And Gutenberg Lived Here: Happy Leap Year- Honk If You Are A Savoyard

If you are a Savoyard-

one of the people who sing Gilbert and Sullivan at the drop of a hat,

can do all the patter songs

swoon on cue,

and can recite all the choice lines-

“in the reign of James the second, it was generally reckoned,

as a rather serious crime, to marry two wives at a time….

doubly criminal to do so,

if the maid had bought her trousseau,”

(from Trial By Jury)

then you are my kind of people.

And a happy leap year to you-

The special holiday of all the fans of Frederic

of the Pirates of Penzance,

who can’t get out of his apprenticeship until he is twenty-one,

and is unfortunately born in a leap year.

(spoiler: it ends well)

So if you also are born today,

or are a fan of those who are,

just put on the Barber of Seville

cook a great meal,

(I’m not a big fan of the google suggestion of frog legs-

so if you’re not, you might like leapin lima casserole-

basically tuna cashew casserole with lima beans instead of fish)

and celebrate along with fans of Gioachino Rossini,

who today would be celebrating his 220th birthday,

or his fifty-third,

depending on how you look at it.

And my, that man could cook.

So if you decide to celebrate,

with leapin limas,

a Rossini cocktail,

(strawberries and prosecco)

and a trip to the barber’s


On the twenty-eight if you are born before noon,

or the first of March,

St. David’s day,

if you are born after noon,

or just decide you like to celebrate with the patron saint of doves, poets, and Wales.

Perhaps with welsh rabbit?

Or rarebit, which is cheese.

But even if you decide not to celebrate,

And apparently,

there is a movement of purists,

who only celebrate in a year with a February of twenty-nine days,

this is your time.

Bachelor day in most of the USA,

Sadie Hawkins Day where I’m from,

this is the day the women can ask the men to marry them.

And if a man declines,

he has to buy her twelve pairs of gloves,

to hide the shame of her not having gotten an engagement ring,


in Aurora Ilinois,

pay a four dollar fine-

payable to the women (deputized for a day)

who arrest males who are proven to still be single.

Hey, arrest enough men,

and the women of the town could give one heck of a hen party.

copyright 2016



What Exactly Is A Progressive Dinner?

To me, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the words “progressive dinner” is:

what exactly is progressive about it?

I mean, for thousands of years hunters have been killing and grilling mastodon and co,

and then going cave to cave with the ribs,

banging the hanging rock door-knocker,

and asking

“is this where we get the soup?-

Or are you the drinks and hor d’oevres?…

This mud map Ock and the council drew for me is really hard to read.

Oh, two blocks down and on the right?

Yellow cave markings ? Sorry I bothered you.”

Of course, in the church where I was raised,

it’s more like fifty kinds of baked beans.

And lots and lots of fantastic home baking.

Although a friend from many years ago recently told me the church in my hometown is now getting away from all the beans, and more into tofu.

And if there is anything worse than offering someone a tofu welcome shake,

or grilled tofu with baby carrots,

I really can’t think what it could be.

Except maybe walking twenty miles,

from house to house,

in the dead of winter,

to see what the next person has made out of tofu.

(Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water-

tofu cashew casserole)

And then there is, or course, the UK version of the progressive dinner-

also known as the Safari supper,

where you have to solve a riddle,

often of the kind that makes even Times crossword afficionados wave a white flag.

The good thing being

that this kind of creative endeavor,

like a pick-up Handel’s Messiah-

bring your own music and sing spontaneously in a huge crowd gathered at a particular time at a shopping mall-

asks for a

usually relatively moderate

entrance fee

which is then donated to charity.

Donations welcome.

And since it is my experience that a lot of people don’t get the riddles,

and thus don’t ever get to the main dish,

you save a lot in ‘prime rib or pasta’

Which is perhaps only fair,

since a lot of these functions are to help people who have nothing to eat.

Which made me actually wonder a bit,

when I thought about it for this article.

I mean, what will this progressive charity thing  be like in the future?

Are we going to finally get some help to the people on the streets?

Will society in the future still be giving tofu dinners?

Or will we be eating only genetically altered food?

But at least everyone will have some.

At the moment, the focus in society is on fun with food.

Fusion cooking,

inclusion cooking,

molecular cooking-

the latter gorgeous to look at,

and apparently great tasting

but cooked with tricks and co2  that

as a chef friend of mine,

in extreme anger,


doesn’t have a whole lot to do with pulling bio carrots out of the ground.

Two sides of the coin.

And if you go to a progressive dinner where the courses are so far apart

that you have to recharge your electric car,

or buy more corn-based gasoline-


Or back to the future?

Don’t forget to bring your grilled mastodon ribs.

copyright 2016


This was a topic, proposed by me, for the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium.

And since the other regular writers: Shackman-speaks at, and Pravin, of Business to the Buddha and Ramana of Ramana’s Musings, both at wordpress, not to mention a whole slew of irregulars who occasionally write with us, are very funny deep thinkers, it’s always worthwhile checking out their blogs.

And Gutenberg Lived Here: Sneak-Through Kebob Houses

We’re in Lent,

over here in Gutenberg land,

an area so Catholic that the carnivalists make statements

on public television

about how Catholic we are,

(“others can say what they want, we’re Catholic”)

and fly in extra priests from all over the world to handle the confessions of the over a million visitors to the carnival season.

Our population?

About 250,000- up to about 350,000 if you count all the suburbs and sprawl-

soon to be united by an about 17 mile “mainzelbahn”-

a sort of seven dwarfs

(symbol of the local tv station)

fast train

to bring people into the coface football stadium

and the ZDF-the second German television.

Also Catholic, if you listen to the locals and their complaints.

Not that I have anything against living in a Catholic town.

Except the sixty percent Catholic populace’s one hundred percent certainty that everyone is Catholic until proven guilty.

Now I can handle a mass with the best of ’em.

All classical musicians are trained to.

But over here,

  1. the Gutenbergers have their own mass form, going back to something like the middle ages,


2. when you get the call to conduct, they ask you to play “for the credo”

Be still my heart. A Mozart mass? Haydn?  Schubert?

No, actually, they mean what they say:

play “for” the credo,

meaning after the credo,

and definitely not Mozart.

No, modern, light, and sounding as much like a musical as you can get is what they are really after.

Sister Act is a big favorite.

Actually, though, with regard to lent,

the biggest problem,

believe it or not,

is the nearly jealous tolerance of others,

which I find very sweet of them, actually,

toward those without food restrictions at this time.

At a HUGE seventieth birthday party of a musician friend,

my husband and I were taken by the arm by the wife of the birthday boy,

and lead firmly,

with no chance for escape,

past the fish buffet,

and to the end of the line,

marked with a sign,


“protestant corner”

and full of ham and cheeses.

And very good they tasted, indeed.

Although it is definitely embarrassing to sit with others watching every bite as they eat their six kinds of raw herring.

But that’s life here in Gutenberg Land.

Along with the fact that our local Turkish kebob owner has to have his one son take telephone orders during lent,

and the other deliver on a bicycle.

Also only during lent.

You wouldn’t want the neighbors to see you eating kebob in the shop, would you?

Oh well,

only five more weeks till the we get to eat the Easter bunnies-

that are actually Santa Clauses wrapped in Easter bunny tin foil-

that everyone bought during the huge Easter chocolate half-price sales

in January.

copyright 2016



Keep Them Doggies Movin’

Anyone else out there feel like their life is a cattle round-up?

Just when you get those doggies moving,

(a doggie, or dogie, is a motherless calf)

circled up,

headed for home,

they all decide they need a drink.

My rule of life:

there is never a moment where you will get any group-

from choirs to socks,

together and doing what they are supposed to be doing

for more than three seconds.

(Keep a camera handy, so you occasionally know what it looks like)

Socks hide in cracks in the dryer,

or cling to the back of another piece of clothing.

Just like choir members,

scout pack members,

kids on a visit to a museum,

mathematicians on a visit to the theater.

And those are just the ones you aren’t really in total charge of.

Then there are:

tax documents on the way to the tax preparer’s office,

people (small, and husbands) on their way to a doctor,

dogs on their way to a vet,

round ’em up, head ’em out, cut ’em in, move ’em out,

and if nothing else works, give them rawhide

(bones to chew on, what did you think I was saying?)

Although the other idea is definitely tempting.

Actually, many years ago I developed a system for mentally handling problematic people-situations

(since the church system I was raised with of “my, aren’t you special”, or

“we are all God’s children” doesn’t really work when

someone in your choir has stolen two bottles of communion wine,

and is sitting in your choir drinking them and urging the others to  go help themselves.

And you know that since you are in charge you will get the bill from the council.)

(Not to mention the flack)

Which is the point where I mentally picture them dressed in a velcro-backed  straight-jacket,

hanging high up on a wall

(specially coated in velcro just for such occasions.)

First you seriously consider it,

then you laugh,

then, equilibrium restored,

you wade in.

Round ’em up, head ’em up, cut ’em in, move ’em out.

And remember,

always keep your guard up,

and keep moving.

Or, like the sign in a place I used to work stated,

If you can’t razzle ’em with your b.s.,

Dazzle ’em with your footwork.

It had a picture of Bullwinkle T (for the) Moose

in a top hat, spats, and a cane.

Somehow, that just seems to fit.

copyright 2016


This is a blog for the  Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium-topic today suggested by  me-

can’t wait to see what Ramana at Ramana’s Musings, Shackman of Shackman-speaks at,  Pravin of Business to the Buddha, or some of the others who occasionally write with us have to say about it.



And Gutenberg Lived Here: Life Changes: Of Doctor Who, Paul Gallico, And J.K.Rowling

I was raised with Thomasina the cat.

Most children of my generation were.

Like Greyfriars Bobby,

Or National Velvet,

it was a combination of animal legend, morals to live by, and a just plain good children’s story.

I had no idea at the time it was the work of Paul Gallico.

Many years later, home for Christmas from college,

I watched the Snow Goose with my family.

A beautiful story that many still, to this day, think was a legend,

about Dunkirk,

written down by a reporter.

The legend was actually invented by:

Paul Gallico.

Several years later,

home on a visit from my job overseas,

my family and I watched The Posidon Adventure.


Paul Gallico.

And, to my embarrasment,

the penny still didn’t drop when,

after our wedding and moving into a new apartment,

I took time out,

out of exhaustion,

to have a cup of tea,

and watch a much pre-publicized tv film with

the  beloved German actress

and “mother of the nation,”

Inge Meysel

The film:

Mrs. ‘Arris Goes To Paris.

Paul Gallico.

And just recently?

Recovering from an unexpected serious illness?

I took out a book I had found in a second-hand book shop in London,

and dragged back here to Gutenberg Land,

just because it sounded like my kind of book.


Paul Gallico.

Removed as a film critic because his reviews were too “smart alecky”

sent as a sports reporter to the training camp of Jack Dempsey,

where he let himself be knocked out to get a better story,

writer for the Saturday Evening Post,

correspondent from England, Mexico, Lichtenstein, and Monaco.

First generation New Yorker

of Italian-Austrian parents.

And the book that I chose,

dragged back home,

and am still thoroughly enjoying?

The Adventures of Hiram Holliday-

The fairy tale-like story of a newspaper proof reader


due to his meticulousness,

helps his newspaper save millions in a lawsuit,

then takes his huge bonus,

and travels the world,

battling Nazis, spies, evil princes and counts,

winning swash-buckling sword fights on the Appian way,

and all with the attitude of:

I read all about it in an article-

I should be able to do this.



perfect for life changes.

I hope someone finally reprints Paul Gallico

before my next major birthday arrives.

Ps: while checking facts for the above, I additionally discovered that:

Peter Capaldi, of Dr Who fame,

co-starred in the film version of  Mrs. Caldicot’s Cabbage War,

written by: Paul Gallico, of course.



Harry Potter’s mother,

counts Manx Mouse by Gallico as among her favorite books.

Who knows?


like Thomasina,

his books have a couple of lives left in them yet.


copyright 2016

And Gutenberg Lived Here: The Other Valentine’s Day

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.

Yes, we even celebrate it here in Gutenberg Land.

The main difference to other places being:

Here you first have to listen to a lecture on how it is all humbug,

and started by the Hallmark card company,

and why would anyone want to take part?

Or, if you have something to do with the U

or literature,

you get to hear about how the fifth of February was the official start of the season of bird mating,

and Chaucer put it on the fourteenth,

the day of St Valentine,

the patron saint of beekeepers, engaged couples, epilepsy,

and the black plague.

How’s that for romantic?

In fact, I once conducted a childrens’ choir from inside the massive stone walls of a St. Valentine’s.

Built here in the middle ages to keep away the raging black plague.

Must have worked, since the church is huge, and still functioning.

Good thing I didn’t find out about the origins until almost the end of my time there.

Nothing like a vision of a skeleton playing the organ to make you want to conduct happy childrens’ music.

Actually, the reason I left was because a member of the choir won “Germany Searches for the Superstar”-

as near as I can tell, the German version of American Idol.

And then, of course, the other members all wanted the same thing-

with belting rock songs and choreography.

Hard to build into a church service.

So anyway,

since it is so hotly contended over here-

“waste of money” or “what, you have a wife like that and are doing nothing nice for her?”

I made a small study in a couple of the local gift shops of what is most often bought:


as a gag gift, or for singles:

half a male torso-

with bent arm,

a pillow,

not a corpse.

Also available with stitching.

“Replacement for…..”

(Gerhard, Hans, Georg…you fill in the blank)

It’s to relax on.


Then, for couples,

there is the engraved whiskey glass,

with or without a collection of small whiskey bottles.

I assume that one is only bought for their wives by married men.

Maaannny years married men.

Then there is:

For the younger:

A teddy with a  picture of the couple.

Or a rose, pressed into a block of glass.

Newly married?

A bathmat with Mr and Mrs,

Or an engraved set of wooden breakfast boards-

about the size of a paperback book,

traditional over here for eating your morning hardroll and cheese on.

Oh, and, of course, the piece de resistance,

suitable to win the hearts of every couple:

noodles stamped with “I love you”

And to eat them with:

a “marriage chain”-

a one and a half foot chain of wooden links,

carved in one piece,

with wooden spoons on both ends.

So you have to eat together.

Now don’t you feel silly that you bought flowers at the gas station?

copyright 2016


Of Tarantulas And Sneakers For Ponies

Someone sent me a note today, asking me to discuss pets


Not that it’s a bad topic.

And not that I don’t adore dogs.

And there are some pretty interesting fish

both house style,

and exotic salt water.

Hey, some of them are even luminous.

Just as long as they don’t arrive frozen

and in breaded sticks

fine with me.

And then there are the ones with all the feathers.

All sizes, shapes, colors,

vocal quality.

You haven’t lived till you have been cursed out by a bass-voiced parrot

doing his “yo ho ho, walk the plank, you *!** landlubber.”

Or scared,

in a dark appartment,

in the middle of the night,

by a cockatoo that imitates police sirens.

Or sings Dolly Parton

doing “9 to 5.”

And then there are the times,

which I also find especially great,

when I have gotten to watch the half-time show by the Brittany Spearses of the bird world,

who have been taught by doting owners

to raise one wing while tweeting the national anthem,

or two of whom do “freak out” Millie Vanillie style.

And when it comes to animal helpers,


I get almost tearful.

A college girlfriend of mine,

for example,

had the sweetest tempered,

and dumbest-

sorry, but when it’s true it’s true-

guide dog I have ever known.

A labrador named Abby,

who was kind,

and loving,

and unfortunately spent a lot of time inventing games,


if I carry a can of dogfood over to the table,

and plunk it into the salad bowl,

it doesn’t make a lot of noise.

Or get me the attention I want.

But if I drop it on the tile floor,

or in the metal dog dish,

from how high does the drop have to be to get attention?

She and Sue played this game for hours.

Usually with Abby carrying the can through the appartment,

just out of reach,

and making continuous noise,

until Sue did the only logical thing,

and got out the can opener.

Maybe Abby wasn’t so dumb after all.

No, animals are, in general,

in my humble opinion,

a whole lot brighter than most humans.

And I had thirteen years with a very bright,

and inventive,

airedale to prove it.

In fact,

if Mugg could have talked,

we would all have settled the question much earlier about a female president.

And Mugg would have been smart enough to not use her personal phone for things.

She would have had me call.

You can learn a lot from animals.

Especially as pets.

Like that if it’s in their nature to eat someone,

that person being a vegetarian doesn’t really matter a whole lot.

Which is the kind of thing that doesn’t usually appear on facebook.

And is apparently the reason why

if what a friend told me is true,

that the Vatican pulled the plug on reading books

about talking donkeys

(or wooden boys with growing noses, for that matter,)

because you don’t learn a lot about the real world from artificial situations

with cartoon animals.


judging from the place of animals in the computer world,

to entertain

but not enlighten,

and certainly never to have a real bone in their bodies,

or do anything remotely resembling what real animals do….

Which is probably the reason why people try to keep poisonous snakes-


or hospital,

exotic animals-

“big game hunt” in a wired-off compound with weirdos hanging out of special viewing boxes- with bar, of course, to shoot illegally imported animals


“12 foot alligator found in the sewers of NY- repairman heard strange hissing noise”


how to lose friends and influence enemies,

and, of course,

guide ponies,

the supposedly faster, brighter, better version of guide dogs,

who, unfortunately, not being really meant for the city streets,

and asphalt

of modern living,

have to wear specially designed pony sneakers

to protect their feet.

Which sneakers are apparently, at the moment, a fashion statement

for both pony and owners.

And remembering the moment I, in a fit of idiocy, tried to put ribbons in the fur of our airedale,

and got a look I will never forget.

Followed by five minutes 0f rolling on my feet and pushing me away with all fours-

airedale pique…

Which brings me,

of course, to the final form of exotic animal,

and his pique.

For,  when reading this to Harald,

to see if I had written anything that would get me trolled-


he said to be sure to mention the exotic,


writing in the middle of the night,


Do they really exist, Harald?

copyright Dunnasead 2016


And Gutenberg Lived Here: Life Changes Part Three: Marriage? Where’s The Dowry?

Some time ago Marie,

a momentarily non-writing member of the Friday Loose Bloggers,

mentioned her wedding, and the place a dowry holds in Northern Ireland.

That got me thinking about my family.

Generations of hardworking Irish-Americans.

Puritan preachers,


mill owners,

And horse trainers.

Lots of love,

but not much need for a dowry.

Until, one day, the good fairy of the bizarre, decided that since there was a war brewing anyway,

and people were distracted,

she might as well have a bit of fun.

And made a few plans.

My father, a brotherhood member

(a religious community roughly akin to Menonite and Amish)

Who, by the way, believe in tolerance,

and worrying only about your own relationship to God,

not anyone else’s life,

was drafted.

And since he was from a very small town where everyone knew everyone else,

he was given a camera,

instead of a gun,

and sent to Cheyenne Wyoming,

to fight fires,

run the local radio station,

and write speeches for the camp commander.

Including some of the first announcements of world war II.

And it was Cheyenne where he and his new soon-to-be-bride had a bid in to live in base housing,

which turned out to be

with 23 other couples,

a large portion of the governor’s mansion.

My parents got the converted bathroom,

meaning the dining table was placed over top of the huge low bathtub when not in use,

and they put the mattress and bedding on top of that to sleep.

But first they had to marry.

Which was where the good fairy of the totally absurd,

ugly sister to the good fairy of the bizarre,

only worse,

decided she had to have something to do with her time that day,

after getting a new dress and hairdo and all,

and decided she would follow them to the town hall

-to help them marry.

Meaning that:

My parents,

not knowing about the famous fairy sisters

who spend their time chasing down Irish descendants in America,

so they don’t forget about the luck of the Irish,

went to town,

on the day that had been scheduled for them,

not knowing, of course, that it was the highpoint of the Cheyenne round-up days,

one of the biggest cattle markets in the west.

And thus it was that they discovered,

upon meeting the town clerk,

that the town had, at the moment, no marriage licenses available.

At which point they were offered, instead,

a “temporary license”

Heading: Bill of Sale



Plus my father’s name.

Second line:

name of cow.

With my mother’s name.

Of course.

And here, I’m sure I don’t need to mention that I have the original in my footlocker of important,

and embarrasing,

family documents,

since the “Permanent and legal wedding certificate” they were promised

somehow never arrived.

And thus the scene was set for Act II of:

The great Dowry Caper,

Which, of course, has to do with,

twenty-somthing years later,

the groom, a German scientist,

his Irish-American language teacher wife,

and the two ugly sisters.

Out for a little fun.

Which went like this…

“When shall we three meet again…”



That’s a Scottish play.

Ok, so

what happened is this…

My fiance had to have an operation to remove a steel pin after suffering a bad accident.

And since no one but wives are allowed in the room,

as I discovered as I had to sneak in after the first operation,

we decided to get married first.

Unfortunately telling his mother,

but adding that she would have plenty of time to get a dress etc.

At which point she set the wedding,

without asking us,

for in three weeks,

Meaning that,

since she had survived the Russian invasion,

and wasn’t about to back down on something as simple as this,

I had to get my birth certificate translated.

Enter comic sisters.

Lauging hysterically.

For, unfortunately,

the same two who had put my mother’s name on a cow bill of sale,

also just “happened” to put a footprint of the baby on my birth certificate.

A fact that the official government translators for such cases,

had not only never seen,

they also spent a rather large amount  of time,

judging from the amount of coffee stains on the original,


drinking coffee,

and laughing themselves sick,

before deciding to send us,

two days before the wedding,

a tranlation,

with a miniature version of a baby’s footprint,

something between a pavian

and a raccoon.

And, of course, the official translation

“Certificate of Birth- (with baby’s footprint)”

And it only cost my husband,

who was required by the German government to pay for the translation,

plus other necessary documents,

one full month’s salary,

to buy me free from all objections that might arise,

payable to the state of the Rhineland-Palatinate’s high court.

Since Americans have no residence registry office.

And thus, I might actually be married.

Which, I of course could not be

if the state government issued a certificate that I had raised my hand and sworn

my batchelorhood,

and also to a lot of other rather odd things I had to prove,

at the state registry office.

At which point, we decided to have our church wedding in the states.

And the fairy sisters weren’t half amused.

And we all lived happily ever after.

The End


copyright 2016

Major Life Changes: Part Two

Yesterday, the LBC VUBP

(very unusual blogging people)

asked for my assessment of the topic “major life changes.”

And I tried my best to be serious.

And adult.

But the thing is,

the more serious a topic,

the more humour I find in it.

It’s a mechanism that goes back to nursery days.

Of listening to the adventures of all those comical philosophical animals.

Like Aesop’s friends,

Or Mother Goose,

Or Mickey,

who understood that a message

has to be wrapped as a present.

And, sorry, but all those wonderful cats doing supposedly philosophical things

that everyone drops their work in order to watch on facebook.

At exactly nine am.

And then discusses,

and mails,

for a half hour

just doesn’t make it.

In my humble opinion.

Either wrapping,

or philosophical message wise.

Which brings me to the crux of this whole philosophical animal thing:

Where exactly is the dogs’ union during all this, I ask you?

I mean really guys.

Time to get organized.

All the air time YOU get is cute.



You’re twice as big

and twice as smart

and all you get is cute?

Time to get going.

Let the cat out of the bag-oops

about what you really are on this planet for.


when someone in your house dies,

you cuddle.

You sit on the feet of the survivors,

lean against their legs,

and sometimes cry.

You feel it,

and you can’t really express it.

But you try to take up your part of the sorrow.

And what about when you move house with your humans?

You protect them on the journey,

check out the new place to see it is safe,

every last corner,


when all the work is over,

you sleep.

Knowing they can too.

You have done your job.

Major life changes.


And when someone you love is depressed?

You lick their hand.

To show bonding,

And you listen.

For hours.

As they tell you their problems.

And ask you what you think .

Then you nod wisely.

Because you know it is all part of life,

which will always go on in one form or another

until the day you are called home.

So why not the good form.

And you pick up a ball.

And bang them with it a few times.

So they know it is time to get up and get going again.

on autopilot for a while,

but that also is part of living.

And as long as there are long walks to take,

and green grass to roll in,

and dog jokes to tell,


inch by inch,

you will convince your human

life is worth living.

And that, just around the corner is a new, great life change coming.

You can smell it.

You’re a dog.

copyright 2016





Major Life Changes: Part One

I think I understand, from a year plus a bit of writing for the LBC,

the friday loose bloggers consortium,

what Shackman meant when he proposed this one.

There are moments in life that are irreversible.

Someone comes into your life,

Someone leaves,

often in an unexpected or tragic way.

Some event happens that changes everything forever.

And you have to muster all your courage,

and energy,

and move on.

Not that it ever goes away.

Every year on the same day, I plan time.

And make sure I am somewhere where I can be alone,

in nature, if possible,

to create a remembrance.

On my Dad’s day, for example, I have his favorite flowers in the house.

The purple flags, and the red canas that grow wild on the paths,

and even highways,

of their old home in Kentucky, then Tennessee, then southern Illinois.

Magical flowers we dragged from one home to another,


and watched grow.

Like the families themselves.

And I serve his favorite meal-

simple clean fare worthy of the brotherhood,

the group of believers he and his family belonged to.

A lifestyle, not a church.

He was a professional photographer.

One of the best.

He never said much.

His pictures did.

Always Beauty and Dignity.

And simplicity.

Many years ago my first choir gave me a Christmas present.

A book about the Shakers,

And shaker furniture.

Simplicity, beauty, trust in God.

The problem is,

to survive,

We are also given fire.

A desire to live.

To the ultimate.

To enjoy everything-

in a simple way.

The constant pull to do all we can,

be all we can be,

live to the fullest.

Because we have seen the alternative.

Perhaps that is the nature of our being.

I, at least, find that I am happy,

and thankful,

for the amazing amount of life I have been allowed to live.

All the amazing adventures.

And people.

And the ones who were in my life,

and those that are there still.

The problems will always be there.

And life, as it is,  will always be there to ring in changes.

The trick is,

as I see it,

to pray a lot,

laugh a lot,

and love a lot.

The dark side will always be with us.

So will the light.

And if you trust,

and live fully,

and gather strength,

it doesn’t hurt so much

when you are given a moment of rest

in the eye of the storm.


copyright Dunnasead 2016

To check what the others of the LBC have come up with on this topic, start with Ramana of Ramana’s Musings, and Shackman, of Shackman Speaks at