warm inviting home. Tomorrow they start moving furniture in! I am so excited for them, and proud of what they have accomplished! Love you guys!

Bushman’s is kinda known as a weekend party place. I can look across the lake at the back-end of Jo-Jo’s bar and grill and fully expect to hear the “Juke Box” start up along about 7 pm! A few years ago Elvis entered the building and he was really good and funny. It will be kinda interesting to watch and maybe slip over for a beer once in a while! I knew what I was getting in to so it won’t be any surprise. I think it will be kind of nice to listen to the music float across the lake at night!

First morning I was here I cast a fishing line out a couple of times. The surface of the lake is swirling after dark with bugs and fish and frogs and maybe minnows! The heat has been oppressive during the day and buggy after dark when I have gotten back from Rachael’s so I haven’t stopped to spray, or just to relax.

I have been watching a couple of Great Blue Herons circling the lake today, interesting that they have been flying one above the other about 15 feet apart around the circumference of the lake. Don’t know if one is chasing off the other or courting it! Little late in the season for being “tweeter-pated”!!!

I also saw a Little Green Heron, and I can hear several kinds of woodpeckers, a King Fisher, and at least two different kinds of Hawk.

September 4th and I can see some of the trees along the river and lake that are starting to fade to yellow and orange. It has been an exciting summer for me, full of adventure, and interesting people, and peacefulness.

Funny, I was thinking the other day that I hadn’t popped a handful of antacids in a long time!! “Sumpen must be going right!”