Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Overcoming the Darkness

As a tyke I stood in our backyard at home and joined my mom in chatting up neighbors over the fences.


To the south was Ella Mae, a feisty lady whose garage smelled like apples and who paid me $4 to mow her lawn and shovel her walk and driveway. That was more than enough cash for a kid to buy candy and baseball cards at our neighborhood grocery store.

To the north was Bill, a great guy who loved to talk about his outdoor adventures in Montana and who, I believe, bought me my first real baseball glove, a Lou Brock model, when I was 9 or 10. 

Thanks, Bill, for helping deliver great memories: the wonderful, deep, leathery smell of the cowhide pocket of that glove, the cacophony of Little League baseball with all my wild friends – and your mentorship.

Thanks, Ella Mae, for being you.

It didn’t get much better than that.

Now there are tall wooden fences at least partially separating our old house from each of our old neighbors’ houses.

You see those fences everywhere, keeping nosy neighbors at bay. We’re all doing their own thing in our own private castles, and who has time to stand around and talk with dumb old neighbors and listen to their lame-o stories about Montana and stuff? There’s way too much to do. Including texting our friends and checking Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat or whatever, every 10 seconds.

Who needs neighbors when you’ve got smartphones? 

Who needs to deal with anyone, for that matter? Smartphones are basically attached to our bodies. Call your friend on a stupid old land line and he or she might eventually get back to you. Send a text and your phone will buzz within a minute with the reply.

You see people at restaurants, texting away or staring at the smartphone while their child or significant other sits and waits for a bit of attention. If he or she is not texting as well.

Lordy, what a sad, frustrating state of affairs. And our cherished nation is quickly going down the toilet thanks to boorish, idiotic, dictatorial, corrupt “leadership” in Washington D.C. and beyond. The stench is overwhelming. The scars are deep.

These are dark days. We might never be the same.

Then you meet good leaders and wonderful people who smile and say hello and shake your hand, which makes you smile and feel better about things.

And you hope the corruption can itself be overwhelmed, and someday those big walls can come tumbling down, joining us all once again.

It may be just a dream. But it’s a good dream. 

We must hang in there. And work to make that dream come true. 

Pester your elected officials. Call them out if they’re corrupt. Do what you can. United we stand, divided we fall.

Spring is here at last.

God bless us, everyone.


See full story in this week’s print edition or subscribe online. Please subscribe here or current subscribers can login here.

Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944


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