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You are all aware of ….

You are all aware of …. You are all aware of ….

You are all aware of waiting for Christmas to come. Well, did you know there is another wait and probably just as bad? Waiting to use a Christmas gift. My granddaughter Shelby Rueth and her family have been giving me a gift certificate for Christmas for the last couple of years. It’s wonderful, but I just got through waiting 136 days to use it. It was even worse this year since Leap Year added an extra day.

So yesterday I was finally able to use my gift certificate at Schecky’s Snack Shack for my favorite strawberry sundae. Let me tell you it was well worth the wait. My next problem is trying to figure out how to use up the rest of the gift. I figure there is enough for seven and a half more sundaes. Do I use them right away, or spread them out over summer? I’ll keep you posted.


It has sure been a beautiful spring so far. The trees are leafing out and driving through the countryside, the view is awesome. I think it is the aspen that are ahead of the rest and the view is almost as good as taking a drive in the fall of the year. More Mayflowers are showing up and the new marsh marigolds, as well as the trilliums, are adding more colors.

Yards in town are showing off their colors as well, so be sure to get out and take a drive. You should be able to stay at least six feet away from anyone else, so no danger of getting the virus.

Farmers are busy working the ground and planting the seeds. It is refreshing to see some of the land that never got seeded a year ago because of the wet year have now been planted.


Today, May 8, as I write this, is the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, marking the end of fighting in Europe in World War II. Mark called the other day to see if I had any memories of it. At first I didn’t, but then recalled an event that took place. My Dad and Mom had driven to Cumberland, I assume to get feed ground or take some eggs in to sell at the grocery store. Probably both, as you know there was a war going on.

When I got home from school I found my Mother in a very sad mood. The city had put their flags out for the occasion and she recalled it reminded her of the day my brother Ernest’s body was brought back to town following his death in December of 1943.

Brother Ben had been moved from his first assignment to Iran where he helped haul lend lease supplies from the Persian Gulf to Russia. He was shipped to southern France where he helped haul war material to the Allied troops fighting the Germans until they surrendered. He said the only difference was in France each truck went out with just the driver. No armed guard riding shotgun like they did in Iran.

He did manage to send home some souvenirs of the war. Three German rifles which were quickly made into hunting rifles for him, my Dad and brother Carl. That would introduce our family to the sport of deer hunting.

By the end of the war he would be shipped home and discharged. That ended his almost sailing completely around the world which had begun in California when he was first sent to Iran. He always kidded his brother Carl, who was in the navy, that he had spent more time sailing on a ship then Carl.

Carl’s World War II duty took him to Whidbey Island, Washington, where he was a medic at the Naval Air Station. I assume he cared for the wounded sent home from the fighting in the Far East. His military service didn’t end like the war as he re-enlisted for another four years. Then his travels took him to the South Pacific where he was involved with the atomic bomb test on Bikini Island, then later he spent time in China, just before the communists took control of the country.


With lots of time on my hands, I find myself with a problem. I’ve never counted all the television stations available to me, but I have a huge task of trying to find something worthwhile to watch.

So I have been trying to get myself to read again when I shut the big chatter box off. I don’t lack for reading material. Daughter Sue seems to like buying me books and I have quite a supply that have not even been opened.

My latest attempt is one she bought me last year that has all the presidential inaugural addresses ever given by someone elected to the role as President of the United States.

I am just getting started and read the second address by James Monroe most recently. I found it far more interesting than his first in 1817. You would have thought after the War of 1812 was over he would have expanded on that.

However, it didn’t happen until his second speech in 1821. He talked about the war and how we need to better protect ourself by building fortifications in the proper places.

Then he talked about the problems Spain was having with its colonies in South America and how that could affect us.

He was pleased with the land west of the Mississippi being added as it provided us with better protection and could help keep other countries from trying to gain a foothold.

His concern for the constant turmoil in Europe also got his attention. Another of his big concerns was how to handle all the Native American tribes in the west. They just didn’t want to adhere to the American or European methods the rest of the nation was using and were ending up being shoved off their land.

Such was life in the early 1820s. It will be interesting to see how the future president handles the problems, or opportunities.


We just passed one of the most important holidays of the year, Mother’s Day. I don’t know how many times I’ve told you all the things my mother was capable of doing. She could cook, bake, sew, mend, knit and there was nothing she wouldn’t tackle. Like the time she decided that if the wall between the kitchen/dining room was moved, then she could have her own kitchen in what was then just the pantry.

Dad didn’t think much of the idea, but one day when he was going ice fishing, she coaxed one of my brothers to bring in the wrecking bar. When Dad got home from fishing, the wall was gone, so there wasn’t much to do except to replace it.

Mom got her new kitchen and all was fine. Well, not exactly. Years later after getting running water in the house, she wanted a bathroom. That’s another story.