The Borderlands

El Malpais

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I’m a dweller of the borderlands; that’s where
life is most interesting and revealing, and surprising.
The border country is varied — it has a little of this
and a little of that. It has some overflow,
or a renegade, that ventures across the line.
That edge is what calls to me the loudest.

I was raised up with a view to the edge. Borders
last.  I find that edges endure even after
they change for the better or for the worse.
Crossing that line was always a childhood
adventure — we were always on the prowl
into the unknown parts.

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The edge is where one thing stopped and
another thing started. Born in the city, most of
my life took root on the northern edge of the Ozarks.
This is where the rocky, rolling forests tumble
into the Missouri River. Where river culture meets
Ozark highland and Old German…

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The View From the Observation Car

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on Writer's Cramp:
I enjoy train travel. There, I said it for all the world to see. For some reason there is a lot of complaining and ill-will directed toward train travel and especially Amtrak, the only…

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We Don’t Say Goodbye

Writer's Cramp

583_2469 - CopySome time ago I learned that a close friend’s friend was killed in the earthquake in Nepal.

He was one of the climbers on Everest when the avalanche engulfed them.

He was a climber. He didn’t have to be there….a visitor who chose that time and place; a once in a lifetime journey.

He was doing what he chose to do. One never knows.  We take risks every day.

We close the door. We don’t say goodbye.

So what does one do?

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” said Martin Luther.

Should we modify our behavior to avoid risk?  Should we hide in our house?

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying” says Woody Allen

No.  That is the last thing we should do.

“When you do…

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HB 3990 Threatens Our Heritage

This gallery contains 1 photo.

Originally posted on El Malpais:
? There was a flurry of publicity about this proposal (HB 3990) back in October but it is still alive and was recently approved by the House Natural Resources Committee and will come up for…

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The FOS and DST

Writer's Cramp

To Whom It May Concern:

As a cat owner, if that term can be used, I have become aware of a certain aspect of the Feline Operating System (FOS) that seems in need of an upgrade or at least a patch. The FOS has five main operating modes: Exploration, Observation, Expectation, Anticipation, and Procreation. For the sake of household tranquility, the Procreation module has been disabled in many domestic house cats but remains functional in those residing in feral status. Although there may be some hand-wringing and consternation about certain aspects of the Procreation module, that has nothing to do with my current letter of concern to you. There is also a sleeping or resting status that has some bearing on the other FOS modules and my predicament.

There seems to be at least a sequential hierarchy in the FOS based on my observations.

The Exploration module seems to be…

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Faith

From Columbine to Sandy Hook to Virginia Tech to Parkland Florida — there must be thousands of people in this country – tens of thousands or more – that personally knew a student victim of these school shootings. Are we paralyzed? Thoughts and prayers and faith in God isn’t enough. God has faith in us to do the right thing and we are failing miserably.

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Martin

Writer's Cramp

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.  — Martin

Look not too fondly to the past;
Its charms are sweet but do not last.
By hastening to that Siren’s song
we’re on a path forever gone.

If we should ere be great again
the way behind is History’s bane.
Our future road climbs straight defined —
the path is forward, not behind.

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.
– John Newton

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Three Crows

El Malpais

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Three joyful black Crows,
aloft on the April breeze,
laugh at Earthbound men.

Consumed by spring chores,
I’m the target of their fun.
I ignore their taunts.

Puzzled now – they come close;
Perched on the rooftop – watching
with conspiring eyes.

These are my old friends.
They so hate to be ignored —
I must laugh myself.

That’s all they wanted;
Just a little of my time.
They fly off crowing.

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The Home Place, 2017

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A Place Beyond

El Malpais

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 A Place Beyond

There are places beyond the usual limits
of space and time.
We go there – when the time is right
to see what is mostly unseen.

This is not a different world or universe.
You simply have to hop the fence.
Step lively if you want to catch the fleeting moment.
It is worth the effort.

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The Painted Desert, December 2015

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Long Gone — The Goldenrod

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Originally posted on Brick and Stone: Architecture and Preservation:
On June 7, 1981 our small family gathered to celebrate my parent’s fortieth anniversary. We chose the Goldenrod Showboat, a St. Louis landmark located at the foot of the levee on…

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