Barbara. Her name was Barbara. We went to school in Amery; I’m not sure when I first talked with her and got to know her. She left me when we were 7 years old. My foggy memory recalls my parents visiting her family’s home. They lived on Keller/ Main Street, next to the Amery Clinic […]
The Afternoon I Heard My Teacher Toot
While in 7th grade in Amery Public Schools, my teacher and I spent an afternoon at work on our schoolwork. Soon the air was disturbed by air coming out someone’s butt. Told with class, I hope, and a vivid memory.
The Comfort of a Dog: Updated
Our collie Chance became part of my healing after going through heart surgery, and calm and patient fellow ended up giving back to me the comfort and peace I needed while going through my healing days.
A Most Unforgettable Student: Carrie
A most wonderful student named Carrie lives forever in my memory, a gracious and thoughtful student who turned out to be an outstanding adult.
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury: Summer, New
The book Dandelion Wine caught my attention because of the descriptions of growing up in a small community, seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy. The variety of opportunities and choices mirrored my life in the area east and west of Amery, Wisconsin. I’ll present parts of the first chapter in which Douglas woke […]
Writing: What Is the Perfect Environment?
The ideal writing setting may be summed up in this photo. Once I tried writing at a lake cabin north of Amery, no distractions and no interference. Everything was there. But I had no ideas, no plan of what to write. That didn’t work. My writing as a serious hobby began at a summer class […]
Remember When You Had This Kind of Energy?
Energy. When we were kids it was endless. My memory of running full speed in the pasture over the well shorn field and pasture that the heifers chomped down. About sundown when it started to cool off. The tall weeds, rods to avoid and the strange looking divots that looked like someone buried a body; […]
Oatmeal and Ella for Breakfast: Complete
Oatmeal and Ella Fitzgerald for breakfast Started the day on a perfect note and taste Next to the toilet tank, keeps running; fixed Ella still singing through all of this, a little cleaning up Call from a friend, no reason; just wanted to check Letter in the mail, insurance paid the entire doctor visit Call […]
When Peace Like a River . . . . (Hymn)
The hymn: actual name is “It Is Well with My Soul,” above is the first line of the song. Written in the mid-1870s, it’s a song of comfort and reassurance but came from an unimaginable family tragedy. Horatio Spafford lost much in the 1871 Chicago Fire, and about that time also endured the loss of […]
Clotheslines: Rules, Social Norms, and a Poem
Hanging clothes on a clothesline. Simple, yes. Not always. Rules in each neighborhood and cultural region meant hanging had dos and don’ts. For us living in the country, it wasn’t so rigorous and rigid because neighbors were far away. Keillor and Bachelor Farmers First of all, one reference to hanging clothes and items son the […]
Two Men and a Handful of Pills
Beeping machines and the smell of sterile hospital air. Two men shook hands, a little eye contact, one in his 80s and one 12 hours from death. Wayne looked down on Vern and asked how he felt. Vern did the hand waver, saying, “So, so.” Pause, “But I don’t like to complain.” He never did. […]
Letter from Former Turpin Classmate
On Facebook a former classmate of the oldest Turpin daughter wrote a letter reflecting on his time in 3rd grade. The Turpin case from California involved parents who abused their children. I’ve included his name at the bottom of this post; I contacted him and he gave permission to share this writing. On CNN today […]
The Lady from Carolina: The Homespun Wife
As the wife of a Baptist minister, Homespun Wife Sherry found herself committed to supporting her family’s welfare. She felt called to make their home as comfortable and safe as it could be. There. Now you know the origin of that title: The Homespun Wife. Sherry’s Early Years Both Carolinas became Sherry’s stomping grounds as […]
The Young View Death in a Special Way
My cousin in Norway, in his 40s, said he broke the news to his 10 year old daughter that his mom, her grandmother, had just died. (He also has 2 sisters in their 40s.) Freya thought for awhile, went to her father and hugged him, saying: “Sorry, Dad. Now you and your sisters are all […]
Christmas in Our Minds and Our Attics, Plus a Poem
Christmas memories share a connection to tangible Christmas decorations. Each year at Thanksgiving, or earlier, we hear Christmas music and notice homeowners setting up outdoor displays for the holidays. Several years ago when I thought about those memories, I realized that taking them out of the attic paralleled opening up our mental Christmas vault. The […]