My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Tuesday, December 30

Birthdays & Frost Delays

In the Arizona Republic, I always check the prominent birthdays each day, and yesterday there were three I recognized—Mary Tyler Moore, 78; Jon Voight 76; and Ted Danson, 67. I keep seeing them all as much younger than that—Mary tossing her hat in the air, Jon as the reluctant Midnight Cowboy, and Ted behind the bar at Cheers driving Diane crazy. And what really bugs me? I’m older than all of them.

Today here in the Valley of the Sun, all the golf courses in our retirement community had a two hour frost delay. That’s most unusual. But we’re having overnight lows near or below freezing and any traffic on frosty fairways and greens leaves blackened grass. I know I’m not eliciting any sympathy from folks up north. “Poor babies,” they sarcastically cluck, “couldn’t play for two whole hours. And here we are ass-deep in snow with shovels in hand instead of golf clubs.” Well, all you Northernites, it could be worse. You could be neck-deep in snow, or you could be having overnight lows of minus twenty or thirty. Here’s a story from my first years of teaching in South Dakota. My wife and I were living in a mobile home. The forecast was for a low of minus thirty-five. We knew our waterline would freeze so I filled the bathtub with water for our use in the next few days. Naturally, I didn’t get the plug in the tub drain seated quite right, so water leaked out all night long, slowly, slowly freezing our sewer line. No water in, no water in the tub, and a frozen sewer line. And it was too cold for our car to start, so for three days we had to make a frigid jog to the school (about as mile) for shaves and face splashes and potty needs. That’s one of the reasons we retired to Arizona. Another reason is the twenty-five years we lived in Upstate New York, sixty miles south of Buffalo.
We learned all about lake-effect snow. Lake-effect snow: Whenever Lake Erie wasn’t yet frozen over (and most winters it never froze over), any old low front that moved in from the west would suck up Lake Erie moisture and then dump it as soon as it hit land—big, heavy, wet snow that would fall and fall and fall. And I would shovel and shovel and shovel. Oh yeah, that was another reason we retired to Arizona. “Why not Florida?” you ask. Let’s see: bugs, humidity, hurricanes, giant sink holes, and occasional tornadoes. That’s why. Besides, my wife said she was going to Arizona and I could come along . . . or not. That pretty much sealed the deal.
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