Home Country — A hoax can be good for beating the winter blues

February 24, 2015

When Steve and Dud got up to go get a paper, it left just Doc and Bert sitting at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn truck stop.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Bert turned his head and smirked a little, being careful not to let Doc see him. Doc also didn’t see Dud outside, punching in a number on his cell phone while Steve stood by as a cheerleader.

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Home Country — Be creative to beat your winter blues

February 17, 2015

It might have been the winter doldrums that did it. You can never be sure of these things.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It’s just that … well, Doc is one of those guys who can’t stand to see anyone bored. He claims it’s bad for their inner chemistry, and since he has more initials after his name than anyone else in town, we tend to listen to him.

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Home Country — Enjoy the gift of snow whenever it comes

February 10, 2015

Somehow the snow is a little like Christmas. We can expect it. We can listen to the television weather and expect it. But still, when it comes it’s like a gift a wonderful unwrapped gift, because it is the wrapping.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Doc found it when he turned on the porch light before dawn and the sheer whiteness of it came to him, and he smiled and let the cup of coffee warm his hands and the coffee itself warm his insides.

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Home Country — The older you get, the faster time goes

February 3, 2015

Mabel Adams was out the other day, with her new walker, the one with the basket on it, and a seat for sitting when she gets tired.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It’s a purple kind of walker and she likes it. It has hand brakes, too, just like a bicycle. She was headed for the Curl Up ‘N Dye beauty salon to get her permanent renewed, and she had to pass by the elementary school on her way.

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Home Country — Everything’s better when it’s fresh

January 27, 2015

Steve was out in the Mule Barn parking lot the other day, tightening something with his wrenches under the hood of his pickup truck. The rest of us stood around, looking wise, and sipping coffee.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“You sure it ain’t the solenoid?” said Bert.

“I don’t think they make them anymore,” said Doc.

“It’s usually the solenoid,” Bert said, with finality. Read more

Home Country — It’s fun to change up your exercise routine

January 20, 2015

Doc was just getting up to leave the philosophy counter as Herb walked in. Herb was grinning and flexing muscles and had the look of eagles in his eyes. We stared.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“Herb,” said Doc. “You know, you can overdo a good thing.”

“Why Doc … whatever do you mean?” Read more

Home Country — Just hold the sugar, please

January 13, 2015

It was the cold outside that bound us together better inside the Mule Barn truck stop. The coffee warmed our innards and the laughter at the philosophy counter heated our souls to very comfortable.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

It was Doc who noticed it first. He’s trained to be observant, of course.

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Home Country — There are different types of sledding

January 6, 2015

The whole thing began right after the first good snow this year.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

Herb Collins was looking out his window at the point on his small farm where Lewis Creek cuts through a rather steep hill. Neighborhood kids were sledding up there and trying to avoid rocks and one gnarly tree that stuck out. He also noticed that if the kids were successful in avoiding death and destruction, they came to an immediate and violent halt at a submerged log next to the creek.

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Home Country — Choose your words carefully

December 31, 2014

“I can’t stand winter,” said Herb Collins, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter for a quick cup. “There’s nothing to do.”

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“Get out and enjoy it,” Doc suggested. “Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you’ll feel better.”

“I don’t think your advice will take,” Dud said. “Herb seems to be intransigent on this one.”

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Home Country — Give to others this holiday season

December 23, 2014

Windy had sent off for a doo-dad for his small kitchen, and that’s why he checked the mailbox.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

If you’re Alphonse “Windy” Wilson, and you’re long-in-the-tooth and single, you find yourself not checking the mailbox very often unless there’s a reason. It saves the disappointment of finding it empty, you see.

But there was something in there today.

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