Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Bell

My father used to tell me stories when I had some difficult times. He was a wise man and often sought to teach lessons through stories. I have one of his stories today. It is simple and has a small, simple moral

Near a small peaceful town in a small green valley there was a quaint monastery operated by a quiet group of monks. The monastery was noted throughout the area for the fine sounding bell in it's tower. A magical peaceful tone. But, being old the bell one day cracked and it's sound was missed throughout the valley. The priests, having taken vows of poverty did not have enough funds to either repair or replace the bell and were distraught that they could no longer pay homage to God through it's wonderful sound. After some discussion it was decided that they would convert some of their vegetable gardens to flower gardens and sell the flowers to raise the needed funding.

The project went well. The monastery and it's bell were well known and the good folks in the valley missed it's sound. The monks plight was common knowledge. Their flowers were of exceptional quality and their sales thrived.

All was working well and a feeling of good will spread through the valley. The only one not pleased was the individual who owned the sole greenhouse in the valley. He started to lose money. He asked the monks personally if perhaps they could not get into another line of business. Sell rosaries, crosses, incense, indulgences, pieces of the True Cross. Anything other than flowers. They politely declined. The greenhouse owner's funds continued to decline. He again pleaded with the priests and again, eager to replace the bell, they declined. Facing ruin he even sent his aged mother to beg his case. She was also turned down.

Ruin and bankruptcy stared the owner in the face. Panic and desperation gripped him. He committed, then, a foul and despicable act. He sought out and hired the town's roughest, meanest, toughest, Irishman, a man named Hugh McTaggert. He paid Hugh cheaply and plied him with volumes of cheap whiskey and beer and sent him to the monastery. Hugh trampled their flower beds, smashed their greenhouses, destroyed their shop and, for good measure, rudely beat up several of the priests.

They got the message. Went out of business.

The moral of the story..........................

Hugh.....and only Hugh, can prevent Florist Friars...gees, I said my Dad was wise; I didn't say he always made sense.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bubba and his buddies move into their new apartment in a week for what Miriam calls his 'second last year of college'.

It was always interesting visiting their house last year.... Eric, Adam, Bubba, JD and will. The floor usually looking as if it was a aluminum can recycling center and the kitchen sink was, well, very much beyond description.... and sanitary conditions. Of course I remember living in squalid conditions when I was in college, but we at least had a rule about cleaning the bathroom quarterly. The Shame! The wretchedness!
Basically, when his lease ran out last June he decided to just 'live' without an apartment for three months. Homeless by choice, I guess.
He has 'stuff' stashed all over town. His kitchen chairs and table are in my basement along with some boxes of stuff. His futon and more boxes of stuff is stored at his mother's. There are clothes at Jim's and his old couch died a vomit strewn wreck over at Matt's.
This weekend I move him back with his wretched friends.
I always feel a little morose at the end of summer. Labor day was always my favorite holiday. We would always go to my brother-in-laws cottage on the shores of Green Bay.

But Holidays with the kids has pretty much ended. They have too much going on to spend a whole weekend with the old man.

So I plan on some more biking before the weather changes. Taking off friday to get a few things done (and I do virtually no business on a friday before a long weekend, anyways)... Thursday night is the last summer concert at the river.

I think I am getting burned out on the concert scene for the year.

The last concert is, get this, Alice Cooper.

I have never been an Alice fan.
I called up the ex and gave her two of my last tickets.

And there is a Packer game on Thursday night.
I have a couple of stories I'm writing... but have come up with a block, big time.

I just don't want summer to end.

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