Category: Essay

  • Keep the Autumnal Fire Burning!

    Autumn has moved souls since the beginning of time. “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” — George Eliot It is the most romantic of seasons, which explains why so many people outside of Door County wonder, […]

  • Isherwood: Blackberry Summer

    Blackberry summers are rare, blackberries are shy, same as bachelor farmers are shy. Blackberries are shy because God and its creation are selfish. Easy blackberries spoil people – they begin to think blackberries grow on trees. The Bible was mistaken. The apple isn’t the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Wasn’t the apple […]

  • Isherwood: Feathers

    Most kids at some point in their transition to adult-form domestication go through a dinosaur stage. There is some appealing element about dinosaurs, big, noisy, different, that connects with kids. Dinosaurs perhaps signify a kind of defiance, and where they, despite being children, know more about something than their parents. Dinosaurs represent a distinctive intellectual […]

  • Isherwood: The Van

    Tom and I were friends, the original fault for this was Vietnam. We were both elderly at the time of that war, the advanced age of 23 and 25, respectively. Both of us medics in the service of our much-mistaken Uncle Sam. Tom was in patient care, I a housekeeping medic, also sanitation, surgical cleanup, […]

  • Isherwood: On Spring

    when daisies pied and violets blue and lady’s-smocks all silver-white and a cuckoo buds of yellow hue do paint the meadows with delight. Wm Shakespeare   It is of spring poets comingle. All on the relent of winter, as northerners understand. When trills the redwing and heralds the sandhill, all is poetry. All the flowers, […]

  • Isherwood: Asparagus Stories

    Asparagus stories are of emergent things, to perhaps add newness to this list, and hope, and joy, and daring. Once was when that tribe of farmers used to utter private catechisms on asparagus. Asparagus as the spring tonic if not an omen. Crops and margins and chances of drought predicted by asparagus. Farmers did this […]

  • Isherwood: The Greenland Shark

    Somniosus microcephalus, also known as the Greenland shark is the world’s latest celebrity. Known to fishermen as the Greenland, this shark is widely distributed through the North Atlantic, found at the surface as well as in the depths, amazingly at 1,800 meters. Adults grow to 400-500 centimeters, making it the largest fish in these cold […]

  • Isherwood: ‘Model A’ Town Plow

    The photo is from the Steir farm, circa 1944, Town of Bristol. The subject is a homemade snowplow consisting of a basic Model A coupe, with a sort of monster jungle gym attached. An oversize steel box attached to a sub-frame, all this in turn attached to the said Model A. On the front of […]

  • My Priceless Portraits

    There were two portraits. They were high on the wall above my grandparents’ organ in their living room. One was a girl and one was a boy. Each child is sitting in a chair – the girl wearing a light blue smock dress and the boy wearing a light blue shirt with a sailor collar. […]

  • Using Art to Inspire Writing

    It turns out photography isn’t the only medium that can speak a thousand words. With the right approach, sculpture, painting and even glass-blown works can as well. Just ask author, poet and instructor Anne-Marie Oomen, who recently teamed up with Write On, Door County to lead a workshop on ekphrastic writing – the literary technique […]

  • Isherwood: Potato Vacation

    Autumn is to remember potato vacation. A time of one-room schools neatly scattered through the townships like jubilant watermelon patches. When kids walked to school, pumped the water and filled the reservoir, swept the outhouse, clapped the erasers before pledging the allegiance to the flag, and President Washington reigned over the alphabet strip. This, our […]

  • Isherwood: How to Build A Bird

    Grandparents have a critical role in a kid’s education. My wife and I disagree on gender lines exactly what this role is, you can surmise the details: fire, gunpowder and jokes about farts. For myself I believe a grandfather’s role can be summed up by the acronym SOTG, Second Only to God, this where I […]

  • Holy Cow, and We Thought GMO Was A Tough Decision

    First, a nasty little list: Zika, West Nile, dengue, equine encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, Rift Valley Fever, Kyasanur Forest Disease. Second, a word, arbovirus; a term used by epidemiologists to refer to numerous viruses that replicate in blood-feeding arthropods such as mosquitoes, sandflies, lice, mites and ticks and are transferred to humans by biting. […]

  • Feeling Pain

    You know how it is, when science discovers something you knew all along. To know the Nobel Prize and a million bucks went to a scientist who wrote up the research about something you already knew, just hadn’t gotten around to getting it published in the Academy proceedings.

  • On Obits

    A friend sent an obit that appeared in the Door County Advocate for one Lilly Velk. I did not know Ms. Lilly; still my friend thought I’d like the obit.

  • Air Miles and Carbon Credits

    Ingrid Burke of the University of Wyoming in a letter to the Academy of Science offered this lament, “I recently returned from the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America … This year’s conference subject was ‘Global Warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our future.

  • Evening Milking: Visions of Life on the Family Farm

    A farm kid comes of age by an alternate route than does the average kid. I remember classroom discussions about home chores, how urban kids described their chores: take out the garbage, mow the lawn, sweep the garage, vacuum the rug.

  • 3.14.15 Is Pie Day

    March fourteenth, two thousand fifteen is pie day … an apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry, anything to make us all merry. March 14, 2015 expressed as 3.1415 is pi, or π.

  • Democracy

    The source is late night BBC, not that listening to the radio is any cure for sleeplessness; it is a companion. They were discussing democracy and what constitutes the signals, the signs and the effects of democracy.

  • The Mask of Christmas

    Modern children have it easy at Christmas. The modern version of Santa arrives as that jolly old soul, cherry cheeks, robust laugh, nothing sinister or hungry.