About robertedahl

Husband, Father, Brother, Friend, Jogger (40,000 miles and I've stopped counting), Cyclist, Kayaker, Hiker, Camper

What to Do When Stuck at Home If You Are Fortunate Enough to Have a Chocolate Lab Named Babe

With things this way,
the Chocolate Lab Babe
and I stay home most of the day and play.
She has stuffed animals with squeakers
and I try to get them away
calling them my babies
and holding them at bay
from her. She can’t stand
that I hold her baby at bay,
so she comes to steal it away.
I rattle the baby, pinch the squeaker
and call the baby mine.
Babe tries to grab her baby away.
I let her have it and she runs away.
I shout and tell her the baby is mine
and she just climbs up into her stuffed chair
with a smug look that says, “All is just fine.
This baby is all mine.”
Round and round we go
because she wants more and more to play.
Finally, she comes and lies by my side
and says I love you with her big brown eyes.
It is then I strike fast
and grab the baby which is her last.
I hold the baby at bay
and then we start over and play
for most of the rest of the day,
until around three-thirty when Babe
says, “It’s time to eat;
just let the babies lay.
we can go back to playing after
I eat and get my post-dinner treat.”
She flashes those big brown eyes
and I’m just a love-struck guy
and just then she grabs the last baby
and says, “This is my prize.”
I say, “Don’t you want to chew a bone?”
She says, “Chocolate Labs shall not live by bones alone.”
I cry, “Uncle!” and tell her she won.
She says, “Now get me my dinner and
then we’ll continue having fun.”

We are Strong Like Shaky Timber*

“We are in the cusp of multiple crises
and we are shaky timber but shaky
timber is the forerunner to courage,”
said the therapist in an interview. Yes,
shaky timber, we are and as such
we are able to sway with the wind,
bend and not break, grow strong
with good roots digging in and hold-
ing tight — we have the courage to
face the multiple crises some of which
are here today with the confidence
and knowledge that others surely are
coming our way. The trees in the forest
do not touch but they watch each other
sway and they say, “Remain strong-
hearted, have courage, this and every
day.”

*idea from a YouTube video produced
by First Congregational United Church
of Christ, Phoenix, AZ where Senior Pastor
James Pennington conducts the
interview of a church member and
therapist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvn7qQ0-osI&feature=youtu.be

Thinking Through the Dark

The environment is benefitting
from the CO2 hole in the ceiling,
he wrote several days ago about
what he had read and then just
left it until now. Now, he realizes
that as wonderful as it is that
the environment is benefitting
from fewer and fewer cars on
the road, it is urgent that we do
what needs to be done to save
lives, maybe millions of lives
and then when the lives have
been saved, we can put people
to work, give them job security,
health benefits, ways to save
for retirement with companies
that exist to save the environ-
ment — lives saved, economy
coming back, clean jobs for the
environment. And round and
round it goes, through the dark
into the light, into the dark
and into the light….

Waiting in the Dark*

Barbara Brown Taylor calls times
such as these “endarkenment.”
Instead of seeking the light in
dark times, to be at peace with
the dark, to learn from it, to
absorb it, to become one with
it, to join the community of dark-
ness, those who are afraid, injured,
hurt, vulnerable, despairing and listen
to the children separated from their
parents, listen to Jesus as, in his
state of separation, he cries, “My
God, my God, why have you for-
saken me?” — maybe even say,
“Tell me about it, Jesus. I have all
day, all week, maybe a few months,
hell, the rest of my life. There will
always be darkness somewhere we
can share as we wait to walk in the
light.”

*idea from a Richard Rohr
meditation in which he quotes
Barbara Brown Taylor

Connecting from a Distance of Six Feet While On a Thirty-Minute Jog

Today, on his slow jog through the park
he took a new trail off the blacktop onto
dirt, maneuvered around stumps and over
rocks. The sun shone through the leafless

maples, oaks and beech trees and even
though the leaves weren’t out, there were
enough trees to stunt the chilly spring
wind. He loves being alone in nature.

Back on the blacktop, he encountered a
little dog not on a leash and waited to
see if the dog’s adopter were around.
She was and thanked him for waiting to

see if the dog needed help. He passed
a girl carrying a puppy and he said,
“I’d love to pet your puppy but I won’t.”
She and her boy friend laughed and said

thanks. Before the end of the jog, he
watched a young boy throw a frisbee
into a tree on the disk golf course
and the boy’s father told the boy he

was trying too hard. The jogger told
the boy that he had great form though.
The boy thanked him and then made a
great toss. Approaching his car, the

jogger told a young mother who was get-
ting her child out of the back seat of
her vehicle that he has a buddy who
has a vehicle like hers and that it

has three hundred and fifty thousand
miles on it. Astonished, the young woman
smiled and said the vehicle was a really
good one. The jogger kept six feet be-

tween himself and all the people with
whom he spoke. He put his hiking sticks
in the trunk of his vehicle and drove
home. When he was about to turn into his

driveway he saw three neighbors chatting.
He lowered the passenger window and told
them that he was going to give them all
a big hug and kiss — in three months.

They laughed and then one of the group
asked if the jogger could make that six
months. Then the jogger laughed, pulled
into his garage and shut the door.

Spring Cleaning While on Lockdown

Get rid of the guns;
mom and pop on lockdown
soon will be turning into raging Huns.

Get rid of the guns;
grandma is after grandpa
for imaginary sins done.

Get rid of the guns;
grandpa is scared grandma
will discover the real sins done.

Get rid of the guns
and don’t forget the knives.
The thought of such mayhem
is giving everyone the hives.

Get rid of the knives;
keep the family safe;
help save desperate husbands and wives.

Get rid of the ropes;
we’re now hanging by a thread;
As time passes we’re losing hope
of finding them alive and not all dead.

Get rid of the virus;
we won’t let it mire us
With lockdown, we’re safe from road rage
but soon may suffer severe home rage.

Get rid of the Administration
causing so much frustration.
While home let us breathe deeply
say a prayer and save our sanity.

Get out the vote for November
when all this will be over
and the economy bounces back
and we can be kissed and kiss right back.

Just Call Me Ike*

His wife has been calling him Ikaria Wariootia
without using those words. He thought she was
just being insulting. He thought his wife was
being nasty when she told him he was an original,

a one-of-a-kind fossil of a worm. Imagine how
he felt but then he read that the scientific
community has discovered a 555 million-year-old
fossil of a creature the size of a single grain

of rice that corresponds in composition to all
future animals including humans. A friend sent
him a copy of an article about the breakthrough
scientific discovery along with this information:

The tiny, wormlike creature, named Ikaria
wariootia, is the earliest bilaterian, or organism
with a front and back, two symmetrical sides, and
openings at either end connected by a gut.

The man looked in the mirror and “Voilà,” he uttered
in great relief, “That’s me — openings at either
end connected by a gut.” As he continued to look
in the mirror, he wasn’t sure how symmetrical his

sides were anymore, but he was sure he had a
front and a back. Here all this time he felt
terrible about what his wife repeatedly called
him, but now he knows what his astute, scient-

ifically minded wife meant when she called him
an original, one-of-a-kind fossil of a worm. It
was the supreme compliment. When she called him
a real, original piece of work, she was calling

him the progenitor of the human race —a bilaterian
named Ikaria Wariootia. But, in all humility, the
man said to one and all in his newly discovered
posture of confidence, “Just call me Ike. I like Ike.”

*https://scitechdaily.com/ancestor-of-all-animals-including-humans-identified-in-australian-fossils/

The Corrosion

Inside because of the virus,
they sat watching Shakespeare
in Love
with an all-star cast
including Gwyneth Paltrow.
The man recalled fondly his
college course in Shakespeare
from his favorite professor.
When the film ended and the
credits came on, the man
noticed that one of the pro-
ducers was Harvey Wein-
stein. The man’s wife asked,
“Didn’t Gwyneth Paltrow
accuse him of inappropriate
sexual conduct?” The man’s
nostalgic mood was broken
by the cold face of reality
staring at him from the
credits. He cringed as he
thought about the corrosion
behind the silver screen.

How Do I Know…?

How do I know I dreamed last night?
My pillow was wet with tears.
How do I know I dreamed last night?
I awoke suddenly with fears.
How do I know I dreamed last night?
My morning vision bleared.
How do I know I dreamed last night?
But clearly, I saw you sleeping softly, my dear.
How do I know I dreamed last night?
I looked at you and my dream’s fears disappeared.

Getting Soft?

Three months of moderate
temperatures down south
and now back home up

north and in the safety of
his home during this pan-
demic, he tries to go out

and exercise each day by
himself along the lakeshore
trails except that he went

out and the temp was just
at about freezing and the
wind was blowing so hard

from the north-west that he
was able to get in only fif-
teen minutes of jogging

before heading back to
the car and heading for
home and then he re-

membered reading about
a world-class athlete who
said if he only got in fif-

teen minutes of jogging,
he would have to be
satisfied for that par-

ticular day. He took
comfort in that on this
cold day in the spring-

time hope that it will
warm up in the next
few days while he can

still get out and revel
in the wonders of nature,
and if not, he will just

have to bundle up, layer
up and go for it just
like he did during the

Polar Vortex of 2019
when he mistakenly
stayed up north — brrr.

Hey, he thought to
himself, It wasn’t that
bad
. Am I getting soft?