Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's Lilac Time


It’s lilac time. Those wonderful, sweet smelling flowers are in bloom. They bring back memories and they are filled with history. The old-fashioned ones come in white, deep purple and lavender and the bushes will grow twenty-feet tall and have trunks as thick as a small tree.

I will never forget the lilac bushes that grew along the southern fence at the one-room school that I attended for eight years. When the lilacs appeared in May, we knew the end of the school year was near. Our teacher would fill a vase with lilacs, and the musty, left over smell of wood smoke in our school room would be replaced with the gentle smell of lilac. The smell of spring.

We have a row of lilacs growing in front of the windbreak at our Roshara cabin. They were planted in 1912 when the farm buildings were moved across the road from their original location that dated to 1867. No doubt the Coombes family, who owned Roshara then, not only moved their homestead across the road, but they also moved their lilacs. Our lilacs are thus 105 years old and still going strong.

This time of the year is an especially interesting time to travel around Wisconsin. As most people know we’ve lost thousands of farms over the past several years. The barns are gone, the farm houses are gone. But a clump of lilacs often remains, like a tombstone that marks a grave, lilacs mark where once a farmstead stood. When I spot these often lonely bushes, covered with flowers, I think about the farm family that lived there. What were their stories? The lilac bushes remain to remind us of an earlier day.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Stop and smell the lilacs and think of the stories they have to tell.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088. Limited enrollment.
UPCOMING EVENTS:

May 25, 7:00 p.m. Richfield Historical Societ Never Curse the Rain. Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 Hwy 175, Richfield, WI.


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 nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

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, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day Memories



When I was a kid, the day before Mother’s Day Pa would hike my little twin brothers and me to the far end of our twenty acre woodlot that began just outside the backdoor of our farm house. The oak trees had just begun to leaf out, and the spring birds were chattering away as we walked single file behind Pa.

Pa knew of a little opening in the far end of the woods on a hilltop where there were no trees. In this little opening the wild violets grew, hundreds of them. Mostly purple but some white ones. Some lavender ones. A carpet of violets with oak trees growing all around.

“Your Ma likes violets,” Pa said. “She’d like some for Mother’s Day.” Each of us picked as many as our little hands could hold.

A short while later we arrived home and went into the kitchen where Ma was baking bread. It seemed she was always baking bread, as we must have eaten a lot of it. Each of us handed our freshly picked, beautiful violets to Ma. “Happy Mother’s Day,” we said.

She took a water glass from the cupboard, filled it with water from the water pail that stood next to the sink, and placed our little hand-picked presents in the center of the kitchen table. Next to the ever present kerosene lamp.

“Thank you,” she said. “Thank you.” She had tears in her eyes.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Little gifts can mean a lot.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088. Limited enrollment.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

May 18. Neville Public Museum, Green Bay. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History. Dinner at 5:00 p.m. Program at 6:00 p.m. Registrations required. Call 920-448-7874.

May 25, 7:00 p.m. Richfield Historical Sociey. Never Curse the Rain. Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 Hwy 175, Richfield, WI.


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 nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

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, May 06, 2017

Watching the Clouds Roll By


Okay you say. The old guy has gone daft—a word from an earlier day—today you’d probably say “gone off the rails.”

Doesn’t he have enough to do that he sits watching the clouds roll by? Something a kid would do on a summer day, looking at the clouds and seeing rabbits and dragons and whatever an active imagination might come up with.

Everyone has a creative side, whether it’s tuning an engine, baking a cake, painting a picture, writing a poem—or a hundred other examples. That creative side regularly needs encouragement. Our creative batteries need re-charging.

As a writer, I know my creative battery needs recharging, and often. Watching the clouds roll by on a warm spring day is one way to do it.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Find time to charge your creative battery.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088. Limited enrollment.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

May 18. Neville Public Museum, Green Bay. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History. Dinner at 5:00 p.m. Program at 6:00 p.m. Registrations required. Call 920-448-7874.

May 25, 7:00 p.m. Richfield Historical Sociey. Never Curse the Rain. Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 Hwy 175, Richfield, WI.


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 nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

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