Ramble with Storm: Southern cars & the daring of tomatoes

SHARE Ramble with Storm: Southern cars & the daring of tomatoes

Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family’s mixed Lab.

Despite the frost advisory, I didn’t pick my tomatoes clean last night.

Oh, there was frost, nearly three weeks early. Patches whitened the lawn this morning. Our neighbor’s car had its windows and windshields frosted white on all sides by the time the meathead and I set out this morning before dawn.

Frankly, I have all the homemade V8 and chili starter I care for. And I don’t care to make friend green tomatoes, let alone eat them. So I left the remaining tomatoes on the vines and risked the extent of the frost.

Sometimes you have to live daringly.

And I have a big Tupperware bowl–the kind that mothers used to fill with Miracle Whip-based potato salad (completed with sliced hard-boiled eggs on top)–overflowing with more tomatoes and peppers to do up.

But all was fine.

With temperatures in the low 30s, I dug a hunting cap with ear flaps and a pair of gloves from my grab-it-and-go hunting bag. Both the meathead and I stepped lively.

It must have been cold enough the last few days that the town pond cooled significantly. No wisps of fog lifted off it.

Again, a remarkably quiet morning for wildlife. No doves. No squirrels, though one barked at Storm from a maple when we came back into town. No Canada geese, though I heard some working a just harvested cornfield in the distance.

The grain elevator, on the other side of the tracks on the edge of town, continued its running day and night with a steady hum. This is one of the most rapid harvests I ever remember.

As the meathead and I came off the old raid-bed trail and headed back into town, a train slowly approached from the south with loud, long whistles.

That’s not unusual, but I noticed all the box cars were car carriers with 10 cars to each. With more than 100 carriers, that’s more than a 1,000 cars. Now from where are all those cars coming from the south?

Seriously, I thought Detroit had come back.

Back home, with the first light splattering the east side of buildings, more and thicker frost filled the backyard.

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