This is what I saw when I looked out my front window this morning.
This is what I saw when I looked in the mirror this morning. YIKES!
I became 79 years old today. Miracles still happen in this world. There is still a chance, someday I will grow up.
I want to thank all the faithful followers at “My Mixed Blog,” also my Facebook friends. Thank you Don and Rosie Bowers for the funny E card, also thanks to Patty and Craig for bringing me a combination meal from Guadalajara last evening. It took me back to the good old days at the Tucumcari Truck Terminal in New Mexico. They had the best combination plate on our route. Thanks also to Phil who is going to bring me his famous enchiladas this evening. This old geezer has had a good birthday and is thankful for family and friends. You have all helped me make it through another year. I love all of you.
The Sonora Desert in Arizona can be an unfriendly, foreboding place. You do not want to be lost without drinking water. In the spring scarce rain starts to fall, which is rare indeed. Arroyos creeks and rivers flood the low land, everything becomes alive overnight. Dormant frogs come to life and crawl out of the ground making a roaring sound on still nights. Cactuses start blooming multicolored flowers for birds and bees to savor. Wild poppies are in full bloom as far as the eye can see. It is a true marvel of the extremes nature can show us in a relatively short period of time.
Wild poppies as far as the eye can see in the Sonora desert near Safford Arizona.
My wife and me we’re married close to 50 years. I’ve had a bad habit of calling myself a name after doing something dumb. This drove her wild, she would threaten to use a Willow switch on me if I didn’t stop it. I always seemed to belittle myself for doing something wrong, now in my old age I do things that are even dumber. My wife has gone to be with the Lord, her physical presence is no longer here. As I grow older and become more of a klutz, I catch myself swearing at my actions more. Everything I put in my hands gets dropped. Hearing aid batteries are the worst culprit, they hit the floor multiple times as they are readied for each ear. This creates verbal barrages as I swear at my-self, alone here in my humble abode. Why do this just for being disappointed in myself? It now brings out an unhappy female spirit stalking about carrying a very stout shillelagh each time I start a tirade. The conflicting ties that bind. An oxymoron? It might get me to quit that bad habit, under these unique circumstances.
Being disappointed in self should not bring out swear words. This got to the point I asked myself, “why do people swear?” You hear young people swearing a lot, yet they are not disappointed. There must be another triggering device. I believe human nature leads us to copy what others do. Monkey see monkey do too. If people your around swear you automatically follow their lead, so you’re accepted as one of them. If you’re in a crowd where nobody is swearing, and you still swear you stand out as the different one also. If we do enough swearing, it follows us no matter where we go. It becomes second nature.
Employers might swear to get the quick attention of someone doing wrong. Some people in high office use swear words as they delegate authority to advisors and staff members. To most people this will cause a negative effect, especially if there was no reason to be sworn at.
We had an old blacksmith one time his hands and fingers always seemed to be bandaged from burning them or waking them with hammers. I don’t imagine he said “Praise the Lord” after hurting himself, but I never did hear him use the Lords name in vain. He had a sign hanging in his workshop, “Swearing shows your intelligence.” He must have been offended by swearing and the sign reminded people of that.
As a youngster growing up one of our aunts was determined to have authority over her domain and swearing. She had a bar of soap that served the purpose of cleaning up language, it only needed one application in most cases. There were no swear words said in her presence or on her property.
We grew up on a farm me and two brothers. Two of us were less than a year apart, it was rumored that mother had some anxiety trouble once. I can imagine there were many times when she felt like a mother duck trying to get a dozen duckling across the freeway.
When she took us to visit at our aunt’s house, we naturally became acquainted with the soap dish quite fast. My aunt knew the language we were listening to at home because our dad was her brother, and she had to grow up with him. Dad claimed the use of colorful adjectives was to make his point of view more clear, that it did. That is undoubtedly where the soap bar idea came from.
I have decided as far as foul language is concerned, society will get back what they put into it. We are all that we accept good or bad.
As I grow older, I have come to learn life really is a race,
run in different phases. We start out as helpless infants who need constant
care. Before learning to speak we learn to get assistance with different cries
and noises, sometimes quiet and weak at other times loud and prolonged. Our caregivers faithfully race to rescue us and
supply our needs.
Through some small miracles, we reach the age of 2 years. We race in everything we do, and every place we go, racing constantly, to the echoing word “NO.”
We are learning language, and how to communicate. No is a strong starting first word very easy to hear and understand. The perfect word to start life’s race with, a warning word, no will come and go through our minds during the whole race, sometimes we will listen sometimes we won’t.
One day, usually while you’re at school puberty starts to take
control of your body. You wonder what’s happening to me? I think something is
going awry. Physical and psychological demons are fighting over my mind and
body. Doubt and dread were foreign to me yesterday. You just got slam dunked into
the adolescent stage of indecision and despair. Change wants to rule your mind leaving
you in wonder about self. You might feel like staying in bed and hiding from
the rest of the world. It, feel’s best to shut everything else out, stay in
your quiet little shell. That feeling will soon pass as a young adult you continue
your education or join the workforce.
Upon entering the workforce your first lesson is to be on time. From that day on don’t start out late and race to your job. It would be easier to get up early, old habits are hard to break. It seems like Friday will never come each week. Your race to work made you successful, with a wife, and children and lots of stuff. That’s what modern life is all about. You fulfilled the American dream, you have a big house, three-car garage, loving family and loads of stuff.
As you get older the body slows down. It finally becomes an
all-day snail pace, race to put your clothes and shoes on. Everything gets done
in super slow motion, but it is still a race for the finish line. Fridays seem
to be every other day, meaning the end must be near, but you can’t see, or
hurry it. You know it will come for you, it’s a fact, your days are numbered but
you know not how many. You continue that living race in a worn-out body,
soon needing special care again. Your final hope is to be able to say, “I have
fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
In my youth wicks were carefully trimmed. Mantels got cleaned with deliberate care, bright light they would share. Sootie glass reflected poorly on a housekeeper, yet it never got noticed until Twilight, with the sound of breaking glass everywhere.
I write this short memo with deep feelings of regret.
The executive committee recently met behind closed doors. They delegate their authority extremely well, that is why they chose me to write you this letter. A vote was taken, the new members all decided on me as I have been your best and oldest friend here at the firm. After much deliberation and carefully worded consideration the decision was made to replace you. It was unanimously decided, you would be replaced with a vacancy.
Rose and I went to Canada in 1979 to visit the remaining relatives living at Rocky Mountain House Alberta. There were only 2 cousins still living there at that time. Many had passed away years before or scattered all over Canada. In later years some moved to the United States to attend college or find employment.
At one time the wilderness area of Alberta was filled with cousins from our family tree. Many different families came from Norway in the late 1800. Most of them went to Michigan first and worked in the copper mines. Some stayed there others moved to Minnesota working in the iron mines. They saved money, most had the same goal, to reach Dakota Territory and become farmers. There was rich land for homesteaders to claim. Almost everyone encountered hunger, dry years, prairie fires and unimaginable hardships on the bitter cold, windswept plains of the Dakotas. Circumstances continued driving them northward until they reached the last frontier in Alberta Canada.
I decided to share this story about the Green Valley Cemetery. One of the cousins donated land from his farm to start a family Cemetery. Eston Olson was the first person to be buried there in 1911. The following pictures show the people attending Eston’s funeral. There were no roads at that time only trails, travel was difficult to impossible most of the time.
There was no church or building to meet in. These families brought their food with them and had a Cemetery picnic, burial on the day of a funeral, weather permitting.
The other picture shows my great grandfather Ole Olson’s funeral in 1925. You can see the reins from the horses on the ground, used to lower the casket into the grave. I noticed a hole had been gnawed in one corner of the wooden casket. That gives me the feeling my grandpa was not buried alone! The cemetery became vandalized in later years, before the land was protected by the government. There were about thirty people buried there, the remains are still at that location. Monuments were placed in the city Cemetery.
“We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” “Native American proverb”
Hunger on Earth
Man has always felt he has the power to outwit nature, He
often does things his way, instead of the way nature would dictate. In the
early pioneer days on the US plains, times were very hard. The biggest fear was
how to survive the long, dreary, cold and hungry first winter. There was very little
food, most of the flour was full weevils. The busy, bronze, bold, bugs in some flour
bags got so active it became hard to determine what there was more of, flour,
Man, with his infinite wisdom devised a flour sifter to separate the bugs from the flour. The weevils got quickly thrown out into the howling wind, of a frigid, winter day. The bugs were happily received with great delight by the snowbirds. They thrived on them, thanking nature with happy songs.
The poor pioneers might have chosen to leave the weevils in the flour, pretended to be eating cracked wheat bread and the extra protein may have helped some survive that first nasty winter.
The Internet is filled with sites on how to survive by
eating insects, hope we don’t destroy this planet to the point there will be no
insects left to eat.