Monday, December 23, 2013

One sentence journal, Dec. 15–21

Sandhills pasture in winter

Time marches on . . .

12/15, Sunday. Early Christmas gift: a warm watch cap from L.L. Bean that I will not take off until next spring.

12/16, Monday. Look up: in the desert sky swirls and slowly shifting shapes of high, thin clouds against stark blue, an edge of them briefly catching a flash of brilliant color from the ice crystals of a mid-day sun dog.

12/17, Tuesday. Full moon in a misty haze of early dawn clouds, shining between the slats of the kitchen window blinds as I wait for coffee, impatient for solstice and an end to these long dark nights.

12/18, Wednesday. Off at short notice to Nebraska, to join relatives for a family funeral, searching through closets before I go to find warm clothes and discovering a forgotten wool coat long zipped away in a garment bag that somehow escaped donations to Goodwill.

12/19, Thursday. Turns out there’s not a single normal sized car to be had at airport rentals in Grand Island thanks to pre-Christmas travel, and after a moment’s thought, I decide to take the remaining Ford Expedition, with its seats for nine passengers and a heater that this California driver forgot you have to wait for the engine to warm up before turning it on full blast.

12/20, Friday. It is 10 degrees in little Worms, Nebraska, where the gateway to the church cemetery says “Est. 1873” and I’m following a fresh footpath through last night’s dusting of snow to join a hundred or more gathered by a new grave, and a minister in white vestments, without a hat on his thinly-haired head, says last words, his voice resonating in the cold with Scripture readings promising life everlasting.

12/21, Saturday. I head out of town for a two-hour drive along highway 2 toward Broken Bow and the Sandhills, stopping every 20 minutes to take pictures of harvested fields, a frozen creek, and rolling grassland and discovering Ainsley (pop. 431), with two vacant storefronts side by side, built in 1916.

Image credits: Ron Scheer

Coming up: Marlon Brando, The Appaloosa (1966)


  1. Funerals never seem to take place in nice weather. At least the ones I've been too. Sorry for your family's loss.

  2. Sorry for your loss, Ron. Nothing like the barren vista of winter in Nebraska. Send me some of your photos!

  3. The most penetrating sentences beautifully reflect your roots.