May 04, 2007
My favorite Twins player also gives a great interview.
Apologies to you regulars for my sporadic posts. Things have been crazy busy. The nursery has erupted with activity, and I had a couple of evening speaking engagements, so I haven't had time to write. In fact, I have been so busy that I have not time to be annoyed at the Twins for losing two out of three games to the worthless Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Ouch!
Two nights ago, I spoke to a mother/daughter banquet in Mahnomen at the big Lutheran church. They had a huge crowd. The mothers and daughters ate in the basement. After I finished eating, I went up into the sanctuary to snoop around before I had to play.
Much to my surprise, I found a new Allan organ, and a good one. So, I decided to start my music by playing a Bach piece on it. It had a good kick to it. The standard test for if an organ has any guts is if it has a 32' stop in the pedal. That provides the rumble. This one had a good 32' stop and lots of others.
So, that was fun. Their piano was good, too, so I had a fun time doing music. I had brought plants along to talk about, but when I got there they said they would prefer about 1/2 hour of music, which was fine by me.
Last night was the annual banquet of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. I am chairman of the board, so I couldn't very well skip, even though the nursery was nuts. Plus, we had a meeting beforehand.
So, I was going to try to get away from the nursery at noon for a 1:30 meeting in Bemidji. But it was like a bad dream. Things kept popping up that I had to do. Customers came who had to see me. I just couldn't get off the ground. When I did get out the driveway, I got four miles down the road before realizing that I didn't have my wallet. So, I turned around and went back home. Nightmare.
When I finally got going, I got on the cellphone to tell the powers that be that I would be late for the meeting, only to find out that it wasn't until 2:30. So, I actually got there early.
That evening, it was my job to give the opening and closing remarks at the banquet. I must have overdone it a bit. Two people came up to me afterwards and said that I should have been a Baptist minister. Neither of them had any clue that my father was once a pastor at a Baptist church. The acorns don't fall far from the tree.
May 01, 2007
Tonight, I entertained at a banquet put on by the Polk County Social Services people for the couples who provide foster care in the county. It was a good bunch of people, as you might expect. What I didn't expect was that the judges and county commissioners would be there as well. And I got a chance to visit with weblog reader Tamara!
The banquet was held at UMC in Crookston. Their food services program is excellent, so you know you are going to get a good meal and that it will be served in a timely fashion.
After I left, I caught the end of the Twins 9-1 win over hapless Tampa Bay. Sidney Ponson finally turned in a good outing. Commentator Dan Gladden interviewed Ponson, a native of Aruba, after the game. Like Johan Santana, Ponson likes to use the word "definitely," pronounced, "devinidLEE" as an all-purpose answer to every question.
Ponson has a reputation as a wild man off the field. He was arrested a couple of years ago in Aruba for punching a judge while blotto drunk. So, it didn't surprise me to hear him tell Gladden that the two walks he issued tonight "really peezed me off."
BEAUTIFUL DAY today, if a bit cool. The nursery pace was bearable, although the phone rang off the hook. I bundled up and spent most of the day in the cold storage building getting a feel for where things are. It is downright embarrassing when I own the place and can't find a shrub.
At coffee time, I heard the piano playing in the schoolhouse. It was Jonah. He was performing the highest calling of any musician: playing Bach. And he has a great touch! Perhaps Bach will become a coffee time ritual in these weeks while Jonah is here.
I have never before heard the voice of one of my favorite philosophers, Alan Watts. Here is a cartoon
done to his voice by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of South Park. Now I understand why Watts' lectures were so legendary.
April 30, 2007
Those darn Lutherans
have all the fun.
It cooled down overnight, so things cooled off a bit at the nursery today after the very busy weekend. I snuck off to town to the Fertile Hilton to visit Aunt Olla this morning, as it had been a while.
She was in good form. We went through her mail, as she likes to have me read some of the letters from her nieces and nephews and in-laws.
One of the aides got married last Saturday. After the ceremony at the church uptown, the bride whirled through the nursing home and took pictures with some residents before going to the reception. Olla had never heard of such a thing. She would have loved it but for the fact that they brought a camera and Olla was in her bathrobe.
I wasn't much inspiration, as I was a little tired today, but I got a bag of cookies out of there without the staff noticing, which was the important thing.
HEARD FROM Cousin Roy in China. He reported that our friend and guide Michael wore his Bergeson Nursery shirt to the May Day celebration in Tianannmen Square--that would be this morning coming up, which is already in the past in China. Got that?
It struck me how something that is kind of fun today would have been extraordinary twenty-five years ago--a Bergeson Nursery t-shirt at the big Communist Party rally in Beijing! And Roy said one Chinese couple inquired as to where he got the t-shirt. Ha!
However, the celebration was completely subdued. Although Tiananmen Square can hold a million people or more, there were only a few thousand on hand for the raising of the big red flag. The government is scared of rallies on significant days. They hold down participation, and it is likely--probable, in fact--that most of the people attending were undercover agents for the security forces. The government is that paranoid.
A PLEASANT DAY AT the nursery. The customers came in moderation and one at a time so there was plenty of time to visit, especially in the evening. I always dread the thought of working until eight in the evening, but some of these spring evenings are so very pleasant that it is just a dream to stand outside under the oak and visit with people.
THERE was a horrible accident near the nursery yesterday involving two neighbors. One is very injured, the other badly bruised from head to toe. The vehicles were totalled. Word of the crash filtered into the nursery from customers, and of course all of us were frightened. We are glad that all survived, but sad that two neighbors have an awful long row to hoe.
The intersection was wide open, and Jonah, our new employee who grew up in Madison, WI, couldn't imagine how an accident could happen in such a remote place. However, we all related our close calls at wide open intersections in the country, and then we listed to number of accidents just within miles of the nursery over the past years. It seems way out of proportion to the low population here. I think those intersections are just plain dangerous.
ONE OF THE FUN things about running the nursery is that we can bring in employees for a short time, particularly college students who are between this and that. The Brazilian students have been a delight. So have the college students who have decided to take a semester off. We have had at least four in that department. This year we have Jonah, who is the offspring of professional artists in Madison, WI. College wasn't for him, so he is out exploring the world. Today he was working side by side planting trees with my friend Dale, who is helping us out this spring as well--and I couldn't help but wonder what their conversation was about. Two people from completely different backgrounds suddenly having to work together to plant 300 Alpine Currant in a row.