Underclouds

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When the flaming ball in sky
Squints my poor Oregonian eyes,
I shake my fist and yell real loud:
I wish you were behind a cloud!

Stupid sun, enough is enough.
Get thee behind some cumulofluff!
I don’t want to experience your fiery gasses,
And I can’t find my dark sunglasses.

Rain or not, I’d rather post a status
Of overcast with gray-bottomed stratus.
Nothing like some wispy cirrus
To keep that roaster from getting near us.

If you persist, you orb of glare,
I’ll take you all up on your dare,
Call lightning down like Zeus on Olympus
And banish you forever behind cumulonimbus!


I was made to live in an overcast world.  The sun makes me weary, gives me headaches.  I am energized by misty mornings and a sky that doesn’t make my eyes hurt.  I haven’t done the DNA, and my niece says we’re actually Scandanavian, but I take this as confirmation of my Scots and Irish heritage.  Gloomy skies and a taste for morbid stories and whiskey (though I drink bourbon, hence the “e”).

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Be burned by that nasty sun, you will not.

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Vegetation Lamentation

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To say a child grows like a weed
Is rather unfair to the kid.
While children eventually do move out,
I’ve never seen a weed that did.


We weed and weed, and still we weep.  Oregon is where noxious plants settle to raise their families.  They move in and holler “Sanctuary!  Sanctuary!” whenever we start pulling them up.  We feel so sorry for them and their little tykes, we just don’t have the heart to—yeah, you’re not buying that, are you?  Would you believe we have terrible allergies?  No?  Hmmm.  At least they’re all organic.

Motor Me Home

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O, the glorious Outdoors!
We marvel at your Splendor!
Except for that last camping trip
When you put me through the blender.

Three days at the local State Park,
Should have been a plate of s’mores.
After two days we were done.
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

We lost one kid for quite a while
On the banks of the Willamette.
Frantically searched and called for an hour,
Nightmares running the gamut.

Until I went to get the Rangers
Riding my bike, heart steeled,
And found him in the motorhome,
Giggling at the pages of Garfield.

Okay, that ended well, I guess,
So we didn’t go home right away.
Dad and I had a couple of stiff ones.
Tomorrow would be a new day!

Let’s start that day with pancakes!
The favorite breakfast of the boy!
Oh my god, this version of mix
Is loaded with processed soy.

For most people, no worries,
The texture’s a little different.
We got to call the ambulance
From the rural fire department.

An ambulance in a campground
Makes you instant celebrities.
While he rode his bike that afternoon,
I repeatedly answered, “How is he?”

We spent the rest of the trip
Reacting to everything at DEFCON5.
We were completely done having fun.
We just wanted to get home alive.


It is my sincere hope that this last trip will forever be The Worst Camping Trip Ever®.  If it gets worse, it edges into actual life-altering events.  It’s a bit on my mind as we prepare for the next one.  The campground is by the ocean.  I’m considering requiring life jackets 24/7.

GastroNom

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Plant the seeds
Or till the sod,
You’ll find our
Homely gastropod.

He ate my frisé,
Peas and beans,
Chowed all the leaves
And in-betweens.

Then slimed away,
Full fed and smug.
Next week’s menu?
Salted slug.


I’m not sure why Oregon has a state microbe (brewer’s yeast), but not a state mollusk. Specifically, why isn’t the slug serving in some official capacity? Lord knows we have enough of them. We could encase them in decoupage and sell them as souvenirs. I say it’s time we force this lazy garden grifter into some real responsibility. I just haven’t figured out how to keep the tiny sashes on yet.

The Geologic Equivalent to Waking Up Dressed Like a Disney Princess with Sharpie Drawings on Your Face

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the Erratic Rock
got stoned with Canadians
woke up in Oregon


This 36-ton Canadian rock sits on the top of a short hill in Yamhill County, Oregon.  It was carried here, likely encased in glacial ice, during the pre-historic Missoula floods.  There’s a very brief hike to get to it, long enough for your kids to think there might be something other than a rock to look at when you’ve arrived.

I adore the Erratic Rock, because the idea of a boulder acting unpredictably, even whimsically, is so delicious.  I like to think it rebelled against its Canadian mountain parents and hitched a ride.  “You guys don’t understand me!  I’m different, I don’t want to hold up a mountain for the rest of my life!!”

Log

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what’s brown and sticky?
someone’s been walking their tree
oaken excremEnt


I once seriously considered starting a Tumblr of “Toys that look like turds.”  I had small children and small geriatric dogs at the time, and scouring the carpeting before you stepped was a necessary habit.  This beautiful work of nature is about 18″ long, so I have to conclude it’s Ent droppings.  Guess they need to install one of those DogSpot bag dispensers in Fangorn.

Submirage

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if I fall in now
will I float or will I fly?
sinking up the sky


The Willamette River is a massive stretch of water.  On this morning, its stillness gave me more than a little vertigo, as if I was upside down and needed to immediately remedy that.