Category: Short Stories

The Blessings of Retirement

Retirement means, of course, launching full-tilt into the rest of life, set to do all the things we have been wanting to do, but lacked the long, connected strings of time to do them. There’s nothing like a chainsaw, a splitting axe and some old-fashioned salvage logging and wood-cutting to facilitate social distancing. Read more →

Sandy Compton Chief Joseph Nesplem

Visiting Chief Joseph — September 19, 1999

“NEZ PARCE CMTY.” — An excerpt from  Side Trips From Cowboy Journal entries, September 19 — Dawn, The Keller-Nespelem Divide, Washington. I have just met Alfredo. He and his crew of five young, Spanish-speaking men showed up as I stuffed my dew-soaked bag into its sack. They turn their music up, bring out chain saws, hard hats, gloves, chaps, goggles.… Read more →

Surviving the Mother of All Overscheduled Weekends . . . and watering trees

Sandpoint, the nominal capitol of the vague state of Montaho was VERY busy last weekend. Hundreds of folks from as far away as Athol — heck, maybe even Spokane — strolled the streets with melting huckleberry ice cream running down their arms, because it was also hotter than a firecracker. I probably shouldn’t even say “firecracker.” We’ve been smelling smoke… Read more →

The Scenic Route, by Sandy Compton

Scenic Route April 2015: Unpredictability

April, 2015 — Unpredictability. This morning, a snowshoe hare hopped across my line of sight, still completely and unfortunately white in the face of our disappeared winter. It was in a hurry, as if it knows how well it stands out against the forest. It was a poignant sighting. I felt a bit of grief that such a well-adapted critter… Read more →

Nadine’s Nose From A to Z or East Meets West

As it was, there was no way out of it, and even if there had been, Nadine would have done the same thing, no matter the crazy, trying circumstances nor the strident, screeching disapproval of Mother Sednick when Nadine called to tell her the plan and finally hung up shaking, crying and more determined than ever. Being in Montana made… Read more →

August 2015: Good Dog!

There’s a snowshoe hare living somewhere around my yard. I see her (him?) almost every day. Medium brown. Medium sized. Medium-length ears. Extra fast. Most often, I see it when I come home from somewhere, sitting sentinel in the yard. As soon as I drive in, it blitzes off into the brush. GC — my dog — has either not… Read more →

Antigone

Following the message, a long, plaintive beeeeeeeeeeeep told Della that Mix hadn’t checked messages for some time. It was as if the machine was as lonely as she, also lamenting his neglect. She imagined it listening for his fumbling fingers at the door, praying he would get the key into the lock before it died of longing. When the phone… Read more →

God Drives An Old Cadillac Convertible

Dear Mother, We are six months in the United States, now in a place called Montana. We came here from Washington State because we heard of work, but the orchards are small, and the crop is not good from the cold spring. Since my last letter, we have been disappointed and hungry much of the time. Our old bus has… Read more →