Wednesday, December 26, 2018


Pat asked me at our 50th class reunion some years ago why our parents would tell us to not associate with folks who go to church on the other side of the tracks.  The Catholic Church was on the south side of Main Street and the railroad, the Protestant churches were a block or two on the north side of the tracks.  He was Catholic, I was from the north side.  I nodded in agreement and shook my head having no answer to the question.  Definitely my parents had told me that and apparently his parents had told him much the same.

I learned later that the segregation was much deeper than that in this small farming community of about 1500.  The Germans from Russia were by culture assigned to the northeast corner of town with its smaller houses called Moscow.  I guess everyone else was pretty much German; I don't remember of know of anyone who wasn't.

Sixty years later after having a Afro-American president of our country and almost a woman, the same thing is being said to people in our society.  It's not north and south now, it's red and blue, it's conservative and liberal, terms that don't mean anything but to draw lines.  When can we simply be humans and care for everyone and make decisions to better all rather basing our decisions on color, or language, or where our parents came from?

We're just a week from the end of July, in the middle of a ten-day steak of hot temperatures and months of no rain.  While the temperatures in the morning and evening are below 90, preferably 80, I work in the yard.  We've dug our potatoes so we don't have to water them.  We've pulled many pea stalks because either the drought or the varmints was gotten them.  We're fixing fences and cutting off the iris and spring flowering plants.

The church continues to wane, in part because it's summer, in part I think because our leadership (pastor) is only half-time and seems to not support many of the projects from our heritage.  Even our worship service format has changed to seem quite foreign to us.  Fortunately the members are strong enough to continue to love God and neighbor without that support.

It's time to slip on the straw hat and brave the heat for a while.  Take a deep breath and head outdoors.

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