Category Archives: The Future

Pacing Ourselves

Husband looked at me with bleary eyes the other day as we were finishing yet one more garden chore and said “We are getting too old for a garden this big. We can never have a garden bigger than this one”.

I don’t know when it happened, but the days are gone  when we could get all our garden work done in a couple of weekends and still look after our children and cats and dogs and keep up the house inside.  It took at least six weekends this year to get everything done. We just can’t work from dawn to dusk like we used to.

“Let’s get all the pea and rabbit fencing up today, and then focus on the strawberry netting tomorrow”.  “I think we can get the soaker hoses down Sunday after church.  We’ll worry about putting up the bean poles until next weekend”.   We never really had to pace ourselves like this, and it came on so suddenly!

I love our garden, and it is coming on nicely, and I don’t want to downsize.  Maybe going to the gym in the winter will help next year come summer. I am not used to pacing myself.

When have you bitten off more than you could chew. How do you pace yourself for life these days?

New Horizons

On July 1,  my agency,  along with all the other State-run Human Service Centers and the State Hospital are switching to a new electronic record system. It is totally different than our current system, which we have had for about 15 years.  There is anxiety and uncertainty leading up to the start date, especially since many aspects of the system are still being developed. It will be a good change and will reduce some paperwork demands.

Change is hard, though, especially for people who pride themselves on doing things correctly the first time.  We have to accept we will do things wrong for a while until we master the system.  Some of my colleagues are panicking. Some are just resigned to the inevitable chaos. I just want it to start so we can get a new normal.

What changes are hard for you?  What have been some big changes in your life?

 

 

Space Shanties – Redux

Jupiter has been in the news this week as well as more discussion of the first manned mission to Mars.   In honor of these events, here is a repeat of a fun blog from 2015!

Today’s post comes from Captain Billy, skipper of the pirate ship Muskellunge.

Ahoy!

Me an’ me boys is crazy-excited t’ hear that NASA has discovered a underground ocean on th’ largest moon of Jupiter!

Not that we’s lookin’ fer other seas t’ sail, on account of this one here is fine, an’ plenty large enough. Plus, a Jovian Lunar ocean with a roof over it made of 95 miles of ice raises serious questions about navigation an’ winds an’ how tall can yer mast be t’ keep from scrapin’ th’ underside.

There’s no disagreement among me boys on this point – a ocean up in the stars don’t have th’ same allure as th’ one under the stars that we all enjoys so much.

But th’ possibilities is what has us thrilled.

If there’s oceans out there orbitin’ that vast gas giant, then what’s there t’ prevent there from bein’ Jupiter pirates? An’ if there’s Jupiter pirates, don’t it follow that there’d be Jupiter grog an’ Jupiter booty?

All of it incredibly massive, of course!

So naturally our imaginations ran away wit’ us, an we began t’ wonder what sort of sea shanty we might sing up there if we went, even though there’s no way we’d go (so don’t ask)!

Th’ song we made up is t’ th’ tune of one of our home world favorites – Stormalong.

O we’re sailin’ under an icy dome.
Way,hay, Ganymede.
We’re a long long way from our Earthly home.
Aye aye we’re on Ganymede.

An’ there ain’t no wind for to fill our sails
Way, hay, Ganymede.
It ain’t clear what sailin’ here entails.
Aye aye we’re on Ganymede.

But the ocean’s salty an’ dark and deep.
Way, hay, Ganymede.
If there’s monsters in it, let them sleep!
Aye aye we’re on Ganymede.

If there’s fishes swimmin’ beneath our feet
Way, hay, Ganymede
Please be slow an’ fat an’ O.K. to eat.
Aye Aye we’re on Ganymede.

Though it’s scary here an’ th’ water’s cold,
Way, hay, Ganymede
May the seas be calm an’ the booty gold!
Aye Aye we’re on Ganymede.

If you’re voyaging to a distant planet, what song do you want to take with you?

Emus As Symbols

Todays post comes from NorthShorer.

Like everyone, I suppose, I made assumptions about what I would be like in retirement. I imagined a man straight of back, steady of hand, with a piercing chilling blue-eyed gaze. Well, make that a deep mysterious brown-eyed distant look above a rich white beard to tell of the lessons I had learned of wind and wave, time and tide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead I ended up being a doubled-over rumpled dumpling who cannot look at much but the ground, lost in pain, not deep thoughts.

You know what they say about people who assume. You end up being as daft as emus, a person who amuses others with fake truths. I like the word assumption, with its sump right in the middle, where one ends up from assuming.

But, of course, it is false thinking that making assumptions is bad. Life is based on assumptions. For example, we assume much about people we encounter on the road, that they will be polite and careful. It is only the few times our assumptions are false that we notice, and then over-generalize about it. It is also wise to assume idiots are on the road and keep a weather eye for them.

Love is a large assumption. If we do not assume trust and fidelity, then we cannot really love. Or in agape love, I assume I can only give and assume from their it is not my concern. Feed a starving dog and it may bite you, they say. But love says you assume perhaps it will. You guard your fingers and keep feeding. Who knows what the starving dog has survived.

So go ahead. Be an emu. Stick your long neck out.

But I assume I could be wrong.

What bird is your totem?

Sew Buttons on Your Underwear

Forty years ago I gave myself a quest: to photograph MY North Shore, the stretch from Flood Bay to Silver Cliff, or as locals called it then, Silver Creek Cliff. Because I had use of a darkroom, it was at first all done in black and white, or perhaps with some sepia toning, or duotone effect, or Sabattier effect. Flood Bay back then was not the mass of concrete and curbs and cables it is now. It was then as it is now one of the very few official state wayside rests. Despite that, back then it was just a gravel patch with some posts to keep people from driving into the lake, which every so often people still managed to do. Locals routinely hauled away lake stone and gravel for their use, which left no dent on the amount on the shore. Also, then there was no monstrous resort along the shore. And Silver Cliff was a road, not a tunnel. The pictures I framed in simple shadow boxes without glass. I hung them on our knotty pine living room wall. (More about that later.)

The winnowing process of history to our benefit has eliminated most of the pictures. A few exist in my computer, taken from the negatives. My goal was to push pictures to expressionism. Often with high or low contrast.

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One picture that I took in the remnants of a lumber mill a quarter mile from Betty’s Pies was our Christmas card picture.

Sometimes good fortune favored me, when it disfavored elsewhere with a massive storm.

A few I have drawn in graphite or pastel, often doing some adjustment of reality.

One sad picture remains, even though I did not frame it. How did history not winnow this poor picture out? It must be a sign, must it not. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

When this picture first appeared in the developing fluid, my first thought was it not worth making anything of it. My second thought was that here indeed was a sign. It must be from God giving me my life’s quest. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) It could not be just random change. I was, in fact, until recently quite good with needle and thread, which my mother taught me at an early age, despite long sideways glances from my father.

I am sad to report that I never did discover how to fulfill the quest. Sigh. And now my chance is lost. Sigh. But I did fulfill one smaller quest and quite by accident. An undisciplined boy a year older than my son lived down the road from us. He was often in our house as small boy but not later. His teens were much troubled, as were his twenties. Now he is a brilliant photographer. I mean that. Does amazing work in the camera and in his computer. Travels the worlds. Makes a good living. Has a happy life. Most of his work is of the North Shore. He is friends with both of my children on facebook, where he told them that his inspiration came from looking at those photographs on our wall. To think such beauty came from such a shriveled seed!

Did you find a life’s quest? How has it gone?

On His Way to the Glory Pasture

I was reading the obituaries in the local paper this week and the following caught my eye in an obituary of an older man who had been a rancher and avid rodeo participant : “___________   went through his Last Chute Number on his way to the Glory Pasture.” It was surprisingly poetic for our paper and certainly spoke of the unwavering faith of the cara defunto.

Billy Graham went to the Glory Pasture this week. I had no idea he was still alive. My paternal grandfather was very insistent  in the days before his death to remind my dad and uncle to make sure their mother “didn’t give her money to any of those TV preachers.” He viewed them as charlatans.  Grandma was raised Baptist and joined the Methodist Church because there was no Baptist congregation near their farm. She was happy as a Methodist but loved watching TV preachers in her later years.  Grandpa didn’t like it and never gave money to any church, much less anybody on the TV.

The Reverend Graham’s  brand of salvation never appealed much to me, being perfectly happy as a Lutheran, but it certainly did to others. In 1978, 70,000 people showed up over three days to see him in Fargo.  He must have spoken to some need in their beings, and I certainly am not being a critic of him or them. I like to think of my grandparents and Mr. Graham and the bronc buster all in the Glory Pasture having a real nice time.

What do you hope your  Glory Pasture is like? 

 

 

Choosing Your Revolution

Today’s post comes from Chris, Reneeinnd’s husband.

Listening to late-night radio as a student at the University of Wisconsin- Madison,   I heard Gil Scott-Heron’s  “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”:

If you were to create a revolution, how would you go  about doing it?