Saturday, January 21, 2017

Winter's Challenging Moments


My hometown weekly newspaper, the Waushara Argus, said it all in a headline that read, “Ice storm shuts down Waushara County schools and businesses: Sheriff reports 22 slide-offs and crashes over two days.”

All of southern and central Wisconsin and much of the Midwest saw people sliding, slipping and falling this past week. Driving off the road or into each other. Late for work or not getting to work at all. Salting and sanding. Chipping and pounding. Fighting the dreaded ice that coated everything and refused to budge.

The road past my farm was so icy that the sand truck had to back down the road to get some traction from its own sand. No danger of backing into another car. There were no other cars.

The irony of it all. My new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN, came out last week. And I heard from a friend, “What about freezing rain? What’s your take on freezing rain? Okay to curse freezing rain?”

“Sure,” I said go right ahead. But keep straight the difference between “freezing rain” and “rain.” I said.

“Huh,” my friend answered.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Winter has its challenging moments.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sunday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books available on site for sale and signing from Mystery to Me bookstore. All are welcome. Enter the church from the parking lot. Enter north door where an elevator is available to lower level Fellowship Hall.

Monday, January 30, Channel 3, Madison. Live at Four program. Discussion of NEVER CURSE THE RAIN.

Saturday, February 4, 10:00 a.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Book talk and signing. NEVER CURSE THE RAIN.
Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)

Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Sunday, January 15, 2017

January Thaw


Once again it arrived. In mid-January. After days of bitter cold, and deep and drifted snow. It often arrived overnight, while my brothers and I slept in the cold upstairs bedroom in our drafty farm house. A room that was supposed to be warmed by the stove pipe that made its way from wood burning stove in the dining room through our room and then into the chimney.

We knew the winter thaw had arrived when the eaves on the house were dripping, which I noticed when I hurried to the barn for the early morning milking. By mid-morning it began to rain. A slow, steady, snow-melting rain. And as it rained, my brothers and I kept watch of the big hollow in front of the house as the snow turned from white to gray and then to melt water as the hollow became a pond.

With the pond becoming slowly larger, we began looking for our ice skates, the clamp-on-your-shoes type that you fastened with a little key that you carried in your pocket. We had hung the skates in the woodshed last spring, forgotten about, until the thaw arrived.

The thaw disappeared quicker than you could say, “Isn’t that a north wind blowing this evening?” Freezing weather returned, but the pond remained. A beautiful, flat slippery surface just made for three boys and their clamp-on skates. The ones we bought at Hotz’s Hardware in Wild Rose for fifty cents a pair.

Ice skating remained perfect, sometimes for several weeks. Another gift of winter, for boys who’d tired from shoveling snow, carrying wood, and doing all the other winter-required jobs.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s important to remember the good things about winter.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, January 21 Noon. Heidel House, Green Lake, WI. Pheasants Forever. Noon talk. Whispers and Shadows. Book signing.

Sunday, January 29, 2:00 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books available on site for sale and signing from Mystery to Me bookstore. All are welcome. Enter the church from the parking lot. Enter north door where an elevator is available to lower level Fellowship Hall.

Saturday, February 4, 10:00 a.m. Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Book talk and signing. Never Curse the Rain.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)

Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several
of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Sunday, January 08, 2017

Appreciating the Cold


I wrote this three years ago, but I’m repeating it today because last week was just like this.

It was five above zero when I put on my down jacket, pulled the earflaps down on my cap, grabbed my walking stick and set out from the cabin for my morning walk. The sun, struggling to climb above the pine woods to the east provided a bit of light for what had been a very dark night, but offered little warmth as I headed down the trail.

How soon one forgets how quiet a chilly winter morning can be. I heard not a sound, no crow call, no rustling of dead oak leaves, no creaking of bare tree limbs. Nothing, save for the crunch, crunch of the cold snow under my boots as I trudged along, often stopping to listen and hearing nothing. Hearing silence.

As the landscape grew lighter with the rising sun, the frost covered branches of the trees along the trail sparkled and glittered and reminded me how beautiful can be the most simple of things—morning frost in first light.

Upon returning to the cabin, I pushed another stick of oak wood in the wood stove, sat in my rocking chair with a cup of coffee and reminded myself that life couldn't get much better than this.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Take time to appreciate the simple things.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Wednesday, January 11. 6:30 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books available on site for sale and signing from Mystery to Me bookstore. All are welcome. Enter the church from the parking lot. Enter north door where an elevator is available to lower level Fellowship Hall.

Saturday, January 14. 9:00 -12:00 a.m. Sequoia Library, Madison. Writing Workshop.”Writing From Your Life” Limited enrollment. Contact Sequoia Library: 608-266-6385.

Saturday, January 21 Noon. Heidel House, Green Lake, WI. Pheasants Forever. Noon talk. Whispers and Shadows. Book signing.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835




Sunday, January 01, 2017

A New Year


I’m sitting at the kitchen table at my farm, looking out the window where snowflakes are gently falling. My wood-burning cook stove is keeping me warm and cozy.

On these last days of 2016, I’m thinking about the highs and lows of the year just past. It’s fairly easy to think about the negatives of the year, the shouting and finger pointing, the sadness experienced with the passing of a close friend or relative. The anger and unhappiness experienced by many. There were high points, too. The joy of weddings, anniversaries, and new babies born. For me, the opportunity for our family, all the kids and grand kids, and now two great grand kids gathering together for a week at a cabin on a lake last summer.

For many people 2016 was a difficult year. Other years have been difficult as well. I think back to when I was a kid, during the depths of the Great Depression of the 1930s, when many people were without work and had no place to live and nothing to eat. We were farm people. We had food; we had a roof over our heads, but not much else. I remember my folks took in relatives who did not have food and shelter. Relatives who lived with us until things got better in the country.

And then World War II came along, a devastating time, when everyone worked hard and hoped for a victory. But we made do as the war effort consumed the country’s resources at an ever increasing rate.

Through all of this and much more, my dad and mother had hope. They never lost it. My dad’s words, I’ve never forgotten them, “Remember, Jerry, next year will be better.”

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Next year will be better.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, January 11. 6:30 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books signing and talk. All are welcome.

Saturday, January 14. 9:00 -12:00 a.m. Sequoia Library, Madison. Writing Workshop.”Writing From Your Life” Limited enrollment. Contact Sequoia Library: 608-266-6385.

Saturday, January 21 Noon. Heidel House, Green Lake, WI. Pheasants Forever. Noon talk. Whispers and Shadows. Book signing.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal
Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Snow


It’s snowing. Again. Started Friday afternoon. A few scattered flakes drifting from a heavy, gray sky. Then a few more. None of those big, fluffy beautiful flakes. Just little ones. Lots of them. Six inches worth of them that needed shoveling.

People complaining. Cursing the snow. Wishing for summer. And winter hasn’t even begun yet, not until next week when it’s official. At least on the calendar official.

So an unpleasant time for those who are “stuck” with snow and winter. They complain. They must find something satisfying in complaining. Like being in the army and complaining. I was there. I remember the complaining. Remember it was the thing to do. That if you didn’t complain about army life you weren’t normal.

So is it normal to complain about snow and winter?

I must be abnormal because I rather like winter. The quiet. The beauty of a snowstorm. A time to slowdown and relax a bit. A time to celebrate Christmas and the end of an old year. All a part of winter in the North.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Complaining a little about snow and winter: quite normal. Complaining a lot about snow and winter: annoying.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, January 11. 6:30 p.m. Midvale Lutheran Church, 4329 Tokay Blvd. (corner of Midvale and Tokay), Fellowship Hall. Launch of new book, NEVER CURSE THE RAIN. Books signing and talk. All are welcome.

Saturday, January 14. 9:00 -12:00 a.m. Sequoia Library, Madison. Writing Workshop.”Writing From Your Life” Limited enrollment. Contact Sequoia Library: 608-266-6385.

Saturday, January 21 Noon. Heidel House, Green Lake, WI. Pheasants Forever. Noon talk. Whispers and Shadows. Book signing.

Saturday, February 11, 2:15. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. Roshara Journal

Sunday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison. TV documentary “Never Curse the Rain” book signing and discussion.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835






Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas at McFarlanes



When is a hardware store more than merely a hardware store? I think of hardware stores as places where you can buy nails and bolts, tools and wire, garden supplies and mouse traps, light bulbs and rope—all of that sort of thing. Stuff needed to keep a household or a farm running.

In Sauk City, Wisconsin, there is a hardware store, McFarlanes, that sells all of what I mentioned but, it also sells books. My books and those of several of my fellow authors in the area. It also is the site of regular, live radio programs that broadcast on 99.7 FM, (WRPQ) with studios in Baraboo.

For this season, the station is broadcasting a series of Saturday morning shows they call “A very Sauk Prairie Christmas Radio Show. December 3rd the show was about Christmas happenings in the Sauk Prairie area. Yesterday, the show was about Christmas on the Farm with yours truly spinning tales of what Christmas was like before electricity, when homes were heated with woodstoves, and all the farm kids attended country schools where the highlight of the year was the Christmas program. We mostly talked about the stories in my book, The Quiet Season.

Rauel LaBreche, does the radio show, and does it well. Great questions, great sense of humor. Knows what he’s doing. Rauel has a degree in fine arts from the UW-Madison. Oh, did I mention, he is also the marketing director for McFarlane’s.

The photo above was the set for the radio show, with Wayne Whitemarsh, Sporting Goods manager on the left, and LaBreche on the right. Whitemarsh is responsible for the book display, ordering the books, and doing what a bookseller does, besides his regular hardware store duties.

Upcoming Saturdays will feature local military veterans talking about Christmas when they were away from home for the holidays, and local pastor talking about the first Christmas. Stop by McFarlanes if want to relax for a bit on a busy Saturday morning. Watch a live radio show, and learn about more about Christmas.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Sometimes a hardware store is much more than a hardware store.


Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
\
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:
Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.
Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.
Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835





Saturday, December 03, 2016

Roshara Journal




This year we are celebrating fifty-years at our farm that we have named, Roshara. One way I celebrated was publishing my new book, Roshara Journal: Chronicling Four Seasons, Fifty Years, and 120 Acres (Wisconsin Historical Society Press). I wrote the book with my son, Steve who is Chief Photographer for The Wisconsin State Journal. Steve provided the photographs, all taken at Roshara.

The book consists of journal entries that I have made over these fifty years. In the introduction to the book I wrote:

Perhaps the most significant happening at Roshara over these many years is not what we have contributed to the place, but what it has done for my family and me. Our three children have grown up roaming Roshara’s acres on their own, climbing trees, digging in the soil, helping plant trees, fishing in the pond, catching frogs, watching bluebirds, hiking the trails, identifying wildflowers, working in the garden, and much more.

Roshara has added to their understanding and appreciation for nature in ways that I will never know. And now our grandchildren are doing the same. Three generations at Roshara, learning the importance of nature and coming to understand how we, in our small way, can make a contribution by caring for this land that was once declared worthless by the neighbors.

To purchase the book—makes a great Christmas present—go to my website www.jerryapps.com for ordering instructions, or order from Patterson Memorial Library, a fund raiser for them. See below for instructions.


THE OLD TIMER SAYS: It’s never too late to write in a journal. A fine way to keep a record of what is important in your life.

Upcoming Events:

December 6, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Writers, Creativity & Aging Fitchburg Senior Center,5510 Lacy Road Fitchburg, WI 53711 I’ll be talking about Telling Your Story. Sponsored by Retiree Rebels.

December 7, 11:00 to 1:00, Headquarters Bldg. Wisconsin Historical Society, (816 State Street, Madison). Holiday book sale—book signing.

December 10, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. McFarlane’s Sauk City.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
\
The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)

Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)

The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. and Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

Jerry’s newest books, Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their stories—are also available.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835