Happy trails to you

While food shopping on a rainy day lasy week, I passed a neighbor in the sundries aisle; she nodded a greeting and commented, in an exasperated tone, "What about this rain?" She's in her 70s.

You have to believe she's witnessed rain thousands of times, thousands of ways; wouldn't you think rain would no longer be a topic?

To casually mention the tone of a day or week's weather while waiting online in the U.S. Post Office lobby, I get. People intensely devoted to making the past, present, or future weather something that matters to the point that it's their primary source of interest, I find to be a curious thing.

Better you should talk about deer.

It's cloudy, rainy and damp today. I know, I know, after writing about how lame weather talk is, what do I do? I write about the weather. But I'm setting a scene; I'm not stating the obvious, conditions that might make some folks-folks who constantly harp about the weather-not want to take a hike. I'm not some folks.

At the 200 yard, flat run-out finish of my daily hike, my peripheral vision accepted a not small, not large deer, not 50 feet ahead.

The deer stood still. I mirrored the deer's stillness. My stillness lasts only so long. I've never done still well. In this case though, partly because I'm solidly middle age, I was able to stay still a good while (as I age, stillness becomes easier to maintain, stiffness, well ...) say, well, it's hard to tell, cause deer stare-down time may pass slower than it appears. Anyway, I stood still, staring for no more than a couple of minutes, during which time my mind was clear of all things but the deer, and the central casting Northern New England mid-fall landscape the deer and I shared.

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