Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

Photo Challenge
Nostalgia

What kinds of experiences stir emotions for the past within you?

Lake Poinsett Nostalgia

The word that was suggested for the one-word prompt recently was nostalgia. It was a photo challenge, but the photos I’m using here are not current. The beautiful lake named Lake Poinsett in northeastern South Dakota is where I will take you on my nostalgia trip. I was born in 1940 and grew up witnessing many changes at the lake. With this post I hope to take a short trip back down memory lane and recall different things about Lake Poinsett. It has seen dramatic changes in usage, population, residences, year around homes, food, drink, bait and tackle places and a multitude of water level changes.

We lived on a farm less than a mile south of the lake, our parents were Frank and Frances Olson. A lot of time was spent either fishing or swimming in our lives. Our great uncle Simon Hoel built a stone house on the hill just east of the park in 1885, part of it still stands. My grandfather Andrew Olson helped him farm the land.

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There was virgin prairie grass for a mile along the south shore of the lake. Simon and my grandfather cut hay from it for forty years. There is a beautiful state park on that land today, trees and campgrounds everywhere.

There were few original trees, mostly growing along the shoreline. A wagon trail can still be seen in places, it went to the east boundary fence and on for another mile to the Hendrickson farm, what is now Runia’s place. There were no homes or cabins on any of that land.

Just to the west of the State Park property, there was a very lively, noisy dance hall named Smith’s place. It flourished  in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was a very lively dance hall, where many big name bands played as they traveled through this area. We knew Charlie Smith the owner and his family very well. Their daughter baby sit the three Olson boys on occasion. Karlton, Harlan and Leland. My brother Harlan was a banker, writer and collector of artifacts who helped start the Museum at the state park entrance. Harlan loved every minute of it, even the many volunteer hours. He passed away on March 8, 2016. I can see him searching for artifacts on old Heavenly terrain now. I would imagine there are some very nice artifacts to be found near those streets of gold.

Smith’s dance hall and the property was all sold to the Methodist Church. When they boeach. It was run by a lady named Ann Oburn when we were kids. It was then purchased by Russ Weiland and his wife who operated it for many years. Russ was possibly the original Evinrude Johnson dealer in this part of the country. His daughter and son-in-law relocated Weiland Marine, which is now on Highway 81.ught the property they may have become the first church to have a beer license. The original dance hall building still stand on that stretch of shoreline. Today it is used as a dining hall, that says something for old-time construction.. Just to the west of Smith’s place was Arlington Beach.

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This picture is of the Lake Poinsett water slide in the 1920’s. I think it was located at Arlington Beach, as far as I can tell from looking at the Hills and the trees in the background. I will be glad to edit this story and change the location if it is wrong. Ann Oburn had a few rental cabins, cafe and bait house. West from there were only two or three houses until you got to the little hill top farm with the goats. There were only two cabins between there and Mundt’s Resort. They had several small cabins that they rented out. There was a farm between Mundt’s resort and what is now Pier 81.

There was another dance hall on Highway 81 just north of the corner by the Poinsett Cemetery, next to Ann Engals Place.  Ernie Edwards moved a building to the lake and started Edwards resort, possibly in the late 40s early 50s. Then on the west side of the lake there was a resort called Sportsmans Lodge, it burned down. A very long large building with a restaurant, I believe they also had cabins and rooms in the lodge that they rented out. What is now Lakeview Resort was a small resort opened by Ole Mikelmier. It later became Fish Haven, home of the famous Carp Sandwich, then Lakeview point there were no homes. That land was later purchased by the state and the state sold some property in later years. From Saarainens Point North there were a few homes because it was close to the highway.

Nittebergs Resort was just east of the Stonebridge. That road washed out west of the bridge in the spring of 1969 as flood waters came in from the river and Dry Lake. Nitteburgs must have had a couple dozen summer cabins that they rented out. They also had some carnival rides in the summer months and afternoon roller skating in the dance hall. The dance hall was built over the lake at one time, but ice damage made them move it back to shore. It was a family run business.The brothers John and Clair maintained most jukeboxes, pinball and other game machines in a large area.

When you went east from Nittebergs, there were only one or two houses, the one right below the hill was named ‘The Mouse Turd Inn’. The resort on top of the hill was known as Jim Bagley’s place. They also had a café, fishing equipment and bait. The name was changed to the Hilltop Resort later,when owned by Louie Moralies and family

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When you crossed the inlet from Lake Albert going north there were a few houses, one near the Hansen farm corner. There were a couple west of Grapes farm. The first home built on Grapes Point was built in the 1950s. From Grapes Point Northeast to Saarainens .

Just down the hill east from the hilltop resort, there were three or four homes before you got to Hammers pasture and to the outlet of Lake Poinsett, that led to Starks Bridge where gates were installed. There have been several fish winter kill years when oxygen in the lake got so low most of the fish died. There has been dead fish in windrows around the lake. The worst spring brought out the National Guard with front end loaders, trucks and lots of shovels.

The Bakke farm and Cemetery took up most of the east shore. Two home were on the hill overlooking Prestrude’s Landing. Goulds opened a beer and bait place there in the late forties but it didn’t last. The next mile of shoreline was only recently developed by the Hansen family. Going south from the Hansen development to Hendricksons  or Runia’s there was two cabins.

This has been a rather selfish nostalgic trip around Lake Poinsett. I’m really to young to have nostalgia for the water slide or for the swimming attire. So actually I feel a lot younger by taking this trip back just a few years before my time. I thought I would like to share these memories of Lake Poinsett while I’m still able to share them.The changes at Lake Poinsett are hard to imagine, if you didn’t witness them. The number of very large homes today must reflect great prosperity in the country?

At night the lake was darker than pitch, this was in 1945, before REA, no all night lights, no lights period. We played cards with light from a kerosens lamp. The country nights were a whole lot darker, the small glow in the sky to the west, was Lake Norden’s lights, to the east was Estelline. You could barely make out a tiny glow for Brookings, that was a long ways off. Nights were a bonus for ghosts and goblins in those days.  Can you imagine going back to live in those times?

Simon and Torsten
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Swimming attire has gone from one extreme to another throughout the centuries. In classical antiquity swimming and bathing were done naked. The swimming suits here from the 1920’s seem a wee bit extreme, under exposed skin I would say. Now close to 100 years later we saw, peered, our way through the teeny polka dot bikini era, we are almost back to swimming in the nude again.

What goes around comes around, with nostalgia or Murphy’s Law.

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

My Winter of Discontent

 

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/seasons/

PHOTO CHALLENGE
Seasons
Share an image evocative of the weather or represent the current “season of your life” in metaphor.

For those of us who reside on a area of the globe where there are four weather seasons. We should feel very blessed and fortunate. Living where there are four seasons we have the appreciation of springtime when all new life starts fresh, everything is growing. Then we move into the summer months when the temperatures increase and life becomes even more active in all the animals and plants. Fall arrives and the life span of many things draws to a close. Harvesting is done, garden produce is canned or stored in preparation for the long, cold winter months that are coming. If the winter season arrives and you are not prepared, it can be a tough long period of time waiting for the arrival of a new warm  spring season.

Preparation for winter is something that has to be done by both people and animals, domestic and wild. A winter supply of feed must be made ready for domestic animals.Critters like the muskrat and squirrel store up food to get them through the long winter months when food becomes harder to find. If the snow gets deep many animals simply starve to death because they can’t find what they need to survive on.

Man and natures creatures must all prepare for winter long before it arrives. Wild animal understand preparation for winter is a serious undertaking that might mean survival. Preparation for life’s winter means getting ready for the end of life as we know it. Thoughts of where will you spend eternity are pondered and hopefully decided.

Man also must prepare himself and his family for the winter months when the temperatures are freezing and the snow covers everything with a heavy white blanket and a coating of ice. The person who doesn’t have his fire wood gathered in preparation for winter, usually only does it once. You do not want to be digging in the snow banks trying to find fire wood in the cold of winter. It is much easier to have the firewood stacked in a neat pile near the house long before winter arrives.

You will be sure to have your house ready for winters frigid blasts too. Storm windows on, seal cracks around windows and doors. You will be much warmer and more comfortable when the wind attempts to make a snowdrift under your door. Garden produce should have all been harvested, canned in jars or stored in a root cellar, to sustain you during the long winter months. These are all ideas of things you do in preparation for winter on the South Dakota Prairies.. Preparations for winter that I just described here are for someone like myself, living in the last generation. We don’t want to go back to those days, but stuff happens.

The modern man living in the city has far less worries about winter preparation. Just close the window and turn the thermostat up or down depending on what his comfort zone is. He also has to depend on trips to the market to get what he needs as far as food supplies.

As we enter the winter of our lives, our tired old bodies are just about ready for that final harvest. How do we plan for that? I really don’t think it would be wise to try and plan for that inevitable time. Don’t just sit and wait for it. You want to continue to exercise your body to keep your strength up. Try to stay active mentally, so you stay alert and stay as healthy as you can. The body starts to slow down, pain makes you tired all the time. You must press on and make the most of each new day.

We actually spend most of our lives planning for winter, hoping to get through the winter, because it tests our resolve. The knowledge that spring is coming, with abundant new life gives hope. The first meadow lark sitting on a fence post, sent there to sing just for you, is a reward of spring. Is this the last winter of my life? Will I see another spring? I do not want to know, just relax, look out the window, or at the computer screen and make the most of this winter’s days.

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Family Dinner Out

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

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Modern Families

Somebody in our family got the idea a while back that it would be just great, if we all got together and had dinner out as a family. Of course the first question that came up, where to eat? Some wanted to go to McDonald’s, others wanted Chinese buffet. We had a few younger ones voted for Italian. One grandson with the oriental wife wanted Japanese sushi. I shouted, “this is getting us nowhere, we are all going to go to Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen and pull a few tables together and enjoy a family dinner.”

We all finally got seated at Ralph’s Place. I ask,  “how about ordering.” Each one wants to order from the menu by themselves. Immediately I shouted, “No way José, this is not going to work, it will drain my bank account.” We can all have the special and I will pick up the check. If each one wants to order separately we will go Dutch. No one wanted the special, as I thought, with a breath of relief. Orders finally were all placed, waitresses started bringing out all the different meals.

Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their meals when we heard some police car siren’s out in front. Pretty soon a policeman walked in the door with this big old fellow, who looked like a lumberjack. He asked, “Is somebody here named Leland Olson.” That’s me, I replied.” The policeman says, “This old geezer was wandering around on the middle of the street looking for a restaurant called Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen. Nobody in town seemed to know where it was.” Who ever picked this place to eat must not get out of the house much! So anyway, “This fellow claims to be the great-grandfather of Leland Olson. He got the message to meet everyone here for a family dinner.”

I jumped up and gave my great-grandpa a big old hug, you look great, you died in 1914. I started banging a glass with my spoon. Can I have everyone’s attention, “This is great-grandpa Ole Hoel, he came all the way from Canada to have dinner with us.” Sit down and join us. So, “how have things been going with you grandpa, what would you like to eat?” Salted herring and lutefisk are out of season right now. They have excellent walleye fillets, I heard you always liked fish, we all did. Grandpa said, “That will be just fine, “but I don’t seem to have the appetite I had working in the woods all day.”

I asked, “How long can you stay” They said, ‘until dinner is over’ “I thought maybe you could come out to the house and stay awhile.” ‘Well that is not part of the deal.’ I’m here to just have dinner with you and your family, to see what you all look and act like.’ “Frankly, I am shocked, It looks like you all have a lot of confusion and bad manners.” “You should all be eating at one table at your home.” ‘Grandpa things change.’ He says, “Don’t know why things got to change that much, only been a 100 years or so since I left here.”

So I asked him, “If you’re leaving after dinner, I hope you’re not walking all the way back to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.” No way, “Walk that far, you nuts? I did it once in 1905! “I will be returned to Canada the same way I got here. Something beamed me up, I didn’t have my Derby hat so they beamed me back down, got my hat, they beamed me up again and it brought me here. I hope they get it right going back.”

Thanks for supper, it was nice to meet your family. Leland, What did you say you do? Blogging? Never heard of it, “Now logging, I know a lot about log………

Bye, bye, great-grandpa, I love you.

Blog or Bust

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Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post on your blog.

My first assignment posted at Blogging University, Blogging 101, is introduce myself to the world.

Hello World, “My name is Leland Olson, I’m 75 years old so some of you know me well.” I am, “Really glad to be here, or anywhere in this world.” I decided a half a dozen years ago to make an attempt at writing, not realizing it at the time that it was called blogging. I love life, humor has always been a great friend of mine.

My reason for deciding to blog was my deteriorating physical condition. It has continued to get worse, now I am almost a full-time blogger. Don’t get out much anymore. Life is playing out in slow motion for me. My life experiences have been extremely varied. I have had many different types of jobs. I found writing about my life experiences has supplied my writing with plenty of fuel so far. I will probably attempt several different writing venues, one thing I have learned, “Truth is much stranger than fiction.” My photographic skills have not surfaced yet, will have to work on that for photo blogs.

At one time I thought about having a private blog and decided against it. I’ve come to realize if I can share my life experiences with others and if even one person is helped by something I have written. I will feel it has been a worthwhile adventure. I am a 50+ year survivor of a severe spinal cord injury. That alone gives me plenty to write about. There are other people out there who have suffered from spinal cord injury, if they want to share notes on how their lives have gone. I will be very happy to share my life experiences with them. Spinal cord injury is a very nasty thing that usually affects each individual in different ways, but always leaves disabling consequences.

I started blogging at WordPress in September of 2015 so I’m a newbie here. I have found WordPress provides excellent tools that are fairly easy to learn, I have had some problem with a few areas but there are lots of help forums to fall back on. I do think anyone choosing to blog at WordPress has found a very good place to call home. If I am still blogging here a year from now I hope to be reaching a lot more people around the world. I know doubt will try to test the waters and experiment with different areas of writing. I have made a few attempts at some fiction and found it to be challenging. Humor should remain funny. I may leave that alone.

Blogging U.

Problems Associated With Growing Old

 

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Laughter is one prescription that we can all afford. Tears of pain can be hard to overcome if the body is diseased as we grow older, but laughter sure helps. When most people start to grow old they usually wish they would’ve taken better care of their bodies when they were younger. We seem to be stuck with the physical consequences of those wild oat sowing, and those cane raising years. Thankfully some good memories can be conjured up from those early years. Much about growing old is only in our minds. We have to learn to keep our minds and bodies active as we get older. We can either dwell on that troubled old body or grin and bear it, just don’t look in the mirror too long.

Worry will never become a problem solver, not even in those senior years when we have a lot more time for it. We usually don’t consider old age troubles, until we get close to writing our last chapter in life’s book. We might as will try to make it one of the best chapters, by thinking about the good things. High sugar levels in the blood will not sweeten a sour disposition. Try telling that to someone eating a cookie, who can clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel, even through the cataracts on those old eyes.

As we get older, sharing information about our bodies, even the most private doesn’t seem to bother us. I had a cousin who started talking louder as she was losing her hearing. One day while having lunch in the local cafe she confided to a friend about how dry her vagina was. Everyone in the restaurant got the information about her discomfort, even the cook and the dishwasher back in the kitchen. When you said hello to her you would be careful not to ask, “how are you today” unless you planned on spending a lot of time listening to her reply.

Dear cousin Flo has gone home to be with the Lord but she left many memories with us. One morning she announced, “I LOST MY HEARING AID.” They could not find that hearing aid anywhere in her small apartment. She said, “I HAD IT WHEN I WENT TO BED”. Later at coffee she said, “OH MY, I thought my cat coughed up a hairball last night on my pillow and I flushed it down the toilet”. It must have been my hearing aid!

My life plan never included getting old, the idea was to stay my young, happy, carefree self until I died. I would always eat what I wanted; bacon, eggs, Sugar Pops and Fruit Loops I could never imagine bran cereal or prunes in my diet. Most digestive systems develop plans of their own, no more regular like a clock, in any time zone.

Then the old ticker develops problems. Hey Doc, what do you mean no salt? My grandfather lived to be ninety six without heart trouble and he covered everything was salt. Doc says, ‘he sure was lucky’ you have high blood pressure. Now about your new diet, no salt, carbohydrates, saturated fat, sugar, caffeine, etc. I decided to get a haircut last week, when I got in the Barber’s chair he said, “Looks like maybe your only going to need one more clean shirt.” You cut the old doctor’s hair, didn’t you?  “They aren’t supposed to talk about their patients.”

My wife asked again this morning, “Did you take your pills?” I say no and start out for that pill container with all the different compartments for each day of the week. I always get side tracked on the way to my pill box, it is about 20 feet away from my La-Z-Boy recliner. An older person can have many distractions on a long walk like that. Some days that pill trip is repeated several times and I still miss my pills. I wonder if it’s really natures way of telling me I don’t need all those pills.

I never thought I would be leaving notes for myself to remember appointments, calls to make, chores to do, etc. Now I have post-it notes all over the place, sort of like little wallpaper sheets. My hearing is still fine, one thing that I can’t understand is why my wife keeps talking lower and lower all the time. The only time I can hear her real good is when she says,”DID YOU TAKE YOUR PILLS?”

Old Computers Or Dead Mules

I have always been the one in the family to call when something needed fixing. I was blessed or (cursed) with the ability to take stuff apart and put it back together and not have a lot of parts left over, the thing usually worked afterwards too. If you’re born a tinker, it just comes natural to get stuff back in running condition, obsessed may be the correct term.

When the first computers came out I was very fascinated with how they worked and knew absolutely nothing about them. I took a home study computer repair course and joined The Computer Book Club. The following picture shows my little workshop, I had it set up in our front porch. The one wall was full of computer repair manuals from the first computers on. I had even purchased several books about writing computer code, that maxed out my mind’s memory storage capacity very quickly. My little workshop looked a bit cluttered, because it was. I knew where everything was at though. The best thing I got out of my computer repairing years was the exercise required to lift them up on the desk to work on them and then hauling them out to warehouse number one, our old chicken coup.

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I picked up my first computer at a surplus sale at one of our colleges. It was one of the first IBM’s with the 8 bit processor no hard drive, two 5.25 inch floppy drives, the RAM was measured in kilobytes instead of megabytes. I continued to collect many older computers and got them in running condition, then stored them out at our little acreage. Why? I thought they would ever have any kind of value is a mystery to me??? Kind of like investing in dead mules! The computers didn’t stink up the place, must by why I choose them. There really will never be any demand for old PC’s except for precious scrap metal. I spent several years at this and found it to be quite rewarding and challenging. I finally started to slow down as the new technology was traveling at a much faster pace than my mind could process. The last computers I work on were the early Pentiums.

We had to sell all of our stuff and move into an apartment two years ago. That sale was probably the saddest day of my life, most of these old working computers weren’t ever bid on. They went into a huge recycling dumpster. There is a link below to the Old Computer Museum. It lists part of my old collection. I sure was proud of it even if it had no value. I guess everything that we do isn’t always done for money. What kind of a nerd gets fulfilment out of tinkering with old computers raises many questions? I expect someone in a white coat will be asking me to put square pegs in round holes soon.

http://www.old-computers.com/club/collectors/ordis.asp?c=4902

The compter is the only invention of man that has continued to come down in price as it increased in the capabilities of what it can do. Today a wrist watch can process more information and handle more applications than a desktop computer did five years ago. Some of my old tower computers cost over $60,000 in the 1980’s when they were purchased new by our county government. They had 486 CPU’s and 8 MB of Ram, 220 Megabyte hard drive.There is no comparison, awesome in every sense of the word, that really goes beyond what we call awesome today. This link below will take you to a place where you can read about artificial intelligence.

http://blogs.microsoft.com/next/2015/07/06/the-future-of-artificial-intelligence-myths-realities-and-aspirations/

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Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA

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Fishing was usually good.

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Our old cabin

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Amber fish

Amber’s alligator !

 

 

 

 

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24 lb. Northern Pike

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36.5 lb. Carp

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The Olson boys L/R Leland, Karlton, Harlan

 

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2011 was another year of high water level, wind damage.

 

 

 

Why I Started This Blog

 

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My Archery Deer in 2003

I have always been the active, outdoors type, two years ago my health forced me to move into a small apartment and travel in super low gear using a walker. My active outdoor life ended, over, done, no more! I want to share my outdoor life here. My wife and I are now each others caregivers. We might remind you of “Waiting For God”, like in that old English sitcom. I started this blog to keep my mind active, reliving old memories. The urge to write is hard to explain. I have been blessed with a long life at 75 and want to share events from my life.

I quit high school in 1957 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I completed jet aircraft mechanic school at Amarillo Air Force Base, Texas in 1958. I was sent to Misawa, A B, Japan in 1960, for two years. I did two months temporary duty in Thailand and became crew chief on RF-101 C number 56-080. I got out of the Air Force in 1962. I went back on highway construction and worked many jobs, from truck driver to Asphalt paving machine operator.

My job experiences changed radically after getting my back broke in 1964, I stared the ‘School of Hard Knocks.’  Did farm labor, commercial fishing through the ice, day labor, car-wash, door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, apprentice offset press operator, insurance agent for American Republic and Mutual of Omaha, over the road refrigerated truck driver and tanker transport driver all through the 70’s.

I have always enjoyed golf, hunting, fishing, trapping, gardening and almost anything outside. As my body started slowing down I repaired computers, starting with the Apple 1, IBM 8088, 8086, up through the 286; 386; 486 and all the early Pentiums.

My goal with this blog is mainly sharing my life story with a spinal cord injury. I have been truly blessed. I also plan to share other stories that I have written, “truth is stranger than fiction.” I have some stories that are still slowly percolating on the back burner of my mind. Hopefully I can share my understanding and information with others about spinal cord injury and living the best life possible after that injury. Clicking on the following URL’s will take you to my spinal cord injury stories.

This will take you to the story about my car accident.

http://www.spinalcordinjuryzone./info/14556/living-with-a-spinal-cord-injury-for-years-and-counting

This will take you to the spinal cord injury zone.

http://www.spinalcordinjuryzone.com/info/15761/autonomic-dysreflexia-in-spinal-cord-injury

 

I’ll Fly Away

awayI’ll Fly Away, Oh Glory, I’ll Fly Away

It is a true blessing to be young and healthy, to live without any devastating disease such as cancer or juvenile diabetes and many other things that haunt all ages. We should protect that good health with everything available from attitude to exercise. One way might be to visit a home for the elderly on a regular basis. A mental picture is worth more than any amount of words.

We all take health for granted until something goes wrong with the body. We automatically say fine, when someone asks. “How are you doing, how are you feeling today? The automatic answer is fine, or good, when many times we are not. As we get older that happens more often, we have many more days that are not fine. We entertain thoughts like going, “To a land where joy will never end, I’ll fly away.”

Getting old should be a slow process, like walking into a cold lake, a little at a time, no shock involved. As we do get older, there is some shock, as the body wears out, we start to think more about this in the tired and weaker last days. There is comfort in these words, “Just a few more weary days and then,” “I Will Fly Away.”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA4JyAONd_I

I realized much too late. Never start telling your Barber about your health problems!

https://lghoelson.wordpress.com/

Learn by Heart

 

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U.S.  Medical Coverage

Commit

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Learn by Heart

I had the good fortune of starting my education in a little one room Country School. Classes 1 through 8 were all held in that one room. The older students usually helped the one teacher with some of the younger kids. We had a young but very thorough teacher. She seemed to have a goal of teaching each student to commit many different things to memory, songs, poems, famous inventors, etc.. For the little kids it might be “Jack and Jill Ran Up The Hill.” The older ones may recite “Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.” I found out it wasn’t 208 Main Street, Gettysburg! It contained almost three hundred words that she wanted us to remember. It helped a lot to listen to the older kids recite it.

We memorize things with a goal in mind, remembering important dates, events, Bible verses, whatever it might be, the goal it is to retain the meaning of what we memorize, for the rest of our lives. The human mind is set up this way and it works very well. Many people at 90 years old, repeat word for word poems and songs that they learned as children, the meaning of those words stayed with them for 90 plus years. That is an awesome power.

In 1965 I decided I would try to become an insurance agent so I started to work for a company out of Des Moines, Iowa. I worked at first with an older agent who was going to teach me all about insurance sales, how you go about closing the sale, all of the things I needed to know about becoming a successful agent. This all went quite well, but on some occasions, the clock could be approaching midnight, we were still at someone’s house  trying to close the sale. He was determined to sell the people their first  insurance policy. This just happened to be the year Medicare started, that didn’t help. Everyone seemed to be looking at the clock, finally the people decide to take the policy. I know it was mainly to get us out of their house so they could go to bed. I often wondered how many of those people kept the insurance?

In 1966 Mutual of Omaha was looking for young wannabe agents, with fire in their bellies, ready to go out selling insurance of all types. They even had a special seminar in Omaha at company headquarters to get these young people started off on the right foot. I came to the conclusion, I had nothing to lose, they were going to fly me to Omaha, put me up in a hotel. A ten-day crash training course on every aspect of the insurance business and how to sell the product to a reluctant world. How could I go wrong?

That seminar was probably comparable to cramming for final exams at College. I didn’t go to college, so I could never have imagined my mind trying to absorb so much material. The ‘coup de grace’ was a 3000-word track, to be recited at the graduation banquet. It was a sales pitch that everyone was supposed to commit to memory to become successful. I spent night and day rehearsing for banquet night and was the only one out of several dozen who repeated the sales track verbatim. I had committed it to my memory, for that, I was rewarded with my first dollar from Mutual of Omaha. Each one of the seminar instructors had signed their names on it. I felt it was quite an honor.

Knowing that word track verbatim did not seem to help my sales closing ability, when it came time to getting people to sign on the dotted line. I learned soon after returning back to the field, I had to put more pressure on clients. My prospects were selling me on why they couldn’t afford to buy insurance, they had all kinds of reasons why there was just no money in their budget to spend on insurance, they just couldn’t do it. I would sit and listen to these people tell me their Tales of Woe. That got me feeling bad for them, there were even times I thought of slipping a few dollars under the table cloth before I left.

I nailed the 3000-word sales pitch, committed it to memory perfectly, but it sure didn’t change me much. I guess we are what we are, it is not easy to change, or toughen up our inner workings.

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The Gentle Assistant Recipe

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Prune Juice, Bran, and Apple Sauce for Constipation

The Gentle Assistant Recipe

1 c. applesauce
1 c coarse, unprocessed bran
3/4 c prune juice

Mix all the ingredients together. They will turn into a stiff paste, about the consistency of peanut butter.
After mixing, it should be kept refrigerated. Take one or two tablespoons daily and wash it down with a full eight ounces of water. This works and it is all natural.

2017 Peace Blossoms

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DAILY PROMPT
Blossom
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

2017 Peace Blossoms

I had the hope at one time of branching out and blossoming into being a crusty old writer, of tales from long past. I later realized I might really be a blooming idiot, as some of my stories didn’t even agree with my own thinking. Some did not ever make it to full bloom, nipped in the bud so to speak by the hard, cold, erasure. Like a great big old Macintosh apple tree loaded with buds and ready to Blossom, then the temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They surely were nothing to look at for any length of time, just passing withered thoughts. Similar to dried flower arrangements. I’m waiting for a new warm, sunshine and roses spring.

Blossom usually refers to a flower of a plant, one that bears fruit. Everyone in the spring anticipates the many different blossoms, the sweet smells, in the air. The fragrance from many lilac bushes planted together is something that you remember for a lifetime. The lilac perfume travels for miles on damp, warm spring breezes.

Spring introduces blossoms of every size and color according to the plants that yielded them. The flowering crabapple is a colorful work of art by itself, later the tiny crab apples become a nuisance that makes a mess as they get tracked into people’s homes. Prickly pear cactus has a beautiful blossom, you should be very careful if you try to get your nose very close to one. Wild poppies can be seen covering mile after mile of the Sonora Desert when spring rains are plentiful. Blossoms as far as the eye can see!

“May 10, 2016 – A new mammoth report into all known species of plants on the planet has found that just shy of 400,000 are known, however, a growing number are at risk of, or have become, extinct.” This Good Earth needs bees to pollinate the different plants. All the bee has to do is fly from one blossom to the other, that is what it is here for. The Humble Bee is almost extinct in many places, no doubt from chemicals. There should be a worldwide program to protect bees, food, life, existence all depends on it. There are roughly 400,000 plants, many of them will be in jeopardy in the future without bees.

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“On March 27, 1912, two women stood in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., and planted the first two cherry blossom trees in the United States. These two women, former first lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda — wife of the Japanese ambassador — planted the first of 3,000 trees sent that year by Tokyo Mayor Yukio
Osaki.”

“Another interesting holiday legend pertains to the cherry tree. On December 4, St. Barbara’s Day, young unmarrieds should cut a cherry tree branch and put it in water. Whoever’s cherry branch blooms on Christmas day will marry within the next year.

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Meddlesome Mom

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Meddle
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Meddlesome Mom

Life has always kept most individuals busy taking care of their own business, or life issues. If people develop a nose problem and stick their noses where they’re not supposed to be, in someone else’s business, that could be a way to get a nose out of joint or maybe even broken under serious circumstances.

In our new world of turmoil, stress, strain and prescription medications for everything from gastric reflux to hypertension we seem to think it is alright to meddle in other people’s affairs. Meddling is not something that comes from modern living, back in the Roman Empire meddlers ended up in the lion’s den.

Why do we meddle in someone else’s life or someone else’s business? It is the other person’s life, not ours! If we take it upon ourselves to try to manage someone else’s problems we are sure to overlook some of our own that require care and fixing.

As parents, it is our duty to meddle in our children affairs when they are small children, as a way of guiding them in doing the right things with their lives. Where do we draw the line on meddling when we’re raising our children, where do we find the right cutoff point so we’re not meddling in their lives?

If you spend your life doing everything for your children, you better pray you live to be an old person. When you die, you’re going to leave your children as adults, adrift, not having anyone there to do everything for them. You meddled in their lives all the while they were growing up, and still meddled when they became adults.That would be considered meddling for a lifetime. You don’t want to have to get a pass from the old folks home to go mow your kid’s yard, rake the leaves, or fix the screen door.

If you live your life minding your own business, not meddling in the next door neighbors or your children’s lives, your offspring will grow up to understand what a life is without meddling. It is much better for your children to learn about not meddling from watching your example as they grow up.

There will no doubt be times when your children get into their adolescent years when you’ll have to make a decision, do I use tough love, or do I muddle my way through this and do a little meddling?

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The Half Pint Bottle

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DAILY PROMPT
Bottle
Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

The Half Pint Bottle

A bottle is a rigid container with a neck that is narrower than the body. By contrast, a jar has a relatively large mouth or opening which may be as wide as the overall container. I am quite positive that is what prompted fruit jar drinkers to enjoy their moonshine with such gusto. You can pass a fruit jar, pass around your half a pint and get many laughs as the first one goes chug-a-lug.

The bottle has developed over millennia of use, with some of the earliest examples appearing in China, Phoenicia, Rome, and Crete. The glass bottle was an important development in the history of wine, because, when combined with a high-quality stopper such as a cork, it allowed long-term aging of wine.

The earliest glass bottle factories had to be extremely busy just with the making of bottles to supply the maker’s of wine, beer, and whiskey. It was all shipped in barrels before the glass industry evolved, it made life much simpler for anyone handling alcoholic beverages.

In our little town, the local liquor store was referred to as the Clinic. I would imagine some early visitors considered it the place to go when they needed medicinal treatment, an elixir for the heart as an example, to keep the heart beating smoothly. A little Brandy was often prescribed by some doctors, very popular doctors, I imagine.

Drinking whiskey was frowned upon by large parts of society in the early days. This created a more secretive clientele, almost to the point of arriving in disguise at the local clinic or pub. Some would drive from as far away as 10 miles to a different town and then enter and leave by the back door of the establishment so as not to be seen. Everyone knew their cars, not much secret sipping got done.

Years ago, more people heard about the dangers of using whiskey or strong drink, it was drilled into them all their lives. It makes you wonder if the fear of strong drink is almost as bad the consequences of using it. Becoming secretive or fearful created a large demand for half pint bottles, nobody was going to order a quart of whiskey and carry it out of the store in a brown paper bag. You couldn’t get a quart in your pocket. I never thought of it before, but a large pair of bib overalls might be a handy way to get your whiskey from the clinic to the car. The half pint bottle became very popular and it made a whole lot more profit for the liquor industry.

The half pint bottle made its way into restaurants, movie theaters, buses, trains, planes, and automobiles, churches maybe. Spiking someone’s pop or coffee was popular, beer Boilermakers were for the hard working, bad dudes. Unwind fast alright! Half pints found their way into dance halls where someone might even have a Nip while dancing, head turned sideways of course. Often times fist fights broke out at the dance with half pints still in pockets, that can create a very dangerous situation.

I recall my uncle staying at our house while on Army Furlough in 1946. He came home one night with a black eye but had worse injuries. A half pint bottle in his back pocket became broken in a scuffle he had at the dance. I was only about five years old but I recall my mother spending hours with the old kerosene lamp and a pair of tweezers pulling glass slivers out of his rear. That night did not end well, on second thought, I guess it did end fairly well for my uncle, most all of the glass slivers were finally removed. A flask would have been much better than a bottle.

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Fathers, Present, Past and Future

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Fathers, Present, Past and Future

I felt I should re-post this in honor of all fathers.

The role of the father has undergone troublesome changes in recent years in the United States. The family unit has become fractured because of these changes. Men fathered children, were head of the household and breadwinner at one time. Our changing society has reversed much of that, bringing big changes to the family unit.

Every religion commands the father to guide and bring up his children correctly. My father didn’t go to church or read God’s word. He believed that if you spare the rod you spoil the child. He kept a razor strop hanging on a hook by the kitchen sink in full view of everyone. It wasn’t just for sharpening the razor but it was not used for spanking very often. There was no attention deficit trouble at our house. Fathers today communicate more with their children instead of using the rod to correct them. That is by far the best policy if it is started at a young age. Talking to them, not yelling at.

Fathers who bring up their children in a church environment usually give their children a better chance at being good citizens. The church is really an extended family and where there is more love shown the results are usually very positive. I think my Dad looked at religion like Woody Guthrie, “Who said, when you go to church everyone sings Stand Up For Jesus,” “When you go to the ballgame they say, “For Christ sake sit down.” My dad didn’t take us to church. We are thankful for aunts and a grandmother who steered us in the direction of the church.

The Wright brothers father had a special family sharing time before the evening meal. When they sat down at the table together, he asked everyone in the family to share something that they learned that day. Sharing meals together with a prayer or without a prayer was the super glue that held American families together in the past. Fathers dropped the ball big time when they let everyone in the family eat where they felt like eating, in front of the television or computer game, instead of everyone sitting at the table together and sharing.

The modern-day father in the U.S. has had to learn to share in doing many things in the home as the mothers took on jobs to help pay for things in our need to have more stuff society. The flip side, there are no fathers, in far too many homes today and our country is paying a terrible price for it. Many families today have become a group of individuals, sort of camped together under the same roof, each doing his own thing, not really communicating with or getting to know each other well.

The very high medical costs today cause some fathers to not make wedding vows with the woman they love and who is having their babies. That is a very poor way for a young family to get started. Not getting married because of health insurance has to be very hard decision for a couple to make and then having to live with it. A healthcare system that is affordable for every citizen could put some strength back in many aspects of our society, especially the family unit.

The role of fathers has changed for the worse and society will have to change for the better if we ever expect to see the role of the father improve. Let us all have hope for the true meaning of Fathers Day in the future.

A Paragon Of Plainness

paragon

Paragon

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

A Paragon Of Plainness

A personal sense of self-esteem or self-importance cries out daily, get out there, do your best, excel in anything, show me that you can become a paragon of something noteworthy. Stand out, be in awe of others, as they stare at you, as being the paragon of what they are not. Send your ego into orbit, that is what it is all about, being someone of exceptional merit, in others eyes, mighty me.

I would like to think, life is not ringing your own bell, tooting your own horn or flaunting your wealth or wisdom. Always treat your neighbor the way you would like to be treated. He will see you as a paragon of common sense, plainness and true friendship, all real valuable commodities. The epitome of true wealth!

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