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Mike Lunsford

Mike Lunsford
  • MIKE LUNSFORD: Mice really do play when the cat’s away

    I am rarely away from my place much in the summer. I like the quiet here and don’t yearn to be gone for very long at a time. To me, a vacation often means that I don’t have to start my car for days on end, or put on socks, for that matter. But this year has been different; my wife and I took a two-week driving trip through New England, the longest vacation we’ve ever had without our kids along for the ride. We had a great time, but when we got back, we were surprised to learn that all kinds of things had been going on in our absence.

    July 8, 2013

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: A New England journal begins …

    BAR HARBOR, MAINE — I am beginning this story before I can possibly know how it ends. The view from my window isthat of a green Maine countryside on a Thursday morning, so I felt compelled to get started, knowing a deadline looms. It is difficult work, not because I have so few ideas from which to draw, but because I have so many. …

    June 24, 2013

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: We’ve created a honey of a problem

    The Dutch clover is making its appearance in my yard this week. A cooler-than-usual spring has slowed its arrival by a few days, but it is here for now, bringing the honeybees and bumblebees with it.

    June 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • Green Heron3.JPG A walk in the woods

    I went for a walk in the woods one day last week after work. It was a warm and green afternoon, and a fresh blue breeze blew in from the west like a new spring friend.

    April 28, 2013 5 Photos

  • MET041013dowsing.jpg MIKE LUNSFORD: ‘Dowsers’ provide hope more than science

    My grandfather was a man of God. Many times I saw him, his right hand held high in the air at his Wednesday night “prayer meeting,” praising the Lord before weeping at the altar on his knees. And yet, he was a “dowser,” a “diviner,” a “witcher” who, as a favor, would grab a forked sassafras stick and find water for some poor unfortunate whose well had gone dry.

    April 15, 2013 2 Photos

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: As of today, it’s unofficially spring

    Despite the calendar telling us not to rush things, I think it is all right to go ahead and say spring is here. The Ides of March has passed, Easter is coming soon, and I have already been out in my yard with a rake, getting my boots muddy. It looks like spring to me.

    March 18, 2013

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: Twain’s Sawyer helps us yearn for ‘wilderness of childhood’

    My cousin, Roger, stopped in one day last summer for a glass of tea and a little conversation. Rog has lived an hour’s drive away for years and now, and besides summer reunions, I don’t see him nearly often enough. He’s a good man who has raised a good family, and he owns a healthy sense of appreciation for not only the life he has now, but also the lives we had years ago as kids.

    February 4, 2013

  • MET011513winter wheat.jpg MIKE LUNSFORD: Cheerful green of wheat fights winter blahs

    There is a light drizzle of freezing rain tapping at the door of my cabin today. It is little more than a week before the words I am writing are due to appear on your breakfast table or work desk with your morning coffee and scrambled eggs. But I write when I can, and today, despite a full schedule of televised football games, and the stacks of ungraded papers in my briefcase, and a good book lying open on my nightstand, I am clacking away on a keyboard to the whir of a heater and the steady drip of my gutters.

    January 21, 2013 2 Photos

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: On the simple joys of watching it snow ...

    It began to snow about 20 minutes ago, as I write this, light, wind-driven flakes that fall silently into my woods as I watch from a window.

    January 7, 2013 1 Photo

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: On this day above all, ‘Peace on earth, good will to men’

    More than a year after his wife’s death, the great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote in his diary on Christmas Day.

    December 25, 2012

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Remembering a Lefty Frizzell-kind of Christmas ...

    My brother and sister and I sat around a Thanksgiving dinner table a month ago, shifting in our seats just enough to make our yet-to-be digested turkey sit a little more easily, and, as we often do when we get together, we reminisced about our childhoods for a while.

    December 24, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: The wonders of wading in ‘The Iridescence of a Shallow Stream’

    I have no idea how many times I have written a story that begins with the wistful phrase, “When I was a boy. ...”

    December 10, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Little man who came to dinner changes feel of household

    My 7-year-old nephew, Carson, came to visit us last week. That in itself isn’t earth-shattering news, for he often drops by with one of his parents or the other, the last time dressed as a ghoul for Halloween. But for a couple like Joanie and me, whose youngest child is now nearly two decades past Carson’s age, having a little guy like him in the house, even for a few hours, takes a bit of adjusting.

    November 26, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Reflections: a bit of red glass and our daily thanksgivings

    I sat in the half-light of my old desk lamp a few nights ago, a chilly wind blowing in from the northwest that made me appreciative of my long-sleeved shirt and purring heater.

    November 12, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Growing up — and ‘old’ — with many mouths to feed

    At our family reunion last summer, I asked my brother if I could borrow a pair of photo albums he had put together. Over the past couple of years, I have committed quite a few of our family’s old yellowing snapshots to newly cropped and digitalized lives, and I wanted to do the same with some of the pictures John has collected for himself.

    October 29, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Violets in October – a pleasant surprise

    I guess I don’t pay much attention to the weather forecasts these days because it surprised me a bit when our furnace kicked on a few nights ago.

    October 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: A library is a good thing — even a little, homegrown one

    I grew up with libraries, and I can’t imagine there ever being a time when I won’t want to wander one exploring it like some bookworm-Balboa, finding an author or title that I never really knew existed before. Creating those “Eureka” moments seems to be a dying interest now that so many of us download and digest books electronically without ever really considering that there just might be some hidden gem we’d have liked even more had we simply stumbled upon it on a shelf by accident. I think those moments of discovery are not unlike kicking up lost treasure a mile from where X marks the spot.

    October 1, 2012 1 Photo

  • MET090908mantis.jpg MIKE LUNSFORD: The ‘soothsayer’ who came to dinner

    I’ve had a good time opening my mail these past few weeks. Sure, I still received the usual junk about lower credit card rates and satellite television packages, but the genuine letters made me smile; most were about a story I wrote in late August.

    September 17, 2012 2 Photos

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: The agony of de‘feet’ has this writer on his heels

    I don’t know if I can electrocute myself by using a computer and soaking my feet in a pan of warm water at the same time, but I am contemplating taking the risk. My feet, particularly the right foot, have staged a 10-digit rebellion over the past few months. After a half-century of commendable service, my pods are screaming to be taken in for repairs, a big inconvenience for a guy who works on his feet all day and whose “sole” form of serious exercise is putting one foot in front of another walking the local roadways.

    September 3, 2012

  • tslunsford Mike Lunsford: Summer’s hidden beauty worth the wait

    The great naturalist John Burroughs once said that nature teaches more than she preaches. I can’t recall a summer where that rings true more than this one, for that old sun of ours truly taught us a thing or two these past three months.

    August 20, 2012 1 Photo

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: It’s time to redefine the concept of ‘assisted living’

    Although it has been nearly two months now, I can’t forget the few afternoon hours I spent on a hot June day this summer at a local “assisted living” facility in town. I had been asked to speak to a group of men there about Father’s Day, but for most part, the wonderful old guys who came to listen certainly made my day more memorable than I did theirs.

    August 6, 2012

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: Observations on smooth stones and blue-green water…

    It was raining when I began to write this. Although no one could rightfully call what we got this afternoon a “downpour,” it was nice to have my windows open to hear the steady drops of a passing shower tapping on my dry-as-dust deck and hard-as-concrete yard.

    July 23, 2012

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: This summer has us recalling the heat of ’36

    It was “only” 99 degrees one afternoon last week when I decided to work on a backyard deck. With a jack and a drill and a little more sweat than I wanted to invest in the project, I went about the business of leveling its sags and dips a bit. The sun pounded down on my head and shoulders like a thug’s blackjack, but as I packed my tools and drank a glass of cool water under a big maple tree a few hours later, I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I’ve been these past few dusty and drought-stricken weeks. I have worked under this summer’s heat lamp for only a few hours at a time, but God help the roofers and utility linesmen and firemen, and so many others, who are out in it day after long hot day.

    July 9, 2012

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: We had no better friend than Andy Taylor

    The world is a sadder place now that Andy Griffith has died, but at least we still have Andy Taylor.

    July 8, 2012 1 Photo

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Wading deeper into the subject of Blue Herons

    Like a relative who has worn out his welcome, the hot, parched weather of this young summer has already overstayed its visit with us, so my wife and I have found ourselves walking our road later in the evenings to keep our feet cool and our backs dry.

    June 25, 2012 1 Photo

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: Thanking two dads whose gifts have never stopped coming…

    It is nearly a week until Father’s Day, but I have had my dad, and my father-in-law — a second dad to me — on my mind today. I wrote about both men just a few weeks ago, but I have set my mind to write about them again anyway. I don’t want this story to be sad; they both loved to laugh and wouldn’t want that. No, I just wanted to tell them hello, and to thank them again for what they still do for me.

    June 11, 2012

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: Raising a flag for my father, veteran or not

    My daughter, Ellen, and I stood at my parents’ graves on Mother’s Day a few weeks back and talked about how it couldn’t possibly have been so long since we lost them. My dad, for instance, has been gone for 16 years, and that is nearly unimaginable

    May 28, 2012

  • tslunsford MIKE LUNSFORD: Time to become one of the boys of summer again …

    Besides writing for a living, I teach school, and I’m not ashamed to tell people that I still love my classroom. I’ve been a teacher for 33 years, all of them in the same school district, and virtually all of them in the same building. But I also have to tell you that if the next few weeks don’t slide by pretty quickly, I may just let loose of the last thread of sanity from which I have been dangling for a while now. There are a lot of teachers out there who feel the same way.

    May 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: It’s time for us to get the real lowdown on dirt…

    I have had my hands in the soil as of late. Two Fridays ago, I planted a viburnum bush, three chrysanthemums and a yellow poplar, not because it happened to be Earth Day, but because it was sunny and warm, and I had the whole afternoon to myself. The dirt I scraped out of and back into the shallow holes I dug near a backyard picket fence smelled good, and when dampened with a few sprinkles of water, it soon found its way into the deep wrinkles of my knuckles and under my fingernails. For the most part, I have nothing but good things to say about dirt.

    April 30, 2012

  • MIKE LUNSFORD: Make big money: Raise worms at home for fun and profit…

    When I think about all of the crazy things my brother and sister and I did just to make a few dollars when we were kids, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for teens this summer as they try to find jobs in what is supposed to be a very tight market. Money, to say the least, was a rare commodity when we were growing up, but you have to at least give us credit for trying.

    April 16, 2012

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    March 12, 2010