Sunday, October 30, 2016


After reading a blog about "the lake of fire" I feel compelled to write my version.

"If your son or daughter asks for some bread, do you give them a stone? If you do good things, doesn't God do even better things."  "Don't even the dogs lick up the crumbles that the children drop to the floor?"  God is good, God is better than good.  God is the best, beyond our imagination.

Do you really think that after all the years that Mother Theresa helped the children, the poor and the hungry in India that God would send them to the "lake of fire" just because they grew up not knowing Jesus?  There are millions in the world who believe that the understanding of God came through Moses, or Muhammed, or Buddha, or the Great Spirit.  What makes Christians more correct then them?  What if they are correct?  I believe God loves us all more than we can imagine and will do everything God can to keep us from pain and suffering, and God is all powerful.  God hates evil but not people.

Since we're on the topic which we don't understand let me throw in a simple thought about heaven.  How do I envision heaven?  It's hardly a place and there are no bodies that need food and doctors.  As God is "I am," we are "we are."  Heaven will be spiritual interactions among all of us, after all without our bodies we are but spirits and we don't know the parameters of spirits, they just "are."

Now off to do the work of today's callings.

Friday, October 28, 2016


It's never to late to learn something new, or to approach something from another point of view.

I often thought I would would like to be bored, just once.  It seems like there is always something waiting for me, something that I could do, something that I should do.  If only there was a time when everything was done and there was nothing more to do.  Time when I couldn't find anything to do.  Time when I was truly bored.

It's never happened, and never will.  Well, maybe when I can't do anything anymore.  Or I lose my mind.  It's my nature, it's built into me, to find something to do.  Even now that I no longer work for an income or am employed, I have a long list of things that I would like to do either for the next day or the next year.  I have accepted this as who I am, and it's just fine.

Today, however, I heard scientist on the radio talk about mindfulness and spoke also of boredom.  He discussed boredom or being bored in a very different way, a way to which I can truly relate.  He said that when he was doing a routine task, after a while he would become bored before finishing the task, such as mowing the lawn.  As he mowed the lawn his mind would wander to other times he could be doing and would rather be doing; he referred to this as being bored with mowing, with the task at hand.

If that's boredom, especially if it's the part where the mind wanders to another task, I am almost always bored.  I would have referred to this feeling as being distracted from the task at hand.  Now I have a new word for that distraction; I have a new definition for boredom or being bored.  And I am even bored now, or at least distracted to move on.  In fact, I have done several other tasks while writing this.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cleaning the Garden

It started the serious type rain apparently while we were traveling in North Dakota early mid October, probably about the eighth or ninth.  Upon arriving home I reset the rain gauge by dumping five inches.  During the following week I read and dumped two and a half and thence and a half inches.  The lawns are looking it and the little weeds are covering everything including the driveway.

So it's time to do the tasks that come with fall and the rainy season.  The plan is to transplant more of the saplings under the Red California fir down in the field.  I mow the area in preparation and between showers dug some holes.  The transplanting is still waiting for another break in the rain long enough to do the task.

We did prune the grapes back seriously.  During the prying we discovered that both arbor trellises need repair.  It's that old wood rots when wet syndrome.  Add that to the autumn to-do list.

Also we remove all the plants from the garden except the beets.  The tomato plants had a few small green fruits which had no hope of ripening.  The deer got the best of them.  One pepper plant had about five peppers varying in size from small to full grown, all green sweet peppers.  We pulled the weeds and turned the soil.  Now it's waiting for newspapers and leaves to cover the garden to prevent the winter rains from packing the soil hard.

The two potato plants that came from Rich's funeral service had nothing beneath them.  Really, nothing.

The rain continues, lighter now, but enough to enjoy me to find things to do inside and there's plenty of that.  The temperatures are cool and with the dampness, working in the shop requires an extra jacket and cap.  And so I'm off.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Homecoming at U of Jamestown

There's this belief that if one travels and gets away from home and its necessary routine, one would have time and be inspired to write.  For me the inspiration is marginal and the time is, well, it's not there.  I will try to sneak in a few words this morning between taking granddaughters to school and preparing a two-hour drive to our niece's farm.

It's been 50 years since I and nearly 100 others graduated from Jamestown College.  It's also Homecoming Weekend, so by tradition, common sense, logic and "just because," it's time to have a reunion of these graduates.  The college, now a university, supports such an idea but doesn't have the resources to organize or promote it.  A few emails were exchanged among classmates and a few more were sent from the university.  The results were the return of seven graduates from North Dakota (3), Florida (1), Minnesota (1) and Oregon (2).  Some of us were friends in college, some were mere classmates with little to no interaction.  Five spouses also joined the party.

Over a period of several gatherings, mostly at the first meal, we recognized each other by our name tags and reintroduced ourselves.  Interestingly enough it wasn't only a handshake or "hoodie-doodie," it almost always evolved into a hug, both as we first met and again as we parted on the last day.  Perhaps it was an emotional embrace of sympathy for the aches and pains of being 72 years old (there's no hiding one's age when everyone is the same age, more or less) or celebration that we made it this far.  We had no major conversations about health or aches and pains but we all looked rather good and moved rather fluidly.  Thank God for that.

We exchanged a few stories, usually with the one beside us, took a group picture and exchanged some addresses, Facebook names and phone numbers.  It wasn't until we returned home or had a chance to access a computer that we would discover on Facebook that our theological and political preferences were all over the board.  A great lesson this is that if we leave some of our opinions in our pockets we can have a congenial relationship with anyone.  After all, when comes right down to the wire, many believe there is only one god in the major religions, a god of love, and if we believe as stated in almost every religion and philosophy of the world that we should treat others as we would like to be treated, the world would be a better place.

Now it's time to return to our homes and continue to do what seventy-year olds do, volunteer, play golf and try to stay healthy.  And to take the next granddaughter to school.  Only ten years until our 60th reunion.