Dispatches from Outland
A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants. Copyright © 2003 Roy M. Jacobsen.


Wednesday, July 09, 2003  

Important Distinctions Department: I wish you could have known my father. He was number 9 out of 12 children born to Anton and Petrea, both immigrants to America from Denmark. He grew up working on a farm, and after a tour in the army -- among other things, he was an MP keeping soldiers on leave from getting in trouble in Times Square -- he returned to North Dakota and began farming himself, married, and raised 5 boys. Mom and dad did have a daughter, but she died shortly after being born. I'm not sure that either of them ever got over it.

While never a big farmer, dad was definitely a successful farmer. He kept from overextending his line of credit, buying used machinery instead of new, fixing most things himself when he could, making do without buying the latest and greatest. During the winter of 59/60, they went to stay with his sister and brother-in-law in Utah, where dad took a job with a house builder and learned as much as he could. That spring, they returned to North Dakota and, with help from his father-in-law, he started building a new house on the farmstead after the harvesting was mostly finished. I was born in October of 1960, in the midst of the hustle of trying to get a house and the fall field work finished.

I could tell you many things about my dad. He was active in church and the community. How he served two terms in the state legislature, or how he helped get a rural water system for several local communities. I could tell you that he tended to use some coarse language when working with a stubborn machine part or an uncooperative cow. I could tell you about how he laughed out loud, but kept his sorrows to himself. The only time I saw him come close to crying was when he called one of his sisters to tell her that their brother Leo died.

I could talk for days, and soon you would know a lot about my father. But you wouldn't know my father. Knowing about someone is no substitute for truly knowing them.

The whole point of being a Christian is so that we can know God. But how often do we satisfy ourselves with simply knowing about God? If we do, we're missing out on everything.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:58 AM
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Monday, July 07, 2003  

Blogrolling Department: Just noticed that Jeremiah of :|fringe|: has linked to me. The rules of this game are simple: You link to me, and I find out about it, and what goes around comes around.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 2:25 PM
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Information Underload Department: One of the first things I'll say about my vacation has to do with news -- or rather, the lack thereof. I tuned out for the first full week of my vacation, and paid only scant attention to national news in the second. And what did I miss? Not much, really. I haven't noticed anything in today's newscast, or in the weekend papers that made me say "Wait a moment, did I miss something here?"

So, who in the world really needs a 24-hour-a-day news channel?

Just askin'. That's all.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 9:03 AM
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He's Baaack! Department: Regular readers (all three of you) have noticed that your humble blogmaster has been conspicuously absent for two weeks. I have quite literally gone to Outland for a much needed vacation with my outlandish family. We went first to Spruce Woods Provincial Park, in Manitoba (recommended) and then to a private campground near Portage La Prairie (not as good as the provincial park). We rounded out our trip by going to my wife's hometown in central North Dakota to visit friends and relatives.

We continue now with (ir)regularly scheduled blogging.

posted by Roy M. Jacobsen at 8:40 AM
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