Ron’s Ramblings – a new blog

by Jim Dittmann
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Ron’s Ramblings

Observations and Conversations

Ron’s Ramblings is a conversation, a one sided conversation mind you, but a conversation all the same about things that I find fascinating or interesting or unusual or just something noticed during this wonderful journey of life that I want to share with you.

By Ron Wilkie

2020 is down to its final 5 plus weeks, seems like it can’t end soon enough. Here are some things we should have been more thankful for in the past, but didn’t know we would need to be…Dining at a restaurant or frequenting our favorite bar, shaking hands, hugging, walking around with your face exposed… and entertaining the family for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I know, I know…some of you are still doing all these things. However, there was a time not so long ago that none of these things would be controversial in any way. I miss the days when the worst thing that the media was trying frighten us about was tainted Romaine lettuce…

Differing authoritative reactions to the COVID19 pandemic has resulted in all of these topics and more splitting families, friends and workplaces across the world. To mask or not to mask, open up or shut down business, which businesses stay open, which close, which are open but with restrictions. Every nation is handling this differently, states within our union are handling this differently, counties and towns within states are handling things differently. Where we live there is currently a large spike of infections. People are at odds with each other.

What’s my opinion? Doesn’t matter what my thoughts are. I’m no expert. What do we do? We wear our masks when inside with people we do not live with, we do social distancing and stay home much more than we used to. Plus, we take a daily regimen of vitamins and supplements to strengthen our immune systems.

Daily we take vitamins D, C and B, we take zinc with a zinc ionophore called quercetin and one baby aspirin. SARS CO-V 2 is a blood attacking virus, Pulmonary Embolisms and other blood related problems are a huge risk. The aspirin thins the blood a little to help if you do get the virus. Getting zinc into the cells will deter the virus from entering your cells and if you are infected zinc will stop the virus from reproducing its RNA into our cells. However, our cells do not want to absorb zinc easily, that’s where the ionophore comes in, it carries the zinc into your cells.

How does this work for us? So far, so good. The moment we heard about this odd virus in China near the end of January, Beth went to work investigating the virus. There is a wealth of information out there. Her favorite is who issue daily updates on the virus. I’m thankful that a very bright medical professional loves me. We are thankful for good health and continue to try to protect it.

Seldom do we visit our favorite restaurants and bars, plus our beloved Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre Fine Arts Center (That’s a mouthful!). We have not seen an indoor live performance of any kind in person since March 7, 2020 just before Governor Evers locked down the state of Wisconsin. I do remember the show; Beth and I went with our buddy Trevor to see Charlie Berens (the Manitowoc Minute guy) at the Waterloo Firemen’s Hall for a fund-raising show. Afterward we went to Ooga Brewery and have only occasionally been back since.

 One thing to be thankful for; the lockdowns are saving us a great deal of discretionary funds because we dine, imbibe and entertain mostly at home now. We feel bad for our favorite local entertainment business owners. Now the home bar is stocked to the gills and we burn much more firewood than we did in past years because bonfires and our fireplace brings us joy.

There has been no shortage of death for us since last Thanksgiving. The Must-ski waterski team lost two valuable and loved members Andy Parbs and Tom Stebbins; Andy to cancer and Tom to a tragic accident. BDACT lost a beloved volunteer and show producer Sheri Born to cancer. My writing idol, BDACT founding member and all around awesome human being Roger VanHaren was lost to cancer. One of my favorite former business partners whom I shared the 9/11/01 tragedy day with died of a heart attack. My father passed suddenly on October 18, two days before his sister Verna lost her battle with dementia. Beth recently lost one of her cousins just a few days ago. While we grieve the loss, we also are thankful to have known them.

It would be easy to say there was little to be thankful for in 2020, but that’s not true. Beth and I are quite thankful that we frequently made the 500 mile, 8 hour one way trip to see my parents the last few years. Dad was always a storyteller and Beth was great at asking him questions that drew out some stories that I’d never heard before. Like my grandfather hauling a cabin 20 miles with one horse and building it up to a home for the family’s first real home in southwest Iowa. Like dad wanting my grandmother’s home to have electricity, so he bought a DIY book and wired her home after he returned home from Okinawa Japan after his tour of duty for the Army Air Force. That’s something to be thankful for.

Mom and Beth and I walked through the process of saying goodbye to dad from the mortuary to the service and all of the administrative items that need to be taken care of when someone dies. The three of us were in concert during the entire process and that made the saddest task something to be thankful for. There is still much to do, and Thanksgiving weekend will give us another opportunity to share more post dad work around mom’s home.

Having Beth’s mom and dad live with us this year and getting to know each other and learning from each other is something to be thankful for. Due to COVID19 fears we learned how to protect each other from the virus. Allen is a reader and frequently reads aloud. I enjoy that. During lent, we couldn’t attend mass, he would handle our homebound masses every day during Holy week. That’s something to be truly grateful for.

I’m also thankful for finishing a Master of Science in Management degree from my alma mater Bellevue University. Graduation ceremonies will be the weekend of January 29 and 30, 2021 in Omaha. I’m considering continuing my education for a PhD. Yes, you can call me Dr. Ron.

We are both thankful for our jobs, we know that we are lucky.

We feel blessed regardless of what is going on out there or in our home. It seems every year that Beth and I knock of one or two bucket list items. To be fair, my bucket list is not extravagant. We managed to knock one of mine off the list this year. There would have been two items, but the Eagles with Vince Gill had to be moved out to 2021 thanks to COVID19. The item I was able to check off was visiting Yellowstone National Park. Three days in the park, two of them with a wonderful tour guide named Mike at Yellowstone Wonders. We highly recommend Mike.

Be thankful for those in your life. I’m so thankful that we have spent more time with our parents.

Treat each day as it is…The Precious Present. Every day is a gift, at any moment it can end for any one of us. Make the most of it…and be grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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