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Sunday, April 7, 2013




Sunday, 9:00 AM.  36 degrees F, wind NW, light with occasional gusts.  The barometer stands at 29.91 in., the humidity is 84% and the sky is partly cloudy and clearing rapidly.  We were hit with a mini-blizzard yesterday morning  and all day into the evening.  It was warm and wet so there was not much accumulation in town but we went out to Andy and Judy's sugar bush to see how they were doing and it was a treacherous drive, with at least four or five inches of very slippery slush and snow all the way.  We took along a pot of hamburger soup Joan had made, and as it turned out we all shared dinner with two intrepid young European visitors that wandered into our lives.
   Friedeline is from Austria and Johoness from Germany, and they had just finished an eleven month stay at a woodland survival school in Three Lakes, Wisconsin, where they lived mostly outside or in teepees and hogans and sort of survived off the land when possible by eating mice and berries (I have tried without success to find the school on the internet).  The experience was based on Ojibwa traditions but evidently no Indians were involved in the teaching.  They were very proud of some leather and beadwork they had done.  They seem to be very nice young guys who are having a hard time deciding what to do with their lives, as when I asked them what they did in "real life" they replied "this is our real life."  The school cost $7,000 apiece.  Maybe they can write a book.
   I was not surprised at their Germanic ethnicity, as Germans have been coming to America as tourists for hundreds of years, evidently fascinated by Indian life and culture.  I assume it has some deep cultural and historic roots in early Teutonic tribalism, but maybe it is just a form of wanderlust.  What I do know, from  years of working in the museum and historic restoration fields, is that people who at present see no future for themselves often become immersed  in a romanticized past. Of course the study of and even attempting to experience  the past is a legitimate field of inquiry or even pastime, but carried to extremes I believe it signifies great  personal frustration.  Anyway we fed them well and wish them luck as they return to Europe, which is in even worse economic shape that we are.

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