Iowa State Map Cribbage Board Size Matters?

I wrote most of this post while waiting for our internet service to reconnect, which it finally did.  I’m pretty sure the wintry mix ice caused the outage night before last.

Despite the icy conditions yesterday, our Iowa State map cribbage board was delivered. One of the first things Sena said about it was, “I thought it would be bigger.”

This triggered a couple of memories. When we were on one of the tours around New York City in 2017, someone remarked on the size of the Ball in Times Square that drops on New Year’s Eve, saying it was smaller than she thought it would be. Apparently, this was the tour guide’s cue to deliver a few well-rehearsed jokes about size that all related to a man’s penis size—which I am not in the least sensitive about at all in any way, shape, form or size. Can we talk about the weather, please?

The other memory is the Men in Black II scene in which Agents K and J are grilling Frank the talking alien Pug about the whereabouts of The Galaxy (which is the best source of subatomic energy in the universe), which was small enough to fit inside a thumbnail-size jewel attached to the collar of a cat. While shaking Frank vigorously, Agent K demands that Frank tell him where The Galaxy is.

Anyway, the Iowa map cribbage board is smaller than our Jumbo board, but it’s a little bigger than the 29 board.

It’s made by D&D Custom Laser Designs. The name is lasered on a little cover which fits over the storage hole for the 4 wooden cribbage pegs. Below the name is “Custom Made & Designed in Randall MN, USA; In Loving Memory of Kevin Deick, Creator and Co-founder.”

I saw one review of the board on the web in which the reviewer expressed doubt that the maker knew anything about cribbage because the description indicates that it includes a pre-installed hanger so it can be used as a wall hanging. The hanger doesn’t interfere with it being used to play cribbage and the board even has small rounded feet in all four corners so you can set it on a table. And it does include pegs.

You can see the names of major and even small cities, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and major highways. It reminds me of places we’ve been and what we did in those places. We haven’t played a game on it yet, but we plan to make a video of that in the near future and post it on YouTube.

The Iowa cribbage board came wrapped in something we usually don’t see. It was a crumpled-up issue of a local newspaper in Minnesota. The board itself is made in Randall, Minnesota. The newspaper is the January 30, 2022 issue of the Morrison County Record.

I haven’t read a regular newspaper in a long time. The Morrison County Record has a lot of the features I remember from several newspapers like the Des Moines Register and the Globe Gazette (Mason City). I noticed a large column in a section titled “Religion.” I can’t remember the last time I saw a newspaper column like that. The title of the column was “In times like these we turn with trust to God,” with the caption Inspirational Message with a small drawing of a church and the byline was Tim Sumner, evidently the pastor of River of Hope Ministries, Little Falls. So, this newspaper was published in a place called Little Falls in Minnesota.

Little Falls is about 10 miles southeast of Randall.

Anyway, Pastor Sumner (I don’t know if that’s his title, but I’m hoping it’s safe to assume that) wrote what could be given as a Sunday sermon. Because this issue of the Morrison County Record was used as wrapping paper, I had to hold the ripped pieces of it together to read it. The link to the whole sermon on the web is here.

One quote from Sumner:

Today, we regularly face situations that bring us to a place of not knowing how we will get through, how we can survive. The future can look very bleak when we try to predict what will happen and we try to manipulate people and things to do what we think is best. And without trusting in the faithfulness of God to bring us through these situations, the future is bleak.

I have not thought about God in a very long time, but when I was a child, I read the Bible a lot. And I remember the pastor of our church, Reverend Glen Bandel, who was my family’s hero when he took care of mother when she was very sick, and welcomed us in their home when times were bad. Mason City’s local newspaper, the Globe Gazette ran a brief story about his life and ministry when he turned 90 years old a few years ago. You can read it once before the web site requires you to subscribe. It won’t tell you even a tenth of what I and most people feel about his kindness, courage, and wisdom. He has a heart the size of a galaxy.

The population of Randall, Minnesota is 625, and the population of Little Falls is 8,664 (as of 2019). Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re not important.

Thoughts on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

I got up at around 3:30 AM this morning, unable to get back to sleep. It was mainly because of the current crisis in Ukraine. Russia has invaded Ukraine. I wonder if many of us will remember where we were and what we were doing when we found out that Russia invaded Ukraine? For us, it was sometime around 9:30 last night. I was listening to the light classical music channel on TV in our living room when Sena came up from downstairs where she had been watching the news and told me about it.

I switched to the TV news and saw two reporters, one based in the U.S. connected as part of the broadcast with another in Kyiv reporting on the shelling of the city. The reporter in Ukraine kept looking back over her shoulder at the city. She seemed distracted and distressed. The other reporter, based in the U.S., asked irritably, “What do the bombs sound like?” as though he were unhappy with her account of what was going on. She replied, just as irritably, “They’re loud!” I think she wanted to also say (as I did in my mind), “They sound like bombs and they’re scary; what do you think bombs sound like?”

I listend to various reporters talk about the attack. One of them commented that President Biden had said there would be no American soldiers actively engaging in combat in Ukraine. If they did, it would be “World War III.”

I thought of the other post I’d written for today. It’s just about a cribbage board in the shape of the state of Iowa that we got from Minnesota the day before yesterday. It came wrapped in a newspaper, probably the whole issue published about a month ago by the Morrison County Record in a town called Little Falls.

We just thought it was unusual that the cribbage board was shipped wrapped in newspaper; usually it’s those Styrofoam packing peanuts or bubble wrap. But this was like getting something from a friend or a family member who used the only thing handy to pack a gift.

I didn’t just toss the newspaper wrapping in the garbage, mainly because I enjoy reading actual printed material including books and newspapers. I was curious about it and so I found the article “In times like these” which I also described in the other post today, which is partly about a cribbage board in the shape of the state of Iowa. The article is a sermon, written by a local clergyman, Tim Sumner.

In it he talks about how difficult things are nowadays, that people are more divisive than he has ever seen. He mentioned the pandemic as a major contributor, but it’s easy to see how it could be applied more broadly now that major world powers seem to be moving toward war to feed what seems to be a hunger for empire-building.

Sumner, in accordance with his role as a clergyman, counsels us to turn to God. In view of the talk of World War III, it’s hard to disagree. Sumner asks, “Can things get worse?” It looks like it can.

I could find a lot of cribbage boards in the shape of single states in America. I could even find one of Middle Earth, believe it or not. But I couldn’t find one in the shape of the whole United States of America. Why?

Sumner writes,

It is “our understanding” that gets in the way. The way we see things is from our perspective. We want things our way. We don’t want to have to go through difficult times. We want life to be easy.

Maybe that’s true. He says trusting God is the way to respond to this. We could do that. And while we’re waiting for God to respond to us, what else could we do?

%d bloggers like this: