Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
Click on Mark Twain to jump to Troutbirders book review blog

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The best and worst of it. Part II



 
The best: Cottagewood. According to several social workers from both Mayo Clinic and Olmsted County it was one of the very best memory care facilities in all of southern Minnesota. I believe that is correct.

The worst: based on experiences almost to frequent to keep track Cottagewood is not that good on occasion. They claim to have the most trained staff and appropriate facilities to keep your loved one safe and the residents family involved and informed. The problem is quite common to large bureaucracies of all kinds. Communication fails and lawyer written red tape designed to protect the bureaucracies bottom line or reputation sometimes defies common sense.

Barb had just arrived several days before from Mayo Clinic’s maximum-security psychiatric ward. Two days later I had received early in the morning a phone call from Cottagewood which indicated sometime in the night Barb had fallen and possibly had a broken arm. It was swollen and I needed to drive 30 miles to Rochester and take her to Mayo Clinic’s emergency room for an x-ray. I wasn’t sure as explained in my previous post if she would even be admitted. But more than that should I be the one to drive her there. I told them to call for an ambulance. They refused. I refused to take her myself, pointing out that because of her extreme agitation she well could possibly jump out of the car grabbed the steering wheel begin choking me and we would both be at risk for our very lives. I rushed up to Cottagewood and found that Barb’s arm was swollen but she was not in severe pain. Getting an aide to apply an ice pack, I then demanded to see the chief operating officer. And after much ado an ambulance was finally called and at St. Mary’s emergency room they found that Barb had a fractured arm.


Several weeks later another phone call informed me that my wife had been “assaulted”upon arrival that word was changed to “molested” this was followed some days later when she assaulted a knocked to floor a male resident who was giving her a neck message while she was eating lunch. Apparently she had previsouly be calling hime “Ray” (my name} . The last report was that she hoped in bed with the culprit who nude and presumably assaulted him. All this led to a promise that each one would have a separate aid watching them and keeping them apart. Numerous efforts on that behalf all failed due to lack of communication of the various pertinent protocols among the aides. Then he disappeared for three weeks after I was chastised for threatening him if he ever got within 10 feet of my wife again. Not good the poor fellow has dementia. Then he finally disappeared and reappeared three weeks later now looking and acting somewhat zombie like. More recently when Lily was with me visiting dementia land I still had the unfortunate reaction on my part as he approached me and Barb to inform him that if he approached any closer to my wife my dog “killer”the highly trained German police dog would rip his arm off. My bad again but I have further stories about Cottagewood to add to my future New York times best-selling book Adventures in Dementialand

Friday, May 17, 2019

The best and the worst of it!



The best:

W. F. M. C.   The world famous Mayo Clinic. Their motto is the patient comes first.
Not always. Though they saved Mrs. T's life twice and rescued me from a very near to death experience once. I could write a book on that subject.
The worst:  Chapter 1. Like the time after Barb had been in the psychiatric lock up for three weeks. Came home for 2 1/2 days while she was freaking out. And they wouldn't admit her to the emergency room to send her back to  what she called" prison" because she said "I won't go in to that f**&*place because the doctors will send me to the nursing home!" Whereupon the two nurse/aides told me I would have to call the Rochester police dept. to get her in. I refused to do that until they decided to get there supervisor. When suit and tie guy arrived on the scene and repeated the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo I began yelling at him for a bit, in front of a large audience were listening to this dramatic scene, when I lowered my tone of voice and said " sir I have a solution to your problem. Have your worker bees bring out a wheelchair and set it in front of Barb and me. I'll sit in it. And if they happen to mention that I might possibly be having a heart attack. It might all be good." It was. As my beloved Barb grabbed the wheelchair and push me ahead into the emergency room. Within a half hour the head doctor from Mayos psychiatric lock up arrived on the scene where or three weeks a tinkered with her meds and she was on her way to MEMORY CARE at Cottagewood. That's another story which I will relate on another morning when I wake up a little less cranky from thinking about my dealings with large bureaucracies, who don't always live up to their missions or even worse their promises.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

A very good man and a good politician.......


Sen. Duane Benson
 In this day and age when public opinion the polls indicate that respect for congresses, presidents, lawyers and others involved in government regardless of party are at an all-time low it might be difficult to find any politician who might be considered a good man. Our small town newspaper editor recently wrote an editorial in the Spring Valley Tribune about a man who recently died who defied all of those stereotypes. The editor and owner of the aforementioned small town weekly newspaper is David Phillips. He is a man who I highly respect and is a former tennis player who I played with and against many times. His editorial I quote now word for word.
Radiant thoughts of lost ‘friend' cut through loom of rainy day.
 "After work one rainy day last week, I decided to take a run on the Root River trail from Lanesboro, l despite the weather conditions. Although the trees were still bare, offering little protection, I thought the valleys surrounded by bluffs would offer a little buffer from the wind, softening the blow of the light rain.
     As I made my way, west of Lanesboro, I spotted the Duane Benson farm. In the gray monotone atmosphere, it looked so different than I recalled because I had always pictured it is a radiant place with the sunshine acting as a spotlight highlighting this heavenly paradise on earth.
   Part of that cheerful upbeat image is probably because of the man who lived there. Benson was such a radiant person who made a name for himself in so many do ways. He played in the NFL, operating as team captain of the Oakland Raiders in 1971 and playing in a Super Bowl. Then he served in the Minnesota legislature for more than a decade helping craft  bi-partisan bills, Minnesota Care being one which still addresses key issues today.
   After he left politics, he became Executive Director of the Minnesota business partnership, a group of CEOs from Minnesota businesses, was a charter member of the Minnesota sports facilities Authority, which oversaw construction of the states professional football stadium and served in many other capacities including initiatives to further early learning as well as college education. Yet it wasn’t his accomplishments that touched me.
  My memories aren’t of his time in the NFL, the state Legislature or State Boards. Instead, I recall brief moments we connected-on a school bus riding to the start of the trout trot race in a nearby small town, or when we sat across from each other during lunch when he was a guest speaker at the service club or at a foundation banquet when he brought me a drink before dinner where again he was a guest speaker.
  Those encounters probably happened about a decade apart it it always seemed as if we had talked just the day before. We weren’t close enough to be considered friends but he treated me like a best friend every time I saw him. Those memories flooded my mind as I ran past his farm that didn’t have the Radiance on that wet day last week. The gloomy appearance wasn’t just from the gray skies above. My perception was colored by the fact that I also knew Benson would never be returning to the farm a place he enjoyed even preferred while he was out in the world making a name for himself, because he died earlier this year after a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old at his death shorter than the average lifetime of Americans today. Yet his life was far above in what he brought to the world.
   Sometimes we focus on the length of our lives rather than the quality of our lives. However the key is what we do with our years rather than how many years we exist Benson packed a lot of living into his years on earth. His life is also a good reminder that the important things aren’t necessarily what we accomplish. What counts is how we treat people something many of us forget in the daily rush to keep up with all our worldly commitments.
   I’ll never see Duane's smiling face in the physical world again but I’m sure memories of his thoughtfulness humor and warmth will pop back into my mind at times even if I may be in a gloomy rainy funk. Those images of Benson in my mind, will always exhibit the Radiance as if the sun is shining down from heaven on him.
As I, Troutbirder/teacher Ray, reflect on this man, I knew him pretty much as Dave describes him in his editorial. He came to my high school 12th grade classroom as a guest to talk about the legislature and politics and citizenship. He talked to those students as to what a duty as citizens we should all take seriously. He described politics as something that someday they might aspire to which could help their communities their state and their nation. He described politics as the honor and privilege of his life to serve. Nothing about football and his other famous accomplishments and yet I can only describe  his talk as inspirational. Someday  participate, he urged. I could’ve invited other political figures to my classrooms. But I didn’t. I didn’t want to invite men or women who might raise their finger’s in the air to see which way the wind was blowing so they could be reelected, or were were unwilling to compromise and work together with people of other  political principles to get things done.
Duane Benson was a very good man and a politician more of whom we could use today to  help make America less divided and even greater than it already is. Remember Winston Churchill’s great insight. “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest”
An Oakland Raider for all seasons....:)
 
 
 


Friday, May 10, 2019

STARRY STARRY NIGHT

 
Dear fellow bloggers and friends, I am writing tonight about yesterday’s visit to Mrs. T’s memory care facility at Cottagewood. It’s actually a story I’ve titled  “Starry Starry Night”after French artist Vincent van Goghs painting of the same name. The song itself is named Vincent by Don Mclean.
I and Barb were discussing with the head nurse Chris, Barb’s numerous recent falls. The issue was simply what to do to keep her safe and if possible avoid permanently assigning her to a wheelchair. During this lengthy semi successful discussion I finally heard some music from the commons room around the fireplace. Taking Barb’s hand we chose to follow the music.
Finding a seat in a large circle involving most of the residents and their aides and caretakers we focused on a large boned blonde woman beautifully singing as she played her guitar. Her companion, also in his 50s was quite short with thick glasses and looked to me like a retired hippy the from an earlier decade. He also was playing his guitar while occasionally pounding on it for rhythm. He also sang quite well. She asked the audience for any further suggestions on what they could play. No response. So I raise my hand and volunteered the notion of some “golden oldies”. That’s the phrase I had used and previously writing about the Valentine’s day where we got rock ‘n roll from the pianist and later waltzes for the Dementia land luncheon with your sweetheart and Ball .
This time though, I’m not exactly sure how to describe the music, let’s just call it old time hip big city folk music from decades ago. Some of the audience was sleeping, some watching and listening and a very few tapping, smiling and singing along. It was all good. And then….
And then I heard the phrase which they were both singing, “Starry Starry Night.” And I put my face in my hands, listened and then began to cry. I don’t believe anyone except the female guitarist noticed my reaction at first but in any case she kept on going and so did I. As the song concluded I stood up and approached her to thank her and she nodded and pointed to her husband. As I approached him he held out his hand and said”I know”and I said bipolar. And the name? Ted. Then she approached and gave me a hug and said”I’m so sorry, we will play it again for you at the end. Later, when she looked at her watch, I waved my finger and shook my head no and she nodded and I requested American pie. The audience smiled and Barb and I stood up to dance as we had when Don McLean sang the some years ago in the Rochester Civic Auditorium.  Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin' this'll be the day that I die
Everyone has been guessing the meaning of all these words since forever. That song is  now is legend.
Oh, could that man could sing and composed the songs  he sang and for others as well. Often to be their greatest hits. And roberta Flack   sang her greatest hit “ killing me softly with his song, ” with these words 
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song

It was about McLean.  Ending this story with one of Barb and my favorite songs composed and sung by Don Mclean. AND I LOVE YOU SO.    I played our piano back in the day and we both sang this song.....

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Current Events


Back in the day is a callow young social studies teacher we were expected to teach something called current events. Considering the low standard of that subject today in Washington DC and elsewhere I'm not sure I would even do it for fear of teaching low morals to my students. Then however I made assignments on the subject that included something called Junior Scholastic. Those were the days my friends....... today however current events for me is a much more personal issue. Here is one of mine.

     Now, for me, a new adventure. It seems some months ago x-rays showed I needed a new right knee. I’ve been delaying it on the grounds that hospitalization and rehab might keep me from other duties involving Mrs. T. Early last week the pain in my damaged  right knee began increasing, so I made an appointment with  my primary care guy to discuss new options for proposed surgery. It seems, the  night before for that appointment I’d had a very painful  time with my knee and in the morning I had to lift my right leg over the side of the bed to stand up. And I couldn’t. I ended up crawling to the kitchen or perhaps shuffling on my back to get to the phone and call friends to take me to see my doctor that morning. With some help and Barb’s old walker from her knee surgery I made it to the clinic. There Dr. B. and I discussed options for immediate knee replacement. During that discussion I said I thought my leg was bent to the right at an angle. So he looked and found it very swollen and I rated it as the 9.7 on the  10 point pain scale. 6 ounces of fluid were then  withdrawn from the knee and he talked about a likely infection. Blood samples were sent to Olmsted in Rochester and an interminable wait began. The next morning there was no sign of an infection it was something else. More tests more results and finally a conclusion. Something Dr. B had only seen twice before as a Dr. and he told me mine was by far the worst case he’d ever seen. The name, unknown to most people, is simply pseudo gout. I can explain how it’s different from regular gout but apparently the symptoms of extreme pain in arthritic joints, and swelling particularly the knee are the the same. So so he sent me home with a shot,
 a simple cortisone shot and I went to bed hoping for the best. A good nights sleep I got up painless and did a jig all the way to the kitchen with a big smile on my face. The prognosis is that its not likely to come back but it could and on those thoughts and not at all worried. The end.

be well friends, after a two week hiatus I’m back on the Internet Troutbirder with my friend Dragon.

Catch you later, Ray

Friday, May 3, 2019

Too Somber lately but Still KICKING

Dear Friends, A hunt &pecl message on my awful laptop. Mss T is ok . I ok n0w after 4days of hell.   PSUEDO gout. yuk.........today able finally to stand  up with cortison maybe go  to Barb apartment.in Roch.
also my best friend the dragon died last week . he will be resurrected next WEEK B   a   former stundent & techy guru.   " I SHALL RETURN"  ray










Sunday, April 28, 2019

Marriage; falling in love or arranged?

It seems my eldest son Ted and his new bride Deanne fell in love. Perhaps it wasn’t love at first sight since they had been in the same classrooms in our small towns elementary school since kindergarten. Then they went to high school together dated their senior year and that was it. Going off to college some distance apart in other states they remained steadfast and married after graduation. Their marriage however lasted only a few years but Deanne assures me that Ted is waiting for her in heaven where she knows she will meet him again there someday.
For Mrs. T. Now in memory care she expects much the same,, that is as long as I keep my nose clean and attend church regularly. Our beginnings though were much different. We had an old-fashioned arranged marriage. Actually, Barb arranged it. Back in the day she was teaching in a small town high school and according to Barb her single girlfriends forced her into approaching the superintendent of schools and telling him to be sure to hire an eligible single male social studies teacher. Of course not so side nor timid Barb took on the job. The man I replaced had moved on to teach social studies in Rochester Minnesota I was his replacement. You might say I was requisitioned. When she tells that two people in more recent times I say it’s probably true though she no doubt in her story left out the most important word in her requisition “that was the word” “handsome”. :-) She continued on making arrangements by on the second week in my first ever high school job. She approached my classroom with a rather sorrowful expression. It seems that on the first floor, I was on the second floor the social studies Junior high teacher was a jerk because she needed the filmstrip projector and he wouldn’t loan her his. That I have one that she could borrow me being a fellow social studies teacher. What could I do but loan her mind. After all she was a damsel in distress. Well I don’t recall if I ever got it back but I doubt it and in any case about a year later we were married. It was arranged and perhaps inevitable it seems we had both grown up in St. Paul Minnesota and had a lot in common. So the question comes up which is perhaps the best way to enter in to marriage. Arranged or to fall in love? Barb and my circumstances where the latter. She wanted a husband. And I was ready to settle down. It’s probably fair to say even on the day we were married we weren’t madly in love. My best analogy on that subject is found in the song and the movie fiddler on the roof. That was an arranged marriage if I remember right they were Jewish. Arranged marriage does in Europe were quite common among the royalty princesses marriage to princes were a matter of politics and power for the ruling families. They could fall in love but often the future Kings made either other arrangements such as divorces and or affairs. I can’t remember the couple’s names in the fiddler story, perhaps he was to Teveyhe but in any case the couple grew into a profound and lasting marriage based on love. When I go to Cottagewood she lights up when she sees me and gives me hugs and kisses and speaks of our love I do the same. When it’s time for me to go home she hangs on for dear life and begs me to take her home me. The aides and nurses then begin a diversion and I have to sneak out each and every time. Surely however love begins or grows it is the only thing that really counts in the end. Troutbirder a. K. A. Ray

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Troutbirder is "Lost" with Daniel Boone



The story begins with Troutbirder hearing reports of flooding on the Mississippi River. How bad was the flooding he wondered. So, I headed north to check out my favorite fishing landing on a widening of the Mississippi river called Lake Pepin. The small town adjacent is known as Lake City.

The route from my hometown of Spring Valley headed straight north 60 some miles through Rochester Minnesota and on to Lake City.  The highway was State highway 63, however, 63 changed its name in Rochester to Broadway so I kept on Broadway still heading north for  about 10 miles when  state 63 reappeared again in the middle of a roundabout. This was and is a fairly rare device in rural southeastern Minnesota.   Thus, I was back on 63 and arrived in Lake City to check out the floodwaters. They were quite high flooding streets in town and putting my often used boat landing under about 10 feet of water..

Turning around again intended to stop and spend the rest of afternoon bringing a Lily and myself to visit Mrs. T and all of Lily’s new friends in MEMORY Care. It didn’t work I got lost……… Using the roundabout. I had forgotten that highway 63 had disappeared and reappeared and I followed the road on which it had reappeared from. Big mistake.

I drove some miles before it dawned on me that I had never been on this road before. Well, I thought I knew I would have to go south and then perhaps a little east to catch highway 52 coming south to Rochester from the Twin Cities. Bad idea I don’t have a iPhone I don’t have a compass and the compass navigator on the dashboard wasn’t working. So now it’s raining cloudy and there are no signs telling me which way is Rochester nor any names of other towns I was familiar with. They just tell me the names of county roads I’ve never heard of so I wandered and wandered and wandered I couldn’t even jump out of the car and determine north by seeing which side of some big oak trees grew Moss or look in the sky to see which direction the sun was moving and so on and so on.  There were lots of darkened farms, no traffic. I was in the hill and valley country of Olmsted County. I could have been lost in the wilderness which I’ve been in many times in northern Canada and the boundary waters wilderness of northern Minnesota. After miles of driving I came to a new elementary school called Pine Island. I knew that town was near the four-lane highway 52 heading south to Rochester so I kept going and came to a dead end and had to turn around.   That was followed by two  small towns with names I’ve never heard of and no businesses or anything open  where I could inquire for directions. Finally, many miles later I came to a building  which I had seen about an hour before. Mmmm. I’m going in circles in an agricultural area with hills and valleys and there are no signs of anything that could give me a clue except county road numbers going in four different directions.

Then  a miracle  that is a business with lights on and it was open.  Arriving at the site, I pulled over and  went into  the Douglas bar and Grill. There were four guys, a bartender and three customers sitting at the bar and drinking beer. I tried to sidle over to the bartender quietly, but of course everybody was watching this stranger as I came in and wondering who he was. Not one to beat around the bush,  I spoke loud enough for everyone to hear and told the bartender  I had gotten  lost someplace back up the road in one of those newfangled roundabouts.  The bartender informed me well you're not the first and in any case, figures  all roads lead to Douglas and this particular bar. Showing some sympathy one of the barstool guys offered to point me in the right direction wherever I wanted to go. At that point  grateful for the help but  feeling a bit humiliated by my predicament I denied that I was really lost and never had been ever.  Then then I quoted the great frontier  explorer Daniel Boone. Back in the day Boone was asked by a New York City reporter if he had ever been lost. "Never," Boone replied," but I’ve been confused  many times. On that note we all had a laugh and  that I had been seriously confused.  Upon which I was offered a free beer and directions to Rochester straight ahead for 2 miles Rochester. And a quarter of a mile further I was in Cottagewood to visit my bride only three hours late and one beer ahead. The end.
P.S. I forgot to mention one small detail, the directional display on dashboard indication conked out at the beginning...:(

Friday, April 19, 2019

And ecumenical dialogue for Easter

Deanne and Mrs. T.
Photograph by Ray (A. K. A.) Troutbirder
A religious dialogue between an evangelical Baptist, my beautiful loving daughter-in-law Deanne and myself Troutbirder who is perhaps a skeptic or even a secular humanist. The dialogue that follows stems from my noting to  Deanne some of my favorite parts of the New Testament. Well, I have some issues with the Old as with that eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth stuff. Each part of the dialogue begins with my comments some favorite passages and Deanne’s take on those comments. Enjoy or comment on them in the comments section yourself. :-) Remember however this is not red state versus blue state stuff, nor zero sum debates but between two people who love and care for each other.

  Hi Ray!


 I'm presently at my 2nd of 3 jobs I have.  My client  was born with a rare chromosomal handicap. .  He spent the first 5 months of his life at Children's hospital.  I was blessed to start working with him when he finally came home--a little "peanut" of a boy, with a sweet smile and pretty auburn hair.  He's my dear "Billy"  I just love him to pieces and am truly blessed to know him and his family.


 


Speaking of "blessed,"  the Sermon on the Mount is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible (Matthew 5).  It truly makes sense that you love that chapter, as well, Ray.  From your insight on each verse, backed up by the way you have lived, one can easily see you have a deep passion (from God, I believe) to help and advocate for the less fortunate--the ones who suffer...the lost...the lonely...the disabled...the weak...the poor...the unprotected...the vulnerable...the overlooked...the forgotten.  I have ALWAYS seen Jesus in you, Ray--but reading your take on the Beatitudes, definitely added another dimension to the beauty of your soul. 


 Not that my opinion matters, but since you asked me to comment on your take on the Beatitudes, I will do so now, for you...


 
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  I think that may mean something about depression.  And I know it saved you and Barb when Ted went there to be with God.  Thank you for saying that, Ray.  When Ted went to Heaven, not only was my husband gone but so were my dreams and my future.  That's why it took me so long to regain my footing because TED had been my footing.  I had to turn my pain, depression, and FUTURE over to Jesus or I would have never made it.  Being "poor in spirit" meant relying solely on Jesus--the only One who could heal my pain and give me HOPE again.  And He did.  From that whole heart-wrenching trauma I came to realize REALITY that we are ALL passing away...that we are all dying.  And I can't tie my anchor onto anyone or anything that is passing away. I can only tie it onto the One who gave His life for me and is preparing a place for me in eternity.  Two of my favorite Bible verses are John 3:16-17, which I'm sure you know: 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."


 
"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." That also covers the previous one.  I also know I've had a share of that business in my life.  Yes, you have, Ray.  Mental illness is no respecter of persons and it has dug it's ugly claws into too many of your beloved family members.  I can't IMAGINE the anguish you've had to endure, especially with losing your beloved son.   I do so hope the Lord comforted you in those valleys of darkness and carried you in His loving arms until the sun (AND Son) shone on your face again.


 
"Blessed are the meek for they shall possess the earth."  I hope that's true for they deserve it the most.  You are soooo right, Ray.  Ok--here comes my fiery opinion...(watch out!wink)  It is this point that makes me righteously angry with BOTH the republican and democratic parties.  Both parties talk out of both sides of their mouths. Scripture AND the constitution are clear that ALL life is important and valuable--whether you're of the 97% who are born with no birth defects or of the 3% who ARE born with so-called defects, whether you're Christian or Atheist or Muslim, whether you're one skin color or another, whether you're heterosexual or homosexual, whether you're a woman or a man or unsure of your gender, whether you live within the  "walls" of the United States or outside the "walls" of the United States, whether you live within the "wall" of a womb or on the outside of the "wall" of a womb...ALL life is important.   And I, too, hope the MEEKEST of the meek possess the earth someday.  The last WILL be first.


 


"Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied."  Another core value for me and it should as well be for our country and many others.  But as a country we have failed that many times because of many things including prejudice racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. etc.    I completely agree.  And I would also add in there that this country has failed because of greed, selfishness, and disrespect for God and for our neighbor.


 


"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy."  Yes indeed, the good Samaritan.  I love that story of the Good Samaritan.  Did you know that in Jesus' day, the Samaritans were looked down upon because they weren't purebred?  (That goes back to when the Assyrians conquered the northern tribes of Israel and many of the areas of those regions--AKA, Samaria became "mixed" then).  Yet, it was the "unclean" and "mixed" person from Samaria who helped the half-dead traveler on the road.  We ALL need to be good Samaritans!  The world would definitely become a better place if we did!


 
"Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God."  I'm not sure what clean means here but under my sainted mother's direction I was a long time member of the clean plate club.  Hahahahaha!!!!  I love your sense of humor!  But back to the verse,  I think "clean of heart" here means asking God to forgive us of our sins and then seeking to do what God wants.  I always think of Psalm 51 when David was so remorseful for his sins and he cried out to God, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."


 


"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."  The very best people in the world who follow the teachings of Jesus, and knowing what I know now, would not have volunteered to fight in Vietnam nor any of our subsequent wars.  Word war II yes--it was a fight against an evil man in system, including the Holocaust, likely the worst kind ever.  Trying to exterminate one religion by another tribe on the basis of race and religion.  I really don't think I have the right to comment on this one because I don't know much about ANY war except World War II, and I was never deeply rooted in a military family.  My dad was in the National Guard and so was Troy, but otherwise, I really don't take a side on anything with the wars (mainly because I'm ignorant--unlike you, who knows a lot). I DO respect your opinion, though, on this matter.  But back to the verse,  Jesus says that any who try to make peace shall be called children of God.  I don't know about anyone else, but I  certainly want to be a child of God so I will do all I can to be at peace with everyone.  The writer of Hebrews reiterated the statement, when he wrote, "14Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the LORD." (Hebrews 12:14). And you're more than right about the Holocaust (of the Jews or ANY other group of people) being BRUTAL, inhumane, and EVIL.  Hitler and his wicked cohorts are definitely reaping now what they sowed during their time on earth.  They were NOT children of God--and because of that, they are in a place where God IS NOT.


 
"Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  Well, justice and mercy have somewhat been covered so I will mention heaven.  I mostly believe that heaven and hell are here on earth as God gave us the ability to make choices; thus heaven is here on earth and is made by mankind's choice of love or hate. My take on the verse is that Jesus for-warned us  that anyone who follows Him WILL be persecuted-- It's a given.  And as the end draws closer, evil will continue to ramp up and will try to snuff out Jesus' commands of "Love God first" and "Love your neighbor as yourself," and also His Great Commission to spread the Good News about Him.   But we WILL be rewarded in the end for following Him, believing in Him, and for receiving Him as our Lord and Savior.  In my beloved mother's obituary it was stated that all her suffering (which can be synonymous with persecution) had been replaced with the crown of righteousness. (2 Timothy 4:7-8).  


 
Moving on to your take on "the kingdom of heaven"--it's interesting!  Thank you for confiding in  me, in writing, and also in person, your "beliefs" on heaven and hell.   Do you mind if  I share with you another segment of favorite Scripture verses (I have a gazillion, by the wayteeth_smile).  In John 14, Jesus is comforting His disciples.  They know He is about to die soon.  This is what He says:


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going'


5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”


6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7


 
Just as Jesus was comforting His disciples with this assurance, He also comforts ME with these promises that He's coming back one day to take me to my new Home--my permanent Home with Him (and with Ted and my mom and grandma and with YOUR mom and dad).  I can't wait!  But until that day happens, I have a lot of living to do yet here and a lot of GIVING to do yet unto others.  --NOT because my salvation depends on it but because I WANT to do it in joyful response to what Jesus did for me.   I am saved because I have a SAVIOR--and one day I will reside with Him WHEREVER Heaven is located.


 


So how did I do on my commentary??  Yes, I admit I'm opinionated, but hey--I DO have a mind, a heart, and a will of my own!  God made each of us uniquely--made in His image, but still UNIQUE.  I'm glad I'm unique.  And I'm glad YOU'RE unique, too, Ray.


 

Blessed are the...  blessed is ME!!  --To have a Savior, to have life, to have love, and to have BEAUTIFUL people in my life like you, Barb, and Ted.   I hope you feel blessed, too, Ray!!


 
I would love to come to church with you one of these upcoming Sundays in March!  I'm going to shoot for March 17 or March 24th.  I would feel honored to attend with you, hear the sermon, greet your fellow Spring Valley Methodists, and have Sunday treats with the friendly female parishioners.  Sounds like it would be a perfect start to a new week!  I will talk to you about it soon.


 
Hope you have a joy-filled weekend, Ray! 


I love you!


--Deanne

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Spring time robins and Barb

It Was about a week ago when the 12 foot snow drifts in my backyard had finally disappeared. I removed my snowblower from our garage where I could plug it in and start with the electric starter. Then off it went to our garden shed and I began checking out the lawn tractor. I was obviously getting ready for grass. Two days after all this, unprepared for a nighttime sleet/rain/ice/thunderstorm, with power outages all over southern Minnesota, I woke up to find a real mess. A day after  that I noted a large flock of migrating robins wandering around my backyard on top of 4 inches of snow covered by an inch of ice. This is their story.......
Well, to tell the truth, I don't know a whole lot about robins except they like angle worms and night crawlers for lunch. That for sure wasn't going to work here. I do remember though one time flyfishing though  on a forested trout stream in Montana, watching a large group of robins fly across the stream where they were catching flying insects. Now, that's what swallows and other small diving swooping dodging birds do to catch their prey rising  from the water itself. Those are small insects that fly fisherman emulate to catch the trout. This time though they were 3 inch long salmon flies, huge flies that big trout and a big awkward bird like a robin just might catch for his own lunch. And they were. I was amazed watching them do it. Actually, it's often what  senior citizens have to do when physical infirmities force us to change our lifestyles. For those robins it was adapting to a different opportunity for lunch.
Since then I've learned that robins do that adapting all the time in ways I've never seen. They go to birdfeeders. They will eat suet out of the cages that the woodpeckers  like. Some don't migrate south to leave the colder climates of the upper Midwest. Perhaps, someday further north of us, they will be found in Manitoba or Ontario or.... Even further as climate change reeks its destruction on the worlds ecosystems.
About a week ago or so on the first sunny warm day Barb and I spent time outdoors soaking up the sun. Other people with dementia joined us  and soon I did my "thing" greeted them all, tried to get them mostly  laughing, even smiling. As the aids began bringing out people in wheelchairs, we put all the chairs in a large circle so we could see each other and enjoy the day together. Too much excitement in dementia land is not always good so when that happened I proposed we do this once a week and suggested we give our new club a name. Several names were offered by the group and the winner was the sunshine club. As  the meeting adjourned I carefully had chosen not to mention that a blizzard  was forecast for the next night and it might be a while before the sunshine club could meet again. It was a good day for all and particularly for Barb who especially enjoys the camaraderie and the friendship social gatherings. The corker, however, was shortly later that same day Barb and I were standing in the luncheon area and three people came around the corner from the hallway. These were people I had never seen before because one of them was a new resident who had only been in memory care for three days. What turned out to be her daughter came rushing up to Barb saying" Oh Barb so glad to see you again," which was followed by hugs and more hugs. Her husband followed up with a friendly greeting to me and Barb. I then introduced myself as Barb's husband and wondered how they knew Barb. The woman then explained and told me that her mother was so frightened and  upset when she came to Cottagewood two days before that Barb had approached and offered to be the elder ladies friend, told her the apartments were very nice and  wondered if she could take her hand by show her around. That of course is the real Barb I've known and loved more than 53 years now..
 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

An April Ditty

A Mrs. T. often reminded me on April mornings...
"Oh there you are Merry Sunshine,
What makes you rise so soon?
You scared away the little stars
And  shined away the moon.
The grass is green.
The flowers are riz!
Oh! There you are,
you blooming idiot

Okay. So I'd just gotten up and was only slightly cranky. The fact that the weather report for today the 10 of April indicates up to 8 inches of snow this after hasn't helped my mood either...:(

Friday, March 29, 2019

Becoming




So this morning I just finished Becoming by Michelle Obama. This much discussed book is likely or has already been identified as the most read or listened to autobiography/memoir of all time. Some of my former students, of this long retired history teacher would no doubt find it hard to believe, when I say, for this review I’m at a loss for words. What is there to say that won’t sound like a bunch of hackneyed clichés or overdrawn superlatives?' I'll try to choose my words carefully and with restraint.

Becoming is a book exactly about that. How a child and then a young girl grew up first in a racially diverse mostly blue-collar working-class neighborhood on the south side Chicago. Her rock-solid family was anchored by  a father who despite serious physical handicaps worked a full-time job for the city, never complained and brought laughter and fun to all those around him. Then there was her mother, who fostered in her children that with no excuses they should always strive to be the best that they could be. Incidentally, this should always include using proper grammar  Finally, there was an older brother who steadfastly protected his little sister and often paved the way for her on their mutual road to success. As we know, it is often the case that our early childhood sets the template for who we become.

Each following candid chapter reveals more and more of the becoming theme. Michelle’s high school years were marked by the effects of the white migration to the new suburbs. The south side of Chicago began to suffer the effects and trauma of poverty, crime and drugs. The self-actualization of the word "ghetto" only worsened the problems. In the mostly black high school, which Michelle attended, she was asked  "why are you so white?  Grammatically correct English was no doubt a factor there.
 In succeeding chapters we meet a striving young woman who regularly asked herself she was “good enough?” Needless to say she was both while attending an elite Ivy League university and beginning work at a Chicago law firm where she  hoped someday to become “a partner.” Obviously both of these institutions were largely white and mostly male-dominated.

 The next chapters becoming for Michelle involves an unlikely romance and marriage involving two people so different in their upbringing and lifestyle one can hardly imagine  how in the end it all works so well. Of course, the last becoming involves politics and the White House. Here the details are rich and compelling and  include an evolving marriage and raising two girls as normally as possible in the White House. There is some  disdain for politics  at the beginning of the stages but overall  little rancor,  Michelle’s tagline "when they go low, we go high” pretty well sums it all up what is left out in these final chapters. We saw all the lows on national television. The highs in those White House years when a special woman and her family did us all proud.
So now as I promised, without all the superlatives and clichés I could think of, I will  simply say this is the best autobiography/memoir I have ever read. And to those who for whatever reason have yet to read it I believe anyone who approaches this story with an open mind and a little empathy will find it touches the heart.

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@Barrie Summy

Saturday, March 23, 2019

A very good Valentines day in dementia land

It had been most recent Valentines day and I had been invited to  lunch and a party with music.  It was with my special Valentine. When I got there, Barb had a new friend to go along with us. Her name was Nancy. Nancy Nancy and Barb apparently  held hands, on a regular basis.  Barb  regularly reassured her when  Nancy cries that everything was going to be all right. She had also promised to be the matron of honor for another somewhat confused lady who believed she was going to be married at the end of the week. Naturally, Barb volunteered to be her matron of honor.  All of us sat together for Valentines lunch at a big table after I cleared with the authorities that this was okay and seemed no danger to anyone. I also consulted with the pianist who was providing the music and asked if she could play some slow music after lunch, preferably waltzes, so Barb and I could dance. All I could think of was the Tennessee waltz. In the meantime, the pianist was playing golden oldies from the 50s.  My lunch group along with others at other tables seemed to be having a good time and I encouraged my group to guess the songs  from the 50s and we played guess the name of  that tune  and the singer. All the people with dementia beat me soundly in that game. Some bad jokes on my part, more fun and  then I told them Barb and I were going to dance. And so we did. Alone at first and then several other "mixed"married couples(caretaker and resident) joined us. Finally,  some of the aides began rounding up people from other areas in wheelchairs and brought them to join  the dance party.  Here they held hands h with those in wheelchairs and they danced also. Towards the end as some of the smiling laughing people began to sit down from exhaustion, one of the big shots showed up with the camera and took pictures of the  crowd. Later, I asked for copies and told them with their permission I might advertise their wonderful institution by putting those pictures on my blog. Unfortunately, because this facility is part of a giant corporation and they have lawyers, there are some "privacy"issues involved in that . So eventually, I expect to get an edited picture of me and my beloved dancing through the night at our best Valentines day ever, and they will be posted on this very same blog :-) Ray
 

Monday, March 18, 2019

A message from my guardian angel


From my beautiful daughter-in-law, Deanne.

It seems that  my widowed daughter-in-law not only is Barbs and my guardian angel but she also has a gift for writing. The following excerpt from a recent letter she sent me gives a hint of that talent. The following take is from a list of complaints I vented to her. The best one though refers to the love and kisses I get from Barb when I arrive at memory care and the fact that she hangs on to me and won’t let go when I’m about to leave for our home.
Dearest Ray,
Even though your oak tree is dying, “Google” is monopolizing the internet, Verizon has robo customer service reps, robber-baron hospital and senior care companies have umpteen red tape hoops to jump thru, closed bank accounts unfortunately can no longer cash checks, and your energetic and vibrant wife of nearly 53 years still has the  intense hots for you, it’s good to know you  have your sense of humor intact😄...and that “Dragon” is a helpful dictator (ooh—now that’s an oxymoron!), or should I say is “helpful at dictating.”  I love that you are  a “half glass-full” kind-of guy—a realist BUT definitely an optimist 😁.

 

 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A bad day


Bad day

It was a really bad day off  and I came close very close to being killed twice driving. You gotta admit that’s a bad day.  Then the crummy weather forecast we've been having here here in Minnesota for months was really bad. Again. Of course, being gone all day to visit my wife in memory care forced our first ever house dog Lily into making a mistake  or two bedroom rugs.  Other than that I was notified that the pileated woodpecker who had visited my suet feeder for the first time in several  decades visited and began taking chunks of bark off the largest oak tree.  My friend Mr. science proceeded to inform me that my  the oak tree  was, no doubt, dying because somehow the woodpecker knows that and is  chipping away  because it prefers to eat the frozen worms under the bark causing the incipient fatality instead of the usually preferred suet.  Actually that's not all that made that day ""special". Instead I'll just  mention and explain why I had a bad day driving. Perhaps I was a bit distracted though I don't text. There were  10 foot drifts and snow piles along our gravel   road which heads down a hill to a busy highway. That highway has a curve in which speeding trucks appear suddenly.  Between that and the snow  I missed a speeding semi hauling a load of gasoline by about a second. I would’ve been toast. Later, that same day after visiting my tax specialist, I headed home about 30 miles. And shortly after leaving Harmony about five semi’s approached me from the other direction. Several unsecured items flew out of one of them and I only had time to duck as they flew right at me.  With the bang I ducked, held onto the steering wheel and was literally covered with shattered glass. Of course, the semi's kept on going and while I slid into the ditch. Fortunately I was mostly uninjured, though some small embedded glass was stuck into my palms where  I had gripped the steering wheel. I think that qualifies alone on having a bad day driving.  Yup. On the  much brighter side later I talked to my bride for 20 minutes from her new  abode in memory care. She was happy, joking, glad to be in her “apartment” in  Now in retrospect it really wasn’t that  bad a day. When I finally got home I had decided a black cloud had been following me. Later speaking to my daughter-in-law Deanne over the phone she  told me it was a good day because the good Lord and the guardian angels were watching over me. On second thought it was a really good day.....:)

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Alzheimer's request

No new book review today, just a picture framed poem given to me by my friends and neighbors, Bruce and Rita H. As most of you are aware Mrs. T., My dearly beloved wife Barb, is now in memory care. I cried when I read  these words the first time, but now I think  they and might be very helpful for all those who meet friends, who are in the final stages of that horrible disease.
Alzheimer's request
Do not ask me to remember.
Don't try to make me understand,
kiss my cheek and hold my hand.

I'm confused beyond your concept,
I'm sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you,
to be with me at all cost.

Do not lose your patience with me,
do not scold or curse or cry.
I can't help the way I'm acting,
I can't be different though I try.

Just remember that I need you,
that the best of me is gone.
Please don't fail to stand beside the me,
'til my life is gone.
Author not known.
Posted by Troutbirder (ray)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Cats and dogs


Cats and dogs

Well, dear fellow bloggers, it seems as though my prediction that icy cold Minnesota weather and my vertigo would limit my nature photography and blogging. Thus Troutbirder has ventured into more personal domains and even the occasional rant. Today I present cats and dogs. A somewhat controversial subject.

As the picture shows dogs are well disciplined by their masters. Cats on the other hand are either brave or foolish in the face of a potential enemy. Also wildly independent.
I begin by noting Mrs. T and I had a beloved house cat for 18 years named Simba. Previous to that two other cats named Tiger and a black cat named after a black revolutionary.  Unfortunately, both were run over by a neighbor on the road behind our house chasing endangered birds. We also had four hunting dogs and two German shepherds, Baron and now Lily.
As this picture indicates German Shepard dogs and other breeds can be organized into teams. As individual they would have a much more difficult time and often can't survive without humans. But working as a team they can be dangerous predators killing large animals like deer. 

It seems a librarian and I disagreed about the merits of dogs and cats. She would relentlessly prove the superiority of cats over dogs in hundreds of ways. A typical example was that dogs had Masters. Cats had staff. My response to that was the fact that dogs were domesticated somewhat earlier than cats. Thus cats were closer in their behavior to the wild. Cats for example are great and skillful predators. Killing mice in a useful manner and endangered birds to the detriment of that species.
 Our experience with giant Baron and Simba was relatively peaceful. They often slept in the same room and basically tolerated each other. When Simba was sitting on the sofa or a chair she would whack him with her paws. He tended than to go someplace else to lay down. And the other hand when Simba jumped down to the floor Baron began his herding/chasing act so Simba would jump up to higher ground so she could take a defensive position. They never got To a cat/dog fight. :-)




Dogs are much less predatory except when in packs. So as the cat advocate continued to educate me on the superior merits of felines, I finally retaliated. It seems likely I pointed out that in case I was walking in the woods and died of a heart attack, my loyal dog would lick me trying to save me. After that proved fruitless he would likely remain at my side for a long period of time guarding my body. On the other hand, in the same circumstance involving you and your cat I would give your beloved cat a maximum of an hour before it would start eating you. In that manner, unfortunately, I rested my case.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Finally a new book review on TroutbirderII

In 1996 modern library edition of two of Theodore Roosevelt's early books. Click on me and my friend Mark Twain in the picture above.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Two Beauties

Two beauties indeed. The gal holding a flower is an original. My guardian angel and beautiful daughter-in-law Deanne. The Amaryllis is a new color I invented by accident. I always bring my  dozens of bulbs of that flower into the basement to rest in winter. In a dark room actually. This particular Amaryllis supposed to be bright red. Going in to the dark basement room I found it had sprouted without my permission into gorgeous white and pink color. Amazing. Two beauties indeed.
As this post indicates after much ado my computer guru finally enabled me to enter my own blog. I don't think that means that Google and Yahoo settled their war but Brian finally got me back in. So Troutbirder and Troutbirder II are finally back online. At least that's one hobby I haven't had to give up because of physical disabilities, mainly vertigo and essential tremors which made it almost impossible to type except for the Dragon. :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Changes

So as many of my regular readers are aware there have been big changes in my life most recently. I am now somewhat on my own. Mrs. T. Now living comfortably and safely in memory care has made that change.. As teachers, we had the most comfortable arrangements in our marriage. I took care of the big problems in the world like war in the Middle East, United Nations strategy and national economic decisions. She she handled the more minor things like keeping track of our finances, raising children and making sure we got to church on time. It worked well but now I have to learn how to cook, do the laundry, and keep the house clean. So it goes.
   Learning to cook, or example has been quite an adventure. Starting from scratch (except for cooking over a fire in the boundary Waters) has  been interesting. Mrs. T., was addicted to Dairy Queen. Myself not so much. I wanted cake, cookies, pie and other sweets. So I decided to start with brownies. Three ingredients available in the refrigerator, a box of stuff, mix, put in the oven and bake at the right temperature. So, I successfully made it in a 13 x 9 pan, and ate them all for  supper. Yes, she would be appalled at my new diet. Coffee and six doughnuts for breakfast from Quiktrip etc. Anyway, I successfully made another batch of  brownies and only ate half for lunch. Doing so well, I later launched a third batch, put them in  the oven, checked my watch (the oven timer doesn't work), picked up a book, sat down in my recliner to read, and fell asleep. As you might expect it, wasn't until the fire alarm triggered and Lily started barking that I awoke. Familiar with edible burnt food  cooked over a fire, I took a bite. Fortunately, I didn't break a tooth but it was close. So it goes.
      I'm learning but I now have rules.
1. I never buy food in a box that has more than three ingredients and three directions.
2. Like the ancient Chinese I never leave the stage. Cooking is a performance. Never ever leave the stage. The survival of your family depends on it.
The actress.

The novice.................

Thursday, February 7, 2019

B & B's

I'm not going to admit I'm getting forgetful now in my golden years. It's just that I've been a bit distracted lately. I accidentally wrote this post on my book review blog. So now I'll do it over again here. It seems this morning I first saw an eagle flying over my house and landing. Shortly thereafter a rare pileated woodpecker attacked one of my suet feeders. That hadn't happened in years. With all these omens I decided that it was going to be a really good day.
And sure enough, a phone  a call from Cottagewood memory care saying Barb was having another good day. Since her new medicine was put in place that makes almost 3 weeks in a row without drastic or aggressive agitation. Sharon G. sent Barb a card saying that she had moved into an apartment just like Barb had. Perfect! Barb said she hoped Sharon would like hers as much as she did. Well, it's surely a better definition than banned words in my vocabulary such as nursing home, hospital, and the even the less dreaded word rehab. According to the staff Barb is working miracles. She helps big time in the kitchen and holds hands with other ladies who are seriously confused and consoles and reassures them that things will be all right and she will be their friend. That's the Barb I know and love...
Ray (Troutbirder)

 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A gal and her dog

I always had hunting dogs till I gave up the sport and took up photographing birds.  Baron our first GSD (German shedding dog) was a gentle giant. Lily followed the big guy was a rescue. She lived indoors thus  followed Barb everywhere and I occasionally had to fight for my side of the bed. Some pictures of happy days last fall follow....
 

 
Methinks, once I get the proper papers signed by the local vet, my gal and her dog can be reunited at Memory Care for our regular walks.  And even some stays in the "cottage itself.....:)

Friday, February 1, 2019

First rain, sleet, fog & ice, then snow and wind & finally...OMG

Of course we Minnesotans are regard by people to the south of us as near Eskimos living in Artic region to cold for anyone with any sense. Here we tend to think of those people as North Dakotans. Truth to tell  it's been quite a while since we've had a really tough winter till.....
Till some rain turning to sleet with fog and black ice on the highway and little snow drifts hiding the ice. We thought we were in Kansas. On I-70.  Where Mrs. T famously remarked "if this is the kind of weather global warming brings to Minnesota we're moving to Canada where we can be safe on the snow. January followed  with a few heavy snow days. Nothing we couldn't handle as long a my vertigo didn't make the ice underneath the snow more treacherous than usual. Then the high winds came across the prairies from the Dakotas and the drifts piled up on the roads.  Enough we said till the Artic Vortex arrive as the bottom drop out of the outdoor thermometers. -50 degree windchills here and across the northern tier.  OMG  A real Minnesota weather indeed.
 
 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Dr. Suess Not Then, Maybe Today

Well, as I mentioned in some previous posts, this nature blog is slowly going to evolve into something a little less out door Z and more into memoir style. This is because for health reasons many of my outdoor adventure hobbies are no longer safe for me. That translates into more fond memory stories and even an occasional rant on the subjects I've usually avoided in the past in my effort to keep my blogs family-friendly. So today, I'm going to begin with an imaginary book that never existed.
My two young sons heard all of the Dr. Seuss books over and over again. They knew them by heart to the point that when I began to change and ad lib. to the stories somewhat it was to their total disgust." That's not right dad ." "No, he didn't dad". Etc. Which all brings to mind many happy bedtimes, reading books. Perhaps, today the books of Dr. Seuss are no longer as fashionable as they once were, but I recently found the following cartoon which reminded me....
Yes it's true.
The America first people felt safe and secure behind two oceans and there was little compassion for the millions of refugees who began fleeing from the Nazi terror. Many, but not all were turned away from the land of the free and the home of the brave. Fortunately, a great leader was farsighted enough to see the danger to us and lead this nation into a just and righteous war which ended in victory.
Now, we have and are fighting in many wars far away, many, if not all are ill advised with no clear ends insight the world. In addition our leader now choses to fawn up to dictators and autocrats whereve he finds the. The nations and people have changed dramatically since world war two. There are new dangers and new and better opportunities but that great leader Franklin D Roosevelt advised us facing a great depression in world war"," the only thing we have two fear is fear itself."
Today "we are being told again  "it's "America first", which implies our friends and allies are on their own and that if we follow one man all the fears and grievances which he encourages will go away. Above all he will" "make America great again". Perhaps, my two brave and compassionate sons learned a few lessons from the good Dr. Seuss.
Don't fear:
THE DARK
THE FOREST OF THE CITY BEING ALONE
MISSLES RAINING DOWN
TERRORISTS
FOREIGN NATIONS INVADING THIS COUNTRY
AND for sure  don't fear any child or mother or father who flees to this nation to escape war and death.