Bubble and Squeak #4

Post 30/2020 Tuesday 15 September Pandemic hotspots. Climate wildfires. Hurricane Sally. Midwestern floods. White House denials. A changing world stares us in the face. It’s right there before our eyes. We’re pushed to comprehend it all. In the middle of it all, I puzzle: How can my thoughts and actions make a dent in this raging, almost incomprehensible, unprecedented interconnected state of affairs?

Thankfully, I’m far from alone. I can join the host of people in communities around the country and world whose hearts and minds are set on doing what’s right, who are committed to making a difference, who listen to the anguish, who refuse to be cowed by misinformation, lies and lame excuses. Lord have mercy.

Sunset in Goshen, Indiana, the colors influenced of Western wildfires.

My heart goes out to those who in the Western fires have lost loved ones, homes and communities–whose whole towns have been incinerated. I grieve for those who have suffered from Covid-19. I hardly know how to imagine the sense of helplessness, trepidation and loss in those who stand in the way of another hurricane. Lord have mercy.

I’m glad for the insights of people in the know. For one, I quote pandemic expert W. Ian Lipkin, M.D., director of the Columbia University Center for Infection and Immunity.

Lipkin answered some questions in the September AARP Bulletin, including, “How do people die from COVID-19, and why is it so hard to treat?” His answer: “Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death, but people also have strokes, neurological disease and blood vessel damage. One of the things that’s striking about this virus is that it has the capacity to cause so many different types of disease. You could call this virus diabolical in that sense.”

Who wouldn’t want to behave in both personal and communal interests by social distancing, properly washing hands and wearing a mask? Bless all the people who do. Thanks be to God.

Changing seasons

Whether it’s a practice run or the real thing in winging their way south, these Canada geese are getting it together.
These ants are up to something that makes utter sense to them.
Feasting on Goldenrod.
Real horsepower. An Amish farmer in LaGrange County heads home with the corn harvester.
End of season in the Greencroft residents’ garden.
Autumn crocuses.

A walk around Syracuse Lake

Last week we walked around Syracuse Lake, Syracuse, IN, a five-mile walk interspersed half way round with a stop at the Channel Marker Restaurant for lunch.
Sorry, I don’t know what these railroad maintenance machines are called. Somewhere in the mists of time, maybe just in the comics, I remember seeing Railroad Handpump Cars, that operated just as the name suggests, as inspection cars pumped by hand.

Defries Gardens

The Calendar Garden within the 13-acre Defries Gardens has plantings typical of the the 12 months of the year. It’s a lovely, tranquil, magical place, located on the Elkhart River east of New Paris, IN. We stopped here on the way home from Syracuse. No one else around. Heavenly.

Stories that feed the soul

Finally got around to reading all of this book, published in 2001 (Herald Press). These are stories of faith, true, interesting, sometimes spellbinding. “This collection of stories helps us know each other better, moves us to tears and laughter, and fills us with pondering and gratitude.” –Janeen Bertsche Johnson. Sharp dedicated the book, “To all who gather at the hearth to share their stories, building together history and hope.” Amen.
Jane Grigson has made bedtime reading a pleasure in that I don’t have to jump up and try a new recipe. I can just enjoy the thought of a fine soup for which I’d have to search high and low for one or two ingredients. We’ve made the Danish Celery and Cheese Soup. Sometime I might make some of the easy ones, like Scrimp and Tomato Bisque, or Pea and Ham Soup, or Lentil and Apricot Soup, or Celeriac Soup, or Cream of Turnip Soup. but deliver me from the soups that call for 2 big tablespoons of lard or pork fat, or in the case of Chilled Gumbo Bisque, this labor: “Shell the prawns or crab claws. Put the debris into a large pan. Set aside the meat. To the pan, add the stock and water and wine or cider. Simmer for 45 minutes to extract the flavours, then strain into a measuring jug and add water to make 1 1/2 liters (2 1/2 pt). Meanwhile soften the celery, onion and pepper in the butter.” As I’m saying, a bit too much finessing needed. I’ll enjoy them vicariously.
Published 1989 (Wood Lake Books). This is a delightful read of selected columns that appeared in the Elmira (Ontario) Independent. Hunsberger was a farmer, volunteer for the Mennonite Central Committee in the Caribbean and in Canada and keen observer of life from his side of the fence. His commitment to peace and justice, to ecology and to compassion radiate from his reflections. Thanks to Wray and Cathi Bender for the loan of the book.


Science knows.


No inside dining, but two windows to place and pick up your order. Yum. Closed Wednesdays.

4 thoughts on “Bubble and Squeak #4

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