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Stopped by Haase's yesterday to get some feed. As I backed up against the loading dock, I noticed a beautiful border collie in the bed of the truck next to me. I sometimes wonder if dogs can read human's thoughts. Got onto the dock and Armando told me they were out of my feed. I was standing there asking if the feed would be on Monday's truck when I felt something on my leg. I looked down and the border collie was looking up at me with her head resting against my leg. Her tail was sweeping the concrete floor. Her coat was clean and shiny. Someone was taking good care of her. Told her that she was beautiful and that she knew it. Gave her some pats and rubs. Told her I bet she usually got people to do what she wanted.

Armando said that my feed should be in Monday and I wished him a good day. As I stepped down to get in my truck, the border collie jumped into the bed of my truck. Told her that she was beautiful and I would love to take her home, but that she belonged to someone else. Seems as though I have said that once or twice before. Had to get back on the dock to get her to jump back out. She was good to jump in her own bed when I told her to. I've been thinking about that incident and I reckon that most of us just don't appreciate how powerful appreciation is in our lives. As inexpensive as appreciation is, it is hard to understand why there is not more of it.

Decided I would go over to Kirk's place on Lake Buchanan. Kirk wanted to get out in his boat. We went over to the Cedar Point launch and backed the trailer into the lake, but couldn't get the motor to start. This is always embarrasing because other people are waiting on you to finish and move on. Which reminded me of the toilets in the platoon barracks at Fort Lewis, Washington. There were 55 men in the platoon and three toilets. And I don't mean stalls or doors. Just three very visible toilets.

We went back to Kirk's but found his motor propeller shaft was too big to fit in a 55 gallon drum. We drove over to Tow to find a remedy but had no luck. We drove back to Kirk's, and without doing anything to the motor, talked ourselves into believing that the motor would start. We then drove back to Tow and launched the boat. It started just fine. Well I got to thinking about that. Appreciation is plumb powerful, but so is believing in something, or someone

It was a hot and humid day. Felt really nice to be whizzing across water at 25 mph. We went up to the falls at Fall Creek. Then we went another six or seven miles up river to the falls at Deer Creek. The bluffs along that stretch are awesome. My mind kept imagining Indians living an idyllic life there.

When the lake dried up last year, Kirk drove his golf cart out on the dry lake bed and got GPS coordinates along a ridge. Kirk had the GPS locator with him and wanted to set out a trot line along the ridge. Kirk found that getting GPS coordinates in a stationary golf cart was a little different than getting those coordinates in a boat constantly being moved into an adverse position by wind and waves. I was glad that none of the people watching us go in the same small circles and listening to Kirk cuss for a half hour were close enough to identify us. Eventually we got the line out. Hopefully, where Kirk originally intended. Which made me think, appreciation is powerful and believing is magical, but sometimes you just got to just keep trying.

Football came back today. If one listened to the Hall of Fame induction speeches by Charlie Sanders and Michael Irvin, one understood that just as with any other calling, football, at least for some, it is a journey of learning and growing.

For those who missed it, Michael Irvin laid all his mistakes out before everyone. He made no excuses, just apologies to everyone he had hurt.

With tears streaming down his face, Irvin asked his sons to stand as he addressed them from the podium near the end of his speech. "That's my heart right there," he told the crowd. "When I'm on the floor, I pray, `God I have my struggles, and I made some bad decisions, but whatever you do, don't let me mess this up.

"I say, `Please help me raise them for some young lady so that they can be a better husband than I. Help me raise them for their kids so they can be a better father than I.' And I tell you guys to always do the right thing, so you can be a better role model than dad."

Tonight the Steelers were surprising and the Saints were disappointing. But it is only one game. There are both more games and more important games to come. And on that happy note, I drove into town to celebrate.

There's an great horned owl that is always out on the county road on the hill just east of Sand Springs creek. Guess it is hunting frogs, mice and small snakes. Before, it would fly off as I approached. Tonight, as I went into town, the owl moved to the other side of the road as I approached. The owl was ready to take off if I did anything threatening. But maybe the owl had seen and heard this particular car enough to maybe think it might not intend harm. We passed, carefully eyeing each other, sort of like two guys who are courting the same girl.

Lonely roads, nighttime, and an older car with a good stereo sytem seem to be made for each other. Listened to Don Edwards sing The Freedom Song. The Freedom Song is about a Cherokee cowboy named John, who takes some neighbor kids to a Fourth of July picnic about a hundred years or so ago. The cowboy was silent as everyone sang The Star Spangled Banner. His face had a hurt and angry look. One of the children asked the cowboy why he wasn't singing. There was a pause, and in resignation, the cowboy drops to his knee and tells the child that the song isn't about his freedom. Then, like all good cowboys, John gets up on his horse and rides off.

Arrived at Town and Country for the eleven o'clock shift change. Don, the nightime patrolman, was arresting an illegal alien, who had been stopped for some traffic offense. The unsweetened tea cannister was completely empty, so I made a new batch. They have a new machine that brews the tea in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Then you add crushed ice to thin it just a tad and to cool it off. I am usually getting a 44 ounce refill. Because I make tea when it is empty, most of the longer term employees don't charge me. Tonight, I celebrated the return of football by getting a piece of carrot cake. That has to be paid for.

The arrestee was with a local young lady and her brother. I wondered if he had been drinking. The young lady and her brother were using the store phone to explain the situation to family. It was some bad luck for sure. But not irreversible bad luck.

Spoke to Letha Bobo when I left. Letha is a white-haired widow who lives with a couple of grown children. She isn't employed. Seems that she enjoys the night, but for various reasons doesn't want to hang around her house. So she parks her minivan in front of Town and Country, turns on the dome light, reads a book, and smokes cigarettes. T and C is a safe enough place for a woman in the wee hours. The night travelers are sometimes predictable and sometimes interesting. Occasionally, somebody she knows shows up and she visits briefly with them.

Left town heading west. Listened to Edwards sing West of Yesterday. West of Yesterday is a song about an old person remembering the people and things that gave his childhood the magic that all childhoods should have.

The owl was waiting for me on the hill when I returned. It was still wary, but did not take off as I passed. It is interesting that the owl is the archetype for wisdom. It is also interesting that the Greeks thought of wisdom as feminine. We think that we acquire wisdom like we do things. But perhaps it is the other way around.

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You certainly are a fine weaver of words.

The read was akin to a good John Prine song.
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