Don’t mine for gold during class

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, July 15, 2008



“What did you do over the 4th of July, the annual shedding of fingers and loss of high frequency hearing?”

Email newsletter signup

“I housetrained my pet rock and remarried my ex-wife.”

“You married your ex-wife? Why did you marry the same woman again?”

“Because she reminded me of my ex-wife.”


I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: I feel guilty because every time I meet a student driver car on a two-lane highway, I have the urge to move far to the right.


Rachel Romine is a teacher.

One of her students came to class with unfinished homework. When Rachel inquired as to the reason for the incomplete assignment, the student replied that he was unable to complete the homework because there were not enough commercials on TV.


I picked my nose in the first grade.

It’s a worrisome thing to confess, but I feel good about admitting it. A survey showed that 84 percent of women would not date a man who picks his nose. I feel safe in divulging my offense only because my wife has so many years invested in me that I trust she’ll stick with me. Excuse me while I pause for a cleansing sigh.

I know I picked my nose because my teacher said, “Allen, I hope you’re not picking your nose?”

I hoped I wasn’t, too. It didn’t sound like much of a question.

Earlier in the day, a second grader had used his squirt gun on another boy. My teacher took his squirt gun away.

I was afraid she might take my nose away.


Helen Abramson said, “When my mother would ask my brother why his clothes were on the floor he’d reply, ‘Because they wouldn’t stick to the ceiling.’”

Dale Phillips said that both his feet were so sore that he didn’t know which one to limp on.

Duane Swenson answered his phone. It was a loquacious friend calling for Duane’s wife, Donna. Duane said that the caller was so talkative, it took him 20 minutes to tell her that his wife was not home.

Pastor Phil Lewison said that marriage was invented so we wouldn’t have to argue with strangers.


School reunions are great — a time when we sit around and look at classmates who look like their parents.

I overheard this from a reunion attendee, “Didn’t you used to be my age?”


I have been spending a lot of time at cemeteries.

It’s my turn.

Family members, friends and neighbors have passed on. There are holes in my heart in the shapes of these people.

I walked a familiar graveyard on a day when the mosquitoes were off, but the deerflies were working. As my thoughts went from one deceased person to another, I heard the songs of goldfinches, chickadees, catbirds, robins, common yellowthroats, crows, cardinals, indigo buntings, house wrens, peewees and song sparrows.

I needed their songs. I must admit that I was feeling down at the realization of all the people I have lost.

Then I saw a couple of barn swallows slicing the sky overhead.

I am left with memories. I rejoice that so many good people have passed through my life.

Shakespeare wrote, “True hope is swift and flies on swallow’s wings.”

We have been told that we should strive to soar with the eagles.

The tiny swallows showed me that I don’t need an eagle to soar.

Song and swallow and memories cause me to soar.


There were countless fireflies on wing as I drove home one night. The lightning bugs were so numerous that they appeared to be fireworks accompanied by a pleasing silence.

The profusion of illuminated life presented flying Christmas lights in July.


The mysterious hummingbird-like creature flying from flower to flower is brown, about 3 inches long and has a lengthy “beak.” This hummingbird mimic is a fat-bodied insect called a sphinx or hawk moth. These moths have a similar lifestyle to hummingbirds. They drink large amounts of nectar from trumpet shaped flowers, although the moths prefer white flowers, while the hummingbirds favor red and orange flowers.

If you have the opportunity, take a whiff of the milkweed blossoms. They are fragrant.


I was talking to the Holstein the other day. The Holstein is a retired milk cow, so she has time to talk. I told the Holstein that I am a good Minnesotan and love the weather I am given.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “I am not that way. I spend my winters thinking of summer.”


Be kinder than necessary.