I’m not going into 2013 without tying up some loose ends. I have enough trouble navigating the hallways and rooms in this house what with all the dog toys strewn throughout the place.
Loose End #1
Many of you know about my ongoing summer battles with voles. Well, it turns out that I didn’t have a vole problem. Forgive me my ignorance of yard rodents. It is the industrious little pocket gopher that has been tearing up my yard, digging trenches and destroying plants. This misidentification of my yard varmint was unfortunate—no, it was more than that—it was tragic. My pocket gopher problem ended one afternoon this past summer after the 8th or 9th toxic fumigation of one of its tunnels.
My sister came across the dead gopher one evening on her way to my back door. She placed it on my porch railing so the dogs couldn’t get it and so I could witness the fruits of my successful battle.
But I don’t feel good about killing that gopher, especially after reading that they’re actually beneficial to the environment and they’re close to extinction in some places. So, this coming summer, instead of poisoning the earth, I’ll trap and release them. I’ll be more patient and understanding in between cursing them. They were here first. I’m the intruder.
The Vole. Cute. Not found in my backyard.
Pocket gopher. Ugly. Found in my backyard.
Loose End #2
I’ve decided to try to like more people in 2013. No, not on Facebook. In real life.
It’s always been the case—as a category, I prefer dogs to humans. They’ve been good to me, dogs have. They see me in the morning and rarely flinch. They greet me when I return to work as though I’ve been away for a year AND wrapped in a bacon suit.
What I look like to my dogs.
Not so much with people. But, then again, I really don’t try that hard to endear myself to people. You could call me a curmudgeon. You could, but then I’d probably snap at you. When it comes to warming up to a human, it’s a matter of comfort level and trust. If I see a dog approaching, the thoughts percolating to the surface are positive ones. I see a person approaching and I avert my eyes. If someone’s dog greets me, I reach out and pet their dog. If a human greets me, I wonder how long it will take before I can gracefully excuse myself.
Perhaps I should carry human treats in my pocket and, along with a cheery “Hello!” offer them a goodie. Or wear a bacon suit. It works with dogs.
Loose End #3
It’s past time to thank some blogger friends here. You’ve made my years as a blogger so worthwhile. I have more to read, yes, and not more time, but it’s worth it.
Mostly Bright Ideas: Thank you, Charles, for being one of the funniest humans I know. You have a marvelous way with words. You’ve heard that before but it needs repeating. We can see ourselves in the hilarious descriptions you offer about yourself and, through that, you help us laugh at our own faults and quirks. Even your comments are bits of brilliance, and more often than not, they are the kindest words I’ve ever heard. I love your blog. I recently received your book, “Writing Rules” and I adore it because it’s not your typical grammar guide, the kind containing examples that bore you into a coma.
Say you’re trying to learn the Present Perfect tense. Most grammar guides would include an example like this:
She has not returned the book to the library yet.
Charles gives us this:
Have you ever worn a gorilla costume?
Despite his well-groomed appearance, Dan has never taken a bath.
Here’s his example for showing us the difference between “pore” and “pour”:
We pored over his letters, hoping to understand his sudden obsession with wool slippers.
As she poured the milk over her corn flakes, she also poured out her heart to me. It was pretty messy.
His blog is a literary delight. Please read it.
Okjimm: You’re off and on with your blog, Jim, but you’re always there with a funny and brilliant comment on my posts. You’re a keen observer of humans and you do it through eyes that see the profound, the sublime and the silly. I’ve appreciated the postcards and vintage ephemera that you send out of the blue. Mostly, I’m just proud to be your friend.
Lame Adventures: V, my New York girl, for years you’ve given me the insider’s tour of your city and not charged me a single cent. I live through your adventures as though I were there, next to you, wandering the streets of that fabulous town. I’ve realized that a person can have fun just staring up at a tennis shoe tree or wandering the five subway stops in Manhattan between West 57th and West 157th Streets to look at sculptures. And you’re defying the stereotype of the typical New Yorker, too. I wish I could join you and your friend, Milton, on one of your adventures.
She’s A Maineiac: Darla, you forever crack me up. You’ve got the marvelous facial expressions to go along with your goofy outlook on life. I adore your vlogs. You’re going to make a fantastic nurse and if “laughter is the best medicine,” you’re bound to cure thousands of patients. I wish I could visit you just once. I’d find a place for those shoes you keep leaving in the hallway. Please don’t stop writing. It’s my cure for a lousy morning.
A Voice From the Foothills: Sherry, you’re hardly adrift. You’re spot on in your posts. How you can continue to report the insanity in politics and society and still be funny about it, is a gift. You help remind me that I can never be complacent and stand by while injustice and stupidity affects our lives.
Blurt’s Blog: Thank you so much, Oma, for your hilarious takes on the typical, the usual, and the not-so-typical in life. You have the amazing ability to write for your readers in a way that makes us want to get involved in your shenanigans. You keep reminding me that life is going on all around us, in the tiniest of scenes, in the most mundane activities and experiences. We all need to be reminded that the big things aren’t what really matter; it’s when we look more closely at the day-to-day that we feel more a part of this life.
Woodgate’s View: Larry, you’re a sensitive, new-newer age kind of guy. You’re also deeply thoughtful, passionate about your views, and you explore each topic with a thorough understanding of the issues. Along with great information I get from your posts, is the sense that you sincerely want to make this world a better place for all of us. It’s wonderful to have someone like you on my side.
Please check my blogroll for more wonderful bloggers who enrich my life. It’s been a great year with all of them.