Listen my Children…

A repeat, but timely.

The Eighteenth of April in ’75… William W. Longfellow wrote a series of poems called “Tales from a Wayside-Inn” a bit like the Decameron without the naughty-stories. Most of the poems are forgotten, but one has endured… Continue reading


Product Review: Buffalo Gold Socks

Long time readers know that I am very picky about shoes and socks. I stand a lot on cement floors, and walk several miles a day (or try to) on asphalt and cement. I won’t wear shoes I can’t run in. Socks have to be durable, have a little padding, and not rub. Most of what I wear are Smartwool and the house-brand dress socks from Vermont Country Store, all wool. In 2018, I got curious about the All-Things-Buffalo store (HerdWear) in Goodnight, TX, and wandered in. I wandered out with some snacks, some books, mitts, and socks. They are great socks, but they are a three wool blend and require special washing. Then I found these heavier-duty buffalo socks. Continue reading

Flower Power?

So, back before the snows of Monday-Wednesday (two inches, 0.20″ water), I was prowling the gardens, looking for aphids to spray (they overwintered too well), grass to pull out of the flowerbeds, and checking on new plants. Lovely rain storms were billowing up – to the south. And going east.

Bye-bye rain.

One thing that always amuses me is how columbine (aquilegia) meander. Not just the ones that start as one plant and turn into yards-o-plants thanks to the birds and critters scattering the seeds, but you plant them in one place and they appear on the other side of the flower bed the next year. Continue reading

The Cross on the TV Tower

Everyone remembers the speech because of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” [12:00 min in] But we forget that that was NOT supposed to be the focal point. The focus of the speech was about faith and fortitude [start at 21:00 in], and how the Truth will shine no matter how hard the Communists tried to cover it up.

The cross appeared on the glass of the TV tower almost as soon as the East German government finished building it. They tried several ways to get rid of the glare, but it just would not vanish.

“And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.”

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I was looking up material for a lesson on 1980 (Solidarity) and 1989. As always, I choked up and the room got dang dusty. Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Pope John Paul II, PM Margaret Thacher, President Ronald Reagan . . . they knew evil, and they knew good, and freedom, and they chose goodness and freedom.

Happy Western Easter, to those who celebrate it. He is risen, Indeed!

Good Friday

In the Western Church, today is Good Friday (Karfreitag). It’s an odd day, because even though it is one of the major days of Holy Week, not all Protestant churches commemorate it. Some do more on Maundy Thursday and either skip Good Friday, or have a sort of musical meditation service. Continue reading

A Little Learning

is a dangerous thing. Drink deep or taste not of the Pierian spring. – Alexander Pope

A WuFlu rant follows. Sorry, I needed to grouse. Come back tomorrow for non-current-events and lighter topics.

The line is part of Alexander Pope’s very long poetic essay An Essay on Criticism. It is not an easy work to read, and most of us no longer connect the Pierian Spring with the inspiration of the Nine Muses. Which fits my muddled meanderings on the modern media’s practitioners, a little learning, and the near-hysterical narrative shaping society in the US at the moment. Continue reading

Dog Sticks and Yip-dogs

I’m not sure which was worse: the irritating ankle-biter of a dog or its owner. The season was summer, the hour very early, since I had to be finished with my walk before the sun finished rising.* I was walking at a brisk clip up a main street, watching traffic and contemplating various things, like why dryer exhaust always smells the same, and why that one house just had to bake bread when I was walking past and tempt me.

I glanced to my right and saw motion as a woman opened her front door, I presume to step outside and pick up the newspaper reposing on her driveway.

“Yip, yipe, yip!” A small, furry missile shot out of the door, aimed straight at me. Continue reading

Book Review: Land of Hope

McClay, Wilfred. Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story (New York: Encounter Books, 2019)

First, this book is a breath of fresh air among US history survey titles. It is well written, engaging, and positive. McClay’s goal was to show that American history is a story of hope, even when people fell short of our ideals. He frames the story in the ideals of the Founders – providing the opportunity for the quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, treating all people as equals under the law. McClay opens with a quotation from Dr. John Dos Passos about the importance of the past and of remembering out continuity of story, especially in times of stress and trouble. McClay does a very good job of that. Continue reading