Saturday, March 25, 2017


I recently re-read a reflection [I'll call it a poem] that a friend sent to me a number of years ago.  He has stood strong against a variety of challenges, including the way-too-early loss of his wife to cancer.  Some of you may find the poem dark, but I find it thought-provoking, and in it, many things  to which I can relate.  My suggestion is to read it aloud, and then let me know what you think.

I walk every morning at 3:30 am out my back door, through the pastures over the fence and down Bar X road. It heads straight north. I walk that stretch (4.4 miles) 7 days a week at the same time every morning. It teaches me brutal wind and fierce cold and sometimes driving snow and ice and, how these are places where the hearts of men sometimes go.

It reminds me how very alone I am.
Alone but not lonely.

A choice I have made and a price I pay when I am misunderstood.
These days seem to stretch into an eternity of highway.
I love the highway just as I love the forest. It never gives up.
It humbles my arrogance.

This thing at work, it is so far away from me when I am home with my family, or when I'm cutting wood or walking on Bar X.

Why so many feel obligated to fear the wanderer I think I know.
They fear the freedom of being alone and what they perceive it must do to your fortress of the soul.

As Lent falls on this dark night I feel alone but not abandoned.
I feel love of life all the more when things get bad.

I will survive.

We (my little family without a wife or mother)...will survive.
That's all that matters
It's a comfort to know there is a rationality to emotion.

John Lennon said it with clarity:

"Love is all you need"

Friday, March 24, 2017


The Denver Nuggets are returning to being watchable, with big help from Nikola Jokić aka The Joker.  The Nuggets recently trounced the Cleveland Cavaliers, and The Joker handled The King, aka LeBron James.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


You can find plenty of write-ups about Chuck Berry and his death at age 90, such as here and here.  However, one lesser known fact about Berry was mentioned in this article:

There was a also a darkness and suspicion in Berry, for those who cared to look.  He was notorious for making concert promoters pay him in full before his shows, cash only.....Years later he was convicted of tax evasion.

I learned about his concert scam a long time ago when he was brought in to perform at the Elkhart County Fair.  One of our friends was on the fair board, and the board had caught wind of Berry's tactic.  So, shortly before going on stage, Berry demanded more money or else, no show.  The board had a check made out for the sum requested - Berry went on to perform, but the board had the check cancelled immediately.  I never did hear of any consequences, so Berry must have chalked it up to being scammed on his scam.  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Every year the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp hosts a Men's Retreat, and one of the best parts is the music.  We sing everything from a capella hymns to bluegrass to roots to rock and roll.  There are so many songs that deserve attention, but here is one that I particularly enjoyed this year since we had guitars, mandolins, banjo, and bass.