Feeling like winter

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It is a cool 49º this morning. It feels like winter is just around the corner. The leaves are turning color and many are beginning to fall to the ground. My large Korean Lilac bush lost 90% of its leaves last week and the rest are ready to drop.

I saw a new car that I would like–a 2015 Camry called “Plain Vanilla.” I copied the photo and am showing it here. Our Toyota is a 2003 model that we bought new in 2004 and it only has about 56,000 miles on it. We like it because it is a big car and comfortable and easy for either one of us to get in and out.

Bee Balm

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Monarda

This is a fabulous bumblebee on the bee balm. I walked outside that morning and took the picture. I don’t think the bees know what the temperature is or care but if it gets too hot or too cold they are sure to be bothered. If you do not have any Monarda or Bee Balm planted, I would recommend it. I have two kinds. The real pretty one is short, with huge blooms on it in fire engine red. I seldom if ever see any insects on it or even around it though it does fascinate the hummingbirds but even they don’t sip any nectar. I got the other which is more of a bush and is about 4 feet tall and about 4 feet through the center. This is loaded all the time and this is one of the bees on it this morning. Neither one of the monarda planted are doing very well. One bloomed this summer but we had a shortage of bees and I never saw much of anything on the blossoms.

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A Tale of Wolves

© By Abraham Lincoln
I woke up that hot and muggy morning and remembered the wolves I had spent some time with. A commotion caused me to walk outside and go around back between the fence and where the shed used to be. I found the ground was covered with feathers like those found on the ground when a fox gets into a chicken house. A whole wing lay there as if it was dropped when the wolves fled.

I figured the wolves heard me and were up before I got there but then I saw them with ears laid back, licking bare teeth—I feared I had doomed myself to a terrifying death—torn to pieces by the wolves that were circling around me.

A pup stuck its head out of a hole in the rocks, almost too small for a grown wolf to pass through, and howled at me and then I bent low to pick up the chicken wing and offer it to the pup.

The scene of the old man being torn apart and gulped down growling throats caused me to tremble thinking that I was that old man and was about to experience primitive man’s best friend in a way I would keep secret forever.

The wolves grew closer—I could feel their bodies brush against me. This caused me to shake like a leaf in a summer breeze. I was scared to death when the big Alpha male jumped at my throat and knocked me backwards—sending howling wolves everywhere.

The scene must have looked like a circus—colors, yells, barks, whines and smells.

Flat on my back, waiting on the death bite, hearing nothing but silence, the first feeling was a wet, sloppy lick across my face. Stunned that my throat was still intact, my eyes popped open and there, on my chest, as dominant as any Alpha male or female, was the pup—joyously lapping my mouth and nose and eyes with sloppy kisses.

With a bit of whining the wolves backed away and laid on the rocks around their den entrance—the adults were settling back to watch the pup tear me to ribbons—I thought but it never happened.

Still, smoking nostrils flared wide with canines dripping; a growl from his gut sends pups scampering for safety closer to their mom. She licks each one and that seems to calm them down as the Alpha male trots away to sulk under a wild grapevine. Such is the life of a wolf family along Wolf Creek, where we live, in Ohio.

My dad said he spent his “growing-up years” on the farm, in Preble County picking up rocks in the fields and hauling them over to build fences with.

He remembered hearing wolves howling at night but never spoke to me about seeing them.

Most people talk about their temperament and how dangerous they are but they are, for sure, man’s best friend’s ancestral cousin.

The Spring

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We have driven past this spring for decades and in the worst drought we ever had it still ran with lots of water. And it has always attracted people who come with gallon milk jugs and fill them with water. The talk was then that the water was unsafe but people still used it. The sign was added by the state to make the state not liable in case somebody got sick after drinking it. Nobody ever has but the sign is still there. It takes a while to fill a dozen milk jugs but have been there when people waited in line to be next at the water. There was an old house that was located immediately above it and it either burned down or was torn down and we thought that might be the end of the water but it ended up looking like this. The benches are new and I had not seen them before but I no longer travel Wolf Creek Pike like I once did when I was still working in Dayton at National Cash Register (NCR) as an illustrator in Building 30 (Engineering) or in Military Equipment in Building 29 as an illustrator for products we made for the soldiers in the war in Vietnam.

Swimming Twin Creek

get-attachment.aspxThis was Patty taking a dip in Twin Creek that flows past State Route 503. We went swimming there in a hole that kids from Gordon used to swim in back during World War II. It was hard to find the spot after all the years but I found it and she jumped in. It has a nice gravel bottom and is about 4 feet deep in places.

Married 59 years

sgt_lincoln_1955I remember taking this photograph back in 1955. I had just been married to Patty—the love of my life for the last 59 years—and i had just lost my dad. I went back home on a “Space Available” basis and I had to wait at some Army airports for a plane going my way—there was no straight through flights available since my dad had already died. The Red Cross would have tried a lot harder if he was in the process of dying—but I got there after the funeral and after the house and furniture was sold. I was promoted to Staff Sergeant while I was back home and had to sew on these new stripes which I was happy to do, because it meant more money each month for myself and my bride back home in Ohio. Patty was already pregnant for our first baby who would be a girl that we named Angela Beth Lincoln. Angela is now 58 years of age. Time flies when you are having fun.