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May 16, 2017

The Winner!

May 24, 2017

Nickels and Dimes Times

May 23, 2017

I woke up this morning with the line of a song running through my mind. “These are the times of nickels and dimes and love.” Just a single line, and no more.

I like it because it makes me think of my family. Of simple things, happy memories.

Not that we ever actually had to subsist on nickels and dimes. But I think Dad and Mom have felt they were getting close to it at times. We used to love hearing the story of how they lived mostly on cornflakes when they were young married. That, and fish they caught from a little rubber raft out on the lake.

I found, upon investigation, that the song is titled: “Nickels and Dimes and Love,” and that it was recorded in 1993 by Vern Gosdin.

This past week has been a big one for my community. On Tuesday, May 16, two days before Corner Basement School let out for the year, a tornado ripped through and damaged or destroyed a number of homes and farms.

Thankfully, no lives were lost in our community. Chetek, fifty miles north of us, was not so fortunate. There, the storm hit a trailer park, killing one man and injuring twenty-five. In Rusk County, the loss of life came indirectly, after the tornado, when two young men tried to paddle a canoe on the storm-swollen river and went under.

Our sympathy and prayers are with the grieving families.

Our community this past week has been a flurry of tornado aftermath. Coping with no electricity, with roofs torn off, with trees lying across yards and roads and sometimes houses. My brothers lost half a roof’s worth of shingles from their house, and another family from my church, an entire roof.

Our house was not damaged at all, and we only went without electricity for an evening. Some people have gone all week without electricity or have only just gotten it back.

There will still be many weeks of rebuilding, especially for those farms hardest hit, but for most of us, things are returning more and more to normal.

A storm like this really makes a person realize that there are no guarantees. For anything.

Certainties can change in the few seconds it takes a twister to touch ground.

May God help us to make the most of our moments, our memories. “These are the times of nickels and dimes.” Every little minute is a gift.

Speaking of gifts, I received a gift on the last day of school that I am really excited about. My students and their parents gave me this on the last day of school:

Can’t wait to put it to use.


P.S. Today is the final day to enter my giveaway. My sister Elizabeth and I will do the drawing live tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. CST. Follow me on Facebook to watch, or check back here later to find out the winner.


  1. “There are no guarantees” – so true. If you asked me a few months ago, I would have said that our family was so healthy that we hardly ever see a doctor. But in a week’s time we discovered the world of MRIs, neurosurgeons, and brain surgery. As you said, “every minute is a gift.” So grateful for the love of family, friends, and God.

  2. You ladies are all so pretty. And the little girl with so much hair! Is she your niece? Glad to hear you didn’t have too much damage from the tornado. It must have been scary!

    1. Not too scary because I didn’t realize how bad it was at the time. Just went down the basement with my family a few minutes, expecting to come up safe and sound, as we did.

  3. That bike!!!
    I’m glad you are appreciated. And I like the focus on family and home when there’s tragedy around you. It quickly clarifies what’s important, doesn’t it?

  4. I have never experienced a tornado, but find even very strong winds quite frightening !!. Know that even all the way over here in New Zealand, I will be praying for your community to be able to rebuild what was lost. And what a beautiful bike – I love the colour and basket 🙂 God Bless ~ Linda

  5. The bike is beautiful. Your students did you well and I am sure you will have lots of fun riding it. Yes our school year is almost over too. Sad and happy all together.

    We only had strong winds and blown down branches, no tornado here. They can come and go in a heartbeat, so scary.

    I googled the song as unfamiliar. I don’t think starting out on nickels and dimes and love is all bad as it maybe helps get priorities in order.

    1. I agree that starting out with nickels and dimes might not be a bad way to start. Lots of memories to look back on later, too. 🙂

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