Rambling

You've got mail, this is a keeper, said Stu. Their marriage was good, their dreams focused, their best friends lived a wave away. I can see them now, Dad in trousers, work shirt, tools in hand and a top hat and Mom in a house dress, curtain rod in one

You’ve got mail, this is a keeper, said Stu.

Their marriage was good, their dreams focused, their best friends lived a wave away.

I can see them now, Dad in trousers, work shirt, tools in hand and a top hat and Mom in a house dress, curtain rod in one hand, dish towel in the other. It was time for fixing things: the screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress, little but necessary things.

It was a way of life that sometimes made me crazy. All that re-fixing, re-heating leftovers, renewing; I wanted, just once, to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.

But when my mother died in that clear morning light in the hospital room, the pain of learning came: sometimes there isn’t any more. Sometimes what we care about most gets all used up and goes away, never to return.

While we have it we love it, care for it, fix it when broken and heal it when it’s sick. This is true for marriage, old cars, children with bad report cards, dogs and cats with bad hips, aging parents and grandparents. They are love, and love is all.

Some things make life important, like good friends and family. Remember they’re like stars; you can’t always see them, but you know they’re always there!

So, what do you think? Are old days and old ways needed again? Does waste mean affluence as suggested, or is it time to return to re-heating leftovers? Maybe Grandma and Grandpa’s principles intimated here, some taproots, which are still left, will come in handy after all.

Bob said, “Get this about our celebrity obsession!”

Apparently Denzel Washington and his family visited the troops at Brook Army Medical Centre, San Antonio, Texas. Soldiers evacuated from Germany are hospitalized and treated here, especially burn victims. Soldiers’ families visiting can stay in Fisher House, small hotels with little or no charge, while their soldier is in the centre. These small hotels, as you can imagine, are filled most of the time.

Washington and family toured a Fisher House. He asked what it cost to build one. He stopped, took out his chequebook and wrote one for the full amount right there!

Soldiers overseas were told, and were amazed and touched. They wanted the public told.

So tell me, why do Britney Spears, Madonna, Tom Cruise and other Hollywood fluff make front-page news with their ridiculous antics, and Denzel Washington’s generosity makes page three in the local newspaper and no other?

If this personal generosity, and lack of recognition, doesn’t put our obsessive focus on glib, overpaid celebrities in focus, nothing will. It demonstrates, too, we’re not alone in the almost always forgotten, “other side of war!”

Then there’s the Saskatchewan

halfwit story Caroline sent:

A man owned a small farm in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Provincial Wage and Hours Department claimed he wasn’t paying proper wages to his help and sent a government man to interview him.

‘I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them,’ demanded the agent.

‘Well, there’s my farmhand,” replied the farmer. “I pay him $200 a week plus free room and board. I pay the cook $150 a week. She gets free room and board, too.

“Then there’s the halfwit. He works about 18 hours every day, does about 90 per cent of the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board. I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.”

“That’s the guy I want to talk to, the halfwit,” says the agent.

“That would be me,” replied the farmer.

A telling statement by Stuart Wells of the National Farmers Union last September puts this “halfwit” in true focus. “Canada is losing 5,000 farm families off the land every year.” The “halfwit” will probably be another to leave, and the rest of us will be the losers unless we learn to keep unproductive red tape out of the way.

A tip of the hat to the farmers who feed us, may they increase in number, and to those whose principles, born of war, pestilence, drought and affluence – a force for stability – we’ve inherited.

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