Because I no longer have a scanner to keep track of local fires and accidents, Facebook often has an answer for me. “What’s going on in Tenants Harbor?” I asked. “Fire engine, ambulance, sirens wailing, dozens of cars heading south past the humble farm on 131 at 1230. Funeral of a firefighter?”

An answer appeared within an hour: “Championship winning 7/8th grade St. George Boys basketball team being escorted back to the school!”

Congratulations, boys. We are proud of you. I have never ridden in a fire engine (although I was once T-boned by one that ran a stop sign in Belfast), but I have ridden in an ambulance and know it costs around $1,000 to put one on the road for an hour.

So we are pleased that the town has spared no expense in turning out for you. You – and your parents, who drove you countless miles day and night – have worked hard for that championship, and you deserve it.

Don’t get used to the fanfare, however. In a few years, when you all return home with summa cum laude on your college diplomas, nobody will either notice or care.

And should you, or your parents, even mention your academic excellence in conversation, the word would soon get around that you were snobs who thought you were better than everyone else.


We have our priorities.


I have never learned how to put drops in my eyes. I don’t know if I could learn to do it. When I tried, I ended up squirting juice all over my face, so my wife, Marsha, has always done mine.

This morning when near the bed, I asked her if she would like to come in the room and put in my eye drops. As usual, I would flop over on my back on the bed to facilitate the operation.

“No. Not until you let me trim your eyebrows.”

Now you know, if you didn’t already.


I am married to a woman who bargains to get what she wants. I won’t do this unless you do that.

She is willing to withhold a medical procedure in return for permission to administer a simple cosmetic one.

She will smile sweetly all day and ask every half an hour: “When can I trim your eyebrows?”

Does this remind you of the child in the grocery store who continues to harp until his mother gives him the chocolate bar?

I am weak. I’ll finally flop over and let her trim my eyebrows. And no matter how I cover my eyes and then wash my face, some of the little short, clipped needle-like hairs will probably get in my eyes. I don’t like it.

Her fingers tremble whenever a man with eyebrows over three-sixteenths of an inch long enters our home. She cannot stand bushy eyebrows. And mine are far from being bushy. They are just too long to suit her.


You have heard me say this before and I’ll say it again.

When they start to close the box on me for the last time, my loving wife, Marsha, will edge them aside, scissors in hand, and say, “I can’t let him go looking like that. I’ve got to trim his eyebrows.”


A friend asked for my wife’s recipe for fish chowder. I think it is the best fish chowder in the world. The ingredients are milk, potatoes, fish and a whit of butter. I posted the recipe on my Facebook page – even though I didn’t think many people would like it. You can taste the fish.

Sure enough. Fifty-two friends responded with spicy recipes favored by a mother/aunt/grandmother.

A Renaissance man posted a picture of his 14 cast iron frying pans. His remarks on boiling mackerel are so good, I’m passing them along to you.

“I have been cooking with cast iron for a long time. Properly seasoned you can cook anything in a good cast iron pan, pot, or baker! How you clean them is more important. A non abrasive light scrubbing with chainmail followed by a very light coating of a vegetable oil keeps them in great shape for years to come. My best pans have not been reseasoned for a long time and are as black as coal and better than any non-stick pan some fool ever created. Yes, steam your mackerel in a good pan and cast iron is about the best you can get!”

What do you have to say about that?

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

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