Do Angels Dance On Pins?

Tonight’s WPCA-FM story broadcast was Annika’s Angel, a tale of a group of long-time friends that finds the conviction of one of them that she and her husband experienced an angel to be upsetting and even divisive. It’s a good little story with dialogue that opens up each character’s belief/disbelief in angels. There are some laughs in the story and the ending may even prompt a reader to tears.

I’m excited to be reading my stories at the St.Croix Falls Public Library on September 21st at 7 p.m. I’ll read from Six Short Stories, the book recommended as good summer reading by Mary Ann Grossman, book editor for the St.Paul Pioneer Press. I have a soft spot in my heart for the SCF Library because it was the first library reading I did back in 2017. That was followed by a series of library readings in Polk County and in Minnesota, as well as readings for groups, arts centers, on the radio (WPCA-FM that continues to broadcast a story of mine each month) and twice as a fund raiser for St.Croix Festival Theater.

Labor Day saw daughter Britta and her family joining Marina and me for a pontoon ride and picnic. We had the picnic but a dead battery put the kibosh on putting down the coast to show grandson Bjorn and his wife where he’d spent time growing up. Our weather of late has been quite hot, setting records and prompting warnings for heatstroke. Nevertheless, yours truly did some heavy duty log splitting of large logs donated by a neighbor. My woodpile is looking nicely prepared for winter!

August marked 55 years of marriage for Marina and me. In addition to an enjoyable dinner with daughter, Hannah and her family, we celebrated our anniversary a bit early by participating in a St.Croix River paddlewheel luncheon cruise. The details of this marriage were plotted on the St.Croix at the Afton House restaurant with my then-boss and his then-wife. Would I do it again? Yup! My best decision ever. An easy 55 years? Who are you kidding?

My near life-long friend Christina Capps sent me photos of an expansion under construction of the house in which I grew up. She took the pictures from the fire road that runs along the flank of Blackfoot, the mountain peak next to Mount Hollywood and must have used a very powerful telephoto lens. My parents bought the place just after WWII. It was probably the smallest house in the Hollywood Knolls,  a smart move for young couple aspiring to a good neighborhood and good schools. My back yard was undeveloped, as it remains today, an oasis in the middle of a major urban area, and a boy and his dog could roam and explore mountain-tops and small creeks, gather pollywogs and shoot a bow and arrow with not much to worry about except for rattlesnakes and poison oak. I’ve written about that in a memoir to my family. It was a remarkable growing up, extraordinarily privileged despite barely-making-it finances after my parents’ divorce.

Wolf Creek UMC now enjoys a nice rotation of musicians for Sunday services. Calvin and Karen Johnson returned to the area and have re-joined us. Karen plays and joins Deb Lind Schmitz, Cheryl Hustad, and Shawn Gudmundsen as our musical team. Each brings a special personal quality to their musical offerings and I think the diversity is something the congregation enjoys. Attendance is up nicely, too. I still don’t know who watches us on You Tube (Wolf Creek United Methodist Church services) but we do have viewers. And since we believe in the power of prayer and see prayers answered, we have a long list of names that we pray for, not just on Sundays but during the week as our members take the list home to pray for those on the list. Our list isn’t getting shorter; people know we will pray for them and we receive new names every week.