I reported to you earlier that Eartha and I are in the process of making a move. A downsizing move. Reducing our footprint, as it were. We're moving from a roomy home with a big yard to a condo with almost no yard. Why? There comes a time. Everybody who has moved or downsized knows the trauma and offers sympathy. But that's no help.
It all started with an apple. But, it wasn't in the Garden of Eden. No, it started under a State Fair apple tree in our yard. The tree is loaded with big beautiful red apples — more than ever before. But wasps have discovered the apples and have burrowed into the fruit, hollowing it out as they feast on the sugary flesh. Yes, wasps are "sugar eaters" in the autumn. I doubt that there were any wasps in the Garden of Eden. They probably weren't created until after the original sin.
I hope my comments are not premature. As this is being written, the floods in Houston, Galveston and the Gulf Coast are in their fourth day and the historic rain, after 24 inches so far, continues to pour down. Thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes, and many are still waiting to be rescued. Shelters are overcrowded with shortages of food and water. People are dying. The damage caused by winds and flooding waters in Texas will be billions and billions of dollars. There has never been anything like this. At this hour, no relief is in sight.
You have to do this every four years. If you want to keep your driver's license, every four years on your birthday you need to go in to the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew your driver's license. It's no big deal, you just show up to prove you're still alive, pay $25.25, they check your eyes, take your picture for your new license and you're in business again for the next four years.
I'm reading a book where the author remembers that, back in his father's day, every family had a pair of binoculars and a set of encyclopedias and no one used either. That grabbed my attention. It probably would not surprise you that I'm of his father's generation, and yes, we do have a pair of binoculars around here that nobody uses and a 20 volume set of World Book encyclopedias with annual supplements for the years 1972, 1973 and 1974. But — our encyclopedias get used.
In case you thought the columns in this space lack research, informed opinion and credibility, you should know that the observations presented today are based on interviews with an eighth-grader, an 11th-grader, a paraprofessional, a retired elementary teacher, and of course, my own memories of being a student years ago. School Board members, superintendents and principals were not consulted.
What would you do with a pickup load of watermelons? When they write the history of Garrison, N.D., this story will not be included, so you may want to cut out this account and attach it to the history book. You can consider it a footnote to history. It was midsummer when everybody loves a nice big, cool slice of watermelon. The year is uncertain, but it was in the mid-1950s. That's so long ago that if this story is not recorded now, it will probably be forgotten forever.
Many dramatic things have happened that were never recorded. History is, at best, an incomplete story. We can only guess at what has been left out. Even the Bible does not tell the whole story. "There are many other things that Jesus did. If they were all written down one by one, I suppose the whole world could not hold the books that could be written." John 21:25. If the story of Jesus is incomplete, just imagine the earlier stories from the Old Testament, many years earlier.
We had this beautiful white toaster that did everything a toaster should do. It had all the bells, dials and buttons. It popped the toast up at just the right time and it was always perfect. Life was good.
I am sitting here reading double full page ads for firecrackers and an eight page fireworks ad insert. I am reading labels like "Master Blaster," "Five Inch Super Shells," "Dakota Dynamite," "Dakota Nightmare," "Dominator," "Cruze Missiles," and "Memory Surprise," and while I am reading and gritting my teeth, I have a memory surprise.