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Gertie, One Terrific Goose, part 2
E.B. White, in his classic Charlotte’s Web, had the famous spider write adjectives in her web describing the beloved pig. The words Some Pig, Terrific, Radiant and Humble saved Wilbur’s life. I wish E. B. White was still alive so he could meet my pet Canada goose, Gertie. She is some goose or, uh, some gander. I think of Gertie as female, but I could be wrong. Male geese are friendlier than females, and they don’t come any friendlier than Gertie. Goslings grow at an extraordinary rate, and she was soon big enough to explore our cabin’s shoreline looking for…
Gertie and Doc, the Teenage Years, part 3
Our rescued Canada goose, Gertie, and our pet mallard, Doc, continued to entertain my husband and me. Gertie the goose stretched her neck, getting her head as close to me as possible, and told me stories. I loved hearing the soft, whispery wiggle-wiggle sounds. When I gave them their favorite treat, watermelon, Gertie gave me an extra wiggle-wiggle-wiggle thank you. At our home in the Dells, Gertie and Doc only had a kiddy pool inside a dog pen so I let them run free in our back yard as much as possible. One afternoon, when Gertie heard the neighbors across…
Gertie, the conclusion
I was anxious to return to our cabin and check on Gertie and the duck since my husband and I had left them on their own. I especially missed Gertie, the orphaned gosling we’d raised. Get a grip, I told myself. Gertie is only a goose, one of the thousands we Wisconsinites hear honking and watch flying in their classic V-formation. But after arriving at our cabin, I hurried to look for her and Doc. My husband followed. Our feathered friends weren’t by our shore. I called, but no answer. We took the speed boat out and found them in…
My Smelly Reputation
The janitor, spray can in hand, looked around my fourth grade classroom. “Did a snake escape and die in some corner?” “No, I don’t think so.” I breathed through my mouth to avoid the smell. A girl had recently brought in a grass snake in an uncovered container. As the reptile slithered its way up the side of the bowl, I told her she’d have to take it out to the school garden. I was called to the office, and I’m pretty sure the snake made it outside. Ninety percent sure, anyway. The janitor left to see if he had…
Message Received
Several years ago my daughter Heather and I visited a friend’s lovely flower garden. The friend commented that she hadn’t yet seen a monarch. Minutes later, one appeared. It sipped nectar from an orange and black coreopsis. My daughter and I exchanged looks. Butterflies are important symbols in our family. The day of my mother’s funeral my aunt was visiting out in her yard near the Japanese lilac she’d planted in memory of her husband. This was the first time the tree had bloomed since it had been planted five years ago. My aunt happened to glance at the tree.…
The Cast Iron Skillet
In August my sister Rachel and I had the chance to spend several days together. We were bound to talk about childhood memories, our deceased parents, and the difficult task we faced when dealing with their possessions. “I wish we hadn’t given Goodwill the old cast iron skillet,” my sister said, while helping prepare lunch in the kitchen. “I’d love to have that back.” “That old thing that was so hard to clean?” I pulled out one of the new coated pans. My sister smiled. “We never did really wash it. We’d just wipe it out with a paper towel…
The Cast Iron Skillet
In August my sister Rachel and I had the chance to spend several days together. We were bound to talk about childhood memories, our deceased parents, and the difficult task we faced when dealing with their possessions. “I wish we hadn’t given Goodwill the old cast iron skillet,” my sister said, while helping prepare lunch in the kitchen. “I’d love to have that back.” “That old thing that was so hard to clean?” I pulled out one of the new coated pans. My sister smiled. “We never did really wash it. We’d just wipe it out with a paper towel…
My Secret to Weight Loss
Want to increase your exercising and maybe lose a few pounds?  Forget joining the gym. I have the solution. Get a puppy! Six week old Josie, a silky black Cockapoo, came to live with me and my husband at the end of August. Since she loves adventures, I have been more active than ever. She’s an ideal personal trainer. Before the snow fell, her jumping on my bike tire was all the motivation I needed to don my helmet. She contentedly sat in her special basket and took in the scenery. Some days I was tempted to do less than…
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