The Thirsty Mason Jar


There is only one place in the whole world where you can get it. And I savored it whenever I visited my grandparents in Blanco, Texas during the summer. It is what I simply called, “Blanco Water,” and the Blanco Municipal Water Supply was processed and purified right out of the Blanco River.

Hands-down, flat-out, Blanco, Texas is the source of the best glass of water that I ever grasped in my sweaty little hands. “Blanco Water,” tastes like it is “alive” with something pure, something clean, and it always quenches the thirst, being natural, full bodied, and wholesome.

As a boy, in the summer I preferred to drink the water right from the tap of my Grandma Vera’s kitchen sink. I would turn on the cold-water and fill an old Mason jar all the way to the rim.

I gulped down the “Blanco Water,” tightfistedly; spilling some of the clear beverage around the sides of my open mouth, feeling the cool streams run pleasantly down my sweaty neck. I finished the rest, lapping it over and behind my tongue, and then slugging it down my gullet.

Even after purification, the Blanco municipal water still has the essence and the taste of the river in it—you can take the water out of the Blanco River, but you cannot take Blanco out of the water.

“Blanco Water,” smells like the rich earth.  Immediately before a heavy summer rainstorm at my Grandpa’s Morris’s farm in kendalia, there was always a first a moist, living breeze that arrived.

This breeze moved just ahead of where the rain shower was going. It had the earthy smell of iron, minerals, and the savor of the plowed-over organic matter’s fertility. “Blanco Water,” rather smells like this summer rainstorm breeze to me.

I do not really know why “Blanco Water,” smells and tastes so good. Maybe it is the moss on the banks of the river, the earthen minerals in the clay, or the limestone bed rock bottom of the river. It might even be the trace of that “5 pound bass that got away,” slowly moseying along, in the cool green shadows of the river.

In August, our whole lot would sit under a giant Box Elder shade tree when got too hot. My Grandma Vera took Blanco Water, steeped it with tealeaves, sugar, and poured it all into a gallon glass pitcher.

Grandma brought this pitcher to the round table that 3 generations sat around lazily in the cool summer shade. She poured the ice tea into Mason jars filled with jagged-edged, ice-picked, shards of frozen crystal water.

Grandma always topped off her ice tea with a few fresh mint leaves from her backyard garden. Grandma Vera was the best. I really miss her. I miss those boyhood days.

That was half a century ago. Yet I can still smell and taste the memories of all of this when I drink a glass of “Blanco Water.”

How to Write With Style by Kurt Vonnegut (2 Videos)


How to Write With Style by Kurt Vonnegut

Source : How to Use the Power of the Printed Word, Doubleday

Newspaper reporters and technical writers are trained to reveal almost nothing about themselves in their writings. This makes them freaks in the world of writers, since almost all of the other ink-stained wretches in that world reveal a lot about themselves to readers. We call these revelations, accidental and intentional, elements of style.

These revelations tell us as readers what sort of person it is with whom we are spending time. Does the writer sound ignorant or informed, stupid or bright, crooked or honest, humorless or playful — ? And on and on.

Why should you examine your writing style with the idea of improving it? Do so as a mark of respect for your readers, whatever you’re writing. If you scribble your thoughts any which way, your readers will surely feel that you care nothing about them. They will mark you down as an egomaniac or a chowderhead — or, worse, they will stop reading you.

The most damning revelation you can make about yourself is that you do not know what is interesting and what is not. Don’t you yourself like or dislike writers mainly for what they choose to show you or make you think about? Did you ever admire an emptyheaded writer for his or her mastery of the language? No.

So your own winning style must begin with ideas in your head. Continue reading