Category Archives: David Feela

Gut reflex

Print this articleGenerally speaking, a frost heave is prompted by freezing conditions. It has nothing to do with vomit. Moisture penetrates the soil and as the ice expands, the ground swells. It’s a natural phenomenon, especially in Vermont. Nothing to … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The celebrated flagger of Calaveras County

Print this articleA steep Highway 49 weaves snakelike through the dry, golden hills of the Golden State as it crosses into Calaveras County. I pulled up beside a road worker holding his traffic sign. I had been warned, over five … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Groping for memories

Print this articleSexual assault disorder (SAD) is not exclusively a man thing, but what’s really sad is the behavior is so ingrained in the drinking culture that this alcohol-induced lifestyle choice leads to acute cases of repressive memory disorder (RMD) … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Have a GFF New Year

Print this articleAny day now I’ll walk into a shop where a “Gluten Free” sign hangs on the wall. Striding up to the counter, pointing toward the sign, I’ll request a free bag of gluten. I haven’t done it yet. … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Shooting the breeze

Print this articleIt’s a beautiful autumn day, the mountain trail cobbled with golden leaves like a path to heaven. The sun warms your back, a breeze chatters among the leaves. You’re listening intently to the conversation when the crack of … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The lie of the land

Print this article“Truth is the most valuable thing we have. Let us economize it.” –Mark Twain An ancient marble mask sculpted during the Roman Empire’s heyday hangs on a church wall outside Rome’s Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Archaeologists aren’t sure … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Cars in our stars

Print this articleIt requires determination to reach the Nebraska panhandle, an area wedged between South Dakota, Wyoming, and the northeast corner of Colorado. Some might go so far as to say there’s little to recommend the attempt. But over 60,000 … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

An urning wage

Print this articleOne thing you never expect to find in a thrift store is your parents, and I don’t mean an elderly couple strolling the aisles reminiscing over items they used to own. Parents, especially retired ones living on fixed … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Tacky tours

Print this articleRecent threats over increased entrance fees targeted for parks located mostly in the West might make you might think it’s time to consider a few alternative travel itineraries for your summer vacation. After all, peak season had been … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The osprey has landed

Print this articleMy daily bicycle ritual usually takes me north of town, past the hospital to pedal along our rural county roads. On a windy day at the end of April a most unusual scene unfolded as I headed out. … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Poets Anonymous

Print this articleI headed for the podium. The audience fell silent, all eyes pivoting toward the front of the room where I stood. Working up the courage to face them, I pulled my shoulders back, stood tall, and recited the … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Hands up

Print this articleStudents gather around their teacher, pillows and cushions supporting their tender spots, as Miss Aimee introduces the book she’ll be reading. “Children,” she says, “quiet down now. Our story this afternoon is titled Good Guns, Bad Guns. Don’t … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Our fearless reader?

Print this articleA long-anticipated book release is sometimes worth the wait. Mark Twain died in 1910. His autobiography was scheduled to appear (by his explicit instructions) a century after his death. Lucky for me, I only had to wait 64 … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Thou shalt not

Print this articleA notice prohibiting smoking while filling one’s gas tank is posted at every service station. It’s a common-sense rule, quite the opposite of the warning on every pillow and mattress declaring, under penalty of law this tag is … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Sedimental journey

Print this articleThe cone-shaped formations at New Mexico’s Tent Rocks National Monument stand tall, having survived an era of great upheaval. Good for them. As I approached the park entrance gate I overheard the employee on duty giving phone instructions … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

A tree story

Print this articleThe Irish call them “The Dark Hedges” and perhaps they once resembled hedges when James Stuart’s family first planted 150 beech trees along the avenue leading to their newly constructed 18th-century Gracehill House. Had he been born a … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Too much of this garbage

Print this articleWhen the telephone rang, I listened to my answering machine. A “holiday change of schedule” announcement from my new trash service was being unloaded by a recorded voice. The week before, my old company sent me a letter … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Aisle B watching

Print this articleInstead of pushing a cart with a wonky wheel, I walked over to pick up a handy totable plastic basket. None were in sight. I asked an attendant if she knew where I’d find one. “Not here, somebody … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Adjective deficit disorder

Print this articleIn my neighborhood a house has been boarded up, its grass crispy and uncut, a stubble of weeds longer than a 5 o’clock shadow. The absent owner leaned an enormous piece of plywood against the side of the … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Domestic archaeology

Print this articleJust like that noted Egyptologist, Howard Carter – the one who discovered King Tut’s mummified remains surrounded by a breathtaking array of splendid treasures – except in my case, no treasures. All I’d come noseto- nose with in … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Summer vacation

Print this articleTravel plans blossom suddenly like roses as summer nears. Maybe a camping expedition to the lake come Memorial Day, just a warm up exercise. A national park after that. If the imagination is permitted free rein, soon enough … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Lodging a complaint

Print this articleI pulled into the motel parking lot, shut off my engine, and looked around without stepping out of the truck. From a distance I thought the motel might qualify for a three-star rating. Then after a closer look, … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Airline antics

Print this articleI’d been trying to make my way to London with a woman they’d seated ten rows ahead of me on the opposite side of the plane for our wedding anniversary. That morning the airline informed us that our … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Hidden costs

Print this articleI shut the engine off at the gas pump, but before I could even open the truck door a man who looked like he’d been living close to the knuckle stepped up to my open window and rested … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The hood

Print this articleAfter selling our three-acre rural homestead, complete with barn, pond, and irrigation water, and after moving into a smaller single-story house within the city limits, I received an email from a friend: Welcome to the hood. I’d been … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Star-struck

Print this articleWhile shopping for discounted Christmas items, I overheard a conversation between a customer and a cashier. I should have moved along and minded my own business except the employee started gushing about her kids’ thoughtfulness. They’d bought her … Continue reading

Published in David Feela, March 2017

Fake news

Print this articleAfter the 2016 presidential election results skidded across the internet at my house, I had to wonder what went wrong with those enormous data-driven insights into how the race would play out. The Huffington Post, for example, predicted … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The American bird

Print this articleA wild turkey crossed my path last year while I hiked along Petroglyph Trail, a recreational sidebar within the greater Mesa Verde National Park, on — of all days — Thanksgiving Day. It posed in the open for … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Hello & goodbye

Print this articleIf Rene Descartes traveled extensively during the 17th century like tourists of today, he might never have written, “I think, therefore I am,” but instead chosen the axiom, “I see, therefore I be.” As a philosopher whose explorations … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

At the cell level

Print this articleThere’s nothing like entering a dimmed theater to dramatize how thoroughly our senses slam shut, especially if it’s a sunny day outside. Sensory deprivation, that old story of having to rely on, even if just for a moment, … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

To bag or not to bag

Print this articleThe brown paper wrapper I carried out of the bookstore wasn’t for the sake of discretion. Truth be told, the bookstore refuses to handle plastic anymore. Ideally, the clerk told me, it was on the verge of going … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

May Day for our public lands

Print this articleWhen I parked beside the locked gate at the Cabin Canyon Recreation Site, the hefty entrance sign that had been bolted together out of 4-by-4 lay flat on the gravel, and the solid-steel, forest-green tube where campers are … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The drain game

Print this articleWhen I first learned that the gullies along most county roads in the Southwest are referred to as bar ditches, I thought they were named for the unfortunate drivers who’d had a few too many drinks before heading … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Ornamental livestock

Print this articleI was sitting in a comfortable chair one evening, reading a chapter from a vintage Western, when I glanced out the window to see a horse cropping the grass along my driveway. I don’t own a horse. I … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Kauia-it, please!

Print this articleA couple we know sat down at a local coffee shop and told us of their excellent trip to Kauai, one of the Hawaiian islands which offers to tourists – among many pleasures – more than 9,000 acres … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Signs of the times

Print this articleThe most fabulous video game of the 1980s turned out to be Pac-Man, its object to direct your Pac-Man (with jaw working) through an elaborate maze, eating every dot you spot along the way, all the time moving … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Walking the dogs

Print this articleI never imagined myself as a Rec Center type. I bicycle gravel roads when the weather allows me to ride, and I own a secondhand elliptical exercise machine, tucked into a corner of the barn for those inclement … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The Shipping Dues

Print this articleIncreasingly what we need we haven’t got and to get it to us requires a corporation. The Post Office just stamps its feet and continues to manufacture more boxes. I don’t know about you, but increased shipping costs … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

Send in the clouds

Print this articleYesterday while I was walking past our local funeral home, a young man — presumably an employee — tottered along the curb with one of those portable blower devices, raising a cloud of dust, sweeping down the street … Continue reading

Published in David Feela

The invisible hand

Print this articleOn my way home from a road trip to California I rented a motel room, which isn’t that unusual. What I didn’t expect is that I’d lose my credit card. To lose a credit card these days is … Continue reading

Published in David Feela