ElkFarm Stories

A Daily Dose of Writing

Month: August 2017

Strap Down Those Piles of Dirt

My Cousin Jimmy from Amery dabbles in a variety of odd jobs–hauling dirt, fixing doors, mowing lawns, clearing out varmints of any kind.

A week ago  State Trooper Julie Jackson stopped Jimmy west of Amery near Deronda. Jimmy had a load of grass and leaves in the back of his truck, but nothing was strapped down or covered. She wrote out a warning to keep materials covered or strapped so they don’t fly around.

SO, this week he was hauling fill dirt for a business out by the Forrest Inn, moving it down Highway 46 to Stalheim corner. He made sure before he left with the load to strap it down. Jimmy is not always the classiest fellow, but he follows the law.


What Makes a Good Story?

On the back of a shirt I have the statement: Writer Looking for a Good Story. In other words, when I’m out among people, I would like people to share their best story. So far I haven’t worked out the process, but I’ll keep at it. And here would be the time for you to write to me with your best story.  elkfarm@wctc.net

The natural question would be, What makes a story good, what makes it great? A person could describe and list attributes, but the best way to define a good story is to tell a good story. The following story is 100% true.

In my hometown of Amery, a farming community, a farmer’s wife died a number of years ago. This man wasn’t wealthy, but he spent carefully and had money that eventually helped fund a humane shelter in Amery and other programs. After his wife died, neighbors, relatives, and church members brought him hot-dishes, pies, bread products, and cakes. Overwhelmed with gratitude, he kept track of the people who showed love in the form of food. The man wasn’t used to receiving help because he seldom needed it in the past.

Years later after his death, in his will he gave specific instructions for the money he left behind (the couple had no children). Along with the big programs that would help the Amery area, he left instructions to give something to the people who showed kindness and love after his wife’s death.

Using that list, he asked the executors of his will to give a $1,000 check to all of them. Each person who came forward who gave him something, and paid him a visit, he rewarded. That’s gratitude. That’s a legacy.



Wood Beauty–the Tub and the Entry

This post will be a simple one, the photos doing all the work. Found these pictures recently and thought you’d enjoy them. Imagine the work that went into that tub, and the types of wood.

Below, what a great setting and fabulous view from a lake “cabin”. This is the kind of picture and memory that makes people recall this sense filled scene when they’re away from it. Mostly in the cold seasons? Thanks Ethel.


ALMOST a Disaster, Almost


Humor can be defined as something painful or uncomfortable happening to others. Others is the key word, like the Funniest Home Video TV show. If you or I experience it, it’s terrible, and it’s not funny, until years later, maybe

These photos I’ve found elsewhere. I call them almost because it doesn’t appear that anything bad has happened yet. Zip is the number of photos I take like this, but when I do you’ll be viewing it/ them and reading the story.

I’ll post two on this page and if you want more, click on CONTINUE READING. As you can tell, the timing has to be perfect. The above photo may be a set-up, but if anyone can send me the original photographer of the vase shot, please write a note in the comment section. The guy above looks like me in my heavier- clumsier days, though I haven’t changed that much.

Continue reading

Lilly and Her Absent Dad

Lilly earlier this summer. She loves this photo and has it on the wall in her room. We don’t have a good picture of her at the dance recital.

She raised her chin when her father came into the auditorium, and we could tell she perked up when she saw him. He hadn’t visited  her for over 6 months, and his presence surprised us. We weren’t sure what to make of it. He sat in the back, he applauded when her dance group finished and then caught our eye and waved. There were more performances. Lilly did well in them as she did in the others, but we all were on edge.

At the end, the applause filled the room, and everyone stood;  we looked back to where Doug had been sitting. Gone.

Bone Lake and the Reading Lady

One cool 45 degree morning, steam/ warmth came from the surface of Bone Lake. Later it looked like this when the rain poured.

We traveled to Polk County last week and stayed at a cabin on Bone Lake north of Amery, Wisconsin. The lake wasn’t friendly that much, and it rained intently one entire day. The cabin, however, was cozy and all the cold weather gear we could find was put to use. We drove around the area some days and ventured out on the pontoon a couple times.

The photo below is a statue the front of the Luck Public Library. The Bloomer Public Library has reading kid statues made out of the same material.

Portrait of Someone’s Best Friend

There is nothing like a dog as a companion, and this image I found looks like the picture was taken in a photography studio. That’s all I have to add.


Long Boards Long Time

Lou walked into Lampert’s Lumberyard in Amery last Thursday and told Mac behind the counter that he wanted lots of boards.

“We’re remodeling and adding on,” he bragged, as if he knew what he was doing.

Mac asked him how long he wanted them. Lou, confused, asked to use the phone to call Kathleen. After he got done, he said to Mac:

Kathleen says we’re going to nail them on so we’ll need them for a long time.

Mac? Speechless.


Masked Raiders in Our Yard

You can see that they aren’t newborns, they’re full sized, mature adult raccoons.

The other day we woke to find the pole holding the birdfeed container, found it doubled over and broken. We figured bear, raccoon, pack of chipmunks, a whole lot of birds, or a swamp monster because we are near a swampy area. And here are the results.

Clearly a couple of big ones, enjoying the seeds of their labor.


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