Home Country — Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without turkey and pumpkin pie

November 18, 2014

Windy looked out the window. A great day for helping. Windy Wilson sets one day aside each week for helping others, you see, and this was helping day.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Mrs. Morris, he thought, checking on the calendar. Yes, Mrs. Morris’ poor ol’ shed that’s leaning dangerously to one side.

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Home Country — Doing it right is the right thing to do

November 11, 2014

Windy looked out the window. A great day for helping. Windy Wilson sets one day aside each week for helping others, you see, and this was helping day.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Mrs. Morris, he thought, checking on the calendar. Yes, Mrs. Morris’ poor ol’ shed that’s leaning dangerously to one side.

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Home Country — Everyone wants to watch something grow

November 4, 2014

Dewey Decker, that accident-prone neighbor of ours, is the undisputed Pharaoh of Fertilizer, the Monarch of Manure. He has turned a shovel-ready business into a going concern, with the help of the woman of his dreams, Emily. But in the quiet times, when it’s only Dewey thinking to himself, he really wants to raise things.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

From the time he was a kid, he wanted to raise cattle, but Dewey’s proclivities toward disaster left that particular item off the agenda. In helping out other cattlemen, you see, he accidentally let 17 steers escape from the feedlot onto the interstate, and of course there was the now-legendary time he herded a cow off a bluff into the top of a tree.

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Home Country — Have fun on Halloween

October 28, 2014

To look at Herb Collins, you wouldn’t think he was like that.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

A nicer, kinder guy you never met. But for one evening each year … one little slice of time … he’s downright diabolical.

Every small town has one, of course. There is always that one person who takes Halloween to its extremes of horror and fantasy. We have Herb.

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Home Country — Some salesmen are successful

October 21, 2014

It was a bright morning, and we had finished off the coffee and conversation at the Mule Barn truck stop, and we couldn’t think of anything much to do because we were still full from breakfast and it was too early for lunch, and the political problems and Hollywood gossip tanks had been thoroughly topped off.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

So, we went over to Doc’s house to look at his mare in the back yard. She had, he said, a quarter-crack in a front hoof.

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Home Country — You never know when an idea will succeed

October 14, 2014

It was a contemplative kind of morning, each member of the vaunted World Dilemma Think Tank seemed to be content to think silently for a change, just sipping on the coffee refills and waiting for Loretta to bring more.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Steve, the professional cowboy of the bunch, was reading the house copy of the Valley Weekly Miracle. Somebody else had already done the crossword, the sports page was old news and if he wanted to keep up on church news, he’d probably attend every now and then. So, Steve was belly deep in the personal ads in the classifieds.

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Home Country — Membership in the club was brief

October 7, 2014

The Club didn’t last long.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It wasn’t the dues, which were nothing. It wasn’t being worried about being elected recording secretary or something if you missed a meeting. There were no officers, no directors and no meetings.

It was born of an idea that occurred to Doc one day. He said the members of the Mule Barn truck stop’s philosophy counter and world dilemma think tank should organize.

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Home Country — Finally, we get to be squash-free for a while

September 30, 2014

We can blame it all on watermelon and pumpkin pie. Both are delicious and American, and both come from gourds. That’s the problem, you see. Cooks all over the world therefore think that other gourds can be made edible, too.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Gourds, for example, like squash.

Squash. One of the English language’s most painful words, along with maim and trauma and rend and okra and Liberace. Why would anyone want to eat something that sounds as though someone sat on it?

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Home Country — Ahh, the dawning of a new day

September 23, 2014

There’s something so satisfying about getting out of bed when the world is still dark and quiet and resting. Making the coffee gives us time to scratch and think. Well, scratch, anyway. Most of that thinking will start after about the third cup of coffee.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

But it’s a quiet time. A private time. When the world is dark, and there isn’t yet a hint of pink over the mountains, it’s very good. We can relax. No one is expecting anything from us right now. Our guilt can take some time off, and we can listen to music or work a crossword puzzle or turn on the TV and watch the weather guy discuss millibars and troughs.

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Home Country — Small miracles are important ones

September 16, 2014

When we first noticed the baby sparrow, here at the house, it saddened us all. He had fallen from his nest and was slowly walking around the front yard under the tree while his mother and father had an absolute fit.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

We knew we were looking at a dead baby bird, as it was only a question of who does it, where it is done and how long before it happens. Years of experience in these kinds of things have taught us the finality of a baby bird falling out of a tree. Would the end come from a cat, or from a raccoon wandering up from the creek, or a snake?

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