Five-minute warning

I use this Ukraine-made hourglass calibrated to five minutes to time participants in open mic events.

It’s inspired by Merrimack Mic, where I found it very helpful during poetry readings. Writers, including this one, are tempted to go beyond their allotted time.

It’s good to keep it in the corner of my eye when performing, as I also do when I’m hosting.

On a real desktop, too.

 

Gingerbread village

Sometime after the Twelve Days of Christmas end on January 6, we take our gingerbread decorations outdoors for the wild critters to discover and devour.

Here’s part of a village inserted into a pile of snow on a tabletop.

Looks like it belonged there all along. The squirrels, however, will soon be scampering off with the pieces.

Looks to me like a little ski village.

 

How long has that hyphen been there?

Central Fire Station, Dover, New Hampshire.

After years of taking the same route, have you ever been startled to look up and see something striking for the first time?

I’ve driven or walked past this almost daily for the past 20 years but simply hadn’t noted the one detail. The 9-11 in the address.

Take a close look at that sign.

Firefighters across the Northeast feel deeply about their fallen brothers in the World Trade Center attacks, especially those afflicted later by the toxic consequences. Dover’s professionals are no exception, as the mural painted across the back of the Central Station parking lot proclaims.

The mural reflects the department’s solidarity with the wider brotherhood of firefighters.

When I gazed up and saw that hyphen in 9-11, I thought they had inserted it in the street address – 911 – perhaps as a sign of continuing support.

The building next door, at 7 Broadway.

Then my eyes caught the address next door – 7 – and I realized the station sits at 9 and 11 Broadway, where it’s been for more than a century. How coincidental, then, that its address would line up with a much later significance.