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Sitting At The Kitchen Table

Related thread:
BS: Kitchen Table Reducks (19)


Waddon Pete 01 Oct 09 - 09:11 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 01 Oct 09 - 09:16 PM
BusyBee Paul 02 Oct 09 - 09:42 AM
BusyBee Paul 02 Oct 09 - 06:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 02 Oct 09 - 07:36 PM
Waddon Pete 03 Oct 09 - 05:47 AM
billybob 03 Oct 09 - 08:54 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 03 Oct 09 - 10:57 AM
maeve 04 Oct 09 - 10:44 AM
Waddon Pete 04 Oct 09 - 03:51 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Oct 09 - 08:58 PM
maeve 04 Oct 09 - 09:26 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 05 Oct 09 - 08:17 AM
BusyBee Paul 05 Oct 09 - 08:41 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Oct 09 - 03:58 PM
frogprince 07 Oct 09 - 04:39 PM
Waddon Pete 07 Oct 09 - 05:07 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 07 Oct 09 - 06:56 PM
billybob 08 Oct 09 - 05:57 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Oct 09 - 04:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 08 Oct 09 - 10:27 PM
GUEST 09 Oct 09 - 10:52 AM
maeve 09 Oct 09 - 11:12 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Oct 09 - 12:53 PM
maeve 09 Oct 09 - 01:09 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Oct 09 - 11:21 AM
BusyBee Paul 11 Oct 09 - 02:46 PM
Waddon Pete 18 Oct 09 - 03:40 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Oct 09 - 04:07 PM
BusyBee Paul 18 Oct 09 - 04:10 PM
Rapparee 18 Oct 09 - 08:44 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 18 Oct 09 - 08:58 PM
Waddon Pete 19 Oct 09 - 04:28 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 19 Oct 09 - 09:10 PM
billybob 20 Oct 09 - 09:04 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 20 Oct 09 - 11:03 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Oct 09 - 06:25 AM
Waddon Pete 21 Oct 09 - 06:36 AM
maeve 21 Oct 09 - 06:45 AM
billybob 21 Oct 09 - 06:48 AM
maeve 21 Oct 09 - 06:57 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Oct 09 - 10:25 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 21 Oct 09 - 10:52 PM
billybob 22 Oct 09 - 07:30 AM
Waddon Pete 24 Oct 09 - 05:12 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Oct 09 - 08:05 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 24 Oct 09 - 08:20 PM
Rapparee 24 Oct 09 - 08:36 PM
oldhippie 24 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM
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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 09:11 AM

Ouch.....Jerry, back on the naughty chair!

German beer sounds wonderful....as long as we don't get the wurst for wear!

OK I'll get me coat......


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 09:16 PM

I went to a public hearing at the Board of Alderman's meeting tonight. The City of Derby is considering making the jobs at the dump Union jobs again. One of the guys I talk with daily when I am bringing loads of sand to the dump told me that they made it a private operation a year or so ago when he and a couple other guys were hired. He is very concerned that they are going to replace him and the other men with Union employees. For the last few days, he's been asking people when they come to the dump to show up for the public hearing to express their support for him and his co-workers.
As he pointed out, in the last year since they started working at the dump, they've made a lot of major improvements, none of which were required. Some of them are whimsical, like the artificial tree someone left in the dump which is now "planted" next to the entrance. Some have been substantial, like clearing out large areas that had be abandoned and overgrown, cleaning up the dump to the point where it almost looks like a park. They take great pride in their work and are angry that they may be replaced. Ironically, they have been strongly criticized for helping people. When an elderly person brings something unmanageable for them and they're having a problem lifting it or putting it in the dumpster, they come over and help them. That's against Union regulations. I told the guys that I would come to the public hearing tonight. I was the only one there to speak for them.

When the topic came up on the agenda, they asked if there was anyone who wanted to speak on the topic. I stood up, introduced myself by name and gave my street address. I told the Board that my wife and I had moved to Derby seven years ago and if they gave out frequent flier miles for each trip to the dump we would have earned a trip around the world long ago. I spoke of the improvements that I've seen since the men were hired, and how helpful they are to everyone who comes there. "Some people come to work and do the minimum they have to in order to get their paycheck, and no more, I said. Not these guys. They take pride in their work, they're conscientious and polite and do everything they can to help others." "I don't know any of their names, I said, looking over at the man who'd asked everyone to come." They're not personal friends or family members." I just wanted to publicly thank them for all they do." I thanked the members of the Board of Aldermen for the hard work that they do to serve the community, and sat down.

Tomorrow morning I'll be hauling my first load of sand over to the dump. Maybe I'll ask the guy his name. It seems like I should know it by now. He knows my name and address, and even has the identification number on my driver's license.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 09:42 AM

Hi Jerry,

Good for you - I hope you have a good result on that one.

Waddon Pete - Wurst for wear?. Well, yes I am today - got totally wrecked on beer and Killepitsch (a real killer) last night and am not even sure of what time this mornin we got back to the hotel. All I know is that we had a great time and the accounting procedures discussion today was a breeze because I was parked in a parallel universe, or so it seemed. That carpark was pretty full with my co-workers too, even those who chickened out and didn't get as far as the jazz bar last night.

(I would shake my head in disbelief at myself, but it would probably fall off).

We're off out for round 2 in about 30 minutes.................

BBP (Better Bring Paracetomol).


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 06:41 PM

Hi,

In case you are wondering, this evening went really well - a variety show (very funny) with a meal, then shopping for a couple of hours. I decided against going to the disco in favour of having a chat to one of my colleagues from Colorado, so we got back safely, sober and quiet.

She has now called it a day but I'm on my second wind, so thought I'd stop by for a coffee and a slice of whatever Jerry is making at the moment. Looks like you are all still occupied elsewhere, so I think I'll just sit here a while and wind down, ready to hit the bed myself.

Pete, what's the weather been like in the UK this week?. It's been grey, overcast and occasionally drizzly here - the Germans reckon I brought the weather with me!.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 02 Oct 09 - 07:36 PM

Hey, Deirdre: Our minds must be on the same wavelength. I was telling Ruth today that now that the waether has cooled off, it's time to get back to baking. I'll do a double batch of oatmeal/raisin/walnut sugar-free cookies in the next couple of days. My son-in-law Ali keeps telling me I should sell them commercially. I tell him that my secret recipe is under the lid of the Quaker Oats Oatmeal box I use, so it would be hard to claim it as uniquely my own. Besides, I'm not looking for a new career. I have enough trouble keeping the stuff I am doing going. I'll see if I can't set out a batch over the weekend.

Next weekend is going to be fullllllll. Friday night my pastor-friend Ken and his wife Elizabeth are having a couple staying with them who are folk musicians, and they want to have a sing-around. Not sure that will happen, and don't know the folks names yet. Saturday afternoon is the memorial service for Sandy Paton... a two hour drive from here. I've been asked to speak and do a song. Sunday I would normally be singing with the Men's Chorus at our church, but this coming Sunday is my daughter-in-law's 10th Anniversary of the church where she is the pastor, and I am part of the program.

I think I'm going to need those cookies.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 05:47 AM

Hello Deidre,

The weather report depends on which part of the UK you are in. In East Anglia we haven't seen any rain for a very long time. Everything is parched and dry. Today dawned grey and very blustery. It is good weather for blowing the conkers down from the horse chestnut tree on the green outside our house. Trouble is, with so little rain this year, the conkers are quite small, so I'm not sure there'll be much conkering going on!

Jerry, good to hear you are keeping busy! Please pass on the thoughts of the kitchen table-ites to the family when you go to Sandy Paton's memorial.

I've left some virtual chocolate biscuits for you to enjoy.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 08:54 AM

HI folks,
Jerry we have a similar pool at the top of our garden, because of the English weather some years it is hardly used, although this summer was beautiful here so we had quite a few days with the grandchildren swimming.I had been asking Billy to get rid of it as he spends hours cleaning it and putting very expensive chemicals in it and if no one swims it is such a waste of his hard work. However having just come back to the table after a while away and reading about your pool I think ours will be staying put!
My niece in New Jersey just sent me some chocolate chips so cookies are being made this afternoon and there is a large coffee cake on the table.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Oct 09 - 10:57 AM

Yeah, billybob... it does sound the same. Between the cost of chemicals (I figure for the season it's at least a couple hundred dollars,) and the cost of keeping the pump running twenty four hours a day for three or four months, we were spending at least three or four hundred dollars a year. That's not counting the countless hours of work. If I was being paid minimum wage to do it, we couldn't afford me. Most summers we've used the pool no more than three or four times. I figure we could give out a half a dozen memberships to the local YMCA and save money.

Having someone take down the pool and lug away all the sand, bring in top soil and plant a new lawn would cost twso or three thousand dollars. To do that, we can afford me.

Besides, I'm in the best physical shape I've been in in many years.
Forget the expensive excercise equipment. Just find someone who needs an above ground pool they need taken down.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 10:44 AM

Hello, all. I'm too sleepy to write an entertaining post, but I can

refresh!

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 03:51 PM

It's always good to see you Maeve.

Have a virtual choccy bikky to help you sleep!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 08:58 PM

Hey, Maeve: Good to see you stopping by, as always. Just for a change of pace, I've made some grilled peanut butter and bananna sandwiches for the table. I must admit, I'm refining the recipe, trying to get the perfect blend of peanut butter, bananna, cinammon and a touch of Splenda. One of our friends at church makes them and she adds a touch of honey to the peanut butter. Until they make sugar-free honey, I'll try a light sprinkling of Splenda. You'll have to excuse this batch. I think I used a little too much of everything.

Back when I was a teenager, growing four inches a year, I'd eat anything that wasn't tied down. My two older sisters were just learning to bake and for a year or so, I ate all of their mistakes. It was a hard blow when they learned to bake well enough that they wanted to share their creations with someone besides me.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 04 Oct 09 - 09:26 PM

Here I am back again. I can't sleep, so may as well sit down at the table.

Jerry- your boyhood appetite reminds me of my older brother. He used to drive me right up the wall and over the fence simply by taking food off my plate whenever he was within arm's length of my plate. Never knew he was doing it (so he said), but managed to down several sandwiches, cookies, and such as easily as a herring gull steals fries from the summer people.

My dad used to eat all of my burned cookies. He claimed he liked them that way. I noticed he managed to enjoy my unburned cookies just fine once I learned to keep an eye on the cookies in the oven instead of reading my book.

After years of being unable to write and remember songs because of the ravages of migraines, I'm turning out songs and poems right and left. What a blessing, and how grateful I am to find myself polishing off a new one tonight.

Thanks for the snacks, Jerry and Peter!

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 08:17 AM

It's great to hear good news about your headaches, maeve! What a blessing.

When I was a teenager I'd come home hungry after being out with my buddies. I'd make some toast with jelly, and drink a little milk. Did you know that there used to be 22 slices of bread in a loaf? That's how many pieces of toast I'd make, topped off with a quart of milk. I went from the shortest kid in my class in 6th grade to just under six feet two inches by the time I graduated from high school.
That took a lot of toast and cookies.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 08:41 AM

All this talk of food is making me hungry - and I've just eaten my lunch!. Jerry, pass some of those banana thingies please :-).

Safely back home (and at work) after my trip to Germany but my stomach is still on German time.

Time to attack the paperwork piles for a second time.........

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 03:58 PM

I just finished writing a chapter about my dump runs. It's too long to post on here, and besides, I try not to post too much of my reflections on faith here on Mudcat. It's a real help to me when I am too busy to sit down and do any lengthy writing to be able to post observations and stories here at the table as I go along. I just cut and past them all into one document and it's a framework for more dedicated writing and revision later. Some of you have given me your e-mail addresses, so you'll get an attachment soon. I want to pass it by the people I quote before I distribute it any wider. Just a common courtesy.

It's like a wind tunnel around here today. We had rain this morning so I couldn't take my daily two loads of sand to the dump, sniff, sniff. I took advantage of the rare opportunity to sit down and write. Now, I'm going to get a mug of coffee and a "no sugar added" blueberry muffin. I have a few more left.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: frogprince
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 04:39 PM

Anyone else want a root beer float while I'm making one? It's diet A&W and sugar-free ice cream.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 05:07 PM

Root Beer, please Frog Prince! Thanks.

I thought I'd share some news with you all while we're gathered round the table. I'm going to be on the radio (again). It's a community radio station over here in East Anglia and they have a Folk Programme every Sunday evening twixt 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. I am going to be on the programme this Sunday 11th October 2009.

Although the transmitters do their best, the coverage is not very great, however, they do stream to the web! If you go to the blue clicky at the end, it should take you there! (Fingers crossed)

Now, I know some of you in far off places may have trouble with time differences. That's 7 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time. If you use "World Clock" it should help you find out what time to listen in. (Should you wish to!)

Also, a big thank-you to BillyBob for inviting me to her next House Concert! That'll be good fun as well.

Wayland Radio

World Clock

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 06:56 PM

Hey, FP, I'll take a root beer float. I do much the same thing, trying to keep my sugar intake down. When I was a teenager, I was a car hop at an A&W drive in in my home town. The car hops were all guys because they'd had so much trouble with customers coming on hard to girl car hops. Car Hopesses? I've always loved A&W but I must say that I now prefer IBC in bottles. Cans never get the soda as cold as a bottle, and they have a subtle effect on the flavor... besides not keeping the soda cold as long.
I also make ice cream sundaes with sugar free ice cream and sugar free Smuckers caramel syrup. The problem is, because it's sugar free I end up eating weigh (way) more than I should. I figure if I'm praying not to be led into temptation, I shouldn't be the one doing the leading, so I don't keep the stuff in the house regularly. I don't want to look like the Michelin Man, sugar or nor sugar.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 05:57 AM

Great you are on the radio Peter, I will tune in on sunday, can I get you on my steam radio down here in Essex, if not I will use my computer at home, which is so old it too is probably driven by steam!
We are all looking forward to the house concert and hope for a sunny weather so we can be in the marquee.It is a beautiful sunny morning here today so fingers crossed for next week! i am hoping for a few people up from Kent and we usually have the local folkies from Walton on the Naze.
Billy is off to the doctors again this morning, he has had a rotten year so far with one thing after another, he has an immune problem so has to take antibiotics for any cold or cough, last week an ear infection which has made him deaf in one ear which is very frustrating, and a constant back pain which our GP tried acupuncture on ten days ago, my those needles are very long!
I still have some coffee cake left over and lots of chocolate chip cookies so I am going to have a break and large black coffee, care to join me?
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 04:49 PM

Hey, Wendy: I'm sorry to hear of the problems Billy Bob is having. If he's having them, you're having you, so I send my best wishes (and a few prayers) to both of you.

I finished the chapter about my swimming pool demolition to a long list of friends (whose e-mail address I have) including Max. I received a warm response from him almost immediately, and I wanted to tell him how much Mudcat and this thread are a part of my life, and therefor of my writing. I told him I'd post it here while I was at it.

Thanks, Max: I don't know if you realize how much Mudcat is a part of my writing. There must have been eight or ten chapters in my first book that started out as stories posted on the kitchen table thread. This one is just another in a long line of stories that grew out of that thread. I've worked harder physically this summer than in many years, and I've been too exhausted at the end of the day to focus on writing. The posts that I make on the Kitchen Table Thread are often the seed for a more developed story. Three or four days ago, I could begin to see the end of hauling sand (I've probably got a week and a half left.) I went through the Kitchen Table posts and copied and pasted them in order into one document. When I was finished, it was like the Frankenstein monster with a few missing organs. It took a massive re-write to make the story flow, and the introduction to the chapter in italics is my scriptural and faith understanding of the meaning behind the story. I also inserted an occasional scripture in the text, along with reflections that I wouldn't post on Mudcat. I try to keep my Mudcat posts as free as I can of expressions of my faith. There are times when I cannot separate my faith from my life when I write. I certainly can't when I am living my days. I try to respect Mudcat as a folk and blues venue, not proselytizing in my posts. But make no mistake. Mudcat, my faith and my writing are all part of a whole to me. I just separate them, depending on my audience.

Hey, maybe I'll post this on the kitchen table thread. That's what it's there for.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 08 Oct 09 - 10:27 PM

Been sitting around tonight playing my acoustic guitar. That probably doesn't sound like any big deal, but it's something I rarely do anymore. Thirteen years ago there was some kind of musical convergence (or maybe it was a divergence.) The coffee houses where I often performed were folding, left and right. I folded one that I'd run for 27 years because I couldn't get an audience. The remaining coffee houses ran open mike nights mostly, and I felt like Methusela when I'd drop by. What you doin' Gramps? About that time, I joined the Men's Chorus of a black Baptist Church and was welcomed with a warmth I hadn't experienced in years. Shortly after that I started my gospel quartet and switched to playing electric guitar with the group, which was the traditional instrument used in black gospel quartets. We'd been together about three months when we started to get invitations to perform, and a few bookings. I never looked back.
The quartet started coming apart three or four years ago when our tenor moved to Florida. We kept going as a trio and sounded fine, as the other two members are both terrific singers and we obviously loved and believed in what we were singing. Joe and Frankie are now 84 and 86 and while we still sing with the Men's Chorus, we haven't sung together in a year as the Messengers. As that door closed, another one opened. I wrote and published my book and am almost as busy singing on my own as I was with the group. And I've written more songs in the last ten years than any ten year period in my life.

In the meantime, people keep recording my folk songs. I lost track of how many, long ago. The songs have lasted, even though it's been close to ten years since I've done a concert. Now I have a split concert coming up with my friend Susan Trump (who has recorded four of my songs.) Playing acoustic guitar seems strange and I see I'm going to have to relearn my songs and the picking... like Mississippi John when they rediscovered him. Except that I haven't been rediscovered. It's a weird situation to be in.

Folk singers are prone to hanging on to the past. I'm generally not that way. I give thanks for the good things in my past, but as I wrote in a song, "The good old days are still to come." But, for the good old days of the past, I'll offer up a handful of songs next month. If I can figure them out... :-)


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 10:52 AM

Yesterday I shared the chapter I wrote about the City Dump with Ralph and John, the two guys who work there. And as I always do, I sent the complete chapter to a whoe slew of friends, include Rene, in Paris. Rene responded with a wonderful e-mail, which I shared with Ralph and John, and everyone is grinning from ear to ear. Me too. Here's what I added to the chapter:

The Other Shoe
        This morning I took my first load of sand to the dump. I was trying to get it in before it started rain. Sand weighs enough without being wet. Yesterday I gave copies of this chapter to Ralph and John and when I pulled up in front of the check in booth, Ralph called out with a big grin, "You're some kind of writer!" I got out of the car and walked over and we were both excited. Ralph wanted to tell me that he's going to take the chapter over for the Mayor to read after the dump closes. I wanted to tell him about the e-mail I received from my friend Rene in Paris. I e-mailed this chapter to Rene yesterday and there was a response waiting for me when I came down to my office this morning. Rene was as enthusiastic as Ralph. He particularly responded to the comments about people who only do the bare minimum at work to get their paycheck. Like many people, Rene doesn't enjoy his work. When he talks to his brother about
work, neither of them enjoy their work because they see all the political aspects of it. It's the same all over. Then Rene wrote:
"Still, yesterday I realized this sort of thinking makes me sad while my intellect tells me it's a good thing to be "aware".
Every once in a while, still, I'll go and do a little more than what I'm being paid for, just because it will help a co-worker or two. And that makes me feel good.
    "Last month I received my retirement results and it showed I
    still have 10 more years of work ahead of me before I can
    retire. On one hand I can't wait, on the other hand, I believe
    I'd better make the best out of these 10 years. Because my life
    is taking place now, not 10 years ahead."
When I told Ralph about this, his face really lit up. He wanted to talk about how good it feels to be helpful and treat people with respect. I told him:
        "So, here you are Ralph, trying to do the best job you can
    at the Derby Dump, and you've caused my friend Rene over in
    Paris to re-think how he approaches his work. That's the
    way it works." In God there is no East or West.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 11:12 AM

That's a fine thing Jerry. When one person working hard can prompt change for another a tiny piece of the human community is rebuilt in the image of the Maker. Little grains of sand have been part of the rebuilding in more ways than one.

I'm certain you and your friend Susan Trump will thoroughly enjoy your upcoming concert at least as much as your audience will. I wish I could be there to add to the joyful noise. Do you find your fingers remembering old picking patterns and chord progressions?

I'm sad to miss Sandy Paton's memorial this weekend. I only feel poor when I can't take part in something so special. Sing well and carry my respect and gratitude with your words and tunes, please.

Have an oatmeal cookie. I see you've misplaced yours.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 12:53 PM

The "Guest" was me. Sheesh! I'm not even home at my own kitchen table!

Jerry

Let's see how this one is identified.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 09 Oct 09 - 01:09 PM

Jerry, the cookie crumbs at the end of your post identified you.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 11:13 AM

I posted this on the Sandy Paton memorial thread. I'll add any further comments there...

My wife Ruth and I had a beautiful time at the memorial. For me, it was wonderful seeing old friends like (but not an all inclusive list) Roy Harris, Harry Tuft, Bill Shute, Skip Gorman, Ed Trickett, Jennifer Woods and Bob Clayton, Bill Spence, Patricia Herdman, and several Catters. It was a special pleasure meeting Bill Schatz, Joe Offer and Nancy King. I could easily double that list, but others may add to it. Not all would be familiar names to Catters.

Caroline was as gracious and radiant as ever, and David Paton was warm and welcoming despite his "Summer of tears," as he so beautifully put it. The music was uniformally excellent and the testimonies were heartfelt and moving.

It was an experience I'll never forget. The recorded and video taped the whole thing. How wonderful if they made it available for purchase down the line.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 11:21 AM

This is the end of my story about my dump runsP:

POSTCRIPT
Several weeks later when I was dropping off my umpteenth load of sand, I noticed that Ralph was calling people over to the window to talk with them at length. When I got up to the window, Ralph came out and told me his story. He and John were in danger of losing their jobs. A year or so ago, the City of Derby changed from having Union men operate the dump to using an outside contractor. Now, the Union was trying to get the jobs back under the Union's control. If that happened, Ralph and John would be out of a job, as they weren't Union workers. "It burns me up!" Ralph sputtered. "We've really cleaned this place up in the last year, and now they want to get rid of us!" We've made a lot of major improvements around here, none of which were required, and we didn't get paid extra to do it."
"I can vouch for that, Ralph." I've seen all the work you've done since you've been here." I replied. Some of the changes are whimsical, like the artificial tree someone left in the dump which is now "planted" next to the entrance with a discarded park bench next to it. Some have been substantial, like clearing out large areas that had been abandoned and overgrown. Most of all, I appreciated how helpful all the guys were who worked there. They were friendly and polite and went out of their way to make things easy for you. It hadn't always been that way. Ironically, one of the criticisms that made of them is that they sometimes would lend a hand if someone was trying to unload something from their car that was too heavy for them to handle. "They tell us that we can't help people unload stuff, because we might get hurt," Ralph said. "If I'm driving along the road and I see someone who needs help, I'm going to stop and help them. And they tell me I can't do it here? They say it's against Union Regulations." "I suppose they're concerned that you might hurt yourself and they'll be legally liable," I said. "Still, that doesn't seem right." I see some of the old-timers who are really struggling to unload their car, and I'm with you. I'd be right there, lending a hand." I asked when the hearing was going to be, and told him I'd be there. It was then that I realized why he was stopping people to talk to them as they were coming in. He was trying to get people to come and speak on their behalf.

The night of the public hearing, I arrived early. I'd never been to a public hearing in Derby, although I'd survived countless others when I was Executive Director of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. The hearing was held in a small room, and there wasn't a whole lot of "Public" there. As it turns out, I was the only one to show up to speak on behalf of the guys at the dump. Ralph was there, and I knew he appreciated my coming.

After a few preliminary items on the agenda the time came for the public to speak. I stood up and introduced myself and gave my address and said I was there to speak on behalf of the crew at the Dump. I told the Board that my wife and I had moved to Derby seven years ago and if they gave out frequent flier miles for each trip to the dump we would have earned a trip around the world long ago. I spoke of the improvements that I've seen since the men were hired, and how helpful they are to everyone who comes there. "Some people come to work and do the minimum they have to in order to get their paycheck, and no more," I said. 'Not these guys. They take pride in their work. "They're conscientious and polite and do everything they can to help others." "I glanced over for a moment to look at Ralph, sitting in the back of the room. "I don't really know the men who work there. They're not personal friends or family members. I just wanted to publicly thank them for the wonderful job they were doing.." I thanked the members of the Board of Aldermen for the hard work that they do to serve the community, and sat down.

There was a time when people took pride in their work. They lived the old adage, "An honest day's work for an honest day's pay." When I see people who take pride in their work, I thank them. It doesn't make any difference what the work is. There is honor in doing any job right. No work is unimportant.
Sly and the Family Stone love everyday people. So does God. So do I.

The Other Shoe

        This morning I took my first load of sand to the dump. I was trying to get it in before it started rain. Sand weighs enough without being wet. Yesterday I gave copies of this chapter to Ralph and John and when I pulled up in front of the check in booth, Ralph called out with a big grin, "You're some kind of writer!" I got out of the car and walked over and we were both excited. Ralph wanted to tell me that he's going to take the chapter over for the Mayor to read after the dump closes. I wanted to tell him about the e-mail I received from my friend Rene in Paris. I e-mailed this chapter to Rene yesterday and there was a response waiting for me when I came down to my office this morning. Rene was as enthusiastic as Ralph. He particularly responded to the comments about people who only do the bare minimum at work to get their paycheck. Like many people, Rene doesn't enjoy his work. When he talks to his brother about
work, neither of them enjoy their work because they see all the political aspects of it. It's the same all over. Then Rene wrote:
"Still, yesterday I realized this sort of thinking makes me sad while my intellect tells me it's a good thing to be "aware".
Every once in a while, still, I'll go and do a little more than what I'm being paid for, just because it will help a co-worker or two. And that makes me feel good.
Last month I received my retirement results and it showed I still have 10 more years of work ahead of me before I can retire.
On one hand I can't wait, on the other hand, I believe I'd better make the best out of these 10 years, because my life is taking place now, not 10 years ahead."
When I told Ralph about this, his face really lit up. He wanted to talk about how good it feels to be helpful and treat people with respect. I told him:
        "So, here you are Ralph, trying to do the best job you can at the Derby Dump, and you've caused my friend Rene over in Paris to re-think how he approaches his work. That's the way it works."
   In Christ there is no East or West
   In Christ no South or North
   But one great commonwealth of love
   throughout the whole wide earth.
          In Christ There Is No East Or West Words by John Oxenham
(I asked Rene for permission to include the lines quoted above, and he enthusiastically agreed. Then he said, "The next time you see Ralph, tell him Rene says Hello.")


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 11 Oct 09 - 02:46 PM

Jerry, you are still one very busy man, rain or no!. I think you are going to end up with a long list of people to say "Hello" to Ralph for - please add me to that list!.

Today is Sunday and I went into the works office tor a few hours to try to get caught up a little on the work backlog from my trip to Germany. Like your guys at the dump, I believe that if a job is worth doing, the it's worth doing well. And if that means a few extra hours here and there, then so be it. The company have been good to me the last few years when my parents have been ill and needed my presence. I hope the City of Derby guys realise that Ralph and John are to be treasured.

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 18 Oct 09 - 03:40 PM

Picture the scene.....a chilly October evening in a lovely garden somewhere deep in East Anglia. A gentle breeze stirs the branches, but inside the small, cozy marquee there are comfy lawn chairs, a couple of gas heaters and a gathering of Mudcatters including Billybob, well known on this thread!

We now have a new standard to reach at our kitchen table. Billybob and her husband supplied some excellect food from the bbq and then there was the pavlova (oooooo) and the other sweets supplied by the assembled guests.

The reason for this gathering was a Billybob house concert. It was great to meet up with her after too many years and to share songs and stories far into the night. We talked of Mudcat and this thread in particular and Jerry, I sang one of your songs in honour of the kitchen table. I'm not sure, but I think it was Jean who made the pavlova.....perhaps she'll make one for the kitchen table here!

It was a great night out....thanks Billybob.

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Oct 09 - 04:07 PM

How nice to see you both. The last time I went to the dump, Ralph came out with a beat-up cardboard box and gave it to me, without muttering a word. It had about 2,000 blank sheets of typewriter paper. It was his way of saying that he appreciated what I'd written about him and John. I have a load of stuff from our garage to take down tomorrow, so I'll check to see if John's wife has had her baby. She was due today. Tough to deal with a new baby when you're in danger of losing your job. But then, John is a musician. He's intimately familiar with tough.

Pavlova? Don't much about him, but I remember his studies on his dogs.

It sounds like you all had a wonderful time, Peter.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 18 Oct 09 - 04:10 PM

Peter, I'm licking my lips at the thought of the pavlova!.

It's been a lovely day in Gainsbrough too but I've spent most of today resting up after a hectic three weeks, culminating in the Gainsborough Folk Festival this weekend. I could have done with some of that pavlova to get my energy levels back up again!.

I can, however, add a bar of German hazlenut chocolate to the table :-).

Deirdre


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Oct 09 - 08:44 PM

Well, it's been a while since I sat down, and I thought I'd let you all know that my shoulder is recovering nicely from the rotator cuff surgery back in July. Mind you, it's weaker'n Jerry's coffee, but I'm getting a good range of motion back. The surgeon says I have about three or four months(!) yet before I recover full functioning.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 18 Oct 09 - 08:58 PM

How great to see you in here, Rap! And I didn't even know you had rotator cuff surgery. Either that, or you mentioned it so long ago I've forgotten. It's good timing, though. The baseball season is almost over, so you won't be tempted to warm up in the bullpen and if you get the urge to play football, you can always play linebacker.

I just had a mug of my cofee and some cinammon toast, and it tasted pretty good. Maybe that's because it's been in the pot all day.

Don't stay away so long, buddy. It's always good to hear what you're up to. And besides, you missed the grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 04:28 PM

Glad to hear the surgery went well, Rapaire. That's good news. But weaker than Jerry's coffee? Grown men have been known to blinch when the kettle comes offn the old pot bellied stove! Nothing to be ashamed of there!

Now...how about some more of that pavlova?

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 19 Oct 09 - 09:10 PM

I posted a notice under National Book Award that my book, The Gate of Beautiful (several chapters of which grew out of this thread) was one of six Finalists in the religion category of the National Best Books Award for 2009. I didn't win, but it was an enormous honor to be one of the six finalists. Books were submitted all year from major publishers to small independent publishers who self-publish books, like mine. The odds of being one of the six finalists, being basically self-published, are too small to calculate. But I done it.

Kudos to the kitchen table. You can all stand up and take a bow.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 09:04 AM

One Pavlova on the table!
When we were running the Walton Festival, we had a lovely lady called Bobby who although white haired and a wren officer in WW2 ( so you can guess her age at the time) did not do folk music as she put it, but was brilliant at being a committee person, she did all sorts of helpful things from dashing round in her snazzy car and collecting the forgotten or lost items to sticking up posters. On the last night of the festival she would somehow produce a three course dinner on the stage for the committee. One year she managed to give us Christmas dinner, turkey with all the trimmings! But best of all was her Pavlova, gorgeous meringue with Lemon curd topped with double cream and cherries!!!Jane and I were honoured to be told the secret and we always do a Bobby meringue in her honour at a bit of a do, as we say over here! She also had a fabulous Tippsy pudding, soak sponge fingers in brandy and some more in Sherry , then line a tin with the sponge fingers with melted dark chocolate between the layers, set in fridge till hard, top with double cream and eat!!
Ok both are on the table... dig in.
Billy and I really enjoyed the evening, the singing stopped at Midnight and then we sat and talked till 3.15, old friends we havent seen, old friends that have passed away( too many) and happy memories of days gone by.We will have another house concert in the spring.
Mudcatters very welcome.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 20 Oct 09 - 11:03 AM

Sounds like a great, fattening evening, Wendy! Too bad we're so far away. House concerts are great fun. I've always enjoyed doing them, and attending them, too.

Do you sugar-free versions of those deserts? :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:25 AM

I'm not usually up this early in the morning. I had to get up to write this down. The opening words may become a song. I suspect that what I'm posting here will become a chapter at some point. I'll know when it happens. If it happens. In the meantime, this is what woke me up:

    "There will never be another woods like this
    You will never be nine again
    There will come a time when all of your friends are gone
    And all of this will end"

God woke me up at four o'clock this morning. Or at least I believe it was God. The words came flowing into my mind unbidden, and I've learned from years of experience not to get in their way. When a song or a story is coming, it's best to let it come at its own pace. After lying in bed for a few minutes, snatching at phrases, ideas and memories, I realized it was time to get it up and stumble downstairs to my computer.

I could feel the gentle touch of God's hand on the elderly woman as she fumbled with the coins in her worn coin purse, looking for change at the check-out counter. And the images continued to flow. I could see an old man walking down a new street cutting through the woods where he played as a child. The woods were gone, and there was a nine year old boy lazily tossing a ball on the lawn of the newly mowed yard. Was that really the hill where he used to go sledding?

In my life the phrase "You can't go home again" has become more than the title of the Thomas Hardy book. There was a long, dark stretch of my life when I was estranged from my family where I took that phrase to mean that I could never go back to my home town and be reunited with my family. Over the years, the words have taken on a different meaning. You can't go home again, because "home" isn't there anymore. The house where I was born, just a block away from the woods we called Bunker Hill is still there. It's painted a different color now, and the row of lilac trees along the side of the house is just a faint memory. I can still smell the sweet fragrance wafting through the air as I stand there on the sidewalk. And "it's good to touch the green, green grass of home."

What was God trying to tell me? Why did he wake me up in the middle of the night? The only thing I could figure was that He wanted to remind me to rejoice in the moment, because in the blink of an eye it is gone.

I have a good friend who hates change. We had a long discussion late one night. In his eyes, there is no such thing as a change for the better: all change is for the worse. The problem is you can't hold back time. As they used to announce so dead-pan seriously in the movie theaters back when I was a kid when the newsreel came on, "Time Marches On." You might as well accept change as a friend. Once you accept change as a reality, then you can see the moment. You can look with fresh eyes at the world around you.

In the movies they sometimes show a lengthy scene where someone goes back to an earlier time in their lives. Whatever the story line, the person travels back to the past, vividly experiencing an old memory as if it was happening in the moment. Everything is seen with a brilliant clarity. The person sees as they have never seen before, and they recognize the beauty that had passed unnoticed. It's a moving experience that we can all identify with. But that's in the movies. In real life we wander through our days, not seeing the beauty around us. Back in the fifties, there was a song titled The Touch of God's Hand. Those were innocent days when religion was not used as a litmus test for political identification. God was still in the top forty. It was a good song, with a good message.

And that's it. I know I'll edit it, and more words will flow. There might even be a song in there. I know there's a message.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:36 AM

When the muse strikes......even if it is 4 o'clock in the morning...it'll brook no denial!

It would make a good song Jerry, and you are the one to write it. When you do, let me know, coz it sounds like one I would like to add to my repertoire!

Of course, you have already touched on this thought in your classic "Handful of Songs"

How many days pass away without notice?
How many friends do we lose on the way?
How many good times are taken for granted
And only remembered once they've passed away?

On another tack...could a tabler PM me? I don't think my PM system is working at the moment and it would be good to check!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:45 AM

Test PM sent, Peter.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:48 AM

So did I ;-)
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: maeve
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 06:57 AM

I treasure those middle-of-the-night and early morning wake-up calls, Jerry. You are wise to trust the urge, and write it all down.

Banana bread, anyone?

maeve


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 10:25 AM

You're a perceptive man, Peter. Wherever this writing goes, I immediately saw it as an introduction to Handful of Songs... at least some parts of it. Two other thoughts that will be woven into this will be a conversation with a friend of mine whose father was long since dead. My friend and his father were at loggerheads most of their lives and had't made peace at the time the father died. My friend said he'd give a year of his life for just ten minutes to talk with his father and ask for forgiveness.

The other idea which seems particularly approriate for folkies is how wonderful our lives would be if we could be nostalgic for the present.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Oct 09 - 10:52 PM

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? I finally figured out my business card template and did a handsome new card tonight. It shouldn't have been so hard, but this is new "improved" software and I notice that the customer reviews are very critical about how hard it is to use. But, I figured it out, and I'm feeling darned right competent tonight. Maybe the adage should be old dogs forget orl tricks and have to figure the stupid things out all over again.

But then, have you ever tried to teach a new dog old tricks? They're not that great, either...

onward

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: billybob
Date: 22 Oct 09 - 07:30 AM

Hi Jerry
your comment about being nostalgic for the present got me to thinking!
We just had a lovely weekend as you know, with Waddon Pete and other friends, this next weekend we are celebrating my little grand daughters Christening with over 50 friends and family so I have been busy all week cooking for the lunch party we will have after the church service. Among the family will be my father, age 89, my mother 86, and my daughter and sons paturnal grandmother age 99.
A wonderful family gathering where I am sure a great deal of " do you remember" will take place. But of course this sunday will be a "do you remember" in years to come for all the young people celebrating with us.A time to enjoy the moment and rejoice we are all together! Thank you Jerry!!
Last slice of Pavlova on the table.
Wendy


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 05:12 PM

Hello all,

We made scones, so help yourselves.......

(They're scones with an 'o' as in stone, not an 'o' as in gone!)

There's jam to help them along!

Enough! Jerry...you need to check your PMs!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:05 PM

I just checked and answered my PMs, Peter...

I also just threw away a package of scones (which I enjoy) because I noticed that the ones I bought were high in trans fats... I'm going to stick to skinny scones from now on.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:20 PM

Pulling out me recording equipment. I'm long overdue to make a couple of CDs. If I only had a brain.

How does that song go? hmmm....

"I can picture me, sitting on your knee, in my DVDs, aw Geez!"

Or something like that.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 08:36 PM

I am a ghostly stripper for the Library today.


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Subject: RE: Sitting At The Kitchen Table
From: oldhippie
Date: 24 Oct 09 - 09:03 PM

Re: A&W

You could just buy Breyers A&W Root Beer Float ice cream. Scoop and eat.


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