by Mary Ellen Ryall
I am dependent upon technology to keep producing my work. Lately, I have been thinking that I must start publishing my articles on-line. It would allow my completed essays to get published more quickly. I am starting to realize; I don’t have that much time left to create. I am 71 and will be 72 on April 30, 2017.
This week I was knocked down with technology problems. I wasn’t able to open Dropbox or Office. I couldn’t create documents. I tried everything. Two days later, I woke up today thinking perhaps I haven’t been shutting down the computer right?
My husband used to tell me, “Shut down the computer.” He also said it would get rid of any problems. Well, even now from the other side, I believe that he told me exactly what to do. I held the off button down for a duration of time, and the computer finally did shut down. I think what I was doing before was hibernating the computer when I shut down. I am grateful!
I bought Adobe PDF Pack. I want to convert the files to PDF so that they will be copyright protected. People can print pages, but not be able to make changes. Do you know how I feel? I am rejoicing that my batteries are recharged. I will start to publish my work online on WordPress at
It was a humid, rain-soaked summer morning. My dog Tia and I went for a walk on a dirt road near our home in the village of Minong, Wisconsin. No one used the road, and we had the woodlands and prairie all to ourselves, just the way we liked it. Problems disappeared when we were out in nature. The sun glistened, and occasionally small agate stones smiled back from the steamy earth. I stooped to pick one up and pocketed the tiny red gem.
Tia decided to go adventuring. Looking into a prairie, I saw my dog’s white-tipped tail waving in tall native grasses kissed by dewdrops. She looked up as if checking on me. After seeing me, Tia went back to frolicking. After awhile, she returned to my side. We heard the sweet song of chick-a-dees in Jack pine trees. The birds were enjoying tree nuts and insects. We heard their Thanksgiving song. I knew that milkweed grew in a nearby field, and we went over to investigate and to see if any life was astir after the rain.
Bending down, I look on the underside of the milkweed leaves and saw a monarch caterpillar sleeping under the protection of the soft green roof. Rainbow-colored water drops dripped from its back, and still, the caterpillar slumbered. Did it dream that soon this part of its life would end? Soon the caterpillar would change into a pupa, and then a beautiful monarch butterfly. Did the butterfly come to tell us that we too would be transformed and emerge into a new form?
Sadly, Tia passed away in the fall, and my life changed dramatically and forever. I became an executive director of a nonprofit public charity, Happy Tonics, that implemented sanctuary for the monarch butterfly. My name was given to me by Dr. John “Little Bird” Anderson. In Ojibwe, I am called Memengwaaikwe, which means Butterfly Woman. Looking back on this rain-drenched morning, I know my life was transformed forever, just as the tiny messenger foretold.
NOTE: Notice of John “Little Bird” Anderson’s obituary is at http://www.pineviewfuneralservice.com/home/obituary/3808530
Photos: Tia and Dr. John “Little Bird” Anderson