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The river is a short drive from where I spend weekends. At last it's warm enough to take our chairs, wine glasses and dog-grandson (we're minding him while the sons party with childhood friends) to the bank above sandbars and flowing water late in the afternoon. The only noises are occasional: the roar of an eager bull, the rattle of the wooden bridge, the swoosh of passing cars, the gleeful shouts and splashing of kids, and the admonitory voices of parents. While Cruz prowls and sniffs and unearths sticks with hope in his heart, we revise our newly-discovered mnemonic for geological periods: Cows often sit down carefully; perhaps their joints creak. Persistent early oiling might prevent painful rheumatism.

Join us for a glass? We do have conversation beyond the geological.