Sunday, February 24, 2013

don't smoke 'em -- even if you got 'em

Late winter is one of my favorite times of the year -- especially when I bring a bit of Mexico north with me.

Salem has a very wide cusp between winter and spring.  By late February the snowdrops start popping up in the borders of my lawn.  Followed in quick succession by crocus, grape hyacinth, and daffodils.

When I wandered through the garden this morning, they were all there.  The friends that had greeted me each February for the past twenty years were making their showy appearance.  Almost as if scheduled by Amtrak.  But better.  They were on time.

The flowers alone were a comforting sight.  But they were backed up by a bit of unseasonably warm sunshine.  It almost felt like April.  As opposed to last week's local rain storms.

I am not a sentimental man.  But, out of a sense of honor, I took a walk through the Archives Park -- Jiggs's favorite romping grounds -- just a block from the house.

The Oregon Veterans Office shares a portion of the park with its various war memorials.  Including this statue honoring the dead of the First World War. 

A rather generic statue purchased from a foundry in the east.  The equivalent of those Saints R Us stores that supply the various accessories for Mexican shrines.  Places where I lack the appropriate habits to shop.

For some reason, he looks less like a war hero than a bowler-wearing Londoner hailing a hackney.

The weather.  The flowers.  The familiar landmarks.  All got me to recalling some of the more pleasant moments I had spent in the park.  Even a couple of my homeless acquaintances were there enjoying the day.

But, because this is Oregon, the hand of the nanny state had to interfere with what was an otherwise pleasant day.  On the path that borders the creek, those who must be obeyed had erected a sign to remind us that in Salem the Methodists had finally beaten down the remnants of the state's mountain man heritage.

Can Michael Bloomberg be far behind?

If anything, this reinforces my decision to move out of the state.  Mexico calls.

Bring on those closing papers.


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