Rick Watson

5 days 23 hours ago
It is a wonder I never got hooked on tobacco. Most of the people I adored during my formative years smoked, dipped or chewed, but for reasons I will explain later, I never did. I remember my grandpa Charlie Watson smoking as he sat in his overalls on an oak stump the size of a No. 3 washtub. None of those sissified filtered smokes for him. No...
1 week 4 days ago
School starts back this week for many areas around the country, and I spent time reflecting about my early days in school.  Some kids would rather step barefoot on a rusty nail than go back to school in August. Fortunately, the first bell did not ring until after Labor Day when I was a kid, and I was excited to begin my education. My...
2 weeks 6 days ago
People often ask how I come up with column ideas. Back in 2007, it was easy. A zillion ideas floated around in my head like yellow jackets on an apple core in summer, but I have written, tossed or forgotten all those. These days my ideas tend to evolve and if I were paid for all the time I spend writing each one, I would be a wealthy man....
3 weeks 5 days ago
There are places in this world that seem magical. The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, Cathedral Rock in Sedona, and the edge of the Pacific just off Highway 1 near Half Moon Bay in California come to mind. However, there are places like this much closer to home.  Jilda worked late this afternoon, and I had been to a community meeting. On the...
4 weeks 5 days ago
A dream last night about an old Army buddy sparked an idea for this  column. We have not talked in over 20 years, but I think about him often. Doug McGraw and I transitioned out of the Army in early spring 1973. I moved back home that spring and tried to find work so that I could begin the next phase of my life. The phone rang one evening...
5 weeks 5 days ago
Life is messy. The view from the highroad is more scenic, but there are always detours, and I find myself on bumpy roads more than I woud like.  One part of doing right is being kind to Mother Nature’s critters. A good example is when I wrote recently about relocating the chicken snake caught in the nest of the henhouse, instead of...
6 weeks 6 days ago
How is it that machines instinctively know the absolute worse time to break down? I think they have a type of mechanical intelligence that we humans can not comprehend. We have out-of-town company coming tomorrow, and our air conditioner decided to take vacation. On Monday morning, I was in the yard tending to our new baby chicks when I...
7 weeks 5 days ago
The cold winter, followed by spring monsoons, teamed up to help me form some new habits. Had they been good ones, I would be as happy as a clam in a gin and tonic, but the habits I developed were only suitable for slugs.  The habit of walking each morning was the first casualty, but the list is long and slothful. At first, I could not...
8 weeks 5 days ago
One thing I have learned through the years is that farming is not for wimps. In the scheme of things, our farm is tiny, but it still takes a lot of work. We have chickens, dogs, a small orchard, a nice garden and an impressive collection of Japanese Beetles, cutworms and other vermin. It is a constant battle, but it is worth it. Each year we...
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