Country CousinIssue Date: June 28, 2018
Happy Fourth of July!
Summer officially arrived on Thursday, June 21. Since then weather has been beautiful but a bit on the chilly side. Ironic, because before them we had some sweltering days and nights with temperatures soaring into the higher 90s.
Marinette County was fortunate enough to escape the havoc that heavy rains inflicted on parts of northwest Wisconsin, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and eastern Minnesota on Sunday, June 17. Am told that up to a foot of rain fell in some places, at the rate of up to two inches per hour. Roads, bridges and culverts were washed out, including pretty large section of U. S. Hwy. 2 west of Ashland.
Some damage did reach far northern Marinette County on a far smaller scale, and Emergency Government Director Eric Burmeister said he is still watching for the impact of high waters flowing down from the more heavily hit areas to the north and west.
SUMMER FUN GOES ON
Communities and families in TIMESland are busy enjoying summer and getting ready for Fourth of July celebrations.
The 11th annual Village of Pound Classic Car and Truck Show will take place on downtown village streets from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. Registration is $5 per vehicle from 8 to 11 a.m. Trophies awarded at 2:30 p.m. Those without cars to display can enjoy looking at the old vehicles, listen to music, enjoy some good food and refreshments, and win raffle prizes.
If you have an ATV/UTV, join the Northeastern Wisconsin ATV/UTV Ride Against Cancer on Saturday, June 30. Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Dun-Good Riders Club Building at W11568 on Hwy. 8 in Dunbar. Cost is $10. Ride leaves at 10 a.m., and includes guided tours of the area trails and include stops at local business places. Return to the club building in the afternoon for food, refreshments, raffles and prizes. All proceeds are donated to the American Cancer Society. For more information call 715-324-6020.
As usual, Wednesday, July 4 will be a big day in Crivitz. Take in the flea and farm market in the Village Square, the traditional big parade, St. Mary Catholic Church Ice Cream Social, the VFW Brat Fry at Witt's Piggly Wiggly from noon to 9:30 p.m., and all kinds of events, live music and other activities food and refreshments in the park, including fireworks after dark.
Wausaukee celebrates Independence Day on Saturday, July 7 with food, fun, music, fireworks, parade and more.
Thoroughly enjoyed a busy day with the great granddaughters last Sunday. Started with Breakfast on the Farm, where we all ate too much. Marinette County must be known for its really fine June Dairy Breakfast. Even Gov. Scott Walker showed up!
After the breakfast, went to Forest Home Cemetery in Marinette for their Cemetery Walk that featured period-dress portrayals of some of the founding fathers of the city and the cemetery itself, which was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1890. There was live music by Dean Hoffman and the Menominee River Choir.
Was personally impressed by the stress each speaker seemed to place on the value of hard work, the thriving community that Marinette had become by 1890 despite the devastation of the Peshtigo Fire in 1871, and use of the cemetery in those days as a place for families to go to visit their families and friends (dead and alive), picnic and otherwise enjoy the peace, quiet and beauty of the countryside while being near the city.
Also was impressed by the work and planning involved, and the fact that without running water and hoses all the initial plantings had to be watered by hand.
The event was put on the Marinette Genealogy Group. The initial push to get it started came from Joan Pace. Help for the Walk Back In Time was provided by Marinette High School Honor Students, Theatre on the Bay performers, and other interested individuals.
Those portrayed as telling of the Marinette that they helped build between 1890 were Mayor D. J. Smith, A. C. Merryman, James Rappe, George Vatter Jerome McLain and J. B. Vaughn. Some of the roles were played by their descendants. This tour was dedicated in the memory of Tim "The Iceman" Cox.
There is to be another tour with a different set of portrayals telling different pieces of the Marinette Story on Sunday, Sept. 16. Mark your calendar. It sounds like fun. More information coming on this later.
Was afraid the girls, aged nine and 11, would be bored, but they were not. They had never been to a cemetery before, and listened intently to each speaker. Maybe they like history as much as Granny does!
ON TO THE BEACH
After enjoying the cemetery, went to the beach behind my sister's house in Menominee. Huge white cap waves there looked more like they belonged in the Atlantic or Pacific than Lake Michigan. We were just in time for the beach, even though cold winds were blowing. Those winds had whipped up the kind of wonderful, huge, folding-over waves that rush up onto the beach and then roll back again, the exciting kind of waves that we waited for all summer for when we were kids growing up in Marinette.
I was shivering in a jacket, but the kids - mine and my sister's two grandkids - wanted to get into those waves. Mine, having no swim suits along, were allowed to go in clothes and all. Would have done the same thing myself a few years ago.
The braver - and younger - of my two girls looked like she was in heaven, eyes sparkling, as she would back out, wait for the wave to wash over her, and then dive to let it wash her onto shore and out again.
Each time she got washed in she would get up and to back out, but just a little bit farther each time. Like most old foggy adults I started to get worried. No leash on her, you know. She's a good swimmer, but not familiar with the ways of Lake Michigan. Was afraid she'd venture too far, and then get washed away with the undertow. And there was no one around strong enough or big enough to get out there and save her if she got into trouble. I sure couldn't.
So I called her in. Sort of scolded. Warned her not to go out too far. She wanted to know how far too far was, but I couldn't tell her.
Sadly, I think I spoiled all her fun. Don't know if I scared her, or if she was more worried about making me angry, but all the wind seemed gone from her sails,and the sparkle was gone from her eyes.
She went back for a few more waves, but not as far as even the second wave out. Her wonderful look of pure joy, freedom and anticipation was gone - the look that reminded me of the ecstasy I felt when I was her age and the winds and the waves were high.
She started complaining about all the sand and debris that the lashing waves had deposited inside her clothes. Finally she decided to go into the house and shower, leaving the rest of us to enjoy the waves and the beach without her. And she was the one that had started with the most joy, the most enthusiasm!
FREE RANGE KIDS
Didn't occur to me until too late that too much caution would spoil all her fun.
How often do we caretakers do things like that to kids, especially in today's world?
More and more we are robbing them of their childhood rights by trying too hard to keep them too safe.
When we were kids we spent our days on the farm at Crivitz wandering through the woods, making up games and building imaginary kingdoms, unhampered by parental supervision. We thought we were far away. Never realized that my aunt could keep an eye on us most of the time from her front porch, and she certainly never told us!
At home in our residential area of Marinette we kids were allowed to play games all over the neighborhood until well after dark on hot summer nights. No adults were supervising, but the whole neighborhood was there for help if we needed any. We never did. We never felt threatened, never felt afraid. And no one ever told us we ought to. We took care of each other.
We were truly free range kids, and almost no one ever got more seriously hurt than a skinned knee.
Not long ago read about parents who were arrested for child abuse because they allowed their children - aged six and ten - to walk home from a park alone!
Glory be! I used to take my younger siblings to the beach by wagon for entire afternoons when I was 10 or 11 years old. No adult went along. My parents would be arrested in today's pathetic world!
CALLING DR. SPOCK!
Back in the day, for us modern mothers Dr. Spock was the go-to expert on child care and child psychology.
One of his bits of advice was: Assess the situation. If they might get hurt, let them do it anyway. If they might get injured, make them stop.
A bruised elbow, a skinned knee, even a black eye, all heal quite quickly, especially on healthy, active kids. And they almost never leave scars.
His point was that kids need adventure, they need reasonable amounts of danger, they need to know how to take risks. They need to know how to fall down, dust themselves off, wipe away the tears, and then get up and go again.
If we don't let our children do things where they may fall or fail, they'll never learn what to do when it happens, as it inevitably will, no matter how careful we are.
CHANGE OF ATTITUDE
Don't know if thinking about spoiling my great granddaughter's joy in the waves made me more aware, of if by coincidence news articles about the dangers of over-coddling kids started showing up everywhere in the next few days. Other people are having the same concerns that I have.
An very recent study identifies the City of Marinette as 24th on a list of the 50 safest cities in this nation in which to raise a child.
Don't know what criteria they used, or if being too small a city would prevent being on the list, but Peshtigo and Niagara are not there. Need to learn more about this.
Then spotted the spring issue of the Marinette County Northwoods Journal (published by the county's Land and Water Conservation Department, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Department and the local UWEX). It included an article by Mariana Brussoni entitled, "Risky Play: Losing a Childhood "Right' of Passage."
She spoke of parental cautions, usually shouted, and expressed exactly my thoughts: "The children typically react with disappointment that their fun was cut short, worry that they are less capable than they thought, or even confusion to what their parent is warning them about."
She went on, "this risk averse approach is part of a societal trend that views children's risk taking as unequivocally negative," and says her research and research of others "points to the importance of risk taking opportunities in play for children's health and development, including promoting self confidence, social development, physical activity, and resilience. Risky play helps them learn about the world and how it works, learn about themselves and what their limits are, and learn how to keep themselves safe. When we limit children's risky play we rob them of these fundamental opportunities, which ironically, could result in them being less safe."
She, like me, mourns the fact the sound of children playing outside that used to be a regular fixture on most residential streets has become a rarity. "Children on the streets are an endangered species. Overprotection has become the norm and risk is synonymous with danger."
Fortunately, she and others are attempting to reverse this trend that stifles their freedom, fun and growth under the pretext of keeping them safe. Utah has even passed a "Free Range Child" law. Under that law, neglect does not include "permitting a child, whose basic needs are met and who is of sufficient age and maturity to avoid harm or unreasonable risk of harm, to engage in independent activities" such as going to and from school by walking, running or bicycling, going to nearby stores or recreational facilities and playing outside.
Good for them!
Canada is also working on programs aimed at getting kids back to freedom and back to playing in the great outdoors.
Brussoni has even created an online tool aimed at helping parents wean themselves of over protective attitudes. It can be found at OutsidePlay.ca.
We need to put swings, teeter totters and merry go rounds back in parks and playgrounds, and we need to let children stand up on them if they want to! We need to get out of the way and let them look out for each other sometimes.
Watch to be sure they don't get too close to each other, but let them dance and write letters in the air with lighted sparklers after dark on the Fourth of July like we always did.
Like good parent birds, we need to learn again to let our young ones stretch their wings and fly!
Speaking of wings, the majestic Monarch Butterfly, once so plentiful in this area, is in danger of being added to the endangered species list.
If you have a place to plant a native prairie garden, do it. Hopefully include some milkweed plants the Monarchs can use for their egg laying and larva stages. If there are already milkweeds growing, let them grow! Use as few pesticides and herbicides as possible, especially in those areas.
ASPARAGUS BACON QUICHE
Asparagus, once known as "sparrow grass", is also a spring tonic type vegetable that we look forward to eagerly each year. This year's season is almost over, but in today's world we can enjoy it pretty much year round, it just costs more when it's out of season. Perfect to celebrate June Dairy Month, too. Or bake this treat for the family when the come visiting for the Fourth of July.
10 bacon strips, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shells
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels; drain, reserving one tablespoon drippings. In the drippings, sauté onion until browned; drain. Cut eight asparagus spears into 4-inch-long spears for garnish. Cut remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan, cook all of the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender; drain. In a bowl, toss the bacon, onion, asparagus pieces, cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Pour into pastry shell. In a bowl, beat eggs and cream; pour over bacon mixture. Top with asparagus spears. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
STARS "N' STRIPES TRIFFLE
A patriotic theme for a patriotic holiday. Refreshing and good to eat, too. Decorate with tiny flags for added eye impact.
1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
1 prepared angel food cake (8 inches), cut into 1-inch cubes
In two small bowls, combine each gelatin flavor with 1 cup boiling water. Stir 1/2 cup cold water into each. Pour each into an ungreased 9-in. square pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping. Set aside 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup strawberries for garnish. Cut the gelatin into 1-inch cubes. In a 3-quart clear glass trifle bowl or serving dish, layer the strawberry gelatin, half of the cake cubes, the remaining blueberries and half of the pudding mixture. Top with blue gelatin, then repeat layers with remaining cake cubes, strawberries and pudding mixture. Garnish with reserved berries and remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately if possible, or keep cold until serving time. Makes about 16 servings if they aren't very big ones. The triffle is very pretty made up in clear glasses as individual servings. Follow the same basic assembly instructions, but divide ingredients equally among the number of cups or glasses that you will be making up. Old Fashioned glasses are about the right size. Large footed glasses are impressive. Or to avoid dishwashing and breakage, assemble individual servings in clear plastic throw away cups. Once assembled, keep cold until serving time. Make it a day ahead.
Thought for the week: Don't know if I remember this, or if its' the product of my own thought, but it's worth thinking: "Thank You, God, for giving us this wonderful world to live in, wonderful family and friends to enjoy. And forgive us Lord, for not appreciating (and enjoying) either of them enough!"
(This column is written by Shirley Prudhomme of Crivitz. Views expressed are her own and are in no way intended to be an official statement of the opinions of Peshtigo Times editors and publishers. She may be contacted by phone at 715-291-9002 or by e-mail to email@example.com.)
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