Jesus Christ and Happy Days in Three Tiny Towns

We all pay for our sins somehow.

We all pay for our sins somehow.

The cousins ran like mad from the way-back yard where I’d found my Easter basket to the group of adults watching in the spring sunshine.

“Wait!” I yelled. “Stop! Oh– Wait!– No!…,” as their backs receded from me, around the corner of the house to the south side of the Jund home in Zeeland, N.D., to all my aunts, uncles, grandparents… everyone.

“Dad! Dad!” shouted a breathless cousin to one of my many uncles waiting there in the yard with their wives. “You’ll never guess what Marty got in his basket!”

The parents were already looking my way, many with smiles on their faces. Several looked at my Grandpa Ben, hiding a grin behind his hand.

Ten years old. My face, red hot. Shame in a can.

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Dress Never Worn

Some Things You’ll Just Never Get Back

Our 18-year-old daughter opened our bedroom door late. We’d been sleeping for nearly an hour already. I sat up quickly, saw her silhouette in the light spilling in from the hallway. My wife, an RN at one of the local hospitals, had a 5 a.m. shift the next day; she slept on. My daughter motioned for me to come.

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Rage, Thy Neighbor

The fury in this country is palpable. It boils over somewhere every day. On this day, it jumped out of a pickup and threatened a kid right in front of me.

This is us now?

Enjoying some sunshine for a change from the grey blanket we’ve been under for the most of the past couple of months. Minding my own business. Feeling pretty doggone good. Out with the dogs for our mid-day constitutional in our South Fargo, N.D., neighborhood.

All of a sudden a pickup screeches to a halt on the street parallel to the sidewalk we’re on, or screeches as much as is possible on the black ice that doubles for pavement in our winters.

Door flies open and a man jumps out.

He’s about 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-6 with straight white hair combed straight down on his forehead. Caucasian. Glasses. Wiry. Looks to go about 150-160 pounds. Wearing a light colored jacket. I don’t register all of this at first, though. I just see, out of the corner of my left eye, a white flash rush out and start stalking toward the back of the truck.

The white blur starts shouting and pointing.

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Colorado Rocky Mountain Luck

Good fortune comes in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes travels in a little Mazda pickup. Where it’s headed after a few months is anyone’s guess.

The Border Brothers & One of the Best Stories Ever

“What the fuck, man!”

The other redhead leaned in to look closely at what I held gingerly between my thumb and forefinger.

“I been lookin’ for one of those my whole life!” he exclaimed.

I chuckled.

“No, I’m serious!” he said, actually getting upset now. “My whole fuckin’ life.”

He paused, took another good look, then started counting with his forefinger. “One…two…three…four. Ah, man!” He took a step back.

“An’ you’re seriously tellin’ me you’ve never even looked for one before?”

“Never,” I assured him. His face was boiling.

“Beginner’s luck?” I said sheepishly, shrugging my shoulders. “I am part Irish.”

He harrumphed, stepped forward again, took another look.

“Fuckin’ A!” he exclaimed. Then, “Well…” –slapped me on the back – “my whole goddamned life … I guess…. Guess I’ll just hafta keep lookin’.” He backed up, bent down and started looking through the patch of clover again.

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