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Archive for September, 2018

Buffalo Gal

On day one of our trip to Yellowstone National Park, a few miles from the entrance, we were stopped behind brake lights and a line of traffic. Thinking that there was a fender bender ahead, we took our time as traffic started to move. We soon realized what was slowing everyone down. There, at the side of the road, was a large buffalo, eating his breakfast. Behind him, a stream, rushing over the rocks and behind that, a mountain. Not exactly purple mountain’s majesty, but most certainly, America the beautiful. I reached for my phone/camera to take a picture. It would have been the perfect photograph, but HE didn’t stop. Why? He said something about reading signs and instructions not to stop on roadways in the park. After all these years he picks NOW to follow the rules? I couldn’t get the thought of that perfect photograph out of my mind all day. It really was the one that got away, at least in my mind. On day two of our stay, I was ready. Extracting a promise that HE would break the rules just this once and stop, I readied my camera and sent up a silent prayer that Mr. Buffalo was a creature of habit, at least for breakfast. Sure enough, we saw brake lights ahead, close to the same spot. HE slowed down. I opened the window of the small rental car . HE stepped on the brakes. Old Mr. Buffalo stopped chewing. I raised the camera. The buffalo raised his head, looked me straight in the eye, snorted, and started coming toward my open window. I simultaneously rolled up the window and fumbled with the camera, managing to snap one picture. HE stepped on the gas, not wanting our rental car to have a dent from being head-butted by a beast that was every bit as large as the car itself. Excited that I had at least one photo, I checked my camera. Apparently, in all the excitement, I hit the button that switched it to selfie mode, and instead of a buffalo in front of a stream in front of a mountain, I got me. Not only was it me, it was a very unflattering me with mouth open and a look of half-surprise/half-fright on my face. With my mouth open as wide as it was, I had a double chin, a coffee splotch on my shirt, and my hair was wind-blown, but not in a good way. Needless to say, I am not sharing that picture, and it has been deleted along with the rest of the double chinned photographs of me, of which there have been many. Luckily, I do have a buffalo photograph to share, though. We stopped at a local pub that evening called “The Buffalo”, named for a large, stuffed, moth-eaten creature who inhabits the bar. I ate a taco salad made with….what else but buffalo meat? It was appropriate. And delicious.

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The Thirteen Chairs

” It isn’t so much what’s on the table that matters, as what’s on the chairs.” ~W. S. Gilbert

A family cabin can be a place to relax or fish or swim, but it can also be a place to keep a lot of things that you no longer have room for in your house. My sister and I own our cabin together, and in our case, the “things” we have a lot of are chairs. She called me today after spending the weekend there to ask me if she could get rid of two. Admittedly, I have a chair hoarding problem, and it immediately gave me a bit of anxiety at the thought of losing any. The chairs she was speaking of were two folding metal chairs, probably from the 1950’s. They are cute and kitschy and sit lower to the ground than today’s chairs. I am ashamed to admit that 1950’s derrieres were a bit smaller than mine, too, as they aren’t the most comfortable things to sit in. Getting rid of two brings our total number of chairs in that small cabin to 13, not including the couch and my father’s old easy chair and ottoman. Oh, and the stool that slides under the counter, too. I must not forget the seven Adirondack chairs around the fire pit, either, as well as the old metal lawn chair on the dock that I sit in when I fish. Since I couldn’t bear the thought of getting rid of those kitschy little chairs, I offered to keep them at my house. Since they fold, they shouldn’t take up too much room, right? I could pull them out and put them on the deck in case I get a lot of company. I only have four chairs on the front deck and five on the back deck, along with an outdoor couch that seats three. I’m really almost embarrassed to mention the 15 chairs that I have in the house, two in the camper, and two in the garage. I am rearranging things in my head as we speak. Thankfully, though, since we are down to just 13 chairs at the cabin it won’t seem so cluttered.

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