February 17

A dog like I used to have. An overnight mountain snow lies on the ground and the dog bounds and rolls around in it. His fur is trimmed short and I’m not sure what kind of dog he is, and have to ask to find out it’s a Golden Retriever.

He chases people who slide down the hill in a sled.

In a courtroom she walks before the judge. She has a ruddy face and is using a cane. She’s charged with stealing money from a foundation started by her rich husband. She did it so she could gamble.

Once she was mayor of the city. She was mayor of San Diego back in the 80’s. Before that she was one of a family of 13 kids.

But she never had any kids of her own. What do you do when you’re 66 and in trouble and you don’t have any kids?

Road trips are good even if you’re only going 50 miles. My wife and I were in the front seat and our children were in the back as we drove into the mountains to be in the snow.

The trees were covered with hoarfrost and clouds pressed on them to cover their tops.

Winter is short here and it quickly becomes spring, though spring is not much different from any other time of year. Should I give up dreaming for lent? I wish I could give up the pain in my legs.

Life is long and too much the same. I wish I could be like that dog in the snow. I would love the snow and love knowing that I have kids in the back of the car. Not like that poor woman walking with a cane.

Each day death gets closer to the old man. It’s not welcome but it’s something he asked for, like the stuff that fills up your garage when you live someplace too long. Your walk and your wit take the long way to get places and you stumble over the clutter of memories and even more things that are forgotten, until death takes it all to place where we throw things away.

Her lawyer asked me, “What’s your game?” I said poker. But I had a better hand because I knew I had more that I could gamble and lose. So I never sat in the casino where screens light your face and you push the buttons that are guaranteed to take your money.

What if we never won? What if fools with golf clubs never hit the perfect shot that climbed higher and higher on its way to the green and just barely succumbed to gravity? Winning makes us think we aren’t really losers even when we are guaranteed to be.

Death is guaranteed. We can just do it well.

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