How I Met Kevin Bacon

About 200 people, many of them with their dogs, participated in a very warm and humid 5K race/walk for Friends of the Shelter last Saturday. My friend, Dan, and Dora and I were among them. As you can imagine, Dora really strutted her stuff as we passed many of the slower walkers. And I’m very pleased to say that after being mostly sedentary this summer following my spinal fusion, we walked the 3.1 miles in an hour. Our official time was a little longer than that, because we stopped twice for water and once to meet a pet pig named Kevin Bacon. I had petted pigs at the State Fair, but never had I met one on a fund-raiser walk. He was a very placid fellow, and his human was quite willing to answer all our questions. Kevin was a rescue. Who woulda thunk?

My thanks to Dan for sponsoring me and for accompanying Dora and me on the walk. Get ready Dan. Our victory in completing that walk has only whetted our appetite for more walks around town.

Mary Hiland

Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at


Summer Rain Soothes the Soul

Listening to the rain has always brought peace to my soul. Fond memories of being a kid, lying on the feather bed at my grandmother’s house and listening to the patter of the big fat rain drops on her roof linger, even now, so many decades later. Whenever lightening strikes close to where I am, my memory immediately takes me back to a summer afternoon at my grandma’s. We all were crowded around the front screen door, watching the show in the sky and trying not to act scared out of our wits when the thunder cracked suddenly, seemingly right in the front yard. In truth, that afternoon, it actually did. The old oak tree in the front yard was scarred by the lightening, and the car in the driveway was lifted right off the ground. no damage to the house was done, but the rest of the storms that summer weren’t quite as fun. That day, we learned that lightening could be dangerous and very frightening. No wonder dogs tremble and hide under the bed. God gave them the sense to get to a safe place. The rest of that afternoon and for years to come, we reminisced about the day the lightening struck so close. Even so, a favorite summer pass time was watching a thunder storm from the safety of the front porch, until an especially loud and surprisingly cloase thunder clap sent us squealing into the house. We peered out the windows and were awed by how dark the sky had become, as if it were midnight.. Then when the storm moved on, and the darkness lifted, we rolled up our pants and ran out to the street for a special game reserved for downpours in the city. Memories of playing with home made paper boats in the gutters in front of my own house are treasures. Even city kids could enjoy the wonders of nature.

Today, when it “rains right down,” as my family used to say, I forget about the air conditioning, and open the front door. I love to hear the rain as it pommels the earth. I call Dora over to the door to enjoy the smell of the rain, but she is not impressed. She correctly guesses that there will be no game of fetch out in the yard today, so she ambles over to her favorite place to nap while I write. Thanks for letting me share a memory or two with you. I’d love to hear your memories of summer rain.

Mary Hiland

Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at

A Poem I Understand

Poetry is not my thing, because most of the time, I don’t get it. But I just had to share one that was recently posted on a list called Behind Our Eyes. Here’s what I wrote to the author.

This was one of the most thoughtful and relevant poems I have read in a long time. It’s sad to think of the inconsiderate and waistful ways we have used up God’s creation without thought of preserving its beauty and life.

My apologies to Leonard for removing the blank lines, but I needed to try to make it fit in a smaller space. My apology to you the reader for making it 2 pages, but I hope you read all the way to the end, because I think that’s the best part. What do you think?

Legacy, by Leonard Tuchyner

I am a space time wanderer,

looking for a place to dwell —

a land of prairie grasses —

verdant, shadowed woodlands —

rushing, tumbling crystal streams

flowing to ponds and lakes,

abounding with fish and fowl,

living oceans vast as skies,

that twinkle with firmament

in dark of sacred nights,

and rains to wash all anew.

“Go, my son,” my father said.

“Travel where my time is done,

and take this land in times to come.

The future belongs to you alone.”

In gratitude and expectation,

I mounted my waiting flying steed,

who carried me through passing years,

swiftly on his timeless wings;

so quickly I could not perceive

the landscapes changing under me.

When the sweeping Sun and stars

cease their pinwheel streaking swirl,

I look down upon a wasted world,

where forests once stood, a burned-out grit

festooned with stunted plants and bugs —

prairies silent of beating hooves —

deserts sweltering in heat of night —

wormed-out mountains of barren rock —

streams and lakes, long now, oily dead —

oceans reek with the smell of death,

in embrace of a torrid wind.

I scream out to the sickened land,

“What, in God’s name, has happened to you?”

And Earth answers in gasping breath,

“Your father took faster than I could give.”

Mary Hiland

Author of “The Bumpy Road to Assisted Living A Daughter’s Memoir”

Available at