Five things on a Tuesday : Costco, Hawksley Workman, Mt. Norway timelapse.


We pulled out of the parking lot; the back seat filled with peanut butter and peanuts and bananas and almond milk, and my head filled with grumbly thoughts of the kayaks and standup paddle boards and Japanese fruit maple trees and stuff I wanted…

…and we started to pull out and I saw this woman.

A mom. With two young children. Holding a sign.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t even have time to read the sign. Something about appreciating any help, et cetera. I was pulling out into traffic, but as I glanced in the side view mirror,

I caught the look she gave my three kids in the back seat…

…a smile.

She smiled at them as we rolled past her. It wasn’t a smile to get attention; I was already past her line of sight. It was a smile that a good person gives to people.

It was a smile that a good parent gives to children…because they love children.

It’s not a look that can be faked this side of Meryl Streep or Paul Rudd.*

Now, if she was a lousy person, a bad mom, whatever, would she still be deserving of basic human kindness and maybe a little financial help? Sure.

But the look this woman, this mom gave my kids…

I pulled around a couple lights later, back to the Costco parking lot and scrounged up the cash I had.

We rolled through, this time, I handed over a pittance…and what I hoped was a nice smile.

”Thank you,” she said, smiling at the back seat crew again. “You have beautiful children.”

”thank you,” I said. “And you do too.”

We turned right and this time, kept going straight, and I tried to think less grumbly thoughts this time.


*yes, I did reference Ms. Streep and Mr. Rudd in the same sentence. Two of the great thespians of our time.

Little fluffy dark clouds race over the Columbia River in the distance and the entrance to the Columbia Gorge in the foreground, as seen from Mt. Norway.

(June 05, 2019) MUSIC: J.M. Long "After the Flames" (instrumental / demo)

Hawksley Workman

I stumbled across a track that caught my eyes with its title: Birds in Train Stations, which rapidly became one of my fave tracks of the month. Slowly I worked through the rest of Median Age Wasteland, and discovered several others that are sparkling, roots-inspired pop that is quirky and sincere. A wry, talented lyricist with musical chops to spread some variety across the album. Dig.