2.225 writers, fopal overload

Tuesday 07/20/2021

Between 6am and 8:30, after reading the paper, I wrote a short piece for the writers group.

Did the aerobics class. Killed time until the writers group. I’ll append the piece. The cue this time was “Water”. Just that, water.

At 12 I headed out for FOPAL where I found the computer section had been slammed with at least 10 boxes of donations. I processed four boxes which took all the time I had — I need to be gone by 3pm when they open up for donations. I will have to go back tomorrow and try to catch up.

Yesterday and again today I worked on a program for STIP. This was based on an exercise at the end of Chapter 2, which basically said, “rewrite the program in this chapter to do its work this completely different way.” So I did.

This evening I finished coding it before going down to supper. Then after supper, I ran it. The first test cases worked perfectly! This creates lots of good feelings. Some more complicated test cases revealed two bugs, which I fixed easily.

Here’s my piece for the writers.

The first mental image following on the prompt “Water” arose from my childhood. Here’s the setting.

Our farm was served by a gravel road which descended on a gentle grade past our driveway.

The road, like all county roads in western Washington, was flanked by ditches to carry the runoff from the frequent rain. A stream of clear water ran in the ditch all winter and spring, sometimes a trickle, sometimes a burly flow.

At our driveway the ditch passed through a 20-foot cement culvert about 14 inches in diameter. This introduced the magic of all culverts and bridges: water entered on the uphill side, disappeared, and emerged on the downhill side. A floating object could be released at the high end, would vanish, and then would — usually! but only after much more time than seemed appropriate — emerge at the low end. Is it coming? Too long… it must be stuck… there it is!

Right? Tell me you never played this game!

At the lower end of the culvert the water had eroded a little pool which I, aged 8 or 9, would enthusiastically enlarge. On a Saturday morning, after a rainstorm had cleared, I would put on my Christopher Robin-style rain boots and go out to the end of the culvert. For an hour or more I would tote rocks and pull up sods from the adjacent field, and build a U-shaped dam to hold the flow in the ditch. I could build up a couple of bathtubs worth of water. After running a few sticks through the culvert to fetch up in my new harbor pool, I would kick out the center of the dam and admire the heavy whoosh of water escaping on down the ditch.

And then build up the dam and watch it refill. The satisfactions of flowing water are endless.

One thought on “2.225 writers, fopal overload

  1. I LOVE this story!!! Because of my unending love of every blade of grass on the farm- I was right there with you!!
    I could hear it- see it-smell it!!
    Thank you for the memories!!


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