A Drop in the Bucket

A Drop in the Bucket

by Leslie Noyes

One shard’s sharp clatter

Finally hitting bottom

Way down in the well

No splash forthcoming

Water dried up years ago

Does no good to cry

Keep shoveling dirt

Keep plowing those narrow rows

Keep harvesting naught

I grew up in the Texas panhandle, one of the areas hardest hit by the Dust Bowl. Although that was before my time, I heard many a tale from my grandparents about the dark days when the dirt blew non-stop, filling every nook and cranny and clogging lungs.

Several years ago, a book club I belonged to in Illinois, read the book, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It’s a rather long book filled with firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl Days, and while I don’t usually indulge in nonfiction, I found this book fascinating.

When the book club members met to discuss The Worst Hard Time I was excited to share my perspectives. One woman, a New Yorker transplanted to Illinois, couldn’t believe that people still live in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. I assured her that not only did people still live there, they thrived.

I highly recommend the book. If you read it, let me know what you think.

Peace, people.


Studly Doright and I have been in the Tallahassee area for four years now, having moved from central Illinois where we resided for eight years. This morning I realized I’d finally acclimated to the weather here when upon hearing that the high in our area would be in the mid-60’s today, I said to myself, “Better wear a sweater!”

I’m not complaining. I’ll wear that sweater all winter thanking my lucky stars I don’t need a heavy jacket and snow boots.

Truly everything is relative. We lived in North Dakota for four years where an ambient temperature of 34° on a winter day had folks digging out their bikinis and sunscreen.

Even in the mid-west the definition of cold is a matter of season. Forty degrees in November feels cool, while the same temperature in February is positively balmy.

The most difficult part for me when the weather turns cool is having to put away my flip flops. Although, I have been known to pull this stunt:

But only to take out the garbage. If I go downtown, I’ll put my pants on….

No matter where you are, I hope you have a great day. Pants optional.

Peace, people.

World Series Lite

I understand that the first game of The World Series begins tonight featuring two teams with epic hard luck stories and armies of loyal “there’s always next year” fans. 

Studly Doright and I lived in Illinois for eight years, and while I never became a rabid Cubs fan I did root for them. However, I’ve actually been to an Indians game, whereas, I never made it to Wrigley Field to see the Cubbies play. That’s still on my bucket list.

My son-in-law, Stephen the Great, and my grandson, are big Cubs fans, though, so I’ll put my energy into cheering for them. 

As a good friend once said, baseball is a simple game. You hit the ball, you throw the ball, you catch the ball. Piece of cake, right? We just have to do it better than those guys from Cleveland. Let’s do this! Fly the W!

Peace, and hot bats, people!

New Addition to the Family

We’ve been blessed by the arrival of a new family member–a beautiful 2010 Honda Goldwing:


The red bike in the background is my Yamaha Majesty. For the past couple of years it has led a sad life, sitting for months on end without any meaningful trips outside of our garage. Oh, Studly starts it up periodically and takes it for spins around the neighborhood, but the poor dear was languishing for lack of attention.

It’s not that I don’t still adore the bike. She’s taken me on some epic journeys, including a solo trip from Illinois to Texas and back the year I turned 50. But ten years later I’ve noticed that my reflexes aren’t as sharp as they once were, and while I’ve never been a fearless rider, I now find myself a jumpy one. That’s not a good characteristic for a motorcyclist to have.

It seems we’ve come full circle, having had a Goldwing many years ago and selling it when I declared I wanted to be in the driver’s seat on my own ride. It really is all about me. 

Studly is going to sell one of his bikes, and I’m going to sell my Majesty. We’ll still have a small stable of dirt bikes and his beloved Ole ’93.


Ole ’93 is Studly’s project bike. He’d part with me before he’d part with it.
A couple of our dirt bikes.
Studly’s VStrom will also be going to a new home.
I’m typing this while drinking a beer and watching Studly check over and polish the Goldwing.  

 I can hardly wait for our first adventure.

Peace, people.

On The Road My Friends

At some point this morning I will have departed from Doright Manor to take a trip of epic, dare I say Odyssean, proportions. Having packed my bags with everything from winter boots and a parka to capris pants and flip flops I should surely be prepared for any eventuality.

My first destination is a point north of Nashville, Tennessee, for an overnight stay. From there I’m bound for our daughter’s home in Rapids City, Illinois, where I will be baby sitter-in-chief for my daughter’s three children while the parents go to cavort in the bright sun of a Mexican beach.

After a week in Illinois I’ll head south to the Texas panhandle, the place that no matter where on earth I roam will always be home. I’ll stay with the lovely Saint Helen who gave birth to Studly Doright and hopefully get to commune with the rest of the panhandle-dwelling Noyes bunch. 

Once they’ve chased me out of town with torches and pitchforks I’m off to Dallas to spend a night with our son if we can get our schedules to sync. Then it’s on to Houston, that most intimidating city, for a couple of nights with the oldest of my two younger brothers and his wife. They’re taking me and Studly’s eldest (she’d say prettiest) sister to a big event. I’m sure I’ll blog about it afterwards. If I’m still capable, that is. 

I have another event in mind for the Houston stay, but I’ll save that for another post, as well. 

When my brother finally kicks me out of his home I’ll begin working my way back to Doright Manor. Somewhere on that stretch of road is a wonderful little outlet mall that’s been calling my name for awhile now.

I’ve been writing like a mad woman to stock my blog with pieces to post daily during my trip. I’m sure there will be times I can post something from the road, but just in case I can’t, the blog must, and will, go on! 

Any prayers, blessings, positive thoughts, etc., offered up for my safe travels will be greatly appreciated. And as always, peace, people.

Without You

Daily Prompt: What’s the most time you’ve ever spent apart from your favorite person? Tell us about it.

Studly Doright and I have been married for 39 years, and he’s one of my favorite people. Thanks to eight job transfers, all for his career, we’ve spent quite a bit of time apart. 

Physically the longest period of separation was during our last move. He headed to Tallahassee in July of 2012 while I stayed in Mahomet, Illinois, to sell our home. It was Thanksgiving before we were reunited. He did fly me down for a long weekend, though, to house hunt. As separations go, it wasn’t too awful.

The toughest time we had to deal with was our move from New Salem, North Dakota, to Great Bend, Kansas. Studly left us in November to begin his new job while the kids finished the school semester at New Salem (Home of the Fighting Holsteins), and I readied the house for sale. It sold quickly, and we made arrangements to move, but then both kids and I came down with the flu. 

We finally recovered only to have one raging blizzard after another paralyze our part of the country preventing the moving truck from getting to our home. The crew got through to pack up our belongings, but couldn’t get the big truck up to the house. 

Finally fed up with delays, I packed overnight bags, stuffed the kids and the cat in the car and headed due south, leaving detailed instructions for the movers. I could barely see the road for the snow, and every now and then I’d have to skirt around abandoned vehicles stuck in drifts. I prayed a lot. 

As soon as we crossed into South Dakota the skies cleared and the temperatures warmed. I felt like we’d escaped from a Stephen King novel, The Shining 2.0.

With all my heart I hope we are through with moving and the separation it brings.  I’ve told my family I’ll consider going to an assisted living community some day, as long as Studly comes along.

Peace, people!

A little Harry Nillson for your listening pleasure. Damn, I love this song.


Weather Relativity

I live near Tallahassee, Florida. Today I’m out piddling around town until it’s time to check in at the Tallahassee Animal Shelter for my weekly gig as a volunteer kitten cuddler. As you can see from the graphic below, it’s quite cold here today:

I just finished enjoying a pastry at a little shop, Au Péché Mignon, and noticed all the shoppers scurrying about outside bundled in their bright fleece jackets and winter boots. 

Just for grins I checked the weather in my daughter’s part of the world:

Although north Florida occasionally experiences temperatures in the 30’s, seldom are they recorded as the day’s high. It looks like Rapids City, Illinois, won’t make it out of the thirties today.

You know, I feel just awful for them. 


Peace, people!


As children we mark our years through milestones: Losing a tooth, growing an inch, learning to ride a bike, getting a driver’s license.

Adults, especially older ones, measure ours in appointments: Colonoscopy, mammogram, dental, vision, etc.

Mine all seem to pop up at the same time of year. It’s as if I’ve designated spring as appointment time. March is chock full of fun.

However, I also have some great things on the calendar in March and April! Two of my good friends from Illinois are coming to stay with me over their spring break. I was afraid to jinx it by writing about their visit, but now their plans are made, and I am so excited to show them a side of Florida that I hope they’ll love. And close on the heels of that visit is my trip to Antigua, Guatemala.

So maybe the milestones aren’t quite as fun now that I’m decidedly over the hill. The pleasures, though, are outstanding. Look ma! No hands!

Peace, people!