He walked past Miller's old dairy, now grown to weeds, and thought
about the kindnesses of old Tom Miller and the way he'd always bring
some butter when he wasn't able to pay his bill. Walking past the
milking parlor's gray concrete walls, Doc could see Tom's big, round
The buds were coming in strong on the fruit trees,
and Doc remembered what fun it had been with the boys he'd grown up
with; each spring was a door opening to adventure and
At Lewis Creek, he gazed down on the familiar rocks near the
swimming hole. If they have eroded any since Doc was a kid, he sure
couldn't tell. It's good that some things don't change. We need that
constancy, he thought, smiling. The kids who swam past those rocks
so many years and wars ago are mostly gone now, but Doc is still
here. Doc and the rocks.
Passing the feedlot, he caught sight of Dewey loading manure into
the back of his pickup. There's something so... American
about Dewey. He can't be trusted to handle anything that might
stick, snap, stab, slice, break or mangle, but he'd managed to make
a good living with just a shovel and hard work and imagination.
Flower beds all over the valley owe Dewey big-time.
[to top of second
As Doc strolled back into town and passed by the feed store, Old
Sally arose from her pothole in the street and came over to toddle
along, something she does with the people who love old dogs. She
went two blocks and then headed back to where it was sunny.
He walked past the Rest of Your Life Convalescent Home. Margaret,
at the front desk, looked out and watched him go by and thought it
strange Doc would take a walk alone.
But he wasn't alone. Not here. It's one of the blessings of
living in a place like this.
[Text from file received from Slim Randles]
Brought to you by Slim Randles' outdoor
memoirs, "Sweetgrass Mornings," available at