Sunday, July 26, 2015

Doe in the Evening


It was a patch of brown in a world of green.  I was traveling one of my trails in a red pine patch I planted back in 1967 or 1968, slowly driving my ATV on a quiet, warm summer evening.  And then, among the tall pines and the green undergrowth I saw the patch of brown.  I stopped, allowing the machine to idle.  Soon a head appeared on one end of the patch of brown, and a bit later the tail.  The big doe was feeding on the underbrush.  She stopped and  looked at me.  I looked back, not moving.  She flicked her tail; a fly must have been bothering her.

I turned off the ATV and continued watching.  She quit eating for a bit and stared at me, only a hundred feet or so away from where I sat.  She raised her head, no doubt trying to catch my scent which was hidden by the smell of the ATV.

Then, as if I wasn’t even there, she went back to eating, and coming ever closer to where I sat.  I remained motionless, watching and wondering how close she would come to this guy who was interfering with her supper.

When she was maybe twenty feet away, she looked at me once more, sniffed the air, turned and walked away, occasionally flicking her tail.  I watched her disappear into the underbrush to the west where she crossed into my neighbor’s oak woodlot.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: One of life’s simple pleasures is watching a deer up close

 A FEW OPENINGS REMAIN:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

THE QUOTABLE NATURE LOVER, edited by John A. Murray (Lyons Press, 1999) is one of those books you pick up and enjoy for its vast collection of quotations from famous and not so famous nature writers.  Here are three examples:
                “The beauty of the natural world lies in the details . . .,” Natalie Angier

                “The universe is wider than our views of it,” Henry David Thoreau

                “In the end, we conserve only what we love.  We will love only what we understand.  We will only understand what we are taught,” Baba Diuom

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

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
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

UPCOMING EVENTS:

August 12, 6:00 p.m., Westfield Library.  Whispers and Shadows

August 26, 9:30 a.m. Farm Technology Days, Sun Prairie. Farm Stories.

August 30, 1-4 p.m., Book World, West Bend.  Book signing.

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin 

Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 4, 1-3 p.m.  Readers Realm bookstore, Montello. Ag. History

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)




Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Broccoli Year


Last week I wrote about my town garden.  This week I’ll share a little about my much larger country garden at Roshara, where the rows are thirty inches apart and many feet long.  The country garden has taken a weather beating, two bad storms a week apart dumped always needed rain, but the wind we could do without.  A week ago my sweetcorn all leaned to the east, with the most recent storm it now leans to the south.  I’m hopeful it will recover.

Also, with the cold nights back in May, the germination of my vine crops was not good.  Thus my squash, pumpkin and even cucumber crop will be below average.  However, the ever sturdy zucchini germinated and continues to grow.  The first little thumb size zucchini are ready for picking.

On the positive size: the leaf lettuce has never been better, three cuttings so far, the second cutting of collards was as good as the first, the tomatoes are on a rampage, and baring blight and more storms, we ought have several bushel.  I dug a pail full of red potatoes yesterday, blemish free and oh, oh so good to eat.

The first few pints of green beans are in the fridge ready for eating.  The late cabbage is on a tear—heads bigger than I’ve ever grown.  And broccoli, well here I must violate the longstanding rule that we Germans should never brag—I have the best, biggest and brightest broccoli.  I cut a broccoli head yesterday that measured ten-inches across.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Every year’s garden is filled with surprises.

Only A FEW OPENINGS REMAIN:
 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

A WILDERNESS WITHIN: THE LIFE OF SIGURD F. OLSON by David Backes.  Here is a wonderful biography of Sigurd  F. Olson who has written so lovingly of the Boundary Waters Canoe area of northern Minnesota.  Olson is one of my environmental heroes.
Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fund raiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
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
UPCOMING EVENTS:
August 12, 6:00 p.m., Westfield Library. Whispers and Shadows

August 26, 9:30 a.m. Farm Technology Days, Sun Prairie. Farm Stories.

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.


November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Town Garden Update



As I’ve mentioned earlier, my town garden is a tiny little thing, only 3 ½ feet by eight feet.  In some ways it’s more of a “wannabe garden” than a real vegetable garden, especially for those of us who have grown up with and continue to have gardens that range up to a ¼ acre in size. 

 Yet, I must confess, a bunch of vegetables can be grown in a little space, as long as there is at least eight hours of sunshine a day, and you don’t forget to water it when the rains don’t come regularly.

Last week I harvested an ice-cream pail of red potatoes from five potato plants.  Blemish free potatoes, beautiful on the table and wonderful to eat.  We’ve harvested leaf lettuce four times, and broccoli twice.  The tomatoes are green and growing rapidly, some the size of golf balls and larger.  The cucumbers, four vines, snake up a little string trellis I built.  They are covered with yellow blossoms, with a few cucumbers a ¼ inch long.

I’m a believer—so much good, fresh food, from so little  space.  Besides, where the vegetable garden grows, there is no grass to mow.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Grow your own.  It’s easy, fun, and as one of the TV guys says, “It tastes so good.”

A FEW OPENINGS REMAIN:
 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

THE EARTH SPEAKS by Steve Van Matre and Bill Weiler.  Here is a book of short excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wallace Stegner, Sigurd Olson, Edward Abbey and many more.    Included in the book is this Indian Proverb: “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.”

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

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs, Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps and Jerry Apps A Farm Story.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including The Quiet Season (on which the DVD A Farm Winter is based), as well as Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm, (which are related to the DVD Jerry Apps a Farm Story). Also available is Jerry’s new novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County.
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

UPCOMING EVENTS:
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Farm stories.

August 12, 6:00 p.m., Westfield Library. Farm Stories

August 26, 9:30 a.m. Farm Technology Days, Sun Prairie. Farm Stories.

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin 
Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows
.
September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.


November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)

Monday, July 06, 2015

Fourth of July


Roshara, July 3, 2015, 9:30 p.m.

Darkness has slowly engulfed the countryside on this warm early July evening.  Mists are beginning to rise from the low places as the cool evening air collides with the warm earth.  The first whippoorwill calls its name, and then calls it again, and again, and again.  I am sitting on the back porch of the cabin enjoying the evening, and appreciating the whippoorwill's call.

“Kaboom!”  I almost jump out of my chair.  But then my straying mind recalls that tomorrow is the Fourth of July and for some folks, this means fireworks with bright lights and loud noises.

The whippoorwill seems nonplussed as it continues calling.

“Kaboom!.”  This time with red and green and blue fire in the sky that spreads wide and then falls in a cascade of sparks.

The whippoorwill continues calling and this time I spot several fire flies flitting about, casting their cold light in the darkness of the night.

Another “Kaboom,” with several less loud “pop, pop, pops” and more cascading sparks falling from the sky.

The whippoorwill is silent, no doubt moving on from this noise and light and disturbance. (The whippoorwill returns at four a.m. the following morning—just outside our bedroom window).

The fireflies continue flitting about, a silent contrast to the loud noises and bright lights of the Fourth of July celebration.  And then it is quiet.

I continue watching the fireflies, and enjoying the silence that once more spreads over Roshara.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:   Fireflies and whippoorwills help me celebrate the Fourth of July.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:
My Norwegian friend, Howard Sherpe, who lives near Westby, writes a weekly column for several newspapers.   He writes about farm life when he was a kid—and he does it well.  Check out his books; ACROSS THE FENCE, and ACROSS THE FENCE AND DOWN THE COUNTRY ROAD, and several other books as well. They are collections of his well-written and always interesting columns.

UPCOMING EVENTS:
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)



Monday, June 29, 2015

Over-Fifty Club


They came from Texas and Colorado, from Washington and Illinois, from Minnesota and Iowa and from all over Wisconsin.  They came to celebrate Wild Rose High School as they are members of the Over-50 Club, which means they graduated from Wild Rose High 50 or more years ago. This year some 250 people attended the gathering at the Wild Rose Elementary School, which is about a third as many people who live in Wild Rose (about 725).  The honored classes were 1935, 1945, 1955 and 1965.

 We learned something about how things were in 1965.  We were deep into the Viet Nam War, median family income was $6,900, a first class stamp was five cents, gasoline cost 32 cents a gallon a new car cost $2,650.00 and new homes ,on average, sold for $13,600.00.  New TV shows were Hogan’s Heroes, Green Acres, I Spy, and Get Smart.

We honored long-time District Administrator, Claude Olson who is retiring.  We welcomed Craig Hayes, new District Administrator.  Erica Carlson, Wild Rose High music student and first place winner in the state completion entertained us with her wonderful rendition of “Send in the Clowns,” and with a Saxophone solo.

We also honored those  graduates who have died the previous year. Marilyn Hansen Apps and Mary Brownlow Werth were in charge of this part of the program.

Maryann Brewer Erdman (class of 1960), chairs the planning committee and she and the committee did a wonderful job of helping 250 oldsters have a most enjoyable time.

To end the program, we all stood and sang a rousing rendition of “We’re loyal to you Wild Rose High , . . .we know you’re the best . . . of all schools East and West . . . .” 

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Reunions allow us to connect to an earlier time—and renew acquaintances, sometimes from decades ago.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK
The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1978).  A wonderful nature writer, with several books to his credit, in The Star Thrower Eiseley wrote, “It is commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and live for a time in the wilderness.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin 
Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)



Friday, June 19, 2015

Hungry Bunny


With warm weather and ample rain, my tiny town garden in Madison has flourished.  The garden is but 3.5 feet by 8 feet, about the area of the walkway in our Roshara Garden.  The town garden’s tomato plants are more than three feet tall, the potatoes nearly that  high, the broccoli soon ready to harvest, the lettuce doing well--four cuttings so far—and the cucumbers starting to vine (I’ve built a little rack on which they can climb).  As of yesterday the beets looked reasonable and the green beans appeared promising. 

 But today it happened.  My garden has been attacked by bunnies.  Hungry little buggers that I had kept away with netting since I planted the garden—and mistakenly assumed the vegetables were too tall for a rabbit’s liking.  I was wrong.

Today, in broad daylight and while I was watching, a big bunny that had been nibbling on my lawn grass hopped up into my little raised garden and began feasting on my beets and beans.  I shooed the vegetable thief away, but alas, he (maybe a she) had been there before.  The beans are now but little green stems, and the beets appear to be history.

I hurried to a nearby hardware store, bought some awful smelling rabbit repellent and sprayed my remaining beans and the couple of beet plants that still had a leaf or two of hope.  After all these years you’d think I would know better—that’s what Ruth told me anyway.  Rabbits do like vegetables.  I know that.  I know that.  I know that.  Sometimes I have to say things three times for the message to sink in.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  It’s never too old to learn—about bunnies and their eating habits.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

In 1945, a family from Milwaukee bought my grandfather’s farm, which was a mile from the home farm.  Our new neighbor knew nothing about farming, including how to milk a cow by hand.  Farmers in our community had no electricity at the time.  My dad suggested I would teach this fellow how to do it.  He never did learn, but for my efforts—I lived with the family for a week—he gave me a wonderful little book: CAMPING AND WOODCRAFT: A HANDBOOK FOR CAMPERS AND FOR TRAVELERS IN THE WILDERNESS BY Horace Kephart.  If you want to learn about early 1900s skills for wilderness living, read this book.  From how to use a compass to honing skills with an ax, from how to deal with mosquitoes to recipes from the wild.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Dinner Speaker
.
July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore,  Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories  From the Land

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago.

October 11, Old World Wisconsin

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Rainy Day in June


The rain began in mid-morning with just a few scattered drops.  No booming thunder.  No flashes of lightning.  No tree shaking wind.  And then, slowly, the rain increased in intensity.  Not a downpour, but a steady, soaking, earth loving rain.  It rained all day and all night and most of the following morning.  My rain gauge showed two inches when it finally stopped, as it had started, with a few scattered drops.

I remembered rainy days like this when my brothers and I were helping Pa with the haying season, during the days when we made loose hay and hauled it to the barn with our trusty team of horses, and piled it in the barn’s hay mow.  Hot, dusty, heavy, hard work.  So a rainy day was a day away from haying. 

When the morning chores were done, and the cows were turned out to pasture—they didn’t seem to mind the rain splattering on their backs—we would crawl up into the hay mow where the freshly cut hay was stored.  And there we would rest on the hay that smelled of sweet  clover and alfalfa, and listen to the drumming of the raindrops on the barn roof.  We’d listen to Pa’s stories of rainy days that he remembered—but mostly we’d enjoy a day of rest, and celebrate the rain, for our sandy farm never had enough .

THE OLD TIMER SAYS:  Never curse the rain.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

 My one-day writing course on “Writing From Your Life,” is scheduled for Saturday, October 17 at the Clearing in Door County.  Go to http://theclearing.org/current/classes_workshop_description.php?id=26  for detailed information.

BOOK OF THE WEEK:

John Muir, THE STORY OF MY BOYHOOD AND YOUTH.  Muir, who was born in Scotland in 1838, moved with his family to Wisconsin when he was eleven years old.  They settled on a farm in Marquette County, where life was hard but the lessons were many.  Muir went on to co- found the Sierra Club in 1892 and was a major force in establishing the National Park System in this country.  He died in 1914.

 Muir’s home farm, south of Montello, was located on Fountain Lake.  Muir wrote this: “On Sundays, after or before chores and sermons and Bible-lessons, we drifted about on our lake for hours, especially in lily time, getting the finest lessons and sermons from the water and flowers, ducks, fishes, and muskrats.”

UPCOMING EVENTS:

June 23, Midwest Secretaries of Agriculture, Dinner Meeting. Madison, Keynote.

July 16, 6:30. Heritage Village at Big Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Remembering Farm Life from an Earlier Day

September 3, Noon.  Old World Wisconsin, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History (New book)

September 3, 7 p.m. Books and Company bookstore, Oconomowoc,  Whispers and Shadows.

September 12, West Madison Agriculture Research Station, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.  Time to be announced.

September 17, 11:-a.m.  St. Luke’s Church, Middleton, WI   Stories From the Land. Time to be announced.

September 19 , Stonefield Village, Cassville.  Whispers and Shadows.

September 23, Patterson Memorial Library, Wild Rose. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

September 26, 10:30 -2:00, Dregni’s, Westby, Book signing.

October 7, 6:30 p.m. Reedsburg Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 10, Heartland Forum, Chicago. Book signing. 

October 11, Old World Wisconsin [Time to be announced]

October 15, Prairie du Sac Library, Whispers and Shadows

October 17, 9-4 Teaching writing workshop at The Clearing, Ellison Bay, WI

October 17, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The Clearing.  Book signing, Whispers and Shadows, Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

October 29, Brown County Library.  Premier of TV Documentary,” The Land With Jerry Apps. “ Book signing, Whispers and Shadows.

November 5, 7:00 p.m. Baraboo Library, Whispers and Shadows.

November 7, Edgerton Book Festival, The Land (TV documentary) and Whispers and Shadows

November 15, 9:15 Midvale Lutheran Church, The Land (TV documentary)  plus discussion of Whispers and Shadows.

November 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m. Sheboygan County Historical Research Center.  Wisconsin Agriculture: A History.

November 18, Preview of TV Documentary, “The Land With Jerry Apps” Wild Rose High School Auditorium.  Whispers and Shadows book signing. (Time to be announced)