Not too long ago - a matter of days rather than weeks - I was struck with a case of tinnitus. It's pretty loud sometimes. Right now it's distractingly loud.

I played around on my guitar a little bit to try to figure out what note the ringing is. My conclusion is that it is probably a very high B. It sounds like my ears used to after a loud concert, but I haven't been listening to anything loud lately.

The ringing isn't always apparent. A couple of times a day it will become distracting, like in the morning and late afternoon.

We're going through a warm spell here, near the headwaters of the Pigeon River. It's been two nights without frost. It's getting real warm down in town (Waynesville to Asheville) but 60 ℉ up here is a treat too.

I've been taking my coffee out into the front yard and sitting on the stump with Rocko and George for a while each morning lately, ever since the day the my Dad and my brother Karl came over to bring me some Thanksgiving leftovers. On that day I went out to the yard and just decided to sit on the stump. I enjoyed the feeling of sitting there, looking down our short yard into the woods and across to the hound dogs who guard the goat pasture next door. It is a quiet place to sit. An occasional car will go by; the dogs in the pasture might start barking. They don't usually bark at me as long as I have my walking stick and leather hat.

I know the name of the oldest and closest dog; he is called Hammerhead. He's a retired hunting dog. Lisa used to call him Mack until we learned his real name. If he barks at me, I call out, "Howdy Hammerhead, good dog!" , and he'll shut up and wag his tail. ("Hey look, it's the guy on the hill with the stick and hat! He knows my name and always calls me a good dog!")

We are very close to the road, much as we were at my first house (1986-1997) in Dublin, NY. Coincidentally, that first house's mailing address was Clyde, NY. I now work at a store in Clyde, NC. Both are small villages with railroads and rivers. One difference that springs to mind is that Clyde here in NC is a dry town. That's good for me, since it means I don't have to deal with too many drunk customers.

Well now. Writing the above piece, once I got away from tinnitus, distracted me from the incessant ringing. Now it is back. I guess I should warm up my coffee and go out to the stump for a while. It's almost 9 AM and the sun has only crested the east ridge within the last 15 minutes, over an hour after "sunrise", so it's a nice time to relax and listen to the river and the creeks and the birds.

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