Trial Balloon

An Oasis in The Desert of Life

Posted at 6:00 AM on April 8, 2010 by Radio Heartlander (36 Comments)
Filed under: Guest Bloggers

From the Desk of the Heartlanders
Guest Blogger - Aaron

Radio Heartland has tickets to give away to a concert by Loudon Wainwright and Richard Thompson at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul on Wednesday, April 14th.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck!

My name is Aaron, and for those of you who don't know me, I am the guy who Dale mentions on air from time to time. I sometimes makes requests via this blog, and he's good about getting them on air in a timely fashion. That's why Radio Heartland (and the old Morning Show) were like an oasis for me , a deeply refreshing drink after what is being offered as "morning programming" these days.

What I mean by oasis is the place where you feel at peace and calm. When I am in the oasis of my apartment, I feel like I am in control, and I can do what I want to do without interruption. I also feel like I am in my own oasis when I am playing my percussion in various suburban bars with various local acts, or just being with people I know and love. That's my favorite oasis, being with others.

The oasis can be anywhere for anyone, home, church, your back yard, a goat barn. Mine is just in my new apartment, just listening to good radio like Radio Heartland or chatting with friends. This is what life is about, figuring out where your oasis is, and getting there as much as possible.

What is your Oasis?

Comments (36)

Oooh, great topic, Aaron. I've actually thought about this alot since I have a kid. Oasis is hard when you're a single parent.

I have three main oasi-i (what IS the plural of oasis?). First is my studio, where I do most of my craft work... surrounded by all my paper and stamps and inks, I can let some of the world go. I also love to sit in my backyard. It's a small yard and I live in the city, but the combined sounds of birds, squirrels and neighbor kids is soothing to me. But funniest of all, I realized in the past year, that being in the car by myself, after dropping off carpoolees, listening to my books on tape is also a nice escape and oasis!

Hope everybody has at least one place they can relax and maybe escape!

Posted by sherrilee | April 8, 2010 6:13 AM

Sherrilee-did you update us on your daughter and the trip to Now Care (I think it was you. . .)?
After my bike ride--one of my oases--I will explain how I have a different sort of oasis.

Posted by Clyde in Mankato | April 8, 2010 6:23 AM

Thanks, Aaron, for the opprtunity to think about and appreciate where I find solace and comfort...mostly it is home, but I find myself at the end of a stressful time or day that I don't "come down" to the ground until I am in the barn feeding the horses and milking a goat or two.

Someone once said to me "you need a lot of personal space" and I quickly replied, "yes, about 75 acres is good.

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | April 8, 2010 6:24 AM

very nice, Aaron; RH and TB are my oases (looked it up, sherrilee - good question) early in the morning with my coffee. then usually milking is peaceful but not with kids in the barn right now :-) and watching something from Netflix with Steve in the evening. nothing very exciting, but the quiet and unrushed feelings i crave.
Steve in St. Paul - off topic (a bit) we watched "Girl from Paris" on your recommendation last night. Excellent; very nice, gentle film. except she didn't seem busy enough with all of those goats to milk and milk to handle - ha, ha! but then the film wouldn't be as interesting. thanks for the recommendation.
and thanks, Aaron - great topic!

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 8, 2010 6:25 AM

Clyde - thanks for asking. Ankle is sprained, not broken. And, despite it looking god-awful, after a day of enforced sofa-laying, she is already walking around on it without much pain. Sheesh... wish I had those kind of recuperative powers!

Posted by sherrilee | April 8, 2010 6:27 AM

aaron, nicely done. good topic and good way to start the day.
glad the new apartment is feeling right for you. that is the way it is supposed to be. i remember my first place. on portland and lake in minneapolis with 3 buddies . we shared a big old house with all the cool woodwork and the coolest limestone wall basement ever. we drew straws for the choice of bedrooms when we moved in and i won so i got the first choice. i took the sunroom over the front porch because of the great feeling with all the windows. we had a living room where the social activities took place and then when i wanted to retreat to my room to get to my oasis it was there at the top of the stairs with my piano, my couch my bed and my stuff. it was a very cool feeling to have a place of my own after being a prisoner in my parents house during those adolescent years. from that point on whenever i did go back to my folks house, i was treated differently, as an adult and that felt really good.
today i have a garage where i have my record collection where a card game happens once a month and where if i have projects i can clear the workbench and take a couple of days or a couple of weeks to get the job done.
i also get to the theater and the concerts around town when i can and i think that is an oasis for me. to see others performing takes me to another place in a way i can only get to when i attend concerts and performances. it kind of brings an appreciation for the possibilities of life when i see it on stage. movies and tv tell the story but it feels sterile and not the same as a live performance. like watching the woods on tv vs being on a walk in the woods. the same but very different.
thanks aaron for being the fresh blood in this group. i hope to see you about town doing your percussion one of these nights. keep up the good work and enjoy your oasis. it is a very nice place to be.

Posted by tim | April 8, 2010 6:28 AM

Donna - got your answers to my queery yesterday - thanks. my issues with the Bruce are not his fault, so no apology necessary.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 8, 2010 6:29 AM

Good Morning From My Oasis,

I agree, Aaron, Radio Heartland is a special place, like an oasis. The Cedar is another special place for me, with the great music which we also get to hear on Radio Heartland. I am retired and my home is often my oasis, although I still have things I have to do at home that take me out of the oasis mode, such as house cleaning.

Posted by Jim | April 8, 2010 6:33 AM

Greetings! For me, I have the obvious oasis of being home during day when kids are at school. But my main oasis is, oddly enough, at karate.

I tend to be very intense and focused at karate, so I can concentrate on just me, even though my 15-yr old is in class with me. I'm not very congenial in class. I mean, I'm friendly and all, but I don't initiate conversation and I get a tad annoyed at chatty folks in class.

It's also a safe place to explore and release my masculine side, aggression and inner rage at whatever is bothering me. Of course, I'm a nice, quiet, gentle and polite Minnesotan -- but it's fun (and addicting) to act out, yell and generally kick the crap out of imaginary attackers while perfecting my martial arts technique. It's just who I am!

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | April 8, 2010 6:33 AM

Tantalizing topic, Aaron.

That's an interesting cure for stress: go milk a goat. I've learned so much on this forum.

Getting back on-topic, I have two oases. That should be legal. Those who wander the deserts have even more. And my two oases could not be less like each other. I choose to see that as positive balance, not disintegration.

The first is, of course, my computer. It is my direct connection to distant friends, my magic carpet for browsing the greatest library ever put together, my entertainment and educator. As a wise man said (maybe it was Balzac) "If you are tired of the computer, you are tired of life."

My second would be my cabin and its unique surroundings. The site of a 19th century rock quarry, that place is as natural and crude as my computer is sophisticated. Its sounds, smells and ever-changing views are a constant joy.

I'm eager to see what others come up with.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | April 8, 2010 6:35 AM

My main oasis is Lake Superior, anywhere along its shore. I can go there, sit, and just be. One year in college, my roommates and I had a house with beachfront on the lake. That was one of the best places I've ever lived. When I was stressed from school, or my roommates, I went out to sit on the beach, watching the waves rolling in. Even in winter, the lake was fantastic :) Anytime I see Lake Superior, or Lake Michigan for that matter, I just get calm. It's so nice. Another place is my friend's camp (or cabin to you Minnesotans, haha). There's a sauna with a woodstove right on the edge of the lake, so you can jump right in when you're good and hot :) Sitting in the sauna, throwing more water on, it's the best place to be. I probably have other oases, but those two are the easiest to think of this early in the morning ;)

Posted by Alanna in MI | April 8, 2010 7:01 AM

Nice topic, Aaron!

In general, my family would qualify as my oasis. I enjoy hanging out with my kids a lot. My husband and I work opposite hours, however, so I get all the kids to myself every evening after a long day at work. Then, I have a movable oasis. I hit the trails to spend spend time alone running.

Have a great day, all!

Posted by elinor | April 8, 2010 7:03 AM

Thanks for asking, Aaron,
My camel of course takes me here for RH and TB. On Sundays she also leads me to church for refreshment-not only are the people sympatico and the messages inspiring but the musicians include folks like Ann Reed and Prudence Johnson.

Posted by Beth-Ann | April 8, 2010 7:07 AM

Bike rides, walks, the lake, planting flowers, dining outside, listening to PHC, RH, and blogging on TB are a few things that make my oasis list. Whenever music is included, it's good.

Thanks for the topic Aaron. Very nicely written.

Posted by Donna | April 8, 2010 7:14 AM

Dale That Lucy Blue Tremblay (sp?) song was just wonderful! Thanks for playing it.

There is one song that absolutely HAS to be played to honor Aaron's contribution to our discussion: Laurie Lewis and her band doing "Haven of Mercy." That's a perfect song for the idea of oasis.

Posted by Steve in Saint Paul | April 8, 2010 7:18 AM

Lovely topic, Aaron.

I have to say my local oasis is the little island in the duck pond on the St Kate's campus. Nice benches for reading, quilting or knitting, or just plain thinking.

People come and go there, but it is mostly pretty quiet and has a nice assortment of ducks, red-winged blackbirds and we are awaiting the return of the majestic egret that comes there.

Won't be getting there much in the foreseeable future, so am figuring out how to carve out a spot in the house.

Posted by catherine | April 8, 2010 7:41 AM

Over time my oases have changed - I used to have a traveling oasis of whatever scene shop I was working in at the time. Power tools are a great release, and it was space I could claim as mine, back there with the sawdust and paint and heaven-knows-what. Now, more often, it's my one-a-month book club with pals that I've known for 20 years or more.

Being a parent, and a parent in a smallish house, having a full room to myself is pretty much impossible. But I start the day, still, with a little time with Daughter in my lap - a tradition that will have to end faster than either of us like as she is getting too tall already for that (at not-quite-6) - but it's my 5 minute oasis before getting into the hubbub of the day.

Glad you have an oasis of your own Aaron - and everyone else.

Posted by Anna | April 8, 2010 7:42 AM

And a P.S. -

Sherrilee - glad it was just a sprain, both for you and Daughter's sake.

Dale - glad to have you back in the driver's seat. Hope the days off were restful and good.

Posted by Anna | April 8, 2010 7:54 AM

Sherrilee - yes, indeed - glad things are ok.
Elinore - glad you're still able to get away to run
Beth Ann - you have Ann Reed playing at your church?? wow.
Anna - i get the power tool thing - me too, but i'm not as good with them (yet).
Steve - oh, you must try milking a goat. ear warming on a gurgling belly, grain munching and cud-munching sounds, hands warming and 103 degree milk squirting, radio playing (John Birge (sp?) was pretty playful this morning!) as the light creeps into or out of the day. super-uber-oasis.

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | April 8, 2010 8:09 AM

When we were children my mother's favorite way tp punish us after about age 6 was to make us churn butter. We used to later in life joke that the rules got stricter when there was more cream available, which she did not deny. She used to joke with us that all of that butter in her freezer did not indicate she had very well behaved children. But she once told me a few years ago that she had has churn butter as a punishment for another reason.
Here is my quiz: look at the answers for where people find oasis and see what my mother knew. Start with Aaron percussion and end with barb's description of milking.

Posted by Clyde de Quiz Master | April 8, 2010 8:24 AM

At home my oases are sitting by the fire listening to music in the winter or out on the patio on milder days. The garden is also a welcome respite and believe it or not the kitchen can be my get away, as long as I’m left alone, I find cooking a meditative act.

I also find the time I get out to see live music as an oasis……….I like to feel the show is just for me, my own little world.
Speaking of….I will be at the Loud & Rich show! Good luck to all who enter the drawing, it should be a great show.

Posted by Kate in Eden Prairie | April 8, 2010 8:31 AM

Clyde - your mother was very wise. Churning butter sounds like the modern equivalent of a time-out -- be alone with your thoughts so you can "think about what you did." The physical action of churning butter also dissipates whatever anger or resentment you may harbor. It's a centering, clearing exercise.

Plus it's a productive activity that produces a physical result you can eat! I like that idea ...

Posted by Joanne in Big Lake | April 8, 2010 8:37 AM

And then, Dale, you played the perfect song for my quiz, "MY Brain."
Welcome home, Dale.
Aaron, thanks for the nice topic son clearly explained.

Posted by Clyde in Mankato | April 8, 2010 8:37 AM

Wonderful topic, Aaron - thank you! RH and TB are important to me, but I view them as touchstones or launching pads for the start of the day; if they are in place and I can hear Dale's voice then the day is on the right path. As for oases, I have two: the U of MN Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library on the campus of St John's University in Collegeville, which is the home of the St John's Bible (the same one that is presently a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the Science Museum in St Paul). Wouldn't you know they are in opposite directions from my home! But I guess oases are often found on long trips, aren' they?
Happy Morning, everyone. Welcome back, Dale.

Posted by Teri in Zimmerman | April 8, 2010 8:38 AM

My work station was an oasis at my stressful job until Tuesday of this week, when our IT guy discovered that I was listening to RH on my computer and proceeded to scold me soundly for taking up to much broadband width and contributing to the slowing down of the entire state data system etc., so I had to promise I would never do it again and now I am again reduced to listening to CD's. I can make anywhere I can listen to music an oasis, but I will miss RH during work hours. I can keep up with the blog during the day, however Nice topic, Aaron.

Posted by Renee | April 8, 2010 8:42 AM


Nice Aaron... and everyone's oasissss's are interesting. :-)

One of mine is music I think; play it loud to drown out those trying to talk their way into my Oasis.
My wife jokes she knows when I'm home because she can hear the music in the car...

And I think I'd have to say my wife Kelly is my biggest Oasis; we talk more often during the day than any other couple I know... my boss thinks I'm always on the phone with her!

Posted by Ben | April 8, 2010 8:46 AM

playing percussion, lisatening to music especially live, watching and listening to waves and or a fire, milking, churning, running, biking, karate, etc.
I knew this would happen. What my mother knew about churning was the power of rhythm on our brains. She used to encourage us to churn in rhythm, alhtough she did not say it that way. But she knew it was the key. This is being studied intensely right now, but Herbert Benson has been studying this for years. It is the key to yoga and the like which use rhythmic breating as a key. My mother knew the churning would calm us because of the rhythm, which she had learned to calm down when dealing with her very difficult mother. It of course is more than just rhythm but rhythm has strong power on the brain and we adjust our body rhythms to what we are doing and attending to. It can be in less rhythmic things. I find oasis in carving and painting in the way knitting and other needle work does for many.
A very long topic. And here is why I know all of this, such oasis as I am talking about here is a way to fight chronic pain, actually the only way I have. Wish ot always worked. Enough. But it was fun to watch you fine folks name things that would include rhythm.

Posted by Clyde | April 8, 2010 9:02 AM

Renee, if he wants badly enough for you to not stream music, he can use a firewall to block it. Otherwise, what he doesn't know won't hurt him.

Posted by elinor | April 8, 2010 9:22 AM


Sheez... going back to 'Bosses' earlier this week I recently heard of someones former boss being described as "...busy doing what doesn't need to be done..."

Posted by Ben | April 8, 2010 9:27 AM

Clyde, there is a type of health care you might know about called palliative care. If you get to the point where you have a lot of trouble controling pain, I think you should ask for palliative care if you are not already using this.

In palliative care they pay closer attention to the needs of the people they are treating than is common in medical care today. If they are adjusting pain medication they will stay with the person they are treating until they know that the new treatment is giving relief.

Most larger hospitals can offer palliative care, but may not offer it if you don't ask for it.

Posted by Jim | April 8, 2010 10:00 AM

Thanks, Jim. I do know the concept. I am sort of doing that with my doctor as much as I can in outpatient. One of my issues for going to clinics is that while I am not a 24/7 care giver, I do need to be there for my wife and right now there is no one who can do it. Not a complaint. I would love to do the FM clinic at Northwest Abbot, but the same road block. The whole area of how we can control, retrain, and use our brain is fascinating and is the core of what causes and how we treat FM. A related issue: research shows that people with severe chronic pain only very rarely get addicted to the opiate pain relievers, but since the common conception is the opposite, America, again unlike so many nations, will not move that direction. I do not think I would go that route since som many drugs have bad side effects on me.

Posted by Cly de Pain | April 8, 2010 10:14 AM

I'm glad to hear that you know about palliative care, Clyde. I was very impressed by a talk I heard on palliative care and thought I should pass on the information in case you or any one else might benefit from knowing about it.

Posted by Jim | April 8, 2010 11:04 AM

tim must be the guest blogger tomorrow I believe. So, tim and others, just a heads up that I will be inactive on this tomorrow until later in the day if then. My daughter is giving a 70th birthday party for my wife and I am helping her. My wife only knows there is a party somwhere here, about which she is not entirely happy. But when she sess what it is--a full high tea--and who is there--14 of her very sepcial friends who came from many directions--she will be very happy.
So, a good weekend to all.

Posted by Clyde | April 8, 2010 12:35 PM

Clyde - what a fabulous gift for your wife. Hope the day is grand!

Posted by Anna | April 8, 2010 12:57 PM

traveling this week . checking in in th morning and backa t night. great topics, great replys. i will be arounf until 745ish tomorrow and look forward to checking back in later to see who says what. its been fun watching the rh group run solo with dale away. welcome back but we found out you have created a monster dale. te day wen we couldn't get in was priceless.
clyde, enjoy the 70th. very nice,
interesting about the rythems. so simple and obvious but very impressive to realize a simple answer is the best answer.
steve love the computer / lake cabin opposites. wonderful.
allana you said you are coming to town this weekend. if you's like i'd love to meet you at the tmora. let me know if you have a hole in your calander, its nice to have you as a regular.
jim the cedar is a great oasis
ben. ain't the loudest music the best. nice that you enjoy your wife so much. you are lucky as can be.
clyde. hope you do check in i am not sure anyone else cares. you do so i will look forward to hearing form you later if it works into your schedule

Posted by tim | April 8, 2010 8:08 PM

What a rich day of postings, I'm sorry I missed it. So I'll post late:
My oases are my back yard, which goes WAY back there (no alley) and is like the garden of Eden in summer, is my home oasis. I'm trying to convert an uninsulated attic porch into a yoga space... we'll see.

And one Sunday a month our Sacred Circle dancers get together and do simple dances from from Armenia, the Balkans... It is like church to me, we light a candle and dance around a centerpiece, and we have a "grounding" before and after dancing.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | April 12, 2010 8:03 AM

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