Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year Thoughts

As we look forward to a new year, with all of its challenges and opportunities, I am reminded of something that Albert Einstein wrote: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

The Old Timer says: "Don't forget how important it is to just sit awhile and think."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Memories

As we grow older, Christmas memories abound:

I remember Christmas morning, when I was a kid growing up on a farm, with a stack of presents under the tree that couldn't be opened until the morning milking was done. Of receiving new socks and mittens that grandmother had knitted, and a new pair of skates, the type that clamped onto the bottom of my shoes and were tightened with a key.

I remember walking a mile with my dad to a neighbor's with a small present and a freshly baked pie, because we knew that his wife had passed away and his children had grown and moved to the city, and he was there alone on Christmas day.

The Old Timer says: "Listen to the laughter of children, and remember when you were a kid."

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Rhythm of the Seasons

The long winter in the north is settling in allowing time for resting, rejuvenating. remembering, contemplating--but mostly enjoying. Winter is for slowing down.

But so many of us still hurry. We can't accept the rhythm of the seasons.

The Old Timer Says:"Why is it that patience is in such short supply these days?"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pickles and Onions

Pickles and onions. Not a bad combination for those with cast iron stomachs. But I'm talking about The Onion. a national very funny newspaper that pokes fun at about everything. Except in the December 7 issue they talked about my book, In a Pickle: A Family Farm Story.

The mention was part of a "Wisconsin Gift Guide" feature. They said my book was "For literary snobs who doubt the inspirational power of pickles." They concluded the review with, "It's not the first American novel to pit country wisdom against corporate sliminess, but when was the last time a good story taught you this much about the pickle-curing process?"

The Old Timer says: "Everything has an end, except a sausage, which has two."

Monday, December 03, 2007


It blew in from the southwest, from Iowa, a few flakes at first, in late morning. Then more flakes as the storm increased, got stronger, grew bolder. Soon I couldn't see the road that trails by the cabin, couldn't glimpse the pasture field just beyond the driveway. Couldn't see the tops of the now naked black willow trees that windbreak the cabin.

First big snow of the season. About six inches dumped before it moved on east, giving those folks a taste of winter as well.

Nearly put the Pickle Party in a pickle--but it didn't. Sturdy Wisconsinites know how to drive in snow, even when the road disappears in front of them. Four-wheel drive weather. More than 50 turned out to celebrate pickles, pickle patches, and pickle factories--and hear about IN A PICKLE: A FAMILY FARM STORY.

The Old Timer Says: "There are no shortcuts to important places."