Tag Archives: home town

Driving Lessons


My middle child, Henry, is sixteen and anxious to learn how to drive.  And like all young drivers, he has yet to get into his first accident, is awkward behind the wheel, and is determined to be the best driver the world has ever seen.  So, we gave him a driver’s instruction course, which he completed by July 15th, though he hasn’t taken the wheel yet in a driver’s ed car.  And I had to come to terms with the idea that, even though I shelled out more than 300 dollars to have someone else teach him to drive, I was still going to be the one riding in the passenger’s seat and cringing every time the car lurches towards oncoming traffic and hideous, painful death.


I decided that since we were visiting Iowa where populations are shrinking and little towns like ours are dying, we might as well take advantage of nearly empty streets and lack of other drivers competing for road space.  We went to Rowan to practice driving.


Of course I had forgotten how narrow the streets are in my little home town.  Some of the avenues can’t sustain two cars passing in opposite directions at once.  And there are more than a few junk cars, old tractors, and other wheeled things parked in the way, just begging to be hit and make a dent in our affordable insurance.


Leave it to me to be multi-tasking while teaching the boy to drive the family battleship down the narrow streets of Rowan.  I wanted to take pictures to do this post.  I also wanted to take my mind off the depressing realization that Donald Trump will likely be the next president, and our lives will continue to go down hill as we are treated more and more like cash-generating farm animals for billionaires, corporations, and the owners of all the debt we have accrued by selfishly spending money on life’s necessities in order to keep on living.  We stopped to take a picture at the house I grew up in.  It was depressing to see that the house has not been painted since I put that blue paint on it when I was a teenager.  Dang!  I’m sixty now.  And the poor people who live there now couldn’t afford to paint it even once in the last forty-two years.

But even with all the potential distractions, we managed to practice driving and parking and driving again without any catastrophes or sudden fiery death.  We did pass the same lady walking her little white dog four different times on four different streets.  We only made a wide turn and nearly squished her dog one time.  And we only had one incident where he accidentally pressed the gas instead of the brake while the car was in reverse instead of drive.  Unfortunately, that happened on Main Street.  Fortunately, the one and only car parked on Main Street was in front of us and not behind us.  So we were successful.  An hour and a half of driving practice with no costly accidents and no blood or death.

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Filed under autobiography, humor, Iowa, kids, photo paffoonies, politics, self portrait, the road ahead

Home Stretch


I have almost reached the end of my trek, my year-long goal of posting something every single day of 2015.  I have hopes of finding something profound to say.  That’s what a wizard does, right?  He provides wisdom and wit.  I am not saying my magic is nearly used up.  My cauldron is still boiling and full of eye of newt and gingerbread bat-wings.  I can still weave a few spells from it.  In fact, one of the effects of writing regularly and in a sustained manner is the priming of the pump, enabling me to more readily produce the magic liquids from the very depths of the well.  If I can keep breathing and limping forward, I will write many more good things.  I am not bragging here.  It is just a fact.  Practice empowers the sorcery.  But I also need to slow down and have a break… or two… or twelve.  I will not stop writing.  But I will post less because I will be putting more of my words into my fiction.  I have several unfinished novels to move forward, to shape, to mold, to breathe life into.  There is a necromancy there that cannot be ignored if we are to avoid the results of Victor Frankenstein’s Promethean follies.

space cowboy23 I have given you a picture Paffooney today of the tapestry created by the town of Rowan, Iowa for its centennial in 2002.  I consider Rowan my home town.  I was not born there, but it is the scene of most of my childhood.  It shaped most of who I am and how I am and what I am.  It is the scene of most of my fiction because that’s where the most valuable treasures of Truth are hidden, near the wishing wells of our youth.  I keep it on my bedroom wall because, not only do Pooh and Fozzie like it to be there, it is a beautiful thing to look at and reflect upon.  It keeps what is most important in my life in focus.  I have a lot of physical pain from my six incurable diseases, and pain makes the focus blur at times.  But pain is also the source of what wit and wisdom I have to offer.  I will continue to contemplate and write and think and create… and draw.  I will continue to post at least a portion of the results here.  I do desire to make some money with my writing, but that is only a secondary concern.  I am not really writing for the people who know me in real life.  They already know me and made up their minds about me long ago.  They might read this and that and recognize something of themselves, but they are not the ones I am speaking to at this moment.  I am talking in prose to those who see my ideas for the very first time with new eyes, no preconceived notions about me.  It is for them, the readers I do not personally know, that my magic spells are cast in words.


Filed under humor, metaphor, Paffooney, Uncategorized

Rowan, Iowa

Here is a tap-dance made of photographs to musically and terpsichorially depict my old home town.

10475969_298109007017454_846022390001380906_o Hollyhocks photographed by Belinda Buchanan.

DSCN5055 DSCN5056 DSCN5060 DSCN5087 DSCN5090 DSCN5091 DSCN5093 DSCN5098


Filed under Uncategorized