Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Perspective: 59/41

Here in 7H, our bedroom is just adequately spacious that bed and tables with lamps fill 59%; in the Bay end, two chairs, angled but parallel. Facing 30° NE, she sees television with top corner of my chairback intruding in bottom corner of screen, chest of drawers, wall with paintings, door into the dining room. Facing 210° SW, my chair with bookshelves beside me, Annie & Jennie above and a photo of a Navy commander accepting retirement certificate from a long-dead admiral, faces sliding glass door, porch, railing, Shell Island, Courtney Point jutting out into St. Andrews Bay such that I can’t see the Pass. Even stretching, I can’t see Davis Point (just as well). Red and green channel marker lights flash at night, in the daytime boats speed or sail by, ships glide past. Above Shell Island, Gulf of Mexico and the horizon, clouds constantly change the sky and Bay. Picture above at dawn this morning. On the average, our view is above average. Sometimes spectacular.

Sky changes second by split second as clouds evolve shapes and with the rising sun’s continually moving angle on them. At some 31,536,000 seconds per year, if I stand outside watching and snapping sky- and seascapes all my lifetime, no two will be identical. Same with lifetimes, no two identical even with the same world passing by in the house or outside, at the breakfast table or on the way to Cove School: in a conversation as our mother lay dying, my sister once told me that growing up, she and I did not have the same mother. 

No two in a couple experience the same marriage either, beginning June 29, 1957, ours far different, early mine in the crypto-shack in a destroyer, hers alone back home with a tiny girl. Mine years later standing topside on a warship in Danang watching flashes and waiting for the thud as planes dive in, bomb targets on a mountain high above the harbor, and rise into the night sky; hers answering a knock on the door: grim policeman standing there gripping the hand of a boy, reporting that he and his friend were apprehended on a hill throwing rocks at trucks speeding by on the interstate. Later again, me in various pulpits, she in a pew in my line of sight, smiling and encouraging me even when I talk too long. We like all of life are memories, even shared years of love not the same. 

Today: 59 years. 

LP to CW 6-29-57

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

... wild black yonder,

When Jeremy is here, he brews a pot of English tea, and after they leave I hope there’s tea remaining in the brown betty, because it makes the most delicious iced tea imaginable. Unsweet over ice: perfect. With supper last evening.

Supper. Taking it out of the freezer, Linda thought it was beef. Turns out two patties of ground lamb I bought at TAFB commissary last week. She had hers plain, medium well. Folded into mine a chunk of English Stilton, on top a thick slice of marvelous Vidalia onion that we get once a year, springtime they show up. They are not hot, make a perfect onion sandwich, touch mayonnaise. Supper last night, seared on each side, rare lamb patty with Stilton, topped with Vidalia onion slice. 

TAFB Monday evening, night ops. Starting at sunset, watching as they take off, rise high, bank left above me, west and south out over the Gulf of Mexico then around maybe far as Apalachicola, PSJ, Mexico Beach and back. Two lights coming closer, down, briefly disappear behind the tree line, then up. Bingo? Night landings: from here I watch Tyndall’s tower light bright white, then comes round green … white … green … white … 

Turns out it’s not Brexit but Engexit, touch of nationalism felt as patriotism some of it perhaps by those still living who, hearing the sirens, dashed for the nearest air raid shelter and huddled, frightened, German bombs exploding distant, coming closer, learned to hate and, with me, have never been able to let it go. Fear, hatred, distrust, contempt, suspicion lodges deep, deeper than logic and undeterred by enlightened wisdom that total interdependence is the only preventative against the past. EU executive who rightly deplored “stark polarization and disturbing nationalism” didn't hear the sirens. 

Two last evening, or four, two by two. Raptors? IDK. In my binoculars, two roaring lights, round and round. Off we go into the ...


Monday, June 27, 2016


Noisily: when “acolyte” is a verb

As it arrived ominously from the north and east, we watched a small sailboat anchored in the Bay just off our porch, four people diving unconcerned. A fearsome streak of lightning off to the east, thunder rumbling steadily but never close. Heavens darkened, Bay blackened, storm came over like doomsday with everything but the doom, the sailors divers eventually hoisted anchor and moved away, sail flapping noisily.

Noisily. Acolyte, small boy with whom I could identify from seventy-five years ago, fiddled with his cross noisily through the sermon, tried noisily but unsuccessfully to catch the light in it and flash here or there, kept dropping it noisily against the wood pew. In time, to stop the adults and older boys from turning around and glaring at him, I collected his cross quietly, held it through the Prayers, Confession and Absolution, handed it back to him during The Peace. He was oblivious, bored, impatient, nothing to do but be still and quiet which, read Tom Sawyer or be one, is not a small boy gift. Wednesday evenings okay, but there was a reason why we had to wait until we were ten to acolyte Sunday mornings. Noisily clarifies Jesus’ commandment “Suffer the little children” as they suffer noisily, and helplessly suffer our adultness.

Burst of wind, light spray hinting rain that never came, it rumbled darkly off south and west, ending the day.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

something about life

The Tempest

Rose early this morning considering life’s renaissance of the last couple months: with blackened room and other factors, “Nothing of him that doth fade / But doth suffer a sea-change,” thanks WmS, and most days lately I’m sleeping until about six; a sea change indeed, from early days in Apalachicola, summer 1984 onward, awakened by the predawn alarm of roosters crowing all across town, my waking and rising time has been for the birds, the fowl. With the climaxing of heart issues late summer 2010, excellent time of day to contemplate and write, or meditate. But renaissance is not a suffering, and life does not have to make sense or be explained.

We like our new with the relocation hobby of watching ships come and go, especially larger ones. Yesterday, Federal Skye, 623 x 93, arriving to load wood pellets for Liverpool. This as she turned broadside in the morning sun, headed for Port

Collect for today legitimizes our opening hymn, “The Church’s one foundation.” 

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
As the sun faded last evening, what appeared a substantially larger ship, from the east end of StAndrewsBay headed our way but then out the Pass in the far channel, never coming close by us for a clearer shot and not on the vessel schedule for identification. She must have come from the papermill or the shipyard. Just passing Davis Point

Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 25th

This evening fifty-eight years ago, we walked through the door of the emergency room at Athens General Hospital, we were living in Athens, Georgia, and I told the several nurses standing there, “We need somebody to tell us if we’re going to have a baby.” Behind me, Linda pushed an enormous stomach up to the counter, and the nurses burst into laughter. She was 21, I was 22, a Navy ensign, and we had been married exactly a year. It was our first experience with birth labor, and we thought what was happening was contractions, but we weren’t positive. Malinda was born that overnight. I had wanted a baby girl ever since taking care of first cousins the Malone girls when they were infants, and my heart filled to bursting with love for this child. 

It was still the day and age when fathers were nobodies at hospital, and I wasn’t allowed to hold her until I took her out of the car when we arrived home a day later; after which Linda practically had to fight me to hold her even for nursing. 

One year later to the day, I was a lieutenant (junior grade) in USS Corry, a destroyer, ship tied up at our homeport in Norfolk. Wife and baby picked me up at the destroyer-submarine piers and drove us home. As we walked into the livingroom, Linda stood Malinda on the floor and she toddled straight across the room to her daddy. Somewhere around here in family memorabilia is a picture of her later that day, June 25, 1959, burying her face in her first birthday cake.

Wasn’t this morning’s best picture of distant clouds over the horizon, but the only one a seagull flew into the scene just as I snapped.

DThos+ in +Time+ 

still smitten with my girls, all of whom I will see today. Linda, Malinda, Tass, Kristen, Caroline, Charlotte, Lillie.

Friday, June 24, 2016

No hurry

Except for the black coffee and nibble of dark chocolate, little makes sense at 0314 when I finally surrender and get up for the day. As I gaze out into the distance, that row of green lights far away across StAndrewsBay, for example, is actually, as if actuality were a factor, the reflection of tiny green lights on kitchen appliances and the green light on the hvac thermostat behind me here inside the condo. Half my perception then is imagination, or more. Or fantasy: do old fantasies that are part of my being, comprise part of my reality. Or history. And who cares. 78.8F 81%.

British voted 52 to 48 to leave the, when I was at UMichigan it was a huge speculative possibility called, Common Market. Though their vote affects others, it’s their sense of national identify v. being ruled by foreigners. EU seems like a great idea for them, free trade, free movement, interdependence eliminating war, common language, reassembling the tower of Babel. If asked to give up being American for the good of the world at large, my response is neither ambiguous nor ambivalent. It should be, but it isn’t.

Looking across, over and beyond Shell Island into the Gulf of Mexico: a string of lights that appears to be a large ship anchored offshore. I went out on the porch to look with binoculars, and it’s not the microwave in the background behind me, but so far it’s just lights. Me facing south, ship facing west, as I can see her green starboard running light. Both of us waiting for Friday to dawn.

Pic: leaving port at sunset.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday 20160623

Thursday: looking forward to visit and lunch with Frank, don’t know yet where we’ll go. Favorite so far is Stinky’s out on 30A beyond SeaSide, best fried oysters. Best fried mullet, Gene’s Oyster Bar but can’t depend on the mullet arriving. Best beer? 

Looks like a blue day but is not. 

StAndrewsBay clear until a few minutes ago, tug towing two barges through the Pass and arriving just across from me. 

In the Gulf, barges are towed from astern with wide distance between tug and barge, and between barge and barge. Once in the Bay, the tug stops (as I’m watching this moment) disconnects, snugs the barges together, then connects astern the second barge and pushes instead of pulling. This for tight control in the inland waterway where there are sharp turns, &c and where barges could drift and do damage or go aground if towed. Seems logical that the tug captain must first ascertain, before he stops in the channel, that the Bay channel will be clear of ships coming and going while he does his dance. 

Email exchanges with second cousin and friends already this morning. 

Looking forward to the day. Saturday is Malinda’s birthday, TJCC et al coming from Tallahassee, and the plan is early supper at Captain Anderson's.

Seems to me the Brexit referendum is today. Just as much bitter, vicious hatred wrapped up in it as in our presidential election.

DThos+ still mucking along ...