Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weather and is it going to come to a screeching halt?

Had to share this photo and video from Friday when hubby was out picking rocks. Picking rocks in our area at this time of the year doesn't usually take place. The ground is too hard or we are contending with snow. Not so this year, here is hubby, albeit, dressed for colder weather than necessary, I had just walked to the bridge in a sweat shirt.

The Polaris six-wheeler is a necessary machine on a farm. Hubby uses the six-wheeler for many small jobs. He is picking rocks to go around a new machine shed on the farm. The six-wheeler is used to check fields for weeds, haul water to trees, haul gravel to low areas in the main yard, "pick rocks," the list is endless.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Poetry Forms

Wanting to become a little more familiar with the Haiku style of poetry prior to the Snow County Prison exhibit, I did a little research. Haiku (pronounced Hi Coo) is a form of Japanese poetry containing three lines of which there are 5 syllables in the first and third line and 7 in the middle line. An example taken from the exhibit is the following poem taken from the North Dakota Museum of Art website on Snow Country Prison: Interned in North Dakota:

I'm leaving–
but the suntanned child
doesn't know

–Itaru Ina

Ina was a former Japanese internee at the prison. He wrote countless poems while he was there, these are displayed throughout the exhibit. I hope to encourage people to count the syllables within some of the poems and examine the beauty of them. They fit so well with the exhibit. We can be grateful to his daughter who so willingly shared them with curator Laurel Reuter and the design staff.

This lead me to study poetry once again; I haven't done that for about 40 years, although I have loved poetry since my youth. It brought back some memories of reading poetry to my children when they were young. Favorite poems were any by A.A. Milne about Christopher Robin, especially Christopher Robin is saying his prayers... Other favorite poems include The Ragged Man, The Three Little Kittens, The Highway Man and of course,

Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night,

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night,

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do Not Go Gently always causes me to ponder. Will I go gently into the night or will I howl at the moon for what I still want to do, still want to see, still want to be able to appreciate, for this is a wonderful time to live. Let me go gently but let me live long enough and enjoy what there is in this life. Prepare me for the next life, but let me go gently toward the light.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just getting things done

Last week, we sent out the fall historical society newsletter. We wanted it to go out about one week before the Harl and Kate Dalstrom book and author program this coming Sunday afternoon at 2 in the museum. The two former Nebraska professors have written about the 1938 fire that destroyed over 7,500 acres along the Rainy River from International Falls to Roseau. Seventeen people lost their lives due to the fire. Harl will give a brief presentation entitled "Dances, Editors, Fires, and Homicide: Researching Borderland History," which will describe some of the methods of doing research which the couple have used in various projects.

On Friday, November 27 at 2 pm, a ribbon cutting ceremony will open the North Dakota Museum of Art exhibit Snow Country Prison: Interned in North Dakota. Snow Country Prison is a photograph/poetry exhibit from the North Dakota Museum of Art. It tells the story of 3,850 Japanese and German so called "enemy aliens" who were incarcerated at was Fort Lincoln in Bismarck ND. "These were not soldiers, not men of war. Rather some were German and Japanese citizens caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others were Americans of German and Japanese ancestry whose loyalty was question by their own government. And there were Japanese Americans, forced by the fear that their families would be split apart, who renounced their American citizenship and were subsequently locked up in Fort Lincoln to await deportation to Japan." - Laurel Reuter, Director, ND Museum of Art. The poetry is based on the Japanese Haiku poetry format. I hope the teachers who bring their students to the exhibit will have the students examine the poetry, look for the meaning and the 17 syllables within each poem.

This is the first major art exhibit RCHS has had the honor of displaying. The exhibit is hosted through a joint effort of the Roseau County Historical Society and the Roseau Public Library. The exhibit will be on display in the Trader Room of the Roseau Community Center from November 27 through December 12. I am excited to see the exhibit and have received many exciting comments from local people who are also excited to see it.

So far the composition class I’ve been taken has lead me into some very interesting areas. The second essay had to coincide with the Al Gore’s global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” I choose to talk about deforestation and was educated way beyond that. I used a variety of sources but found the United Nations Environmental Programme website’s for the Science Compendium 2009 and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC) to be the most informative. It has been so enlightening and interesting that I will continue to follow what transpires with global warming.

I have the greatest admiration of the students who are in school full time; many not only take a full load work but also have to take care of their families. For me this has been a real balancing act; trying to do a good job at work, take care of home, and take just one class. I worked two nights until 2:30 am on the last exam. James commented that now I was just like the usual college student, “no sleep and late hours.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No snow yet!

Around Halloween we are usually seeing snow flurries and snow on the ground by deer hunting season. I remember one year when I had taken our children trick or treating and there was enough snow where when our daughter dropped something, we couldn't find it! That was certainly not the case this year, we have yet to see snow of any degree in Roseau County.

It has been a very busy month. The museum has gained several employees through a federal program and a grant to another organization which has been very beneficial. I try to keep ice cream and cookies on the break table to keep them happy! It is pleasing to see how well these women from different backgrounds work together. We have people entering information on artifacts that we couldn't get to during the flood, helping with databases for the Women in Military 2010 program, doing research, filing, and scanning our photos for the collection program. Someone asked me if we had work for these individuals. Work? We have work for several more, so if you would like to volunteer, step to the plate!

Our granddaughter, Breanne and hubby are expecting their second child. This will give us two great-grandchildren. It is so busy at the museum, I worry that I won't be able to get out to see them when the baby is born. I had hoped to be able to go and spend a week helping her, we'll see. Little Damen is becoming more of a little boy than a baby, his grandmother Michelle says. She took take of him about a month ago and send some photos.

Brian spent a week in Korea and Japan recently. I was very excited for him. It was work related but he still was able to find some time to see some sites. Ardmore was in Korea during the fifties, when he served in the military. He has a hard time believing the changes that have taken place in Seoul since those days.

Time to enter five things I am grateful for:
1. No snow and ice yet!
2. My iPod. I love iTunes and download several podcasts to listen to when I go to bed. I especially enjoy the CBC radio program "Between the Covers" where a chapter from a book is told for 15 minutes each night. I just listened to a science fiction book, "Roll Over." I also enjoy Stewart Mclean's Vinyl Cafe weekly program. I use my iPod when I go for walks, it is great to encourage a quicker pace when listening to some of the old 60s and 70s music.A
3. A lamp that I purchased at an auction. It has my favorite bird, the humming bird, on it.
4. Good friends, I will especially miss my lunch partner, Mickie Slater who is retiring from her job as Roseau City Clerk this month.
5. My car, actually the ability to go anywhere I desire, simply by sitting behind a steering wheel and turning on the ignition switch and driving down the road.