This post is going to be about illegal aliens. No, I’m not talking about those who might be in the U.S. now. I am going to talk about those aliens who started coming here five hundred or so years ago. Those of us who have native American roots in our bloodline know our ancestors were the real citizens of this country back then. When Christopher Columbus stumbled on our shores along with him came hordes of uninvited aliens who eventually took over our country. They robbed us of our land with promises that were never kept. It took a few centuries for them to almost completely annihilate the original citizens.
When they had us in total submission they started stripping us of our deities and replacing them with their own. They put the few of us who survived their war machines on tiny almost worthless pieces of land to try and eke out an existence. They introduced us to their alcoholic drinks which proved to be very addictive to many of us.
Maybe the illegal aliens of today will some day provide some payback for all these atrocities If that happens remember that what goes around eventually come around. But I kind of believe that China will be providing the payback without setting foot on our soil. Aren’t the advances of the 21st century a wonderful thing. Let’s remember that almost all of us were illegal aliens in this land at one time or another.
And the journey goes on….
Here is another picture from our October trip to northern Wisconsin. We added about 40 barns to our photo inventory on that trip. This is one of the more interesting ones.
This land was made for you an me. Those words were written by Woody Guthrie. He was one of my favorite songwriters. The picture (that is me in the picture) was taken in June 2009 in northern California during our month long trip out west.
Thank you Island House hotel for providing us with quality accommodations during our recent stay at Mackinac Island Michigan. Your one hundred year plus hotel is awesome.
I celebrate the peacemakers of this world. One of those groups is certainly the Society of Friends known as Quakers. As a matter of fact they have even won a Nobel Peace Price for their efforts. According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. That is certainly an apt description of Quakers and their journey in following Christ’s words. While the Nobel committee has its flaws in picking award winners most are certainly for the most part peacemakers.
One of the Beatitudes found in the Christian Bible is
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the Sons of God.
Although we are all children of God all of us who call ourselves Christians certainly would be very honored to be called one of the sons of God. By the above words that is a special status in God’s kingdom. Being a peacemaker certainly indicates promoting God’s will here on earth. We in the U.S. allow our government to spend thousands of times more for our war machines than they do for peacemaking efforts. If only that trend were reversed even slightly. We need more peacemakers. Blessed are the peacemakers wherever they are.
And the journey goes on.
Here is one not too many people have probably seen. It is a small lighthouse in Neenah Wisconsin. The picture was taken in 1986 but it still looks the same today.
A close member of my extended family died yesterday after a long and agonizing downward spiral. For the last two years she was no longer of her own mind and became a very spiteful person. It was totally sad to see her in that state for so long. It is not that she was a superhuman before that but she was not unlike many today in her very self-centered world view. I am relieved that she finally passed and went into our Lord’s arms. She can finally enjoy some peace.
I know I have read several treatises about suffering in the world. I think that is one of the theologian’s favorite topics. But I personally still wonder why the Lord, who has infinite compassion for each one of us, puts some of us through such agony before we die? I know the bible says otherwise but in my mind it kind of gives credence to the concept of purgatory. If we suffer so much before leaving this life does that give us a little less judgment by our maker?
Even though it was eventually expected and actually hoped for the end of her life still came as somewhat of a shock. I can still feel the shutter when I was told of her demise. I just hope and pray that I don’t have to suffer in the circumstances as she did for such a long period of time. Thank you Lord for finally ending it. I may not understand the reasons behind those years but I can accept that you allowed it to happen for a reason.
Here is a picture of Glacier National Park in 1990. We were there in June and still had plenty of snow to contend with.
Here is a picture with Yvonne and I that was taken at Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York in the early 1990s.
I, like most senior citizens have my share of health related issue. Probably more than most. It seems that every time I go to the doctor lately he has diagnosed me with yet another condition! The last time he notified me that my blood sugar is on the high side of normal so he added yet another prescription to my list. I also can’t seem to get out of a chair without grunting anymore. In other words, I am falling apart!
If I were to become fixated on all these conditions I would likely never get out of bed in the mornings. What a boring life that would be! Instead I choose to not focus on my declining health but instead do everything I can in spite of it. Yvonne will tell you that I am a pretty ornery person but I believe this is a good thing when health issues arise. Don’t sit back and feel sorry for yourself because you don’t have the energy you had twenty years ago or you have this condition or that condition. Just go out and do what you can. Doing what you can does not necessarily mean accepting arbitrary limits . I tend to try and push myself beyond what I think I can endure. Sometimes that gets me in trouble but mostly it just increases my endurance.
In other words get off your butt and stay active in life. Get up every morning and face the challenges that the day may bring. You will be a stronger and better person for it.
As mentioned in the last post I am in the initial process of building a slot car track in my old paint room. One important part of being retired is that I now have time to pursue things that I have enjoyed doing in the past. In my youth I built many a model car and airplane. It seemed to feed my ingrained engineering fever. Now that I have time I want to bring back some of that joyful time but with a different twist.
I was surprised to see that slot cars are still an active hobby. They came about before video games as a way to have a surreal experience without any real danger. I would have thought that video games would have replaced that experience but that seems to be not the case. At least not totally. I think the “high tech, high touch” syndrome feeds slotcars continued craze. That is to say we always need to get our hands around something and not to live constantly in a virtual reality. I can’t say that I played with slotcars as a youth as the kits were just too expensive for my family’s limited budgets back then. Speaking of virtual reality brings to mind one of my favorite movies “The Matrix” but that is for another blog post .
This picture above is of one fantastic track. I don’t strive to equal that track but I want to come close to achieving some degree of it’s reality. Some tracks are just that, tracks without the corresponding scenery. That would be boring to me so mine will be more like the above.
So now I am adding yet another hobby to my repertoire. It will give my creative and engineering sides the challenge that they need and will be fun to race the cars around the track. It will also get me out of the house and into the barn this winter. Yvonne will appreciate that (ha). So, if you are interested in this type of thing keep a lookout to some posts on my progress in this area in the coming months.
And the journey goes on…
I seem to be hobby deficient lately so have been looking for yet another hobby. Slot cars are on my mind. I have cleaned out a room in the barn to build a track. Of course I won’t look like the White Lake track about that that is a beautiful inspiration for mine.
My wife Yvonne’s maiden name is Wierschke. Of course that is very German in origin. I am going way way back in the photo archive to pull out the above picture. According to the note that was attached to it the picture is of her grandfather and the corresponding brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly when it was taken but it was probably around 1900 or so. Since Yvonne is from Wisconsin which is the beer capital of the U.S. it is not surprising that she has a strong German background.
Retirement is not a onetime thing; it is a long term process. In earlier years when I was preparing for retirement I deemed it pretty much that event where I left the workforce and collected my virtual gold watch. But after that ceremonial event is when the real thing takes place. I must admit I struggled with just what to do for the first year or so of my retirement. I finally decided that I really didn’t want to fully retire so I ended up opening a woodworking cabinet shop. That lasted, to one success or another, for about six years and then I moved on to other things.
Basically retirement, among other things, is a period of experimentation. I made certain decisions and then changed them to something else as the years have progressed. If something didn’t work, and many things I tried didn’t, then I moved on to other things. Don’t worry that you may make some wrong decisions. You almost certainly will make wrong decisions. To me that is part of the retirement process. It is great that at this point in my life what I do is up to me (with my hubby’s permission of course ).
In the ten years since I left the corporate world I have been into several different things. I am now gladly in the full retirement mode. That is I no longer take money for what I use my time for. One thing that has remained constant during these years is my volunteer work. I have spent a couple of days a week giving back some of the blessings the Lord has showered on me during my life.
My latest thing is building a slot car track. I am going to fill the room which used to be my cabinet business paint shop in the back of my barn with a slot car layout. I considered model railroading but that just seems to boring for me (ha). In the Spring I may just migrate on to remote controlled trucks. I am eyeing a place behind the barn to build a track for those.
And the journey goes on….
Here is one of the many barn pictures we took on our recent trip to northern Wisconsin. Given the state of the barn this might be the last picture ever taken of it.
Since the Christmas season is quickly approaching I thought I would pull this one out of the archives. This is a picture of me and Yvonne’s first Christmas together. It was taken during my first visit to the “crazy” in-laws in 1987. We both had a lot more hair and a lot less wrinkles back then!
A few posts back I announced that I have given up on following or participating in politics. It has just become to grinding for me. Last night I was reading a book called The Essential Thomas Jefferson and I came across the following quote in his letter to John Randolph dated August 1775
My first wish is a restoration of our just rights (he was talking about the British government’s unjust laws for the colonies) ; my second, a return of the happy period, when, consistently with duty, I may withdraw myself totally fro the public stage, and pass the rest of my days in domestic ease and tranquility, banishing every desire of ever hearing what passes in the world.
So, I am in pretty good company in wanting to tune out the rest of the world. Especially the ugliest parts.
Of course it was several more years before Jefferson was able to return to the tranquility of Monticello. He had to write the Declaration of Independence, become a minister to France, become a president of the U.S. and lastly to triple the size of the United States via the Louisiana Purchase. Me, I am not nearly as busy so I do go for days without hearing what passes in the world.
And the journey goes on…..
Nothing better than a county fair. The kids have fun and there is lots of greasy food to eat