Write about: the pilot.
Planted peas out in the garden this morning, then worked in the greenhouse with Kat in the afternoon. We got a bunch more tomatoes seeded and moved some things around so that we have a bit more space to work with.
This evening we went up to Kat's parents place for an Easter/Kat's birthday dinner. She hasn't had to share her birthday with Easter since 2002 (three years before we met), but I'd say the turkey dinner and chocolates make it a pretty good deal.
The engine rumbles and grumbles to life, sending vibrations from one end of the plane to the other. He shifts in his seat, anxiety already gnawing at his stomach. He wants to trust this modern marvel of technology but his thoughts are haunted by the knowledge that it was constructed by humans.
And humans are fallible.
Mere minutes to go until the wheels beneath him kiss solid ground farewell and the clouds welcome the plane and all her passengers home. Assuming they get that high without a failure of some sort bringing them crashing back down to earth.
Deep breaths. It will be fine. If it wasn't safe they wouldn't be cleared for takeoff. All the seats would be empty, for no one would be foolish enough to purchase a ticket. But they have received clearance, and passengers occupy every available space.
So it has to be okay, right?
With a slight shake of his head, he reaches out and presses a button before him. The tremble in his finger is barely noticeable. He clears his throat and begins to speak.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking..."
Write a four line poem about: the kite.
It was back to work in the garden this morning, as Kat's dad and I were constructing trellises for our newest patch of blackberries and raspberries. Since it was in the mid-twenties today, it was pretty pleasant going.
Also: I'd just like to say how nice it is to not have to delete thirty anonymous spam comments every time I log in to the blog. I can't believe I put up with that for so long.
Soaring high above us all,
So dreamily carefree;
I'd happily trade places...
Until it hits a tree.
Write four lines of prose about: the crunch.
Back safe and sound in Osoyoos. I'd say Max's first trip away from home was a definite success. Will share some pictures... once I get around to getting them off my camera.
I've had my eye on a short story contest for the last week and half, maybe two weeks. Knowing that the submission deadline was midnight tonight, I was jotting down a few ideas and an opening line in my notebook while Kat was taking her turn behind the wheel this morning (probably did this for too long, as I ended up feeling a little nauseous).
After we got back to the house I double checked the contest page and... oh, look at that: the deadline is midnight Eastern time... meaning I have three less hours than I thought I did.
No worries though, since I tend to do my best work in crunch time: I busted out almost 1600 (lightly edited) words in an hour and a half, sending the submission email with five whole minutes to spare.
Write about: the kidnapper.
Back in Vancouver for the night. Very tired.
We managed to successfully catch the ferry off the Island this afternoon, despite arriving two cars too late to catch the sailing we'd aimed for. Thankfully they'd added an extra sailing just an hour later, due to the Easter long weekend, so we didn't have long to wait.
Added sailings tend to be much quieter than their scheduled counterparts, and this one was no different. Plenty of seats to choose from, a relaxed atmosphere - it's nice.
About five minutes after the boat left its berth, we met a woman who was sitting with a couple of male friends. She was gushing over how cute Max is (which we're kinda used to by now), but a little more intensely than I expected.
She was talking about how much she wanted to kiss him and eventually Kat invited her over to do just that. It was pretty cute. Then, after returning to her seat, she jokingly (I think) offered to hold him if Kat's back got tired. She said she was missing her kids (a three-year-old and a six-year-old), who were not with her on her current trip.
Or so she claimed.
A bit later, after Max kept smiling and making funny noises in her general direction, she asked if it would be creepy if she took a picture of him. No, of course not, we said.
Only just a little bit.
Then she started talking about how she wanted to take him home with her and how she had to go back to her seat because she just couldn't handle being that close to him and on and on. It was very sweet and Max definitely enjoyed the attention.
Thankfully it was a really nice day out so shortly after that we took Max for a walk on the outside deck and did not return to that area of the ferry.
While most of what I just shared was written with tongue firmly planted in cheek, she was definitely walking a fine line between acceptable and too much. I certainly don't think she would have actually tried to kidnap Max, but I think Kat and I were both more comfortable once we found a less... awkward place to spend the rest of the ride.
Write about: the portrait.
More visits with high school friends and their children today. More good times.
But... man, I feel old. When did we all grow up?
Heading back to Vancouver tomorrow. I expect it will be a difficult parting in the morning before we head for the ferry.
Though Grandma is long gone now, we still see her whenever we pay a visit to Grandpa. She waits for our arrival in the living room, her portrait covering nearly three quarters of the west wall. Hard to forget her with a reminder like that.
Knowing her, that's just the way she would have liked it.
I think it's a bit much, to be honest. I suspect my husband and children feel the same way, though they've never said anything about it. Their increasing reluctance to make the trip to see Grandpa speaks for itself.
Used to be I could at least get them to stay at a nearby hotel and meet up for dinners and lunches at various cafes and restaurants around town. Now even that much is out of the question.
I can hardly blame them. I'd find a way out of the visits as well, if there was any hope of my not drowning in guilt. Besides, I really owe it to Grandma to keep an eye on her doting husband.
I just really, really wish she hadn't insisted on posing for her portrait in the nude.
Write two haiku about: interference.
Had a wonderful visit with a high school friend and her one-year-old daughter this afternoon. It was great to catch up with her and meet her super, super adorable little girl. I told Max he had to be on his best behaviour if he's going to stand a shot with this one.
He responded by being his usual charming self.
Also: by not having a massive, smelly poop until just before our guests departed.
The goal seems so clear,
lurking just out of reach; he
gets in his own way.
* * *
Spring comes to melt snow,
send it rushing to the sea;
Write about something that: bounces.
Went out for lunch with my parents today at our favorite Island restaurant: The Kingfisher. Which, apparently, is now called The Breakwater. Whatever - it'll always be The Kingfisher to me.
Max did a bit of fussing but I managed to get him to sleep, which lasted for most of the meal. Once he woke up he was in a pretty good mood. Also: a pretty pooping mood.
This evening I played a game of Scrabble with my Mom, as is tradition whenever I come for a visit. Thanks to a lot of good fortune I managed to pull off my best ever (as far as I can remember) total score: 403.
Gravel embedded in his knees, bloody scrapes and cuts on his arms, he breathes in the dusty heat with long, slow breaths. Somewhere, not too far away, he can hear tires spinning in vain, the ground hopelessly out of reach.
The pain is intense, both the physical and emotional. His pride has taken as much of a beating as his body and he knows what happens next will define this moment in the eyes of his friends. Closing his eyes, he knows that it can still go either way.
Running... well, limping is more likely... home to his mother is incredibly tempting. It's also the wisest course of action, if he's being honest with himself. Something might be broken. Infections are just waiting to set up shop in his bloodstream.
But the shame of it... oh the shame of it.
With a grunt that barely manages to slip between gritted teeth, he pushes himself to his feet. After allowing himself a moment to ensure he won't pass out, he walks over to his bike and pulls it upright. Without a word he gets on and pedals over to his waiting friends.
"All right, Ricky! Way to bounce back!"
Write about something: flat.
Safe and sound with my parents in Comox this evening, after Max's very first boat ride. Though he seemed more interested in staring at the vending machines on the ferry than out the window at the water and islands.
The first portion of our journey, going from Osoyoos to Vancouver, went pretty smoothly. Well, other than...
After two hours on the road, we decided to make a stop in Princeton for a bathroom break and to maybe grab some lunch. With Max fast asleep in his car seat, I pulled into a gas station just off the highway and we took turns using the facilities.
Once we were ready to go again, Kat took her turn behind the wheel and... got about ten feet before an odd noise brought us back to our parking spot. I got out to take a look and, sure enough, our back right tire was completely flat.
I'll spare you the various expletives that were aired at that point.
I called our emergency roadside service number and they sent someone to come put on our spare, which was: a) buried beneath a mountain of stuff in our trunk and b) only a donut, not a full-size tire. So that meant: a) dumping all our stuff in the parking lot, b) repacking the trunk after the spare was put on, and c) driving to a garage to get a proper tire put on.
There was a fun five or ten minutes at the garage, during which it sounded like they didn't have a tire that would fit our car. I kinda wondered if that might be an issue when I walked through the door and saw nothing but huge truck tires on the walls. Anyway, the guys eventually found one that worked and got it on the car and we got back on the road.
All told, it was about a two hour delay. Max was a champ during all this, finding the whole thing rather entertaining. And then he was back to sleep shortly after we were moving westward once more.
Could have done without all that hassle, but it could have been much worse. At least we got the flat in town, and not during the lengthy passage through the park that we were about to make. There's not much in the way of gas stations or garages in that stretch.
Write a four line poem about: the prisoner.
This is the last post I'm scheduling before departing on our road trip, so hopefully I'll be able to find time before Sunday night to do some more writing.
I am lurking behind these bars,
Not alone, but kept company by a lie:
He believes himself to be free,
But he is a prisoner as much as I.
Write four lines of prose about: the guard.
Those of you following along probably have a pretty good idea what tomorrow's prompt will be...
This is another scheduled post, as I'm away having fun in the big city.
The gun sits unholstered on the desk before him, its barrel pointing toward the cell across the hall. Silence reigns within the dark room but he is not fooled. The prisoner has been growing more wild and rebellious by the hour; he cannot afford to relax his guard.
But he can only last so much longer before sleep slips through his defenses and carries him away.
Write about: the prison.
Away on a road trip, so this is a scheduled post.
The wide, sandy plain holds little of interest to outsiders. No bodies of water to make a crossing easier, no rumours of buried treasure to make exploration worthwhile. The nearest city is a day's journey by car - or at least it would be, had anyone bothered to construct a road between the two points.
It does have one feature, however, that has been the subject of many muted conversations over the years: a slender tower carved from rocks of unknown origin reaches for the sky from the very center of the desolate expanse. Out of sight, but not out of mind, it also burrows deep into the earth.
There, beyond the reach of sunlight and fresh air, the prisoners are held in cramped cells. One man or woman per room, no exercise time, no interaction with anyone other than his or her assigned guard. The food is tasteless at its best, rotting at its worst.
The only way to escape this existence is simple: death.
Write about: the road trip.
We're off tomorrow morning, heading for Vancouver. On Sunday we're planning on heading over to Vancouver Island, before making our way back to Vancouver for Thursday night. Which means, if all goes to plan, we'll be back here next Friday.
I'm going to schedule posts for tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday before I go to bed tonight. Because I was in the mood for it, they'll be sharing a theme - your posts can relate to each other or not, the choice is yours.
I might get to replying to some of your comments while I'm away, but I expect the majority of them will have to wait until I return. See you then!
We've been planning this trip for quite a while, yet the day of departure still managed to sneak up on us. The days are just flying by and all of a sudden we're hitting the road tomorrow.
This is the first trip away from home we'll be taking with Max, so there have been a lot of extra considerations and preparations for this. I'm really looking forward to it, as we'll be seeing a lot of friends and some of Kat's family who will be meeting our little guy for the first time. He's just so fun to introduce to people, he has such a great personality for it.
I'll also be seeing some friends for the first time in a long while, a few of whom have had kids of their own since last we were together. That's going to be a real treat. A bit bizarre, I'm sure, but lots of fun too.
So. Tomorrow we wake up, pack the car, and off we go. It's probably dangerous to say so now, but I figure we'll forget only a few items, none of them particularly important. If anything I'd say we overpacked.
But that, I think, is to be expected when taking a four and a half month old on his first road trip.
Write two haiku inspired by the word: soft.
Forgot to mention this yesterday: I took Max to the health clinic to get him weighed, since it had been almost a month since we'd last done that (he was fifteen and a half pounds back then).
Now? Seventeen pounds.
I'm sure if I'd asked it, my back could have told me that.
So soft and quiet
it was nearly missed; father's
final wheezing breath.
* * *
She enters the room
clad in a white dress that feels
like wearing a cloud.
Today we write about: the south.
Because it only seems fair, you know?
So after regularly deleting hundreds of anonymous spam comments every week for the last month or so, I've finally given up and disabled anonymous comments on my posts. It's become incredibly tiresome, and with me going away for a week I really don't want to come back to find an avalanche of spam comments clogging things up.
Also: I've noticed very few legitimate anonymous comments over the years here, so I don't think it should bother too many people. If it puts anyone out though, I do apologize.
But it's just really not worth it anymore.
"Well, this has been terribly disappointing." Martin kicked a rock off the sidewalk and onto the grass as he made his way back to the car. "I can't believe those guidebooks can get away with being so misleading."
"Maybe we're not -" Cindy began but her husband cut her short with a heavy sigh.
"Let's just go home. This has been a total disaster."
"But don't you think -" Cindy tried but was interrupted again.
"This whole Southern Hospitality thing is a myth. Did you see how rude that man was when I asked to borrow his trampoline?"
"Yes, but -"
"It's like he thought it actually mattered that his son was currently using it! And that it was somehow important that we had crashed the boy's birthday party! Ridiculous!"
"Perhaps," Cindy said as she placed a hand across her husband's mouth so that she could finish her sentence for once, "we'd have better luck if we drove more than twenty minutes south."
Our writing inspiration today shall be: the north.
There was a harsh north wind blowing today, which made weeding the strawberries quite unpleasant. Still got a fair amount done, but I'm sure I would have gotten a whole lot further if the weather had been kinder.
The wind does not rest here, never pauses for breath. It scours the land, ridding it of all but the stingiest, hardiest forms of life. Relentless in its pursuit of... whatever it is that it is pursuing. Destruction? Oblivion?
No tree stands straight and tall in this place. Those not bent sideways by the zealous wind buckle beneath snowy burdens, cowering behind the meager protection of eroding boulders.
Once there was warmth in the air. Green things grew and prospered. Flowers scented the air. A city rose from the plains, undaunted by the surrounding mountains.
Now, only a handful of stranglers remain. Fools, every one. The wise have allowed the winds to guide them south, to easier lives. These stubborn men and women, bundled in thick furs and rarely far from Death's grasp, cling to their reasons for standing fast - whatever they may be.
It matters not. Soon, they too shall be gone.
Only the wind shall remain, howling and screaming its way across the frozen earth. Like angry ghosts.
Yes, just like angry ghosts...
Write a four line poem about: the fox.
We began the rather intimidating job of cleaning up our strawberry plants today. There's a whole lot of dead weeds to clear out, then we get to spread wood chips - which should hopefully lessen the number of dead weeds we have to deal with next year.
I think Kat and I are basically over our colds, and Max seems like he's almost there as well.
Which is good, because we're planning on going on a big road trip to Vancouver and Vancouver Island next week.
I should probably get my act together and start scheduling posts for that, huh?
What a clever fellow
Is this smiling young man;
Sadly he's intent on
Winning my daughter's hand.
Write four lines of prose that have something to do with: notice.
I had to look through a lot of posts to make sure I hadn't used that prompt before. A few of them I am quite fond of, but I found one in particular that I really liked. Since it was before any of you were regular visitors to this corner of the internet (a fair assumption, I think, with 0 comments on the post), if you're feeling like writing more than a paltry four lines of prose today, head over here and write some more.
If this works out, I might do this more often. Maybe try to fill up some older prompts that have yet to see some commenting love.
We shall see.
It was a wonderfully warm afternoon here today; it was so lovely, in fact, that I was wearing shorts outside for the first time this year.
It was so nice that I didn't notice the first two mosquitoes of the season wandering into the house while I was watching Max.
So nice, indeed, that I didn't notice them until after one decided to bite me on my left calf.
Max, however, very definitely noticed me freaking the hell out once I realized what had just happened - it is, after all, much too bloody early for this sort of nonsense.
Write about something that is: spinning.
Feeling a little better today, so hopefully I'm on the mend from this stupid cold.
"I can't believe you did that!"
"Well, I did. And I liked it, too."
"You know that Dad is spinning in his grave over what you've done!"
"No, he's just going around and around because you insisted on burying him rotisserie-style."
Write about: recognition.
Got a few things done around here today. Was feeling pretty good until after dinner, at which point my energy levels crashed. Hard.
Maybe the cold will be all gone tomorrow?
That would be nice.
I stand in the middle of the plaza, perfectly still. I could be one of the statues in the fountain behind me, if I chose. Spitting water for the tourists who would drop coins at my feet.
But that is not my purpose here.
Instead, I study the face of every man, woman, and child who passes before me. Not all of them meet my gaze, either too startled by my brashness or too spooked by my intensity. That's fine, I don't need every passerby to return my interest.
I'm looking for a hitch, the tiniest of pauses. A widening of a mouth, a flash of recognition in an eye. I will wait. I can be patient.
Someone here must know who I am.
Write two haiku about: the ocean.
For no reason in particular. I was just running through a list of words in my head, waiting to hit one that both had potential and hadn't already been used.
A house filled with sick people isn't much fun. Thankfully it seems like Kat is almost over her cold, and we're hoping Max is as well.
Me? I'm still getting my butt kicked.
With a salty hand
it brushes the shore before
retreating once more.
* * *
A distant rumble
calls it to action; fear the
coming of the waves.
Write about: the undertaker.
I dislike being sick.
The undertaker regarded his most recent client the same way he had the thousands that came before her: without pity, without enthusiasm, without compassion. He knew nothing he could say or do would ease their pain, no gesture from a stranger they never wished to meet could bring their loved ones back. So why bother trying?
Besides, it wasn't like they could take their business elsewhere. His was the only funeral home for a hundred miles in any direction and, really, once you've got one family member in your graveyard, you've got them all. Assuming no disastrous disagreements within the tree, of course.
It's not that he didn't enjoy his job. He absolutely did. The part that didn't involve the living, at least. So he put up with those left behind, in order to work with those passed on.
But there was no chance he was going to waste energy being nice about it.
Write about: ups and downs.
My down: Max has kindly shared his cold with me.
My up: the deck, it be finished at last:
Assuming this cold doesn't result in my nose being amputated, I'd say the up outweighs the down today.
What goes up, must come down. That's what they say, right? Whoever in the world they might be. Big government, probably. Maybe the police. Not worth thinking about, really - it's one secret I'll never uncover.
Anyway. Ups and downs, that's what I'm talking about. Everything that reaches for the sky drops back to Earth eventually. Even the stuff that seems like it's successfully escaped gravity.
Gravity is some kinda powerful, huh?
It's just a matter of time, I guess. Which means all those forks and knives I flung up and stuck into the ceiling have to come tumbling down at some point.
And you just gotta know, with my luck, it'll be right after Mom and Dad get home from work...
Write a four line poem about: the time change.
Because we're 'springing forward' an hour tomorrow. Hurray?
Max actually had a decent night's sleep last night, despite his cold. And he was generally pretty happy today as well, but maybe that was due to all that awesome sunshine we had.
Kat took him out on our deck to enjoy it for a little while and I was unable to resist the urge to take a picture:
I'm not sure there's anything cuter than babies in sunglasses. I'm sure Max will convince me otherwise eventually, but for now this is true.
Meetings, meals, and moods -
Not a one feels right;
All for the sake of
Saving some daylight.
Write four lines of prose about something that is: soothing.
Max seems to have picked up his very first cold. He's generally taking it pretty well, but he's not a big fan of trying to sleep with so much nasal congestion.
Not that he would have any idea what nasal congestion is, exactly.
He'd probably just refer to his current issue as: way too many boogers in my nose.
This link right here will lead you to a song the rest of the world knows as Go It Alone, performed by the man who goes by the name of Beck. Around here, however, it is known simply as: The Magic Song.
If we're driving Max somewhere and he starts to get a bit fussy, I turn to this track and he settles down instantly, without fail.
The kid just loves this song... and I dearly hope that I haven't jinxed its magical powers with this post.
I think it's about time for us to do some more unfavorable comparisons. Past time, really, because somehow I haven't busted this one out since June.
Had a pretty full day of farm related work. I'm finally getting around to updating our website, which I've hardly touched since October. I've got most of it done but I'm not hitting the publish button until everything is ready, since so much of it is interrelated.
We also conducted a couple of interviews (one by phone, the other over Skype) in our attempt to find a farm volunteer/intern/call them what you will for this summer. They both went well, so now all we have to do is pick one.
Which is proving rather difficult... this might take a few days to figure out.
I would tell you in great detail how Madame Jenkins was dressed and the makeup she wore, but I wouldn't want my Pug to get his hopes up.
* * *
The coffee at the truck stop brought back memories of my time in a POW camp. Except that wasn't coffee they made us drink.
* * *
Forcing me to watch reality TV is like ripping my soul from my body and lighting it on fire. And then putting out said fire by beating it with iron clubs. And then setting it on fire again. And then... you get the idea.
* * *
If this painting belongs in a museum, and apparently someone thinks it does, then so does one of my son's dirty diapers.
Today we return for our third visit to Mejaran.
Click the link to get the relevant info, if you're in need of it.
"I know you're there Yarel," Orsana called out between hammer blows, not looking away from the length of steel she was gradually convincing that it was born to be a sword.
"No, you don't," Yarel countered as he stepped out from behind a rack filled with shields waiting to be repaired. "You're such a liar."
"Is that right?" Orsana growled, though she had to bite her lip to keep a smile in check. "How do you figure?"
"You probably just say that every few minutes, all day, every day. That way you're bound to be right whenever I do happen by." The towering smith was the only person in Mejaran that the boy was unable to approach without their knowledge and it drove him to fits. More than a few sleepless nights had been spent trying to figure out how she did it - so far, this explanation was his best guess. "That's it, isn't it?"
"If you care to find out, you can hang around here all day, every day. Just don't get in my way."
"Please, I have much better things to do with my time." Yarel sniffed daintily and looked away. "Besides, I have news."
"Spill it." It took Orsana a moment to understand the alarm in her young friend's eyes, but once she remembered she was still holding the sword-in-progress she set it aside and repeated her request in softer tones. "Spill it, youngblood."
"Lady Helen has taken Shotek into custody."
"She wouldn't dare."
"She would, and she has." Yarel studied his boots for a moment before looking up, his youth and uncertainty making rare appearances in his eyes. "It doesn't look good."
Outside rain began to fall in heavy, pounding droplets.
Write two haiku about: roadkill.
Because... uh... um... hey, listen. I don't have to explain myself to you. Just get yourselves to writing!
In other news: my tax filing issue has been resolved. By something incredibly not obvious, at all.
To you and I, it's
nasty, repulsive - but to
vultures it's dessert.
* * *
You say it sounds cold,
but I truly believe: no
crosswalk means fair game.
Today's writing inspiration: the goodnight ghosts.
Just before he falls asleep, Max sometimes stares off at nothing and appears to have a brief, calm little conversation. I've decided that he's talking to The Goodnight Ghosts.
I have no idea what you guys are going to do with this prompt, but at least you now know where the hell it came from.
Our dear little boy,
So precious and polite;
Before each slumber
He always says goodnight.
While he is dreaming
We perform our duty:
Watching and guarding
This bundle of beauty.
We do not worry,
Our secret he will keep;
He only sees us
Before he falls asleep.
Write about: the rally.
Been a long day. On the plus side: finally got back to work on finishing our deck. If all goes well it should be all done next Sunday. Fingers, they be crossed.
On the less plus side: Max has had a very rough day. Hopefully nothing that a good night's sleep can't fix.
Now all we need to do is figure out how to get him a good night's sleep.
The town square had been empty all morning, ominously so. Captain Yang had thought so, at least, but his superiors had remained unconcerned. They refused his repeated requests for additional troops to support his patrol, dismissing his worries with laughter squeezed out between bites of chicken and steak.
As noon neared Captain Yang began to sweat beneath his armor, though the sun still lurked behind clouds heavy with impending rain. He could not shake the feeling that something deeply unpleasant was about to occur and his men, picking up on his mood, were growing steadily more restless.
It seemed as though each soldier under his command was casting a backward glance every other breath, fully expecting to find a knife or arrow thirsting for his blood.
But no threat materialized.
Not until the church bells began tolling the lunch hour and the peasants flooded into the square, armed with pitchforks, kitchen knives, sticks, pans, fists.
The rally had begun at last.
Write a four line poem that has something to do with: open/closed.
Hey, you know what's fun*?
Attempting to file your taxes online, finally getting to the end of it all, and then being greeted by an error message indicating that your son's portion of the forms need an answer to a question indicating that he is a Canadian citizen. Otherwise? Can't file your taxes online.
Thing is? There is no bloody question, anywhere, asking if he's Canadian.
*Fun might not be the word(s) I was looking for there. Though I think I had the first two letters right for one of them.
The sign says Open,
But the door's still locked.
Those who shall enter
Know the secret knock.
Write four lines of prose which take place on: the yellow brick road.
Apologies for the back to back road prompts, but The Wizard of Oz was on TV tonight and we caught a small portion of it before bringing Max back home to put him to bed.
Since I've been so terrible about taking pictures of Max myself recently, here's one our neighbour Sarah took a week or so ago when Kat went for a walk with her and the kids:
The hat is borrowed, as it turned out to be colder than Kat expected and she didn't have one of Max's with her. Which is fine because, as I have discovered, hats are far cuter on babies when they're way too big for them.
The yellow paint is chipped and fading, where it is not covered by the advancing weeds. No adventurers have skipped along this storied path in many a moon. The maintenance crews have all retired or moved on to more fulfilling jobs.
These days, everyone travels by flying monkey.