Saturday, August 28, 2021

Trees have deep roots

The cellar, Jackson sighed as he descended moldy steps.  Having worked from attic to cellar, Jackson had just eaten a copious number of brownies Grammy forced on him.  Oh, Jackie!  What an industrial (industrious) little boy you are!  Have another brownie…

After a pot of black coffee and a belly full of brownies, Jackson was galvanized to tackle the dank cellar. The first few boxes were with junk.  Then the third box yielded treasure.

An old camera from long ago era1870s maybe Civil War? Riveted by the tin-type photos carefully labeled with names, Jackson could pick out physical resemblances in his own generation.

Jackson froze when one branch of the family turned and headed to hidden family names, absent from family conversations.  One of the great-great-grandfathers was Amos Lee, a black soldier and his black wife, Martha Lee held a child on her lap…Jackson Lee. 

It was a page turner.  Tin and glass plates led to Seneca tribes in New York and then onto Oneida tribes, some twigs went to the Lakota tribes in the West. 

Well, that’s a hell of a thing…Jackson smiled.   Trees have to have deep roots.

This is a Wed. Words challenge for all bloggers. These were started by Delores who created this as a genre for all to grab.

This one is from 2011? I think. Have you ever been in a root cellar?  We had one, 100 years old.  It wasn't all that secure.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Squeaky's big send off


Squeaky died sometime in the night.  Scotty said that he noticed when the hamster wheel suddenly went silent.  Oh, well.  It was his time.

Scotty was always pragmatic about things in his life.  Lose a favorite car?  Oh, well. It'll turn up somewhere.  Dropping a slice of pizza?  Oh, well.  Things happen.  

So when Squeaky's little ancient heart stopped beating, we both thought about how to give him a send off.

Scotty had been into Vikings after watching "How to train your Dragon" for the twentieth time.  "Let's throw a Viking funeral!"

He retrieved a canoe/barge made of popsicle sticks at church camp last summer.  We put Squeaky on a pile of twigs layered in the water craft.  After pushing the funeral barge out in the swimming pool, Scotty used the "Hunger Games" bow with a burning marshmallow at the point of the arrow aimed at the barge.  

Again and again.  

When the canoe finally caught fire, it initially went up in flames and the thing burned before hisssssing out and sinking, leaving a singed Squeaky floating on the top of the water.

Oh, well.  

I managed to scoop Squeaky from the failed Viking send-off with the pool  skimmer.  What now?

Scotty had watched some warrior movie where the slaughtered hero was placed on a funeral pyre.  "Let's do that, Dad!"  So we did.

We lay out some sticks criss-crossed and carefully placed Squeaky on it. Scotty again used the Kingsford wand lighter to get a good burn going on the bottom layer.  But, with us being novices at funeral pyres, the whole pyre thing collapsed, leaving Squeaky lying on the concrete surrounded by embers.

Oh, well.  

I didn't know how we were going to give Squeaky a big send off.  But, Scotty, being the boy scout he is, had an idea which made me wince and cringe.  It made sense, but man....really?

I pulled out the old rusty Coleman barbecue and built a pyramid of Kingsford guaranteed-to-light charcoal briquettes.  Scotty placed Squeaky in the center above the coals, using my brand new set of BBQ tool set.  Then he used the Kingsford lighter and got the coals going.

At first, it seemed that Squeaky was finally heading to his fiery hamster Valhalla. I could already see him rolling up the Rainbow Bridge.  But Noooo.

Squeaky had some sparks here and there, but clearly the charcoal was not enough.  It developed a nice white ash like briquettes do.  But that was it. Instead, the odor of grilled Squeaky told us the truth.

Oh, well.  

By this time, Scotty had had enough.  "Let's just bury it."  He retrieved a shovel from the garden and quickly dispatched the hamster with minimum effort.


Oh now, what will he ask?  What do I say?

"Dad?  Can we go to Wild Wings tonight?  Mom has a coupon for free appetizers."  He wiped a charcoal streaked hand across his nose.  "I'm kinda in the the mood for ribs, aren't you?"

Well, then.

Saturday, ‎22 ‎March, ‎2014 first posting
Sorry about the lengthy story; just got going on it, I guess.

My daughter's hamster Max died on the first day of middle school.  My son, in an unusual act of kindness, placed it in a shoe box and buried it.  Nothing elaborate, mind you.  She has never recovered from the loss, she says (at age 32).

Friday, August 20, 2021

True or False


School textbooks have all but disappeared in the average classroom. They are still there, yes. But the words and ideas printed in them are ones that would never have even appeared "back in the day". 

"Back in the day" was in the 1980s when my own children were in school. The book below was one that was in Dad's day in high school.

What is being passed is progressive education is darn scary.  What can or should be done?  Be a voice, go to a school board meeting, connect with organizations that fight the current words that our children hear.

The under current of what-is-right-what-is-wrong is up for grabs. But of all these lies, the future of our children is at terrible risk. You can change it, be a strong voice to those in charge.

Read this or things like this:  

Be bold, speak out. This is not a red state/blue state, conservative/progressive, riots/BLM....This is a case of saving our kids from the influences that will drastically divide the country.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Diving for Books


Books!  Oh, books!!

Stacks and stacks of books!

Treat them with respect, or else. They will find retribution.

How could the importance books be known?  Who knew that books would change how you view life?

P.S. When I taught, there were always boxes of books in my classrooms.  One time I went to a book warehouse, where boxes and bins of books were stacked for people to sort through. I found myself in huge boxes, where I nearly disappeared. Bought many many books for my students and the school. 

Oh, what bliss.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Life in the Fast Line


Talking to my grandsons on the far side of the world is so precious. Suddenly the preschool boys are missing teeth, standing taller, and having stories to tell me. But with FaceTime or Skype, I can watch them grow up some.

My daughter is such a sweet mom. I was never that patient or inventive as she is.  Today we talked and the boys were doing their nighttime routine, which meant to brush teeth, bathe, go to the toilet, and talk to me from the bathroom.

So, talking to anyone who is sitting on the toilet is a bit awkward while Mommy holds the iPhone so they can see me, and I see them.  I love them so much that my heart swells.

After one particularly rowdy routine, I gazed at my sweet girl, and started singing Life in the Fast Lane, blew a kiss at the group, and hung up.

Oh, so nice to be sitting on my side of the screen.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Changes in the Wind


Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Copyright Rochell Wisoff-Fields

Edith had stared
Out her window
For nearly 50 years.

Edith had watched
Weather changes,
Children playing,
Family picnics.

Today, fields
Were silent.
Her house was silent.
Edith herself was silent.

Last mourners had closed the door.

The parlor was overpowered with
The scent of roses and carnations.

The table held remnants of
Sandwiches and pie.

Edith did what she always did:
She cleaned up.

Now she stood at the kitchen window.
What to do? What to do, now?

Edith carried her suitcases
To the car,
Locked the house.
And left.

To where?
She did not know.

Everyone, at one time or another, looks at the empty house and winding road. Sometimes they close the door and start the car.  Sometimes the doors and cars remain silent, and sometimes the suitcase goes back in. Have you ever been there? I have.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Rolling down the River


Flooding in Indiana

The meandering Mississippi River worried Jeff, just as it always does. Would it rain too much and river will flood? Would the fields dry when there was no rain? Too much, too little. One way or another, Jeff would worry.  

This winter gave Minnesota enough snow to cover the entire Midwest. The snow melt sent Mississippi rolling and charging down past town after town, filling their fields with muddy water, tearing houses from their foundations.

No longer a gently flowing river as Tom Sawyer saw from Hannibal, Mississippi now rampaged and threatened his field. His neighbors and farmers in his township watched the line of water edge up their fields.

It was hard enough to make a living in the Missouri bottom land.  Flooding water spreading across his cornfields made him think more and more about leaving.   

"Mountains. That’s where I need to go. Take a train ride to the mountains…” Jeff muttered as he continued to fill sandbags and pile them on the levee.

Floods in the Midwest are legendary. The Mississippi River meets up with Illinois River every year.  Towns, crops, fields, schools---The Rivers take care of them all.

This is a repost from 2014. The Rivers flood along rivers and corn fields every spring through the fall..  One spring flooded into our church. Men rowed up the middle aisle to see if the piano was safe. Cinder blocks were placed to raise the piano.

Bold and italicized titles were given in the Wednesday Words by Delores some years ago. She is missed.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Ant Colony 308D

Ant Colony Story, first published in January, now re-posted since I am off seeing my two-year old grandson. Haven't seen him for a year and a half.

Recent floods, smoke and fire and the installation of artificial turf had forced Ant Colony 307B to relocate at a far corner of an artichoke field. The ant army acted as a unit to move every member from the arterial twists and turns of the now drenched network of their former home.

Moving the queen ant with her arsenal of ant larvae and drones had proved to be most interesting. Trudging through soggy tunnels had revealed an unknown treasure of collected artwork. Minute paint chips, grains of paprika, and tiny shreds of colored paper lined walls of the queen’s chamber.

The real treasure remained were left behind as the tunnels collapsed. Just how extensive is an ant colony/hill? And, where did the Queen make it out safely?

My son is an entomologist and confirmed that
red ants are vicious.
 Watch this video. This is a repost from 2014. Red ants have started to emerge, with high temperatures and dry air. Source:All the ants will die in this video. Good thing, too.