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Otter Summer 8.05-Tele-phony

Hard for anyone who’s life experience extends no further than the Beltway boundary to accept, but wide areas of these United States have no cell phone service. I’m not saying they don’t have cell towers in perfect sight-line sequences, it’s just that many of those cell towers don’t provide service unless one happens to subscribe to the particular company owning each tower. This results in technical absurdities. Here in rural South Dakota, my iPhone registers no signal while I’m standing a half block away from an apparently perfectly functional cell tower. My brother-in-law’s place has wireless internet service, but intermittent Verizon-accessible cell service. I’ve consequently been in the dark telephony-wise for two days. Slip over here for more ...

Otter Summer 8.04-Convergences

The sun hardly rests this time of year. Neither do we. Last night, twilight extended well past ten pm. This morning, sunrise was obviously coming by four thirty. All this lengthening and shortening will converge in a couple of days with the solstice, where months of anticipation results in divergence beginning again. We grow together, then grow apart.

The final growing together days take my breath away. We’ve slipped across half this vast continent while The Otter’s moving toward us from the other side. She couldn’t sleep the night before she left Slip over here for more ...


Otter Summer 8.02-Drama

Like the universe, an Otter Summer begins not with a whimper but with a bang; filled with drama. The otherwise simple dilemma of choosing what to bring and what to leave feels impossibly complicated in the absence of any certain knowledge of what’s going to happen and who you’re going to be. This either/or dilemma resolves into a both/and decision. The Otter always brings more than she’ll use.

I believe this to be evidence of good judgement. Never one myself for the packing light ethic, I have a bag the size and approximate weight of a freshly killed deer, and I amend that with a knapsack and a separate bag for the books I can’t imagine leaving home without. Should we somehow find ourselves stranded on a desert island between here and there, I will be the one everyone’s borrowing fresh underwear and books from. Slip over here for more ...


Otter Summer 10.0.01-Two Cats

Just after two am, I noticed the cats have moved. Crash, who’d hopped up on the bed when I crawled in, knowing something was up (as he always does), had curled up at the foot of the bed, trapping my feet. I supposed that Rose, our spinster cat, had enthroned herself on the golden rocking chair, but neither cat was nearly close enough; so I tapped the duvet next to my chest and whispered, “Come here.”

The morning seemed distant yet and the neighborhood as quiet as it ever gets, yet I did not hear Crash come to my side or Rose curl in next to her big brother. They just appeared. Then, Crash commenced his scream purring with Rose contentedly accompanying. I scratched their heads and held them closer, and we reveled in our presence there in the dark. Slip over here for more ...


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