Sunday, January 14, 2018

Mouse in a Box



It happened between Christmas and New Year’s. When two of my grandsons, Josh and Ben were home. I sent them to our attic and to our basement for the retrieval of boxes, many boxes, 57 boxes to be exact. A history of my years working at UW-Madison and a history of 50 years of writing. All stuffed into boxes. Letters, manuscripts, interview tapes, speech notes, edited book pages, research notes. Lots of research notes. And several book journals. I keep a journal for each book I write—a topic for another day.

Oh, and a bit of mischief on the part of my grandsons, who knew well the whims and fears of my daughter, Sue, their mother. As Josh hustled box after box down the rickety folding attic stairs, he spotted a dead mouse in the attic. And he put said mouse in one of the boxes before handing it to Ben who brought the box to my office where Sue and I worked. She and I inspected each box as it arrived from the attic and basement for its contents, so I could develop an inventory. The work was progressing carefully and quietly.

Then a hair raising scream from daughter, Sue. So loud it brought my wife running. So loud it nearly short-circuited my hearing aid. And then laughter. Belly laughter from Ben and Josh who had once more “put one over” on their mouse challenged mother, about the only wild creature she can’t tolerate. She had opened a box, and there she spotted the dead mouse. Very dead.

After son, Steve removed the mouse, the work continued. Eventually the 57 boxes filled half our living room—until Jonathon Nelson from the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives arrived and hauled them away.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: One way to keep a record of one’s history: Stuff it a box and pile it in the attic

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

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

Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, 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.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

New Reprints


During the early 2000s I wrote two books about farm life in central Wisconsin when I was a kid growing up on the home farm. Our farm was located four and one-half miles west of Wild Rose.

The first book, EVERY FARM TELLS A STORY was based on mother’s account books, which she diligently kept from the day they moved onto the farm in 1924 until they left the farm in 1973 to retire in Wild Rose. I found such items listed as: Fork handle--$.65, milk pail--$1.15, Horse collar and pad--$8.15 and gloves for Herm (my father)--$.52. These entries not only revealed something about the cost of farming in those days, but for me they triggered stories associated with the items. This book became the source of the stories that I shared in my first Public Television documentary, “Jerry Apps: A Farm Story.”

The second book, LIVING A COUNTRY YEAR, is also a story of my early farm life. But this time I’ve organized it around the months of the year on the farm, with a story for each month, some thoughts for that month, plus a recipe. For instance, for January I wrote: “January is for slowing down and reflecting, for considering the year that has passed and anticipating the year that is beginning.” The January recipe is for “Ma’s Homemade Chili.”
I am especially pleased that the Wisconsin Historical Society Press has reprinted both of these books, with new covers, and new introductions. Check at your local bookstore, order on line, or order from Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose. The Patterson will soon have copies for sale as a fund raiser for the library.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Cold and snowy winter days are made for book reading.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan

Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984
barnard@wildroselibrary.org
www.wildroselibrary.org
920-622-3835
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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, 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.



Monday, January 01, 2018

A New Year

Some things to do in the New Year:

Start a journal and write in it every day, or perhaps once a week, but regularly. Record the weather. Pen your thoughts. Write a story from your past. Remove an emotional ache from your system.

Vow to laugh out loud at least once each day, all year long. You’ll feel better. You’ll help others feel better.

Take time to see the whiteness of fresh fallen snow that sparkles and glimmers and covers the grime and dirt of an earlier day.

Watch the sun set when the temperature is below freezing and the sky is steel blue and turns black as the sun sinks away and the thermometer plummets.

Listen for the silence of winter, when snow buries the land and the cold tightens its grip. There is great beauty in silence, something that is in short supply these days.
Stand in a snowstorm and watch snowflakes accumulate on your sleeve. Each snowflake is different, each one special—a reminder of nature’s creative magnificence.

Sit by a fireplace or a wood stove doing nothing except listening to the occasional pop of the fire and smelling the hint of wood smoke that sneaks into the room.
Remember that doing nothing is sometimes the most important thing you can do.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Happy New Year!

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, Feb 10, 2:15 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan
Sunday, Feb. 11: 1:00 p.m. Garden Expo, Alliant Center, Madison, with daughter Susan
Wednesday, Feb 28, 6:00 p.m. Wild Rose H.S. Auditorium, Premier showing of Jerry’s new Public TV documentary on One-Room Country Schools.

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,) and Never Curse the Rain, Jerry’s newest DVD based on his book with the same title.
Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction books, Never Curse the Rain and Old Farm Country Cookbook, 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