Michael W Noland Sep 2012

[A] is for
An
Archer with
An
Arrow through his
Adams
Apple, very
Applicable, to the
Ample
Amounts of
Amiable
Attitude,
Adorning his heart, in
After
Action
Attributes, that impart, the
Admiration, of
Assholes, in this
Acting out of
Arrogance bit. he is,
Astute, in his
Allure, and
Aloof, in the
Air, of
Aspiration, in which, he was
Alienated in the
Agony, of
Asking
Assassins, the
Aforementioned. lights, camera,
Action. recipe of the
Ancient
Admirals of
Avian
Aliens, that
Attacked, with the
Arms and fists, of
Arachnids, now
Aching to be
Activated in sudden
Allegiance to the
Answers, of the truth.
Accumulating wealth for
Anarchy's of
Abating
Angels in
Atrophied,
Alchemical
Academies of the ever
After life .. . of silence.
Azazel strengthens in these
Accolades of violence, in
Alliance to
Appliances
Appearing in the
Arson of
Apathy, happily, to
Anguish in the
Amputation of my
Abdomen, if it meant i'm a real
American, even, when, only
Ash, remains.
Acclimating in its remains
Attained, the
Articles of my pain, in
Affluent shame, next time ..
Aim... oak
[A]?

[B] is for the
Bah of
Black sheep, and
Big
Bit¢hes, fat cats,
Bombarded in the
Blasted,
Bastion of
Blackened
Benevolent
Blokes,
Berating the
Blasphemous,
Be-seech, of
Brains, to feel
Bad, about the
Blotching of
Binary codes, erroding, the
Blanked out
Books, of
Belittled
Bureaucrats,
Bowling
Back the
Bank rolls of
Betterment, from the
Back of the
Blackened
Bus, as i'm
Busting guts, in the
Bubbling
Butts, of sluts
Benched, but
Beautiful, in the
Battle, in the
Bane, of existence.
Baffled, in the strain of
Belligerence, in
Beating the
Beaming
Butchery into
Billy's
Broken
Brains, in
Bouts, of
Battering
Bobby's for
Bags of
Bullshit
Before, affording to
Build
Bombs, is just
Beyond
Breaking
Beer
Bottles on the
Beastial
Benefactors of
Boulder
Bashing with the
Beaks, of
Birds, with no
Bees. just a
Being, trying to
[B]


[C] is for the
Cunts
Courting the
Choreography, in
Computerized
Curtains,
Circumventing the
Cultured,
Contrivance of
Chromatic
Cellars,
Calibrating, to the
Contours of
Calamities,
Celebrating the
Cyclical,
Cylinders of
Cyphered
Calenders,
Correcting the
Calculations, of
Crooks
Coughing, in
Courageous
Coffins of
Canadians,
Collecting
Cobble stones, from
Catacombs, in the lands of the
Conquered,
Capturing the
Claps of thieves, sneaky
Cats, of greed. its
Comedy. oh
Comely, to my
Cling of
Cleanliness, and for your self
[C]

[D] is for the
Dip shits, as they
Delve
Deeper in the
Deliverance, of
Deviant
Deities,
Dying to
Demand
Dinner
Delivered in the throws of
Death,
Deceiving
Defiance of
Darkened
Dreams,
Demeaning that which
Deems the
Dormant of the
Dominant, to be
Demons of
Deviled
Devilry,
Dooming us for
Destruction.
Deploy the,
Damsels in
Duress.
Defiled and
Distressed,
Detestable and
Dead. in the thump of
Drums,
Dumbing down the
Debts of,
Dire regrets.
Dissect the
Daisies of,
Disillusion, in the current
Days,
Diluting night into
Dawn,
Disconnecting the
Dots of the
Dichotomy, and arming me, in the
Diabolatry, of,
Demonology, as i watch me
Dwindle away, the
[D]

[E] is for
Everything in nothing,
Eating the
Euphoric
Enigmas of
Enlightened
Elitists,
Exceeding in the
Extravagant
Essence of
Esoteric
Euphemisms,
Escaping the
Elegance of the
Elements in the
Eccentricity of
Eclectic
Ecstasy,
Exhaling, the
Exostential blessings, of inner
Entities, and renouncing the
Enemies of my
Ease,
Easily to appease
Extraterestrial
Empires,
Extracting the lost
Embers of
Enlightenment, in
Excited delight, but to later
Entice, the fight, and
Escape, like a thief into the night of
Everywhere,
Entering the
Exits of
Elevators leading no where, to
Elevate, this useless place,
Encased in malware in the
Errant
Errors of
Every man,
Enslaved, of flesh and
Entrails,
Enveloping the core of
Everything, that matters,
Enduring, the chatter, of
Evermore,
Ever present in
Everybody
Ever made to take
[E]

Funk the
Ferocity of
Foolish
Fandangos, with
Fanged
Fanatics,
Fooled in the
Fiasco of
Fumbled
Fantasies,
Falling through the
Farms of
Freely
Found
Fans,
Flying in the
Fame of
Fortune.
Fornicating on the
Fallen
Fears of
Fat
Fish getting their
Fillet of
Fills.
Feel me in the
Frills

Granted with
Generosity.
Giblets of
Gratitude and
Greed,
Greeting the
Goop and
Gobbled
Gore,
Gleaned from the
Glamour of
Ghouls in
Gillie suits,
Getting what they
Got
Going, in the
Gratuitous
Gallows of a
Game
Gaffed by
Giants.

Hello to the
Horizon of
Hellish
Hilarity, in
Hope of
Happy, to
Heave from
Heifers, to
Help the
Hemp
Harshened
Hobos in
Heightened
Horror, to
Honor the
Habitats of
Hapless
Habituals,
Herbalising the work
Horse, named
Have Not, in the
Haughtily
Hardened
Houses of
Happenstance.

Ignore the
Ignorant
Idiots, too
Illiterate to
Indicate the
Indicative
Instances of
Idiom in the
Irrelevant
Inaccuracy of
I,
In the
Intellect of
Idle
Individuals,
Irritated with the
Irate
Illusion of
Idols
Illustrated upon the
Iris,
In the
Illumination of
I.

Jerk off the
Jobless
Jokers, and
Jimmy the
Jerkins from their
Jammie's, in
Justified,
Jousting off the
Jumps, in
Jokes, and
Jukes of
Just
Jailers,
Jesting for
Jammed
Jury's to
Jerk
Judgment from the
Jitter
Juiced
Jeans of
Jesus.

Kill the
Keep of
Khaki-ed
Kool aid men,
Kept in the
Kilometers of
Kits,
Kin-less
Kinetics,
Knifing the
Knights of
Kneeling
Kinsmanship,
Keeling over the
Keys of
Kaine, with the
Karmic
Karate
Kick of a
Kangaroo.

Love the
Levity, in the
Luxurious
Laments of
Loveliness,
Lovingly
Levitating in
Level,
Lucidly.
Living in
Laps, of
Lapses,
Looping, but
Lacking the
Loom of the
Latches
Locked with
Leeches of the
Lonely
Lit
Leering of
Lightly
Limbs, that
Lash at the
Lessers in
Loot of
Lost letters,
Lest we
Learned in the
Lessons of
Liars.

Marooned in
Maniacal
Masterpieces,
Masqueraded as
Malignant
Memorization's of
Motionless
Mantras, but
Merrily
Masking
Mikha'el the
Mundane, who is
Musically
Mused of
Monsters,
Mangling the
Monitor, but
Maybe just a
Moniker of
Marauders.

Never to
Navigate the
Nautical
Nether of
Never
Nears.
Not to
Nit pic the
Naivety of
Nicety.
Notions
Neither take
Note
Nor
Name the
Noise of
Nats in the
Nights of
Neanderthals
Napping in the
Nets of
Ninjas

Ominous in the
Obvious
Omnipotence of
Oblivious
Obligatory
Opulence,
Of
Other
Oddly
Orchards
Of
Offices,
Ordaining
Orifices in
Offers of
Ordinary
Ordinances in
Option-less
Optics,
Optionally an
On-call Oracle, in
Optimal,
Overture.

Perusing the
Pestilent
Pedestals of
Personal,
Parameters,
Pursuing the
Petty
Plumes of
Piety with the
Patience of a
Pharaoh,
Pissing on the
People with the
Penal
Pianos of
Port-less
Portals, in the
Paperless
Points in the
Palpal
Pats of
Pettiness.
Poor, but
Prideful.

Quick to
Qualify the
Quitter for a
Quick
Quill in
Queer
Quivering of
Quickened
Questioning,
Queried in the
Quakiest of
Quandaries.
Quarantined to a
Quadrant, of
Quagmires.
Questing the
Quizzing of
Quotable
Quartets.

Relax in the
Relapse of
Realizations, and
React with
Racks of
Rolling
Rock to
Rate the
Rep of the
Rain-less.
Roar in
Rapturous
Rendering of the
Random
Readiness in the
Ravenous,
Rallying, of the
Retinal
Refracting of
Reality.
Realigning, the
Righteous
Rearing of the
Realm, and
Retrying.

Steer the
Serenity in
Sustainability, and
Slither through the
Seams of
Slumbered
Scenes.
Secrete the
Solo
Sobriety of
Sapped
Sassys,
Salivating upon a
Slew of
Stupidity,
Steadily
Supplied in
Stream,
Suitably
Slain in the
Steam of
Sanity.
Sadly, i
Still
Seem,
Salvagable.

Topple
The
Titans in
Tightened
Terror.
Torn
Territories
Turn
Turbulent in
The
Teething of
Totality.
The
Telemetry of
Time,
Tortured of
Torrent
Theories,
Told in
Turrets of
Transpiring
Terribleness, from
Tumultuous
Tikes unto
Teens,
Trading
Toys for
Tea.
Thrice
Thrusted upon by the
Tyranny of
Tanks.

Unanimous is the
Ugliness in the
Undertones of
Undreamed
Ulteriors
Undergoing the
Unclean in the
Urine of
Utterly
Upset
Users,
Uplifting the
Unfitting
Ushers in
Underwear-less,
Ulcers,
Undergoing the
Ultra of
Uberness.

Venial in
Vindictive
Viciousness of
Vindicated
Venom,
Venomously
Vilifying the
Vials of
Villainy in the
Veins of
Vampires,
Validity of
Valuable
Violence, is
Valiant in the
Vaporous
Vacationing of
Vagrant
Vices.

Why
Whelp in the
Weather
When you can
Wave to the
Whirling
Wisps,
Whipping Where the
Whimsical Were
Way back in the
Wellness of
Whip its,
Wrangling my
World,
With
Waterless
Worms, as
War shouts are
Wasted in the
Wackiest
Walks of
Waking
Wonder.

Xenophobic
Xenogogue, of
Xenomorphic
Xeons, turn
Xyphoid, in the
Xenomenia of my
X, my
Xenolalia of
X, to
XXX. im lost in the
Xenobiotic zen of
Xerces, on a
Xebec to the
X on the map.
Xenogenesis, in the
Xesturgy of my
Xyston
Xd

Yelling
Yearned from
Yelping.
Yard
Yachts
Yielding, to the
Yodel of
Yeah
Yeahs, to the
Yapping of
Yeasty
Yuppie
Yoga
Yanks, over
Yonder.
Yucking it up with the
Yawn of a
Yocal.

Zapped from a
Zone i
Zoomed with
Zeal in the
Zig and
Zag of my
Zapping
Zimming
Zest, upon a
Zombie-less
Zeplin.
Zealot,
Zionist, or
Zoologists,
Zeros or ones, just
Zip your
Zip locked. and
Zzzzz
Zzzz
Zzz
Zz
Z
Zero

this is a work in progress

You… you’ve got a lot going for you
You’re famous, you’re smart, and you’re powerful
but you are ugly.
You think we can’t see the evil under that gaudy, outdated sweater
but we can.
You think that fancy perfume you wear hides the scent of terror
but it doesn’t.
You think the makeup you put on daily covers the pure pain written on your face
but you are dead wrong
bipolar, you are hideous.
Sometimes, though, that’s easy to forget
when it feels like I can do anything
the world is my oyster. When I feel that ungodly fake happiness
that masquerades as wellness, when I’m with you
and I don’t want to leave.
That’s when you have me. Then you take the opportunity
to torment me.
The façade is gone, and it all comes rolling through the gates.
You scream a thousand voices into my head
you bind my body and I can feel your merciless crushing grasp
you convince me that everything is good, it’s not bad,
it’s bad, it’s not good,
this is good, that is bad, I need to say it over and over and over again
you take over, and I don’t stand a chance.
My peace of mind is gone, and my humanity is soon to follow
How did I let this happen to me? I’ll never know
but I’ve learned this:
You do take no for an answer
and I have a lot more control than I thought.
If I ask you to stay away, you’ll ask me why, and I’ll tell you
because I want to be better
and as long as I let you anywhere near me, I will always
be stuck here
on this nightmare of a rollercoaster.
So you accept that, thank God
thank you, bipolar, for setting me free,
at least once in a while.
I feel less alone without you because
I can love more fully, for longer, forever.
I can accept my imperfections rather
than suffer in the desire to be rid of them. to be rid of you.
I can be still and know
that it is ok.
I’m ok, you’re ok. and I intermittently have my shit together.
I’m sorry things are not working out between you and me,
bipolar disorder.
but I’m not sorry that without you,
my life is fucking beautiful.

love,
indrani
Pure LOVE Sep 2013

The paradox of our time in history
Is that we have taller buildings
But shorter tempers; wider freeways,
But narrower viewpoints;
We spend more, but have less;
We buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families;
More conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
More knowledge, but less judgment;
More experts, but more problems;
More medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much,
Spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
Drive too fast, get angry too quickly,
Stay up too late, get up too tired,
Read too seldom, watch TV too much,
And pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions,
But reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom,
And hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living,
But not a life;
We've added years to life, not life to years.

We've been all the way to the moon and back,
But have trouble crossing the street
To meet the new neighbor.
We've conquered outer space, but not inner space;
We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul;
We've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less;
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait;
We have higher incomes, but lower morals;
We have more food, but less appeasement;
We build more computers to hold more information
To produce more copies than ever,
But have less communication;
We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods
And slow digestion; tall men, and short character;
Steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace,
But domestic warfare;
More leisure, but less fun;
More kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes,
But more divorce; of fancier houses,
But broken homes.
These are days of quick trips,
Disposable diapers, throw away morality,
One-night stands, overweight bodies,
And pills that do everything from cheer to quiet to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window
And nothing in the stockroom;
A time when technology has brought this letter to you,
And a time when you can choose either to make a difference, or to just hit "Skip Ahead"...

Doctor Moorhead
John Stevens Jul 2010

When Mom died in June of 1991 Dad was rather lost,
like the rest of us. I started writing little letters in
big print so he could read them. He would not talk on
the phone so this was the only way to make contact.
I found out later that he carried them around in his
bib overall pocket and pulled them out from time to time.
Occasionally they would get washed and when Sharon
let me know I would run off another copy and mail it.
It became a means for me to remember the past and help
Dad at the same time. My kids loved to hear stories of
when I was a kid so I would recycle the stories between
the kids and Dad. Now as I read them it is a reminder of
things that have become a little fuzzy over the years,
also a reminder that I need to fill in the gaps of the stories
and leave them for my kids before it is too late. So here it is,
such as it is, if you are interested.

=======================================

    Letter­s to Dad

    Nov. 14, 1991

    Dear Dad,
    Your grandkiddies, as you call them,
    send you a big hug from Idaho. Sara is
    five and in Kindergarten this year and
    doing very well. Kristen is in the forth
    grade and made the Honor Roll list the
    first quarter of the year. We are very
    proud of both of our girls.

    Do you remember when toward late
    afternoon you and I would get in the car
    and “Drive around the block” as you
    always said? We would go up to Cliff’s
    and go east for a mile then down past
    Cleo Mae house and on back home. I
    remember you would stop at the junk
    piles and I would find neat stuff, like
    wheels from old toys, that I could make
    into my toys. I think of those times often.
    It was very enjoyable.

    I will be writing to you in the BIG PRINT
    so you can read it easier.

    It is snowing lightly here today. Supposed
    to be nasty weather for a while.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————–

    Dec. 3, 1991

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to say we love you. I miss very
    much talking to Mom on the phone and
    having you play Red Wing on your harmonica.

    I remember quite often when I was very
    young, 4 or 5, and we would go out to the
    field to change the water or something.
    The sand burrs would be so thick and you
    would pick me up on your back. I would
    put my feet into your back pockets and
    away we would go.

    These are the things childhood memories
    are supposed to be made of. Kristen and
    Sara love to hear the stories about when I
    was a kid and what you and I did
    together. I try with them to build the
    memories that they can tell their kids.
    Thanks Dad for a good childhood.

    Bye for now.
    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Jan. 12, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We went to Oregon for Christmas and
    had very good traveling weather. Do you
    remember when you and Mom went with
    us once to Oregon at Christmas and
    there were apples still hanging on the
    tree by the Williams house? We made
    apple pie from the apples that you
    picked. Turned out to be pretty good pie.
    There weren’t any apple on the tree this
    year. I thought of you picking the apples
    and bringing them into the kitchen in
    your hat if I remember right.

    We have had some pretty good times
    together. I was thinking the other day
    about a picture that I took of you about
    12 years ago. It captured you as I will
    always remember you. If I can locate it in
    all the stuff, I would like to get it blown
    up and submit it to the art section at the
    Twin Falls County Fair this year.

    I hope this finds you feeling well. I love
    you Dad. Kristen and Sara send you a
    kiss and a hug.

    Oh yes, I would like for you and Tracy to
    sit down sometime and talk about when
    you were a kid and record it on tape. I
    would like to put your remembrances
    down on paper.

    Bye for now.

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    Feb. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!

    Spring is on the way and soon you will be
    85. Just a spring chicken, right? I hope I
    can get around as well as you do by the
    time I am 85.

    Thanks for the letter. I will keep it for a
    very long time. It is the first letter I have
    received from my Father in 48 years.

    Talked to Ed the other day. He said he
    talked to you on the phone and that you
    were wearing your hearing aids and
    glasses. Great! Mom would be proud of
    you.

    Talked to a guy last week who is
    president of the John Deer tractor group
    here. He invited me to bring my “M”
    John Deer to the County Fair and
    participate in the tractor pull contest.
    Might just do that.

    Well the page is filling up using these big
    letters but if it makes it easier to read it is
    worth it.

    Bye for now Dad, I love you. Pennye,
    Kristen and Sara send their love too.

    Your son, John
    —————————————————-
    April 13, 1992

    Dad

    Though the years have past and you are now
    85, you are still the same as when I was a
    child. The memories of going with you to the
    field, when you were “riding the ditch”,
    surveying in a lateral, loading up the turkeys
    in the old Ford truck and taking them to the
    “Hoppers” - is just as if it were yesterday. I
    think of you playing Red Wing on the harp. I
    remember when during the looong cold
    winters we would play checkers. You would
    always beat me. I learned to play a good game.

    Not much has changed except we are both
    much older now. The values you did not speak
    but lived out in front of me has helped make
    me what I am today. I pray that I will be a
    good example before my children to help them
    on their way through life.

    On your 85th birthday, I want to wish you a
    Happy Birthday and thank you for being my
    Father.

    Love
    John

    April 13, 1992

    ————————————————–

    June 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I hope this finds you well. The Stevens
    family in Twin Falls Idaho is having a
    busy summer. Kristen just finished the
    fourth grade and was on the Honor Roll
    for the entire year. Sara will now be a
    big First Grader next year.

    The other day we went out to eat and
    Kristen had chicken and noodles. She
    said, “This tastes just like Grandma
    Nellie’s noodles.” I hope they can keep
    these memories fresh and remember all
    the good times we had back in Nebraska.
    It is difficult to accept that things have
    changed and will never be the same again.
    We miss the weekly phone calls to Nebraska.

    It is clouding up and we might get rain
    this week. It is very dry around here.
    Some of the canals will be cut off in July.

    Bye for now.

    Your Son John

    Love you Dad. I think of you often.

    —————————————————-

    June 22, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Hope you had a good “HAPPY PAPPY”
    day. This note is to wish you a late
    “HAPPY PAPPY” day.

    I was thinking the other day about the
    times you would take me roller skating
    out at the fair ground on Sunday
    afternoons. I really enjoyed those times. I
    remember how you could give a little hop
    and skate backwards. For me staying on
    my feet was a challenge.

    Sara will be 6 years old June 29. Seems
    like yesterday when she was born. Time
    has a way of passing very quickly.

    Love you lots Dad. The family sends their
    love too.

    Bye for now.
    John

    —————————————————

    Aug. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to let you know that your
    Idaho family love you. It was good to talk
    to you for a minute or two the other day.
    I miss the harmonica playing you would
    do over the phone.

    We are all well even though the place
    was covered with smoke from all the
    forest fires last week. It got a little hard
    on the lungs at times but the smoke has
    moved on now. Probably went over
    Nebraska.

    Talked to brother Ed the other day. He
    had just returned from from Nebraska.
    Ed said you looked good for 85.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Sept. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    I am sending a copy of what Mom sent
    me a few years ago of what she
    remembered about growing up. I wish I
    had more. How about sitting down with
    Tracy and Sharon and telling them some
    of the things you remember about
    growing up? They can record it and I will
    put it on paper. I would really like that.

    We are ok here in Idaho. Summer had
    disappeared and it is school time again.
    Kristen is in the 5th grade and Sara is in
    the 1st grade. The family went to the
    County Fair today for the second time.
    One day is enough for me.

    I think of you often and love you Dad.
    Thinking of the good times we had
    together while I was growing up always
    makes me happy. You and Mom raised
    four pretty good kids.
    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    —————————————————–

    Oct. 11, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    We are fine out in Idaho. We are having
    beautiful fall weather. It has not frozen
    enough to get our tomato plants yet.

    Kristen and Sara are doing very well in
    school. They brought home their mid
    term report cards and are getting A’s
    and a B or two.

    Remember when we would go out in the
    corn field and pick the corn by hand? I
    would drive the tractor and you and Ed
    and Wayne picked the corn and threw it
    in the trailer. You guys kept warm from
    the work and I was freezing on the
    tractor. Before that we used the horses
    named Brownie and - was it Blackie?
    The one that kept getting out up north by
    the ditch was Brownie. He figured out
    how to open the gate.

    I remember the times that you were
    hauling cane or sorghum from the field
    east of Mercers and I would ride behind
    the wagon on my sled.

    I had a very good childhood really.
    Thanks for being my Dad.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ——————————————————-

    Nov. 10, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    It is snowy here and cold. I have a hole in
    the back of the house I must get sealed up
    to keep the cold out. We are redoing this
    part for the kitchen.

    Kristen and Sara made the Honor Roll
    this quarter in school. Kristen’s teacher
    said he wished he had a whole room full
    of Kristens to teach.

    Sorry the phone connection was so bad
    when I called the other day. It was good
    to here you say “hello hello….” any way.
    Glad you are feeling better.

    Your account in the credit union is about
    $34,000 now.

    I was just thinking back when we were
    cultivating corn with that “crazy wheel
    cultivator”. The one that you drove the
    tractor and I rode on the cultivator and
    used the foot pedals to steer it down the
    rows. I remember sometimes it cleaned
    out some of the corn row. Cultivator
    blight, right? It was kind of hard to keep
    straight. Those were the days.

    I keep remembering little bits of things
    while growing up. Sometime I will put
    them all together for my kids to read
    about the “good ole days”.

    God Bless you Dad. We love you from
    Idaho.

    Bye for now.

    John

    ————————————————
    Dec. 17, 1992

    Dear Dad,

    The snow has fallen and the kids stayed
    home from school today. The wind is now
    blowing so it will begin drifting the road
    shut. Besides that the whole family is sick
    with a cold.

    We are putting together a Christmas gift
    to you but it won’t be ready for
    Christmas. It is something that you can
    watch over and over if you want. So
    Merry Christmas for now.

    Last night was the kids’ school Christmas
    program. Kristen started playing the
    flute this fall and played with a group for
    the first time this week. She did very well
    and I got it on video.

    Time to get this in the mail. Love you
    Dad.
    Bye for now.

    Kristen and Sara send you a kiss and a
    hug.
    Your son, John

    ——————————————————

    Jan. 11, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    We have a lot of snow on the ground
    now. I was telling the family about the
    winter of 49 where the snow covered the
    door and you had to scoop the snow into
    the house to dig a tunnel out then haul
    the snow out through the tunnel. That
    was a 15 foot drift wasn’t it? It sure
    looked big to this 6 year old. Then the
    plane flew over the house for a few days
    until we could get out and signal an OK.
    Those were the days! What I do not
    remember is how you took care of the
    cows and stuff during this time. I
    remember being sick and Wayne took the
    horse and rode into Broadwater to get
    oranges and something else. The big
    white dog we had went along and was hit
    by a car. Wayne had to use a fence post
    to finish him off. I remember feeling very
    sad about the old dog.
    We haven’t had this much snow in 8
    years.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all.
    Bye for now. Love you Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————-

    Feb. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    When the kids go to bed they say “Tell us
    a story about when you were a kid on the
    farm”. So I tell them things that I write
    to you and a LOT that I don’t write to
    you. The other day going to school we
    were talking about one of the first snow
    falls we had this year. I spun the van
    around in circles in the parking lot and
    they thought that was GREAT fun. Then
    I told them about the time that their
    Grandpa cut some circles in the Kelly
    School yard and hit a pole with the back
    fender. Do you remember that? I
    remember Mom bringing it up every now
    and then. Then there was the time you
    got a little close to the guard posts along
    the highway just west of Broadwater and
    ripped the spare tire and bracket off the
    old Jeep. Of course none of US ever did
    anything like that. HA.

    It is good to remember back and tell the
    kids about the things we did “in the old
    days”. They find it hard to believe there
    was no TV and I walked through rattle
    snake country to go to the neighbors to
    play. It WAS a good time for me and I
    had a GOOD Dad to help me grow up.
    Thanks again Dad. You and Mom did a
    very good job on us four kids. Sometimes
    we don’t show it often enough but I for
    one thank you and LOVE you.

    Soon you will have another birthday.
    Before you know it you will be 90. I
    should be so lucky.

    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all. Bye for now. Love you
    Dad
    The family send a BIG Hi!!!!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Mar. 9, 1993

    Dear Dad,
    Time has a way of disappearing so
    rapidly. I was going to write you a note
    two weeks ago and now here we are.

    It looks like spring is just about to arrive.
    I am ready for it. I’ll bet you are ready to
    get out side and do something. Do you
    miss not farming? I think often about the
    farm and the things we used to do. The
    kids always ask for stories about being on
    the farm. I tell them about raising a
    garden, rattlesnakes, floods, the BIG
    ONE in 49, anything that comes to mind.

    The family went to Sun Valley about 70
    miles north of here Sat. with Kristen’s
    Girl Scout troop for a day of ice skating.
    Pennye used the VCR and played back
    their falls and no falls. It reminded me of
    the times you would get your old clamp-
    on skates on a cut a figure on the ice. I
    never was very good at it. You could hop
    up and turn around. I couldn’t stay of
    my back side and head. I still have a big
    dent in the back of my head from the last
    time I tried. Nearly killed me. So much
    for that.

    Next month you will have another
    birthday. 86 years! Before you know it
    you will be 90.

    I paid your insurance for another year
    I trust you are feeling well. Our prayers
    are with you all. Bye for now. Love you Dad
    The family send a BIG HUG !!!! The kids
    still talk about Grandma chicken and
    noodles and how much they enjoyed
    eating them. So did I. I will miss that.

    Your son, John

    —————————————————-

    Mar. 25, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    We were having very nice weather for a
    few days this week but now it is rainy
    and cold again. This morning there was
    an earthquake south of Portland, OR.
    Pennye called her Mom in Salem and it
    rattled their house a bit. Everyone was all
    excited.

    Crops will be going in pretty soon.
    Remember that “crazy wheeled”
    cultivator we used on corn? You drove
    the tractor and I had to “drive” the
    cultivator with the foot pedals. I
    remember a few times when the thing
    had a mind of it’s own and “cultivator
    blight” set in. I was happy when we
    didn’t use that thing any more.

    I was telling the kids about the old cow
    that pushed her way through the fences.
    You were not there that day when I sent
    my dog out to chase her back in. My dog
    chased her around and around until she
    finally crashed through the fence where
    she went through. I had to take the fence
    stretcher and stuff and repair a section
    of fence. But it was worth it. She did not
    get out anymore.

    The kids want a “tell me something that
    happened to you on the farm when you
    were a kid, Dad” story every night. It is
    getting hard to recall new material. I
    guess I will have to start re-cycling the
    stories.

    It won’t be long now and you will have
    another birthday. 68!

    Our prayers are with you all. Bye for
    now. Love you Dad. The family send a
    BIG HUG!

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    April 12, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Well, you made another year - 68 now.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Your family in Twin Falls, Idaho wish
    you another GOOD year.

    Kristen and Sara made it on the Honor
    Roll at school again. Sara started taking
    piano lessons and is taking to it like a
    duck to water. She will practice until she
    has it perfect. She has a good ear for
    timing and pitch. Kristen is playing
    classical music now. I now know why you
    and Mom always wanted me to play my
    guitar when I was home. It is VERY nice
    to sit and enjoy the music your kids
    make. Probably the same reason I like
    hearing you play the harmonica. Never
    get tired of it. Like the stories you would
    tell. I could hear them over and over and
    still enjoy them. Ever now and then, you
    would add something just a little bit
    more. How I miss that.

    Time is short this time so will say bye for
    now. This was supposed to have been
    mailed last Friday. Ran out of time.

    Our prayers are with you all. Love you
    Dad. The family send a BIG HUG!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    April 23, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    
Hope you had a good Birthday - 86. Now
    shoot for 87.

    Found this guy in my computer. Sort of
    reminded me of what you might think if
    you got a tie for your birthday. “What
    do I do with this?”

    All is well on the Western Frontier
    (Idaho). I will be going to some training
    in California the first week in June. The
    family gets to go along. We will stop over
    and visit brother Ed going or coming
    home.

    It has been raining here. Farmers are
    having fun getting the crops planted.
    Peas and beets should have been in
    already.

    Do you remember using the old walking
    plow to plow the garden spot east of the
    house? That was kind of fun running
    that thing. I liked to run the old slip too.
    Those days are gone and only exist in
    memories. I was telling Kristen last night
    about raising sheep while in high school.
    Taking care of the lambs and bottle
    feeding some of them. The kids enjoy
    listening to the stories. Puts them right to
    sleep. Ha.

    Bye for now. Our prayers are with you
    all. Love you Dad. The family send a BIG
    HUG!

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    May 10, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Just a note to let you know we are all ok.
    Time creeped up on me this time and do
    not have much time to write.

    Looking at the weather maps, looks like
    you all had some bad weather in
    Nebraska. We have had a fair amount of
    rain last week but this week looks to be
    sunny. Farmers are busy out in the fields
    while it is dry.

    We had two mothers in church last
    Sunday that were both 93. If you are not
    careful you might catch up with them.
    Ha.

    Bye for now. Our prayers are with you
    all. Love you Dad. The family send a BIG
    HUG!

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    June 11, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    My how time flies. It is June already and
    I am three months behind. I was sent to
    San Jose, CA last week for training on
    computers. The family and Pennye’s
    Mom went with me. They had fun while I
    worked. We went back up the coast on I5
    to Salem and left the family there for two
    weeks. On the 19th I will go retrieve
    them.

    Talked to Brother ED two weeks ago. Did
    not get to see him on our way through
    Reno as they were out of town. Maybe
    next time.

    The hay is down around here and has
    been rained on many times. Will not be
    worth much. I just remembered how we
    mowed the hay with the old horse
    mower. I would ride the back seat and
    raise the bar on the corners. I remember
    my bottom being itchy from all the
    vibration of the mower. We raked the
    stuff with a buck rake or side delivery
    rake. The GOOD OLD DAYS. Do not
    recall our hay getting rained on much. I
    do remember trapping gophers in the
    alfalfa. The water would disappear down
    those hole for ever.

    Hope this find you feeling well. Now that
    summer is here and you have good
    walking weather, it nice to be out side.

    Bye for now. Our prayers are with you
    all. Love you Dad. The family send a BIG
    HUG!

    Oh yes. Two weeks ago I was in the VW
    garage when the foreman had a heart
    attack. I was elected to do CPR on him
    until the emergency team arrived. They
    say I and the other guy helping saved his
    life. Isn’t that something? I never
    thought I would use the training in CPR.
    One never knows.

    Your son, John

    ————————————————————

    July 12, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Happy Father’s Day a little late. I don’t
    know how time gets by me so fast. I
    haven’t been feeling so good for 6 weeks.
    Always tired. I think I am picking back
    up now.

    Well, I just hit the 50 year mark. I called
    it the half century mark, the kids think
    WOW! Started wearing bifocal glasses so
    I have finally arrived - don’t know where
    yet.

    The wagon train is coming through here
    tracing the Oregon Trail. Today they will
    be at the Stricker Ranch south of here a
    few miles. Same trail that Meeker took
    some time back.

    Sara turned 7 years June 29. Now a big
    second grader. Kristen will be 12 on
    Sept. 3. Kristen went to church camp
    early this morning for a week. Before we
    know it, they will be grown and gone. I
    know how you and Mom must have felt
    every time the kids would be home and
    half to leave again.

    I miss Mom a lot and always will. You
    and Mom did a pretty good job of raising
    4 kids. Times were pretty hard some
    times but we always managed some how.
    Thanks again for all you have given to us
    kids.

    Bye for now.

    The Family sends their love. Love you
    Dad.

    Your son, John

    —————————————————–

    Aug 11, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Can’t believe how the time is flying. It
    seems like a week ago that I sent the last
    letter. I am working hard on the kitchen
    getting the cabinets put in. They have
    been setting around for over a year,
    waiting. Finally getting some energy back
    to do the work.

    I remember when I was in my teens that
    you could out work me any day.
    Remember when we would stack hay
    with Amateis Farmhand? You on the
    stack and me on the tractor. We made
    quite a good team. I could get the bales
    on the Farmhand such that you had very
    few bales to move. Our hay was loose if I
    remember right and Ameteis’ was baled.
    I enjoyed doing the work and looked
    forward to it.

    Talked to Brother Ed the other day and
    he said you need some checks.

    Are you out running foot races these
    days? I trust this finds you feeling well.

    Bye for now.

    The Family sends their love. Kristen will
    be going to Girl Scout camp next week.
    She is now as tall a her mother.

    Love you Dad.

    Your son, John

    ——————————————————

    Sept. 14, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Summer is almost gone. I am NOT ready
    for winter again. Did not have time to
    enjoy summer yet. Here, we really didn’t
    have much summer. It started out cool
    and rainy and stayed that way until late
    July. The beans really look sad. Some
    fields didn’t even close the rows.

    I put in for a job in Seattle, WA a while
    back. They called and interviewed me
    Sept. 7. I think all went very well. I
    should know some time this week or first
    part of next week. Kind of makes me
    nervous. Haven’t done anything like this
    for 26 years. That is how long we have
    been in Idaho. Pennye’s Mother will be
    happy since it would be a three hour
    drive away instead of 10 or 11 hours. The
    job is 2 blocks away from the University
    of Washington so maybe I could take
    some courses in computer over the next 5
    years.

    Went to the County Fair last week. They
    had a bunch of old engines set up and
    running. Some were belted to grinders
    and other things. Reminded me of the
    time when I was rather small and you
    had a field of “something” south of the
    house. A BIG tractor was running a
    thrasher and a bunch of men were
    pitching shocks into it. I remember those
    BIG stacks of straw. The machines had
    just come from Joe’s place. Mom fixed
    lots of fried chicken, mashed potatoes
    and gravy. Mom had some barrels or
    something with boards across them so
    the men could sit down and eat. I can
    taste that fried chicken NOW. It was
    great!

    Sure miss Mom’s fried chicken. In the
    early years when Pennye and I would
    come for a visit, Mom always had some
    chicken in the freezer to fry. I miss those
    big noodles and chicken that Mom
    always make too. Can’t seem to find any
    noodles that tasted that good any where
    else.

    The Family sends their love. The Kids
    are in school - Kristen in the 6th
    
grade and Sara in the 2nd grade.

    Bye for now.
    Love you Dad.

    Your son, John

    P.S.
    Soon you will be out raking all those
    leaves that fall off the trees.

    —————————————————————

    Oct. 8, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Well, I did not get the job in Seattle. I
    was well qualified but they had someone
    there in mind already. Family is a little
    disappointed, maybe next time.

    I am sending Kristen’s and Sara’s school
    pictures. They have grown up a lot in the
    last two years. Kristen is taller than
    Pennye now and only twelve. She is
    taking ballet dance and really likes it.
    The other night the kids had to have a
    “Tell me a story when you were a kid on
    the farm” story. I thought of the time
    when you bought shocks of cane or
    something in a field way over east. We
    had to go in the pasture north of the
    ditch and over to the fence half mile east
    and then to the field. You had an old
    two wheel trailer and I would tie my little
    red wagon on the back and ride there.
    When the wagon was loaded I sometime
    rode on top of the load on the way back
    home. Funny how you remember things
    like this that you haven’t thought of in
    years. I had a great time growing up.
    Things were sometimes hard but never
    bad. I remember the time, I thing it was
    49, that you got your finger in the fan
    belt of the car. And the times it was sooo
    cold you would put corn cobs in a scoop
    shovel, light them on fire and put them
    under the car or tractor to warm up the
    oil so the engine would turn over. And of
    course the times the engine caught on
    fire. Some times the only thing that would
    start was the old Jeep. Great fun.

    Have to get back to work. The Family
    sends their love. Bye for now. Love you
    Dad.

    Your son, John

    ——————————————————–

    Oct. 12, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Not much has happened since the 8th.
    Had to take Kristen in to the doctor and
    get some medicine. She is getting over
    chest congestion but still can not go out
    side.

    I was thinking the other day about the
    time we had just left the house and was
    driving down to the hill south. Brother
    Ed was coming up the road and our car
    had NO BRAKES. We coasted pass him
    a couple hundred yards. Ed backed up
    and said something about “dropping a
    rock to” slow us down and cutting a hole
    in the floor so you could drag your feet to
    slow down. I can’t believe we escaped
    running into thing while the car had no
    brakes.

    I remember the time Ed was teaching
    Mom to drive. One of the many attempts
    to teach Mom to drive. She came around
    the corner at the hill south of the farm
    and the Raleigh Man was coming around
    the corner too. Some one ended up off
    the road climbing the hill. A few days
    later the Raleigh Man died of a heart
    attack. We always kidded Mom that she
    must have scared him to death. She
    would always say, “Oh you!” I told that
    to my kids some time back. They thought
    it was funny.

    It is hard to believe winter is just around
    the corner. I did not get to enjoy summer
    yet. It was cold most of the time this
    summer. Did take the kids fishing
    though. Sara had her pole laying on the
    dock. Suddenly it took off over toward
    the edge of the dock. I jumped up
    grabbed it as it was sinking about a foot
    under the water. What ever it was, it
    broke the line. We had already lost one
    pole in that area the year before.

    The Family sends their love as always.
    Bye for now. Love you Dad.

    Your son, John

    ——————————————————-

    Oct 12, 1993

    Dear Sharon And Tracy

    All is well on the Western Frontier. How is the Eastern Frontier
    getting along? Have to start gearing up for a long, hard winter.
    Winters are depressing to me sometimes. Sort of get cabin fever.
    Always happy to see spring coming around the corner.

    Tracy, when you compliment a women, it is better to say “You look
    like the breath of Spring” than “You look like the end of a long, hard
    winter”. The last one leaves something to be desired. Haven’t figured
    what yet, but time will tell.

    Hunting season is upon us out here. A guy ask me the other day if I
    hunt. I told him, “No I shop. Just go down to the store and buy what I
    want. That way I don’t have to hang the leftovers on the wall.” He
    looked at me kind of funny and chuckled on the way out the door. I
    get to use that line several times a year.

    Bye for now,

    John

    ————————————————————-

    Nov. 10, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    Are you all fattened up for the winter?
    Sort of like the bears, put it on then take
    a good long nap.

    It is supposed to snow this weekend. We
    are scheduled to go to Utah this weekend
    with the kids for a quiz meet on Genesis.
    May have to cancel it and stay home. I do
    not want to run the risk of having an
    accident. Would not want a meet on the
    beginning to be the end of us.

    Was telling the kids at bed time about
    the coon we had when I was a kid. First
    time they both fell asleep before I
    finished. The next night Kristen fell
    asleep and Sara stayed awake to the end.
    The third night they both stayed awake
    to the finish. Now that I am practiced in
    telling that story, I will write it down for
    the future.

    Reminds me. You used to tell me stories
    about stuff sometimes over and over, but I
    never got tired of hearing them. Every
    now and then something new would be
    introduced. Sort of like my kids. They
    want to here the same stuff over and over.

    The 80 Buick is out of working order
    now. This summer I went to Oregon and
    brought back Pennye’s little sister’s old
    69 Volkswagen that she got when she
    graduated form high school. Well, I
    worked it over on a Sunday afternoon
    and I am now driving it to work. The
    kids ride to school in it and think they
    are “riding in style” since no one else has
    one. It will be Kristen’s to drive when she
    is ready.

    Time is running out. Must get this in the
    mail because tomorrow is a holiday.

    The Family sends their love as always.
    Bye for now. Love you Dad.

    Your son, John

    ——————————————————–

    Nov. 26, 1993

    Dear Dad,

    It is COLD here the day after Turkey
    Day. It was -4 this morning. I know that
    is warm compared to Nebraska weather,
    but I can’t take the cold like I use to.

    The four of us had a turkey dinner and
    became uncomfortable from eating too
    much. Then we played some games the
    kids liked. Kristen wanted to take me on
    playing checkers. I told her about when I
    was a boy and the long winters with NO
    TV. I said, “Don’t expect to win playing
    checkers cause I will not let you win. You
    have to earn it. When my Dad taught me
    to play checkers, he won almost all the
    time for years. But as I gained
    experience, I started winning more often.
    Soon I was winning most of the time
    after a number of years.” Remember
    our checker playing days? You played a
    good game and taught me to think, which
    was a valuable tool even today. Then I
    remember Brother Ed coming home
    from Korea where he was checker
    champ. He just had to play me a game.
    He won the first game and I took the
    next two games. Then he said, “Let’s
    make it three out of five”. I won those
    too. End of checker game. So you had
    taught me well. Thanks Dad.

    I have all the letters I have written to you
    in my computer. Some day I will take all
    the “remember when” things and write
    down more for each one so my kids will
    know what I and their Grandpa did
    together. They love to here stories about
    “the old days”. Come to think of it, so
    do I.

    The Family sends their love. Bye for now.
    Love you Dad.

    Your son, John

    ———————————————————

    Dec 10, 1993

    Well it is about Christmas time again. Also time to be sick or get
    sick, which is sort of a circular thing is seems. We are in varying
    stages of wellness or sickness - depends on how you look at it. Idaho
    is getting hit pretty hard right now. I haven’t felt too well this week so
    this is going to be short.

    We had our annual employees Christmas dinner today at noon. Some
    very good grits were served. Pennye came out and chewed on a piece
    of turkey with me. Problem with this is trying to stay awake in the
    afternoon with the sun coming in the window where my chair is
    located. Had to get up and go see if any leftovers were available for
    the munching. Found a piece of cake that was still in the conference
    room. I must remember to take the pan home this evening.

    Hope this find you all feeling OK. Have a very Merry Christmas with
    the extra green.

    Me and mine wish you Happy Holidays.

    Love you,

    John & Pennye
    and Kristen and Sara

    Almost forgot. We have a 69 VW bug now that came from Pennye’s
    little sister. It was her graduation present 8 or 9 years ago. The kids
    think this is the greatest thing going. I will fix it up and give it a new
    paint job in the next few years. Kristen can hardly wait to drive it. I
    let them steer when we are going to school. BIG stuff.

    ———————————————————————–

    Jan. 4 10, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    I trust you had a good holiday at
    Christmas. The weather was very nice
    when we traveled to Oregon at
    Christmas. I took the opportunity to just
    do nothing and read a couple of books.
    Time seems to slip by fast any more.

    We will be coming back this spring or
    summer. Probably about the same time
    that brother Ed will be coming back.

    I started this letter on the 4th. So shall
    hurry and take it to the Post Office.

    The Family sends their love. The kids are
    working hard in school. Bye for now.
    Love you Dad.

    John & Pennye
    Kristen & Sara

    ———————————————————–

    Feb. 11, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    We finally had a snow storm that put the breaks on in
    Idaho. All the schools are closed and the kids are
    happy. The Lab is closed but I made it to work anyway.
    There are cars and trucks off the road everywhere.
    Great fun!!! I am supposed to go to Portland Oregon
    next week but I think I might just stay home. I do not
    like driving on bad roads any more. This is the first
    snow storm we have had this winter and probably the
    last.

    I remember the winter of ‘49 where the snow was 12 to
    15 feet deep in front of the house. You brought the
    scoop shovels in the house before hand and when the
    snow and wind stopped, I remember you opened the
    door and scooped the snow into the house until there
    was a tunnel to the outside, then hauled all the snow out
    through the tunnel. The airplanes flew over the place
    ever so often until we emerged to signal that we were
    ok. Don’t remember how the cattle faired during this
    time. Were they in the barn or what?

    I do remember that a passenger train was stranded east
    of Alliance for most of a week. I remember Wayne
    going on horse back to Broadwater to get something
    because I was sick. The big white dog we had was hit
    by a car and Wayne had to take a fence post and put
    him out of his misery.

    You remember in 50 or 51 when you went to a John
    Deer Show at Broadwater and you won the drawing?
    A model John Deer “A” tractor. I still have that
    tractor. A little thin on the rubber tires but still ok. I
    was a happy kid when you gave it to me.

    Well better get this in the mail. The family sends their
    love. Love you Dad. Soon spring will be here and time
    to walk about. We will be coming back to Nebraska
    this summer.

    Bye for now,

    John

    ————————————————————

    Mar. 11, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    Since the last time, we drove the van to Portland. I stayed
    with the kids in the hotel and Pennye stayed with her
    brother and mother at her brother’s place. By Friday I was
    not feeling very well. It seems that when I eat something
    high in sugar it affects me in strange ways. Had a bunch of
    tests done. Found out that my heart is ok but I am
    hypoglycimic, can not handle sugar any more. Isn’t that
    great? Better that the heart problems first expected. It has
    been really hectic around here the last few weeks.

    I will need the Nebraska Tax forms to get your taxes
    figured for last year. Must get to moving on ours and yours
    very soon.

    The weather has been nice here for the most part.
    Yesterday it rained a little and it looks like a little more
    today. But winter is almost over. I really enjoy spring and
    seeing things beginning to grow. I think back to the time
    you would be plowing the field or planting corn with the
    lister. The smell of the fresh turned ground and kangaroo
    rats running around. My dog would run him self ragged
    catching them. Those are good days to remember. If it got
    a little hot we would go take a nap in the tree row. I had a
    special tree that I could climb almost to the top.

    The family sends their love. Kristen took Honorable
    Mention at Portland playing the piano. There were 360
    participant in music. Eight got a blue ribbon and eight
    received Superior and the piano group. She also received
    a Superior Rating in piano and Very Good in her science
    project in Nampa, ID last week. Sara and her little friend
    got a Superior Rating in their dance routine in Nampa also.

    Love you Dad.

    Bye for now,

    John

    —————————————————————

    Apr.. 11, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    Tax time is upon us and I must work hard this week. The
    process should only take five or six hours.

    Now that you are eight seven (87) years old, do you have
    any words of wisdom? Like the old gent that said, “If I
    had known I was going to live so long I would have taken
    better care of myself.” It is hard to believe that I am
    almost 51. It seems like yesterday when I left home to go
    to college. Remember when there were breaks and I
    would come home and work on the tractors and stuff so
    you could get the planting done before I finished the
    school year? I enjoyed working the farm.

    It has been cold and rainy here most of last week. But
    not as bad as Nebraska from what I see on TV. I am
    ready for some warm.

    Kristen played the piano for the first time in church
    yesterday. She did very well. Kristen and Sara will sing
    a song next Sunday in church. Kristen has been
    practicing “Red River Valley” to record on tape for you.
    Maybe we should just put every thing together on tape
    and send it.

    Have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Hope you have a big cake
    and icecream. Eat one for me.

    The family sends their love. Love you Dad.

    Bye for now,

    John

    ——————————————————–

    June 10, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    I hope this finds you feeling better. It is no fun to be in a
    hospital. You work on getting better - you hear?

    Pennye left for Oregon the 7th. Her Mother had a
    double heart bypass on Wed. and seems to be doing OK.
    Pennye stayed the night last night at the hospital with
    her mother. She will be gone probably all next week also.
    The kids and I are keeping up the home front. It gets a
    little hectic at times but we are doing OK.

    Pennye will be having surgery July 7. That will take two
    or three weeks to recover I suppose. We are having a fun
    summer.

    I think occasionally about the time when I was seven.
    Mom fell and was in the Dalton hospital for a while. I
    remember going up to the second floor and East facing
    room and sitting on the bed for a while. It was a
    lonesome time for me until Mom got home. Some things
    you never get over. Missing talking to people. I still want
    to call Mom on the phone now and then. We will all
    meet again some day in Heaven. I am praying for you
    Dad that all is well with you.

    Got to go pick up the kids. Kristen got invited to go
    swimming this afternoon. I have a wedding rehearsal to
    run the sound for tonight and tomorrow.

    The family sends their love. Love you Dad.
    Bye for now,

    John

    ———————————————————

    July 21, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    Pennye got back from Oregon where her mother had
    heart bypass surgery. Her Mother is doing fairly well but
    not up to speed yet.

    Pennye had surgery on the 6th of July. I have been busy
    taking care of the kids and her. This week returned to
    work full time with a lot of stuff stacked up waiting for
    me. I had a bug or something most of the week. Did not
    feel well for a few days.

    I was just thinking of the times we would go to the
    diversion where the water went into Browns Creek. How
    you would drive posts and build things to divert water
    into the ditch. How the big CAT would push up a dam
    across the river. I had a lot of fun going with you. I
    remember when a storm would come up and you would
    rush up to the spillway and remove some boards so the
    ditch would not over flow and break. You did a very
    good job riding ditch. I remember when I was very
    young and you were called a ditch rider. I envisioned
    that some how you made the car straddle the ditch to ride
    it. Then the first time I went with you all you did was
    ride along side of the ditch. I thought that
    was very strange.

    I enjoy remembering the old times. They were good
    times for this kid. Thanks again for being my Dad.

    I am sorry about you having to be in Heritage of
    Bridgeport. I wish I could be there for you. I think of
    you often and pray that you can be happy there.

    The family sends their love. Sara and Kristen played
    their last ball games this week. They had a good time.

    Love you Dad.
    Bye for now,

    John

    ———————————————————
    Aug. 5, 1994
    Dear Dad,

    Pennye finally got ALL the stitches out yesterday. She
    still is leaking some at the seams but coming along OK.

    The kids start school in three weeks. Where has summer
    gone?

    Aug. 8
    Got side tracked some place. Called and talked to Tracey
    Saturday. He said you are not happy at Heritage. Also
    talked to one of the staff there. She said you may need to
    have an operation if the infection does not go away. I
    wish I could be there to help you through this time. How
    about moving to Idaho?

    Brother Ed will be back in Nebraska the end of this
    month.

    I was just thinking about the times we would get into the
    car and “ride around the block”. Always something
    interesting to see. It would be nice to go for rides again
    and enjoy the cool of the evening and see the rabbits and
    birds and all the livestock along the way. When times get
    a little hard to take I think back on all the good times a
    had growing up. Some how it tends to put things back in
    perspective.

    Must get this sent today. I hope you are in better spirits.
    The family sends their love.

    Love you Dad.

    Bye for now and we are praying for you.

    John

    ————————————————————-
    Oct. 5, 1994

    Dear Dad,

    Time has flown by. Kristen is much
    taller than her Mother now. She will be
    looking me in the eye before long. She is
    a big 13 years old now. We have a
    teenager in the house. The other day we
    took the 69 VW Beetle to a parking lot
    and she jumped into the driver seat. She
    did very well driving around and
    shifting. She will be a good driver when
    she is 16.

    I remember driving the tractors when I
    was about 11 years old. You and Ed and
    Wayne would pick corn into baskets by
    hand and throw it into the wagon behind
    the tractor. It was so cold that I just
    about froze. You guys kept warm
    working but I got very cold.

    Bye for now.

    John

Martin Narrod Apr 2014

Dearest. The canopy alike. A breath, it walks from my lips and into the quiet of this desert. I am only eyes The infinite mind. Inflammable and still up in question. Life burns up the soul of man like nothing else. There is only the space between ego and humility that matters. My feet tread lightly, the mirth of my moor, the hill where I rise in the day, every day I climb awake and champion the music of the sun, its billions of hearts and eyes. Two years younger and I thought I owned this. Beauty. Love. Where does it come from? Out of the pages of a book or between the bindings of its casing? This mesmerizing charm light splitting the lines of my hands and my feet and my face. I wear it with me like a child's toy into the city when I go, the country where I sleep. I prayed for your wellness, took you by car into the pastures beyond the mountains overlooking the ocean, into the high points of the low and verdant valleys where the cows and horses fed on fertile grapeleaves and wild grasses. Nearly the wind took us to sea. Hot sand beaches where we laid in low tide and let the water spread among our limbs until we couldn't tell where you ended or I began, where our breaths tasted the same. I make you in my hand. Eat you from the tips of my fingers. One is the beach and the day, where I prayed to let your weight never be taken from me, that I should carry you through the softness of the sea and through its shadowy empires. Man becomes invincible, his beast disappears, only the blue of his eyes remain. The black of his pupil is the oil that makes us all the same. And the round world floats its children through its kingdoms so that they may eat until the sunlight touches their eyes again. Your hands on my teeth, in my mouth, against my head. I could not have been closer unless I lived inside of you. Time takes all of the words out of history and leaves only the faces and landscapes. A glint of redolent flower that swept through the air, or a hot meal that drew the day long. I am only your eyes. Blue and green. The jazz of you in my spine, against my chest, your hands piercing through my chest past my ribs and holding my plum red heart in your tiny fingers, upright and firm, sharing every breath. The sea that is my sister your brother, that is my mother your father, that opens the soul and lets the sky blue sky weep its tepid orange sunlight deep into our pores. I am never richer nor poorer in the milk wet silver light of the winter moon. What would you have of me to do? A walk of bare feet through the pinetum? An antiquary in the empire of romance?  So many hands I have brought to my face. So many words I've took to my pen. These are the names that take me from you. The space between insatiable lust so many states far away. I dream of your crown of gold on a Saturday, we walked Goethe in the Summer, seven months and fifteen days ago.

Written for Joni Dobrov
Hal Loyd Denton Aug 2012

Variables
Through an old church of considerable size the light shined through stained glass windows it was
Reproduced on a number of stone pillars that stood at a distance cold gray stone took on a liveliness
It rose to enthralling and then continued to blaze its power smites the eye enchanting escapes from the
Lips wondrous makes its bow in the soul there is another light that shines it strikes the heart
Unconditional exquisite light shines the lighted one enters the chamber where the heart abides this once airy sweet place of innocence is
Now tightly wound as a cord to his knowing thoughts this is a place of unbelievable dark foreboding but
He knows this mystery it also is a place that holds a profound gratification never be fooled sin is
Desirable the whole world is dying in its throes of pleasure then the heart itself black as ebony if a mere
Mortal would glance at it they would be destroyed we die gradually from its emanating force that is
Hidden so deep the great physician waste no time as the fragmented stained glass window glows with
Different colors he rather than imitates he produces the original color that is whitest purest love it
Strikes the ebony surface it appears to only be dissolved and drawn within without effect then the color
He uses is finest and rarest gold not ornamental this represents the golden grain that is the telling when
He says I am the bread of life and no where on earth is there a place of such hunger as in the human
Heart that has sold itself as a salve into sin many is the delicate morsels but there is no table spread
Prepared by the master for his Childs desperate need to be fed to brace and strengthen them for battle
There runs throughout the human family a weakness to do the right thing to produce true wellness
The second color is silver he lays this behind the gold making the word come to life apples of gold in
Pictures of silver the silver is mercy we come with the load of guilt mercy tenderly removes the straps
That has held the load because the straps have dug deep and cut into the shoulders mercy enfolds
The shaking tearful one and assuages with great assurance nothing has been done that the next color
Can’t resolve yes the savior’s red and pure blood silver white and the extraordinary essence that is
Wonder not a color but one of his names and he shall be called wonderful counselor almighty God
The everlasting farther prince of peace you little know these words have for ever destroyed the doctrine
Of the trinity that is the next color blue and never was it more profound or right than the saying true
Blue this is the game changer this is the dazzling beautiful light that can and will turn blackest ebony to
Purest white this vanguard is the measureless endless refuge of all human kind it continues and ends
With this the whole truth that sets every human totally free baptism is in Jesus name not in the titles
Of the father the son and the Holy Ghost and the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit is evidenced by
Speaking in other tongues folks I have to meet you in judgment the word says this truth if you desire
Truths on the inward parts it will be reveled to you go to the word and prove these words wrong it can’t
Be done the heart of darkness has been cured and is now the inward home the holy temple of the
Crucified lamb that was slain before the foundations of the world for you and me
Soul so fair all the castles of Europe the grandeur of earths
Mountain ranges all combined cannot compare to you in story and lore there is no greater picture
But we behold our faces and lament how low and insignificant we are this is a natural scale we use
We down grade that which is the apple of His eye we slumber while wonder advances our cause with
Love renown it has these adversaries ever present man divides himself against Heaven for earthy gain
That isn’t worth one ounce of his interest but he will gamble his eternal soul for days of pleasure and
Put up a wall that cannot be breached even by divine light and love that is the essence and fabric of
Eternal Paradise nothing else could build your everlasting home anything else would fail it’s not gates of
Pearl or streets of purest gold that is just the over exuberance of his uncontainable love but only the
Heart as a flower will open to love that being the central need of every human life in disasters that are
Frequent in varied places all say those material things can be replaced but loved ones are irreplaceable
If Heaven has a unbreakable slogan or code it is that same word God has it behind His throne its written
In the savage glory of Calvary’s blood that none perish my I only son I gave but so few turn to the light
That their hearts can know more than a lone church where natural light stirs with such effect how much
More when the light is clothed with love and promise that will slay all woes and perfect every longing
And more you gave up the dust of earth to take your rightful place beyond the stars to be sons and
Daughters of the King of Kings glory, glory and more is yours look for the church with the light

Helen Raymond May 2014

We've only got a week left to last you know,
Thank every deity that ever was or ever will be.
I've aced the class now I've gotta go!
Had a wake for Wellness, and Spanish is buried -Now a funeral for Chemistry!
Banish those 'noble' gases and all that higher math.
What's a word smith need with polarity, molarity, or stoichiometry?
Well at least now I can tell an asymptote from a hole in the graph.
The freshies have it next year, but us -We cheer and sing, "BETTER YOU THAN ME!"

I know its not all that clever, I'm just diffusing some tension I've been feeling. The funny thing is next year I'm  not truly free, I'm just taking a higher level of Chemistry.
;)

service failure the organ will offer
there's something medically askew with it
the usual role is proving so unfit
a second chance in a transplant's proffer
another dies to bring life back again
wellness being redeemed by precious gift
the recipient receives a big lift
living's joy restored out of the rain
someone's kind donation affording breath
so that the period of existence stays
a healthy liver performing its job
for not to have this giving there'd be death
the bestowment allows those future days
gratitude felt within a person's cob

Cori MacNaughton Jul 2015

Finally it is done.

For months I have been
collecting ingredients
for the magical elixir -
home grown ginger and rosemary,
fresh organic garlic, onions and lemon,
finely chopped jalapeno pepper,
powdered turmeric,
Ceylon cinnamon,
tulsi, kelp and black pepper.

What eluded me was the
pungent, fresh horseradish,
unexpectedly absent in our stores
and farmers markets,
until a birthday trip to New York,
when we found the massive roots
in a Russian market.

And, once properly chopped
and shredded and zested,
all is covered and bathed
in organic apple cider vinegar,
a superfood in itself,
where it will draw out the
healing constituents
of each vital ingredient,
creating a powerhouse of wellness.

And now we wait.

Four to eight weeks
of shaking the jars every day
before we drain the lot,
run the pulp through a juice extractor
and add the final touch ...
local honey, raw and unfiltered,
adding sweetness and
its own preserving power,
along with a strong boost to health.

A long time to wait
for this Nectar of the Gods,
but so very worth it:
a shot of this each day
and colds and flu stand no chance -
bacteria and virus alike
overwhelmed -
say goodbye to illness.

Let us now give thanks
to our grandmothers
and all the lay herbalists
of generations long past,
for through their efforts,
our own knowledge
is greatly enriched.

We stand on the shoulders of giants.

5July2015

My ode to one of the most healing elixirs on the planet, popularized by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in her books for well over 35 years.  Having loved the stuff for years, I just made my first half-gallon batch on July 4th - my personal Independence Day from mainstream medicine.

Recently, three business people with few scruples and less common sense, having gotten the idea and initial recipe from a friend, who no doubt came by it through Rosemary Gladstar or one of her many proteges, decided to trademark the phrase "fire cider," claiming - dishonestly - that they had invented it, despite it having been around for decades - if not generations - under that name.  
Suddenly, lay herbalists all over the country had their listings removed from Etsy and other websites for intellectual property infringement, even though many of the said herbalists had been selling fire cider for far longer than the name had been trademarked.

Being something of a rebel myself, I have made and will continue to make Fire Cider using its original name, crediting Rosemary Gladstar as the original source - even though she herself acknowledges that it is far older than she, and even she learned about it from an older herbalist - and publicly thumb my nose at the cretins who trademarked the phrase, with the firm belief that they should be ashamed of themselves for trying to capitalize on OTHER PEOPLE'S WORK while claiming it as their own.

It is up to us, We the People, for keeping knowledge such as this free and available to the public at large.  Lives may well depend upon it.

For those who wish to learn how to make fire cider for yourselves, I direct you to the YouTube videos that Rosemary Gladstar and Mountain Rose Herbs have generously provided to the public for free.  
Herbalists in general are a generous lot, and she is one of the finest, along with Susun Weed, both of whom were inspired by my personal favorite herbalist, the late British veterinarian and master herbalist Dr. Juliette di Bairicli-Levy.  
I recommend the work of all three herbalists highly.

For those with kids or animals, the books on herbalism by Dr. di Bairicli-Levy are invaluable, as she spent the better part of seventy years traveling the world and learning the herbal medicine traditions of people in every part of the world, initially as it pertained to their animals, but ultimately for use with humans as well.  
Her "Complete Herbal for the Dog and Cat" and "Complete Herbal for Barnyard Animals" (which includes dogs and cats, but in less detail) are must-have volumes for anyone with animals.  
She successfully ran a very busy animal clinic in London, England, where she was routinely curing even distemper and rabies cases - diseases that modern veterinary science still considers incurable today - and she was curing them in the 1930s.  
Do yourself - and your family - a favor, buy her books, and keep them at the ready, for whatever may come along.  You will be glad you did.
Sia Jane Jan 2014

Diagnosis: Anorexia Nervosa
Status: Recovered.

So my point in writing... am I doing this for myself? Maybe... or to inspire others? Maybe...
Or to simply just show and say, that I am through this. Through what? Through all that growth that you encounter when you truly engage yourself in recovery.
This does not mean I will not grow further, learn more. Develop and engage. It doesn’t mean I have been able to shut the door once and for all on my mental health struggles (I was trying to be as politically correct towards myself using that term).
It means, I trust, I believe, and not naively, that I have done the hard work.
I have stepped outside of the mirror.
I no longer believe I can only live half way, a half life, between sickness and wellness.
It means, I know, I will never, get sick again.
Many may laugh, or shake their heads at that. And yet, what I am writing here is filled with so much faith and trust, that I can be sure of myself. Even if no one else in the world believes it, I do. And I know it, because I have made a choice.
There were some backwards and forwards, to relapses and re-growths, but each and every fall, I chose to learn. I chose to take to therapy. I chose.
I choose life.  And so that means, the commitment to life, to myself, that I will always take the route that leads to more life, or to more hope...


And so getting well. What happened there? Well, after years of self abuse, of anger turned inwards, after trying to destroy myself in every single way possible... I wondered, inquisitively, what would happen if I used all I had learnt in hospital, all the positive energy directed at me, the words my therapist would say to me... I wondered, what if?
That if, turned out to be the most amazing curiosity. It is why I am safe, well, “recovered.” I don’t use the term recovered lightly. I recognise that my whole life will mean being mindful, it will mean self awareness, it will mean vulnerability. But what I am certain of, is that each year that passes, I grow and gain strength in ways I never realised I could.
I use “recovered” because I don’t believe I am “in recovery.” I have done the recovery. I have done the putting food in my mouth, consulting a nutritionist, the ridiculous amount of weight gain that allowed me to be healthy. I am done with the depression, the endless anxiety, the self harm.
I say “recovered” because as Marya Hornbacher writes: “I mean flat-out eat-normally stay-healthy get-comfortable-with-your-body-and-actually-like-it recovery.”
Few believe it exists. In fact, I was told my numerous doctors I would never recover. I would always be chronic. Sick. In need of hospital.
It exists. I know that. Because it exists for me.
Recovering has meant finding a voice, and using it. It means putting food in my mouth, it means seeing friends, engaging in life, seeking out healthy ways of coping when I feel overwhelmed, scared, anxious...


I live.

© Sia Jane

I wrote this 4 years ago, for EDAW (Eating Disorder Awareness Week) It is heavily edited, in that I have chopped two pieces which felt the most important from the rest of the story. Other than that it remains untouched. I hope this can help carry us into February and continue to raise awareness.

Within the night, deep into the wellness of her mind
which hides pain, that lay hidden in her Pandora's box
are the tears and loves she has no more
as her sanity was slowly slipping way....

With her labyrinth of dreams she grabs hold
drips with madness this day
she grabs hold of the screams of the night
all she hopes for has flown out the door.....

If her life is between fate and hope
then her reasoning wouldn't last
with blood angels in the distance
she braces her attack from descent madness...

She sings the starlight serenade
her sadness grows, only her fingertips
grasp for the edge of the world
with her last breath the reflections of long ago....

Debbie Brooks 2014

Pamela Rae Oct 2014

Here I am...knowing that all I really have is ME and that I have to take care of me because NO ONE else will ever truly care enough to do it...

So this is what I've promised myself--

I will always take good care of me.

I will eat the best foods I can find that have wholeness and good nutrition.

I will stay away from high fructose corn syrup, stay away from an over abundance of sugar and foods high in sodium, as well as preservatives and chemical additives that I cannot even pronounce.

I will indeed drink more water and take my medications for high blood pressure until such time my diet and lifestyle dictate otherwise.

I will exercise and get my body fit and in good shape and coax my muscles into finding strength and stamina so that if ever the day comes and I get a chance to go hiking or climbing or even hang gliding or kayaking, I will be fit and healthy enough to handle the strenuous activity and look back and feel proud that I did it on my own!

I will pay attention to my hygiene always, keeping my teeth, my hair, my skin and nails in the best possible shape and yes, my eyes too.

I will listen to my inner voice, to my angels and my spirit guides and endeavor to be the very best person that I know how to be.

And though I know there will be times when I might stumble along the way and get a bit off track, I also know that I'll find my way right back onto this path that I have chosen--for it is my goal, my life's ambition to live the rest of my life highly aware that my mind, my body, my heart and soul deserve the very, very best I can give it in all ways.

And as always, I will continue to care, to share, to give, to be who I have always been--a compassionate and caring soul who wants to share the goodness and beauty that truly exists in this world. I want to be a part of that goodness, a part of that beauty and to be able to show it to those who have lost the ability to see it. It really is still there, we just have to look harder for it at times, but it truly can be found and can be seen and yes, experienced too.

And yes, I will do all of this without complaint, without feeling sorry or remorseful that no one else seems to want this huge burden of taking good care of me--because after all, it truly is MY JOB to make sure that my life turns out the very way that I need and want it to turn out. It is solely up to me to choose what I do with this gift of life and I choose to take this gift and shape it into a fantastic and beautiful experience from now on. My mind will focus on health, on wellness, on gentleness of spirit and on positive, forward thinking and believing that yes, the sun will shine and yes, the rain will come and yes, there will be both good times and bad, but I will have the choice ALWAYS in how I react to whatever comes. I CHOOSE to take each day one day at a time and to make each day the very best I can make it for ME.

And here I am...knowing, without even the slightest hint of doubt that I am perfectly capable and able to do This and so very much more.

And when my time on this earth comes to a close and I am able to move on to my next awesome existence, I know that I will carry forward with this plan into my very next realm, for if I have learned anything at all, I have learned that I am a survivor and I am the ONLY one who can truly make sure that my spirit, my heart and soul are just exactly where they need to be...

Here I am...just me...loving, caring and finally able to give to ME the many gifts of love I've given to so many others...strange, but by loving and caring so very much about ME I feel even more inclined to love and give to all of humanity which, by the way, are all very much a part of who I have always been.

Here I am...Just ME.

{This is dedicated to all of the wonderful folks in my life who inspire me, who make me want to be the very best I can be so that I can be
around for a long time to share and to laugh and to give
the joy that lives in my heart--all three of
my children and their spouses, their families,
my siblings, the loves in my life,
the many dear friends who care and all who have taught me
that good health is truly the key
to a beautiful and wonderful life...
I am so very, very blessed!!!}
Peter J Thomas Mar 2016

My daily dose of wellness pills,

Is in a weekly container,

The sadness of filling it up,

Makes me want to take the remainder

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