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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Home Country — Getting the right gift for someone is important

December 16, 2014

When it comes to romance, it’s hard to beat ol’ Dud. He and Anita have been married now for several years, but we’ve never really understood why she puts up with him.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“Dud Campbell,” Anita said the other night, “what are you getting me for Christmas?”

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Home Country — Believe in the power of good deeds

December 9, 2014

For years now, Herb Collins has been helping Santa by donning the red and the beard and the tassels and waving to passing cars on Christmas Eve out at the Old Fort Road crossing.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

He takes a bag of candy along, in case anyone cares to stop, and he also takes his daughter Cindy along, because she has always been his head elf. Cindy’s grown now and has helpers of her own, but this has been a daddy/daughter event for a long time and neither sees any reason to quit.

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Home Country — Now is the season for hope and dreams

December 3, 2014

There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year here at home. This is a time for summing up and looking ahead … and a time for dreams.

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

And at night… ah, that’s the time, isn’t it? Outside it’s dark, December dark, and we’re inside and warm and cocooned up. The cold makes our world shrink, especially at night.

But we have our dreams.

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Home Country — Blaze your own trail and don’t always do things that are expected of you

November 25, 2014

“Hey Doc,” said Herb, reading the latest copy of the Valley Weekly Miracle, “did you see all these specials they’re having in the city? Just for the Friday after Thanksgiving, too. You know, a guy could get a lot of Christmas shopping done then and save some money.”

Slim Randles

Slim Randles

“I guess so,” Doc said, putting his cup down so Loretta could top it off.

“You’re not going to go shopping?”

“Not on Black Friday.”

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