I decided last Sunday that my arid, ailing lawn needed a good dousing, but my enthusiasm for completing this simplest of tasks withered rapidly.
You might scoff at the notion that you haven’t heard enough about COVID-19.
In theory I could tally how many times Chris Collins’ byline has been published in the Baker City Herald.
For the first time in my relatively uneventful life I was truly entertained by the chance to smash a fly with a rolled up magazine.
Until I read the book, I would have claimed, and with considerable confidence, that my feelings about the Holocaust were rigid.
The problem with leaves is that they don’t.
When I got home from work the other day my son Max, who’s almost 10, rushed into the kitchen with the sort of exuberance, and agility, that I haven’t been able to muster for many years.
I learned at least one thing from the second impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump.
The email’s subject line had the intended effect of causing my eyes to pause as they slid down the list of new messages in my inbox.
The saying that politics makes for strange bedfellows is a tidy aphorism, but I’m not sure it covers a situation as peculiar as Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi sharing a section of squishy pillowtop.
Probably you’ve been so focused on the pandemic that the sausage scourge has escaped your attention.
We went for a walk along the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway the afternoon of the Sunday before Christmas, and we had an encounter with a couple of river otters.
At the risk of sounding hopelessly naive, I find it depressing just how much we depend on social media to communicate.
I was feeling melancholy the other day until I learned that I could buy a brand new, factory-warrantied pickup truck that makes 702 horsepower and can go from a standstill to 60 mph faster tha…
America needs a nickname for the cretins who busted into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and insulted our country in a way that the burning of a thousand flags would not.
America, mired in an endless exchange of angry diatribes aided greatly by the ubiquity of social media, needs to revert to a simpler, more organic form of communication.
I’d been asking for 2020.
The warm front, slinking in like a soulless thief, was, I fear, inevitable.
I watched the Grinch carve a slice off the roast beast and slide the plate over to Cindy Lou Who, and my throat suddenly felt slightly constricted, and my eyes warm with moisture.
There is the sort of historical site with paved paths and informative signs and generous parking lots, and there is the sort of historical site where you might end up needing a tetanus shot.
I nudged the carton of eggnog aside to get at a can of soda in the refrigerator and it occurred to me, rather jarringly, how misplaced that carton was.
The roll of toilet paper looked as out of place as a bull elk in a library.
For the first time I have cause to wonder whether I might come under the scrutiny of the police, and solely because a couple of cars are parked in my driveway that aren’t normally there.
President Donald Trump has plenty of reasons to be particularly gracious in defeat.
I spent a couple of mornings recently sifting through about a century of Baker County history, but I never touched a book.
My son, Max, handed me the Tootsie Roll Pop and I fancied that I could feel my molars quivering in their fleshy sockets.
I’ve never met Stephen King and almost certainly I never will.
The sound echoed through the forest and we all stopped hiking suddenly.
As the water gushed from the faucet near my front porch I had to pause for a moment, as sodden and helpless as a kitten stuck in a flooding stream, and simply admire what my pipes are capable of.
I pressed my right foot hard against the gas pedal, as if I were digging a shovel’s blade into the soil, and our Toyota FJ Cruiser’s front tires plunged into the calf-deep mud puddle that span…
The pandemic has wrought such havoc on society that it’s hardly unreasonable to wonder whether life will ever seem quite the same, at least for those who have lived through it and were old eno…
I have been breathing, more or less constantly, for almost exactly half a century now, but respiratory prowess aside I can’t seem to think of this pending milestone as especially meaningful.
I’ve written dozens of stories over the years about wildfires but until one moment, just before dawn on a recent morning, the topic seemed to me professional rather than personal.
Presidential candidates always exaggerate the importance of the coming election.
I probably wouldn’t have detoured from the trail except that my son, Max, insisted.
Coronavirus is a frightening disease.
The wind turned up brisk out of the northwest the other evening, bringing to my nostrils the fresh scent of peppermint and to my brain the confirmation that this strangest of summers is indeed…
I spent a goodly portion of my lunch hour the other day searching in vain for a sheet of plastic.
Facebook has much to answer for in making it simple to sow the rhetorical poison that has made so much public discourse so unpalatable.
There are quite a few ways to get yourself killed in a national park.
By wearing a face mask when we can’t keep our distance from other people, so as to deprive them of whatever deleterious particles we might be expelling with each breath, we can save lives.
Football, it scarcely needs to be said, is not war.
The United States of America will turn 244 in a couple of days, which is quite old for a dog but is something closer to middle age for a nation.
The summer when I was 15 I crossed the Berlin Wall, hiked in the Alps and was subjected to a modest dose of radioactivity of which I was not aware.
I have been waging a war for several weeks against a clever and determined enemy that’s trying to invade, and potentially ruin, my home.
I had a dream the other night and the setting was the home and neighborhood where I grew up — chronologically, at least — but where I haven’t lived in 32 years.
It all started with a big bang.
The struggle that black Americans endured to achieve basic civil rights was long and bloody, a period marked by some of our country’s greatest moments, and some of its more shameful.
I was puttering about in my yard the other evening, enjoying the carefree amble of a man whose lawn is freshly mowed and flower beds recently purged of at least the most obvious weedy infiltrators.
I grew up in Western Oregon during the 1970s and ’80s, which means I also grew up knowing who D.B. Cooper was.
The spring snowdrift sprawling across a forest road sings a siren song, a charming melody that lures many an incautious traveler to a bad end.
As I stroll through Baker City neighborhoods most afternoons, pondering this improbable pandemic, my thoughts have also been straying just lately into the distant past.
Social distancing is considerably easier when you’re 20 miles from the nearest paved road.
The coronavirus pandemic has created two new fans of one of the great characters in big screen history — Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
I went for a walk on the warmest day of the year and the mild April sunshine felt so fine on my cheeks, and so familiar, that for a few moments I could believe that this spring was proceeding …
For four decades Baker County has seen itself through the lens of S. John Collins’ camera.