Wednesday, May 19, 2021



My family has been involved in public safety for over fifty years. Myself, 30 years in the fire service and my son twenty years in the police service. During that time, I have known many good Police Officers and Firefighters. Were there any bad ones? Absolutely, but as my son used to say. “No one hates a bad cop more than a good cop.” I am sure that rings true for the fire service and for just about any line of work you can bring to mind. Bad behavior is a reflection on all of the members.


I read with dismay the attempts of people in Minneapolis and other cities to get rid of their Police Departments and the Police aren’t even part of the discussion because the city officials don’t want to even hear what they have to say. This motley group of elected officials who have little idea what Police Officers go through, have it all figured out without police participation.  It’s a shame because most of the good Police Officers will be leaving. It’s hard to get new officers to fill positions in towns where they are wanted right now. Why would they subject themselves to work for people like this? My heart goes out to every police officer who served his/ or her city for years. Working night and day through natural disasters and bloody car wrecks. Been cursed and spit on and chastised for doing their job. Who worked through Christmas Eves, their kids’ birthdays and almost every kind of macabre incident and then had to hide their natural emotions and then go home and be a dad or a mom or a husband or wife? I ask you, if a teacher messes up in a school, do they fire all of the teachers? If your paster misbehaves, do you close up the church? If a Nurse messes up do you close the hospital? You can see where I am going with this and the answer is always no. An emphatic no.


A public body hired to keep law and order in our communities is, and always has been, necessary. It’s written right in most of the charters. Human beings, being what they are, will always need supervision and outside guidance when it comes to the laws we live under. The only ones who don’t want the Police, are those who choose to live outside the laws and those who support the people who don’t want to live within the laws. Recent incidents have been used to inflame the public. The media does play a big part in this as do certain legislators. There will always be tragic mistakes in law enforcement and every effort must be made to correct that, Police need to be held accountable when they cause harm to those they are paid to protect. It seems to me that is what’s happening,and what is being proposed, will only exasperate a growing crime problem in Minneapolis. The tax payers will just have another multi-million-dollar feel good program that will be with them forever and solve nothing. 


All right I will get off my soap box. Policing is not the same in this small town as it is in Minneapolis. There are not a lot of shootings up here, not at people anyway. There were 11 people shot in Minneapolis yesterday and 2 killed. Do you think compassionate care will fix that? Police do not want to deal with mentally ill people and having the appropriate people do that is a right move. Is race a factor? Yes absolutely. But you can’t legislate the healing that needs to take place for that to end. It needs to come from the hearts and minds of all of us and it’s been going on forever. Anyone who has the answer--- for God’s sake tell us.


Saturday, May 15, 2021


                                                             A GOOD EXAMPLE


I went down to the river the other day just to sit and think. The river is only about a mile from my house and it’s always so peaceful there this time of the year. The place where I like to sit is in a bend on the river on a slight bluff and there are some small rapids right above there. So upstream the water is somewhat turbulent but then as it goes around the bend and flattens out flowing peacefully on its way again. To a mind that thinks like mine thinks, it reminds me so much of the days of our lives. We all have those turbulent times come at us too, just like the river does but then we get through them and then they are over and life carries on. Like the water flowing down the river and around the bend, our yesterdays and todays seem to disappear around the corner somewhere out of sight, never to be lived again. Gone but not forgotten.


A man I admired so much passed away last week. He was a fixture in this town having lived a good share of his life here. He was a humble man but yet he was a mentor to many of us and a former business man. His life was rooted in his church and his family. His spouse and him were a loving couple for almost a third of a century. You rarely saw them apart.  He was a walking encyclopedia of Crosslake and his memory was a cornucopia of days gone by. The good old days so many of us old people identify with. His health wasn’t good the last few years and he had a lot of trials and suffering. But every time I saw him, he had a smile for me and he never dwelled on the bad things. Yes Leo, yours was a life well lived. May you rest in peace.


It has been a privilege for me to be able to write about people who lived storied lives while they were here on this earth. People tend to acquaint greatness with public figures and wealthy people. But to me greatness was never about that. Greatness to me is about people who made this world a better place to live in, by their good example. I once had such a man in my life. A grandfather who believed in me and told me that greatness was rooted in humbleness and honesty. Because if you had that, you had credibility and respect and if you were someday buried in a gold-plated casket and laid to rest under a monument that dwarfed all of the others in the graveyard, -- but didn’t have credibility and respect-- you had nothing.


There has been a steady erosion of the ideals that made this country great lately. I think its because you can’t get there anymore with honesty and humbleness. Instead, people are rewarded with leadership positions by lying and false bravado. How can you trust anyone who resorts to this kind of behavior, to farther their cause? Maybe it’s expecting too much in today’s world to be rewarded for good behavior. Maybe the new norm is whatever it takes to get there. If that’s true then I for one am glad I lived on this earth for the greatest part of my life, when it wasn’t true. The sadness in this is the world must go on, and go on it will, but gone will be the building blocks that once defined this country. I can only look at the children who inherit it from us and say I’m sorry for all of the problems. Show us the right way.    


It is my wish that someday when my time comes people will say his was a life well lived. That he too was a good example, just like my grandfather and Leo were.







Tuesday, May 4, 2021




250 years or so, when this country was founded the intent was to form a democracy where all people would have a shot at making a living and live peacefully with their neighbors. Our country was a melting pot of people from many different parts of the earth. Our founding fathers didn’t feel this was an impediment and that we would bridge the gaps between faiths languages and ethnicity’s and everybody would be treated equal. They even wrote it in the constitution that all men were created equal. Equal yes, but yet at the same time they knew different and that some would always do better than others. Just so it wasn’t at the expense of others that was okay,


At least for a while this worked but some of the things that made it work such as common decency, unselfishness and morality may have just as well been written in the sand on a beach somewhere because like the incoming waves washing over those sands, the ideals that had brought us this far, slowly eroded away. The gaps between the haves and the have nots grew wider. Human greed and selfishness raised its ugly head and as time passed it became less and less an undesirable trait and more like the status quo. In many cases the human conscience just gave up and quit working.


Those on the bottom gave up on the “Pulling themselves up by their boot straps scenario” and resorted to a form of Robinhood politics of taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Their votes counted as much as the rich’s votes at election time so politicians resorted to making all kinds of happy promises to them. One only needs to reread these last two paragraphs to see where the problem lies and where it is headed.


Until it’s recognized that we aren’t all created equal in every sense and those at the top start to share their time, money and talents with others, instead of having it wrested from them, then we will continue down this path to ruin and doom. The others at the bottom need to do their part to earn their keep. Work needs to be more than a four-letter word. The world does not owe you a living. The others at the top need to recognize that at some point unless things are more equitable there will be a rebellion and then we all suffer. The politicians need to stop aiding and abetting both groups and pay more attention to the middle class which suffers the most. One needs to understand the liberals desire to make things more equitable but not at the expense of taking away any incentive to become your own person. “Give a man a fish etc.” You know the saying. At the same time, one needs to recognize the fact that the less government we have controlling our lives, the better off we will be until you forget how to behave in a free society. 


We need to care about our country and each other more. Otherwise, there will be no country 

or each other. It’s that simple. There are powerful adversary’s right now watching and waiting

to see, if and when we destroy ourselves and save them the trouble of doing it to us-- or will

they see a united country that they will continue to fear. Time will tell.

Thursday, April 29, 2021


With the advent of spring and summer, one thinks of storms and bad weather that seem to be more and more of a problem lately. My thought goes back to a time and a place and the first year I was on the Fire Department. To the the deadly tornados that tore through Fridley and Spring Lake Park. Minnesota. It was May 6th of 1965 and last year was the 55th anniversary of those storms. I was 24 years old, and not only just a rookie on the department, but an impressionable one at that. 


There is s saying, “The calm before the storm.” It’s a calm that is filled with fear and trepidation, of not knowing what’s coming. But there is a “calm after the storm too” and it’s one filled with shock and disbelief, of what just took place. Often there is a feeling of hopelessness, confusion and not knowing, what to do next, except to be thankful you survived. When you are called to help and you look out over an entire neighborhood, absolutely flattened by the winds, and see people walking aimlessly on the debris-filled streets because they don’t know where to go, or what to do next, it’s heart wrenching. Your training tells you one thing, your heart tells you another. Even though you came to help, you’re not sure just what to do. You see an old lady sitting on her cement steps with just a basement hole behind her, where her house once stood. Her eyes fixed and wide open and her face expressionless, deep in shock, holding all she has left. Her cat. I wanted to go to her but you can’t because you’re too busy. You hear the gas lines still hissing, and somewhere in the rubble, a phone is ringing. You hear a scream and uncontrollable sobbing, and you know they found another victim. Before the night was over a second tornado would come through—an hour after the first one. There were 5 or 6 tornados in all, with thirteen fatalities and hundreds who were injured.


I went home late that night, not knowing what I would find—there were no cell phones in those days. My brand-new home, on the other side of the river, was only on the outskirts of the storm but it had no siding left on it. It had been stripped by the wind and hail, and there were very few shingles left on the roof. The hail had also wrecked my car. My wife was sitting in the kitchen with the kids in the dark, scared and with tears in her eyes. One of the things about being called out in storms is, you often have to abandon your own family. I told her, “Dry those tears, everything will be fixed” I said, “If I could accurately convey to you what I saw and heard this night, we are the lucky ones, honey, believe me.” Over the next thirty years on the Department there would be many more storms and disasters, but nothing like that night. After that, when we would get called to help at storms, my thoughts would always go back to that May 6th night in Fridley. 


The people of the cities, back then, were a resilient people. They rebuilt their homes, patched up their wounded, and sadly, buried their dead. A year later you would never know what happened to them that night. Not unless you were in the storm or were called to help. I would be remiss if I didn’t draw attention to every spouse of fire and police who were called to duty that night or through any emergency like that. At the very time we should be home keeping our family’s safe we are gone and they are left to fend for themselves. They are the heroes, who live in our shadows. 

Monday, April 12, 2021




So, it’s the day before we leave Arizona for Minnesota. This is our fifth winter in Maricopa and leaving is bittersweet. We both feel so blessed to be able to enjoy the best of two worlds the way we do. To escape the harshness of the Minnesota winter and the dreaded heat of the Arizona summer. To be able to come home to receding snow banks, ice going out on the lakes and the new beginning of another summer at the lake. To a happy reunion with loved ones, we left behind five months ago and sad good byes to friend’s neighbors and family members we have left here in the southwest. God willing, we will be back. 


I turned 80 this spring and it was a watershed moment for me. Up and until this year the numerals never bothered me. When I retired, I was a healthy sixty, a young seventy and then along came eighty and oh my God, I don’t remember anyone in my family reaching ninety and like Robert Frost, “I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” I looked it up and Frost didn’t make ninety either. So, what does this say? It says quit playing with the numbers and take each day as it comes. It’s not up to you, my friend. Be cautious, be prudent, be cheerful and thankful and in the end, it will be a life well lived.


George Burns the comedian, who by the way lived past a hundred, once sang a song called, “I wish I was eighteen again. “Well to be truthful he didn’t sing he chanted but that’s neither here or there and so back to the song. Do I wish I was eighteen again? Well, if I could offer this caveat, maybe. To be eighteen and know what I know now? It might help me not to make the mistakes I did but yet making those mistakes was all part of the experience so with that in mind I have to say no. There are no shortcuts in life. You take it as it comes and you chew it up and either spit it out if it’s too bitter-- or swallow it, digest it and savor it for the rest of your life.


I have known so many people who never made eighty but left their mark on this world all the same. They lived each day to the fullest and never took the next day for granted. On the other hand, I have known people who lived well beyond eighty and although I’m not here to judge them, I always felt they had so much more to offer then they did. Those regrets that can comeback to you, are not easy to live with when you can’t go back to change them.


My friend Pat likes to chide me for always having a project going. She wants me to take life easy and as well-meaning as that is, it’s not the way I’m wired. I get so much pleasure out of being useful. I once worked for a man who was well into his eighties and I made the mistake of asking him when he was going to retire. “Probably never,” he said. “I have retired many times but always there was something that kept running inside of me that I couldn’t shut off and I would find myself looking for another project. It’s my feeling that when I run out of projects-- I will run out of life. Is that what you want?”


So, I’m back for another summer and my heart is full. I know next week I will go walk my dog down the road and cars will stop and old friends will roll down the window and say “Welcome back” and I will say,” It’s good to be back.”







As a small boy growing up in a small town my world, seemed to be defined by what I heard from those around me. We had no newspaper or television. We had one phone in the house and mom and dad used it exclusively and sparingly. To call the next town 7 miles away was long distance. To say I wasn’t interested in what went on in the world was true to some extent. My world consisted of my friends, family and this beautiful world around me.


Every once in awhile you hear about older people who won’t get in the game when it comes to all of the new electronic devices. To many of them they are confusing, expensive and just something else to worry about. As for me I have tried to play the game but must admit I only know the basics and when trouble comes I’m in trouble. The other day I lost my Internet signal and for all practical purposes I was dead in the water. I called my provider and he told me that my problem was my antiquated equipment and I just needed a new router, which he installed. The signal came back but almost immediately left again. Before I called him back to complain I called my son-in-law and explained the problem and he told me something else to try and bingo, things are working again. Sometimes it just takes a village. A younger village.


I go to the doctor the other day and there are probably five of us sitting in the waiting room. I’m staring at the television and the others are all on their phones. The nurse came and called one of them and they replied, “just a minute” and they had to finish typing out their message on their phone while the nurse waited patiently. She was still texting as she walked down the hall. Every public meeting whether it’s church or a P.T.A meeting is preceded by the announcement, “Please turn off or silence your phones.” I have seen people during these events, typing on their muted phone. I can only presume someone needed their help terribly. I have stood at the check out lane in the grocery while someone empties their cart and checks out, all the time talking on their phone, which they then turn around and use to pay the bill electronically. Not criticizing, just stating its what it’s all coming too.


When I leave for the winter I used to put my Internet on a vacation hold, until my children and grandchildren, who come in the winter for a weekend at the lake, told me they weren’t coming anymore if there was no Internet. So to save my plants they cared for, and not be an ogre, I turned it back on. I have watched kids texting when they are sitting right next to each other. I have family and friends who never call, they only text. They have abbreviations for most of the words so it takes some imagination to decipher them. We have long ago forgotten how to write cursive and next we will forget how to speak. 


At some point in our never ending conflicts with the rest of the world, someone is going to figure out that to render us unable to communicate with each other—is the way to defeat us. So we won’t be able to defend our country and let people know what is going on, they only need to fire one shot and take out a satellite and we will be dead in the water with our phones in our hands. No pun intended. 






Monday, March 29, 2021



I grew up in the small town of Staples. At that time, it was a railroad town and the town lived and breathed the Northern Pacific Railroad, later to become the Great Northern, but my dad still was a Northern Pacificer at heart and wasn’t changing his belt buckle for another railroad for nothing, but he did work for them. At least half the town worked there and the other half fed off of the ones who spent their hard-earned money in that little town. Striped railroad caps and red bandanas were the dress of the day. Osh Gosh was very popular. In the late forties and early fifties, the steam engines still roamed around the railroad yards and when you stuck your head out the door in the morning you smelled nothing but railroad. It was a stink somewhere between burnt coal and creosote. It was that way in the house too because that’s where dad hung up his overalls. If it snowed the whiteness of the new fallen snow was gone by the next day and all you had was sooty snirt and my mother crying over her dirty sheets she had hung out to dry on the clothes lines. She never had a dryer while I was there and never had a washing machine without those wringers.


It was a far different world in those days, crueler in one sense but better in others. We didn’t have Covid 19 but we did have polio, chicken pox, mumps, scarlet fever and measles. With the exception of polio most of us just got sick, got over it and went on with life. It if got too bad there were three doctors in town to tend to the sick. Two drug stores in town too but just don’t get sick on Sundays. We had our little Knob hill up on sixth Street where the well-heeled lived, merchants, doctors,’ bankers and such and yes there were plenty of not so fortunate people scattered around but no one really had their noses in the air so we had a good thing going.


The Police Department was straight out of Mayberry, the volunteer fire department was mostly merchants that worked up town, who showed up at the fire station in their butchers’ apron or greasy mechanics clothes or the guy from the lumber yard with his pencil still behind his ear. When the fire trucks headed out of town to the country it was a small parade that followed them. My dad would be about three cars behind them and then he would break away from the scene to be the first one back in town to spread the news because the only other way you could find out what was going on was to call the telephone operator and get her to spill the beans.


Hobos would come to town to work for food and yes, I said work. They lived in their shacks out by Dower lake but they made their way into town every now and then. My mom always gave them potatoes and coffee grounds and maybe a loaf of fresh bread if it was a baking day. They were a different breed than today’s homeless people, not by their nature but their plight was mostly of their own volition. They just knew there wasn’t any government programs for them, so they would mow a lawn or split some wood. It was seasonal because as soon as the snow flied, they were back on the freight trains for some place warmer.


I haven’t lived in Staples for 60 years. I know the Railroad isn’t much anymore and the hobos quit riding the rails. The Police have radios and college degrees and no one chases the fire trucks anymore. The Doctor’s have a fine hospital and Clinic, the drug store is open on Sunday and there are a lot of nice houses that aren’t on 6th St. and also, no one wears Osh Gosh.





Tuesday, March 23, 2021



The American Writer Kurt Vonnegut once wrote and I quote, “The very edge of anything from a rivulet to an ocean says to me: now you know where you are. Now you know which way to go. You soon will be home now.” As I journey from my winter retreat in Arizona back to my home on the lake in Crosslake Minnesota those words ring in the back of my mind. For its there at that water’s edge where I find some semblance of that elusive peace, we all long for.


For its in those waters that I fished and swam, and where my grandchildren frolicked when they were young. Where my wife and I sat in the waning light of a warm summer’s day, watching the sun slip behind the hills across the lake. Painting the sky red and yellow and reflecting its work of art in the placid waters, so we could enjoy it in two dimensions, above and below. We sat there until the world became dark once more and then as if a shade had been pulled, we could see no more.  Then a breeze came up and we just listened to the waves breaking softly on the sandy shore behind us and we knew that this was as close to peace as we would ever get.


Several years ago, a neighbor down the shoreline a spell was in the last days of his life. His words to his caregivers at that time was, “Take me to the cabin and turn my bed so I can see the lake.” That’s the last thing he wanted to see on this earthly journey and I know in my heart just how he felt. I feel so blessed that I have had this opportunity to live where I live.


Sometimes on a warm summer evening I like to get in the boat and just putt along the shoreline. Its a time when the lake is deserted, the speed boats and water toys are put away. You hear laughter and voices around the campfires and you see the happy faces reflected in the flickering flames as you pass by. The lonely wail of a Loon somewhere out on the waters and a splash as a bass takes a water bug from the surface. Of all the beautiful music that has been written, now is not the time for it. Mother nature is entertaining you with her own composition written in the key of peacefulness.


What is so compelling about this whole scene, is when you realize that this has gone on forever. That countless souls have found comfort here at the water’s edge from time and memorial. That this might be your Shangri-La tonight but it has often been an earthly paradise for so many souls who proceeded you. They probably never found the words to express what it meant to them when it happened because even as a writer, I struggle to find them now and maybe they haven’t even been coined yet.


Then you ask yourself how do I perpetuate this, so others may find their peace at the water’s edge too? We all deserve to feel this way, now and in the future. Life has evolved in immeasurable ways, some good and some bad. Mother nature has given us this gift and we can grasp it and save it or we can destroy it. But in the end when all is said and done, no matter what we choose, this world will carry on and it will heal itself and the only losers will be the ones who thought they knew better than the creator of this magic world we live in. As for me I can’t wait to get home.

Monday, March 15, 2021




Yesterday on my birthday, I became an octogenarian. When people ask how do you feel when you are eighty, I guess I would use the following analogy. I feel like a twenty-year-old car with 250,000 miles on it. Even though my oil has always been changed on time and I never sat out in the winter or hot sun, my check engine light does blink from time to time. My finish is tarnished and my glass is foggy, I have a few dents and scratches but every morning I do manage to start up again. Using the analogy of the automobile again-- if I may beleaguer the point--- some people would say it’s time for a trade in but I’m not sure what you would get for me this late in life. Some people would say let’s just keep the old girl around and drive her gently. Not sure why men always name their cars with girl’s names but they do. As for gently, I guess that’s a given taking into account my condition.


You know life is funny in some respects. Back to the car analogy, when buying one you order them up with all of the bells and whistles you can afford but new humans only come in the same old basic model. There is immeasurable room for adding extra things in life but you have to add those all yourself and it sometimes takes a lifetime to get the full and best package. So, the older you get, the more you can be, all that you want to be but there comes a time and it’s not a definitive time, but a time when not much more can be done. Your maxed out and somewhat worn out. Then something wonderful happens and it’s called satisfaction for a life well lived. Yes, you can now rest on your laurels.


Old blue eyes, AKA Frank Sinatra, once sang a song called My Way. Although I liked the song and loved Sinatra, I felt the lyrics were a little egotistical. You see all of us are bits and pieces of mentor’s guardians,’ teachers, family and friends that helped us add all of those extras I talked about in the paragraph above. I totally agreed with Franks lyrics when it came to regrets, as I too “have had a few- but too few to mention. I too, did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption.” But my way- no way- it was our way.


I decided to buy a smart watch for my birthday and I’m not sure if they call them smart watches because they are smart or if you have to be smart to use them. I know they don’t come in stupid, medium smart and extra smart. They only come in smart. But how you utilize them is a learning lesson. Someone my age with a sometimes technically challenged mind, can be in a fog with things like this. It’s at best, a learning curve that stretches the limits my old brain has to work with. I guess it’s you that has to have most of the smarts to make the watch smart. The watch just doesn’t give a damn one way or another. 


I once read an old saying that for the life of me I can’t recall where, but it went something like this “To the unlearned, old age is the winter season but to the learned, old age is the harvest time.” Every day great minds are stilled and the biggest travesty of all of it, is the wealth of knowledge that follows them to the grave, never to be used again unless they shared it. So, when some old codger tries to share something with you, it might be good to listen. He may have just learned it all the hard way and he’s trying to spare you the tears. 



Monday, March 8, 2021




I remember as a young man, lying on my back, on my parent’s lawn one warm late spring night in 1959. It was a clear; star filled night and a week before graduation.

From my early years growing up I was always an inquisitive lad, always worried about what was in store for me, when it was my time to go out into the world. I believed that somewhere beyond those stars, was a higher being who knew just what was planed for me and I could hardly wait to see what that was. I had always felt those twinkling stars were just holes in the floor of heaven. I also knew the boss up there was saying, “just wait and see.” I think that was the real start of a long faith filled journey that continues today, even though I know, I have traveled the greatest part of it. The road I took as I went out wasn’t always easy but it was always with a definitive goal in mind. I didn’t pray that night for money or notoriety as I talked to the man in the stars. I didn’t want to be anyone’s hero or conqueror. I just prayed for a life that would help me make a difference. That after I was all used up and gone, I would be remembered for being someone-- who had made a difference.


There is so much good in life that is there for the taking if we pay attention. You see there have been lots of people who have already made a huge difference in this world. I know because I’m old and I’ve met so many of them along the way. I didn’t always pay attention and so for some of them their good examples fell by the wayside-- wasted on someone who wasn’t listening at the time. You see they too wanted to help me make a difference but at that time and place I wasn’t letting them and I was so wrong. That’s what’s so wrong with our country right now as we struggle for survival. People in leadership are looking for answers that have always been there but they don’t want any help from others and maybe they just aren’t looking because they can’t handle the truth. 


Life isn’t a test we take where the answers are only in the teacher’s copy. The answers are right there in our copies if we pay attention and all we need to do is fill in the blanks. But greed, stubbornness and a grasp for power sometimes makes us not want to use someone else’s proven example. Today it’s all about me and I’m where the answers need to come from. Not right or wrong but my way and to hell with the consequences. We need all the glory to ourselves, or we don’t want any at all. Kind of sounds like a certain government department in Washington doesn’t it?


I read an article the other day that had to do with mankind and wars. It more or less said there will be more wars in the future because for some reason we are powerless to stop ourselves from doing just that-- and by the way, history proves that out. There are a lot of inflated egos out there that need to be fed in our Government and our military. Then there are those who get rich on the spoils of war. War has even been used to divert our attention from all of the other problems they don’t want to deal with or talk about. In the end innocent people are killed, countries are destroyed and there will be nothing called victory. I wish I could get them all to lie in the grass some quiet night, look at the stars and say, “what would Jesus do? “—But wait, that’s right. -- They don’t need his help.

Monday, February 15, 2021


                                                             THE WAY I SEE IT.


If I, have one thing to be thankful for, it is that I was born and raised in a time and place when this nation put some credence in morals and integrity. I now watch from a position of just being a quiet observer, to the unraveling of the fabric of this society. It took a few decades for all of this erosion to take place but right now, like an addict on drugs, I am not sure, we can reverse this self-destructive phase we are in. I for one, find myself just along for the ride.


I watch the Republican Party support somebody they cannot believe acts the way he does and it’s almost like parents sitting in the car watching their son rob the bank and saying to each other, “I wish he wouldn’t do that but we need the money.” Maybe its wrong to call him a Republican, his actions go against everything the Republican Party that I used to know stood for, but then again maybe we no longer have a real Republican party.


As for the Democrats they felt they would win this election if they could apologize enough for the sins of the last three hundred years and make everyone happy. Promise a whole new society based on love and honesty, when what they are doing has no resemblance to that. What they don’t realize is love and honesty left the room a long time ago and your dreams for the future are creating a whole class of people with their hands out, looking for a free ride and the right to do pretty much whatever they want to do. That free ride, is a ride you can’t give them because you don’t have the means. Your credit cards are nearly maxed out.


So, what do we do, throw in the towel? No that’s not an option. The Trump campaign used the slogan “Let’s make America great again.” The idea is good, but the way they have set out to do it is flawed. We need to reflect back to the days when America was great and say, “What changed and why? “America was once great because both political parties walked lockstep to goals, they had set in place. Sure, they differed in their philosophy’s but they knew that someway and somehow, they had to compromise or nothing was going to be done. Seems familiar huh? Competition like that, coming from those negotiations is good because it opens a dialogue that brings out even better ideas.


We have a part of our society right now that wants to circumvent law and order. They taunt the police and civil disobedience is rampart. A good analogy would be people poking a stick at a caged dog until they drive it mad and then shooting the dog because he reaches his breaking point and retaliates. The right sees no good in this and the left seems to think if they ignore it and say nice things it will go away. Somewhere and someplace discipline comes into place. If America truly wants to be great again, then rules and laws that show no bias to anyone have to be made and followed. No rich people buying their way out of it and no excuses from the less fortune.


Advice for both political parties should go like this. First represent your constituents and not special interest groups that put you in office. Find a leader people respect and help him/her to become better. Make people more responsible for their own actions and quit making excuses.





Sunday, February 7, 2021


                                                  THE BUILT IN REWARDS                                                         


I got a special note from an old firefighter friend the other day. If I was to list all of the times this man and I leaned on each other, on the job and off, this would take a long time to read. The times we laughed and cried together and yes, the times we prayed God would get us out of the calamity we were in. To be fair there were many of us that were drawn into that vocation that shared that mutual love and respect we had for each other.  There seems to be a special bond that develops amongst people who have had to endure the things we did together. The things that we saw and felt together also over our years of service.


I know that our friendship is a fitting reward for our years of service together. Not notoriety or 

pensions but a life time of friendships that knew no bounds. I remember a time as a Chief 

officer, towards the end of my career, when I was offered a higher rank up. But at the 

time with retirement looming, I could only think about how that would alienate me from the 

firefighters. In the end I gave up the rank I did have, to get humble and go back to my roots 

with the people I loved so much. I never regreted that move.


I think of other vocations that people have chosen in their lives and the similarity’s that are drawn between their years of service and the fire service. The military, Law enforcement, Nurses and Doctors, Clergy, the list goes on. Their lives too, are filled with the camaraderie and days I experienced spent in the trenches together.


I once went ice fishing with a Police Officer friend of mine, a Catholic Priest from our church and a friend to all of us that was a writer and a printer. As the four of us sat in the fish house that day talking, I quipped, “We should be ready for any emergency. We have a cop, a fireman and a priest.” My friend who was the cop looked over at our friend the printer who had been left out of the quip, looking down the hole quietly and said. “And a writer and a printer who could tell the world about us.” I felt sheepish about what I had said but I took it as a lesson that were all so important in this life. We need to look for and strive to see the good works in all of us.


I guess what I am really trying to say is this. Sometimes in life, the humblest amongst us is the one we should be emulating. Yes, uniforms and ribbons and badges can be kind recognition and

they may buy you respect to some degree but they will never buy you the kind of friendship we all strive for. For in the end as old age takes over the memories of our past work and action we once shared, they become dimmer and dimmer but the memories we will never forget are those who strived to be your friend because they truly liked you no matter who you were. They were there when you were nothing and they will be there for you, until this life is over. 


I want to share a story with you of a man whose wife became disabled with dementia in their later years. Soon it became apparent that he was going to need specialized care for her so he had her put into a memory care unit in a care center. But he went in there with her, even though he wasn’t ill himself. He had to sell most of his possessions because the place they had in the care unit was so small. Could I do that? I’m not sure but I know this. That is the epitome of friendship love and devotion.

Sunday, January 24, 2021



Mother Theresa once said and I quote. “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.” We ask “how can anyone be unloved and uncared for in our society?” Even the animals of the forest, and the birds of the air will fight to the death to protect their young. They will find nourishment and no matter how hungry they are themselves, eat their fill and then purge it for their babies to eat. Not a delicate analogy I know but it shows you where their priorities are and where ours fail. And to think, we call ourselves the top of the food chain.


I know poverty when I see it and talk about it because I once lived it. I once complained to my grandfather that it was demoralizing to see my classmates in school, dressed to the hilt in the latest fashions and I was wearing hand me downs from my cousin. My grandfather told me, “No one cares what you are wearing and if they do, that’s a flaw in their character and you don’t need them. Just be humble. So you see even though I lived in poverty, I was loved and sometimes its hard for kids to understand it that way but as you age you remember less and less the things you went without, but you will never forget those that loved you.


Even in old age your friends and family are the glue that binds your life together. I am no longer living in poverty and haven’t for a long, long time. In fact, my needs are few and easily met but yet I crave love and attention still, as do most of us. When I was young man there was a song that became popular called “Little Things mean a lot.” There were a couple of verses from that song that I never forgot and they went like this. “Blow me a kiss from across the room. Tell me I’m nice when I’m not. Touch my hair as you pass my chair. Little things mean a lot. Give me your hand when I’ve lost my way. Give me your shoulder to cry on. Whether the day is bright or gray. Give me your heart to rely on.


We have become so materialistic. Such Me people. Give me cars, give me electronics, give me boats and toys. Well I’m here to tell you that I have had all of these things in my life and my satisfaction was short lived. My real joy came from the people I have met and loved and enjoyed life with. Long after I am gone ,those materialistic things I had will be gone too. But the love I gave, will live on in those who gave me that heart to rely on. 


I go back to my hometown from time to time. I always drive down the street I used to live on. The old house, AKA shack, is gone and in its place is an empty lot. On one corner of that lot still stands a lilacs bush. The only survivor of a day gone by. I remember my mom in the spring walking to the corner of our yard with her shears to cut a bouquet for the table. Then the well- spring of memories comes flowing out of me and then come the tears for parents and a brother who passed on and then come the memories of Christmas’s and family get-togethers and picnics in the yard. No memories of anything tangible, only the stories and thoughts of a very loving family that once lived and loved and raised some kids in poverty yes, but in a loving atmosphere that today just keeps on giving. I guess it really wasn’t poverty afterall.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021





I have always loved those people who make us laugh. With all of the troubles in the world now days, having a good laugh is an aphrodisiac for many of us. My family was always one laugh away from complete happiness and that was something that came from my Dads family mostly. Except for my Uncle Milton on mom’s side, who I think coined the “Pull my finger” routine. I gave his old finger a pull even when I knew what was coming. He could have been another Henny Youngman, given the chance.


My father worked sunup to sundown and always looked tired, but whenever I heard a good joke, it was mandatory that I told dad, so he could add it to his repertoire. I shared many moments with that man over the years but none so precious as the times we laughed together. He would often tell a story, and yes some of them off color, and my mother would frown and scold him and three minutes later she would excuse herself and go in the other room and laugh. He laughed harder every time he told his jokes and sometimes you would break out laughing with him and you hadn’t even heard the punch line yet but you knew it was going to be good, --- “And your smiling right now aren’t you?” He was a poor man all of his life but yet he was rich in spirit. My siblings and I have carried on the tradition and from family get togethers to weddings, reunions and yes even funerals there is always some hilarity sprinkled in. It’s just the Holst way of doing business.


Sometimes we crossed the line a little but it was never malicious. Oh, we got kicked out of a few campgrounds and when Dad was lying dying in the hospital and we were sharing stories around his bed the head nurse came down and told us to stifle it. But Dad wasn’t gone yet, he was just unconscious and I swear I saw the corner of his mouth  turn down just a little bit. It’s the way he would have wanted it. 


I know the family that prays together stays together, or so they say, but the family that laughs together isn’t far behind. I think often of Robin Williams who despite all of the bad things that were tormenting him in his personal life, made the whole world laugh. I think of Andy my fellow firefighter who would start cracking you up the minute he saw your face and you knew he had another good one. He once told me a joke, when we were crawling through a smoke and heat filled hallway looking for a fire and we both had to stop and turn on the bypass on our air tanks because we were losing our breath. God rest his soul. I hope he finds my dad in heaven. They would have a ball together.


It’s a sad time in our world right now and we need these colorful people more then ever. For nothing can take you from the depths of despair faster than a good rib tickler that was meant to buoy your spirits. Yes, there are times that are sacred and common sense will be your guide. But if you have a good joke share it at the right time, which in the Holst family is most anytime.










A few years back I decided to write my memoirs and now I’m pretty much finished. Not that my life has been anything that earth shattering but I have always felt that everybody has a story to tell. A story that no one will ever know about you, unless you write it down before you pass. I have on several occasions had opportunities to write peoples memoirs for them. It’s a hard thing to do because in order to do it, it must be the unvarnished truth and in their own words and not many people are willing to talk like that with a complete stranger. It also can involve volumes of experiences in a long-lived life. I find it a huge loss to have lived a life well lived and let it all go to the grave with you. Rich or poor, famous or not, you have a story to tell. I have found that to write with feeling you have to be able to feel the pain, suffering and the joy and happiness in people’s experiences. The right words have always been there to use but to be authentic to the story they must be the right fit. I was blessed with two things in life that I am eternally grateful for. A stellar memory and an equally vivid imagination. I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “My memory is so good, that sometimes I remember things that never even happened.” You see when your memory fails you sometimes it’s your imagination that fills in the gaps. As long as you don’t stray too far from the topic and stay somewhat relevant, it works for most people. You can’t remember everything. I’m not sure who I will share my memoirs with. Most likely family because they were part of them but I have written them and maybe they are just for posterity in my family but where they go from there Is not up to me.


I once had a friend who had a new joke for me each time we talked. Some of them were side busters but he delivered them in this monotone voice with no expression at all and when he was done, I never knew when it was appropriate to laugh or not. Now my father on the other hand, who was a great story teller would have you laughing before he ever got to the punch line because of his own laughing even though it was the same tired old jokes all the time. It was all in his delivery. It’s that way with your life’s experiences too. It’s what makes a book a page turner or just something to brace up the bookend in your bookcase. It’s not what you say, its how you say it and not everyone knows the most compelling way to express themselves but somewhere there is someone who does and there is no shame in asking for help.


I love to listen to people’s stories and experiences. And as I said at the start of this, you need to find someone to help you tell their story. You need to break your life down into sections like your childhood, your teen age years, your college years or pre married years. Your married life and your family and career, or military service. Your senior years. It’s not easy and it will take a lot of soul searching but it’s all a part of your story. It not about your failures and shortcomings unless you want it to be. It’s more about what you experienced in life and it’s not to rewrite your life. Those sorry’s don’t belong in your story, let the readers be your judge. Length has nothing to do with your story either. In fact, too many words are probably worse than not enough. What is important is to find someone who can emulate your feelings and actions by turning them into appropriate words, so when your written story is read. They will say, “Yes that how I remember him/her. You have the power to influence others with your story and if that happens, what better thing could you leave for them, then a story of a life well lived. Your story.



Thursday, January 7, 2021




I think when human beings were introduced to this earth-- however you believe we evolved-- it was the beginning of the end for our earth, as we know it. We had no idea what we were going to do to the earth just by being here but we are finding out now. To be fair some of it is unavoidable but instead of finding ways to deal with the bad effects, we pass it off as inconsequential and not a problem. If your entering old age that might be even truer but yet, we owe it to the youngest generation to leave this earth as clean as possible and hope that someday they will repay the favor.


There are deniers out there who scoff at this kind of rhetoric. Their self-obsessive life styles have no time for doomsday stories. They like life the way it is and they’re not changing for anyone. They’ll do everything in their power to thwart the efforts of those who want to try and save the earth. They are threatened by efforts to change their lifestyle, and most of it just boils down to money and they can’t get enough of it. Just ask the fossil fuel industry.


I am in awe of this earth and all of its creatures and the way it has for years, had all of these checks and balances to take care of our bad behavior. But the plants and oceans that cleanse the very air we breathe and the water we drink, are now being overwhelmed. Had one looked at the earth four hundred years ago it would have seemed to be beyond our capabilities to destroy it in the way we are doing it. But hey—never count us out huh?


It is beyond any reasoning abilities I now have, how greed, can make one not care enough for this earth. There are hundreds of thousands of creatures going extinct as we speak. You would have to be really out of the loop to not think that that isn’t going to have an impact on the rest of them and us. The last major extinction of the earth came at the hands of an asteroid. Unless another one comes along or Yellowstone blows its top, this time we will be doing the natural disasters one better and all by ourselves.


I fully realize that there are some who read this and say this is just another left leaning nut off on a tangent but you would be wrong. I am not a left leaning anything but an independent thinker who detests what political parties have done to our government. I support neither of them. That being said, disagree if you must but I hope its what you truly believe in and not a right leaning political position that you feel you have to take, to support the party faithful. Do me one other favor. Send me credible proof, that what is happening to our earth is not our fault. We all know it’s happening, there is little argument about that unless your living under a rock, so the only argument seems to be why it’s happening. And remember something else we can agree about is-- it has happened before. But there was always an explanation for that and if it wasn’t a mountain blowing its top or an asteroid hitting the earth, it was a natural phenomena of climate change that took tens of thousands of years to change things. What we are talking about, that is happening right now, has taken only a few short centuries.





Tuesday, January 5, 2021



Aul Lang Syne is and will always be, synonymous with the end of a year and the beginning of another year. It is as inherent to New Year’s Eve, as Pomp and Circumstance is to graduation. It is New Year’s Eve’s signature song. When written by Robert Burns in 1778 it was a Scottish language poem that literally translates to “Days Gone by.” It has become the traditional song to sing on New Year’s Eve, all around the world. It also has been deemed the most famous song, that no one knows, yet everyone has butchered on a tipsy New Year’s Eve.


I do think it’s fitting and proper to see the old year out and welcome the new one in, but yet if it’s really our desire to improve our lives as we live them out. Then it too becomes a time to not only say “Out with the old and in with the new” but to make the new, something better than it was. A new you, a new model and a chance to tie this change back to a significant date and time and there is no better day to do that-- then New Year’s Day


Since the time of the invention of the wheel mankind has always been looking for a better. wheel. That one that Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone rode around on, back in the day was just a starting point for the wheel. That’s the way our lives should be structured too. That 18-year-old person, turned out at the end of a high school education, should be just a starting point and it shouldn’t stop there. We need to strive to be all that is within our capability’s to be. Anything else is just a waste.


We do have something to celebrate this year. A vaccine that normally takes’ multiple years to test and develop was done in a fraction of that time. It’s a testament to what can be accomplished when all the chips are on the table. When Government and private enterprise put their collective heads together in an all-out effort to make something work. This pandemic as terrible as it has been, was the impetus to make this happen. We need to learn from this, what is truly possible when push comes to shove and shove comes to a can-do attitude. This was truly a team effort. Not just in this country but in many countries.


Now that we know we can do it. Next time, let’s make it a more proactive action. The biggest shame in all of this is the Laissez faire attitude we had in this country about the disease. Oh, this isn’t a shot at just the administration although they were complicit. That attitude has been around for a long time in this country and on a lot of subjects. Sometimes as my Mother would say, “People get too big for their britches.” We still have a way to go before we can claim victory. There is lot of harm that was done that cannot be undone and the word victory may be the wrong word. Maybe the word correction would be more appropriate. There is a lot of suffering to still be suffered but lets’ let that suffering always be a reminder of what can happen when you get-- “Too big for your britches.”


It is my hope, my prayer that as the ball falls this New Year’s Eve, we all see a new beginning. That we will always be that can-do society. There will always be other viruses and if we can keep the politics out of the solutions, they will be squashed before they ever get started. “May Auld Acquaintance Be forgotten in Days of Auld Lang Syne.”   Happy New Year.   Mike




Friday, December 18, 2020




I dreamed a dream the other night that this year at Christmas, I could just go back and relive one of the 79 Christmas’s I have experienced in my life, instead of creating another one. Although most of them are lost to memory, a few of them are still there in my meandering thoughts. I can remember my wife’s last Christmas before she passed. I remember the year after our mother passed, six days before Christmas. I remember Christmas’s when you couldn’t see the tree for the presents.  Kids parties at the fire station, when Santa came on the ladder truck. But my most precious Christmas was when I was about six or seven years old.


That year, 1947, my parents and my three brothers and I were living in an apartment fashioned out of the attic of an old house in Staples Minnesota. My dad worked in an ice cream shop up town. A job today that would be more appropriate for a high school kid, trying to make some spending money. The war was just over and there were no other jobs to be had.


Somewhere, Dad had found a Christmas tree and he’d hauled it up into our cramped living space and Mom decorated it with paper cut outs and popcorn strung into garlands. She even made an angel for the top. There was a string of bubble lights that dad would light for a few minutes each night and then quickly shut them off so they didn’t burn out. If one burned out, they all went out and he had no extras. Then came Christmas Eve and we gathered around the tree and the bubble lights stayed on at last. There was nothing under the tree. We sat there while Dad read the Christmas story from his bible and then he got up and went outside and came in with a red sled. It was obvious, it was a used sled that he had repainted. The kind with the metal runners. I remember Dad trying to be happy and festive and I remember Mom hanging her head and crying softly while she nursed the baby. Maybe it was the simplicity of it all and maybe it was just the humbleness of that Christmas Eve, that I can’t forget.


Christmas has never been about things for me. It has been about people. Suffering is always more easily tolerated when it is suffering shared. Happiness also is meant to be shared but the one ingredient, the one common denominator, that enhances happiness and tempers grief is love and that Christmas night was all about love and not any tangible things. Of the six players on that Christmas Eve, that night way back then, only three remain. We have all had wonderful lives. I for one am so grateful for the life I have had, the family I shared and the family I fostered and I’m so privileged to be a part of all of it. So grateful for the three family members that were there that night that have since passed on and the indelible memories I have of them. But the thing that makes me the happiest is just the fact that I remember that distant Christmas Eve, like it was last Christmas Eve. Something happened there that night that simply made it so unforgettable to me and I think I know now, what it was and I hope I never forget why. I wish I could drive back there on a quiet Christmas Eve and just park outside of where the house once stood  and let the feelings of that night wash over me once more. Maybe I could even bring some bubble lights.





Thursday, December 3, 2020



A few years back I was standing on the deck of the United States Battleship Missouri, in Pearl Harbor. As I stood there under those big guns that cast a shadow over the grave of another American Battle ship, the sunken Arizona, I closed my eyes, I could almost hear the bombs that fell on our brave sailors that day. Then walking around the super structure and facing the stern where a podium stood, I could also hear the voice of General Douglas Macarthur at the surrender that ended that horrible war and took place right there on that deck. I have never been more humbled, prouder of this country, then on that day, some 70 years later. 


President Roosevelt called Dec. 7th 1941, the day of the attack, “A day which will live in infamy” but September 2nd1945, was the day that will live on in my memory. It was the day when a weary country celebrated the end of tyranny and the beginning of peace.


Today our country has all but forgotten the sacrifices that were made to achieve that peace. That cohesiveness that existed on that September day in our country has been replaced with political infighting and rancor that threatens our very existence. This by people in power who weren’t worth the sacrifice our country exhibited during that war. As I look out today, Doctors and nurses are fighting this pandemic. Volunteers by the thousands are handing out food and meals and I see in them that same spirit of World War II. But then I look towards Washington and our leaders and all of that goodness is overshadowed, by greedy power grabbing politicians on both sides of the aisle. They should all have to go and stand on that ships deck and apologize to the spirits, of those who gave their lives for our freedom. 


I read a book by Tom Brokaw called the Greatest Generation. It should be something all people should read. Because within it he talks about the generation that proceeded World War II. The people who lived through the great depression and coincidently they were the ones who played the biggest part in fighting that war, here at home and abroad. It talks about the sacrifices they made for the good of this country. I was born in 1941 and the Great One was the generation that proceeded my generation. But their ideals were still apparent in my generation and we did subscribe to them. But over the years there has been a steady erosion of those ideals and principals and it shows. It should not take a World War to bring people together.


My generation is growing old and tired and what we want for this country is not going to benefit us. It’s for our kids and grandchildren that we worry. We take some blame for what has happened because in effect we allowed it to happen. I have in my yard an old apple tree that once was full of fruit year after year. But then about ten years ago it started producing less and less fruit. It still knew how; it was just worn out and at the end of its useful life. Next spring, I will cut it down and right next to it I have already planted its replacement. This year it had its first apples and its future looks bright. Maybe that’s where I am today in my own personal life. I still remember what goodness and love for America was all about but it’s time to step aside. It’s time for a new show in town. One that is progressive without being overly redundant about the past. A lot of the answers are already here. At least it’s a good place to start.









Since we bought our place in Crosslake back in 1987, we have had quite a few different neighbors. They were all good people in their own way but like all things, some were better than others. A couple of them pretty much stayed to themselves and early on, one widowed lady and my wife became such good friends that after she moved away, my wife seemed to not want to take that risk of having another friend leave her, so maybe it was her way of just being gun shy. That was in the house to the west of our place. 


To the east of our place were a couple we got to know quite well and they were there for a long time. We took some trips together and seemed to get along well but eventually they too moved, although my wife had passed away at the time. My wife and this couple liked to go to casinos so she had that in common with them. Me not so much. My thoughts on gambling were. Why not just send them the money and save the gasoline?


Back to the house to the west. A man and his wife bought the house about twenty years ago and tore it down and built a beautiful house on the property. Then he too passed away but the family still owns the house. The matriarch of the family and I only call her that because she does fit the part, comes up from time to time but old age, her friends and her home in the cities seems to take up most of her time. There were four boys in the family who seldom come and so that leaves Andrea. She comes up when the ice goes out and goes in the late fall as do I. Andrea-- and I hope she forgives me for this-- is just south of 50. I’m just south of 80. She is as young at heart as very few women her age are and she just loves life up here.


Andrea will sit on top of her boat house for hours at twilight, with her camera, looking for that perfect sunset. She loves to go in her boat to the river with her music and soak up Mother Nature. She has a little dog named Brutus who is joined at the hip with her and maybe that’s all of the dependents she really wants. She has a small business and makes jewelry and crafts she sells at shows and in some stores. She has earned the title of an artist. My bedroom window faces her work area and at night when I go to bed, I see her bent over her table creating. She’s a night owl at heart and almost nocturnal and you seldom see her before 11 in the morning.


What I’m really trying to tell you about Andrea is what she means to me. This was the summer from hell when it came to having company because of the virus. So, Andrea and I would sit on my porch and talk for hours. We were two lonely ships that almost passed in the night but then said-- “We need to be friends.” I am her fixit man and she is my watch dog, keeping me off ladders and out of places I don’t belong in at my age. My children, who are all older than Andrea, know she is here for me, living by myself and that helps them not worry about me. I once read a book called Tuesdays with Morrie. It was about a young man, a student, and an old man, his college professor and the rekindled relationship they enjoyed in the fading days of the old man’s life. Maybe in a roundabout way that’s where Andrea and I are. An old writer giving his memories and what he perceives as his wisdom, to a young in heart and spirit lady, who is such a good listener.


Friday, November 13, 2020



While you are reading this Pat and I will be back in Arizona for the winter. For me this was the summer that was never was, living in fear of a flu that would not be kind to us and the hate that is tearing our country apart. I have never left for down south with as much trepidation as I have this year. I have never been sadder about the current shape of our country. Both fiscally and morally. The gloves came off in the last election and I’m not sure they will ever go on again. I think truthfully, we have forgotten how-to live-in peace. 


We both know the isolation that made life so lonely this summer in Minnesota, will have to continue down there in Arizona, as there is no running away from this pandemic. It will mean some subdued Holidays, as we will be estranged from most of our families. Last weekend we both said goodbye to our up-north family’s. Goodbyes have taken on a whole new meaning. There was a time when it meant goodbye for now, but now, one is not so sure what that goodbye means. We can only hope and pray.


In the animal kingdom the older ones know how much more vulnerable they are to danger. The senses they once used to warn them of danger have grown old and weak. The legs that outran the fastest foe have been hobbled. Their immune systems are weaker and disease and climate have taken their toll. Their future is bleak. We as humans have long recognized our waning bodies and reached out to loved ones for support. But now those very same people who helped us in the past, have become a liability, as their active lives expose them to the very disease’s we have to avoid.


So, we sit back and we reminisce. We think of the days when politicians would put their minds together and despite their party affiliations, come up with answers to our country’s problems. The greatest leaders we have in this country today, want nothing to do with politics. They know that to win they need to play the game and the game is rigged and they too will be marionettes with someone else behind the scenes, pulling the strings. We once held our leaders to a higher standard back then but then somewhere along the way we dumbed down that standard and we put up with the lies and corruption and at election time, we settled for the lesser of two evils.  We think of how we loved our grandparents and took them into our homes when they no longer could care for themselves. A place where they could still be part of a family instead of sitting in a chair looking out at the front door of a care center, hoping the next person coming in is someone they know. None of this will ever change now because it’s not possible with the life styles we now embrace. Materialism and power now rule the world, not sensitivity.


We also know that the time to change any of this has passed and although we once embraced this long gone life style, we are the ones responsible for allowing it to slip away. We are like swimmers who swam out farther then their ability to make it back to shore. It was on our watch that this change happened. It was on our watch that our waters became too polluted to drink and the air unfit to breath. When rules, discipline and morality ceased to exist. We can only be happy for the good life we once had and yet sad for what little we have left our grandchildren.