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Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sunday, 9:00 AM.  11 degrees F, wind W, calm to light.  The humidity is 84%, and the barometer is up some, at 30.12.  It is overcast but promises to clear. It is a foggy, misty morning, the pale sun shinning fretfully through the murky atmosphere.  We are getting some lake effect snow, about an inch of which fell last night and the city  trucks have already addressed.  The channel appears to have frozen over last night and is covered with the fresh snow, but the least pickup in wind will scatter and sink it.  The new snow clings to the long needles of the big white pines, and the short needles of the Jack pine on the south side of the house are adorned with hoar frost. 
    Yesterday afternoon a squall line of snow blew through Bayfield from the west, riding on the strong winds that had been blowing all day.  Several inches of snow was deposited on the ground in a very short time, and the city became fresh and white once more.
    I will continue my pledge of no political commentary, my “Never on Sunday” vow in the new year. 
But it being Sunday and my pen being restless, I will offer you a sermonette.  About the evils of obsession.  The surrendering of logic and propriety to an activity that, if not actually harmful (although most obsessions are, by their very nature), is at best wasteful and distracting.  We have all had obsessions; some, like smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol or even food, can be life threatening.  Add phoning and texting while driving to that list.
    Others,  such as watching endless hours of TV football games or spending too much time on one hobby or another are likely only to draw the ire of one’s wife, although that can be quite dangerous  as well, come to think of it.
    And then there is Buddy’s obsession with the rabbits that live under the shed.  He simply cannot, cannot go out the door without making a bee-line for the woodshed.  He stares at the rabbit hole under the shed door.  He runs around and around the shed, nose to the ground, oblivious to everything else.  Not a seemly  thing for a bird dog to do.  And his obsession has tempted him into digging under the shed, trying to roll the stone underpinnings out of his way.  If I didn’t call him off he would soon disappear beneath the shed, tail wagging furiously all the way.
    I tell him “no,” and to “leave it.”  Which he does…and then is back at it again as soon as I turn my back.  He is obsessed.
Now, obsessions have consequences, some merely unpleasant, like being berated by your wife, some dire, such as a car accident, some fatal, like cancer or cirrhosis of the liver.  Whether such consequences result from punishment by a higher power (have to bring that up, as this is Sunday, after all) or simply the natural consequences of the obsessive act itself is of little consequence.  The end result is the same.
    For Buddy the consequence of his unremitting submission to obsession will  be do to the act of a higher power…me.  The next time he digs under the shed while wearing his electronic collar he is going to get zapped.    

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