Wednesday, May 31, 2017

For Ace, Wherever You Are

Plans, it seems, are just suggestions and now I reek of a stranger.

Waking up after only seven hours of sleep this morning, I couldn't drift back off. I knew I had exactly three things planned for today, each one progressively more appealing: an interview on the Northern Neck, lobster dinner with my parents at the Inn at Montross and a show with my favorite music lover.

Returning from a walk where I'd investigated the eastern end of Brown's Island (finding it soggy, debris-strewn and still inaccessible to the pipeline walkway), I found a message from Dad: we would meet at the Kilmarnock Inn, not Montross.

This was actually more convenient for me (less driving) so I sign off on the change. The moment I hit the send button, I get an email from my editor asking if I can please cover an event tonight from 6-8.

Well, not if I'm eating dinner on the Northern Neck I can't.

Now I've got to check with Dad and see if we can meet before my interview for lunch instead of dinner. He agrees, but warns me he won't be freshly shaven if we do.

Shaving not required, I tell him.

The drive out is pleasant and only mildly unnerving when I get to the White Stone bridge which is being worked on. This means only one lane is open and a flagman is directing traffic, but it also means stopping at the pinnacle of the bridge for our turn to go and, let me tell you, it's an unsettlingly windy place to stop.

I console myself by looking at the portable toilet perched atop a trailer next to the construction equipment, feeling grateful that while I have to sit in my car at the height of this bridge, at least I don't have to relieve myself on high.

And as along as I was up there, I took a few photos out the window of the shimmering blue Rappahannock surrounding me, my arm hairs glinting in the sun.

The Inn is crowded and the table next to us is discussing impeachment, which would be a good thing except they're discussing Clinton. My parents live deep in conservative territory, so they're often in the minority when it comes to politics.

Dad and I have Crab Louie salads piled high with crabmeat and we all share housemade peach ice cream for dessert while Dad tells me how much relief he's getting from acupuncture and Mom ghoulishly describes watching the needles being inserted.

When I get to where my interview is scheduled, I learn that the interviewee is stuck on the bridge, which is how I wind up in an Adirondack chair on the front porch of a radio station reading the Washington Post waiting for the manager to escape the bridge line.

A woman who'd won a prize on the morning radio show drives up and asks if I work for the station. When I say no, she heads inside to claim her prize. I learn that today is also her birthday and I wish my fellow Gemini a happy one.

Because my subject was a half hour late, I get back to Richmond later than planned and I need to be at this event in half an hour. Fortunately, it's 3 blocks away and I walk quickly.

I have just long enough to glance at my inbox, where I'm surprised to see that a friend from Boston has emailed, but I don't bother opening it now when I have somewhere to be.

Once there, I begin talking to people for my story and all of a sudden a woman approaches, throws her arms around me and hangs on for dear life. I don't know her, but I hug her back so long and hard that she finally mumbles, "You're a really good hugger!" Even so, we hang on to each other even longer.

We move over to a bench to sit down and I get a whiff of her scent on me. It makes me feel very unlike myself since I don't wear perfume, but I unexpectedly enjoy knowing that I smell girly. She tells me I'm beautiful, raves about my dimples and runs her fingers through my hair, saying we should start a band because of our punk hair.

I have no idea what rabbit hole I've gone down.

After the tribute ends, people begin drifting over to Quirk for drinks (a somewhat ironic way to celebrate a man who died of alcoholism) and several ask if I'm coming. Because I have plans in an hour, I really can't, although it would be a beautiful evening to be on the rooftop at Quirk.

Turns out the friend from Boston is in town for the night only and wants to get a drink and chat after not seeing each other in years. I have exactly 58 minutes free before being picked up for music, but I'm game and ask where he is.

Before he responds, I hear from my favorite music lover, who is suffering from too little sleep (join the club, Tiger, I'm operating on a two-hour deficit myself and all because of anticipation about seeing you-know-who) and indigestion, so he's bowing out of music tonight.

As compensation, we spend a pleasurable hour volleying words back and forth as I put away the detritus from today's road trip, take off my going out clothes and settle myself contentedly on the balcony with a bowl of raspberry sherbet.

And, man, do I smell good. Too bad nobody will know.

79 comments:

  1. I love re-reading this one. It smacks of self-confidence, "ah, the scent of a woman" from "her' eyes.

    ...and in addition -- I'll limit my future responses to maybe more substance over chatter.

    Carroll

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  2. You found a good one, Carroll! We'll go from here.

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  3. A Charlie Brown's X-mas stuck in the Bose -- set on replay. O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum over & over...Linus & Lucy forever.

    So what is this thing called Christmas? It definately changes with age, at ones' circumstances in life, ones' fate, life's ins & outs, the particulars of chance & peculiarities of the times, season. It's been written 'bout so much; the religious aspects, the traditions, family gatherings, the holiday, the retail. But what on a psychic level? To some the best of times, to others the worse. Loneliness, isolation, depression: conditions that thrive at X-mas.

    Christmas seems to amplify whatever state we're in. Happy or sad, X-mas throws fuel to the fire. ....and when it's over it's over -- Thank God! Relieve sets in...survived another one.

    Why? Is it the build up -- like the New Year's Party where having "fun" is an expectation? So here we go again. Cary Street packed, the stores, chocolates everywhere --never enough, (that's a good thing) ...fudge! "Christmas time is here" So come on Christmas...Run Us down, Run us over! It can't be fought. Go into another year! ..and be gone.

    Dined with a long lost family loved one at Chez Foushee the other day. Meet the new owner Whitney. Wonderful time, wonderful meal. Hope Christmas is good to you dear Karen. May it be kind & gracious -- & if not the best may it gentlely pass unto you new year -- to begin again -- reset!

    Ready, set, go!

    Your old friend on paper --

    Carroll

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  4. Thanks, Carroll, that's a lovely Christmas message. Hope your holiday is wonderful. See you on the other side...2018!

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  5. 'tis not '18 but with this cold the lakes in Byrd Park may freeze! Parts of the James to...

    carroll

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  6. Woke up to 19 degrees that feels like 8 degrees! And people wonder why I hate winter. I'll still get out there and walk, though I may wait until it warms up to 16 degrees. Stay warm, Carroll!

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  7. This is why places like Aruba exist....

    if you go down to the river don't fall in...you're not a penguin & no one's down there to drag you out...including me.

    Carroll

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  8. And don't I wish I were there now! It's been 31 years since I've been to Aruba...

    I'll be careful, though I may not go to the river today. That wind!

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  9. Wool, fleece, cotton, silk, (long under...), hat, scarf, gloves -- shades plus hot home-made chicken & rice soup...these are the things that help on a day like today...stay warm Karen.

    Carroll

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  10. Ok...maybe dispense with the weather talk...Dylan's already got that covered. New Year's around the corner... no Jack Frost in sight though...aire's too dry for that...and river keeps dropping.

    Guess no year-end Top Ten lists? No movies, tunes, restaurant recommends?.... no more amusing little side trips involving Mac & Pru... trips home to Mom & Dad? Outsiders like me, out of the loop, (if I ever was... that is). Keen observations, suggestions, commentary no more. No listing of the most geeky things which really upon reflection not geeky at all. Boring stuff to most but then most are boring. No end all tell all, just a quiet little end, a whimper at best or just a sly whisk of a reprise? Lives connected just as easily turned off but that's the beauty or curse of the internet. Just power down -- turn them off, they'll go away.

    Funny --Looks like snow outside yet understand there's not a chance. How the winter sky can trick you. One seems to be at times but never is...

    Carroll

    P.S.

    Goin' to a wedding on New Year's Eve. ..of all times. Hope they don't regret it.

    Happy new Years K.

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  11. But then again your next posting, "To Wow, To Stun.."...pretty much says it all. What placement, positioning! Really sums it up.

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  12. Carroll,
    Considering the year end list, but haven't committed yet.

    Haven't decided whether it's the end of the blog or not, although I expect you'll be the first to notice if it isn't. And probably I'll announce it if it is the end.

    A wedding sounds like an enjoyable way to see out the old year. Hope the new year is everything we want and that you have a happy one!

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  13. Good morning K -

    Actually the wedding came off very well. For that couple a great way to begin a new year. Hope you fine your best way to begin today.

    carroll

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  14. That husband should never have a difficult time remembering his anniversary!

    It's a cold start to 2018, but it's not like we have a choice. I'm hoping for a much better year.

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  15. Shiver me timbers! A wee bit of nip in the air. Did a loop around Maymont yesterday. A good up & down 45 minute march. Talk about chilly-willy. Six degrees on my outdoor deck now...course it's early. For those up at this hour..( yes I know it's not you...no slight here, besides I'm trying to be good this year), the moon light is terrific! Bundle up, another brisk one ...a good year ahead....maybe make the perfect mac & cheese... see'u.



    carroll

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  16. Today's trek to the river was another frigid one. My fingers - inside gloves, mind you- don't warm up until I've walked a mile and a half! That was a mighty fine supermoon last night, Carroll.

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  17. Yes it was! That moon bean was so bright you could walk anywhere last evening with confidence. It was even nice to be outside for a least a while to pick up that color. If I had been down on the bay that white sand would have looked like snow. Still it was a bit nippy. I was outside a bit today messing with the cars & if you did your river walk ....I'll give you credit...you're damn tough. Bet it wasn't too crowded was it? Sure maybe a runner or biker here & there but the softies, geezers, etc. not to be found. I stayed inside this afternoon & made soup out of turkey stock. 'tis the season to recycle that seasonal meal. Keep your motor runnin'...stay warm Karen.

    Carroll

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  18. Not a soul to be seen on the T Pot bridge, Brown's Island or pipeline today. I only miss my walk if I'm gone for the
    day, but the last few days have been challenging, Carroll!

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  19. There's something to be said for endurance however maybe you should pace yourself. Actually I'm sort of proud of you though. You have that spirit. Today it's off to the bay for me, to check on the boat & cottage. However for now -- take a look outside at that MOoN..."beam me up Scotty."

    P.S. Watch your footing Karen, path could get icy.

    Carroll

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  20. Bulletin:

    Northeaster Headed for Tidewater --

    ...and if chance I'm silence for a while it's 'cause I'm trapped on the Mathews peninsula in all that snow & ice in a rear-wheeled drive car....frozen in at the boatyard.

    Double Cheers!! At least you've got to admit the cold fresh air is invigorating...at least initially. Step lively Karen!!


    Carroll

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  21. Hope your trip to the bay is productive and not too frigid, Carroll.

    Yep, that moon the past couple of nights has been spectacular! Now, let's see how much of this winter storm we get...

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  22. Most productive and only frigid if you faced the wind! Saw a Great Blue walking on a frozen tidal pond looking for fish...he's got a tough few days ahead. They're supposed to receive almost a foot. It's been snowing here over an hour ---maybe two...(ever notice I never sleep?), very fine stuff, texture. Will need to brush it off my car before it has a chance to harden. How are you doing... the New Year being all of four days along? Moving forward...not so awfully terrible? This could be a good one. Maybe they'll put Trump in a nice clean, freshly pressed Strait Jacket & haul him outta here. Gotta think positive!! Besides we have nothing to lose or as they say everything. Sorry too much Fireside Theater. Good luck walking today -- snowshoes? I may continue walking in a few...until then don't jump off of any pipes...

    Talk to you later Karen.

    Carroll

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  23. Not sure about the walk yet, Carroll, been writing for a deadline all morning. Looks like the wind and cold will be the problem today!

    New year so far is meh, nothing special, but my mood isn't the best, either. We'll see how 2018 unspools...

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  24. unspools...that's a good way to put it..

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  25. Times past when my mood was low....very low, (divorce, relationship issues, etc.), I would find solace in my music, my books, my bicycle...etc. My library, books & record collection & long solo rides helped clear the air & gave me a new start. Music gave me strength. Can a boy love his turntable? Naturally good friends are always a plus. Any fishermen can watch his line spool out. A good one knows where to cast. You're a writer. Besides the mechanical be creative. At times with just a little effort one can alter one's mood. You know that...

    Moonbeam still bright outside but you gotta look up.

    Carroll at Five.

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  26. if you walk the pipe today I 'll buy you a hotdog at Al's for free!!

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  27. Just got back from walking it. No rewards necessary beyond the views.

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  28. What? Today? That breeze!

    Karen, were some of your relatives with Amundsen or Peary?

    Inuit? that's it --- you're one of the original Eskimo Pies!

    Carroll

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  29. I thought you knew...Unless I'm away for the day, I walk every day, whether it's 99 or 7 degrees.

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  30. Such resolve!!

    carroll

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  31. OK I'm going to walk it myself just to see how cold it is. I know the river is starting to freeze up it spots. Not even sure if I've got the attire for this climate. Heard Mt. Washington , NH it was -33 last night. It has been a beautiful sky the last few days.

    carroll

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  32. Steady flow - water pristine. Pipeline congested - Several groups of three or four taking photos, hanging out. Brown's Island sure can be a cold walk...

    CW

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  33. Maybe because it's the weekend people made it down to the pipeline, but it's been deserted all week. It does make for some beautiful scenery, though, CW.

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  34. Yes it does Karen...beauty in the heart of the city like nothing else.

    Carroll

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  35. Is the world coming to an end? Nick's Deli has left Broad St. & moved to Westward Ave. I was going to eat lunch there today....

    Another week begins K. As the late June Carter has said, "we must press on".

    Carroll

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  36. I know. December 16 was their last day slinging sandwiches on Broad and you better believe I went over and got a final sub.

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  37. Damn it!! ...well I'll adjust.

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  38. Have you tried the new Galley Market on southside? Besides the best pizza in town, they have sandwiches and you can linger because they don't close between lunch and dinner.

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  39. No K I have not. I did peek into the window about a month ago...on the way to the Galley. I've eaten at the Galley on & off about a dozen times since it opened....the first four or five times I loved it...since then I always find it lacking...(maybe it's me). I did read your article/blog on how good your pizza was. I'll take that in consideration. I rode by the new Nick's location today. No foot traffic there, maybe a good lunch spot, near Scott's Addition area just west of Expressway. Why did they move? $$$$.

    Ponds around Byrd Park did not freeze hard like I thought they would...oh well, this milder temp is better for anything outside ..except hockey. Keep movin'

    carroll

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  40. I'm not a big Galley fan, especially now with the market next door. More to my taste. It's a shame about Nick's moving, at least for this neighborhood.
    I'm hoping tonight's rain helps melt the snow remnants. Supposed to be in the 60s Thursday and Friday. That's much better for me.

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  41. you're sounding a wee bit better on your end....

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  42. Kinda neat seeing all the ice jammed up against the old Va. Power levee/Pottersfield Bridge... Slightly chilly but as you know much better.

    Carroll

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  43. Tomorrow and Friday look even better.

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  44. Yes Karen a couple of days ahead before a turn again toward 30 degree highs. Still a clear sky down on the river is nice regardless of the temp. Since I'm a South-Sider I begin my river walk from that side of the bridge. The breadth of the river is inspiring. Yesterday there were few on the bridge. It's sort of like Shangri-La where the flow is always moving but time stands still. Quite a different vista there than the top of City Hall...(which I like for different reasons). Whatever issues of the day, (boredom, emptiness, aches & pains) are pushed aside while on the river. Besides it's a good walk -- Tonic & not the kind you drink. Good day Ms. Newton.

    carroll

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  45. Besides making for a more pleasant walk, I also appreciate the break for my heating bill. Have a good day, Carroll.

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  46. You to Karen....have the kind of day you deserve...

    I say that in the most positive way...


    carroll

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  47. Guess we need the rain? After all this is what it usually does in Richmond...during the winter....rain. At least it's not cold.

    Well I must admit since your blog's on the afterburner we have seen little of that smiles too much or talks too much person. That individual whose opinions were outta there & so on...nope it's the other things that have appeared...the person who generally distains the cold, whose fingers take forever to warm up. Who has everyday concerns.. making the deadline for her work, wishing the heating bill stay reasonable. dealing with her Mom & the issue of marriage. All those things that occasionally plague us... that gnaw at us...as we live our lives.

    ...and i as a spectator who now follows the blogger without the blog... how can that be? not exactly a pen-pal. never had one anyway. not really a friend -- never really met you but a follower or interested person who has somehow remained within your electronic orb posting such on this end & on the other end you acknowledging for whatever reasons you have.

    what ever I've revealed in all my posts. (guess I could look them & up & reread but that's not going to happen).

    One thing certain that I've pulled out of this... You are an interesting person, full of your own thoughts, feeling, idiosyncrasies. Naturally you're aware of this. In fact as a result you come off as a rather charming. Hopefully & (I believe you will), you will get over this malaise and enjoy the season. Whether your blog is continued....well that's your business...Right? Besides maybe it's run it's course.

    I'm sure that after a while...maybe sooner than you think....I'll give you a break & quite posting at this spot. Besides I wouldn't want to wear out my welcome...(hint dummy)...you've been very kind to humor me.

    Enjoy your walk...

    Carroll

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  48. We definitely need the rain...just ask the river!
    You've been a faithful and long time reader, Carroll, and through your many comments it does feel like we've formed a cyber friendship. You've been especially kind as I work through this difficult period in my life and I appreciate that. As for the blog, that remains to be seen. There are times I miss writing it and sharing.
    You haven't worn out your welcome, so please don't think that. It's rare for two people who haven't met to have such regular contact, right?
    My windows are wide open to the moist air and that acts like a tonic on me. Hope your day is a fine one.

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  49. I hear you Karen...

    carroll

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  50. You're away...I certainly can understand that. Been thinking myself about a little road trip soon. Catch you later...

    Carroll

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  51. Sometimes nothing but a road trip will do, Carroll.

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  52. Right you are....

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  53. nine degrees in Bon Air at 6 AM....horrible really.

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  54. OK...not horrible just maybe a bit extreme for Richmond. Other than that a beautiful clear morning...bundle up K.


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  55. I'm in Staunton where it's 12 degrees and feels like 1. Heading out to walk to breakfast and test my mettle...

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  56. Ok...well avoid strolling by Western State, (the state mental hospital)...you don't want them to nab you by mistake!!

    Carroll

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  57. So are Nate's Bagels that good?

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  58. In my opinion, absolutely. It's a denser bagel than Bodo's in Charlottesville, which a lot of people thought was the best before Nate's. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

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  59. Roger that........

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  60. I did go onto Nate's website...see where they do not sell outta a storefront yet but they take on-line orders. Minimum of 24 doz. ea. -- that's a lot of dough to store in the cupboard. Nevertheless I'll find a way.

    See where Old Man Winter, (snow) returns tonight. One to three inches...let's keep it at that --no more. Any chance you've seen or thought about seeing the movie "The Post". If so, any recommendations? An interesting point in time for the nation & the Post itself. Well gotta move on... enjoy your day Karen.

    Carroll

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  61. The easiest way to get his bagels is at one of the popups (there's one Sunday on Broad Street at Alchemy Coffee). EVery Friday, they're at the Outpost on southside, too. Check the Facebook page for specifics.
    As a lifelong Washington Post reader (still have it delivered every day), I most certainly will see it. Read both Katherine Graham and Ben Bradlees's autobiographies. Interesting lives. Sounds like a good movie...

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  62. now this sky looks like snows ah coming!

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  63. Karen -- it's here...


    truly beautiful!



    carroll

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  64. I to am going to walk today....it's dry & powdery.

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  65. still coming down...read a review on "The Post"...good. I may catch an early morning Sunday viewing at Bow-Tie. If I beat you to it I'll give you my instant pop-up review later...

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  66. I'll try to catch it sometime soon, too, so we can compare notes.

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  67. "Brigitte Bardot slams # Me Too movement"...I love it that the woman has something to say!

    Hope you got your walk in....powdery was nice. Easy to clean off the car to.

    Another soup day for me. Maybe I should get a job. too much energy for retirement.

    Stay warm K.



    carroll

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  68. Had a fine walk, my first to the river since last Friday. Water level is significantly higher than it was last week and much of the frozen parts have thawed. All in all, a beautiful day on the James.
    Enjoy your soup, Carroll!

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  69. ...and soup to you on a fine winter day. just finished your ditty, (article) about the Vegan "Black" Metal Chef... my oh my a tasty one for sure. ...and I love a good vegan meal maybe as much as the next one. Still a world without steaks, chops, fish, cheese, dairy seems so limited. When in the frontier days of yore & I was a collegiate sophomore attended an early Black Sabbath concert with meat hooks haphazardly placed around the stage. Guess todays' metal has a softer, gentler touch.

    Peace be with you sister!

    Carroll the butcher boy..

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  70. Note:

    Poor choice of words...'ditty". I am sure your work is important to you...did not intend to belittle.


    Carroll

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  71. He was a passionate guy when it comes to metal and veganism, that's for sure! Still, I couldn't live without occasional meat (call it a personal failing). No offense taken.

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  72. Now today is more like it...Fantastic weather!!!

    The spirits are with us!!

    Carroll

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  73. Yes, indeed, Carroll. Beautiful walk on the river today.

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  74. it was late at night, nary anyone was stirring, not even at mouse.

    not even your Government --
    shutdown again

    you'll read all 'bout in the following "Post"..

    "Democracy dies in the dark "---

    when someone fails to pick up the tab...


    carroll

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  75. Bound to happen with all that bickering in Congress. Now I'll have to rearrange what museums I was going to visit in DC this week. Boo, hiss!

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  76. You're up early! Well maybe they can get it together this weekend. What they should do is sit down & do a proper budget like real adult men & women. It's been such a long time since I did the DC
    museums that they've added a few new ones that I know I might enjoy. Still as you of course know the places to dine & sightsee are many. Why they've got a few neat ethnic dining spots in Takoma Park-- well actually all around town I guess. Since you'll be in the District I'll give you a hiatus on this end -- besides these posting are gettin' kinda long -- have to scroll a bit down. Might have to begin again somewhere...

    enjoy your outta of Towner experience.

    Carroll

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