Plights and Perils of Persevering Pioneers

My new book, Plights, and Perils of Persevering Pioneers got released on March 31st, which is about the time all of the libraries in the United States closed. I have attached links to the book for those of you who have Internet access. I hope to get our local libraries interested in carrying the book for those without the internet. The first link below is for Austin Macauley, then Barnes and Noble, or go to

Or Goodreads.

Flu is Not New

Pictures by Herb Schwede

These pictures were taken at the old Pioneer Cemetery in Ward County North Dakota near Rice Lake. Many from our family we’re living there in sod houses at that time. The Cemetery was started because of scarlet fever or a virus similar to the Spanish influenza. The Antillans were Eston Olson’s wife’s parents. There are many other graves at the pioneer Cemetery with no markers. Most of the family was driven farther North by a severe drought. There small oxen powered wagon train continued North and most of the survivors settled in Alberta Canada near Rocky Mountain House.  A few stayed on the windy prairies of Saskatchewan.

Why Corona Virus, why now? It doesn’t take much action from my wild imagination to come up with a possible healing scenario. A healing virus is being sent by some higher power. A plan to send out a wake up call to this world. That power finally decided since nobody could get along with each other, love one another or care about one another, he would put us all on an equal playing field.
The plan is to bring us together as one people. No matter how it shakes out, it’s going to bring some disastrous results for many with the loss of life. Most Generals fight at least one big nasty battle in their plan to win a war.
This battles gain would be a world that is stronger, much stronger and united. The last terrible, deadly virus was the Spanish influenza about 100 years ago. It is possible people need to be turned around and sent in the proper direction about every 100 years.
It was a little over a 100 years ago when my ancestors came to this country from Finland and Norway. They had nothing but faith, and hope. With much hard work, hardship, suffering, perseverance, pride and love for their neighbors they built this country up from nothing. It became an industrialized, computerized, huge miracle. In the process many have lost their way. We now have abundant hours while confined to our homes to sit back and reflect on our life walk to this point, while contemplating the condition of our hearts and souls. All changes worldwide must come from one person at a time.
We should all prey for the caregivers, they are the soldiers fighting on the front lines of this war. May God give them the strength and endurance to continue and stay healthy in the process. I send condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
There are a lot of laboratories racing to find a cure or a vaccine for Corona virus I hope they consider the possibilities of a natural substance called Tea Tree Oil. It is a great thing for fighting infectious wounds, skin conditions and many other things.
God’s peace to this World, from an old Finlander.

Smooth Colleen



Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Smooth Colleen

Colleen was a beautiful young Irish lass, newly arrived in New York City with her family and other Irish immigrants.Their passage went smoothly on the steamship crossing the Atlantic. Their plans were to stay in New York City and work until they could accumulate enough money to go to Calumet Michigan where they had other relatives. Many had already immigrated to Michigan where rich farmland was waiting for people to come and live. They would find nothing easy or smooth about pioneer life. It was a constant combination of hard work and hardship.

Colleen was very fortunate she landed a job in a fancy restaurant, near Wall Street and the many brokerage companies. She had the most beautiful body with smooth skin, her auburn hair and green eyes flashed at the young men.The young brokerage workers enjoyed coming to lunch there, as they enjoyed the food. They feasted their eyes on pretty young Colleen and her firm breasts, smooth stomach, and her long legs.

She fell in love with a young man named Brian and they started to date each other, to the bitter disappointment of all of the other young men who were having their lunches at that establishment. They made plans for a smooth good life together, not wanting for anything planning to marry in a year. Brian was moving into a big office where he would be capable of making large amounts of money.

The stock market crash of 1929 caught the investors of this world and all of the Wall Street workers by surprise. Many lost fortunes instantly. Colleen was not enough for Brian. After the stock market crash, he took a walk by himself into eternity, off the roof of his office building. Poor Colleen was devastated and heartbroken. She had no idea what she could do now, her life plans for a smooth life of luxury had been destroyed. She knew they could have had a good life but her young banker husband wanted more. She decided she would go to West to Michigan and find some of her other relatives that had already settled there. She was hoping a new environment would help her get over the loss of her beloved Brian.

Colleen took the train to Calumet Michigan where she was met by an elderly uncle and aunt who never had any children of their own. She was going to live with them and be their housekeeper, also earning a small salary. Colleen learned to make homemade bread, she kneaded the dough until it was smooth and like elastic, she smoothed the sheets until there was never a wrinkle on a bed. She ironed and made everyone’s clothes smooth, no wrinkled shirts, pants or dresses walked out of that house. Colleen worked hard and diligently doing her job.

One day her aunt said to her, “Colleen your a beautiful young lady.” “Why don’t you go to the dances, meet yourself a handsome young man working at the Copper Mine, start raising your own family?” Colleen confided in her that she had had a true love at one time but that he had walked out on her. Her aunt was stunned, shocked., I cannot believe that anyone would ever walk out on you for any reason. Something very bad must have happened, Colleen’s mother later told her.They didn’t talk about it again. Colleen continued to happily be their housekeeper and seemed to be very happy with her smooth life, all the old wrinkles were left in the past.aahttps://wordpress.comlghoelson

Drinking and Driving


Drinking and Driving

I can’t believe what you are telling me, “You quit your drunk driving?”

”I had been waiting to hear those words my entire life…” My dad killed himself drinking and driving. I have wanted you to quit drinking and driving ever since the day I first met you. Now you send your Spirit to tell me that you quit drinking and driving on our wedding day! You quit before you made it to our Blessed Wedding?

I sure hope you got hit by a train. I have heard all of the other excuses before. It looks like the wedding would have been a very big mistake.


Crossroads Detour



Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Every living person has at least one sure destination and that is death. There will be many different crossroads that everyone will come to during their lives. It is of little matter which death road we take, it will end at that final destination.

Life is full of many crossroads. We have almost daily decisions to make on which road to take. The main objective on which road to take is a decision made in your mind, which is right and which is wrong. Don’t ever let somebody else make it for you. If you have a feeling that it is wrong. You certainly do not want to take that road. There will be crossroads where you have a question. Is this something with a destination that will be pleasing to me? Ask yourself if you are trying to please someone else, before yourself. Make sure of your choice before you start down that road. You have to have peace within yourself and in your own mind, or you will not be happy with either of the roads.

Without crossroads there would not be life, it would be just existing through time, no destination, no choices to make. Crossroads were put in front of people so they could learn to make decisions, strive to better themselves, feel fulfilled and to find true happiness in knowing they did the right thing.

Consciousness Out of Body


I want to share with everyone about the time I was introduced to acute hyponatremia. It is a name for a low-sodium condition in the body’s blood. Our bodies require a critical balance of sodium and water to help the blood do its job throughout the body especially in the brain.

One April morning in 2013 I became so weak, I was helpless. I fell on the floor and could not get back up. My legs and my arms would not work right, I rolled from side to side. I sort of rolled to get up against my easy chair but I did not have the strength to get into the chair from on the floor. I could not get a hold on that chair. The pressure on my brain prevented normal use of my arms and legs that quick. My brother and a son-in-law came to help get me up off the floor, but I was 180 pounds of dead weight. They could not get me into the chair. The ambulance was called and it took me to a hospital.

I was checked into the emergency room, lab work indicated that I had a very low-sodium condition. My sodium was well below 100. They moved me to the urgent care department started to administer I/V therapy. I was only partially conscious during all of this after I was admitted time got lost. I lost consciousness and the scary part began. My consciousness seemed to leave my body and it was moving around in different parts of the room, trying to avoid the body.The blood cell pressure in my brain at that time was causing severe pressure on all of the brain and the brain stem. I do believe it forced my consciousness from my brain and my body.

It was a terrible scary feeling like my consciousness was all alone, not wanting to go back in that body.
I kept saying to myself, I want to live and that body is dying. My consciousness moved to different parts of that room and also into the hallway and another room across the hall the first night. I felt more secure because my body wasn’t there to look at. The second day my consciousness left the hospital and that town and went to a different city and stayed there for one night then went back to the hospital to return to the body. The doctors were asking me, “Do you know where you’re at now?” “I said, I don’t know.” This went on a couple more days like consciousness would leave the body for a while and go into very unusual, undescribable places and then it would return, wanting to get back into the body. The body did not seem as if it was ready to accept consciousness back into it.

The doctors talking to each other said, “He has pneumonia now, that will not help his recovery goals. It didn’t even seem to be shocking news because I knew that body was in such bad shape. I couldn’t stay in it, somehow it seemed like I had to be free to move around until the body was well enough for me to move back in. I truly wanted to be back in the body, in the brain and being alive. I was in some state of limbo, my consciousness was not very happy about it. I wanted very badly to return to the brain and to get the body functioning right again. This went on for a whole week. The doctors asked me again, “do you know where you are at.” I said,” I’m in the veterans hospital and I told them what town.” They seemed to be quite pleased with that.

I was so weak I could not stand by myself or feed myself. They used a lift machine to get me out of the bed and onto a commode chair. I evidently didn’t need to eat, i/v tubes were running from every direction into all of my limbs. They finally put me on a liquid diet, the doctors decided I should be released into a care center where I could have 24-hour a day care. They also used a lifting device from bed to chair. I started physical therapy immediately, trying to regain some strength and within about a month I learned walking again. My balance is still bad but I regained the ability to walk.

I have no doubt, I will be labeled a complete wacko, nut case. Something in me tells me, I would have been dead if I had not followed my consciousness. We hid in storerooms and various places, even another city until the time was right to return to that body. I think we would have all died together. If we had stayed in that body.



Get inspired by Andrea Jarrell’s post “A Roar for the Ages,” and tell a broad story using a series of short, focused scenes.



The three Olson boys, left to right are Leland, Corky and Harlan. We grew up on a small farm in eastern South Dakota. It was located in northern Brookings County right near Lake Poinsett. This was shortly after the dirty thirties, the dust bowl, times were still hard, we were poor, but we had lots of love.


The attack on Pearl Harbor happened on December 7, 1941. Almost everyone’s sons were drafted and sent off to war, many daughters joined the women’s Army Corp, or the Navy or Marines to serve their country. Six of my uncles were in the Second World War as it spread to become a World War. Patriotism was never higher, my mother got these hats for us and made us uniforms too.


We grew up with a hunting, fishing and trapping heritage. In this picture my brother Corky holds his first gun with pride, a single shot 22 rifle. When times were bad you might say we lived partly off the land. Somebody hunted or fished most of the time. Wild furs became an income supliment many winters.


This picture of my parents and brother Corky was taken at Bovey, Minnesota in 1949. They got divorced in 1950. My dad had been beating my mother for years. She finally could not take it anymore. The farm was sold, she moved us boys to Watertown, South Dakota in 1951. My brother Corky was accidentally shot and died in 1952.

The following picture is of my brother Harlan in his Marine uniform in 1960 with my mother at Watertown. Harlan passed away on March 8, 2016 after undergoing a quadruple heart by-pass operation. He is gone but many fond memories remain.





Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate?

There is an old saying, only two things in this world are inevitable, they are “death and taxes.”
A change was inevitable at one time, now it is constant.

When you are born into this world you are automatically given a death sentence. The first thing you have to do is live out your life sentence. There is no way to escape, you will have to live out all of your days until you die. It makes no difference if you are in a prison or living in freedom, the sentence is still death. How you live your life will certainly determine at what point your death sentence will be carried out. If you are living in a prison you will have fewer choices on your lifestyle. You might even live longer with less bad options being available.

Some people will always decide they want to hurry up and live their life just as fast as they can, keeping the undertakers busy! Full speed ahead, enjoying all of the fun things that can be invented in this world to the max, 24/7 if possible. The majority of the fun things will cause the body to deteriorate at a much faster pace. Those who choose to live on the wild side will no doubt finish their life sentence in a whole lot quicker fashion than some others.

It is just some people’s nature to live a quieter, more laid-back style of life, eating balanced meals and taking care of their health and their bodies and doing regular exercises. They become the exception to the rule in many cases. They surprise the people who study the longevity of humans living in this world. The laid-back lifestyle folks may well live past the hundred year mark and are still very much able to negotiate their daily lives.

We live in a world of sickness, disease, and new bacteria being discovered almost daily. Death comes painfully early to many people of all ages. It robs them of the choice of life they wanted to live. The world is not fair, if your number comes up early you receive what you got but you might beat it and make death come back for you on a future day.

In our modern day and age, taxes are still inevitable. Millions of people live on low incomes today their taxes are not nearly as big a shock on April 15.They still have to pay sales tax and property tax on property they own. Taxes on food, lodging, luxury items, gasoline, wheel tax, fuel tax, electricity and more. There are many sin-taxes that can’t be avoided, alcohol, cigarette, bed, board, and drugs, the list goes on and on. Governments continue to legalize marijuana for the purpose of raising more tax revenue. More taxes will always be needed as governments learn newer and faster ways to spend the working person’s dollars. We know for sure that is inevitable.