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Sunday, January 15, 2012


It's been an unseasonably warm winter here in little ol' Escondido, California.

(Escondido - "Hidden" in Spanish. We live in a Hidden Valley, thus the name).

Temps have been in the 80's for about a week and a half. It's fooling Mother Nature herself. We have flowers blooming already in the front yard . . . we quite often hear Mockingbirds singing to attract a mate. I think it's gonna be unrequited love as I'm pretty sure the female mockingbirds won't respond until the real spring arrives . . . but, then, I could be wrong. If a guy mockingbird is a good whistler ... you just never know.

A few of the trees have had their leaves blown off by the late summer and early fall winds. I noticed this morning, during Trixie's walk, that a lot of those trees have big clumps of mistletoe. If I were a young, athletic, and enterprising kid, I'd climb those trees with a pair of nippers, shear the mistletoe bunches off and drop them to the ground, then bag them up, put them in a cooler and save them till late November, early December, then put them in cellophane packages and sell them for $2 a bag. I'd make $15,000-$20,000 in one month.

I'd be doing a great favor for the owners of those trees as mistletoe is a parasite. Cutting them off the trees would make the trees healthier. Too many mistletoe, draining the sap of a tree, can kill it. We had mistletoe back in Omaha, where I grew up . . . but nowhere near the volume we have here in California.

But, I'm no longer young and athletic and I don't climb trees much any more. It seems I have grown older and we old folks have no business climbing trees. Besides, I have taken a solemn and sacred vow to avoid anything that closely resembles work.

I write. That is my work. Some might say . . "work? Writing is work?"

Yup. I often work 12-18 hours a day. Writing is not a 9 to 5 job. Granted, some writing jobs, with advertising agencies, newspapers, etc., are 9 to 5. Mine isn't. I sometimes, often, in fact, write at 3, 4, 5 am. When ideas for a story, essay or commentary come to you, you have to write it. Now, lest you forget it come morning, upon awakening.

Not complaining. Not at all. I love to write.

I can't do anything else. I'm all thumbs when it comes to repairing anything. A frozen right shoulder due to arthritis limits what I can do around the house. I'm not interested at all in gardening or yard care. Have lost my desire to travel. We'll be going to New Orleans in June for the International Kiwanis Convention. Love New Orleans! We're got someone to look after Trixie that we really trust, so we should be able to relax and enjoy ourselves. I hate conventions. They bore me. But I'll tolerate one to get a trip to New Orleans.

But to "retire" and travel a lot? Nope. Not for me. But I have no idea what I'd do if I sold the paper . . . or if health issues would interfere with my ability to read and to write. I'd be bored silly. I'm not the type to sit on the front porch rocking chair. I like to raise hell now and then . . . and do.

So, I write. And seeing as how it is now time to bring the current issue of The Paper up to date and get ready for this coming week's issue . . . I bid you adieu.

For now.

I'll be back to pester you later.

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