The Slovenian words above the little chapel at Greendale Cemetery in Sheboygan are an annual topic for generations who gather there for Memorial Day mass. “Do you know what those words mean?” an elder will ask, pointing at the stone letters and repeating them in the dialect of his childhood. My dad Mike Ognacevic was one who asked and, after a pause, proudly translated: “What you are, we were. What we are, you shall be.” It seemed like the inhabitants were speaking gently to us from the grave.
Mother’s Day roses
Small town mom” has been on my mind for a long time. The title popped into my head years ago when I was out with my big-city college kid at a funky alternative record (that’s what it said) store on Milwaukee’s East Side. The magic still moving in my brain, I stepped absently into the busy street and Jeff pulled me back to safety. The incident reminded me how much we love it when our grown children introduce me to their world. And also that, when you have a big-eyed small town perspective, you need to watch the traffic.