Skip to main content

Dogs on a bus, and crazy family stories

I spent the weekend with my mom.  She's 86, and I realize that time with her is quite precious.  We didn't do a lot, but we spent a lot of time laughing and she told me a few family stories.

The first one is a worthy of any Irish family.  Mom was born in 1925, at home.  Her mother nearly died in childbirth, and the doctor attending her - for reasons known only to him - injected her with whiskey.  It must have "worked" - Mom was born just fine, and Grandma went on to bear three more children.  How grand is this?  We actually have whiskey running through our veins! 

The other story she told me also had to do with my grandmother.  Her parents had purchased a farm, hoping their sons would work hard and enjoy the fresh country life.  They hated it, and my grandmother ended up doing much of the work.  The boys decided to move to Detroit for factory work, and my great-grandfather and -mother decided they couldn't trust the boys in the big city, so they packed up and went with them.  They left my grandmother (who was finishing up teaching school) with an aunt, uncle, and the farm dog, Tig.

My great-grandmother didn't mind the city, but missed Tig.  So, she wrote my grandmother and ordered Tig to Detroit - a good 130 miles, mind you - on the bus.  Can you imagine a bus ride, 130 miles in the early 1920s.....for a dog??   Well, Tig arrived in fine shape, and apparently lived out the rest of his days in the big city.

It was a good weekend.


Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Secret Santa!!

Too old for Santa? I think not.

Yes, there are discussions as to whether we should "lie" to kids and tell them that Santa brings them gifts vs. We can't lie to the kids; it's wrong.

There is also the "Christmas is about Jesus" vs. "But Santa is magical!"

You know, we have so few magical and joyful moments, and less and less as we get older. Santa is fun. And the kids usually figure it out, and no one I know was ever scarred for life for believing that Santa brought them and every child everywhere a toy for Christmas.

It's the magic of looking up at the sky on a clear December night, thinking "I'll wait up to see Santa" and later, as you fell asleep at the window, being in your daddy's arms as he carries you to bed.

It's the magic of putting out cookies and milk (or beer, because Santa does like beer) and maybe some carrots for the reindeer, and then checking in the morning to make sure the food was all consumed.


Advent Brokenness

It was a lovely May evening, the kind we in Michigan savor like honey. After the brutal cold of winter, flowers blossomed, grass greened, mosquitoes flocked. School was almost done for the year - just the formalities of 8th grade graduation were ahead.

Why not saddle up the horse and go for a ride? Why not, indeed. So my sister and I did. I took Prince out across the road from our house, to romp through the weeds on a path my father mowed for us. The view from horseback on a spring night - well, nearly Heaven.

Until Prince bolted. He spooked. I fell. And my arm broke. Compound fracture.

My dog, a collie, had followed us out. He was not particularly trusting of Prince, as Prince would never allow himself to be herded, and this vexed my collie. My dog, channeling his inner Lassie, ran home without me.

My sister had been in the yard with her boyfriend at the time, Gary, waiting for me to come back. Instead, it was just the dog loping across the road. That didn't seem right, so my si…