Mark Twain Quote

I was planning on waiting till tomorrow for a walk in the woods, when this current cold snap is predicted to be over, but with 14 months of sobriety under my belt, it’s important to keep myself busy every day, so I pulled on the ol’ long johns, bundled up good, and headed out.

I found a well traveled deer trail and followed it into the frosty forest. It wasn’t long before I came upon this juvenile eagle high up in a dead tree. By the amount of white on his head, I’d say he’s about 3 years old, with another year or so to go before he’s an adult.

That puts him at the annoying teenager stage. It’s easy to tell because not only is his head turning white, but he’s got that smart-ass smirk on his can-opener beak and that know-it-all look in his eyes, so prevalent in teens. It reminds me of Mark Twain’s words on the subject:

“When I was a boy of 14,

my father was so ignorant,

I could hardly stand to

have the old man around.

But when I got to be 21,

I was astonished at how much

he had learned in 7 years.”

–Photo by me

Lovers for Life

Staying with the same mate for a lifetime can be quite a challenge. Let me share with you what I’ve discovered about it in my thirty-five years of marriage, before my wife Jody unexpectedly passed away about twelve years ago:

There seems to be four distinct stages to a successful life-long relationship.

The first stage is flirting. This is where we act all coy, bat our eyelashes, and show off our wares.

The next stage is bliss. Our young, slender bodies move together in step as we learn the dance of love.

The third stage is turmoil. This is when it becomes obvious that we both lied in stage one.

And finally, acceptance. If we make it through that painful third stage, we truly deserve the fourth, where we learn to hang out with each other and watch the world go by together; in many ways, it’s the best of the four. I wish I could’ve had a little more of it, but I’m thankful for what I had!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

–Photos by me

Skittles Finds a Friend

I drove out to the farm to check on Skittles. I was worried about her because she’d been venturing out into the wilds as of late, and with the human scent on her, I was concerned that she might not be accepted by her own kind any more.

As I neared the farm, my fears were allayed; she was out in a field, romping around and looking for food with a new friend.

At this time of year, a field is like a giant scratch-off ticket for the deer; they may get lucky and scratch up something to eat, or find nothing and have to move on. Today, they would get lucky.

Skittles has come a long way since we found her orphaned last year. She may be scratching around in a field now, but with all the new friends she’s made, I think she’s already won the lottery.

–Photo by me

River Rink

What do several great NHL players, including three that joined the US Olympic Hockey Team, have in common? They all had their humble beginnings right here, at the river rink in Warroad, MN.

For a town of less than 2,000, that is simply incredible. Perhaps some of the fighting spirit that gave the town its name still hangs in the frigid air.

I look at the kids out there now and wonder what great future hockey players may be among them.

–Photo by me