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It’s all about water that won’t whistle and other stuff

June 6, 2010
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

Water won't whistle.

It may whet your whistle, but it won't actually whistle. At least, I couldn't make it whistle.

Not water spread out in a pan or the sink, but water bottled up for drinking. I couldn't make that whistle. I couldn't blow into the neck of the bottle and get a train whistle in return. Whooo-whoo.

I'm thinking serendipity had a lot to do with this useless discovery. Seren-dipity. When you run into something fortunate while looking for something entirely unrelated.

While looking for answers to why - or if - water won't whistle, I started thinking about the first time I blew into a bottle and heard the whistle. I'd seen somebody do it, then waited until the next time I got my hands on a bottle of 7-Up at my grandmother's house and practiced blowing.

And thinking of Grandma Freida, I thought of my folks and growing up on the farm northeast of Vincent and how much I loved those days. Families did a lot of visiting in those days.

Just before Memorial Day, my sister and I and our husbands went out to the Vincent Township cemetery to visit Mom and Dad and a bunch of old friends, and we decided to go visiting. We stopped to see Leland and Mary Dencklau, who now live on the farm Bud and Lydia Dencklau lived on so many years ago.

What a kick. We were sitting in the yard talking, when Leland suddenly jumped up and ran to our van to slam the doors shut. "It will be filled with flies," he said when he got back.

Such a nice thing to do, I thought, until we left and I realized he had waited until every fly on the farm had flown into the van, then quickly shut the doors to keep them there.

It's been well over a week, and there are still a few flies that sneak out of hiding when I'm driving and buzz my head to make me nuts.

Little does he know I'm swatting those flies and saving them in a bucket and will return them to him for burial.

Speaking of burial, a Vincent friend, Bob Ekstrom, was buried Wednesday morning. Tuesday's wake was like being at church in Vincent, where I had actually been that morning. See how everything wraps around itself?

At the church, South Enes Lutheran, I looked at my confirmation picture, which included Kathleen Hofmann and Dean Ekstrom, Mary Sampson, Denny and Mark Christenson, Terri Cramer and Donna Wagner.

Kathleen and Dean, both cousins of Bob Ekstrom, and I were in the same Sunday school class for as long as I remember. That's second grade, but we maybe were together earlier than that and I don't remember. Both Kathleen and Dean were at the wake, so I almost got my quota of hugs for the day.

They say you need four hugs a day to survive. I got a hug from Kent Ekstrom, who stood near his brother's casket, and from Dean and Kathleen. I held onto her long enough for two hugs, so that really makes four.

I'm feeling good for the hugs, sad for the funeral but still confused about why water won't whistle.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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