Friday, March 3, 2017


         YOURS—MINE—and OURS
There was a movie back in the 1960’s called “yours- Mine & Ours”. I was looking at the book in the library, the other day and, it clicked one of the memory switches in my head, and away I went with, the one thought of that movie sending me off in many different directions. Fortunately or unfortunately the thought, for the most part had nothing to do at all with the movie. 
In my day I seem to remember there were more thoughts and talk about Our home, Our son, our car and Our kids and not as much as the possessive form,  My son, My car and My kids. This may be good and it may be bad and it may be some of both, but it made me start to think about it.
Have our thoughts and actions really changed, or were they never that way and I just remember things as I want too?
I notice in kids, especially now days that everything seems to be “Mine” and “Yours” very early in their life and very little “Ours.”
Of course toddlers learn the word “mine” very early and they seem to feel everything they touch is “mine.” I think that is just a baby thing, however sometimes it hangs on well into the teens, young adults and even sometimes into Moms and Dads language and mind-set.
Is it because people have become so affluent that each person in a family can have one of his own “things”? I think or we seem to believe, that if we can afford anything we want, so why don’t each member of the family has a “thing” and then it will truly be mine and we will not have to deal with “ours.” All four or five “things” might be just exactly alike and even sit unused a good part of the time but they are “Mine.” If this is the case I guess we can say “mine”, like a toddler, and it will be true most of the time?
At this point another memory switch kicks in and reminds me that a lot of people in the 1930’s and 40’s did not have everything they wanted and often not even the things they needed.
I suppose our family was not affluent but we did have all we NEEDED. One memory I have is that my Sister and two or three of her friends used to trade clothes (Skirts, tops and shoes), for a couple of days every week, I think so they did not have to wear the same clothes to school every day. Now this might be a real CASE of Yours, Mine and Ours?
There seems to be a lot of “Stuff” in homes now days. Anyway I know there is in my home. If you are like me you don’t know what to do with it. And many times you don’t know where it came from. It is just there, it seems to belong to no one. It is just stuff, yours, mine and ours. (Mostly yours).
Then in these modern times I think most people collect stuff on their computer (Why do we say on the computer and not IN the computer?) Where did this computer “stuff” come from? Who does it belong to? Who is that Baby Picture of? I wish I knew who that old man was in that picture? That scenic picture is beautiful; I wonder where it was taken?
I don’t know about you but I have a lot of those questions that I wish I knew the answers to. In fact I am sure there is a LOT of STUFF in our computers that really are yours, mine and ours but we do not know it?   
When you get my age I hope that everyone does not start talking to and about your computer. However I also am quite sure I am not the ONLY one that does it. I even talk to mine by name—one is Myrtle and the other is Bertrude. I do not recall ever, in any of our conversations or arguments getting an answer, but at times I sure have given both of them a piece of my mind!
(Well talking about computers has caused me to digress and become
Convoluted, as they do a lot of times)
 No matter what our personality is, we at one time or another fall into the yours, mine and ours category? And of course this can cause problems. Have you ever heard these words, expressed in a VERY LOUD VOICE---------
“WHY” are you sitting in MY Chair?
“WHY” do you want MY Computer PASSWORD? I thought we decided there was no reason for us to know each others password?
“Why”, when he wins an award, is he YOUR son?
“Why” when he has an appointment with the Principal, he is MY SON?  

One liberty I have taken, without asking and without thinking if it is OK or not, is to call my Great Grand Children “MINE” every time I talk about them. Of course they are not just mine---they also have Mom’s and Dad’s, grandpa’s and Grandma’s and other grand and great grandparents. However I am possessive when I am with them, and they become “MINE.”  
W.R. Baldwin
3 March 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017


I found this several years ago and it is so much like what I feel that I decided to write it down. If I do go first perhaps someone can read it at my funeral.

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is a change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
And all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layering of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing,
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone,
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the woods where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow.
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

I do not know who wrote this but it really touched a place in my heart!

Obviously I did not go first--However I still wanted to keep this so I am adding it to my Blog. Perhaps others out there may like it.'WALLY

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Ya Doc, that is where it really hurts right under my left hand. WHAT? @%&&#((+ HOW LONG WILL IT TO TAKE TO HEAL??? I CANNOT WAIT FOR 6 WEEKS.


Cantankerous  Carl  


Thursday, January 26, 2017


               RETURN TO OUR ROOTS.

I was at a reunion to celebrate an old dead town.
It had been beaten, bulldozed and partially burned down.
But this reunion was a very strange thing you see,
There a large group of people had gathered, including me.

We gather each year to reminisce, visit and eat.
Sometimes it rains and sometimes there is heat.
We talk about being young in that old mining town,
And dream our dreams with a smile or a frown.

Why do we come to talk about our “Roots,”
Especially since most of us have become “Old Coots.”
Some of us just sit there and mumble and stare
And some don’t remember much, but we do not care.

Why do we want to dream of a night or a day,
In places long ago that we did work and play?
We want to go back to see if it is the same,
But we know before we get there it will never be the same.

Some of us are wrinkled, old and sagging it seems,
But we still come to our reunion to renew our dreams.
To return to our roots is natural it seems,
As we look at that town that has turned into dreams.

Most of our memories are of good times it seems.
At least that is what happens when I have my dreams.
Some were born there, schooled there, and married a wife
And they tell everyone about that “good” small town life.

Some married and moved to some other places,
But at reunion time they return with smiling faces.
Will we grieve forever for our friends and our town.
At our reunion, there are smiles, but hardly a frown.

It is sad to know that towns are not like that anymore,
Where you could leave for a week and not lock your door.
Your neighbor took care of your place, just fine.
And I took care of his just like he did mine.

Some married spouses from towns that were nearby.
But many were from our town under that blue, blue sky.
When we have to leave that town, many did grieve,
For the town and the people who they did not want to leave.

Of course things never stay the same I suppose,
The last time I was there, I saw a yellow rose,
Growing in a fence line where I used to play.
I wonder if it knew I would come back some day?

Life is not the same without my wife and my friends,
But I am trying to enjoy life until the very end.
Someone once told me that to reminisce was a gift.
But I have to start fast or my mind starts to drift----

And my reminiscing turns quickly into a dream---
             AS I HAVE MY DAILY NAP

26 Jan 2017 

Thursday, January 19, 2017


The elderly man and his sister were sitting in a restaurant. They were almost finished with their lunch and were using up some time, just talking & visiting.

Every once in a while the man would snicker or give a little quiet laugh. Then he snickered once and pointed to a couple of ladies (about 40 years old), who were sitting in a booth behind them. After giggling a couple of times he whispered, pointing to them, and said “listen to that, it sounds like us.”

Just as he said that, the Blond in the booth (Pat, we found out her name 
Later) said, “So how are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?” Her friend Carol said she was doing just great and had kept almost every one so far. She congratulated her for her effort and then asked her how she was doing with her drinking habit? Carol told her of course that was the one resolution she had a problem with. She said, I made it for six days, but then I just gave up. I really enjoy it and I don’t think it really hurts anything.  You know they are always testing to find out if it really hurts anything with your health. I don’t think one or two a day hurts anything?

Their neighbors had changed the subject so he and his sister just visited and sipped on their drinks. Every once in a while they would snicker or grin about something the neighbors in the booth behind them said.

Then Pat commented, “Helen says she quit ‘cold turkey’ and it has been fourteen days now since we all decided to quit, and she says she can’t understand why we waited so long, because she feels great now? Then she put her hand up beside her mouth, in a kind of ‘fake whisper’ and said, “I am not so sure that Helen always tells the truth,”

Pat made the comment that the thing that really ‘bugs’ her is when she goes to the fridge to get something else and she opens the door  and there one of them sits. It looks like it was waiting to tempt me. If I really wanted to listen I’ll bet it would say, Oohh come on, just one will not hurt.

Carol---Ya if you go out to lunch, what do you drink, water is so passé.

Pat---I thought it was unusual for my mouth to water, every time I see one of those things, and even sometimes when I just think about them. I decided to ask around and almost everyone said that ya, it affected them the same way!

Well the two ladies finished their lunch and left, probably still wondering if Helen always told the truth?

The elderly couple soon left also, commenting that they had received their entertainment for the day. After they got in their car and buckled up he said. “You know listening to them is almost like listening to a couple of addicts.”

Sister--- laughed and said Ya, did you ever have a hard time giving the stuff up
Brother--- No I have never had a hard time. Whenever I wanted to quit, I just did it! I’ll bet I quit 50 times or more last year. I guess one thing that really does bother me is when I want one at 10:30 at night. Usually I have quit a few days ago and there is not one in the house. Well I have to put my coat and shoes on and make a 7-11 run.

It is not because I really NEED one it is just because I WANT one and they taste SO GOOD!

W.R. Baldwin
18 January 2017

Monday, January 16, 2017




The first three “Littles” were born about five months apart.
Grandma snuggled two before she did depart.
They were full of wiggles, like most “Littles” are.
To quiet them, they went for a ride in the car. 

It was only a short time until two more came on by.
And Grandpa wanted to hold them, so he gave it a try.
A tear rolled down his cheek, he said I have something in my eye. 
Could holding your Great Grand Kids cause you to cry?

Their group name has become "The Little's" it seems.
They grow so fast, sometimes I think they are just dreams.
Great Grandpa, ponders sometimes, how time goes so slow,
But changes his mind, when he sees how fast the "greats" grow. 


We have a get together every now and then.
The only way to control the “Littles” would be in a pen.
They run and they jump, they yell and they scream.
Is this really happening, or is it a dream?

Then I think back one generation and it was the same,
And I remember the teen ager’s as along they came.
Then one generation more become Mom’s and Dad’s.
It goes on and on, it never stops, and I am glad.

It is fun to watch personalities change with age,
As they get older you may not need to have a cage.
They do not seem to have an identified BOSS,
A Director perhaps, but not usually cross.

It is strange how each one is so different it seems?
There is the fixer, the sharer and one who has dreams.
There is always the pusher, who pushes Mom and Dad,
The attention craver, the shy one and one who never gets Mad.

Life goes on, and so do the Little’s
The next generation will hold them and tell riddles.
The “Little’s” will have “Littles” but I will be gone.
I hope I can still watch them as they play on the lawn.

16 Jan 2017
WR Baldwin

Sunday, January 8, 2017


The old man had just pulled up and parked at the Duck Pond. He had been out to pick up his McDonald’s Gourmet Breakfast and his newspaper and came back to the Duck Pond. He had parked and walked across the bridge and settled onto a picnic table to have breakfast and read the paper. A lot of people have given up on the daily newspaper and quit home delivery, but he just had not been able to make that cut, with the good old days. As he told everyone that asked, “I just like to hold it in my hands and absorb it while I read it.”

As I said he had just got settled in, and he looked up and saw a young guy, about 20 or so walking across the bridge toward him. As he got within a few yards of him he said, “Do you mind if I sit here?” The old man answered that, no he did not mind at all and it was nice to have someone else around. However ‘deep down’ he wondered why he chose to sit there as the park was almost empty.

The old man dug out his McDonald's sack to have his usual gourmet breakfast and the young man started breaking of a slice of bread to feed the ducks and geese.

The two of them sat there on opposite sides and opposite ends of the bench, just doing their thing. Then the young man looked up and said.”Do you come here often?” The old man told him that, yes he did come quite often when it was nice weather.

He had never seen the young guy around before, but since he had opened the conversation the old man asked him if he was from around here? He told him no, he had only been in the city a few days and that it was nice to have someone to talk to.

The old man told him his name was William, but most people just called him ‘Bill’. He also told him it was nice to have company, as he was usually out in the morning alone. The young guy told Bill that his name was Carl and that he liked his name so he never had got a “nickname”.
Well they chatted a little while, and Bill told Carl that he was retired, and Carl said, “Ya I figured that.” They chatted for a while longer and Carl told Bill that he was 23 and that when he was about 20 he had a big ‘dust-up’ with his dad and proceeded to tell him that he did not need him, or anything he had. He grabbed his jacket, his bank book and his back pack. He slammed the door and took off down the street. That was three years and he had not seen or talked to anyone in his family since.

He told Bill that he thought it was great when it happened. In that few minutes while he lost his temper, he had decided to, travel the country, maybe the world, and maybe work when he had to and just enjoy life.

Bill, who had a whole lifetime of experience to fall back on asked Carl. “And how has that worked out for you so far?’

Bill got the feeling that Carl did not want to talk about it, but after sitting and looking at the ground for a while, he said, “Well it went great for about three months. Then I woke up one morning and realized I was really hungry. I did not have a job and had not been able to get one and I only had a few dollars in my pocket. I Had thought I would be able to get a job anytime I wanted to, if I was not picky, but I found out that was not the case.(I think partly because of the way my clothes looked, and partly that I still had MY ATTITUDE.)

Carl went on to say that he had stayed in the Seattle, Washington area for a while and gradually learned the ‘rules of the road’ so to speak. That was one of the things that caused problems with my Dad and me. I guess I thought I would like the rules of the road, better than the rules at HOME. I stayed in Seattle for over a year and although I had a couple of jobs I gradually realized they were dead end jobs. I also realized at that time that I should have finished school.

That was another thing that caused the dust-up with my Dad. I did not like him telling me what to do all the time. Unfortunately it took a long time for me to realize he was telling me these things for my sake and not for his.

When I left home during my boiling temper tantrum, all I wanted to do was hurt him and show him I really did not need him. The sad think that I now realize is that he only wanted what he thought was best for me. Of course he never wanted to hurt me.

Almost all at the same time we realized on both of us that we had been talking for well over a couple of hours and what was really strange was we were chatting away like we were old friends.

They both stood up and Bill asked Carl if he could give him a ride to someplace. Carl told him no thanks, that is my rental bike chained to that post right over there and it gets me almost any place I want to go.

Carl started for his bike and Bill for his car, probably both with a lot of questions on their minds. Just before Bill got to his car, his new found friend, Carl, called to him and asked if he thought he might be here tomorrow? Bill yelled that yes he thought he would and they both took off in different directions.

Of course the next morning they both showed up at the Duck Park. Carl was a little late, and Bill thought he was not going to show up. However when he got there he held up a McDonald sack and he told Bill that he had stopped to get breakfast to eat with him.

They sat down by each other and Carl said, “Before we talk I want you to know how much I enjoyed our visit yesterday and I also want to tell you something I did not tell you yesterday.”

Bill also told Carl that he really enjoyed talking to him yesterday and he almost felt like they were old friends.

Well Carl started off, “for the last month or so I have been going to a counselor to try and get my life back in order, and perhaps I can go back home to my family. About two weeks ago my counselor asked me if I had anyone in the area that I knew quite well and that I felt like I could talk to?” I really felt bad when I had to tell him that “No, I did not. He told me that I needed to find someone to talk to besides him.

Well I had been thinking about it for a few days, before I went for a bike ride and saw you sitting by yourself at the Duck Park. A thought went through my mind, “he is all alone and I am all alone, maybe I should stop and talk to him.

Well that is when I came over and sat down by you, and I was scared to death that you would just ignore me or get up and move. But you did not, and when I left I felt closer to you than with anyone I had met since I left home. 

I got thinking about it last night and decided that perhaps you were the person my counselor wanted me to find, that I could trust and talk to also.

They talked for several hours, Carl telling Bill how tough life has been since he left home and how he really wanted to go back, but could not quite decide how to do it. And Bill trying to reinforce the fact that he did not think it would be as hard as he had built it up in his mind.

During their talk several things came up. Carl had told Bill that he realized the problem with his Dad was a two-sided thing, but he was not sure that even after three, or maybe because it HAD been three years that his Dad would feel like he did not want to let him come back.

At that point Bill had done something that he had wanted to do ever since they net. He asked if Carl was a Christen. Carl told him that he was pretty sure he was, but he had not been to Church since he was a teen ager.  Bill then asked him he had a Bible. He told him that there were a lot of them in the place he was staying. Bill told Carl that he did not want to push it but if he would read in the Bible LUKE 15:11-32, The Story of the Prodigal Son, tonight, that he would get the answer as to how his Dad would receive him when he decided to go home.

I guess they both thought they had talked long enough, as they both stood up at the same time. Carl remembered that Bill was going to lunch with his Sister the next day, but he asked him to make sure and indeed that was the case.

They shook hands and Bill wanted to give him a big bear-hug but he was not sure how that would be received so he decided not to.

Carl seemed to become more serious, and said to Bill. “I would like to ask two favors of you. If you don’t want to do them it is OK. 1. I have a favorite Aunt who lives in St. George, who I have not seen for years. If I give you her phone number would you call her and tell her you have met me and that I am doing just fine. 2: Would you be willing to share your telephone number with me in case everything works out OK, and I can call and tell you? I know we have only known each other a few days but I feel you are the closest person I know right at this time.

Bill said of course he would do both of the things he wanted. He then explained he thought it would be better for him to call his Aunt, as it would be much more personal. Carl explained he knew that and he is working up to doing that, but that he was not quite there yet. 

Carl peddled off to his room on his bike and Bill hobbled over and crawled into his Trail Blazer and headed to what he had started calling his Big Empty House. Although it is neither of those right now. It is moderate and comfortable and I am still there.

Just a few thoughts about the Prodigals, that have passed through Bill’s mind since that meeting a few years ago:
:The two Prodigals (Biblical & Modern) left home for the same or similar reasons.
:Both were happy to be gone at first, but the longer they were gone the worse it became, until they both wanted to be back home.
:I am not sure about the modern day prodigal, but I hope his return called for a celebration.
:It took effort for the Prodigals to get to a position where they wanted to go back home.
:It took effort and faith on the whole family—and an explanation from the Father.


8 January 2017