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The Darkest Night

Maybe 30 years ago, back when my wife and I were living “off the grid”  (we called it living without elec­tricity and indoor plumbing) up near Mountain House, a friend…

Harvesting Christmas Trees

I’d driven down this particular beaver slide twice already this year, but never with a full trailer during a cloudburst. My brand-new, one-ton diesel, company pickup truck’s full blast windshield…

Raggedy Roads, Saggy Gates

My first job making firewood was up on a bench of land high on the sunny side of Ward Mountain above Yorkville. It must have been 1975 or ’76. To…

My Mother Road

“The Mother Road, the road of flight.” — John Stein­beck * * * I was born in the same West Town Chicago slums my parents were born in and grandparents…

Veteran’s Day

You never know what will stick in your memory. Some years ago I heard on TV the news that the last sur­viving crew member of the Enola Gay that dropped…

Animal Husbandry

Wheeling his pickup to town for an after work beer, Dale glanced at his Lady sitting all dainty-like beside him. What a fine young thing she was. Her nose out…

The Big Snowy

My lover’s most memorable experience in Switzer­land was also my own. Laboring under backpacks up perfectly engineered switchbacks cut into an ancient, forested scree slope, we broke above tree line.…

America’s Switzerland

I can’t say how many places lay claim to being “America’s Switzerland.” Like, while driving through Missouri, how many of Jesse James’ “famous hideouts” do you pass? Mosey up Chesapeake…

The Tao of the Cow

I once lived on a farm in the San Joaquin Valley. Less than three years out the army, alone, broke and chased by war demons, I wound up on the…

The Wishing Well

My parents grew up in the slums of Chicago during the Great Depression. When I was a little boy and we jumped into our 1951 Kaiser V-8 sedan and drove…

Modernity Comes With A Bang

Even before his Arkansas razorback hog started help­ing, Lew had always gotten a big kick out of plucking tree stumps. Just cuzz there weren’t any easy way of doing it…