By happenstance viewing computer files  “Disc 1  Family photos 1958 to 1985 – Christmas 2007”  appeared on the screen. The theme:  THE CIRCLE OF LIFE – ENCIRCLED BY GRACE was the message shared with our children. This holiday season respect and empathy ought be given to the diversity of cultural and religious heritages of all in aContinue reading “FAMILY PHOTOS – THE CIRCLE OF LIFE”


On the cusp of my 85th birthday (6/3/1928) a retrospective musing on YEAR 84 may be in order. Ruth and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary on December 27th, 2013. Anniversary observance was shared with four Twin Cities families that included mates and several grandchildren. High point of a delightful family gathering was sharing with each a copyContinue reading “YEAR 84 – ANNIVERSARIES AND CONTINUED BLESSINGS”


Recently on Mother’s Day (5/12/13) the Star Tribune social/political cartoon on the Opinion Page  pictured a student graduate with sheepskin (diploma) clutched in hand and a vicious wolf (woolfskin) with threatening incisors clutching the graduate’s back side with student debt as a tattoo inscribed on its mangy fur. Sheepskin immediately caught my attention reminding me of aContinue reading “SHEEPSKIN (PIGSKIN) WOOLFSKIN – RHETORICAL FAUX PAS”

Daughter Meets Izaak Walton Piscatorial

February 22, 2013 Vivid in memory is the particular fishing scene described by eldest daughter, Victoria, at my 80th birthday celebration.  Early in the mid-sixties my two eldest children, Victoria and Frederick, were my companions fishing at nearby Fish Lake.  Remarks on the Occasion of Dad’s 80th Birthday Victoria Bartling When asked to talk aboutContinue reading “Daughter Meets Izaak Walton Piscatorial”

Valentine’s Day: THE GRAMMAR OF LOVE

February 14, 2013 THE GRAMMAR OF LOVE:  a sentence has subject and predicate, a noun often necessitates a verb and often an active verb. Love manifests itself in loving. The personality  and essential character of my mate of sixty years, Ruth,  provided for her mate a consistent demonstration of that GRAMMAR. Divine Providence not wishing manContinue reading “Valentine’s Day: THE GRAMMAR OF LOVE”

Memorable Events in my Mother’s Life

September 30, 2012 As family archivist my sister recently placed into my care some of our father’s courtship correspondence with our mother spanning the years 1916 through 1919.  Among the letters was a Chicago Tribune clipping, yellow with age, describing Chicago’s celebration of the Armistice with Germany, November 11, 1918.  After some thought the presenceContinue reading “Memorable Events in my Mother’s Life”


July 30, 2012 Within a few brief months my eldest and youngest siblings, Victoria and Barbara have both died.  Youngest sibling Barbara is now “on another shore but in a greater light”.  Having died Saturday (7-28) after a long struggle since 2002 with Parkinson’s disease she joined eldest sibling Victoria who reached that “other shore” firstContinue reading “REPRISE: A SIBLING’S CELEBRATORY REQUIEM – BALANCING SADNESS AND GLADNESS”


June 19, 2012 A new computer made the transfer of files from the old computer to the new necessary.  In that process I came across a file dated 2/17/07. Curiosity was  aroused   by the title:  Phebe Hanson Document about myself.     It reads: “Written January 2004 at Gloria Dei Lutheran church.  Phebe Hanson, a prominent Minnesota poetContinue reading “THE ART OF AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL WRITING”

Celebrating Four score and Four Years

For me, reaching four score and four years evokes a doxological response. Sustained by grace and upheld through radical surgery the past eighteen months have provided sharpened meaning for and grateful savoring of life. Surrounded by proven friendships and cultivating new relationships at our Becketwood Cooperative home enriches life. My mate of three score years, six childrenContinue reading “Celebrating Four score and Four Years”


On the front coffee table my eyes focused upon an array of some 75 spools of thread exhibiting together lustrous rainbowlike colors of the spectrum. Inquiring as to the reason for this display my wife Ruth informed she was in the process of downsizing sewing supplies. Sorting through a box titled Thread and Stuff spoolsContinue reading “SEWING “THREAD AND STUFF” – NOSTALGIC DOWNSIZING”