Here in Mortality

“…here in mortality, we cannot always tell who is carrying what burdens; limited intelligence, chemical depression, compulsive behaviors, learning disabilities, dysfunctional or abusive family background, poor health, physical or psychological handicaps—no one chooses these things.”— Stephen E. Robinson

Applied to myself: You don’t know jack! You probably to some degree suffer from all the burdens listed above. More than likely you have been one of those burdens that others suffer from. A little less talking, and a little more patience, a little more mercy, a little more forgiveness, and a little more long-suffering might make you less of a burden to others.

4-1-17 Burdens

My Tiny Thoughts: This is not a declaration of permissiveness or a free pass to tolerate evil, but I think it underscores the importance of developing patience, mercy, long-suffering, and forgiveness in our judgement of others. The Lord has never told us to not judge because being our own moral agent is key to becoming like him. Thinking and acting is key to the His Plan of Happiness. To think and to act requires judgement. But our understanding of each other is severely limited. Our judgements of our fellow imperfect human beings will be in of itself imperfect and can never be final or eternal.

We may be able to discover planets in distant galaxies, process complex algorithms in a matter of minutes, and communicate instantaneously with our loved ones thousands of miles of away, but this knowledge does not make us experts in the matters of the heart. It doesn’t mean we understand each other any better, no matter how much we force the issue, or meddle in other people’s private lives.

Fortunately, you don’t need a Phd to become more patient, merciful and forgiving and achieve a better understanding of others. Development of these qualities is no less demanding but requires a different discipline and a lot of divine help.

Music I liked this Week

1. Yellow Rose of Texas by Mitch Miller
2. Solfeggieto by Shir Nash
3. Crazy for You by Michael Franti and Spearhead
4. The Foggy Dew by Young Dubliners
5. The Hungry Wolf by X

4-1-17 Old West Point Nebraska Pic 2

Family Stories from the Quiet Past

My wife’s sister recently shared some family history with us. She found a profile of Manoch (Mano) Frey (1854-1923)—my wife’s 3rd Great Uncle on her mother’s side—in the Compendium of History, Reminiscence and Biography of Nebraska. Mano’s father, Edward Frey (1819-1887) moved his family from Montgomery County, Pennsylvania to Omaha, Nebraska where they filed on a homestead in 1868. Once granted he moved his wife, Susanna Reinhard (1818-1880), and his family to West Point, Nebraska.

At this point in time, the area of West Point had been settled for almost a decade and Nebraska had gone from a territory to becoming the 37th State of this blessed Union. The Elkhorn Valley where West Point sits was a Pawnee and Omaha tribe hunting ground, and in 1859 these tribes were surprised and upset when they discovered during their hunting expedition that homesteaders had begun to settle on the land. To drive out the settlers, the tribes burnt several of the homes down. This skirmish lead to what was is referred to as the “so-called Pawnee War”, but this “war” had very few casualties on either side and lasted a little less than year after it started.

4-1-17 Mano Frey


Despite the peace between the homesteaders and the Pawnee, Ponca and Omaha tribes, the Frey family nevertheless experienced many hardships at the hands of Mother Nature during their first several years on their homestead. In March of 1869, less than a year after settling in West Point, they experienced one of the worst blizzards Nebraska had ever known, the family having “to bring the chickens in the house and to put the pigs in the cellar to save them.” In the blizzard of 1873, a great number of their cattle perished. The Frey family also experienced the grasshopper raids in 1873, 1874, and 1875 and lost all of their crops during each grasshopper raid.

In West Point, Mano’s father opened up a store. In order to keep the store stocked with goods, the Frey family on a regular basis had to haul items from Omaha to West Point, a distance of 70 miles. Hauling these items by wagon was not always easy, especially when the trail’s prairie pot holes turned into mudholes during the Spring rains. As Mano relates “at many of the mudholes the loads in the wagons were carried piece by piece on the heads of the men then the empty wagons were drawn over by long chains.”

He also describes one winter where he (Mano) and his brother hauled 88 cords of wood from the Missouri River, a distance of 35 miles from their farm. Mano notes oftentimes their feet were frozen to their boots and that they frequently slept in open barns. But Mano notes that “mother always had coffee and warm food waiting for them not matter what hour of the night they might return.”

History again proves, how awesome Moms are.

3-30-17 Absurd


Cheese and Pepper Sandwiches

1 cup of cottage cheese
1 onion, minced fine
2 peppers, chopped fine
½ cup of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of paprika

Place in a bowl and beat to mix. Butter the bread and cut in thin slices. Place a layer of cheese mixture and then cover and cut in half.