Friday, August 20, 2010

Ginseng in Merrill, Wisconsin

In 1904, the four Fromm brothers from the Wisconsin township of Hamburg, near Wausau, Wisconsin, transplanted 100 wild ginseng plants from nearby forests onto a plot of their land and carefully duplicated the natural growth conditions. The perseverance of these early ginseng growers and the ideal growth conditions in Marathon County have made it the ginseng capital of the United States, producing approximately 10% of the world's supply of ginseng root. More than 90% of the cultivated ginseng grown in the United States is grown in Wisconsin, and 90 to 95% of Wisconsin-grown ginseng is produced in Marathon County.

Ginseng beds in Wisconsin are usually cultivated for three years before harvest, unless disease problems mandate earlier harvest.

We are parked this week at my uncle's farm just outside of Merrill, Wisconsin, which is in Marathon County, where we noticed the black mesh covering a section of his field. Ginseng! Of course I had to go online and check it out. I have learned some interesting things about ginseng, including what you have just read in the previous paragraphs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kids in Union, IL

It was comforting to be welcomed into a family upon our first meeting. Caleb and Melanie Schauer fed and watered us and shared their very delightful children, all six of them. We loved every minute of it. I spent some time holding Jeremiah, who is just one month old. There is nothing like it in all the world. :)

Dave and I sang for the kids who were game to learn some of the hand motions we do when singing "Fix Our Eyes" at grade schools.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lefty Frizzell

Last week we were in Saginaw, Michigan. Whenever we saw a sign referring to Saginaw - we sang the opening line of Saginaw, Michigan, by Lefty Frizzell. I vaguely recalled bits of the first verse.

While I was growing up, my dad, a guitarist, played this song in his repertoire. Didn't every family have a dad who led singing around the campfire? Our family, more than thirty years later, still enjoys hearing my dad as he sings the songs of our youth. Being in Saginaw was a reminder of a happy childhood memory.

Saginaw, Michigan
I was born in Saginaw, Michigan. I grew up in a house on Saginaw Bay. My dad was a poor hard working Saginaw fisherman: Too many times he came home with too little pay. I loved a girl in Saginaw, Michigan. The daughter of a wealthy, wealthy man. But he called me: "That son of a Saginaw fisherman." And not good enough to claim his daughter's hand.

Now I'm up here in Alaska looking around for gold.
Like a crazy fool I'm a digging in this frozen ground, so cold. But with each new day I pray I'll strike it rich and then, I'll go back home and claim my love in Saginaw, Michigan.

I wrote my love in Saginaw, Michigan. I said: "Honey, I'm a coming home, please wait for me. "And you can tell your dad, I'm coming back a richer man "I've hit the biggest strike in Klondyke history." Her dad met me in Saginaw, Michigan. He gave me a great big party with champagne. Then he said: "Son, you're wise, young ambitious man. "Will you sell your father-in-law your Klondyke claim?"

Now he's up there in Alaska digging in the cold, cold ground.
The greedy fool is a looking for the gold I never found. It serves him right and no-one here is missing him. Least of all the newly-weds of Saginaw, Michigan. We're the happiest man and wife in Saginaw, Michigan.
He's ashamed to show his face in Saginaw, Michigan.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two Mile Mark

I have friends who are dedicated runners and consider three miles just the warm-up to the "real" run. Not so for me. I have been running about one mile three times a week for at least a year. I have run in many states - California, Oregon, Arizona, Euphoria, Elated, Deflated etc...

Today has been a huge accomplishment for me as I made and passed the two mile mark. In the photo, just beyond the stop sign is the start of the running trail. A good day for me.

Please note my favorite running clothes for Michigan.

Comfort Worship

On Monday evening Dave led the service at St. Paul's in Bay City. The comfy reclining seats were taken by the time the service began. It was a different setting without the pews, but way more relaxing. I think that I could listen to a preacher talk a lot longer while reclining with a cup of coffee at the ready.