As many are aware, I live far out in the Kentucky woods on 100 acres of wild forest in a log cabin I designed and built. From the get-go, I have wondered why there are trees of several types that mysteriously start bending, usually a few feet up the trunk, and continue or even twist as they grow larger. Examples:
Sure, if a new tree is growing on a hill or monkeys start swinging on them, they’ll bend. These don’t fall into either category. There are many more around here, too. So why this Shag Bark Hickory or that Post Oak? Mystery indeed!
Trying to keep busy sewing dresses, skirts, jackets
or painting on canvas
Weeding the garden
Making bread, yogurt, cookies
Job ripped from me, no friends, no pay, alone
Reason for eating regularly?
Reason to keep my heart beating?
Reason to imagine soaring sheep?
Sheep bleating in the clouds – yes, I could pull another crazed story from my brain. Forget it.
Today? Cozy in my homemade jammies and housecoat, what about today? Get dressed!
Too much sewn , I don’t need more bread or yogurt, nowhere too hang anymore paintings, all outside is dormant. Another story or book? Nobody reads them, so why?
In the early morning sun’s shadows, I walk to the end of the long gravel driveway and see the wild yellow narcissus plants budded out. I look closer. Many new ones, the established ones have big, tinted buds, and there! There are a few in bloom! Spring’s grand harbinger! Possible hope? Barky nudges my knee for a pat and wags her tail.
“Sir, the last communication with the submarine occurred at 0331 on the 5th of this month. May I play the message now?” Lieutenant Matthew Masert acknowledged the Captain’s nod and ran Captain Arnold’s message:
“Alert! We are being surrounded fore, aft, starboard and port by Russian subs. This started when we completed our Kamchatka assignment. Now we’re halfway to …”
Captain Ensano frowned. “That’s it?”
A week later, no further word from the Possama nor had any searches succeeded in discovering any reason for the boat to be missing. Russia denied any activity around the sub at all. The USS Possama became another lost submarine in the Pacific, flags at half-mast.
Captain Arnold laid his cards down with a grin as the other three officers of the Possama fanned their hands out in defeat. The Captain took the last package of chocolate cookies and quietly secured them in his satchel. His comm unit vibrated. He reached for it and held it close to his ear. He replied in a whisper, “We’re ready but do not make any outside communications yet.” He pulled the cookies out slowly and opened them with a shove to the officers as he rose and went forward with care to not pant too loudly. Perhaps this ultra-silence could end soon!
Later that evening, Lt. Masert trotted to the Captain’s quarters and knocked, hoping Ensano hadn’t hit the sack yet. When the door opened, Masert stood at attention and stated, “The USS Possama is now found.”
Captain Ensano clenched his hands before his chest, almost as a prayer. “Is the crew alive?”
“Uh, Sir, the submarine just pulled into Ballast Point, all alive.”
“San Diego? That boat is out of Hawaii! Que Demonios?” His arms fell limply to his side.
“Admiral Musavel wants us to make way to San Diego for an update with no mention of this to anyone.”
Ensano stepped lively on his way forward on his Destroyer USS Kentucky and reached the Control Room. Soon they were in the lane to southern California. He laid on the power as this he did not wish to miss!
The meeting room had past Admorals’ pictures in an array around the walls. Captain Arnold stood at the podium in full dress uniform and greeted his old friend Pablo Ensano, Admiral Musavel and several others not familiar to him. When they all got seated, he began.
Arnold straightened his lips side to side and closed his eyes for a couple seconds, then appeared more relaxed and spoke. “Welcome all. First, I apologize for causing anxiety over our lack of any signals. I have a reason and I believe the ruse was absolutely worth it.
“We took photos and recordings at the Kamchatka mission site. As we left, Russians ganged up around us and tried driving us to the west. We did not want to end up in their custody, so we opened our torpedo hatches and were immediately fired at. We pushed the reactor as high as it would go and sent out a decoy. It worked but we pretended it did not, with us opening some valves to let out bubbles. We settled into a low spot and cut all services. At least one Rusky sub observed us for nearly a week before leaving and thank God for that as the O2 had gone down to beetle crap. We eased on some vital services and searched for any sign of Rusky presence. None! We left as swiftly yet secretly as we could and beelined here.
“They probably kept monitoring south in case we tried to get back to Hawaii, so we came here due west with as much stealth as we could muster. You see, we caught proof of a temporary installation of Ruskies near Alaska, under an extending shelf with buoys floating around above them that were not left by fishermen. I have all the data including cryptic signals being reviewed now.”
Arno stared at the attendees and tapped his right foot. “No comments?”
Ensano stood. “You went back into your days in the country! You played possum!”
HURRAY! I got my newest book published and available on Amazon! So far just in print, working on the eBook. In short, the Alefinna is a standard biped ET outfit that roams the galaxy looking for customers and sellers for the Galactic Hub. The Hub is the nexus for trade, entertainment, communications and any other activities to share among the solar systems. They invite a strange group aboard to discuss joining, but the strangers instead blast their navigation systems thoroughly with acid. The Alefinna barely land in one piece in the U of L football field.
From there onward is a study in how different parts of Earth social fabric assess and treat these ‘Galactics’. To complicate things, one of the crew (Dez) had been to Earth before as a surveyor. The idea was to measure the love and light index and the things that make Earthies unique. In the early 1960s US, L&L looked great with the big peace movements. In the 1980s much had changed; all but his love for his 1960s sweetheart. He did not know that liaison resulted in a daughter.
How would NASA respond? Ultraconservative haters? University Astrophysics majors all over the globe? Governments around the world, especially when the Alefinna offer the US high-level technology to build a repair facility for them. Is your mind spinning with widely varied reactions already? Read how our ambassador spins the story at the United Nation meetings.
After rain, rain, rain and more rain, I got jazzed to not only get some snow but 8 or 10 inches of it! I’ve lived in New York, California, Illinois, Florida and a little Indian Ocean atoll, but have the dearest attachment to my birth state of Kentucky. I love the environmental diversity, the equality of seasons (usually) and the log cabin I built here amidst the woodland and wildlife.
Yet I still love science and the fascinating areas of astrophysics and energy production. I study the climate issues and pick out the constellations on clear nights. I write science fiction with real science issues in them.
These two aspects coalesced on a snowy afternoon, impelling me to etch a Snow Geek in the freezing white fluff. Enjoy your day!
The news is filled with the disastrous photos, a drone that caught the storm in action, too much; I need no pictures here. There will be more and more horrendous storms like this, the hurricane that hit Labrador in September, another historic disaster. I could go on, but why? Either you believe this is associated with wildly irresponsible carbon usage and are acting to reduce your footprint or you will deny it until a storm obliterates you home.
I still drive a gas car; I can’t afford to get a new electric one. I can barely afford to heat the house since I got fired by a hateful boss last year; the ‘anniversary’ is just before Christmas. I do keep the heat low and wear long johns and a coat with ski pants, but I’ve done this every winter since I built this cabin about 25 years ago to do all I could. My car is a very good mileage Subaru and I only use it to drive to the post office for Old Lady Who bookstore orders once a week and the grocery tacked onto that trip once a month. I make my own bread, yogurt, clothes. I grow my own fruit; the blueberries and apples were great his year.
This is the tornado swarm I watched from the concrete front step when I lived in Lousivlle as a young teen. I was an observer there too, not a victim. How long will that last?
From the local WDRB-TV Website: “This year marks the 40th anniversary of the April 3-4, 1974, tornado outbreak – one of the worst tornado outbreaks to ever affect the U.S. Dubbed the “Super Outbreak”, at least 148 tornadoes struck 13 states from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes over a 16-hour period from the afternoon of April 3, 1974 into the early morning hours of April 4, 1974. When it was over, 330 people were dead and 5,484 were injured.”
I’m writing this on the “Day of Infamy” as December 7th was the day the imperial Japanese made a devastating attack on the US Navy Base of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There in the mist of morning, thousands of sailors and others were killed by kamikazes and bombs. Many ships were sunk, including those full staffed. Have you seen the memorial at Pearl Harbor, like the boat that takes visitors to the sunken USS Arizona? As a former US Navy Sailor whose ship anchored at Pearl, I felt so broken hearted for the sailors, their families, my own family losses, and the resulting war that culminated with atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I have learned over the years that the way to address such an attach is not to kill more of them than they killed of us. True, the US forced Japan to surrender and the Pacific war ended. It was true that our bombing was celebrated in the US, movies portraying related actions heroically. The world feared us and our pride soared. Other countries got atomic weapons. We dug survival bunkers.
When we retaliate, we share the aggressor’s evil and wrong. Yes, we needed to respond. It is not clear how this event was built; had we opportunities to prevent the attack? Many investigative reports say we probably could have avoided the event altogether. Did we let it happen because of our fixation on the war against the Devil Hitler? Did our hubris in finally, belatedly going over to rescue beleaguered Britain and France, our acting as saviors, reveal how our ignoring the threat of Hirohito may have happened?
I am not trying the make the US seem as the secret instigator of all this, nor do I follow any other conspiracy. I am an honorable veteran. I am hoping we will think about these circumstances, how working with Japan earlier, how helping Europe fortify against Hitler earlier, how being aware of the brewing unrest and hate and acting with tolerance and forgiveness early on may have gutted this most horrible of worldwide wars. Can we prevent war when Russia tries to overtake the Ukraine? I think many are attempting to do just that.
Tolerance, peace and forgiveness are components of Love and Light, a subject that makes me think of flowers. I have also been to the Netherlands and Belgium. And have placed flowers at some tombstones erected in the massive international military graveyard near their borders.
The link above is a blog post I put up on my other site. If you’re interested in PEACE you might want to give it a look. Otherwise, here are some pictures from around here, as this is a peaceful place. Enjoy!