Some other news I forgot to mention about Columbus and it's is that I think Columbus is having a growth spurt for the first time in like . . . . 100 years!
That is Bailey on the far left with her sisters, Sydney and Cadance. Bailey will be in the class of '34 and Jenny (mother) already knows 13 other class of '34s living in Columbus.
Of course they will graduate from the same old high school . . .you know, the one with mold in the carpets and furniture and asbestos in the ceiling?
BUT - who needs a new school when we can rent huge blowers. Columbus has a fantastic school system that draws people . . . . . except for the over crowding and lack of bathrooms in the high school. I believe people who do not want a new school also do not want Columbus to grow and increase it's tax base.
BEES - I'm not fond of those garbage bees that fly around you and into your drink as you try to relax but DJ and I found a fix.
Bees are highly territorial so if you put a couple of these near you they will fly in, look around and fly away. It actually works. They think the bags are bee hives.
I had a friend get his plug pulled last night after a massive heart attack Tuesday. He was 46. Paul was not the kind of guy that went to the Doctor or really paid attention to his health. They just could not get his heart to stay running and he had suffered too much brain damage. RIP my friend.
AND YOU GUYS - TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
I could not make it to the Council Listening Session - The last two nights of golf league and the Championships rounds were in full swing.
Took our car to AMS to get an augmentation to the stereo system. The car is the perfect listening cube for music. Enclosed and totally controllable. AMS is in the Verona area - God I hate that area. Houses exploding, nightmarish traffic, crime. Columbus is such a fantastic place. I gotta go back there around 3:00 OMG Fitch-rona sucks.
The house in Holway, that we moved into when I was eleven, was set about a quarter of a mile back into a vast tract of woods. The woods had been logged over many years previously. They were re-grown by then, but were still traversed by miles of winding, twisting, circling, branching off and re-joining logging trails of the kind called "corduroy." These were made of logs laid tightly adjoining across the trail, and the trails led hither and yonder to wherever the loggers happened to be working.
Pa knew those trails fairly well. He'd done a little logging there himself. The only one road I'd ever been on was the one that led from our back yard to a field of Mr. Frohmann's where we could cross the road to the Frohmann farm. I'd gone that way twice with Pa.
One beautiful fall afternoon, walking home from school, I was deep into a conversation with Rebecca Rademacher and Henry Frohmann. Rather than break it off at their side road I turned off with them, left them at the edge of the Frohmann field, and started home on the trail through the woods.
I was daydreaming. I was dawdling along, kicking up fallen leaves, tossing fallen pine cones, being an eleven year old girl on a sunny, blue-and-gold afternoon.
After quite a while it occurred to me that I'd been walking on that trail for-----quite a while. Surely I should be almost home by now. And I hadn't come to that really sharp bend yet-----
I stopped and looked around. Nothing looked familiar, but it probably wouldn't. I'd never really noticed my surroundings when I'd come through here with Pa I tried walking back a few hundred feet. Surely I'd have noticed that uprooted tree if we'd
passed it together. Or would I? I hadn't noticed it when I passed it a few minutes ago---
I must have missed my turn-off. I seemed to remember a "Y" junction a ways back. I'd taken the right-hand branch. I probably should have taken the other one. I went back and took the left-hand one.
After a little way that branch turned north and came to a "T" corner. That wasn't right, I would certainly have remembered a "T" comer. I went back, retraced my steps until I came to another "Y." That looked right for a long way, but it wasn't O.K. I'd just have to go back to the field and start over.
I couldn't find the field.
By then the sun was going down and I was walking in deep shadow. The woods on either side were darkening and so thick with brush that I couldn't see into them. All I could see was the corduroy trail curving out of sight ahead of me and behind me, and a little bit of sky. I looked up at the sky. If the sun was almost set, why was the sky lightest in the northeast?
I had an awful realization. On those twisty trails I had lost my sense of direction.
I sat down on the trail and closed my eyes to try to re-orient myself. I could get it right with my eyes closed but as soon as I opened them it all flipped wrong again.
Still, if that was west, then this was south and south is how I had to go. Or---was it? Maybe I'd gone way east or west of the house. Or even south of it. Well,if l went any direction consistently I'd come out of the woods somewhere.
But couldn't go any direction consistently if I stayed on the trails and Pa had said no one must ever leave the trails until he'd marked all the bogs with red flags. He'd said some of them were almost like quicksand. He said the bogs accounted for a lot of the curves in the trails.
I started walking again.
It grew darker. They would have finished supper by now. They wouldn't know where I was. I'd never come home this way before--
I started noticing a rustle in the trees behind me on my left. Just wind---but it was only behind me and only on my left. It felt creepy down my back. Finally I looked back, just for the reassurance that there wasn't anything there. What I saw was a huge cat shape in a leap from one tree to the next. "Huge" is relevant-but believe me a cat shape of around three feet in body length, plus the length of legs in the middle of a leap, is huge when you're alone in deep woods at dusk and weren't really expecting to see anything.
Pa had said there was a bobcat in the woods. Pa had said bobcats wouldn't attack humans except in self-defense. Pa had said we'd probably never see it, but if we did we should just leave it alone. He hadn't said what we should do if it wouldn't leave us alone.
It followed me. Sometimes it was in the trees, sometimes it slithered through the brush, sometimes it padded down the trail thirty feet behind me. "Bobcats don't attack humans." "Bobcats don't attack humans.'' It didn't comfort me much.
It was getting darker, it was getting colder, the moon was rising in the wrong place, the corduroy trails had come alive and were writhing around like snakes, I was being followed by the shining eyes and silent feet of a wild animal who was acting like no wild animal ever did, it was weird, it was eerie, and I was stumbling along log roads that went nowhere. I was in a nightmare that had turned real--
At some point I broke completely. I backed up against a big tree that had grown up directly against the trail, clutching at the trunk with my arms stretched behind me around the trunk, shaking and sobbing. No tears,I was too terrified for tears. Just dry sobs. Utterly demoralized. The cat, who had been slinking along the trail behind me, leaped into a tree just across the trail. His body disappeared in the shadows, but his glowing eyes watched me without blinking.
I stayed there, clutching the tree and shaking and sobbing for what seemed like the rest of my life.
Much later I heard, far-off, faint but unmistakable, a familiar sound.
My father's voice. Deep-throated, full-lunged, carrying incredibly far. When Ma blew her police whistle to call Pa in from the woods, Pa would answer "Ho-o-o !" to acknowledge that he'd heard it. This was longer, a searching sort of "Ho-0-0-0-0!" He was looking for me.
My legs went wobbly with relief. I yelled as loud as I could. ''Pa! I'm here! Over here!" The bobcat made one great leap and the watching eyes disappeared in a rattle of dry leaves. I had a split-second thought that I should have thought to yell at it before, but knew I'd have been too scared to do it even if I'd thought of it. That was only for a split second though, I was straining to hear an answer from Pa. Nothing. I kept shouting and listening. Pa kept on "Ho-o-o-ing!" and listening, but Obviously he wasn't hearing me. My thin little eleven-year-old voice couldn't carry that distance, couldn't penetrate such thick woods.
I was crying tears of desperation when I remembered my hog call. Pa had heard it, at lowered volume, every day for all the years we'd had pigs, and once, at full volume, it had brought the runaway pigs back from the deep woods. The next time I heard Pa call I cupped my hands around my mouth, opened up my throat, took a deep, deep breath and from the bottom of my belly I called, "Soooooo-eeeeeeeeee! Soooooooo-eeeeeeeeet Heee-ya-a-a-a-Cb pwoig-pwoig-pwoig Heee-ya-a-a-a-Cb pwoig-pwoig-pwoig
The answer came instantly. 'Ho!" "Ho!" followed by something that I thought was "Stay there!" (It was.)
Every few minutes Pa called "Ho!" and I answered with my hog call. His voice slowly came closer. After a time, surely more than half an hour, surely not more than an hour and a half, I saw Pa coming around the next curve, carrying a lantern and my winter coat.
I was most awfully glad to see him.
_ EV Melotte