Maybe, Just Maybe, Spring is Springing?

With sun and temps in the high 50’s today, I was able to get outside and tend to some things that needed attention after a tough Winter. I’m thinking of taking tarps off outdoor furniture, filling the deep gouges dug by the LP gas truck when it foundered in my driveway, fixing the “dingers” in our several wind chimes, bailing water from the tub surrounding the solar system batteries, measuring for the wooden frame I need to build to shore up the small shed whose roof was flattened by the weight of this season’s heavy snow–and the list went on.

Tonight’s WPCA-FM story reading was A Cabbie’s Sunday Morning Soap Opera, a tale in which a cab driver’s imagination runs wild when an enigmatic statement made while he picked up his fare rolls around in his head and there is no radio reception to distract his thoughts. I think the story is better read than heard because it’s really three stories in one and the reader may want to go back a page or two to make sure he/she is tracking the plot. Also, one of the stories the cab driver imagines treads close to being an adult story; grown-ups may not want children’ ears to take it in. The story is found in my e-book collection, Yes, More Break Time Stories and in the paperback, The Second Gathering of The Break Time Stories. The paperback is available through and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

Su Leslie, the Librarian at St.Crox Falls Public Library, tells me I will be scheduled to read there sometime in May or June, probably on a Thursday night. I have a soft spot in my heart for the St.Croix Falls Library: Sarah Adams, the then-Librarian, had me read there in 2018. It was the first of my library readings. Others that followed included Luck, Balsam Lake, Milltown, and White Bear Lake, Minnesota, as well as readings for groups, several readings at what was The Northern Lakes Center for the Arts, a fund raiser for resurrecting the old movie theater in Amery to turn it into a live entertainment venue, a reading at Osceola’s Art Barn, and two fund raiser readings (with LaMoine MacLaughlin) for St.Croix Festival Theater. I usually read a serious story and finish to laughter with one of the “mangled” fairy tales.

Wolf Creek United Methodist Church has a regular organist! Deb Lind Schmitz, a retired Presbyterian minister, who twice pastored United Methodist congregations, is also a skilled musician and is eager to keep her skills sharp by helping us in worship. She is an answer to prayer and a blessing to me. It’s nice to have someone working with you who understands the pastoral role as well. When Deb is unable to join us, we have been blessed by Cheryl Hustad stepping in. Cheryl is the president of the Osceola Seniors and my successor in that office. Like Deb, she is another supposedly “retired” person since she works consistently as a pharmacist. Shawn Gudmunsen also played for us. He is St.Croix Falls High School’s choral director and teacher, lives close by the church, and is one of the world’s generous, ebullient people. I see all of this as an answer to prayer in the light of the scarcity of people able and willing to play for church services. There are very few of them and every church seems to be looking. I thank the Lord.

We had the pleasure of having daughter Alice with us for a few hours last weekend. She had a show out in Delano, Minnesota and camped overnight with us after attending her 35th Unity High School class reunion. It was one of those brief-but-good visits: in the morning, I headed off to church, her sister, Hannah, came over to spend some moments with her sister, and then Alice zipped off to the airport to return to Ohio, home, husband and children.

My brother, Guy, remains hospitalized on life support in Los Angeles. This has gone on since September 6th. I speak with his caretakers every so often; improvement has been slow. We are in prayer, also, for my sister-in-law, Bunny Vreeland, who is fighting back against collapsed and collapsing lungs, the result of cancer. For situations like these two, I believe the story isn’t finished yet. An old Bishop told me long ago, “Always give God the last chance.”