Stan and the Crock

Ken was a real do-it-yourself guy.  But even he knew his limitations.  Back in the day people built their own houses rather than having them built.  And they got knowledgeable friends to help with their weaker areas of skill.  Ken was excellent at concrete, wood, sheet rock, etc.  Electrical and plumbing, well he felt less confident.  So he asked Stan to check all his work.   Stan came and checked.  Ken asked what he could …

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No Maple Syrup this Year, But Next Year…

It is that time of year.  Warm days, nights below freezing.  And each sunny day in the forties I feel that maple sap running up the tree.        And each afternoon as I pick eggs and later when I shut the chicken coops for the night I look up to the stars and remember.        As a child near my birthday in March we would visit my grandparents and they made …

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One of the Surprise Christmas Presents

Today as I make bread I remember… Ken could surprise me easily.  I am often trusting and naive.  One year Ken asked me to help him move some lumber from one of the many lumber piles.  He told me he was pulling some maple for a project.  It never occurred to me the project was for me.     That year in the late fall Ken kept teasing me I had helped him move my …

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Ken the Baby Whisperer

Yesterday I got to spend some time with a gorgeous, happy baby.  I thought of Ken.  Ken, as the second of seven children, had lots of baby experience.  I, as the second of two with two younger cousins across the country, did not.  People would start to hand me babies – after all I am a woman.        And I would quickly say, “Hand that baby to Ken. I come in once they …

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A Guy Could…

Years ago when we were in a fair trade store I saw a lovely set of chimes.  I announced to Ken I wanted to buy it.  This does not happen often, and he was taken aback.  He looked at it and said, “A guy could make one of these.” My quick reply was, “And if A GUY doesn’t make one, his wife will buy one.”   For a few weeks Ken puzzled what he had …

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Ken and Names

Ken forgot people’s names.  He knew who they were, he could tell them their entire story, but heir name?  Not so much. Once when we attended an evening mass he approached a person and seemed excited (later I learned it was because he actually remembered her name), and said, “Dorothy, Dorothy!” He then followed with a gesture to me and said, “This is….”  Yes, he was so excited he remembered Dorothy he had forgotten my …

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The Cherry Pie Story

Years ago when Ken was making pots on  Thanksgiving  weekend,  a stranger came up and banged on the door.  He was having car trouble and knew exactly what tool he needed for the repair.  Ken had the tool and followed the man down to the highway so he could bring back the  tool after the repair. The man got under the car, fixed the problem, thanked Ken and offered him one of the pies the …

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Ken Compliments Judith

Years ago when Ken and I were dating. Ken told me all the attributes of all his former flames.  At some point I grew tired of this and  I asked Ken, “And what about me?” Ken promptly replied, “You’re durable.” Not exactly romantic, but coming from Ken that was a compliment!

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Ken Story – The Final Chapter

Ken’s story – The Final Chapter   Since many people did not know Ken was sick, and want to know what happened, here is the story.  About a year ago Ken went to the clinic because he had a lump on the back of his neck.  They told him if it persisted or worsened he should come back.  In July he went back and a scan indicated lymphoma with tendrils reaching to his spinal cord.  …

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