Once More Into The Breach

Winter has moved back in with a little ephemeral snow on the valley floor but with it inches deep in the hills and Cascades at elevations above a few hundred feet.

 I start my hike in search of a latte with some excitement at our Fire Station. A guy in a fully enclosed, orange hazmat suit, showing a huge hump on his back from his life support system, is slowly plodding towards the sidewalk, leaning forward at an angle of forty-five degrees and hauling 25 yards of heavy fire hose. Clearly struggling and with his visor totally misted over, I see that he could do with a hand. Before my offer is complete, two guys with lots of fancy insignia and clipboards invite me to leave, like instantly.

The river has become a high, dirty brown torrent and the Ponds are in the middle of a flush like a slow motion tide cycle that takes place over days instead of hours. The rising water has reduced the composure of the goose population who have mostly decamped to the local grassland, leaving their waterfront properties to the vagaries of the rising water and the marauding ducks. Even the cormorants have moved off to clearer water where they can see to find breakfast. Some of the newly planted forest are not just getting their feet wet but are striving to keep their growing tips above water.

The car lots continue to pile in new stock in preparation for an epidemic of Spring spending fever. The serried ranks are reminiscent of a nineteenth century battlefield. The bright colors of the Mustangs and Cobras lined up front and center, like the Light Horse, poised to rush the opposing line to break it and capture the guns, while on the right flank, the more somber Crewcabs are in a row, like the heavy horse, ready to lumber down the slope and crush the opposition, leaving the multicolored infantry, in the guise of Focuses, to come in behind to mop up.  The Wallet War is about to commence.

After yesterday’s news of Borders Books seeking Chapter 11, I thought my local store was getting nervous. A sign above a line if shelves announced in large red letters that there was “20% off Dummies”. I took my purchase up to the register and it was slowly and carefully explained that the reduction didn’t apply to people like me but to a line of help manuals. Ah well!

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