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Opinions

Walkin'

Strangers on the beach

Sabra and I have been to the resort area of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, several times. We get there by flying from the Cedar Rapids airport, about a dozen miles from our house. I say we’re going to the land of the endless buffet because not only can you eat nearly around the clock under the all-inclusive package, but also the variety of food seems to go on into infinity as the workers switch out one sumptuous dish for another.

Food for Thought

Pinocchio’s old age

I’ve told you something about my Walt Disney Pinocchio doll before. He was the star of the first movie I remember seeing, and he appeared in all his wooden-headed and bow-tied splendor under my Christmas tree that December. He’s been part of my holiday tradition for many, many Christmases since then, and sits, grinning, under the twinkle lights and tinsel until time to take the tree down sometime in January.

Walkin'

A brush with DMWU

“Please pull your mule over to the side of the road,” the voice came to us loud and clear, polite yet firm, from a North Liberty Police squad car behind us.
It was a late summer afternoon, Sabra and I were on our way to Bob’s Place, a tavern in North Liberty about two miles from our home. Sabra was riding Dan, the one-eyed mule, and I was leading Buzz, my beloved dog of many years. We adopted Dan a year earlier, and he proved to be a great addition to the family.

Food For Thought

Exorcising the incubus

The closest synonym for the word “incubus” is “burden” and there is a wide range of definitions to describe it as well. These range all the way from “millstone” to “evil spirit” and crop up in fairy tales and legends more often than in ordinary conversation.

Walkin'

Jock strap cups

Dan-the-one-eyed-mule showed up in style at our acreage, standing tall and placid in the back of an old Chevy pickup.
At the wheel was Gale, a 78-year old retired farmer fairly well known in the area for his quick wit and friendly nature. Locals will know where he lives even if they don’t know him personally when I describe his house. It’s the one with a fire hydrant and a tree stump standing about 10 feet apart in the front yard. A sign by the hydrant reads “city dogs” and the one by the stump, “country dogs.”

Food For Thought

Did I raise homing pigeons?

Walkin'

Burro bureaucracy

Food For Thought

Emptying the nest

Since my children grew up and my life no longer has been filled with sports gear, Levis that needed patching, and a mysteriously and perennially empty cookie jar, my fondest wish and overriding ambition has been to simplify my life.

walkin'

Things we do for love

One of the side benefits of us getting chickens is the avenue for gifts it’s opened to give my spouse Sabra.

Memories of Christmases past

Certain holidays stick in children’s minds, not necessarily for any spectacular perfection, but often for something as simple as an unexpected guest, unique gift, or unusual weather, or any variations from expected events. I must have been in first or second grade when Santa left Pinocchio under the Christmas tree with my well-stuffed Christmas stocking lying across his wooden knees.

The smell of fear

Writing about our recent addition of five chickens to the Fleck household has caused me to reminisce about my spouse and her animals.