The day started full of promise.

I woke up.

And because it was the day I had to produce something that would amuse, inform or entertain you, I opened my computer to the “tentative columns” file.

You know what it’s like to have a nice thing that you’ll never use cluttering up your house – yet because it does have value, you can’t bring yourself to throw it away.  You hope that someday one of the neighbors or a grandchild will admire it, and you can overwhelm them with your generosity when you finally convince them to hoist it on their truck and haul it off.

It’s the same thing with a writer’s notebook. It is full of good little things that never seem to fit in anywhere and can rattle around on the hard drive until the computer crashes.

There is a pleasant alternative, however, and I learned it from a trash collector in our village over 60 years ago. It was on a summer day way back then that this industrious man looked in his rearview mirror and saw that the mountain of plastic and paper in the back of his truck was on fire. A quick thinker, he stopped in the middle of the road and dumped the whole business.


• Ever see an unfamiliar name in the news? And then keep seeing it over and over? You can ignore it for a couple of weeks. Or a month. But the press won’t let it go.

Until there finally comes a day when you give up and Google Wikipedia to find out who is this Britney Spears.

• The Department of Transportation) had a crew out on Route 131 near my house cleaning up the road. There was a person in bright mufti in the middle of the road holding a stop sign so, rather than running that person down, I stopped.

The driver of a large pickup truck roared up behind me and also stopped – right on my rear bumper – but not before blowing the horn: “Get out of my way you old fool.”

After the oncoming traffic had passed, the stop sign was twisted to say “Slow,” or something like that, so I started out. Even as the driver in the truck behind me once more sounded the horn. I signaled, pulled over a bit to the right and stopped, and the truck roared past and off down the road.

I have thought about this ever since because, as you must agree, it is people like the driver of that pickup truck who have made this country what it is today.


• When you see a young woman madly in love with a man who constantly demeans her, you feel bad for that woman.

When you see millions of women madly in love with a man who demeans everybody, you feel bad for your country.

• Can you tell me about 92-year-old women? Marsha’s Aunt Iola, who makes the immaculate Marsha look like a filthy slob, is coming down from Vermont to stay with us for four days. If you can convince me that 92-year-old women can’t crawl around on the floor, Marsha won’t have to touch up the polish on the rungs of the dining room chairs.

• I would not want to be young again if I had to learn so many of life’s lessons all over again. One of the worst things about taking a shower in the morning is having the opportunity to ruminate about a few of the many stupid things I have done over the past 85 years. Marsha, hearing me groan from the next room, once asked, “Are you all right?”

This is good. Many less fortunate men have wives who would ask, “Are you alright?”

• You will never see me write anything bad about anybody. I am an anti-vexer.


• The coast of Maine is one of the few places in the world where the growing season is over before it is warm enough to put in your garden.

• A friend writes: “Oh it is hard to loose (sic) old friends. … I tend to go and drink”  Is it necessary to wait for someone to die, when it is socially acceptable to drink for no reason at all?

• Marsha asked me to see if Coca-Cola would clean the rust stains off a toilet bowl. In the cellar is a quart bottle of Coke that I opened several years ago to free up some rusted bolts. But I hesitate to pour Coca-Cola in the toilet bowl. I’m afraid it will kill the good bacteria in our septic tank.

The humble Farmer can be heard Friday nights at 7 on WHPW (97.3 FM) and visited at:

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