The Agony and the Allergy

For as long as I can remember, I have carried a Kleenex at the ready. A hunter could easily track me by my trail of wadded tissues—stuffed under my pillow, down among the bedclothes, in every available pocket, tucked under skirt belts and up blouse sleeves, making little white mounds in my purse, on my desk, under the cushion of my favorite reading chair, inevitably drifting down to the floor of whatever room I visit, even briefly.

The Petrified Forest

Driving east to San Augustine, against the grain of the pioneers, I first met the Piney Woods of East Texas at Crockett. Abruptly, a forest curtain fell. Gone was the big Texas sky, the familiar flat, horizontal junction of earth and cloud, the sense of space that shaped the expansive character of the West. Green-and-brown vertical walls stretched along each side of Highway 7, the two-lane road that cuts through the Davy Crockett National Forest. Long bright shafts of light sifted through the dark trees like a chiaroscuro sketch.

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