Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

Today Wilbur and I trotted down to the nursery to get plants to adorn his rock collection.  Next, we went to the Memorial Day Parade and ceremony in East Helena.  Then I went to the Veteran's Cemetery to put lilacs on my parents' graves. I kicked myself for not bringing a camera.  The Veteran's cemetery was an awesome sight with American flags on every grave.

 After I visited the Veteran's Cemetery, I went to Forestvale Cemetery to decorate my grandparent's graves. Joe Spoja's grave is behind my grandparent's grave.  Joe is my brother-in-law who died when his Coast Guard helicopter was knocked out of the sky by a huge wave as the crew tried to rescue a man from a fishing boat in the middle of a terrific storm.  Someone had taken the time to walk the entire cemetery and put flags on all the veteran's graves.  That must have been time consuming, so bless whoever took the time to do it.

When I was a child, my Dad, younger sister and I would pick lilacs and bring them to our family member's graves at Forestvale.  I really missed my Dad today.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Wilbur's Rock Collection

While I buzzed down to Billings to have fun with Hermione, Wilbur played with his rock collection.  His rock collection is different than mine.  I keep my rock collection in a shoe box in my closet.  I inherited some of my collection from my Dad, and I bought one or two of my rocks from a store.

Wilbur started his collection last year, using a 9000 lb Telehandler Grade-All forklift. Wilbur's friend, Dave, allowed Wilbur to collect some rocks off his land. Until yesterday,Wilbur kept his collection in a pile next to his shop.

 When collecting rocks, the type of rock is immaterial to Wilbur.  All of his rocks are granite, which is fine with him.  Size and shape are the focus of Wilbur's rock collection.  Yesterday, Wilbur arranged his collection for display.  He is going to let me choose shrubs to accent his display.  When we are done with Wilbur's display, the area around his shop will look far superior to the yard surrounding our home.  It doesn't make sense to me that the shop yard will be so much superior to the yard surrounding our house. Still, I support anything that improves the look of our property.

Wilbur's rock collection, side view

Willbur's rock collection - front view

The Collector

The apple tree in bloom - landscaping I can handle.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

To the Rescue

The home where I grew up on Third Street was only a stone's throw away from a rock quarry.  I remember my Mom telling the tale that when some blasting took place at the quarry, a large rock went through the roof of a house in the neighborhood and narrowly missed a baby in a playpen.  I don't know if this story is truth or rumor.

Mom's experience with the quarry was quite different than blasting.  Mom had very acute senses.  Her sense of hearing and smell seemed way above average to me. She told me that one day she was hanging clothes on the line.  As she hung out the clothes she heard a cry of "Help! help!"  She stopped what she was doing and followed the sound to the rock quarry.  She found a boy who had fallen from the rim of the quarry and broken his leg.  She splinted the leg and got the young man help.

We were not allowed to play in the quarry.  I never played on the high rims of it, and I never mentioned playing in the quarry. I take the fifth on my other activities concerning the quarry.

 When I was about thirteen, the neighborhood children and I heard through the grapevine that the fire department would fill part of the quarry with water in the winter to make an ice skating rink if we pulled weeds.  In the fall we pulled weeds, and that winter we had an ice skating rink in the quarry which we enjoyed immensely.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Art and Me

For the past five years I have taken my Webelos Cub Scouts to the Clay Arts Guild.  Every year the boys surpass me in using the pottery wheel, handbuilding, and glazing.  It is humbling to be over fifty and produce work well below the norm for ten year old boys.  After five years going to the Clay Arts Guild, I have finally produced something recognizable.  The glazing could be better, but I can see a penguin in the work of art.  I'm telling you that it's a penguin in case I happen to be the only person in the universe that can see that it's a penguin.

This years cubs.  The middle boy's Mom says he has taken to posing this way in all his pictures.  She says she could just strangle him.  I think he is trying to be funny.