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Thursday, March 18, 2021

Bertha strikes again.

Regular readers of this blog might remember that Bertha sent me $27 a while ago along with a heart-warming letter filled with advice -- including getting a girlfriend.

Wednesday, I received a call from Laura Berlage who writes a wonderful column for The Sawyer County Record about life on the their family farm.

Laura and I hadn't talked yet so there some introductory salutations and then Laura told me a story.

She and her husband had received a letter from Bertha in Bloomington that included a letter -- and $27.

"Praise the Lord for your column in the Sawyer Record," she wrote to Laura. "A delightful chap from Bloomington - IN - is the new editor of the Record."

Bertha goes on to write some things about me. Then she gets to the money.

"Mr. Jackson is a wonderful gentleman. He does like to eat. The enclosed token is a gift toward a meal at your establishment."

Then today, Laura's parents delivered two different kinds of lettuce, some cheese, homemade bread and homemade applesauce.

I can't wait to dig in.

In a separate letter to me -- which included another $27 -- she wrote further: "Please know I am proud of you and have high expectations for your future. This position has potential you cannot now realize.

"You are wrong on one count. I am absolutely serious about your acquiring appropriate female companionship! Don't think about it and it will happen."

I told the story to everyone in the office today and one correspondent was almost brought to tears.

"It restores your faith in humanity," she said. 


For any struggles during this nearly year-long journey, the blessings have outweighed them by multiple scores.

Bertha isn't just one of the blessings. She is one of the greatest. A complete stranger in an assisted living facility taking the time to do what she's done is a sign of the beauty of human beings.

If only we could all emulate her.

Peace and more Berthas unto you my brothers and sisters.


  1. What sorts of people reach out in such a way? What a wonderful gesture! Hello from Washington state, from someone who remembers earning 3.35 an hour and went to grad school in Bloomington.

  2. The best is yet to come. Just get your shots.