I had an e mail from Lynne today. Lynne Ann Nelson, now Lynne Ann Ziehr, raised in Milwaukee Wisconsin, came to Concordia College in 1956 as a freshman and graduated in 1960 with a degree in elementary education. She and Ken have raised a son and a daughter and live in a beautiful old early 1900′s home in an old Milwaukee neighborhood. Ken is an architect so he has had a lot to do with the restoration and beautification of the old home that has been theirs for many years. Lynne loves to garden so she has many lovely flower beds around the house. I have only seen pictures but I hope to see it "live" someday soon. Lynne and I were "choir roommates" for 3 years from 1957 to 1960; in that time we traveled on choir tours to the far west, to the east coast and to the deep south in our senior year. When we were sophmores we went to Norway, Holland, Germany and Austria in the summer of 1958. I love to look at the sidewalk photographer’s picture of Lynne and I with Ron, Liz, Roy, Luther, Duane, and John…good friends on the streets of Amsterdam standing by one of its filthy canals that so disappointed us—we,who had read things like "Hans Brinker And The Silver Skates" and thought the canals of Holland were pure and clean and then we saw the floating garbage in Amsterdam’s canals! Yuck! We saw the "Red Light" district in Amsterdam and a few other seamy areas of the city….we walked all over and saw much more than if we had gone on a bus tour…which none of us could afford. Pictures of us friends at the Oslo airport on the day we landed in June 1958…pictures of us in our Norwegian sweaters….pictures of us eating out of enormous bags of shrimp which was served up like popcorn in a paper bag. Memories of riding the 2 greyhound buses with our drivers and best buddies, Paul Willman and "Red" Frey who drove buses on choir tours for years and years. Just last summer I read Paul’s obituary and felt sad to think of him gone from this earth. Red had gone on long before Paul—he died many years ago, a victim of cancer while he was still fairly young. They were like our dads and our brothers..looking out for us, teasing us, helping us with our luggage and listening night after night to us sing our concert in one city after another. Memories of Lynne and I cuddled against each other, one with a pillow up against the bus window, the other leaning on the other, covered with our winter coats–napping long hours the longer we were "on tour" because we got more and more tired and worn out. We came down with sore throats and sniffles..Lynne was one of the choir "nurses" who learned how to "paint throats"…with …..something red and runny…I do not know what it was but it surely stopped a sore scratchy throat and got you through another concert. Memories of rainy, rainy Portland Oregon and Seattle Washington where Lynne and I stayed with her relatives who lived on Queen Anne Hill in an old mansion…it was fascinating. I had never seen such a world and neither had Lynne. Memories of seeing the ocean at Santa Monica, California on a February afternoon and we all went in the water with our clothes on, panty hose and all. I can still feel the sand between my toes inside those nylon stockings. This Saturday Buffaloguy and I are going to meet Lynne and Ken in Fargo, eat a meal together, talk and talk until it is time to go to the Concordia Choir concert at night. Many memories will rush back at Lynne and me…our many Christmas Concerts in the 1950′s when they were much simpler… no big orchestra, 3 choirs only…just a brass quintet accompanying audience hymns and carols while we walked up the aisles to take our places on the risers for our part of the concert. Lynne and I may shed some tears remembering our days in choir. The music was just as beautiful as it is now. Old and cherished memories. A good long-time friend….my choir roommate Lynne Ann Nelson and me…together for a moment in time again….so much has changed but so much has not….the friendship is sound and will last til both of us are gone from the earth. I can hardly wait to see her on Saturday!!!
After calling her "our pet", I must tell you that she is the sweetest little gray tabby cat one would ever want to hold and pet…she was the "runt" of a litter of a neighbor’s cat and the only one left in her "family"..she has been our friend since 1998 when she was born in our barn. Today she is happy in her places that are so familiar to her. She can no longer go outside, but I think she will adjust to being a total house-kitty. Up to now she has been about half outdoor/half indoor cat. She loves to go hunting in the woods just to the east of our house in the nice weather but her hunting days are over now. I am glad she had a good time for her first 8 years. She was confused and scared yesterday when we got her and brought her home—she has suffered so much in the past few days that she does not know what is going to happen to her next. The clinic people said she was a sweet, perky, bright-eyed bushy-tailed little girl for them….her personality has always been sweet and gentle since the day she crawled up my husband’s pantleg out in the pole barn when she was a teeny kitten. She has been pampered and babied beyond all belief since yesterday. She has a couple of true "princess" beds of soft blankets and her own favorite "blankies". Her beds are so soft, this Princess could not feel a Pea underneath all of her comforters. She seems to feel safest on her own bed in our basement which has been her favorite sleeping place for years; a couple of years ago, I got her one of those oval- shaped cat beds and she has been cuddled in her bed a lot since yesterday. I put her in a cat carrier (which she used to hate) but last night I didn’t want to take the chance of her falling or jumping off anything so she slept on favorite blankets inside the crate and did not mind it one bit–she got used to being in a small space at the animal hospital I think. She is eating and drinking and learned to use a kitty-litter box at the "hospital"…something she would NOT do before but now she will have to get used to it with the "no outdoor" rule in place….by her DVM. So far she has not visted her new potty facilities here but I expect desperation will soon drive her to it. She does not yet realize how nice this will be–no more trips out in the snow on -20 degree days when I would carry her outside and set her down in the snow….she, who made loud howls of protest, as soon as her tender little velvet paws hit the ground!!! No she can "go potty" in the warm comfort of her basement apartment which is all her own!!! She might demand a shower installed pretty soon, next to her new "potty". This morning her "people-mama" (me) gave her a jar of the pureed baby food beef purchased yesterday before we got her at the clinic. Oh My! Did she love that! I think I will start a home-based business called "Pampered Kitty" along the lines of the Pampered Chef business already existing. I won’t sell anything but I can teach people to be absolute slaves to their pets and also how to go in hock buying expensive food for their little palates. In my own defense, she has also eaten quite a few morsels of her Iam’s dry cat food also…she is hungry. She is also itchy along her surgical incision and uses her back leg to give herself a bit of a relieving scratch…..thank goodness it wasn’t hind leg..how would she scratch if it was????? We are so happy to have her home, resting up from her long ordeals and being away from her home for the first time in her life. I think she will be sleeping long hours for the coming days as she recuperates. Just like humans, there is nothing like sleep for healing. I remember reading one of the wonderful James Herriott books in which he told of a sheep that was given up for dead; he decided to put her out of her misery by giving her "the shot" and simply left the barn to let her die in peace. A few days later, the farmer called him and said that whatever medicine he had given the sick sheep really worked well because she was up and eating and thriving. Dr. Herriott was stunned to hear this but then went on to speculate about the healing effects of deep , deep sleep in animals and probably in humans. It is a marvel of creation….the need for and the good healing that sleep brings to us all—-pets and pet owners!!!!
The beginning line of that old Thanksgiving song so many of us sang in grade school music classes…."Over The River And Through the Woods, To Grandmother’s house we go, the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh through the white and drifted snow….. This is entirely true in our case..our kids and grandkids literally DO go over the river (the Buffalo) and through the woods (on our land) to get to "Grandmother’s house but they cannot do this: "now Grandmother’s cap I spy"…this Gramma does not wear the old fashioned cap to which the song makes a reference….they might spy Gramma’s jeans or T-shirt or even her old fashioned apron she wears at times…but no cap! Our Thanksgiving Day is not what we thought it would be…it is diminished by an ugly episode that took place this past Sunday when a person I can only describe as an example of a "despicable sub-human excuse for a person" shot and woundd our pet..obviously deliberately. Thank God our pet did not get killed but has had her right front foreleg amputated at the shoulder yesterday at the caring and most compassionate Pelican Rapids Animal Hospital. Our pet will pay the price for the rest of her life for the wanton act of an idiotic gun toter who takes pleasure in shooting anything that moves, obviously….pets, livestock, hopefully not humans but I am beginning to wonder. I cannot even bring myself to express the thoughts I have had about what I would like to do to that gun-toter. If my wishes came true, I would spend time in a prisonI but I have those thoughts, nevertheless, as any pet-lover would have. Instead of having our sons and their families and a couple of close friends over for the traditional Thanksgiving day meal, we are not having anyone over…we will make a trip to a buffet restaurant that serves Thanksgiving food this afternoon; tomorrow we must make the trip to get our recovering pet at Pelican Rapids and from then on for a long time, we will be a nursing/rehabilitation facility for our beloved pet until she recovers and begins to adjust to her radically changed life, without a front leg. We hve been much to upset by the shock of finding our wounded and suffering pet on Monday…our week has been altered irrevocably.
I hope everyone else is enjoying the delightful day that they planned, with their loved ones gathered around them.
After attending a most interesting meeting of Township Officers (Clay County) on Monday, I have learned a great deal about agricultural practices, implications of having concentrated farm animals in large feedlots, the dangers of runoff from agricultural products….lots of other interesting information, as well. I must share what I learned about Manure Measurement and Management. It was a most serious and well-organized presentation by a PhD from the U of Minnesota who grew up on a dairy farm in Ottertail County. He was well organized, highly knowledgeable and articulate. He had a great PowerPoint presentation but then he showed a picture and that’s when things began to happen that I did NOT want to happen. Everyone else in the room was deadly serious but the black and white picture from the 1950s showed serious mature women wearing white lab coats, sniffing the uplifted arrmpits of men in a row with the caption "And you think YOUR job stinks!" I began to feel the uncontrollable giggle rising inside of me. I feared a full-blown attack of the "Giggles" and thought of other times when I was a teen ager that it hit me…like the time a Confirmand fainted and fell into the laps of worshipers at our old Lutheran church….like the time a guy would inadvertently forget to button his "fly"….like when our old pastor could not find his glasses in confirmation class and we could all see them propped upon his head…like when our math teacher did not have the bottom of his shirt buttoned and we were treated to a view of hairy belly in Algebra class. But now I had no reason to laugh; this was a serious scientific subject….the effects of large barns, manure and odors on the environment and all that. Then our PhD showed another picture of himself in coveralls and engineer’s pith helmet squatting by the vent on a large animal barn. He was holding a hose from a device that measured the output of odor from the barn. A chart appeared on the screen with numbers indicating "odor emission output" with a number 50 being really high. This must be like lying face-down in a manur-ey animal barn with your nose over the gutter. Then number 4 was pretty low—like riding your bike past a huge barn when you are a mile from it and you only get a whiff. I was choking down the chortles and my face was getting red and hot from the effort….I could feel perspiration popping out of my hairline. Then came information and pictures of a machine called an "odorometer" and there were Sniffers sitting at Sniffing Stations Sniffing odors and rating them from intense to pretty mellow or something like that. The odometry went on and on and soon there were pictures of Sniffers in white coveralls walking across a field toward a large barn, Sniffing all the way. Another photo showed a man wearing a Sniffing Device that looked like a large rhino horn with a grill on one end of it…"The Attack of the Martians" couldn’thave done it any better. I was tipping toward a real giggle disaster when a bell curve went up on the screen with one low side of the bell labeled "Hypersensitive", the large fat part of the bell labeled "Normal" and the other skinny side of the bell labeled "Asonomial" which I figured out means "you have no nose" in Latin. All of this referred to the pervasive odors we had been learning about. All this time the presentation was proceeding seriously and studiously and here I am fighting not to emit a horrendous loud guffaw to my eternal embarassment. I am also seeing the terms OFFSET and INPUFF but have missed the meaning of both of them. INPUFF really sounds interesting to me but I should not assign my own definition but look it up on the website we were given. I have to take a "truly serious" pill before I attend any future meetings on such subjects. Now you, too, know more about manure than you never wanted to know!
WOW! I got a request for my fruitcake recipe! Thanks Alicia! I am so thrilled to be asked..NOBODY has ever asked before so here it is,for Alicia and any other potential fruitcake lovers! My "secret" is NOT to use the bitter citron or other bitter candied fruit that comes in what is called "fruitcake mix". I have subsituted more pleasant tasting fruits so here it is, straight from the pages of an old Betty Crocker cookbook….it is copied on yellowed paper in very small print because I sat in the small local library many years ago and copied out of the library’s copy of a B.C. cookbook…I still do NOT have a Betty Crocker cookbook after being married and being the official cook and bottlewasher for nearly 47 years! RECIPE FOR OLD FASHIONED FRUITCAKE:
1 Cup vegetable oil 1 and 1/3 cup sugar 4 eggs 1/4 cup light molasses 2 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 2 tsp salt 2 tsp cinnamon 1tsp nutmeg 1 cup orange juice 1 more cup flour 2 2/3 cup raisins (black or golden…or half of each) 2 cups cut-up dates 2 cups candied fruit **here is where I use dried pineapple, dried cranberries for the fruit instead of the "fruitcake mix" I also use a small amount of candied orange rind which you can get in a very small plastic container in the Christmas baking section of the supermarkets. You can substitute some candied cherries for color/ or use red and green gumdrops (cheaper) Whatever you substitute, make it come out to the 2 cups quantity. 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans et.) Method: Heat oven to 275 degrees. Line loaf pans (2 large or 4 small) with waxed paper and grease the paper . 1. Mix oil, sugar, eggs and molasses. 2. Measure flour, blend with salt, bkg. powder and spices. Stir into first mix, alternating with the orange juice til both flour and juice are all added. I stir by hand gently getting it well mixed. 3. Take extra cup of flour and dredge the mixed dried fruits and nuts in a separate bowl. 4. Fold fruit, nut, and flour mix into cake mixture. Get it all combined and then divide it into the loaf tins. Bake for 2 1/2 – 3 hours on low oven (275 degrees) ; ( I test the cake’s done-ness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the biggest part of the cakes; if it comes out dry, it is baked. Let the pans stand 15 minutes before removing cake from the pans. Gently peel off the waxed paper. Cool the loaves. Wrap loaves individually, tightly, in aluminum foil and store in a cool place to "season". Refrigerate after cutting. It is delicious and mild compared to some "strong" fruitcakes. It goes wonderfully well with a cup of your favorite coffee, a glass of milk or a glass of red wine! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I may have to bake it today!
Well, I have done it again! On Friday I made the first batches of lefse and I have been up early this morning making "rommegrot" for a church potluck dinner. Last Sunday, I swore on two Bibles, that I would make it today. Iver and Albin love rommegrot and I promised them I would make it and I could not go back on that promise even though I had to set the alarm clock for an hour when it was still pitch dark…of course as November proceeds, it doesn’t have to be very early for it to be dark in the mornings—-or the evenings! I understand hibernation in animals from having the urge to hibernate myself when November comes. The short, early-dark, often gray days do something to my inner biological clock and at 7 p.m. I am often yawning and ready to curl up and sleep. This does not work well as you wake up at 3 a.m. and cannot get back to that velvety dark comfort of sleeping like a curled-up groundhog. But back to the Food of the Gods—–the thing that is left for me to do is to make the 2-3 fruitcakes from the old Betty Crocker cookbook recipe I discovered years ago. My sister and I are the only ones in the entire extended family who truly love fruitcake. The rest of them would have to have a gun held to their heads in order to eat a piece of fruitcake. I have been amused daily, lately, by the Mallard Fillmore cartoons in which Mallard has "confessed" to liking fruitcake and the daily commentary on that particular holiday cake continues. I confess also….I LIKE fruitcake—especially my recipe which does not include the bitter citron or lemon peel. I make it even better by cutting up red and green gumdrops instead of using the candied cherries—-a habit brought on my economic necessity when I first started making it when Buffaloguy was in graduate school and we were on a short leash, budget-wise. I could just go on and on about my particular Food of the Gods, but I have to make one more reciple of rommegrot and get ready to head for the morning worship at church. Albin and Iver are going to be so happy to see me coming with my crockpot full of rommegrot!!! And my fruitcakes will NOT be used as door-stops!
All of us are familiar with addictions. It has become a common word in our 20th-21st century vocabularies. We probably all have either known or at least heard about the struggles with addictions to alcoholic beverages, to cigarette or pot smoking, to dependence on prescription drugs, even to over-eating junk food and other bad stuff that causes us to become very obese and unhealthy….all of those are familiar to all of us..unless we have been living in a cave on a remote island since World War 2 or later! I am troubled by the increasing addictions to other things….like casino gambling for instance. Ever since gambling casinos became part of the upper midwest milieu, we see limos, vans and buses traveling to casino sites closer to us than many of us would ever have imagined.I have never sat down at one of those techno-marvels called slot machines with the flashing lights and the eerie out- of – outer space beeps and jangles that emanate from them, but I have walked through gaming rooms in Mahnomen and other places and been shocked by those who do sit at them…seemingly all day long with a bucket of coins nearby, staring into the bright lights and the moving objects on the screen. What shocks me is the age of the people who sit there —so many of them are retired folks frittering away their retirement checks on something that seems akin to pouring sand down a rat-hole. Then I have been really thinking about another addiction that seems more obvious recently which the news media has been covering… (endlessly..it must be a slow news time after the election frenzy). The video images of "campers" (maybe "squatters" is a better word) outside of large commercial outlets waiting for the doors to open at the magic day and hour—-all for a newer version of the Sony PlayStation . I have never seen one so I don’t even know what I am talking about. I am sure that all the time these folks are spending days waiting for the opening of a door when they can trample each other in the insane race to get a high tech game player, they have been cell-phoning endlessly. text-messaging (whatever that is) using their "blackberries" (I always thought blackberries were for making jam and jelly and pie) and listening, in a world of their own, to something called an I-Pod. Some are probably wearing "thongs" which until recently, I thought, were things you wear on your feet in the summertime. First it was the advent of television that caused our society to be driven to more inward things. No conversation is allowed when TV is being watched. Now, more and more, we see our society retreating into self-centered technololgical devices that take them away from other people and into their own world of addicitive behaviors involving small mechanical/technical devices which are seemingly a part of their heads or their hands like eerie protuberant growths that should not be there. They live in a world entirely of their own making. Without a commonly known addictive substance like meth, tobacco, nicotine or caffiene, they can stay in that self-absorbed world all day long if they so choose. It is eerie to watch it happening in so many new ways and it is not good for us as a people or a culture. We just continue to lose touch with each other in more and more bizarre ways.
I don’t very often find TV ads amusing or interesting…especially the ones for prescription drugs— but there is one on now that has Abraham Lincoln, a talking beaver, and a spaceman gathered around a kitchen table talking with a man who is not able to sleep. Of course the solution is to take the sleeping drug, but I am amused by how the ad captures the weirdness of dreams. I have very weird dreams and they are always in full color. In my dreams I am always losing things, not being able to get something done, being late for (a) weddings (b) plays (c) buses. I also cannot manage to dress myself in my dreams–especially when I am due to sing at a wedding (for which I am late) and I do not know the song and have not practiced. Then I cannot find the church where the wedding takes place. I usually wake up in a pool of frustrated sweat and am all tangled in my blankets, breathing like the Furies are after me. Sometimes I am supposed to be taking care of things like babies or small pets. I always lose them in some big house. When I was in college, I used to dream I was in a play and did not know my part at all so I would be searching backstage for a play book (it was always back stage in my old school) and the dream would end when someone pushed me out on the stage, the footlights were shining in my face, the audience was looking at me, and I had the first line but of course did not know what it was. I also dreamed I could not find my clarinet when band practive was starting and the band director was always waiting and saying to me.."Well"…My worst ever dream was about my teaching colleagues. Another teacher and I were going to another teacher’s wedding (she had been married for years to the same man). We had to cross a suspension bridge that seemed to be made out of some flimsy teal blue materials. Halfway across, the bridge tipped dumping me into huge snowdrifts about 100 feet below and as I landed and got buried in the snow, some sort of monster (a Yeti?) came out of a cave and began to chase me, roaring furiously. Of course I could not move in the deep snow but I always woke up before the Yeti got me. More heavy breathing, and being tangled in blankets. I do not want these dreams analyzed…..I fear I might be horribly embarassed if anyone did. I have always called them "stress dreams" but now that I am retired and have no stress—–I still have crazy dreams in wild living color. It is unexplainable and I do not know from whence these weird situations and settings come from in my unconcious brain or where ever they come from. I have had a lot of laughs over the years and will probably continue to have them. I can see it all now—years from now I will be a little old lady in a nursing home, screaming and struggling at night from my nutty dreams while the caretakers try to calm me down with warm milk and bed restrainers. What a fate!
I very rarely watch morning television, especially the standard shows on CBSABCNBC since I am convinced that most of their content is "fluff" and not worth watching. This morning, however, I went upstairs (where Buffaloguy checks out the morning news via TV) and watched a news segment which was not fluffy at all—it was scary stuff for me. The subject was hospital infections and it involved recent reports of rampant hospital infections which affected over 19,000 patients—-just in Pennsylvania. I dashed downstairs after watching it and typed in "hospital infections" on Yahoo and came up with many articles on that subject. It seems that hospital-induced infections have been on the rise for a long time and I am going to surmise that the advent of antibiotics made things much worse on this front—partly from the overuse of antibiotics— many of which no longer work for common infections— and partly from carelessness in hospital hygiene and preventive measures—all of it due to the attitude that if an infection occurred, they could just administer antibiotics. Our family has experienced this nightmare when a family member had several major surgeries in the 1980′s and in one of those surgeries acquired a hospital staph infection that took many days and many powerful intravenous antibiotics to wipe out. It was a one of the scariest things I have been through. The studies that I have perused (and bookmarked for further study) cite carelessness of health workers in doing something as simple as washing their hands between patients (what a throwback to the mid -1800′s when a Hungarian doctor discovered that the dreaded "childbirth fever" that was killing new mothers was dramatically cut back by having doctors wash their hands!) It also made me recall an incident in a nationally known hospital in Rochester MN when a nurse came in to a patient’s room with an obviously bad cold that should have kept her at home that day. I was there when she reached for the patient’s wrist to take a pulse and it set off a screaming fit (from me) to get away from him and keep your hands off him. I raced to the main nurse’s station and raised bloody Hell about this situation. The nurse in question disappeared from our room and I do not know what she did that day—-hopefully she did not stay at work spreading her infectious "cold" to post-surgical patients! I was furious…and horiified that such a thing could happen is such a prestigious medical care center….but it did and I wonder how many other such occurences happened there. One of the persons interviewed on this morning’s news show was a husband of a woman who nearly died from a hospital staph infection and was gravely ill for more than 100 days after contracting a surgical infection in a hospital. His advice was "stay away from hospitals if you are able to do that." A close friend of ours contracted a nearly fatal hospital infection in Fargo ND so do not think it happens elsewhere—–it happens in our midst. Buyer, beware! One other interesting thing I learned so far this morning, is that VA (Veteran’s) hospital are way ahead on infection prevention—- surpassing the private fee for service hospitals . Makes me proud since one of my sons is a physician in a VA center!
One of my favorite bloggers is Eric Bergeson (of Bergeson Nursery near Fertile MN). Eric has had a blog site called "Country Scribe" for a long time compared to many of us on "Area Voices". His daily diary from the countryside south of Fertile is endlessly fascinating. I have read his blog for several years after discovering it. He also includes articles written for area newspapers and I just read one of his lastest ones called "The Lost Art Of Visiting". He comments truthfully about how even rural neighbors seem to have lost the pastime of "visiting" with each other in their homes or on the phone. I know my Mom spent many hours "visiting" with her friends after she lost most of her eyesight to macular degeneration. Her phone conversations were links to the outside world when she was confined to her home by blindness. When I was a small girl in the 1940s, the three of us..Mom, Dad, and I would climb into the 1932 Ford Model-A couple that was our family car for years and years and "go visiting" in the evenings…we would go to farms and visit with friends or neighbors; on weekends my mom always baked chocolate cake with brown sugar frosting or seven minute white icing, make fresh homemade buns and get out the homemade pickles and relishes in case people coming to town for Saturday night shopping would drop by for "visiting" and lunch when the stores closed. My mom’s cousin Agnes and her husband and grown up kids often came that night. When we went visiting to other people’s homes, I would get sleepy at my usual bedtime and so would other kids who were there. The solution was simple. Our parents still had a lot to talk about so we would go to the bedroom where the coats were piled on the bed, snuggle into the coats like a litter of fieldmice, and drift off to sleep listening to the pleasant drone of adult voices talking from the kitchen or the parlor. We could usually smell the good smell of coffee brewing or re-brewing in an enamel coffee pot on the stove. Coffee was strong and dark in those days…in the morning fresh water would be put in the pot along with a few scoops of coffee into the water and it would boil up into a fragrant and powerful brew. The grounds could be caught in a strainer and the coffee would be life-giving and powerful. By the end of the day when visiting was done, more water could be added and more fresh coffee. mmmmmm! it smelled so good to us urchins drifting off to dreamland amid the coats on the bed. We had already been given sandwiches of homemade buns, probably some red jello and whipped cream and cookies or cake and with our tummies full we were so ready to snooze til our parents picked up our sleeping forms, put our coats on, carried or dragged us into the chilly night to frigid cars and brought us home, grumpy and complaining from being taken out of our deep sleep and our cozy pile of coats. "Visiting" was the main source of entertainment for the generation that went through the Great Depression like my folks did. Everyone was in the same boat—little money for movies, for going out to eat (we only went out to eat on a Sunday once a year when my Dad was deerhunting in November) no TV or video games or blackberries or cell phones…..visiting with your neighbors, friends and relatives was THE entertainment for that generation and it was wonderful. It makes me sad to realize that visiting is truly a lost art among people my age and those much younger. We are isolated amidst all our possessions and comforts but we do not spend the time talking to each other in meaningful conversations like those of my parents and their friends. It would nice to have the lost art of visiting revived.