Fall is Here – Winter is Near – #Socs

It’s the first Friday of fall and we’re kicking off the new season while we reward ourselves for making it this far. All the while, we are dancing with Linda G. Hill’s famous Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Speaking of which, or whom, be on the lookout for an important announcement at the end of this post. The prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘near/far.’ Use ‘near,’ use ‘far,’ use them both if you’d like. In fact, if you start your post with one and end with the other, you get bonus points! Enjoy!”

Did she say, ‘bonus points?’ – She did. OK then, if we were having a beer, we’d be going for bonus points.

“Near Beer? – Cheryl, why is this on the Specials menu?”

“One of the local breweries is making a low-alcohol version of their pumpkin spice ale, Dan.”

“Ugh, ugh and double ugh. Pumpkin spice belongs in pumpkin pie, and alcohol belongs in beer.”

“Easy, Dan. Cheryl, please get twelve ounces of Corona Extra – stat, for my young friend before he works himself into a lather.”

“And a John Howell’s Special for you, David? Or would you like to try the Pumpkin spice ale?”

“I prefer my alcohol in the concentrated form of bourbon.”

“I’ll get those in a sec.”

“Dan, why the angst over near beer?”

“When my brother and I were in Duluth, we were trying to buy beer to eat with the smoked fish we had bought.”

“What kind of fish?”

“You’re changing the subject.”

“Yes, well it sounds like a boring story is coming, so I thought I would try.”

“We had salmon, white fish and lake trout. And we were trying to get some beer.”

“I’m moving as fast as I can, Dan. Here’s your Corona and David, here’s your bourbon, your seltzer, your ice – phew – and your cherries.”

“Thanks Cheryl, I don’t think it’s that difficult an order.”

“And I wasn’t complaining about you not bringing me a Corona, I was telling David about trying to buy beer in Duluth.”

“And I was trying to avoid hearing that story, but go ahead Dan.”

“Before you start, I’m sorry for thinking you were snapping at me, Dan. It’s been a busy day. I’m a little frazzled.”

“I’m sorry. I see they have you running through the bar and the lounge.”

“And the patio is still open. We can’t get enough servers, so thy have me running near and far. In any case, finish your story, I’ll be back.”

“Yes, Dan, by all means finish that story. You were trying to buy beer when you left off. Please don’t leave us in such painful suspense.”

“I was going to make this a short story, but…”

“…You never learned how.

“Sigh…We decided to stop at a gas station that had a convenience store. I went inside, but all I could find was non-alcoholic beer.”

“What’s the point?”

“Exactly. We left and stopped at a grocery store. We needed paper plates, forks and that kind of stuff, and some crackers.”

“Crackers? For fish?”

“We also bought some smoked cheese.”

“A detail you forgot. I hope that doesn’t mean you’re going to start over.”

“Anyway, as I was saying, we stopped at a grocery store. I saw a sign in one aisle that said ‘beer,’ so I was feeling pretty good.”

“It sounds like there’s a ‘but’ coming.”

“I looked in the cooler and saw twelve-packs of Labatt Blue – I love that beer. I pulled one out, only to find it was non-alcoholic.”

“Non-alcoholic Labatt Blue?”

“Get this, they also had non-alcoholic Heineken, non-alcoholic Coors, non-alcoholic Old Milwaukee and even non-alcoholic Busch!”

“Non-alcoholic Busch? Dan, that’s absurd. There’s barely any reason to drink Busch in the first place.”

“I know!”

“Which did you choose?”

“I found one local beer, Lost Lake Pilsner, so I bought that.”

“Why was that the only one with alcohol?”

“It turns out, David, Minnesota only allows three-two-beer to be sold in stores other than places licensed to sell liquor.”

“Didn’t you tell me that was how it was in West Virginia?”

“Yes, but that was almost fifty years ago. Minnesota is the only state with that restriction today.”

“Was that beer any good, Dan?”

“It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t bring any home.”

“I see your Corona is empty, would you like another, Dan?”

“I would Cheryl, and since David is treating today, how about some wings?”

“I’ll get your beer and then I’ll put that order in.”


“David, is that bourbon working for you?

“Yes, so far.”

Announcement: Linda G. Hill, author and the force behind SoCS and other prompts will be visiting the bar next week. I hope you can join us. I’m going to see if I can arrange for more bonus points to be available, too.


    • Oh happy day! I’m glad you got the notification. I’m OK with other people drinking/eating pumpkin spice stuff, but I hold a grudge against it. For a while, my bar had Brooklyn Lager on tap. I love that beer. Then they replaced it with a third pumpkin spice IPA and I’ve never seen Brooklyn Lager again. We stumbled onto some very good food on this trip.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love the moon in the puddle, and I totally agree with Judy about the “good looking eats.” I also loved the line “I hope that doesn’t mean you’re going to start over” — I got a good laugh there! Congratulations on the bonus points!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you got a chuckle, Maureen. The moon in the puddle is something I have only seen once before. So many things have to come together for that to happen. I was happy that Maddie was willing to wait while I tried getting a good picture.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed your story and learned a bit more about beer. Neer-beer? That one’s a first for me. Your photos are incredible as always, but your final one brought lots of smiles. Have a great day, Dan. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David was in rare (rarer?) form today, wasn’t he?! He had some great one-liners. Not being a beer drinker, I had to look up three-two beer. We always called it near-beer. So funny to hear that term again. The harvest moon reflection photos are so pretty, Dan, but I LOVE the apples! They look suspended in air–great photo! Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 3.2 beer – near beer – all I know is it shouldn’t be a thing. Lost Lake wasn’t bad, and it did wash down the fish well enough, but still. I’m glad you liked the photo of the apples. That’s exactly how I felt when I saw that picture. Have a great weekend, Lois.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great visit to the bar, Dan. I am not a fan of beer which is not beer – and I count 3.2 beer in that category. I agree with you – what’s the point? I am really excited to know Linda will be visiting next week. I love that image of the harvest moon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m guessing you saw 3.2 beer when you were growing up. It was all they had in West Virginia, although you cold buy moonshine in the state liquor store. I’m glad you liked the moon photo, I was so happy when I saw it still high in the sky that day. I am looking forward to Linda’s visit. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Puddle pics – love them! In Tyler,TX you had to cross into the next county- just over a bridge really, to buy alcohol. It came with ice and paper cups so what was the point when you could drive home drinking? 🙄

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just had a sip of tea while reading this, ““A detail you forgot. I hope that doesn’t mean you’re going to start over.” I laughed and nearly choked/spit my tea everywhere! That was a funny line!

    My first experience with a “dry state” was long ago when I first went to PA to meet He-Man’s family. He had to go to the neighborhood bar to buy a six pack of beer. If I remember correctly it was Rolling Rock he came back with. I thought it was the weirdest and absurd thing. In Calif. you can buy booze/beer just about everywhere, in NV too.

    I love the moon reflection images, and the bee!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. David was feeling his oats today Dan. He had enough one-liners to make One-Liner Wednesday crash! 🤗 I don’t drink alcohol, so I obviously don’t drink beer…..near or far! Lol. Can anyone tell me what the point is of non-alcoholic beer? If you don’t drink alcohol, why do you have to fool people into thinking you do?

    LOVE the harvest moon shot, the puddle reflections, and Old Glory shining through with a little help.

    But, what’s up with Sammy getting so up close and personal with Maddie? Perhaps he’s been into the near beer and wasn’t thinking clearly. Did you observe him for a while when you got this shot? Was he weaving in and out?

    Liked by 2 people

    • I might need to get a breathalyzer for Sammy, Ginger. He was weaving a bit, but I thought he was just nervous.

      I have no idea what the point in non-alcoholic beer is. I’ve never tried it. I guess if you really like the taste…

      David is always in his prime when he can pick on me 😏

      The moon, the flag and the apples are my favorites. Have a great weekend !


  8. Great moon reflection Dan. There is not much to say for a celebration that gets dialed back because of NA. As in nearly adequate. The only thing that could of gone worse would be to find out you were in a totally dry county. Or to have to photoshop some other creature and call it bunny NA. A friend recently traveled to a rather distant location. I asked him how the beer was. The response was ” It is like making love in a canoe “. It took me a bit to translate that. I finally got the picture. And yes the life preservers absolutely ruin the mood. NA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – I’m trying to work out whether that means the beer is interesting or scary. NA beer is not interesting. I guess if I had better photoshop skills I’d only need a few bunny pictures. I could keep changing them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I am becoming concerned that the specialty versions of food and beverages are becoming too powerful. Non-alcoholic beer is a non sequitur. And I hate non sequiturs! But I love the reflection pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sooooo…last Saturday, biking buddy and I were at a microbrewery where we ate, drank and went on a tour of their lager cave. The latter was very interesting, but my comment is about the beer. It was the first day for their pumpkin spice beer and that’s what I should have ordered after getting a sample, but I had my mind set on their strawberry ale. It sounded yummy after many miles on the bike, but I was disappointed. Didn’t taste much like strawberry. I might have taken a non-alcoholic version of something if it had tasted better. I’m with you that I prefer pumpkin spice in a pie, but sometimes pumpkin spice beer isn’t a bad thing. Cheers!

    Hope you are having an awesome Saturday, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I give you credit for trying the strawberry, Mary. I am so reluctant to try a different beer. To be honest, I’ve never tried a pumpkin spice beer. I’m sure it’s better than pumpkin spice Cheerios but I put them in the same category.

      This has been a good day. I hope your weekend is going well.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ohemgee..where do I start? Okay, you have actually introduced me to a flower I never heard of before! Tithonia? Is it any relative of the Coneflower? Gorgeous! And the bee as well. I love the moon reflections too. As for Minnesota’s antiquated alcohol laws, I am aghast. I concur with David. I mean, let’s be honest. Most beer is not nearly tasty enough to be desirable sans alcohol. When we first got to Panama last time, I was excited to be able to easily purchase singles of beers in the grocery cooler and very cheaply. And Modelo can be had for a buck on sale-in a bottle! I got so excited to see a can of Bavaria that I failed to notice it had a 0% alcohol content on the label. 🤦‍♀️That one did taste good though. I drank it primarily when we lived in Costa Rica.That Salmon looked great. You and David crack me up. Hey, I know a guy who can make your ‘long stories’ seem like Haiku poetry. 😜🤭😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you liked this, Robbie. States have a lot of independence within their own borders. Federal laws tend to focus on the aspects of commerce and life that routinely cross state lines. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. When I worked as a substance abuse counselor, there was some discussion about whether alcoholics and people with drinking problems should use near beer or “non-alcoholic” beer to transition to sobriety. I can understand the attempt, but think it’s a slippery slope. I tended to recommend alcohol free, unusual tasting beverages that don’t remind one of beer. Something like ginger ale and cranberry juice or apple juice, for example. Speaking of apple juice, I love the photo looking up into the apple tree.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yeah, pumpkin beer, no thanks! Ah, yes, the three-two factor in Minnesota is long-standing! Many people drive to Hudson just to get a good hearty WI beer. ;-) a great job on the prompt – and yay thanks for the heads up on the fun for next week! I love the harvest moon photos – nice reflections captured.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oooo, pictures of “my” puddle! I love those disorienting reflections. :) Maddie looks very happy, though territorial. Three-two beer is just not worth it unless it tastes really REALLY good. I think they used to call that “small beer” in the olden times.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Fortunately Huntington is right across the river from Ohio. That meant when we were 18, the drinking age back then, we could easily get 6 instead 3.2. Cheryl’s last question is just perfect! And your photo gallery is beautiful!.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I had to look up three-two beer. I’m still reeling but we have some dry counties in Indiana, so I shouldn’t be surprised other places have these novel-to-me limits on alcohol.
    Our apple trees did not fruit this year, so I appreciate your photo all the more. Pity I can’t bake the pic into pies!

    Liked by 1 person

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