Want to get a college degree but you don't want to leave home? Based on what I'm hearing and reading, that's possible. But I'm going to take the old-fashioned view and suggest that if you do it all from home you're going to miss out on some of the fun and the practical aspects of learning and training. Let me give you three examples of programs that cause me to wonder. There are online degree programs in veterinary technician, holistic medicine and dental hygiene.
The wildlife and animal artists are missing the parade. They're painting and photographing all these wonderful and innocent deer, loons, eagles, ducks, geese, buffalo, dogs, cats and horses. And people buy them and hang them on the wall. It could be so much better. The most successful of these artists was probably the brilliant and talented Terry Redlin. I am thinking of a painting of a log cabin at sunset with smoke coming out of the chimney, geese flying and about to land in a pond, and a deer standing and enjoying the entire scene.
If you hop on your bike and peddle a few miles, you may find a country cemetery nearby that needs a visit. The one I found was on the grounds of an old church, unpainted for decades and long ago closed. The saints have scattered, but they haven't forgotten or neglected their cemetery. The gate was open, so I considered that an invitation. I was a stranger, but I felt welcome as long as I walked and talked softly and respectfully. This was, after all, sacred ground.
This is our first spring in the neighborhood of Deadshot Bay. The correct name of Deadshot Bay is Curfman Lake, but almost nobody knows it. Deadshot Bay got its name from George Esterly who was known as "Old Deadshot." Deadshot arrived and pitched his tent on the northwestern shore of the bay in about 1895 when he was already in his 70s. He quickly established a reputation as a teller of stories, spotless housekeeper, excellent cook, marksman, fisherman and character. His skill as a straight shooter with firearms lead to his nickname "Old Deadshot."
Benito Mussolini was a brutal, arrogant, not particularly talented, Italian fascist dictator from 1922 to 1945. In 1936, he became a puppet of Adolf Hitler and later jumped Italy into World War II as an Axis power. After the Axis defeat he was shot by his own Italians and hanged by the feet, upside down. But, during more peaceful times, he was appreciated by the Italians because, under his administration, the trains always ran on time. The point of the Mussolini story is to emphasize how important routine can be in all of our lives.
I was honored last week as a person selected to do charity work on behalf of the Lorenzo Russo Estate. The invitation came to me by email in the following form: "Re: Charity Work "Dear Brethren: Greetings to you and sorry if this message came to you as a surprise. My name is Mrs. Sophia Russo, a widow. I found your email address through my husband's internet data, late Mr. Lorenzo Russo.
My wife, Eartha, and I know a young lady who lives in a city that has a paper where this column appears. We have known her for a few years, but not all that well. The last time we saw her, she had just discovered this column. She scolded me — "Why didn't you tell me you wrote a column?" Eartha was quick with an answer: "There are some things you don't brag about." Regular readers know she's right — you don't brag about writing this column.
When you drive past an area one day where you observe hundreds and hundreds of giant wind turbines slowly turning, then on the next day you drive down the highway leaning against gales that seem to be blowing 50 to 60 miles an hour pounding on you, your mind is forced to consider the power of this great energy that you can never see — the wind.
Spring has nothing to do with the calendar. So, when you turned the page to March 20, indicating the first day of spring, it meant nothing. The reason is that spring is like Rip Van Winkle and sometimes it takes long naps, and hopefully, it has no idea what it missed while it was sleeping. This year was one of those years. On March 20, spring was sound asleep and not stirring in the slightest. After that date there were cold spells, snow storms and winter blusters.
Do you trust strangers? Does it make any difference if the strangers shop at the same grocery store as you do? Here's the situation. Last week Eartha went to the grocery store early in the afternoon for a routine half-hour stop to pick up the usual necessities: bread, potatoes, milk, hamburger, etc. When she came out, there was what appeared to be a blueberry muffin, all wrapped up and somehow attached to the windshield of our car.