Minnesota Tall Tale

Oles’ White Lutefisk
And The Legend of the Singing Coyotes

A long, long time ago, before the Hudson Bay trappers explored Minnesota’s vast prairie and timber, before all the beaver were driven from the cool valley streams, Minnesota was inhabited by the Dakota Sioux, the Ojibwa, and the Winnebago. For as far as the eagle can see, the grasslands and forest spread across the prairie, providing sustenance for all manner of living creatures. The drums, flutes and rhythmic songs of the ancient tribes echoed in the evening skies, comforting all that wandered through the land, eating and drinking only what was needed from the land of their fathers and their father’s fathers.

On this day walked Ole with his cow and wooden cart, squeaking and squawking, wandering about. Past deer trails and river beds, he sang as he strolled, of his memories, his daydreams, his life on this road.

Ya sure, you betcha
I’ve come a long, long way
Cross the sea I sailed…
Uff-da Norway’s so far, far away!
Sweet land of brown bread
Where lutefisk’s served
A gift for the senses
Homes’ aroma preserved
Here the rivers are deep
The valley’s so wide
Don’tcha know day after day
My song is my guide
Ya sure, you betcha
I’ve come a long, long way
Cross the sea I sailed…
Uff-da Norway’s so far, far away!

To be continued…

©2020 cj holm

Healthcare on The Prairie

Quite a day yesterday! It started out the night before at 11:00 p.m. when my shoulder began to hurt with very sharp pain. I’ve been recovering from reverse shoulder replacement surgery so this wasn’t an unusual happening. I got up and took three Advil and applied heat to the area. At 2:00 a.m. I tried to go to sleep again; the pain increased so I got up and took three more Advil.

By 4:00 a.m. The pain was so intense that I broke into my emergency supply of pain meds and took the last 2 Tramadol I had left. I gave up all hope of sleeping and waited until 7:00 a.m. and drove myself to Mayo in St. James, Minnesota where I had a physical therapist appointment I had already scheduled.

When I got there at 7:45 a.m. I met with the therapist who suggested I go over to the clinic scheduling desk and see if I could get a Doctor to look at my shoulder.

At the reception desk, I was told that the earliest I could be seen by anyone was 9:15, so I went to a waiting room chair and waited to be called. At 9:20 a nurse came and got me and took me to an exam room and took my initial information. I told her I was at a 10 of 10 on the pain chart and asked for pain meds. I waited in the room for 15 minutes for a PA to come in who looked me over as said I needed to have X-rays. I was sent back out to the waiting room and waited another 15 minutes for the x-ray tech to come and get me. A very nice woman took the X-rays and led me back to my original exam room where I waited for the results. The PA told me that my info was sent to be read at Mayo (headquarters) and I should wait there for the results. The results came (40 minutes later) and they revealed a complete shoulder separation of my newly replaced ball and socket. She then sent the information to my surgeon in Mankato for his review. 15 minutes later I was told that I needed to get to Mankato Mayo emergency to get treated.

Being as my wife was sick with flu I called a buddy to see if he could drive me. Unfortuanently he was already taking care of another medical emergency with his mother so he couldn’t help. By then I was really hurting and not thinking very well, so I decided to drive myself from St. James to Mankato, Minnesota (About 45 miles). I got to Mankato and walked into the emergency room where I was examed and treated by some very nice people and my surgeon who after I was sedated put by shoulder back in place. It was now 3:00 p.m. and I was feeling much better. My shoulder and arm were placed in a sling, which I will be wearing for 6 weeks while it heals.

Unfortunately, because I was put under for the procedure they would not allow me to drive home and suggested I should take a cab 55 miles back to Ormsby. I immediately suggested they were out of their f#$!! minds. I called a friend (Thanks Cornie in Odin, Mn) who volunteered to come and get me and also recruited another friend (Thanks Lyle Anderson) who would drive my car back home. At 6:30 p.m. I was back home – 19 hours after my shoulder separated. Though it took awhile there were a lot of very caring people who worked to help me.

I guess that’s the good and bad for choosing to live in rural Minnesota.

Given a chance to make the decision to move out to Ormsby again, I would certainly say the friendships I’ve made here make the inconveniences worth it.

Stabant Autem In Perpetuum

It is with sadness that I report that last week, this home’s ash tree succumbed to the woodsman’s ax and chain saw. The end came quickly after a short illness and straight line winds. While the tree demurely refused to count her rings, It was generally believed that she germinated around forty to fifty years ago. We have been told that she was never married, still there are many friends that are left to mourn her passing, including Robbie the grey squirrel, Charlotte the spider, many blackbirds and starlings that sang so sweetly from her limbs, and finally the scores of dogs and cats that sniffed and marked her trunk during their travels.

Interment will be in Harry’s wood pile and crematorium, where her trunk will be split for distribution.

The service was officiated by Affordable Tree and Landscape Services of St. James, Minnesota.

Donations and remembrances can be sent to the Minnesota Extension Service, who provided final consultation at the end.

-CJ Holm

Murmuring Souls

Created for Susi Bocks Challenge

woods

Art Credit – Google Image

I write her weekly Haiku/Senryu Challenge 30 – July 30, 2019

These murmuring souls
sacrificed to the dark god
of the pagan woods

Forever silenced soldiers
-lost Tiberius’ phalanx

-CJ Holm
From Chapter 73 of Tacitus’s Annals.

“Soon afterwards it was ascertained from deserters that nine hundred Romans had been cut to pieces in a wood called Baduhenna, after prolonging the fight to the next day, and that another body of four hundred, which had taken possession of the house of one Cruptorix, once a soldier in our pay, fearing betrayal, had perished by mutual slaughter.”

https://iwriteher.com/2019/07/30/i-write-her-weekly-haiku-senryu-challenge-30/

Bring It Back

Ormsby Field

Ormsby, MN Ball Field

Our Old Field

(Sung with Gusto to tune of My Bonnies lies over the Ocean)

There once was a town that played softball,
Our teams all played with great skill!
In Ormsby we cheered for our hitters,
And heckled opponents with glee.

Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back our slow pitch to town, to town.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back America’s game.

Our players were locally famous,
The chanted their names at Knight’s Lounge!
They swung for fence with abandon
But struck out most of the time.

Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back our slow pitch to town, to town.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back America’s game.

The lights have been burned out for ages
The base paths are now overgrown
Our bleachers were sold off to Odin
The gophers have eaten the grass

Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back our slow pitch to town, to town.
Bring back, bring back
Oh, bring back America’s game.

There once was a town that played softball,
Our teams all played with great skill!
In Ormsby we cheered for our hitters,
And heckled opponents with glee!

 

©2019 cj holm

The Ash Tree

ash-tree

I lost an Ash tree
That had been part of my yard
It was there before me
And I had watched it grow large.

I had climbed it and cursed it,
Made it part of a wall.
I watered and trimmed it,
And raked its’ leaves last Fall.

It served up a shadow,
Cool respite from the sun.
It shielded my garden,
From harsh winds from the West

I noticed lost branches,
At first just a few.
They broke off in windstorms
And littered the yard.

Last summer I witnessed
The shade had grown smaller.
Large limbs had grown brittle,
So many were gone.

The trunk had grown hollow
Now it was home for the ants.
The blackbirds still chattered
But the red robins had moved on.

I spoke with a neighbor,
I was concerned for a barn.
If the tree were to fall over,
It might cause great harm.

We brought out our axes
And went on with the task.
We took down the Ash tree,
Now just a memory of the past.

-cj holm