Dogwood Ramblings

I appreciate the Douglas County Herald for the nice gift given to column contributors.  This column is #104, which means I’ve been doing Dogwood Ramblings for two years now.  Sometimes I don’t know what to write but then, those who know me say they doubt I’ll ever run out of words.  (Hmmmm!)

The Boeddeker family came from Germany to Illinois in 1856.  My oldest recorded French ancestor immigrated to New France (Canada) in 1609 (the first officially recorded settler there, who traveled with Champlain) and my line of his descendants emigrated to North Dakota about 1894 and through this first settler I’m related to Celine Dione and the Dionne Quintuplets.  My German ancestors emigrated here about 1860.  My Norwegian ancestors emigrated here in 1866.  They all had one thing in common, which is intestinal fortitude, a good work ethic, and they all learned to speak English.  Most were farmers.  Two of my great grandmothers were mid-wives, not only for human babies but for livestock as well.  At times one of my great grandmothers had to walk across sections of prairie land to go help with a birth and she had to pull her skirts up between her legs and tucked them in to her waistband because of mud or snow.  They heated wash water and used scrubbing boards outdoors to wash clothes (no iron-free wash-and-wear clothes in those days), and heated water to wash their bodies one after another in a metal tub on the kitchen floor.  From this came the old saying “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!” as the babies were usually last to be bathed. These emigrants taught their children the Holy Bible in their native language and then in English, and Christian morals by which to live.

I’ve had some hard and long days, especially when milking cows.  But, my ancestors didn’t have running water (except to run to a pump if they had one and if not to a creek with a bucket), didn’t have electricity, lived in “soddies” (houses made of blocks of soil, dirt floors, no glass windows), they usually had to do their own doctoring for family and livestock and they didn’t shop, they traded.  Imagine yourself living like that.  No insulated clothing in those days and often they had to wrap rags around their shoes to keep from freezing their feet, and were not always successful.  They made their way to (mostly) Minnesota, first by weeks on sailing ships and then with wagons pulled by oxen and lots of walking, and watching out for Indians.  Not one of them was scalped!

Today we have citizens everywhere, who from all one can see, expect others to provide for their well being.  The way things are going, unless we make some radical changes in our society, there soon won’t be American businesses and/or entrepreneurs willing to invest in much of anything.  Wage earners will be forced to pay even more exorbitant taxes to provide for those not willing to work.   Far too many people these days have no respect for others, hence, no respect for themselves.  This is on display daily as can be seen by the trash on the roadsides.

Mohandas Ghandi’s Seven Dangers to Human Virtue:  1) Wealth without work;  2) Pleasure without conscience;  3) Knowledge without character;  4) Business without ethics;  5) Science without humanity; 6) Religion without sacrifice;  7) Politics without principles.  Good warning here but then, it seems those in government don’t care and too many in our society have other ideas.

One of my neighbors had a scary event last Thursday evening, possibly involving the heart.  I went to stay with her until her husband came home and he took her to an ER in Springfield – she is doing OK now.  Friday I took a lunch break from the office and met Arlene and Rex at the Ruby Garden – and ate too much as usual.  Another friend is having a difficult time so a group of we gals got together with her on Saturday, just to be supportive, and we shared pizza and salad.  The elves (Randy and Ivan) took my Christmas lights down; Randy put my Christmas decorations up in the attic, started and moved my ride-on mower, and treated my fuel with Stabile.  I had a nice phone visit with Doris Haynes.  Grandson Rex did some minor TV adjustments for Eva White.  Eva had phoned for a visit and wondered if Rex would help her.  Rex is good with computer problems as well, for which I am truly grateful.  My sister, Dona, called from California for a good visit and I also had a nice phone visit with my son, Ryan, in California.

Jamey Herd has been under the weather a bit and says she doesn’t have anything to report for this past week.  Hopefully she will be up and about quickly.  Perhaps you, the reader, will take the time to pray for the ill, the disadvantaged, the injured, the frustrated, and for our nation as a whole.  Until next week, take care of yourselves and look out for your neighbors.