Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

the places we travel at home

On journeys:

Monday morning we got up early. My wife had a VonLane bus scheduled in Dallas at 10 a.m. for her business trip. She wanted to be way ahead of the curve getting to the place where the bus departs.

I was quite busy at work on Monday and on Tuesday. Lots of things seem to be happening all at once, which sometimes is a bad thing,but this time is a dynamic, undefined thing. Things to worry about and things to exult in and things to not define all fit in together. The news is full of tragic events.

The weather has been very November-in-north-Texas. Though the temperature is moderate, there is a chill in the air and skies are overcast. Though we rarely get a lot of Autumn color, colorful leaves do show up. I imagine driving northeast to Oklahoma to a state park called Clayton Lake State Park, where the pictures show amazing Autumn leaves. When it comes to stark or lovely wild landscape, one can find an example of lots of different things in Oklahoma's varied eco-systems. But perhaps I will content myself with the more subdued local display and proximity to my neighborhood. I love bicycling in Autumn weather.

Monday marked six years since I bought my Chevrolet Equinox. I am a fairly heavy driver. But I drove less than eighty percent as many miles in the past 12 months as my average in the prior five years. Though on paper, I disapprove of suburbanites in SUVs, even car-based ones like my Chevy,  I do like that my bicycle fits inside my car. I am unduly proud of lowering my miles from way too high to merely too high by adopting a "walk and bicycle near home" focus to my nature outings.  I believe that 160,000 miles is the sweet spot for American cars, i.e., the point at which the car should be replaced because repairs are imminent. So I have a few years to  go, barring the unforeseen.

My LJ friend Asphalteden showed up in my livejournal six years ago, having just bought his Honda Fit.  I tweeted to him to ask if he liked his car. He said it ran well for him.  I never bought a Honda. The few times I ever tried, the sales folks at the Honda dealer failed to be willing to negotiate with me. The local dealerships do that pretend "we don't negotiate" form of negotiation.  I have a low tolerance for sales games, because I know that Honda dealers do negotiate. I do like the idea of dealerships that do not negotiate,  but Honda dealers negotiate. My feelings on this score are a bit like the character Harriet Vane in Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books. In "Strong Poison", Ms. Vane lives with a man without being married, as a break with convention. But when he proposes marriage, she is incensed, because his break with convention was not the real story. So don't tell me you don't negotiate when I know you do, if you want me to buy a Honda.

My favorite sub-compact is not the Honda Fit. I like best the look of the Hyundai Veloster. First of all, it has a cool name. Second, it looks like something from a Nanowrimo November writing project science fiction novel.  I like my high-tech looking low-tech and a bit raggedly plotted. I like the look of the Fiat 500. But those are not as reliable.

This morning I woke up near 3 a.m. I watched the Lionel Barrymore movie "One Man's Journey" on television. My late father was a small-town doctor, so a film about a 1920s/1930s small-town doctor interested me. There were some comparable ideas--a few people did provide produce to my father. But unlike the 1920s and 1930s, my father practiced from the late 1950s until around 2000. So he practiced in that time of affordable health insurance, workable Medicare, and, for the first half of his practice was a time of low malpractice premiums. My father never was sued for malpractice.

I like that my father never tried  to be anything but an Air Force doctor doing family practice and then a family practitioner. In my childhood--he eschewed any medical specialty or dreams of the big city in pursuit of the small town life in the places he and my mother had grown up.  Even his military service did not take him overseas, but to San Antonio and Amarillo. He loved what he did. In my early childhood he made house calls and worked extraordinary hours. When I was 15, we moved to a somewhat larger small town, where he could do call in rotation rather than always himself being on call. In semi-retirement, he even worked regular hours as an emergency room doctor--mostly quiet times, with treatment of a gunshot wound possible on weekends.

I miss my father, who has been gone almost four years, and my mother, who passed away years earlier. But my gratitude to them never withers, though I understand them better now than I did when I idolized them most.

I spoke today by phone with my sister and then with her son. They are good people. My nephew is in his early 20s. My early 20s seem like yesterday, but were decades ago.

Today and yesterday I walked on the way to work in Schell Park in Plano, a non-descript little place, Yesterday I saw my first Autumn White-Throated Sparrow.  The little yellow spot on the birds' faces (lores) takes my breath away.

At lunch today I walked in Salmon Park in Sachse where a Red-Tailed Hawk soared in mid-air.

Monday: cereal and skim milk, 2 slices of pepperoni pizza, pickles and carrots, a turkey sandwich and baked chips

Tuesday: cereal and skim milk, fried chicken breast and wing, french fries, green beans, BBQ chicken,corn, roll, green beans


(lovingly copied by hand from Dreamwidth by the LiveJournal cyber-angels)

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