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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


What a week this has been. We’ve been ducking tornadoes night and day with more on the way. That fact has manifested itself by cutting through the heart of Joplin, Missouri. For every home or business lost, there is a story. In the Mid-West we are used to tornadoes. What we aren’t used to is the number and ferocity they have come this Spring.

One of the puzzling things left behind in the rubble will be shelves perfectly in place and not tipping anything over in it’s wake. The whole house may be gone but there seems to be a choice about leaving a calling card. “Hello….I was here but you weren’t home. I’ve left your favorite vase on the table.” Each person is gifted with a tiny treasure left behind.

There are always stories of strange incidents. I was raised in Omaha, NE. and there was a terrible tornado one Spring. My dad visited the area after the twister had passed over and told of straw being driven into telephone poles. Chickens running around alive but all their feathers plucked out.

Most are glad they’re alive after the onslaught. Mother Nature seemingly has shown power great enough to be respected. We get too big for our britches at times and we’re brought back to harsh reality. Nature doesn’t have to be all honey and roses and we’d better be grateful for the good times because sooner or later we are caught in disasters uncommon to us or our way of thinking.

Randomly flipping the killer vortex ‘at will’ it leaves death and destruction behind. Each person has been effected in one way or another. Some of the living will never be free of the horror they lived through…….often losing families or pets. I am personally praying for a mother who had her baby sucked out of her arms. I cannot begin to imagine the heartache she must live with.

As I went to the mailbox this morning I found a bird's nest laying on the ground. It was so neatly made and fell from the big white pine tree in front of our place. There were no eggs in it so hopefully it was empty and the birds had hatched. Just another victim of our stormy weather. Winds that will not die.

Essentially Esther

Friday, May 13, 2011


(Written on May 12th)

Today is my Mother’s birthday. No matter how long she has been gone or how old I become, she is with me every day. She is with me because she put the time in for my brother and me. We were part of her life. Not scheduled in because she had a career she couldn’t give up.

She taught the little things, like “please and thank you.” “May I” instead of “I want” and all those social graces wrapped up in common courtesy. She was always home when we came from school and more than likely had some kind of cake or cookies……or an oven full of bread. One smell when we hit the porch told us what our treat was for the day.

Mom wasn’t good with her hair and didn’t wear make-up unless she was going someplace. She saved things in pretty boxes. Things my brother or I would make at school for holidays or Mother’s Day were in sight……not tucked away. She was full of good advice when questioned and very smart. I loved to hear her talk about when she was young and what her and her brothers and sisters did. The pictures of her with them looked like they were having fun.

Every Halloween we had candied apples. In those 1930 years they were always the red cinnamon apples. I don’t remember ever having caramel apples until much later. Christmas was the Gingerbread Man. He had three raisins down his front for buttons and a face put on with Mom’s ancient frosting tube. Of course there were other things but we loved the little man the best.

I have to laugh when I think of the old dilapidated stove she cooked and baked on. The old gas kind with four burners and the oven on one side. The trial of her life was making a wedding cake for her youngest sister. We lived 25 miles away from where the wedding was taking place and she had no way of keeping it cool en-route. The wedding was in summer and the Nebraska summers are pretty miserable……certainly not good to transport a three tiered cake. To make it more unstable it was made with white boiled icing.

I can still see my mother in the kitchen beating the egg whites and sugar with her old rotary egg beater…….batch after batch to cover the whole cake. She decorated it with little frosting flowers and garlands around the top and sides. All done in white it was beauty to behold. Mom didn’t ask for the job but in those days, weddings and occasions were something the families did to make it more memorable. My mother was the best baker in the family so the job was hers.

In retrospect, I see my Dad, dreading the day because the distance and weather were against success. He got involved when he saw Mom getting more nervous by the minute so Dad rigged up something for it to ride in, in the trunk. Dad was as fearful as Mom about getting it there and he didn’t want her to be humiliated by a cake being in pieces. Of course it all ended well and everyone was happy….and relieved.

I had the best Mother in the whole world. Times were tough in the 30’s and Mom made it her business to see that we had the right kinds of things in our lives that would last.

Happy birthday, Mom……and thanks.

Essentially Esther

Friday, May 06, 2011


Well, I wrote a blog, tried to post it and it went off into the great beyond. Although I titled it….it showed untitled document and I’m tired of searching the folders to see where it might be.

So life in a nutshell here, is looking up and we’ve seen blue sky for two days with a little breeze. I’m not threatened by high water here but there are some low spots around town that are definitely under water. The big problem now is the Missouri river coming down from Illinois and Missouri and so many farmers have lost their crops on the Missouri side. Blood, sweat and tears….and money too….all down the drain. Cairo, Illinois can breathe easy but at what price to the farmers? If they were correct, it would have flooded Cairo and loss of life in the melee. So I guess if that’s correct it was the better of two evils.

I have finally procured a young man to mow my lawn. With the rain we’ve had and my problem finding someone to mow it looked like a hayfield. The man was recommended to me by a friend and he is worthy of the good report she gave. Now all I have to do is get busy with my flower garden. That progress ended with the man that was putting webbing around the bottom of the deck. He started weeding but chased out by the rain. I have hopes of doing some myself. I like to get my hands in the dirt and give my flowers some breathing room.

For my family that has been aware of my sciatic nerve/fibromyalgia problems I want to report I’m finally getting to the upswing on it all. Spent a couple of bad months but that’s behind me now and I can look forward to better days. The cure was to rest the leg and take pain pills. It didn’t do much good because I couldn’t sit comfortable, stand, walk or lay in bed at night. However, with the misery going on around the country with the tornados and flooding it was a small matter. Pain is manageable now and I’m on the mend. Thanks to Helen and Richard for some good Anti-inflammatory analgesic and with the hot pad…..it has helped.

This is short but I will make an effort to be back sooner than later. I miss writing and in between jobs tomorrow I’ll try to write again. So good cheer to everyone and I hope the sun is definitely shining where you are.

Essentially Esther

Friday 6, 2011

P.S. I am just able to post this today since the computer had some problems. Hopefully this will do the trick.