Fog Lights


After ordering a new switch from BJ’s Offroad (a useful and well-stocked supplier of FSJ parts and accessories in Washington), Carl and I went back to work on the fog lights in the carport this evening. Carl had come up with the electrical wiring diagram for the headlights to compare. Using his meter, we confirmed we had power to the switch at the harness (but the old switch didn’t work, hence the new one), and we knew the lights themselves had good wiring.

Still, even with the new switch in place, we had no fog lights. That left the relay that sat between them to test. Carl popped it off, reading he schematic printed on the side as if he were an archaeologist interpreting an ancient rune. After figuring out which of the five prong was which (and consulting the wiring diagram printout), he went back to work with the ohm meter, confirming the relay worked–in theory.

We Came for Salvation

Who would have thought watching a concert on top of a minivan in a speedway infield would be so cathartic?


I didn’t see a professional concert—as in a big, touring band—until I was in high school. We saw Billy Joel in Greenville, South Carolina. Kelly and I, who were high school sweethearts at that point, made the hour-and-a-half trip to city neither of us had ever been to. We had lucked into seats in the fourteenth row (still the best seats at a show I’ve ever gotten), so close Billy Joel could spit on us if he wanted to. It was amazing.

My kids, on the other hand, got to experience their first big concert in the midst of a pandemic that has cancelled almost every major touring schedule nationwide.

Nothing about a concert, either indoors or out, seems like a wise thing to do as we grapple with a virus that’s best spread through close contact. But when the Avett Brothers, as local of a big-time band as we probably have, decided they needed to play in front of actual, live people, they figured out a creative way to do it.

The kiddos check out the pre-show film from the back hatch.

Fever Dreams

Cicada by Chloe Ashton

Another day in the pandemic, this time with cicadas.


The cicadas sing in waves, one chorus rising from across the yard diminishing for another to rise with insect harmony. At times it can feel deafening, this persistent tree-hum; other times it is like white noise, useful for sitting out on the deck, the mobile phone put away, low music on the speakers, dim patio lights aglow.

My brain needs rest.

There is nothing new in this observation, but it’s worth mentioning nevertheless. Right now every sense we have is awash in a hyper-stimulated flood, the kind that wears you down and erodes what little measures of grace you might have in reserve.

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