If your feet are above your legs, you might have a problem!

Know thyself!
Or: Not exactly what he had in mind

Rusty of St. Paul: “Next Sunday, I am having one of those Big Birthdays whose second digit is a zero.


“Today’s daily reminder that I am old and getting older: I stood up from my morning constitutional, pulled up the briefs, then tried to pull up the jeans. [Bulletin Board says: Rusty’s definition of “morning constitutional” appears not to match ours — though, if we lived in a big enough house, or a house without indoor plumbing, it might!]

“No go. What the heck! I tugged once, then twice, harder.

“Oh! I bet the back of the waist is stuck under the front edge of the toilet seat. That can’t be.

“I reposition my feet. Up they go. I was standing on one of the legs.”

Now & Then

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: Hallowed ground (beef).

“My neighbor ‘Tommy No-nuts’ (I christened him that because he once complained about the walnuts in the banana bread the Runabout baked for him) found some close-out BBQ sauce at the local IGA here on the Wisconsin Riviera. Because it was only $1 a bottle, he got one for me, too.

“I wasn’t expecting much, but tried it anyway, and I had to admit it addicted me right off. It was so good that I searched high and low for it at many markets, to no avail, when it was running low.

“Not to be deterred, I went to the Internet and googled: ‘Kinder’s Texas Hot barbecue sauce.’ (Hot for a Norwegian baby, maybe.) There it was, although with shipping, my purchase of four bottles totaled $37. The stuff had a mysterious hold on me, so I ponied up.

“I used it on a hamburger instead of ketchup and discovered its secret of seduction. It made that burger taste just like an Emberger Royal. It had been 45 years since I worked in the Midway district and was a regular lunch guy at the Embers on University Avenue just west of there. I loved that large-for-the-time burger with a big slice of raw onion and fries.

“I just finished another one and couldn’t wait to tell you.”

Life (and death) as we know it
Or: Our community of strangers

Saturday note from Peachy of Cottage Grove: “Subject: Nina and 22 years.

“For those who have followed our story for many years via Bulletin Board (thank you, Bulletin Board, for allowing me a chance to share all those years!): Thank you for indulging me, to briefly repeat it again for those who do not know.

“Yesterday, it was 22 years since my precious 15-year-old daughter, Nina, was taken from this world, and the family and friends who love her, while we were family vacationing in Orlando, Florida. Just three-quarters of a mile away from our destination — to celebrate my birthday after a partial day spent at Daytona Beach — a drunk driver fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the median, and smashed into the car door where Nina was seated, killing her instantly, and taking away her precious promising life that had lain ahead. And crushing our hearts, and altering our lives permanently. Never would she graduate from high school, have a career, perhaps marriage and children, or know the nieces and nephews she would have loved so much.

“No, 22 years is not a milestone day, but to me it is 22 years since I last saw that glorious smile, heard that tinkling giggle, and watched her shine as the marvelous young lady that she was growing to be. Please know that no matter the years, when we love someone so very much and they are gone in the blink of an eye, you do not ‘get over it’ or forget them. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We want to remember them . . . we want to hear their names spoken . . . we love to hear your memories, funny or otherwise; they are gifts of the highest order and music to our ears. The depth of love between a parent and their child never dies — even without their physical presence. They live on in our thoughts, dreams, memory, and our heart for the rest of our lives . . . and we wouldn’t want it any other way. As my dear friend Mitch says, when someone dies and their name isn’t spoken or stories remembered, it is as if they have died a second death.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this week going back over the days in Orlando leading up to that unthinkable day. For some reason, this year I have felt a need to do that. And, for the most part, those were happy memories of the four of us doing so many fun things in Orlando together. If BB allows, I might share some of them later on. But I would very much like to tell this particular one, as it comes with a very important message for everyone — especially with graduations and weddings and other summertime festivities:

“There is so much story about this day, from its beginning to its tragic and unspeakable end. But one thing I will share now: We were at Daytona Beach that day and had to leave early because of the outbreak of a severe thunderstorm coming in from the Atlantic; the beach was evacuated. Before this, as we were sitting on the beach talking, watching the darkening skies, Nina spoke up — about what she was going to do when she got back to Minnesota: ‘Mommy, I’m going to go back to Park (High School) and start up a SADD group. Do you know what that is?’ I replied yes and said that I thought they already had a Students Against Drunk Drivers group. She then said: ‘Well, they used to, but it stopped meeting. When I get home, I’m going to start one again. We have to get the drunk drivers off the road!’ I praised her and said I thought that was a noble cause and, if she had time in her already busy schedule, to go for it.

“Approximately one hour after that chat, she was killed by a drunk driver. What can you say about the coincidence of that ? Not a coincidence to me. She had never spoken about that before then — ever. Please, think of Nina before you ever get into a car the least bit intoxicated and drive. Remember that you are risking not only your life, but the innocent victims of a life-altering decision that could be fatal. Please, please — don’t let one more family have to endure the pain of the loss of their loved ones . . . a death that is so preventable. Drinking is your prerogative; however, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle is not. Have a designated driver; turn your keys over to someone else who is not drinking; call a cab or Uber . . . but never, ever drink and drive. Please.”

Our theater of seasons

Mounds View Swede writes: “I am sure your readers have been most aware of the beautiful and varied displays of crabapple-tree blossoms this spring — a welcome sight for flower-deprived eyes. I wondered about what kind of trees I was seeing between the whites, pinks and reds, and, after a short online search, decided they were all crabapple trees of varying kinds.




“And I was thankful that so many different homes had them, to help get spring off to a beautiful start. There are no mass clusters of blooming trees like Washington, D.C., has with the cherry trees, but the more occasional tree amongst the greening branches of other trees makes them really stand out.”

See world


Reports The Roller of Spring Valley, Wisconsin: “Sandhills today near here!!!”

There & Here
Or: Our birds, ourselves (responsorial)

Saturday email from Barbara of Afton: “In response to Aggie Girl‘s post this morning:

“I recently received an email noting that a mockingbird had been seen in the Belwin Conservancy (north of my house). This came through a birding listserv, and the forwarder indicated that every now and then a mockingbird is seen in Minnesota.”

BULLETIN BOARD ADDS: Barbara of Afton’s email ends with a quotation we hadn’t seen (or had forgotten), and which we like — from Edna St. Vincent Millay: “I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”

The Permanent Family Record
Or: The History Detectives (Amateur Division) (responsorial)

Kathy S. of St. Paul: “Subject: Researching homesteads

“To The Gram With a Thousand Rules [BB, 5/10/2017]:

“I couldn’t check for ‘Gram’ without knowing a name, etc., but you can look for her on https://glorecords.blm.gov/search/. She might be listed as selling her rights to someone else. And county land records might list her.

“Also, the Library of Congress site — http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ — can be searched for digitized newspaper articles from some years. Searching is not always easy, but I found mention of my grandma’s time in Montana, where she homesteaded.

“One thing I learned when I visited Havre, Montana (where Grandma and two sibs homesteaded), is that you cannot now look up the current value of land there. In the old days, people had to buy stamps from the county land office for land transactions. The value of stamps bought indicated the amount paid for the land. Later that info became private.

“I have some wonderful old snapshots from Grandma’s homesteading days, and a gag album of art with hand-done captions that Grandma was given when she ‘proved’ her land. I will probably share a few, once I figure out where the scans are. Windows 10 doesn’t seem to want me to understand where it put my pics.

“Good luck!”

Clowning around

Tim Torkildson reports: “NEWS FLASH!

“I’ve finished my memoir of my years as a Ringling Brothers clown. Now I’m editing and proofing it prior to sending it out to agents/publishers.

“My new project for the summer is writing a light fantasy novel — something my grandkids can enjoy. It’s called ‘The Adventures of Tim Laughingstock.’

“If any of your readers would like to read it for free as I publish each new episode, they are welcome to do so at my blog site at http://bit.ly/2r0G5GY.”

Life as we know it (responsorial)

The Gram With a Tbousand Rules:Little Sister’s story about playing Boxcar Children [BB, 5/12/2017] was so descriptive that I could feel the mud between my toes.

“I was 8 years old when we moved out of the city and I finally had the chance to float sticks and leaves down the muddy ruts in our driveway. Oh, but that was only the beginning of this magical land we had moved to. Summer arrived, and my teenage sisters and I decided to explore the open land across the road. Across Old Shakopee Road to the north, the low rolling hills were undeveloped as far as our eyes could see.

“One day, we took our brother-in-law along to show off our personal paradise. We showed him the cow pond, crossed the railroad tracks under the cow culvert and headed into the hills. He was impressed with the Indian Mound burial stones and agreed with us that they were the ‘real thing.’ We led him across the hills for a mile or so to show him the wonderful creek we had discovered. Again, he was impressed and agreed with us that if we dammed it up, we could make it into a swimming pool just like ‘The Boxcar Children’ did. So we set to work. Our brother-in-law took off his shoes and rolled up his pants, and we barefoot girls all muddied ourselves as we carried rocks and sticks and built a most impressive dam.

“Hunger set in ,and we decided to take a break and go home and brag about what we had done. My mother and my older sister were watching for us to return, and as we bubbled over with enthusiasm about our successful damming project, a look of astonished realization flashed in our mother’s eyes. ‘You did WHAT?’ she accused us. ‘You foolish kids! Do you realize that you just dammed up Nine Mile Creek? You just march right back there and undam it NOW!!!’ My ever-so-grown-up 22-year-old brother-in-law looked like a chastened little boy as he led us back over the hills at a half-trot to undo the damage and get back in his beloved mother-in-law’s good graces.”

Stinky Bananalips of Empire, Minnesota: “Subject: The Boxcar Children.

“I remember reading about those Boxcar Children. Reminds me of a couple of stories about my grandma:

“When they first got married, around the end of the Depression, my grandparents lived in a boxcar. Her father worked for the railroad, so I imagine that’s how they got one to live in. She didn’t seem to care for the Boxcar Children books, probably because she’d already been there, done that. And one of my grandfather’s brothers told us how when my uncle was born, he would cry so much if you didn’t rock the cradle — every time he was over there, all my grandma was doing was rocking that cradle so hard you could feel the boxcar moving to and fro.

“Eventually, they moved into a house — the house I also grew up in, as a matter of fact. I always thought it was kind of a shame they didn’t keep that boxcar in the back yard for a playhouse. That would have been great.”


Band Name of the Day: The Minnesota Mockingbirds

Website of the Day: Belwin Conservancy

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