Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back at it

Our new digs -- aka "home" -- are working out fine these days. Our surroundings are comfortable, but being thrust into suburbia has exacted a price.

I miss the country.

The cornfield and tumbledown farm buildings framed by our former home's front windows have been replaced by a front-row view of a cul-de-sac. Tinkling dime-store wind chimes hanging above the deck are no substitute for the whisper of wind in the pines.

There is, however, an unexpected benefit of living in this planned, association-governed community -- it's called "common space."

Just a few steps from our back door is a trail than winds behind the development's back yards. The paved path follows a small creek, on the opposite side of which is a sliver of woodland -- hardwoods, mostly, tall trees that only within the last week have hinted that fall has arrived.

I've taken to escaping there whenever I can, enjoying something that wasn't available to me at our previous home, at least not without trespassing or making a short drive.

This morning's walk brought me the gurgle of water, the rustle of wrens and a close encounter of the chipmunk kind. I wandered off the path to hear the crunch of dried leaves under my boots, visiting the musty aroma of the October woods.

On my belt I toted a recent acquisition -- yes, there's another Barkie in the house, this time a Mini-North Star, a compact spear-point knife designed for everyday carry rather than full-on bushcraft.

I like the Mini-North Star a lot. It's light and nimble, a helluva slicer with a 12C27 stainless-steel blade. Time will tell, but right now I'm thinking that this is the EDC fixed-blade I've been looking for.

Emerging from my hour in the woods (such as the woods are for me lately), I re-enter a world of relative civilization and, worse, inescapable disinformation.

Shameless opponents of an upcoming ballot measure that'd allow casino gambling in Ohio continue to spew their lies. The health-care debate -- or, more accurately, the health-insurance debate -- is full of political posturing which will, in the end, change nothing. While financial pundits crow about the markets rebounding from their March lows, I find myself wondering if they know the difference between growth and volatility.

On the bright side, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear McDonald v. Chicago, another landmark Second Amendment case.

It's the world in which I live, giving me yet more reasons to be glad for the uncommon relief of common space.