I Have To Give Up Reading



A year ago I read a book titled Under A Flaming Sky, The Great Hinkley Firestorm of 1894. It was a story about a huge forest fire that caught a Minnesota town by surprise and many people perished. I just finished a book titled The Children’s Blizzard which tells the story of a perfect storm that catches a North Dakota town by surprise and freezes over two hundred people to death. Both stories are about immigrant families who homesteaded to make a better life for themselves. In between these two stories I read The Coyote’s Bicycle another story about immigration and the hardship of sneaking over the border to find a better life for the sneakers. None of these immigrants considered for a moment to leave their difficult life to return to controlling governments, poverty, and hunger. Just as these poor souls never once thought about moving back to their fatherland I never thought these books were about immigrants.

Back in the eighteen hundreds when America was still young and under populated  a new invention called railroads had just completed major investments in laying rail into the newly acquired territories west of the Mississippi River. Without people to serve the railroads would not survive. They advertised in foreign countries about the generous homestead policy of the United States. Come stake out your claim and receive one hundred and sixty acres of land free. For people who lived on a Lord’s estate without any rights to the land this was a message from heaven. People left countries like Norway, and Sweden on the promise of free land. They used their entire savings to make the trip by boat and then by train if they had the money. Most used wagons and oxen to wend the way west to the Minnesota and the Dakotas. They settled in prairies of flat land thinking how easy it would be to farm. They didn’t find trees from which to make homes so they made shelter using sod. Only after they had established their claims and began farming with seed they brought from Europe were they able to think about building proper houses of wood.

The United State’s liberal immigration policy encouraged people to come and settle. Only after the Civil war did the country begin to pass laws restricting immigration. Poor economic conditions caused the States and the Federal government to restrict certain labor groups. Since then many more reforms have been invented to correct immigration for various reasons. Many of the reasons concerned security such as during the WW’s and 9-11.

The USA has good immigration policy and existing laws., but they are being undermined by internal organizations who wish to force feed the country their liberal agenda. New policies like open borders which challenge the sovereignty of the nation, or the drive to become Europeanized by adopting Europe’s screwy concept of achieving diversity by hoping people of many different origins will assimilate into the general population without a natural desire to do so. It is no secret that Europe worships the USA and our unique blend of people’s which makes us so distinctive. Europe opened its borders and standardized their money thinking the people would thereby become one. People in our country want to be more like Europe but we already have open borders between our states, standard currency, a standard language, an economy that fuels the world, and assimilation. Europe can only dream about becoming like the USA. We are Illinoisans, New Yorker’s, Floridians, Texans, etc. but at the same time we are also Americans. In Europe the discreet countries all have unique cultures, unique languages, centuries old discreet histories, and in a few of those countries they have a penchant for laws. They have a hunger for socialism believing in equal outcomes for all. Many, like France and Spain have had communist governments. The Eastern bloc countries were all under socialist rule for seventy years. Why in the hell would we want to be like them can only be answered by saying there are people in this country that are traitors to liberty. The sadness of this is that there are millions of these traitors who claim to love our country and only want to make it a better place to live like Norway or Sweden. Places that have a 75% tax and still have trouble making thier beautiful system work. If we were to deport all of these traitorous people, and replace them with people who currently live in depressed countries and seriously desire to come to the USA, we would be the number one country on the planet in every category.

Unfortunately, we will never deport the losers because our Constitution guarantees freedom for all. This means the bad guys who preach evil are free to do so. Those who practice religions totally contrary to our faiths are free to do so. It means people who practice Progressivism are free to do so. It also means that those of us who fear our country will lose to the many factions can never rest from fighting to keep freedom and liberty.


Oh My God, Did I Just Jinx Myself?

I am proud to announce that out of six record-setting blizzard snowstorms that dropped over twelve inches of snow on the Chicago area, I  shoveled out of four of them.

The worst was in nineteen sixty-seven. Everyone who was alive at the time remembers that one. Many of my friends who worked downtown took three to seven days to get home. Stories about people helping people abound. Stories about the adventure of leaving a car stuck in the snow somewhere were plentiful. I got lucky on that storm. My job was in the city on forty-eighth and Halstead. Normally, it was a fifty minute drive. That Thursday morning it was snowing. There was a drift in front of my garage door that tapered out to the street sixty feet away. The drift was pretty high, so I decided to call in and tell my boss that I’d be a little late because I was going to wait a couple of hours before I began shoveling my car out. It kept snowing, and it kept snowing, and it never stopped until the next day. By early afternoon there was a nine-inch accumulation around the city. People left work early to get home. Many of them did not make it home that night. Some didn’t make it home for several days. I sat in a nice warm house watching it happen.

My neighbor, Kevin Caulfield, didn’t get home until Monday. He abandoned his car along the Outer Drive. The following Saturday, five of us armed with snow shovels, piled into a car and wove our way through the city streets to look for Kevin’s Ford. The streets were barely passible. Many places were still one lane wide. We managed to find Archer Avenue and headed toward the loop. I think we took Twenty-second street out to the Drive. The Outer Drive, Chicago’s showpiece road, was a war zone. The fire department and garbage collectors had worked feverishly to open two lanes. They cleared a section of road up to a car,  yanked the car off to the side into the clear spot,  and moved forward to the next car. There was no place to put the snow, so they piled it onto the cars they just moved. One week of labor and they had cleared a path to move in.

We scoured the area that Kevin remembered leaving his car. Eventually, he spotted the ugly green fender showing through a mountain of snow. It was his Ford. The five us worked quickly to  uncover the car. The front bumper was hanging. The snow crew yanked it off while moving it out-of-the-way. Again, the five of us managed to bend it upward so the car was drivable. We extricated the car and Kevin got it running. We followed him home to make sure he got there.

I’ve seen pictures of yesterday’s snow on the Outer Drive. They remind me of nineteen sixty-seven.

This morning, I dreaded going out to shovel (sno-blow). I procrastinated at my desk. I watched the birds play hide and seek in the evergreen shrub outside my window. Then, Mary, my neighbor across the street came out to snow-blow her drive. “Hey Peg,” I yelled. Grandma Peggy  came to see what I wanted. “Look what some wives do for their husband.”

“She’s less than half my age,” she said.

“Well, I guess it’s up to me,” I said out loud. Ten minutes later, I went at it with a vengeance. Three non-stop hours later, I had cleared a lane from the garage to the street.

I came in exhausted and very hungry. Something smelled good. I wonder what she is cooking for me. Grandma Peggy, was clearly upset. The smell turned out to be a pot of turkey soup that burned. She had been defrosting the frozen soup on a low heat and forgot about it until all the liquid had boiled out and the turkey was frying itself to the pan.

The doorbell rang. It was my son Mike and my grandson Dan. “Now you show up,” I kidded him, “It’s all done.”

“I just finished my own drive for the second time Dad, if you want , I’ll do the other half of yours.”

“Go for it,” I told him. Mike and Dan made very short work of the remaining half. They finished in forty-five minutes. Ah, to be young again. The boys didn’t stay long because they were going to his father-in-law’s house to clear another drive. I ate a sandwich and crashed. I’m beginning to feel the love all through my body. I think the muscles are sending me a message, “Don’t you DARE do that again.”

If the pattern stays on course it will be twenty years before we see another twenty-inch snow.

Oh my God, did I just jinx myself?


Morty, Ben, and Polly split up to search for Santa on both sides of the mountain. Polly finds something suspicious.


The big snow storm covered over the crevasse, making it impossible for Santa and the reindeer to see. Donner and Dancer returned from their exploration. There was no way out, except up. Rudolph worked on the Sentra-vision unit with Santa. They could not make it work. Rudolph stomped his hoof against the dashboard in frustration and to his surprise his nose lit up.

“Santa, watch this,” he said. He held his hoof against the dash and his nose glowed red. It didn’t light up as brightly as it did when he was leading the sleigh, but it was bright enough to give them some light in the crevasse.

Ben and Morty crossed over the peak of Denali and started down to look for Polly.

“Did you see that?” asked Ben.


“The red snow down below.”

“No, I didn’t see it. Do you see Polly yet?”

“Yes, she is just up ahead.”

Ben landed the Sky-scooter next to Polly.

“I’m glad you finally came, I found something interesting in the snow, and a few seconds ago I thought I saw a red glow in the snow up ahead,” said Polly.

“I saw it too,” said Ben.

“Let’s check it out,” said Morty. “Turn on the signal beacon so Jasper will know where to send the rescue team. Ben, you hover over us while I ride on Polly’s back. We will move forward cautiously.”

“There it is again,” shouted Ben, “a red flash in the snow about fifty yards ahead of us.”

Polly walked slowly down the glacier with Morty perched on her back. She followed the tracks, then suddenly she stopped.

“I smell reindeer blood,” she said, “it’s fresh under the new snow.”

“Where are they? Asked Morty, Keep on walking.”

“I just saw the red light again,” said Ben from the air. The snow lit up with a red glow just a few feet ahead.”

“They could be covered by snow,” said Polly, “but I don’t see any bumps or mounds anywhere.”

“Let me try something,” said Ben, “if I pass over the top of the snow quickly, maybe I can stir it up, and uncover something.”

“Go ahead,” said Morty, “tap the thrust button, and then hold on tight.” Ben tapped the button, and the scooter shot down the mountain, creating a turbulence of air behind it. Snow flew everywhere. Polly and Morty felt like they were in a blizzard. The swirling snow covered them over. Ben turned at the bottom of the glacier, and flew back. Morty and Polly were brushing snow off of themselves

“There is a hole in the snow with a red light coming out of it,” said Ben.

Polly took a few steps forward. She stopped abruptly, and backed up. Suddenly, the snow covering the crevasse began to cave in revealing a deep canyon in front of them.

“A crevasse,” growled Polly. “They slid down the glacier into the crevasse. That explains why we couldn’t see them or smell them.”

The falling snow-bridge nearly buried Santa and the team.

“I hear voices, someone has found us,” said Santa, “Rudolph keep your nose flashing on and off.”

Rudolph was up to his antlers in snow and couldn’t move.

“I need some help to dig Rudolph out of the snow pile, come here quickly,” called Santa. Cupid started jumping as hard as he could and soon freed himself.  He sprang up and over to Rudolph and started moving snow with his antlers. Santa was on the other side digging with his hands.

Morty got on the scooter with Ben and looked down into the crevasse. He saw Santa and Cupid shoveling snow off of Rudolph.

“Don’t worry Santa we’ll clear the snow out of there in a second.”

Morty moved Ben out of the driver’s seat. “Hold on Ben.”

Morty took Sky-scooter high over the crevasse in a big arc. He nosed downward and tapped the thrust button. Sky-scooter swished down into the crevasse at supersonic speed. Just as he was about to hit Santa, Morty pulled up, and steered the scooter out of the crevasse. The scooter created a vacuum and the snow that fell came flying out after the scooter. It looked like a giant white tail on the end of Sky. The snow arched up and over Polly’s head and landed into a huge pile.

“Gabriel, we found Santa. Send Jasper with the rescue team. They are trapped at the bottom of a deep crevasse,” radioed Morty.

To be continued . . .


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