Staircase bridge

A much more comfortable bridge on the Staircase hike than the log in a previous post. The water is high and fast and pale magical green.

I can’t find a source for this: “The older I get, the more I learn, which bridges to cross and which to burn.”

Doesn’t seem wise to burn bridges when rivers are flooding. But the bridge could wash out anyhow and then I would need to wait or go another way or build a new one.



Songs to raise girls: My name is Samuel Hall

The last time I visit my sister in hospice, my cousin is sitting by the bed when I arrive.

My sister looks terrible and like she is suffering. She is in renal failure and her eyes are slitted against the light. She is in a hospital bed and barely eating. It takes me three days to figure out how to make her comfortable.

But when I first arrive, I say hello and hug her. She laughs and it is dark.

She doesn’t want to talk. “Shall I sing to you?” I ask.

She nods.

I start singing a lullaby: I gave my love a cherry.

She shakes her head: no.

I study her. “How about Samuel Hall?”

She smiles and nods.

“My name is Samuel Hall,
Samuel Hall, Samuel Hall.
My name is Samuel Hall
And I hate you one and all
you’re a bunch of buggers all
damn your eyes, damn your eyes
you’re a bunch of buggers all
damn your eyes.”

Another song to raise girls. We adored it, because it is unrepentant, horrible and had swears.

I killed a man tis said
and I left him there for dead
with a bullet in his head
damn his eyes

My cousin’s eyes widen. “I haven’t thought of that song in years.” he says. He starts singing along, remembering.

They took me to the quod
They left me there by God
With a ball and chain and rod
Damn their eyes

My cousin has two children. I guess he is not raising them with the dark songs we were raised with….

The preacher he did come
And he looked so goddamn glum
As he talked of Kingdom Come
Damn his eyes

My sister is smiling, eyes slit against the light, angry.

The sheriff he came too
With his boys all dressed in blue
They’re a bunch of buggers too
Damn their eyes

To the gallows I must go
With my friends all down below
Saying “Sam, I told you so.”
Damn their eyes

I see Nellie in the crowd
I am shouting right out loud
I shout “Nellie, ain’t you proud!
Damn your eyes!”

“Let this be my parting Nell
Hope to see you all in Hell
Hope to Hell you sizzle well
Damn your eyes!”

And my sister laughs and then she sleeps for a while, angry, angry at death.

My name is Samuel Small:
My name is Samuel Hall:
My name is Samuel Hall:
and Johnny Cash:

This is not the suffering photo. I can’t bear to post that….


This is the Staircase hike on Monday. It was not slick enough to make me turn back, but if the water had been higher or there had not been a railing, I would have turned back. I thought about rising water on that hike.

And the same day, I received a county email that an 18 year old slipped crossing a creek and was swept away.

Love to his friends and family and I am so sorry.

Happy cat

This is for photrablogger’s Mundane Monday Challenge #46. Boa Cat eschews all commercial cat scratch posts and blankets and containers, but she likes to lie by me in the early morning when I write. I took a box and put one of my fleece jackets in it. Purrrfect. She curls up there in the morning and I can move the box easily. She likes it best on the table in the middle of everything so that she can watch when I leave for work.

Next I will decorate the box… I need some beautiful paper for Boa.