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WEEK #52

Tell how you are feeling today in the form of a weather report. (For example, partly cloudy, sunny with a chance for showers, etc.)

The way I felt most of the day, “it has been one of those clear up cloudy, and have a warm frost day” so I’ll have to be extra careful toward evening.

What is most memorable about your high school years?

The most memorable part of my high school years was having the coach find out I could play football on the varsity team in tennis shoes. He soon gave me my own football shoes so I wouldn’t have to play in my sneakers. Evidently the school budget was a little low. Another REALLY good part about high school, finding out the girls liked football players.

Have you ever owned a rock, pet rock, or gem that is not jewelry?

I really did have a rock, one small Indian knife point , a rock that I found on the shore of the lake. Thought it was good luck to carry around. Had that rock many years.

Complete this sentence: I like watching…

I like watching pro golf almost any time of the year, nature, wildlife, people. I also enjoy watching professional football, for some reason watching the Minnesota Vikings through all the bad years. This could be a big payoff year, feel it happening.

The Old Maytag

Maytag washer.jpg


Dec 30, 2015
Childhood Revisited
What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.

I think the earliest memory that I can recall quite vividly took place in our old farmhouse, in the era before electricity.

When my two brothers were at school I had the whole place to myself, just me and my mother because my dad was usually working out in the field. There I was, you might say I was king of my castle, no competition from my brothers. One problem with that, time seemed to go awful slow some days until they returned from school.

The memory that comes back always took place on the day my mother washed clothes. She would bring the old Maytag washer in from the back porch and get it all set up near the stove. The two wash tubs were placed where they were supposed to go. While she was doing this, water was heating on the old cook stove. Corncobs were used in the stove to heat the water because corncobs burned quite rapidly and created a lot of heat. After the water all got good and hot she carried it with buckets and poured it into the washing machine.

That old Maytag was operated with a little gas engine, it had a fairly long exhaust hose that took the exhaust fumes out the back door. When Mom started that little gas engine to begin washing clothes. My day of adventure started. The noise from that little Maytag engine completely mesmerizes me.

I would spend most of the wash day lying on the bottom step, where the staircase came down into the kitchen. That was my little throne, I lay there, eyes closed listening to that little engine. No doubt dreaming about flying an airplane in the War, or whatever else I could imagine that little engine doing for me. That tiny Maytag engine was my best friend, I imagined it powering me on many travel adventures.

My mother no doubt appreciated this because I wasn’t underfoot. It was just something about that special wash day smell, the laundry, cook stove, warm kitchen. Total access to the cookie jar! I do believe that is why this memory stuck with me.

Family Movies


Write whatever you normally write about, and weave in a book quote, film quote, or song lyric that’s been sticking with you this week.

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I was recently having flashbacks to the time when my wife and I first got married. No, I guess they weren’t really flashbacks, because that is something related to using LSD, a popular drug of that era. I know I wasn’t using drugs neither was she. For some reason I was remembering the early years of our marriage. Recalling the knee weakening changes that took place in my life style.

When we got married she had four daughters. That got me to thinking about using drugs later. This was in the mid-seventies, family movies were popular. I believe it was about the time they started rating movies PG, Family and so on. One night I suggested that we all go to a movie together as a family thing. So I asked my wife, ‘what movie do you want to go to?’ She says, “I don’t know ask the girls what they would like to see.” So they picked out this movie and we were all off to the movies. The new daddy was trying to shine, impress the family.

Just recently the name of that movie started going through my head. I believe it was one of the last movies that we saw together as a family. I really wasn’t into going to movies in those days so was not familiar with any movies that were playing. They wanted to see a Boy and His Dog. I thought, ‘now that title sounds like a nice family show, we will go see that one.’

The movie takes place after all the nuclear wars are over. The world was desolate, nothing to eat, the only people left was this boy and his dog and the boy’s girlfriend. They were roaming all over trying to survive, the two young people were madly in love with each other. They were in a dire situation, slowly, painfully starving to death, there was nothing left to eat anywhere.

Finally at the end of the movie the girl wasn’t in the picture anymore. The boy and his dog looked well fed now. They had just finished eating something. Then they walked off into the setting sun. I thought to myself, “That was no Walt Disney movie!” Nice choice girls! I didn’t let the girls decide which movies to see after that.

Global Peace




Ready, Set, Done!
Our ten-minute free-write is back for another round! Tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached. (Feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

All terrorist activity around the world seems to have ceased at the same time and looks like a very scary situation, peace is breaking out all over the world, fighting has stopped in the Near East in Mideast and the Far East.

If this continues all the countries will have to bring their armies home. This  situation has caught all the governments in the world off guard. How can we react to a world without wars going on. Something has to be done about this soon. It has been suggested that the United Nations will send people to different areas of the globe and try to understand and study what has caused this situation.

The stock markets around the world have taken a tumble no one knows for sure what to expect next, with no fighting there surely will be no sales of armaments and bombs around the globe. That has been a big part of the growing economies of many nations.

Iran has agreed to destroy all of their nuclear devices and abilities to produce them.

Israel has signed agreements with all of their neighbors about living in a land where everyone can come and go as they please. The borders will all be coming down soon the way it looks.

South Koreans are making regular daily trips across the border to visit their relatives in the North.

Russia is opening all of the borders for their people  all to be able to visit with relatives in the Ukraine, Romania and other neighboring countries.

China has invited Taiwan to take part in the government of China as equals, there will be free movement of trade and people between China and Taiwan now.

The European Union may possibly disband and there’ll be open trade and travel between all the countries and each one using their own currencies.

The outlook for the immediate future looks like a world that has been turned upside down and will have to learn to live with each other in peace, this has been a very shocking development that has taken place simultaneously.

For some unknown reason churches worldwide are overflowing with people seeking to understand what religion and a creator or a God are all about.

Heart to Heart

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Daily Prompt: Young at Heart – if you can keep it on the way
What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

My thoughts on aging parallel my thoughts on being young at heart. I believe you are young at heart or you are not young at heart. It is not something that you can acquire at the snap of the fingers. When you get older you won’t become instantly young at heart if you’re searching for it as a fountain of youth. You will have to go through the regular training program. That program involves loving and living your life, being happy every day. Not an easy task alone!

My idea of being young at heart can start at any time during someone’s life when they become happy in all circumstances so to speak, they find themselves feeling and being young at heart. It is a feeling of calm, peace, no fear, pure happiness. A lot of people have days filled with the emotions of worry about credit debt, health, money, relationships and many other distractions. A person who lets these things control his daily life won’t find himself feeling young at heart.

As we get older we might try things that younger people do in their lives. By doing their thing, we will become young by following their lifestyles. This will not work as older people will very soon run out of energy, or just plain keel over. An older fellow might go to dances every week and dance with the young ladies all night long. He is someone who is truly young at heart. If he was to bring his friend Bill and he decided to dance with all the young ladies the ambulance may have to come and take him away. He was not truly young at heart and he keeled over with a heart attack.

The best way we can try to stay young at heart as we get older is to have a regular daily exercise program. Don’t get older with outstanding credit debt, some savings and good medical insurance coverage will be a big help to keep stress away. We should also go dancing, have hobbies like playing cards, be reading, playing games, bingo, writing, blogging if you really get desperate.

As I get older, hope I don’t have to wear a name tag that says “I’M YOUNG AT HEART”. I’m hopeful that my outward appearance of how I walk, talk and interact with people will be reason enough for them to think that I’m young at heart.

Being young at heart means different things to different people but with each individual, it is a feeling that they are happy with their life as it is, they have their ducks in a row, and they manage to keep them that way, by the way, they live their daily lives. It would be hard to fake young at heart but I imagine it is done today with unlimited credit.

Zapped With 110 Volts


Benjamin Franklin said, “Haste makes waste.” “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.”

Haste makes waste; it is also close friends with injury. I had a dentist’s appointment at noon once, and I had a project out by the garage. I just felt I had to get it done right now, so I started in a big hurry. The idea was to cut a piece of roofing metal. It was about 8 feet long. I had to use a saber saw with a metal blade to cut a hole to fit into a particular place where I wanted this roofing metal to get installed. Everything was measured twice.

I got the roofing metal, but my workshop table was too small to work on it. I took it outside and threw it on the ground. The grass was still wet from heavy dew. I was never thinking about the possibility of something going wrong with an electric saw on damp grass. The work area was right out in our backyard near the kitchen window. We were living out in the country at that time. I got the metal where I wanted it, grabbed the old trusty saber saw, and got down on my hands and knees, ready to cut the metal. When I tried to plug that extension cord into the saw, the electricity grabbed onto my hand from the end of the extension cord. It never did get plugged into the saw. I fell over on my right side, and the extension cord jumped around like a big snake biting into my right hand.

I was lying there in full view of the kitchen window. It was about 1100. I just knew my wife wouldn’t be looking out the kitchen window. She was in the dining room watching The Young and the Restless. How can so many things run through a person’s mind instantly is a mystery for someone to figure out. I had a fast-playing video of many bad things I had done in my life, showing at a blurring speed. I tried to YELL for help. No sound came out of my mouth. Electricity was still going through me, into my hand, arm, and right shoulder into the wet ground. I was in an absolute panic; I felt sure that it was the end. Suddenly, it was like a little voice calmed me down.

It was as if this voice came to me and said, “Hey, Dummy, pull the extension cord out of the garage wall.” I’m not sure if it was the Lord talking to me, it just doesn’t seem he would have called me a ‘dummy’. Maybe that day, he would’ve. I somehow reached behind me with my left arm, got a hold of the cord, and pulled as hard as possible. That extension cord came out of the garage plugin. It finally let go of that terrible bite in the palm of my hand. The unique part, I was lying there looking up at the sky, thinking, “I’m still alive!” Seconds before, I was sure that would be the end of me, lying in the backyard while my wife watched television. I managed to get up and staggered into the house. My wife didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. I sat down in my chair and tried to relax. The pain in my right hand was awful, and my shoulder was throbbing like crazy. I told her we were supposed to be at the dentist’s office in about an hour. She said, “That’s right. We better get in gear.” I asked her to do something with my hand, and she had an old-fashioned conniption when I told her what had happened.

When we got to the dentist’s office, my wife, who would tell all, immediately told the dentist about my electrocution before leaving the house. He was just getting started working on my teeth. He asked his assistant to bring in his blood pressure equipment and took my blood pressure. Then he said, “Let us just forget about your teeth for today; you better maybe go see a doctor.” So we drove 80 miles to Sioux Falls to the Veterans Hospital. I checked into the emergency room, and they told me to take a seat. We sat there for over an hour. My wife finally went and talked to someone and tried to explain to them that I had got electrocuted and that maybe they should take a look at me.

The first doctor got me in the examining room, and I tried to tell him what had happened. He said, “Your shoulder muscles are all still firing like you’re hooked on to the electricity yet. He got a couple of other doctors and interns to come to the show and tell. They looked at my burned hand and looked at my shoulder, and commented, this is quite a day. We usually don’t get to talk to the ones that get electrocuted. The right shoulder muscles were all twitching and jumping, trying to go in every direction possible. That went on for many hours. The pain was beyond uncomfortable.

An aunt of mine stopped to visit a couple of days later. She told me she thought I should quit using up my nine lines because I would soon be running out at the pace I had been using them for the last 40 years.

Do we wonder why things happen the way they do? We feel that, indeed, someone is looking out for us. I know an Angel was there for me that day. I have been calling on the Lord a lot in these Golden Years. Hope he doesn’t say, “Don’t call me; I’ll call you one of these days.”

Unsafe On 18 Wheels

Dec 21, 2015
Safety First
Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

Mountain road.jpg
I drove truck cross-country for many years, we pulled 40 foot refrigerated trailers from Sioux Falls South Dakota loaded with meat. We delivered the meat to Tucson and Phoenix Arizona one week, possibly the next week it was a straight load of hams or sow bellies going to Los Angeles to John Morrels smoke house. I felt unsafe a few times in Los Angeles traffic, everyone travelling 70 MPH in dense fog. You can’t just pull over until they go past.

We always hauled produce back, you loaded produce all along the West Coast. It might be vegetables, fruit, mixed loads of this and that but usually by the time you got loaded you were up near San Francisco. So you came back through Sacramento, the northern way through the mountains.You take the interstate from Sacramento going up over Donner Pass, through Reno and back through Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, and back to Minnesota and South Dakota where you would unload your eastbound load. We usually checked tires before starting any long downgrade. Donner Summit was a place for that. I blew out a new front tire once just as I started a down grade, so I got stopped quick. Didn’t feel unsafe until I thought about it later, it could have blown half way down.

You learn one thing in mountain driving when your on a long downhill grade such as the Grapevine between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. You always try to keep your speed at maybe 10-15 MPH and just two or three pounds of pressure constantly on your brakes as you come down. You could drive down the longest mountain in the world this way without overheating your brakes. We were always very conscious of watching those brake pressures. Every time you made the trip somebody would come past you at warp speed, smoke and fire pouring off all their brakes. They started down too fast, got excited and started pumping them, when they came down. They always had a few highway patrolman, every light flashing guiding them in and out of traffic, so they wouldn’t run right over a car. I must admit there were times I felt unsafe coming down the Grapevine.

We had a load one time that called for taking some back roads through Arizona on a old two-lane highway that was full of switchbacks. I believe it was called Yarnell Hill “some hill.” You always felt unsafe on that road. With a 40 foot trailer behind, you could almost see your license plates on the back of the trailer, going around a curve.’almost’ Some switch backs were so sharp you almost had to come to a stop as you made the turn. This one stretch of highway had a runaway ramp in case you lost your brakes. A runaway ramp was a long area cut out into the next mountain and it was filled with deep blow sand. The whole idea was a truck losing its brakes would take that runaway ramp and it would plow into that soft sand, only going so far before the truck bogged down and was stuck in the sand, this was a great idea and it worked well.

We always checked our brake lines being conscious of properly working brakes. When talking about feeling unsafe the only time I didn’t feel safe is coming down Yarnell Hill. Something failed in my brakes one trip, I must have been going 70 or 80 miles an hour when I got to the runaway ramp. I wasn’t sinking into the damn sand! There had been freezing rain and that sand was frozen over on top I was headed straight toward a rock wall probably at 60 miles an hour not slowing down a bit. That solid rock wall kept getting bigger, and it was getting closer and closer. Finally that big old heavy truck broke through the frozen sand and I sunk down and stopped just short of slamming into a solid rock wall. My radiator was almost touching the wall. Any clogged heart valves got immediate relief. I will have to admit that is one time when I really felt unsafe.

I Will Be OK


Take Care

When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you
to ask for help?

I was brought up in a time when you just didn’t go to doctors. It had to be a life or death situation. If you’re having a heart attack or trying to deliver a baby sideways you might consider going to a doctor. A person called a vet for one of the horses before he called a doctor for himself.

Times were hard there were no health programs and very little health insurance to be purchased if you could afford it. So with that being the case you learned very early on in life that unless you’re very, very sick you soldier on alone and you don’t do any complaining.
That makes the others sick, listening to you.

I was very unfortunate to have a severe spinal fracture early in my life. That required others to take care of me, I really had no choice so I asked for help and I got help. In more recent years I had a low-sodium condition I could not do anything for myself. I called my brother and my son-in-law and asked for help. They could not pick me up off the floor. I was so weak, laying on the floor, couldn’t even crawl, was hallucinating, could not even begin to get up. They called the ambulance and had me taken to the hospital.

It is a decision time that everyone has to face in their lives, sometimes more than once. A simple decision, are you going to ask for help or are you going to soldier on alone. You must consider, it might be your time in life’s checkout lane and you could be be going out the door very soon. The chances are you might recover on your own, on the other hand you may not recover, you will go to meet your maker. It is your decision, you ask for help or do you prefer to soldier on alone. Most of us will prefer to soldier on alone and hope for the best.

Two years ago when I had a low-sodium condition the hospital I was taken to found nothing wrong. Their emergency room must have missed checking sodium levels when they did lab work. They told me to go back home.

My son-in-law said, “Were not taking you home.” Your going to the Veterans Hospital and see what they’ve got say. So I was taken to the Veterans Hospital, first to the emergency room, then admitted and taken to a room. I was moved to critical care after one day. I spent over a week there. I was told they hadn’t seen many survive with sodium numbers being that low. I had a high temperature, hallucinating, severe pressure and fluid accumulating in the brain, then got pneumonia.

It is pretty evident if my son-in-law hadn’t made the decision to ask for help I might not be doing any blogging right now. It’s all fairly simple and straightforward. I would have decided to soldier on alone.