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  • Photo of The Middlewesterner by Dave Bonta

(c) 2004-2008
Tom Montag


June 2008

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  • The endowments and the foundations won't, but you can help support my long-term exploration of the middle west, Vagabond In the Middle. Any donation to help defray expenses will be appreciated. Send to Tom Montag at: PO Box 8, Fairwater, WI 53931.


    "shelf life of prune juice" - The Middlewesterner

  • "elko + bar + bathroom + girlfriend" - Creek Running North
  • "what does a mole on the palm of the hand mean?" - Mole
  • "biro, slowly watching memory" - frizzyLogic
  • "pictures of someone who looks forgotten" - Blaugustine
  • "emily dickinson's address" - alembic
  • "heterosexual woman becomes lesbian in midlife" - Velveteen Rabbi
  • "if lost return to" - Slow Reads
  • "village voice newspaper headline when andy warhol died in 1987 village voice headline is god dead is god dead" - Marja-Leena
  • "I have no head" - Under a bell
  • "what can we do about privilege?" - Feathers of Hope
  • "stigmata montreal women" - Cassandra Pages
  • "Aztec sacrificial victims" - 3rd House Party
  • "ugliest woman ever" – Fishbucket
  • "prime number farting" - The Middlewesterner
  • "sasquatch beauty barn" - Via Negativa
  • "I have what looks like small pieces of bird seed in human feces my feces." - Nuthatch
  • "signs your girlfriend is not happy" - The Middlewesterner
  • "real tribe potion to become Immune to fire" - susannagig-jig
  • "does god blink" - The Middlewesterner
  • "Sleeping ovaries" - Find Me a Bluebird
  • "People find me offensive poem" - Find Me a Bluebird
  • "girlfriend taming" - The Middlewesterner
  • "naked librarians from north dakota" - The Middlewesterner
  • "signs a girlfriend is about to walk out" - The Middlewesterner
  • "naked girls at prayer" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does 'behind the barn' mean" - The Middlewesterner
  • "basho farting" - The Middlewesterner
  • "white conic body lotion" - Mole
  • "what specifically is the emerald mole?" - Mole
  • "how to impress a tomboy girl" - The Middlewesterner
  • "ripon cookies for bear bait" - The Middlewesterner
  • "people who think they are cats" - The Middlewesterner
  • "crows and fog omen" - The Middlewesterner
  • "when you are walking in the spirit what does heat mean" - The Middlewesterner
  • "how to be more socialable" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does making hay mean" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does it mean to call someone an iowa farm boy" - The Middlewesterner
  • "What does it mean when there are 2-3 crows in your yard and you don't have a corn field?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "tomboy addiction" - The Middlewesterner
  • gunmetal tulle - findmeabluebird
  • mucho bonito senorita translation - findmeabluebird
  • "swollen rash" diagnosis - findmeabluebird
  • how to keep a kid occupied when sick and in bed - findmeabluebird
  • moose bums - findmeabluebird
  • uninterlaced - findmeabluebird
  • "red squirrels castrating grey squirrels" - The Middlewesterner
  • "short poems to impress a girl" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what is an important food crop in middlewest?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "the reason the elements of the writing process are important to poetry" - The Middlewesterner
  • "wallpaper, poet" - The Middlewesterner
  • "how to be a vagabond" - The Middlewesterner
  • "my jock strap hearts how can i fix it" - The Middlewesterner
  • "How do Hutterite deliver babies " - The Middlewesterner
  • "shelling corn slang" - The Middlewesterner
  • "lady of guadalupe as vagina symbol" - The Middlewesterner
  • "will the leaves still be on the trees October 21, 2006 in Davenport, Iowa?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "driving time between seydisfjordur and skaftafell" - The Middlewesterner
  • "impress a girl from north dakota" - The Middlewesterner
  • "how do tigers get born?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "jesus nude girls" - The Middlewesterner
  • "falling in love with a midwesterner" - The Middlewesterner
  • "shanties with cadillacs" - The Middlewesterner
  • "middle road sermon" - The Middlewesterner
  • "ephemeral as the summer fly" - Chatoyance
  • "how to paint ghost flames" - Chatoyance
  • "wine of cardui" - chatoyance
  • "kevlar bridal dresses" - Hoarded Ordinaries
  • "how to scold boyfriend" - Hoarded Ordinaries
  • "how to find your true self" - Hoarded Ordinaries
  • "it goes around the sun 4 times a year" - Hoarded Ordinaries
  • "how long does it take for a sprinter to regain his speed after a grade 1 hamstring tear" - The Middlewesterner
  • "understanding why crows like you" - The Middlewesterner
  • "customs and culture of the middlewest region of the United States" - The Middlewesterner
  • "naked girl in a pile of money" - The Middlewesterner
  • "dakota tom sandwich" - The Middlewesterner
  • "things to do in Middlewest US" - The Middlewesterner
  • "nebraska christian music thunderstorm" - The Middlewesterner
  • "naked girls performing prayer photos" - The Middlewesterner
  • "metaphysical stores in Davenport Iowa" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does 'worthless as tits on a boar' mean" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what is silo liquid and why does it make the cats sick?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "names of the dinosaurs that live in water or pictures naked women" - The Middlewesterner
  • "alien + pigs + north + dakota" - The Middlewesterner
  • "poems for football players girlfriend" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does 'making hay' mean?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "how do cows eat cabbage in south dakota" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does a skunk mean in a dream" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does the mole on the buddha mean" - The Middlewesterner
  • "hutterite bra" - The Middlewesterner
  • "when to planet vandalia onions" - The Middlewesterner
  • "The Republicans have been painting an unattractive portrait of Democrats roasting young children on a spit in the Capitol rotunda and what not" - The Middlewesterner
  • "kewpie doll karl rove" - The Middlewesterner
  • "Real photos of Mary and Joseph with Baby Jesus and a story how Mary got her baby, Jesus removed out of her stomach" - The Middlewesterner
  • "fog barn stillness beauty poetry" - The Middlewesterner
  • "redneck outhouse poems" - The Middlewesterner
  • "haiku farting basho horse" - The Middlewesterner
  • "signs that i'm a heroin addict" - The Middlewesterner
  • "how do you know if your ankle is sprung" - The Middlewesterner
  • "translations from spanish to english giving opinions about the preservation of wild cats in South America" - The Middlewesterner
  • "stealth bomber information" - The Middlewesterner
  • "emily dickinson with cowboy hat" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what causes bossy girlfriends" - The Middlewesterner
  • "owl hitting a windshield and meaning" - The Middlewesterner
  • "long arm handling gloves cat" - The Middlewesterner
  • "what does a rendering plant smell like?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "potion to become a superhero" - The Middlewesterner
  • "fried egg symbols of lesbianism" - The Middlewesterner
  • "when you are sixty years old should you move back to cold weather in michigan?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "learn poetry to impress a woman" - The Middlewesterner
  • "if you were asked to teach a character education program with which you found fault, what would you do?" - The Middlewesterner
  • "tractors porn" - The Middlewesterner
  • "does black or dark nail polish on a woman mean anything" - The Middlewesterner
  • "keeping warm in north dakota" - The Middlewesterner
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December 06, 2006



Congratulations, Tom! You're a lucky dude.


Congratulations to you both! Thanks for a glimpse of what it might be like one day in the approaching-ever-faster future.

Tom Montag

Dave and MB--Thanks. Dave, I do know I'm a lucky guy, even if Mary said as she was leaving for work today, "You mean this is as good as it's gonna get?" I think she was kidding. MB, remember: your results may vary; contents may settle during shipment. But if you've got a lot of want to, that's about what it'll look like, I suppose.

Fred Garber

Congrats Tom and Mary! Many more!


We've been married only eight years, but there's a lot I recognize in this post, and a lot I hope to recognize in years to come.

Many blessings to you both in the years ahead.

Tom Montag

Thanks, Fred!

Tom Montag

Thanks, Rachel. As I have said elsewhere, if a couple wants to stay together for a long time, each of them separately needs to give 60% and expect 40%. Staying together for a long time is: (1) a lot of hard work; and (2) worth it!


Congratulations to you both. You're an inspiration!

Tom Montag

Thanks, Pica. (I hope Mary and I keep inspiring each other to do another 37 years!)


Congratulations Tom and Mary! You may see the world differently but obviously you've changed each others' worlds for the better or you wouldn't have persevered/thrived for 37 years. Hopefully the next (ahem) 13 are particularly lucky for you both!

Tom Montag

Hi, Tim--Yep, Mary and I do see the world differently: I worry that the stars stay in their course, and she worries that the bills get paid. Or as she sometimes puts it: "Ground control to Major Tom...." I didn't notice, until you mentioned it, that it is 13 years til the big 50. Seems like we just celebrated my parents' 50th anniversary: how can I be contemplating my own?


Congratulations to you both! As someone who's been married a few months longer, I can agree to most of what you write in this wonderful little ode to a long marriage.

Tom Montag

Hi, Marja-Leena--Being married a little longer, as you are, you know a little bit more about the whole business than we do. What's interesting is that I still keep learning!

Lori Witzel

Much future joy and warmth and laughter to you both.

I'm very lucky to be married to a guy who makes me laugh every day (and 98% of the time, on purpose.)


Tom Montag

Hi, Lori--yeah, the laughter is important. Sometimes it's what keeps you going, even the 2% of the time that it's not on purpose!
If you can't laugh together, then what have you got?


Congratulations Tom! Just knowing you two are in the world makes me feel a little bit better about it - and not because I have illusions, but because you tell the truth and allow none, and it sounds like you still manage mostly to be kind and to laugh and to each be yourself as well as being a couple.

Tom Montag

Hi, Jean. Thanks for your good words. We do try to be kind to each other, and laugh. It's not always easy, but we try. Poor Mary - she has to put up with the grumble-bear. And I have to put up with the fact that she isn't very often wrong. Damn.... :)


Tom and Mary, congratulations. And thanks for telling the truth, Tom. This year marks 27 years together for us, 25 married, and I can affirm everything you're saying here, especially the swift passage of time, and the way you pull and pull and eventually settle. It's good, almost all of it. And I bet you are not always a grumble bear.


Hey, this is a wonderful summary of a marriage's progression.

My best to you guys in your 38th year. I hereby adopt Jean's sentiments expressed above.

Tom Montag

Thanks, Peter. Would that it were as easy to live the progress of one's marriage as to summarize it. The living it is the work of a lifetime, isn't it?

Tom Montag

Thanks, Beth. Oh, it takes a long time til one can see the truth of his marriage; at least it took me a long time. I guess the years help with perspective.

Whether I'm always a grumble-bear is a question best taken up with Mary, I think.... :)

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