No Snow For “Snow Job”

Here we sit with our near-snowless Winter sliding to an end and it’s cool enough to be comfortable with the wood stove going and just listening to the radio. WPCA’s story broadcast tonight was my Snow Job and the Four Dwarfs, one of the “mangled” fairy tales. Whenever I’ve read this tale in public the response has ranged from giggles all the way through to belly laughs. As my brother Greg said, “Who are you going to insult next?” You’ll find Snow Job in the Some Mangled Fairy Tales paperback that’s available through and Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Locally, you can find it in the Polk County Information Center, St.Croix Health’s Pharmacies, Pure & Simple out on Highway 8, and at Bowman Collective in downtown Amery. Bowman stocks all four of my paperbacks.

Speaking of readings, watch for a coming story reading at the Chisago, Minnesota, Public Library sometime in May or early June.

Several weeks ago my younger brother, Guy, passed into the next chapter of his life after a year-and-a-half of “living” on life support out in California following a horrific auto accident. Guy was a hard and reliable worker, always on time to work, and willing to work more days than required. On my way to Minnesota years ago I stopped by the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel, an upscale place long noted for elegance, discretion and high quality. I visited with Guy’s boss, the head chef, who told me Guy was the best sous chef he’d ever had. Guy worked at a lot of jobs over the years and was not afraid to get his hands dirty. I think his world fell apart when his wife, Lucy, died a few years ago. He leaves a daughter and son.

It has been a year of family loss for my youngest brother, Greg, too. He lost his wife, Dr. Bunny Vreeland just a few weeks ago and this while amid everything demanded of making sure NASA’s around the moon effort next year would be able to communicate from the other side of the moon. (The moon effectively gets in the way of signals attempting to reach the earth. Greg knows how to solve that issue.) Greg said he just couldn’t take another death in the family; I told him I’d try to take my time.

Just in: an email schedule of daughter Alice’s coming concert appearances. Also, an announcement from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls of a new play, Ten Out Of Twelve, whose small cast includes my granddaughter Klara Fansler. Both of these women have very good performance instincts–something that cannot be taught–you have it or you don’t.

Last Sunday the Wolf Creek congregation enjoyed a robust turnout. We always enjoy that. And we have had an enjoyable Lenten study using Adam Hamilton’s focus on the Gospel of Luke in Hamilton’s book, Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts and Outlaws. I like, especially, that everyone around our long tables chimes in with relevant comments and valuable insights. The study follows a meeting of our quilting group, whose last products went to the assisted living facility in Osceola. Many of the quilting group members also are part of a walking group, so what about a bunch of shaped-up people creating warm-up gifts for others? (Now you understand why such a pathetic attempt at humor signals it’s time for me to retire for good.) But next Sunday brings Daylight Savings Time and it will be fun to see who wanders into church just after the sermon. I do have a suspicion that a few people kinda wish they always could wander into church just after the sermon. And if you ever wonder why we take the collection before the sermon time, maybe now you understand.

Enough of this seriousness! We are sliding toward Easter. Easter is the last Sunday of this month and Wolf Creek’s people will celebrate along with the many millions of their brothers and sisters around the world. Without Easter, there is no meaning to Christianity. ¬†And as we slide toward Easter, the world seems to be rocketing away from the values brought to the world by Christianity. When we lose our souls, we lose it all. How tragic!