Ulmer: Life is a wonder-filled gift

Ulmer: Life is a wonder-filled gift


My first notes indicate that I was gonna send off another missile about Trump but then swarms of swallows swooping through the trees of our yard out here in the wilds of Tschida convinced me that there are more important things to attend to.

I’m typing this note on the Sunday before Memorial Day, its 52 degrees and a welcome but chilly mist has made it a good indoor lake day. Presently there are four people snuggled into the sofa watching "Back to the Future 3." There were two dogs wedged in there somewhere but they wanted out so I let them out when I came in. One person is in her bedroom napping and there is another up in the garage overhauling a jet ski.

It’s approaching cocktail time and the plan at this juncture is to fry up the fish we caught yesterday. I say we because Abe and I left the cabin to chase the big ones on the mud flats where the Heart River feeds the lake. We caught a couple dozen fish and since we don’t keep anything under 14 inches, none of them were keepers.

However later that day Tristan, Ben and Abe went on the hunt and came back with a limit of keepers but since they put ribs on the grill they filleted them for tonight which is last Sunday to you but, once again I digress.

This section of our tribe hasn’t seen each other since before schools closed and there’s still one grandkid that I haven’t seen yet but he’s supposed to be coming out this week which is long after I’ve sent this to print. So I’d like to say, “Hello Brock!” look forward to seeing you. Evidently one digression is too many but a thousand ain’t enough.

So the movie ended, I have no idea where the dogs are, someone’s got their nose in the fridge, the parents don’t seem like they can get up, and I’m still typing, so back to the swallows.

Over the years I’ve tried to describe how beautiful Mother Nature is this time of year. Lush seems pale, colorful seems thin, breathtaking gets close, refreshing maybe, invigorating. I’m not sure if I’ve ever just written down "friggin’ amazing," but that’s how I feel this year.

Bushes have bloomed tiny white, pink and yellow blossoms. It looks like a banner year for chokecherries and other wild fruits. All sorts of bugs have hatched causing the annual cacophony of birds to arise around 5 a.m. to see how many of their friends made it through another night.

You name the bird it’s been around here somewhere either plucking bugs and such from the lawn or swooping the bay scooping up their weight in bugs. Each bird has its own routine; swallows are master swoopers, wrens chirp the most, ducks and geese like to show off their latest broods by herding them up the calmness of our bay, eagles occasionally snatch a fish, vultures the master fliers just soar until something appetizing appears, pelicans' beaks can hold more than their belly can but most folks don’t know how the hell they can.

Sorry about that digression so let’s wrap this up. Life is a wonder-filled gift and the best present we can give back to our maker is to do all we can to leave the world filled with more smiles than frowns. As I look around the room out here in the wilds of Tschida, I feel enveloped by love and that’s really all there is. Life is good. Gotta go fry up some fish.

Dan Ulmer is a parent, grandparent, as well as a retired teacher, counselor, politician, lobbyist, public employee, nonprofit executive and opinionated citizen who believes that we need to do what we can to leave the world better off than we found it.


Catch the latest in Opinion

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News