Sunday, July 25, 2010


By (c) Russ Barnes.  All rights reserved: Text

July 23, 2008, Wednesday.  The dog sleeps by my bare feet just now, and I am a happy man.  Karen arrives today.  Robbin spoke of her granddaughter, Maddy, yesterday, by cell phone as I stood on top of the hill to get a signal.  Maddy says she doesn’t want to go to Colorado.  Robbin is upset, understandably.     Difficult to figure the reality.  Thirteen-year-olds are a case and a half.  Maddy breaks up with her boyfriend -- which is hard.  We tend to diminish such an important event as that because they are just children.  But it hurts even if you are a child.  And the expression of that hurt is difficult at that age.  So they lash out instead.  Their way of communication.  Maybe ours too.

My hope is Maddy will chill out on the sheep ranch in Colorado.  And come back refreshed and ready to go for a new school year.  I do think grandma, Robbin, needs to be more independent of her grandchildren, especially Maddy.  If Robbin gives attention to her own love, she will get more respect from Maddy and many others.  The principle is, love someone, and the children follow in proper relational love.  Direct love with children is not so beneficent.  They like their parental love indirect. So they can finally separate.

Karen and I get on mountain bikes.  I lead the way going down a bull-dozed trail toward Pen Central and the old windmill.  Steep rocky trails going down.  The dog is out ahead.  Karen and I walk down some of the hills as they are treacherous for a bicycle.  I have plenty of water for us and and an apple apiece.  Karen stops and finds many fossil shells as this was once an ocean bed (and probably will be one time again).  She and I go into town for shopping and internet.  

We eat lunch at the Bluebonnet Cafe.  Talkin’ about country food.  I eat the meat-loaf special for Wednesday with mashed potatoes and green beans.  And Karen eats chicken-fried chicken livers.  And we have German chocolate pie for dessert. There’s a sign out front that says.  Pie happy hour every evening. At HEB grocery store get some Jalapeno potato chips that really have that true pepper flavor.  On internet, I hear about meeting at Penn State.  Also hear from drummer person which I will pursue when I get to whatever is home.

Karen brings her dog, Buddy.  I separate them by putting Murphy in his kennel for our trip down town.  When Karen and I get back, we bring them together in the guest house.  Major dog-fight ensues.  I break them up with by slapping a big book between them.  Scares them apart.  And we separate them.  Territory.  Actually the little dog, Buddy tries to hump the larger dog, Murphy for superiority.  Doesn’t work.  Murphy owns this place and is twice a big.

Karen and I talk a walk with Murphy out past several ubiquitous country fences.  We enter a pasture.  There we encounter cows and a bull.  Murphy’s DNA kicks in and, in his teen-aged inept way, begin herding the cattle.  They are all over the place.  Barking.  Finally, the bull takes a stand.  Stomps his right foot three times and snorts at Murphy.  Karen and I retreat downhill.  Finally, Murphy figures out this animal is bigger than him and he joins us in a fast scamper.  Then he finds a cow pie and rolls in it.  When we get back to the ranch house, we try to wash him down.  The dog is a clever dodge when it comes to this.

At the Bluebonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, I tell Karen that Joe is so smart, intelligent.  She says, “I don’t hang out with stupid men.”  Well, I kind of take that as a compliment for myself too.

To be continued tomorrow.

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