Well, Hello There!

Well, hello there. Long time no see.

I take all the blame, so don’t chew me out too badly. It’s one of those things we go through in life, I guess. Changes, eventides. It happens. Sometimes we’re surprised by it, sometimes now.

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and say “Hey.” So, “Hey!” Hope everyone’s doing fine. Things are good with me, can’t complain; nobody’d listen anyway. Trust me. I’ve been complaining for decades, and so far, nobody’s listened. That’s fair enough. I seldom listen when anyone complains either.

Yes, I know. I’ve been gone too long. You’ve told me that, and I appreciate it. It’s not like writing a government meeting story or a police report. That’s just repeating facts in a readable, coherent way. This column thing, you just gotta have the spirit for it. Somehow mine got away from me a few years ago. My get up and go done got up and went, as they say.

I’ve been busy, though. Writing novels, mostly, and that’s been extremely exciting and satisfying. In the last couple decades I’ve gone from a memoir writer to a short-story writer to a sci-fi writer to a contemporary fiction writer and now, to my utter surprise, a mystery writer. You just never know where the road will take you!

The rest of the time…well, just enjoying my life with Suze and our Lab, Bogie. Started gardening again this year after dang near 20 years. Had a great one, too! I grew heirloom tomatoes and peppers that would knock your socks off. Also eggplant, yellow crookneck squash, green onions, watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce and snap beans. All organic, by the way.

Can you believe Bogie turns eight this December? Like my own increasing mileage, it seems like he was just a little guy I could hold in one hand, just yesterday, day before at the most. My boy is getting a little white around the jowls, but he hasn’t slowed down in the least. He’s a good boy, the best.

I have fished twice this year: once last spring before the long months of daily monsoons descended upon us, and once a couple weeks ago in North Carolina where I caught exactly one finger-length rainbow trout. No matter: I was on Fires Creek deep in the Nantahala National Forest, and that’s a catch all in itself. No, my obsession with wild water and wild places has not diminished. If anything, it’s escalated.

Somehow during this absence from column writing, I turned 50. In fact, by the time you read this, I’ll be spittin’ distance from 51. Don’t seem right. Seems like just yesterday I was 20. Oh, well, long as I’m looking down at the St. Augustine grass rather than up at it, I guess I’m in good shape.

Wanna wish Vanessa Pritchett a happy retirement (as if it could be anything but!) after 24 years at the ol ’ B-T. Finally made the finish line!

So that’s the long-and-short of it. Hope everyone’s well. I know I am. I’m at a point in my life that, while not without its aggravations, I’m more content than I ever recall. It’s nice. I’ll try to pop my head in the door every now and then to say “Hey!” in the future. I miss you guys and gals.

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