A trip back into the high country is in the planning. Food, ice, propane, firewood, and getting the truck camper ready for the ride. The camping trip last month was so enjoyable that we decided to go again for another week. Why not since I’m now full-time retired? The mountains begin to turn cool in September, the predictability of favorable weather uncertain. I’m awake at pre-dawn and outdoors listening for the birds singing. All is quiet except for one out-of- place crow swinging low through branches of the redwoods.

My car suddenly began running quite poorly this week and the dreaded orange engine check light came on. Oh no, something major and expensive has happened, is of course my first thought, so I take it into my trusty mechanic to have a look and plug into his diagnostic computer. I come home and get a call a few hours later. It seems that rats had decided to build a nest under the hood. The mechanic found the makings of a rat’s nest and the rats had been chewing on my spark plug wires. A simple fix to replace wiring, but not so sure I won’t continue to have problems with the rats. I put out rat poison on the ground under the car. Is that something I need to do now for the rest of my life?

With some of our best weather occurring this time of year, I have a desire to be outdoors as much as possible, a part of the animal, mineral, and vegetable kingdom of which I am composed. When I go indoors I become something different, a creature composed more of thought and of reason. When the long cold winter nights come I will be forced to spend more time with the thinking portion of myself. Journal entries may run longer and ramble, but I will also have time to straighten them up and get them on the path on which I had intended for them to flow. For today, the journal does not get as much devoted attention from me. A rosy dawn is drawing my interest, begging me to step out for a further look.

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