BILIOUS BLASPHEMERS, IT’S HOT! – Home Country

“Sanctimonious siphons, it’s hot!” said Dud, sitting at the philosophy counter and turning over his coffee cup for action with a single smooth move. Dud is a regular at the Mule Barn truck stop’s legendary world dilemma think tank.

“Epithet time again, Dudley?” said Doc.

“Epithets and

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PEOPLE WHO DANCE THROUGH OUR LIVES – Home Country

Mrs. Doc watched the dancers swirl around the cleared hardwood floor of the Legion hall, and smiled to see her husband, Doc, waltzing with Ardis Fisher. But Mrs. Doc was never one to sit out a waltz, so she looked around at the menu.

Over in the corner, smiling and tapping his foot, was Pop Walker.

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A TIME OF CELEBRATION & FREEDOM – Home Country

The annual Fourth of July picnic is a celebration of time and freedom. We’d all watched the parade, earlier, because that’s what you do on the Fourth, and we believe in it.

Our parade features Scout troops in uniform, the high school band, floats with pretty girls … well, okay, it’s actually

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GETTING AWAY – Home Country

Steve looked out from the turret of his cabin and watched the sun set behind the mountain. Branding is over for the spring, and he was able to get away from the ranch for a few days, so here he was, in his private castle, sipping private coffee, looking down at his private horse eating hay in his

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LOOKING OUT AT THE WORLD – Home Country

Steve reached up and put his cup of coffee on the floor of the turret in his cabin, then climbed the ladder until both he and the coffee were comfortable, looking out at the world.

The only people who didn’t understand why he built a turret on his little cabin up here high on the mountain were folks

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LIFE IS GOOD – Home Country

Billy slowly raised one eyelid and looked around. Boots and Desdemona, Aunt Ada’s cats, were curled up, one against his belly and one against his back. Billy hated to wake the cats, but when a guy has to go find a tree, well, call it collateral damage. He got up, stretched and yawned and trotted

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ONE HELLVETIUS HOT SUMMER – Home Country

Windy’s pickup truck was the third one to arrive at the scene of the fender bender. Both cars pretty well plugged up the road, and once it was determined no one was hurt, and the police had been called, Windy surveyed the situation.

1.Weather – decent if you’re wearing a coat.

2.No one’s going

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KITES UP AS HIGH AS THE STRING ALLOWS – Home Country

Marjorie Pincus looked out the front window at her husband, Marvin, and smiled. No matter how old he gets, she thought, he’ll always be the boy I remember, riding his bicycle through this town so many years ago.

Marvin had stopped picking out the nutgrass and was watching a small group of children

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IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – Home Country

Windy Wilson was cruising around the other day, in search of an audience, but the cold drove him indoors…at the elementary school cafeteria.

“What’s that you say? Coldest you ever been? Well, kids, let me tell you somethin’ about cold!

“When I was just a tad, we was comin’ off what they

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ARCHERY TOURNAMENT RAISES MONEY FOR KIDS – Home Country

Well, the first archery tournament to raise money to buy warm clothes for some of the local kids is now in the history books, and it would have to be considered a success.

Doc, who has more initials after his name than anyone in town and therefore is considered by strangers to be smarter than anyone

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TIME TO RAISE MONEY FOR KIDS’ WINTER CLOTHES – Home Country

Well, it’s Fall and time once again for Doc’s annual golf tournament to raise money for kids’ winter clothes. But the recent heavy rains have kinda wiped out his “golf course” on two adjoining farms and a patch of woods. But Doc is nothing if not creative.

“This year, boys,” he said,

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ONE MORE CUP OF COFFEE PLEASE – Home Country

There’s something so satisfying about getting out of bed when the world is still dark and quiet and resting. Making the coffee gives us time to scratch and think. Well, scratch, anyway. Most of that thinking will start after about the third cup of coffee.

But it’s a quiet time. A private time.

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ONLY TEN BUCKS A HEAD FOR GOLF TOURNAMENT – Home Country

In honor of his entirely fictional pet squirrel, Doc is calling the annual golf tournament the Chipper Invitational this year. He’s thinking of making that a permanent name for his invention, the most unusual golf tournament in history.

Oh, you remember how it began, when Doc decided to raise money

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SMALL TOWNS. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING… – Home Country

It was Thursday again. Mabel Adams asked at the desk to be sure.

“Thursday all day, Mabel,” the girl said. “Don’t forget to get your hair done today. Two o’clock … right?”

“Right,” Mabel said, locking the time away in her mind. “Two o’clock. On Thursday.”

She took her purple

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LUNCHTIME AT THE SALE BARN – Home Country

It was lunchtime at the sale barn on the edge of town and the guys were milling around. They didn’t really want to eat there, as the regular cook had a family emergency in the next state, so it was a substitute named Leroy and the guys knew that everything Leroy cooked tasted like toast.

So they

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LOOK! HEARING AIDS – Home Country

“Bert looks good this morning, Doc,” Dud said, quietly. Three stools down the counter, Bert smiled and said, “Yes, I certainly do!”

We turned toward our old pal. “You heard that?”

“Sure did, guys,” he grinned. “Look….”

He pointed to his ears. “Hearing aids,” he said. We

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WEEDS OF YESTERDAY ARE THE TREASURES OF TOMORROW – Home Country

Days like this, said Doc, a guy has to get out and get his yard work done early, before it gets too hot.

“So when does it get too hot, Doc?”

“Oh, about three o’clock in the morning. Makes it a toss-up. Do you get up early without the benefit of coffee and conversation and go weed the petunias

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WHAT THE FLAG MEANS TO EACH OF US IS… PERSONAL – Home Country

We all watched as the flag came by. It was the first thing in the parade, of course. Great big one, carried by two of the kids from the ROTC at the high school. The bands followed, along with the mounted patrol, the ski patrol in their summer-weight jackets, the float with the princesses on it, and

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HAVE YOU ORDERED YOUR BACKSCRATCHER YET? – Home Country

I’ve discovered the wonderful world of petty mail-order junk. I love it. A computer is a grand tool for opening the world of spending petty cash for a guy, but it’s not really essential. You can do without one if you just get on the catalog list. The simplest way to do that is to send away for

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THE SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT IN JUNE – Home Country

It is the heat that defines us this time of year. Defines our sweaty days with the brassy skies and afternoons that make us clamor for shade. The heat gives us an excuse to make June the biggest beer-drinking month of the year and returns certain words to our vocabularies: cooler pads, swampers, squirrel

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HONE ON THE RANGE – Home Country

Delbert’s at it again. You know Delbert McLain, our local chamber of commerce? He’s the guy who wants to bring lots of people here so the place isn’t quite as nice as it is now.

Well, ol’ Delbert zipped into the Mule Barn truck stop the other day, plopped down at the empty Round

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DEWEY’S MANURE BUSINESS IS POPPIN’ – Home Country

Doc saw Dewey the other day, supervising as Windy Wilson unloaded a dump truck of manure into a huge bin on a vacant lot.

“I’ll go persecute some more, Dewey,” Windy said, and drove off toward the feedlot.

Well, Doc had to ask.

“It’s simple, Doc,” said Dewey, the pharaoh

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SHAKE IT OUT – Home Country

Steve, the tall cowboy of us philosophy types, was riding a young horse through town the other day to get him used to “boogers.”

To gentle a horse, he explained, you give them something to booger at, and then talk them out of it. You keep coming up with new boogers and calming the horse

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PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE- THE BAHDZIEWICZ WAY – Home Country

“So why do we salute the flag, kids?” said Abraham Lincoln Bahdziewicz.

Woodrow Wilson Bahdziewicz, the oldest of the Bahdziewicz kids, raised his hand.

“Yes, Woody?” said his dad.
“To say thank you for the United States of America…”
“No it

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CAN’T WAIT – Home Country

Mabel Adams was out the other day, with her new walker, the one with the basket on it, and a seat for sitting when she gets tired? It’s a purple kind of walker and she likes it. It has hand brakes, too, just like a bicycle. She was headed for the Curl Up ‘N Dye beauty salon to get her

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