bunt sign

Sunday, August 24, 2003

This is my favorite time of the year. Or maybe I should say it's my favorite day of the year, the day that reminds me why I live in the North Bay, the Redwood Empire, the Wine Country — and why I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. This has been the day so perfectly fashioned that I can be sitting out on my back porch reading at 7:30 in the evening.

That's the perfect time of the perfect day, although I'm distracted from my reading by the swallows, soaring high and swooping low over my yard. The shadows slowly lengthen, and the fields to the east gradually lose the sun for another day. The occasional whine of an insect or a hint of chill in the air reminds me that the perfect time of the perfect day is short. I mustn't waste it.

And indeed, it isn't twenty minutes before the darkness has encroached to the degree that tired eyes can no longer make out the words on the page, at least not without squinting and straining. It's just as well. I have other things to attend to. I'm expected somewhere at eight o'clock.

When I think of gout, I think of Henry VIII with a greasy drumstick in each hand. (The kind you eat, not the kind you beat.) This is Mom's second bout with gout, and the pain was bad enough this morning that Suzanne took her back to the doctor for a stronger prescription. We're looking after her, my sister and I, as well as we can, making sure she gets something to eat before she takes her pills. That's where I went at eight o'clock.

21 August 2003

Sunset from last week.

This place where I live isn't really in the North Bay. It's north of the Bay, but far enough from its water and far enough from the Pacific coast that it's really an inland city that I'm on the edge of. I'm at the bottom tip of the redwoods, and not exactly in the wine country, but at the edge of it. I'm in a valley, a plain that has its own character, and its own climate. I'm happy to be here, especially today.

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It's a lot easier to be a good winner than a good loser. That's why it was great to see the Little League team from Boynton Beach, Florida, who had just lost the championship game 10-1, celebrating at the end with the team from Tokyo that beat them. Last night they invited the Saugus, Massachusetts, team that they had just beaten for the United States championship to join them in a victory lap. It's the kind of sportsmanship that athletics is supposed to stand for, and it's encouraging to see that it still does. I also noticed that while they watched tonight's game, the Saugus team was sitting with the kids from Richmond, Texas, with whom they'd had an emotional extra-inning battle just a few days ago. It's a tribute to both youth and sport, not to mention good coaching and supportive parents.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Hosed
"The idea of a flat garden hose makes so much sense, until you actually own one."

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