Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Poetry I Like: Now We Are Six: A.A. Milne

Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne, decorations by Ernest H. Shepard, Dutton Children's Books, New York, 1927.
A.A. Milne has an incredible talent to entertain children.  He is the author of Winnie the Pooh.  These are poems as if they were written by Cristopher Robbin between ages three and six.  A couple of my favorites are:
I think I am a Muffin Man, I haven't got a bell,
I haven't got the muffin things that muffin people sell.
Perhaps I am a Postman.  No I think I am a Tram.
I feeling rather funny, I I don't know what I am--
Round about
and round about
and round about I go--
All around the table,
The table in the nursery--
Round about
and round about
and round about I go.

Swing Song
Here I go up in my swing
Ever so high.
I am the King of the fields, and the King
Of the town.
I am the King of the earth, and the King
Of the sky.
Here I go up in my swing. . .
Here I go down.

The End

When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six for ever and ever.

I really enjoy this collection of poems, because of the facility Milne has to paint a picture outside the box.  He encourages imagination and exploration.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Anthony's Sealing, June 13, 2009

My daughter Miranda brought tears to my eyes today by reminding me that it is seven years since we took this little gut to the temple and he became a part of our eternal family.  We had already finalized the adoption a couple months before.  This was a special day.  How Tony enjoyed running around the water fountains.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Will Rogers Quotes

The humorist Will Rogers use to say, "Well, all I know is what I read in the papers."  He made a living reciting the humor he found in the papers.  He made fun of many politicians but said, "I never met a man I didn't like."  So here is some more of his wit:
An ignorant person is one who doesn't know what you have just found out.
An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented that can make them laugh.
Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you find a rock.
Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
I never expected to see the day when girls would get sunburned in the places they do today.  (Wouldn't he really be embarrassed today.)
Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.
I'm not a real movie star.  I've still got the same wife I started out with 28 years ago.
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.
I don't make jokes.  I just watch the government and report the facts.
When I die I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep.  Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.
Lettin' the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier 'n putting it back in.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging.
Strangers are just friends I just haven't met yet.
Do the best you can, and don't take life too serious.
You've got to go out on a limb sometimes because that's where the fruit is.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day

I have shared Sheri's birthday and often mother's day since 1983 with this beautiful woman.  She is a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, primary president, driver, fixer, etc etc.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Outdoor and Night Games: Hyrum in the 60s

Some of the games we played growing up were large community games.  These were games such as kick-the-can, hide-and-seek.  We lived kitty-corner from Todd Nielsen and I remember going there for some very large kick-the-can games.  This was hard on whoever was "it" because it was almost impossible to capture a large group before someone kicked the can and set everyone free.
In this game someone is "it" and attempts to capture everyone while also defending the can (a can placed in an open location.)  this could become tricky as if you went on direction to capture someone, somebody could come from the other direction and set everyone free.  However it was a good evening game in the summer.
Tag was also common.  Again we would often play in the Nielsen yard.  They seemed to have a big front yard and many of us would congregate there.  Different tag versions included regular tag.  However we would also play frozen tag, where the person "it" had to capture everyone.  If he touched you you were frozen until someone not touched yet could tag you and then you were unfrozen.  This game seemed to be a bit more even than kick the can and not quite as difficult for the person "it."
Other communal games would be participating in sports.  On day we went to the Nielsen'a for a big game of football.  Everyone had their own t-shirt upon which they had put numbers with magic marker.  I remember I tended to Willie Wood of the Packers.  One child, whose mother didn't want to mark a shirt, came with the numbers pinned to the shirt.  Some people just don't understand.  You can't play with pinned numbers because they are dangerous if a tackle sport.
We would also organize baseball games in our community.  When we first moved to Hyrum, there were two vacant lots next door.  We used these for a baseball diamond.  We would have friends from a couple blocks away come to play.  This would include the Wengreens, the Nielsens and the Burnetts.  Even Denny McClain would come at times.  We had quite some adventures.  This lots included hills form soil removal when they put in our house.  This made a nice home run fence.  Our bases were not always conventional.  We had a big rock as our third base.  Charlie was playing third.  One game a low liner was hit.  The ball hit the rock and bounced up and caught Charlie a good one in the face.  I can't remember where, but it was bloody and painful.  We replaced our third base after that.
We had some good fun.  When they finally built homes next door it did not destroy our baseball games.  We then moved across the street next to the Burnetts where there was a pasture which sufficed for a good baseball playing field.  Weldon would usually put these games together.  It is interesting because when he was 15 he started running Hyrum Little League games and organizing leagues on a broader basis.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Duckwater Personalities: Sophie Allison and Irene Mike

When I was in Duckwater, Sophie Allison and Irene Mike were already part of the Senior Center program.  However they were both still very active.  They were sisters.  They were some of the few who actually attended the Lund Ward on a regular basis.  And when we started a branch in Duckwater, they were very active.
One of the most impressive things about Sophie Allison was her weaving.  I feel, in her own right, she was keeping a vanishing tradition, with lots of history in Nevada, alive.  I visited her one afternoon while she was preparing willows for weaving.  She gathered the willows from along creeks.  The Currant Creek had a large patch of willows and this was a favorite spot for gathering.  She would keep the willows in water until she was ready for them.  She would take a willow form the water, and then hold it in her mouth.  With her fingers she would peel the bark away.  In this manner she prepared the willows for weaving.  Sophie was adept at making cradle boards.  They had a different design on the hood for boys and girls.

 She also made baskets.  Mostly she would make baskets to assist in the gathering of pine nuts.  I remember she would make cone shaped baskets for this.
This is a skill that was important to the original Shoshone.  I don't know who is carrying on this tradition now that Sophie is gone.
Sophie in the middle and Irene on the right
Many of the children from the reservation looked to these two women as Grandmother.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poetry I Like: The Song My Paddle Sings

The Song My Paddle Sings
E. Pauline Johnson (1862–1913)
WEST wind, blow from your prairie nest,
Blow from the mountains, blow from the west.
The sail is idle, the sailor too;
O wind of the west, we wait for you!
Blow, blow!        5
I have wooed you so,
But never a favor you bestow.
You rock your cradle the hills between,
But scorn to notice my white lateen.
I stow the sail and unship the mast:        10
I wooed you long, but my wooing’s past;
My paddle will lull you into rest:
O drowsy wind of the drowsy west,
Sleep, sleep!
By your mountains steep,        15
Or down where the prairie grasses sweep,
Now fold in slumber your laggard wings,
For soft is the song my paddle sings.
August is laughing across the sky,
Laughing while paddle, canoe and I        20
Drift, drift,
Where the hills uplift
On either side of the current swift.
The river rolls in its rocky bed,
My paddle is plying its way ahead,        25
Dip, dip,
When the waters flip
In foam as over their breast we slip.
And oh, the river runs swifter now;
The eddies circle about my bow:        30
Swirl, swirl!
How the ripples curl
In many a dangerous pool awhirl!
And far to forward the rapids roar,
Fretting their margin for evermore;        35
Dash, dash,
With a mighty crash,
They seethe and boil and bound and splash.
Be strong, O paddle! be brave, canoe!
The reckless waves you must plunge into.        40
Reel, reel,
On your trembling keel,
But never a fear my craft will feel.
We’ve raced the rapids; we’re far ahead:
The river slips through its silent bed.        45
Sway, sway,
As the bubbles spray
And fall in tinkling tunes away.
And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby        50
Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.

This poem is written by a Native American woman, E. Pauline Johnson.  I like the feel of the paddle, and can feel both the rush of the rapids, and the peacefulness of the calm before and after.