Circumstances conspired to the point that recently I discovered a need to drive to central Wyoming, then find a way to keep myself occupied for a few days before heading home. As you look at these pictures, keep in mind that they were taken in June — i.e. summer. Without much explanation, some pictures for your enjoyment.… Read the rest
Previous: Part 5 – Saying Goodby
“Colonel Harwood,” the technician said smiling and standing up as Jim entered the small room, “I’ve got the final one here.”
Jim limped towards a chair stuck in the corner and dropped himself into it before taking off the temporary prosthetic he’d been using. It was getting more comfortable as the stump hardened up and he got used to using it, but it was still unpleasant. The phantom pain was getting to be less of an issue as well so long as he was busy doing something.
“I’m getting better with these things,” Jim … Read the rest
Previous – Part 4: Rehab
The airline had arranged for wheelchairs, but both had refused. They were still capable of moving under their own power, and they were determined to do so. Instead, they sat patiently on the plane waiting for everyone else to get off before carefully picking their way down the isle on crutches. Emerging from the jetway, Jim first and K9 right behind him, the small crowd parted silently to reveal a small formation of veterans who rendered a salute. Jim balanced his weight on his remaining foot and returned the salute without saying anything. He hadn’t … Read the rest
Previous – Satan’s Laugh Part 3: First Steps Home
The nightmares had returned as the sedation was tapered. They had morphed too. Now it was Sammie and Leslie who were being tortured or killed. And now that he wasn’t the focus anymore, he didn’t wake up at the climax, but continued dreaming until the horrifying image of his wife or daughter’s corps shook him awake. Sometimes the bad-guy took the shape of a rotund drunk Navajo who cackled mercilessly over their dead bodies, smearing their blood on his own face like war paint.
Jim had come to fear sleep, and … Read the rest
I knew it all when I was eighteen At thirty I had some doubts Now middle-aged with teenage kids The doubts are all that remain
Clear and open my mind I'm told
But nature abhors a vacuum
It refills faster than I can empty
Flitting from thought to thought
As I banish them one by one
Grab a meditative thought
A gurgling stream to fill the void
But it won't remain without effort
So I fill in the cracks and crevices
With thoughts that defeat the purpose
Meditation is deliberate boredom
I don't know how to do that...
I seemingly never really can
Shut my mind to constant work
Without falling asleep
Previous: Satan’s Laugh Part 2 – Convoy
His body was on fire – especially his right foot – but that was like saying a blow torch was hotter than a glowing red coal. He felt like he’d been under the treads of a tank, and wasn’t sure how he ended up here. A weak attempt to open his eyes did no good. Something was blocking his vision. He was vaguely conscious of some background noise, but his mind was so clouded he couldn’t quite make sense of it. The one noise he could make out was the distinctive whirr a … Read the rest
At twenty-one my limber legs
Could run without complaint,
My creaking back was years away
I was never tired or faint.
But years of active vibrant use
Have slowly robbed me blind,
Of these mortal strengths and gifts
Leaving memories behind.