The snow is melting as rapidly as it came. Tomorrow it is forecast to be 50 degrees. It is thus far an exciting winter. Mylo was seen by our Vet yesterday for a bump on his nose. We are thankful that it was benign. He is just starting in the world and has many more adventures. As I took copious snow photos at Giant City this morning I thought about the value of quiet. We of midwest stock value our serenity. I grew up in Eldorado and it was a quiet town. Then I lived in Elkville and it was even quieter. For the past 22 years, I have lived in Carbondale, which is somewhat more noisy and energetic…but I live in the country and it is quiet. Quiet allows time for reflection and thought about the sundry shades of life in the slow lane.

Life in Eldorado consisted of school and home and the Orpheum Theatre in the winter. During the summer we added swimming at Pounds Hollow. We swam a lot. The church was a big attraction for my extended family but mom and I watched mostly from a distance. We were a bit of the black sheep of the religious family. The minister of their church of choice often spoke until upwards of midnight during the Thursday night mid-week service. I attended on a few occasions and usually fell asleep prior to the conclusion of the message. It was a pentecostal church and if you know anything about the Pentecostals they often demonstrate their enthusiasm for their faith verbally and at times physically. I thought that it was fascinating simply on a spectator level. We took my friend Johnny U. with us on one of the few occasions that we attended and he got into the swing of things fairly quickly by calling out…’ Boo…and Yeigh,’ and I knew that he was enjoying himself. My Grandmother Askew had been a member of the little denomination since the days of its founding in the 1930s. Granma Askew took her faith seriously. My mom and her sisters loved their mom. We all went to her house every Monday night to visit together. It was at Grandmas’ that I learned that there was no Santa Claus. My aunts told me to my mother’s chagrin. I protested that I was certain that there was a Santa Claus because he had visited me at our home on West Street. My aunt Wanda grinned and said, ‘Why kiddo…that was Old Bob Winters dressed up like Santa. I protested that I was certain that there was an Easter Bunny and a Tooth Fairy…because she left me a quarter under my pillow every time that I lost a tooth…

I remember Shop Class. Working with wood has never been my talent. Mr. Hill assisted me in making a pen holder…and I have it to this day. However, I did enjoy Mechanical Drafting. I was good at it. I may have missed my calling…

My cousin Billy H. told me that he and I should visit the Grove Church. It was Pentecostal on steroids. Many of the congregation danced in the spirit and often fell onto the floor seemingly passed out in the spirit. One of the ministers played a mean Organ and the other had a lovely singing voice. It was considered a bit of a religious adventure to visit the Grove. It was rumored the ministers were Gay…and I could care less. My cousin was Gay and in the closet and he led a sad life due to the prejudice of the 60s.

Presbyterian has been my church for the past 25 years. The people intrigue me. I have never met harder-working people who put arms and legs to their faith. The clear and serious intention of my fellow congregants to demonstrate their faith through helping others is inspiring.

The Woods was quiet this morning. The Woodpecker; Pecked and Pecked. The snow melt water from the high hills flowed through the rocky creek. Life is not the hurry-up manic frenetic proposition that we have made it. It is calm and it is quiet and it is good. It needs a bit of reflection and consideration as to where it is going and the path to follow…

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