Garden Road - October 6, 2015 It has become a pattern that I only see old classmates during funerals. This year it was a wake, after the death of Marty Norris Sr. of Humeston, whose son Marty was a good friend of mine from high school. Last year, I saw him for the first time in over a decade when he drove back from Nebraska after his fatherís accident, which was most likely due to his illnessóthough his family did not know it at the time. In March of this year, his father was diagnosed with ALS. Due to his fatherís physical deterioration, his passing was mercifully swift. His wake was a peaceful evening.
Martyís father served in Europe during the Vietnam War, and he became part of a strange, disturbing trend of former military personal at greater risk of Lou Gehrigís disease. The ALS Association released a report in March of 2005 stating ďmen and women with any history of military service in the last century are at a nearly 60 percent greater risk of ALS than men and women who did not serve in the military. Oct 5, 2015, 09:06
Garden Road - September 29, 2015 Dancing is in my daughter Jasmineís blood. It seems involuntary. The music commands her to sway. In some African villages, the people teach their children to dance before they can even walk. Jasmine can walk, but she scoots across the room faster by crawling in order to grab the remote control, her parentsí cell phones or her motherís rescue inhaler, or to spill my coffee on the floor if I am not careful. She loves the power that hitting buttons on the TVís remote provides her, as the channels magically change under her authority. But she prefers to dance. Sep 28, 2015, 08:52
Garden Road - September 22, 2015 Last week, my stepdaughter Haley trapped a parsonís spider under a plastic lunchmeat container. She was the first to spot the creature stalking our bathroom. My wife Jennifer usually offers two questions for me: Is it a brown recluse? Is it a black widow? Even though I own a perfectly good reference book for insects and arachnids, which she bought me one year for Christmas, she still asks each time. In my analysis and research of the parsonís spiderís behavior, I referred the information on to Jennifer, but accidentally said, ĎThe parsonís spider is known to prey on common household pets.í I meant to say Ďpests,í but I donít think it would have changed her opinion of the quick, black parsonís spider. Sep 21, 2015, 09:11
Garden Road - September 15, 2015 Around 10 years ago at this time, I had just moved into my apartment on the campus of UNI in Cedar Falls to begin my second college career. It was the farthest I had ever lived from Wayne County. Hurricane Katrina had just roared through the Gulf of Mexico. Gas prices rose to over $3 per gallon after we thought $2 was too high during the summer of 2005. After I found out oil companies made record profits that year, I swore under my breath. And we all thought looters smashing windows in New Orleans were awful, taking advantage of a catastrophe. The truth is there will always be a tycoon preparing to strike gold after the next apocalypse, and hoping if not outright planning where to move his next pawn. Thatís why they keep moving the end date back to next year, and then next year. Itís profitable. Sep 14, 2015, 09:38
Garden Road - September 8, 2015 In Decorah there is a cave where water remains frozen until autumn. The Ice Cave is also known as the Cave of Paradox, because ice forms from snowmelt in spring to cling all summer to its walls. After melting in fall, it remains free of ice in winter. Pioneers used it as a freezer.
There is also a stream where a mill once stood, where wooden steps have been built to climb past a limestone waterfall, now a city park named Dunningís Spring. The Old Stone Mill is the oldest building in Decorah, built in 1851, when it was still legal to own slaves in the United States. The mill was constructed of limestone from the Ordovician Period, which ended almost 450 million years ago. A common life form at the time was green algae. After half a billion years a person can still feel its grooves upon the bulwark. Sep 8, 2015, 10:33