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Showing posts from May, 2019

North Of Wausau

In a matter of minutes I will be heading north to go fishing with a couple of longtime fishing buddies. It's hard to describe how happy this makes me. It has been a brutal winter and a not-so-nice spring, so this entry into God's country is well timed.

The species of the day will be Smallmouth Bass, though, like most good fishermen, we will take whatever will bite. There will be much smack-talk, a little solving of world problems and an adult beverage or two along the way.

It is my absolute happy place. Sprinkle some of my ashes up there if I don't make it back. (JK!)

Blogging off...


Small Things

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Yesterday I was part of a gathering of poets in Riverwest. It was an event called the Bards Against Hunger. It is a Wisconsin version of the movement that was started in New York.

The story behind it is the Bards Against Hunger solicited poems about hunger and poverty from poets all over the U.S. It turns out a large number of poets from Wisconsin submitted poems to the anthology. Through some connection with the editor, Ed Werstein a poet from Milwaukee felt moved enough to take on the task of creating a Wisconsin anthology for the Bards Against Hunger.

I submitted a couple of poems, and the poem, The Guest House, was accepted for publication. While it is nice to have my poem in a book, there is an even greater cause to it.

Ed has made it a point to hold several readings around Southeastern Wisconsin where the contributing poets are invited to read their work. As part of the reading, the poets and the people in the audience are asked to bring either 3 food items or make a small donat…

Corporate Laddering

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So my daughter got her first "real" job out of college this week. She will be working for the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute at the University of Minnesota. It was one of two U of M jobs she interviewed for last week. She was offered both, and took this one, as it seemed more challenging and like a better fit. As a parent, there is nothing more satisfying than the sound of your kid getting a job. (A paraphrase from a friend.)

That first job after an education is always the hardest. Convincing a potential employer that you are better than the part time job you're currently working is the tricky part. Once you do that and successfully land a job in a career field, you have a leg up as you begin to build experience. You're "in the system" so to speak. It's all skill building and networking after that.

My first job out of college was not nearly as lucrative as my daughter's, but it was equally rewarding. I was dating a girl who saw an ad for a mappi…

Mother Love

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So, it's Mother's Day, and I am reminded again how lucky I am to still have my mom around. She is 86 and still going strong. I know this because I called her three times last week and she wasn't home. When I finally talked to her last night on the phone to wish her happy mother's day, she said that last week was so busy! She had cards on Monday night, work on Tuesday, cards with church on Wednesday and book club somewhere in there, too. While I talked to her, she was talking to a neighbor about bringing the brats to the cookout. On the go again, so we had to cut our conversation a little short.

It's funny, but it reminded me of the Harry Chapin song Cats in the Cradle. "When you coming home Dad, I don't know when. We'll get together then." (I joked about this all the time with my kids when they would go out with their friends instead of staying home with the parents.)

But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying her busy lifestyle is a bad thing…

Postpartum Impressions

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It is an interesting time in our lives with both of the kids being out of the house. Things are quieter around here lately, that is usually good, though some days I miss the din of activity that kids bring with them.

But they go on with their lives, living separate young lives, one in Minneapolis, the other in Madison. It is exciting watching them navigate the life of young adults, one in the workforce the other in college. I try and emphasize that these are some of the best years of their lives and that they shouldn't take it for granted, but I think they know. They seem to be making the best of it.

My daughter has not one but two interviews this week, both for positions at the University of Minnesota. One was yesterday - a secretarial job, and the other as an administrative assistant for a supercomputer consortium of some sort. Both look like steps up the employment rung, so we hope and pray for her success. So much of that first real job out of college hinges on getting into a s…

The Good Fatigue

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Well, it was a weekend that provided some hope for the coming of summer. Waukesha actually experienced two consecutive days of high 60s and low 70s. This is a Wisconsin equivalent of two months worth of San Diego weather, where 72 is the norm.

This weather is energizing for anyone with a pulse in these northern states. After five months of wooly sweaters, long pants and hats, we can - at least momentarily - venture out without debating whether we should take our heavy winter coat or our medium weight one. I was even compelled to break out my sandals. This is likely a curse, but it happened.

Our grass is getting unruly and our mower of 20 years use is about beat, so I was tasked with getting a new one. There is something satisfying about a brand new mower. When I mowed today, I didn't have to stop mid cut and tighten the back wheel.

Furthermore, the oil replacement nozzle on the mower is actually in a logical place which should  make the whole maintenance job easier. Like any aging…

Sunday Sadday

Sunday was a bad day for me. I woke up sad and despondent for no good reason, and sort of stayed that way all day. I kept trying to bust out of my funk, but nothing seemed to work. I searched around for what I was sad about and couldn't really find anything specific. I was sad about everything. 
I hated my writing and labelled all my successes as a sham, I was sad about my kids being out on their own, I didn't like my house, I hated the weather, felt bad about my aging pets and was even sad that I was still a ways from retirement. I hated everything.
Like I said, I was in a funk. And I never get in funks.
There were a few times during the day I was near tears. For no reason! What the hell is that all about?
Sundays, especially near the evening, are typically the worst day of the week anyway, so this was not a complete surprise. There is the looming Monday morning rat race gun that creates an angst that isn't there the other days of the week. That certainly played a role, …