Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Born again, from flames

Last evening
at the Congo
- First Congregational Church, UCC -
I marked a feat
believed to be impossible
by some;

I served as maitre 'D
of the annual historic
pancake supper which involved
standing on my feet
for 4 hours straight
a great feet feat

said to be undo-able
for a man with just 1/3 of a heart
but I did it
with a heart now said to have
restrengthened to 
one half (1/2)

over a period of
seven years since 
I had my chest sawed open
and parts repaired
by great doctors.

The pancake powers 
that are
offered me a sit-down job
like maybe taking tickets
but I said, phoenix-like,


Going to Phoenix 1972


A good turn-out.
There's Wis Guthrie to the right of the coffee cannister
and son Jim facing him (back to camera)\and Ralph E.B. Schultz
at Wis's left;
and in the front table Darrell and Judy Marshall
our old neighbors on Colton Street
(in the original raccoon district)
and Tom Jacobson, and, and........

I saw them all.


A Middleton WI phoenix woman
flew in Sunday to pick up a reborn Maytag electric washing machine.
She had answered a Craigslist ad we put in
looking for a good home
where the machine would actually be used,
and Ingrid filled the bill.

The 1958 Maytag has a history here.  See:
But this Ingrid lady has plans for the old but true washer
and she loved it at first sight.

What better outcome than to see the dust-gathering
but still kicking labor-saver getting  rebirth
with Ingrid, who put it to immediate use dying old flannel
sheets to be remade into craft items!
An enterprising formerly old-world woman
bringing a cosmic continuance to a dormant
but waiting, still willing servant vessel 
made in Newton, Iowa.

.....and there it goes, left, right, left, right.....
"Igg-ig-oo-ee, igg-ig-oo-ee"


(Thanks to Mel Stark and son David Jr. for getting the machine back into good working order!)


Correspondence from Ingrid to the raccoon news, 3/28/12:

I retired a year ago (at age 59) and spend most of my time knitting, crocheting and sewing. I have an antique sock knitting machine and can crank out a pair of socks in about an hour. I’m building an inventory of socks and crocheted hats for fall craft fairs. Two friends and I have formed our own craft “company” of sorts called 3 Phat Chix (fat chicks) and we make phunky stuph – hattitudes (hats with attitude) and sockitudes (socks with attitude). It’s lots of phun playing with words for this little venture…

The washing machine will come into use when I do felting of sweaters found at second time around shops so they can be repurposed into slippers, bags, or what have you. I also knit things (mostly slippers and bags) that I felt in the machine so Millie will be assisting with lots of those kinds of projects. (My front loader has a filter that gets too easily clogged with lint and good ol’ Millie just chugs away without caring about that kind of stuff!)

Now that nice weather is bearing down on us, I’ll be bringing home “the Divamobile”, my 29’ motor home, and getting the fishing gear ready for fishing. I tried ice fishing this past winter for the first time – rather strange for a North Dakota farm girl, huh –

Millie will be a constant nostalgic reminder of the humble but hardworking farm life I had while growing up in rural, desolate, northern North Dakota. My mother never knew the ease of using modern washers and dryers – it was the old Maytag and hanging clothes on the line to dry – outside in the warmer months, and in the basement during the winter. Jeans and towels were stiff as a board but that’s just how it was and we didn’t complain because we didn’t know any different.

Thankfully, for my sake, I raised 3 kids with the modern washer and dryer. And a lot of other creature comforts that I never knew as a child. But I have fond remembrances of life on the farm, the sense of community as a family, and the basic values and morals that were instilled in me for life. You worked hard, played hard, and then worked hard some more! Life wasn’t easy but it was just that – life! And that’s the way it was and we didn’t complain because we didn’t know any different. Nor would I have wanted to…

Now that I’m almost an old lady, and a grandmother, I would love to go back to the simple way of life in the country on a farm. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the noise, the constant onslaught of sensory overload – simplicity and serenity with reverence for all of God’s handiwork and the multitude of blessings He has bestowed upon us. Like modern washing machines and dryers, but with an appreciation and respect for those people and things that came before us and that gave us the modern conveniences of today.

Hope this helps you glean something worth writing about…. I look forward to your published blog comments!



Places I Have Heard the Ocean

In a cat's throat, in a shell I hold
to my ear — though I'm told
this is the sound of my own
blood. I have heard the ocean
in the city: cars against
the beach of our street. Or in
the subway, waiting for a train
that carries me like a current.
In my bed: place of high and low
tide or in my daughter's skates,
rolling over the sidewalk.
Ocean in the trees when they
fill their heads with wind.
Ocean in the rise and fall:
lungs of everyone I love.

"Places I Have Heard the Ocean" by Faith Shearin, from Moving the Piano. © Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2011