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35 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Wow….. Amen. Very good. Amen……

  2. Paige says:

    Perhaps you and others might enjoy this excerpt from a book “When People Are Big, And God Is Small”…. by Welch.

  3. Michael says:

    Thank you, Paige.
    I’m probably just having a deep nostalgia day…

  4. Paige says:

    Part of being “Oda”…:-) go with it.

  5. Michael says:

    Agreed… I am. πŸ™‚

  6. JoelG says:

    The hog man sounds like my kind of guy πŸ™‚

  7. Michael says:


    He was…unique.

    These weren’t little pigs…they were massive hogs.
    He would lay down in the pen, back propped up against the fencing and they would have fellowship daily.
    Didn’t care at all what people thought…and they did think. πŸ™‚

  8. JoelG says:


  9. filbertz says:

    well-thought, well-felt, well-written. longing for a return to simpler times and manners is common, but, sadly, fruitless. Yet, we can model those values and behaviors for our current ‘community’ and work towards the ‘good new days.’ There are generations behind us who know nothing but the acrimony.

  10. Michael says:


    I agree, but I’m not sure that we will see “good new days’ until something godawful happens in these days.
    We are into our second generation that values conflict over community…

  11. Cash says:

    Good article, Michael.

    I could feel the nostalgia as I read it. What does community even mean anymore? A person can easily live their lives comfortably in our present world without having meaningful contact with anyone. Used to be people like that had to go up into the mountains and would be known as a “hermit.” Nowadays, one can be a hermit in one’s living room with the shades closed with no problem.

  12. JoelG says:

    #10 – True. There was such a sense of oneness and community in our country after 9/11. Sadly it didn’t last long.

  13. Captain Kevin says:

    Michael, this is both tragic and beautiful.

    Over the last…oh…say six to eight years, I have developed a craving for quiet and beauty. God’s creation draws my attention so much more easily than ever before. A sunrise or a sunset can bring my blood pressure down and reset my crank-o-meter for at least half a day. Resurrection Sunday’s service at our church was…well…meh…and I love our church. But getting up at 4:30 am with my wife and heading to the top of a mountain to sit and pray as we watched the sunrise, now that was a celebration!

    On those occasions when my body won’t cooperate with a hike, I can find so much joy in a warm cup of coffee, sitting on the patio reading a book, or maybe doing absolutely nothing. How terribly unproductive. How wonderfully peaceful.

  14. Michael says:


    That’s a very good question.
    It’s very hard to define as we no longer share common places or experiences together, to the degree we once did.

    We ate at the the places, shopped at the same places, worshipped at the same places and lived in a small place.

    We only had three TV stations, so we were all pretty much watching and discussing the same programs.

    We all took the newspaper…and we all shoveled snow out from in front of the paper box so Viola (the carrier) could get to it.

    We had more in common than that which divided us…and those days are long gone.

  15. Michael says:


    I hear you…and I thank God that I live minutes away from that kind of beauty and peace.

  16. Em - again says:

    now i’m getting the reminisce bug
    during the war my grandparents had a victory garden and laying hens (i know how to pluck a chicken BTW) it was the patriotic thing to do, but as soon as the war ended the neighbors (well one old crank) swooped in and demanded that the vegetable garden and the chickens go immediately… she couldn’t see them as we had a very large lot and those chickens were a long way from her, still she wasn’t at all happy that we chose to eat them… one at a time – what did she want us to do, a mass slaughter and put them out for the trash pickup?
    a devout Methodist as i recall; kids notice how you practice your religion

  17. Cash says:

    “Those day are long gone”

    Yes, they are long gone. And there is so much that divides us now. And the mean people. They are still with us to a greater extent except we can’t run them out of town anymore.

  18. Judy says:

    Wow, Michael, that was really nice. I also grew up in a town of 2500 with the same sense of community and decency. Everyone knew everyone and many families were cousins because my hometown was settled in 1641, so there was a lot of mixing of blood. We knew who the good guys were, who the drunks were, who cheated on who, and who to avoid. Families were close.

    Recently a son of an old family friend in my hometown died, and although I have not seen that family in more than 20 years, I spent the day crying. I couldn’t figure out why I was so touched by this death, I didn’t even know the guy who died. I had dated his father in high school and his mom was the person who scraped me off the floor when my mother left us when I was 13. So, I had real ties and love for that family. So, I wept and wept and I still weep when I think about what this family has lost and I think it goes back to that sense of community, that life I don’t find on the west coast, and that life that was lived and is no more. I think it’s the first time I have mourned the loss of what life used to be.

  19. Em - again says:

    where i live now is very similar to the community of your childhood, Michael… but our beautiful wilderness feel is being destroyed by fires – the result of incredible bureaucracy – and money as the old folks die off, their kids sell off and statement houses begin to go up…

  20. Michael says:


    Well said, my friend.
    I mourn as well that T will never know what he missed…

  21. Michael says:


    The only thing that saved some of our forests was my grandpa…who convinced the idiots to let some burns naturally happen.
    He’s long dead and every time I go home the bugs have consumed more and the forest floor grows thicker…a catastrophe waiting to happen.
    The money never really made it up the mountain as far up as I lived…and we had a habit of burning down unwelcome homes. πŸ™‚

  22. Donna says:

    Michael, I drank deeply of the small town atmosphere you portrayed. Thank you.

  23. Em - again says:

    we have a neighbor who hates coyotes – we suspect he poisons them and he loves deer – he feeds them daily (come hunting season he and his friends do quite well) – as a result we are overrun with marmots that make it dangerous to walk in your own yard, let alone the horses, for fear of breaking thru their tunnels and breaking a leg and a herd of 25 + deer lounging about eating the landscape (flowering shrubs are their favorites) and breaking down the horse fence… and he’s a retired forest service employee… ? nature was doing quite well until we came along …

    today is a good day, though… i listened to old Les Feldick explain from First C0R 12 that the baptism that counts is the baptism of the Holy Spirit πŸ™‚

  24. Jean says:

    I know exactly where you’re coming from. This will either cheer you up, or make you weep:

    “I wish Coke was still Cola
    And a joint was a bad place to be
    It was back before Nixon lied to us all on TV

    Before microwave ovens
    When a girl could still cook and still would
    The best of the free life behind us now
    Are the good times really over for good?”

    Read more: Merle Haggard – Are The Good Times Really Over Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  25. Michael says:


    That’s almost the Phoenix city anthem… πŸ™‚

  26. Jean says:

    Perhaps the primary way that Satan attacks me at night is to get me meditating on the past, my screw ups, missed opportunities, and how other people screwed me. I could stay awake all night on that stuff. What else do you call the intense dwelling on something other than meditation? It’s awful.

    When this happens, I have found praying God’s Word back against Satan an effective way to banish these thoughts from my mind and gain peace and sleep. Nothing fancy. Probably whatever favorite verses one has treasured up will do the trick.

  27. Em - again says:

    Jean, that is a great weapon against one of the devil’s favorite ploys… it reminds me of David… wish it worked for me
    i’m afraid that i have to get up, open a window, sit in a chair and pray… for some reason lying in bed my mind will always wander…

  28. Michael says:

    For the first time in my life I’m sitting in my house with a locked door.

    There is a shooter loose in the area, one man is already dead.

    I don’t close my door, let alone lock it.

    I don’t know how my city friends live like this…

  29. Scott says:

    Just read about that shooting in Phoenix, OR. Looks like a dispute at the 7-11 spilled out into the street. Too bad.

  30. Pam Kulwiec says:

    Isn’t it “funny” how what is called social media is anything but? Now, with the click of a button” you can easily get rid of anyone who disagrees with you. Hardly anyone agrees to disagree and learns to operate amongst the things you both agree on and enjoy… Sigh.

  31. Em - again says:

    Pam, that’s an interesting ponder – i sometimes think that God wishes we enjoyed His creation more… the quirks of the ones who disagree with us are also “fearfully and wonderfully made” – Ps 139:14

  32. surfer51 says:

    I once lived out in the country, Spring Valley, San Diego County, in the early sixties.

    Roosters crowed every morning.

    Small farms and avocado groves.

    Turkey ranches.

    Houses with a lot of land around them.

    Geese and ducks.

    Strange adults (I was just a young boy.)

    The friendly people and the one teenager who road everywhere on his gas scooter.

    Open fields and the local swimming hole with the rope tied to the limb of a big tree and all the local kids in the summer having a blast.

    The dinosaur footprints embedded in rock that only we kids knew about.

    Sitting around with a basket of fresh large tomatoes from a farm with the salt shaker passed around and everyone in a circle enjoying them together

    Today no farms.

    Tract houses and apartments everywhere.

    Can’t tell where anything was anymore.

    This has happened all over America as we grow and grow.

    No point in fighting it

    But I sure have fond memories just the same.

    Which makes Michaels story all the more poignant for me personally.

  33. Pam Kulwiec says:

    Em – exactly! I always think everyone has a story – and they were also at one point someone’s little boy or little girl. ?

  34. Pineapple Head says:

    I so resonate with this post. So much.

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