Optimism and Cover of the Rolling Stone: Ramble with the Lady

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Ode to Charles Demuth.
Credit: Dale Bowman

The background noise, make that sounds, this morning as Lady and I rambled off was of crickets, of all things.

Pretty sure they were regular old field crickets.

Just something I don’t remember ever thinking of or noticing in many years of doing “Rambles,’’ first with the late and much missed Storm, a fine mixed black Lab, and now with Lady, our family’s mutt.

Air heavy again with humidity in the darkness at 6 a.m. I learned more about cut-off lows in the last few days than I will remember. (Hello, Tom Skilling.) Very odd watching radar the last few days and seeing weather rolling in from the east and northeast, out of Berrien County in Michigan.

No rain falling, but the roads were damp enough that I kept half an eye (a phrase that goes back to the 1579, according to the freedictionary.com) out for night crawlers or earthworms. No luck on them.

As I awoke this morning and was listening to WGN-AM (their 5 a.m. news report sums up what happened or is happening well), someone mentioned the famous quote of Israel’s Shimon Peres, who just died, “Optimists and pessimists die the same way. They just live differently. I prefer to live as an optimist.’’

Both points are well taken, I think.

I think I lean towards the optimism side of life.

It has been an odd week, speaking of optimism.

Tom Beilfus dropped a note of thanks three days ago about making his sturgeon from the Wisconsin Dells, “Fish of the Week,’’ last week.

In it, he mentioned one of the lines–“gonna buy five copies for my mother’’–from Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s rock classic, “Cover of the Rolling Stone.’’

Apparently, we are close in age. In my high school days, I had the entire song memorized and could even sing it like Dr. Hook. So I was stunned when I looked up the lyrics on oldielyrics.com to find out the line was actually, “wanna buy five copies for my mother.’’

I think the definiteness of the way Beilfus and I remember it is more optimistic, “gonna buy’’ rather than “wanna buy.’’

I digress.

Nothing moving at the town pond once we crossed the side rail separating town from the wildness of the town pond. Well, other than a few faint sounds of shore birds, sandpipers, I think, on the far north end of the north old clay pit.

Three hedge apples were down on the east side of the south pit. So damp this morning I did not pick any up to bring them back to my wife, who half believes in their magical powers.

Back on the edge of town, a freight train rumbled past by the grain elevators to the east. It feels good to say, “Hell, Charles Demuth,’’ again. Photo at the top.

Back in town, the first sighting of wildlife came when a gray squirrel loped off from the front of the Station Street Pub–“Cod Perch Tilapia’’ on the white sign in front (hello Friday).

Down the street, the women are back to early morning exercising again. They were just locking up the downtown gym as we passed. The click of the lock rang loud in the half light.

With the odd east winds, I caught the comforting whiff of meat fillings for tacos and burritos after we had passed the chef/cook, who had nearly finished filling his food truck for migrant and nursery workers. I cannot quite place the seasoning that makes the smells so enticing. Some morning I should ask him.

Back home, I was reminded that the squirrels, backyard bastards that they are, know exactly when pumpkins are getting soft and chew a hole in them. Two of our daughter’s pumpkins on the front steps were desecrated by squirrels yesterday looking to chew out the seeds. It is a pumpkin squash mess, so to speak.

Dawn, such light as will be on a morning like this, settled in.

Optimism, stretch for the day.

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