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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I spent an enjoyable weekend camping with the Weesners at the semi-annual Grandma Bev camping weekend. It always seems to be so much work packing up the camper..dragging it to the campground unloading and setting up only to enjoy a few days and then pack up again!

Of course as always there were ham balls and beef burgers and lots of other great things to eat, a few games and lots of sitting around the campfire sharing stories and making fun of each other until the wee hours of the morning.

I was happy to see Uncle Duff and proud of the fact that he spent 24 hours with us without going completely stir crazy, but Jeff and I both agreed that he got the best lodging in the 1960’s Airstream that Mom got loaned to us for the weekend.

Of all the stories kicked around this weekend was a story about the time growing up that we didn’t have a television. I swear on all things good that this is my version and mine alone, although many years after the fact my timeline and remembrance of the actual events may be a bit cloudy.

I seem to remember it being a brown television. Black and white with click dials and it supposedly got struck by lightning one summer when I was about 7 or 8. For three years ( maybe mom is right and it was only six months) we were without television. This itself may not been all that bad, but I was then taking piano lessons with Mrs. Sellers. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a horrible piano student and really am not coordinated enough to play very well, but she kept on me and kept me plugging away until I could play something that sounded like music.

I needed to practice and since we didn’t have a piano back then we would make a weekly trip on Saturday nights to Grandma and Grandpa’s where I could practice on the old upright that was in their bedroom. Of course while I was in the bedroom angrily pounding at the keys everyone else would be out in the living room watching TV! And Lawrence Welk no less! Now I slowly learned that if I leaned over towards the bass keys of the piano I could lean out enough to see the television from where I sat. Suddenly I would be engrossed in the pictures on the screen and could hear a scolding coming from the other room as they couldn’t hear me practicing. This weekly struggle went on for eternities and when I was done practicing we always went right home leaving me left out of any visual enjoyment.

It was a long time after when I snuck out to see the old television sitting on the porch that I got to playing around with it…plugged it in and Bam! It worked! It was at that point that I was sure and swear to this day that I was duped! I’m sure the television worked the entire time and Mom was just trying to make a point. It’s one of those crazy memories that I have as a boy that make me realize now why I torture my children and make them watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday nights!

For those of you reading this who had Mrs. Sellers as a teacher, please come out on the afternoon of Sunday the 20th to the Methodist Church in Dexter for her going away party. After being in Dexter for what seems like forever she’s moving out to California to live with her daughter. We will miss her cheery smile, the sight of her walking to the post office every day and mostly for reminding us that Silent Night is not a funeral dirge and to pick up the tempo.

Finally this week, I want to thank everyone who’s called, stopped me on the street an emailed asking how Grandma is getting along after the pressure cooker accident last Friday. She’s going to have a long recovery so please keep her in your prayers. She will be back and forth between home and Iowa City receiving care, and can’t have visitors quite yet, but I’m sure she’d appreciate a card or a note.

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.