Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1997. All rights reserved.

These are the dog days of summer, a time of year when creeks run dry, the air stands still and the sun beats down relentlessly, day after day, or so it seems.

These are the days when we rediscover shade, pools, and the contents of our freezers. Cooling off becomes an obsession.

Over-heated hounds do lounge beneath porches and trees on hot afternoons, but it is not for them that "dog days" were named. Instead, this parching period pertains to Sirius, the "Dog Star," which rises and sets with the sun from mid-July until September. Sirius is also called "The Scorching One." Its lurid presence on the horizon evokes desperate memories of withered crops, raging wildfires and infernal droughts.

Continued at... The Dog Days of Summer

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: A Hot Summer Day

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Animals Within

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1993. All rights reserved.

Call me Pooh Bear.

My three-year-old son is Piglet. We walk side by side, the best of friends, in pursuit of adventures. All things are possible.

Some days I am Rabbit, who frets and worries, or the bouncing Tigger, especially after a cup too much of coffee.

Then there are those somber, feeling-sorry-for-myself times when I'm accused of being Eeyore. "Thanks for noticing me."

Continued at... The Animals Within

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: A Hug From Pooh

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Moving Away

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1993. All rights reserved.

I’m standing here in a bare-walled room contemplating a stack of cardboard boxes and wondering which contains the notes to the water rights article I’m working on. And I’m asking myself again why this is happening. What possessed me to box up my belongings, scramble whatever order there was to my life, and leave behind friends and neighbors for a new residence?

Some people enjoy moving. They like the emigrant experience, the transitory feel of ever-changing scenery and acquaintances. They live their lives like travelers on an interstate highway, pausing only for rest stops and business loops.. Life is short. There’s no time for attachments.

My wife and I do not share this feeling. We grieve over places and people left behind. Moving fills us with worry and frustration. We experience sudden headaches, dizzy spells, disorientation and nausea. Each time we move we say to each other, "Never again! Here we take root!"

Continued at... Moving Away

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Artwork: Moving House by Morteza Katouzian
Moving Boxes

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where Oliver Found His Place

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

Oliver Wendell Douglas finds the Haney Place advertised in The Farm Gazette, which he picks up from a news stand while on a business trip to Chicago. Compelled by a deep-rooted urge, he decides to go have a look. To get there, he changes planes twice, takes a bus from the county seat to Pixley, then hops on a train known as "The Cannonball" for the last leg of his journey. When he gets off in the town of Hooterville, he breaks into song:

Green acres is the place to be,
Farm living is the life for me.

Dressed in an expensive three-piece suit, the Manhattan attorney with a Harvard Law School degree purchases the 160-acre farmstead and is determined, at last, to be the farmer of his dreams.

Land spreading out, so far and wide...

Continued at... Where Oliver Found His Place

Michael Hofferber
Rural Delivery
Green Acres - The Complete First Season (1965-66)