The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Don’t rush things. Stay safe. Help others.

I am writing for the first time this week because I was having trouble with my computer. Fortunately my sons and daughter-in-law teamed up to figure out the problem remotely and get me connected again.

Although I’m pretty old by now, and have been given most of the good things of life, I‘m not ready to die.  The world is in a terrible mess right now and I’d like to do my part to help everyone clean it up. Wouldn’t that be worth all our time and effort?

The first thing that needs to be cleaned up is our national leadership, and I’d like to do it with a big broom to their backsides. Telling people to go back to work when leaders know very well that the virus will kill many of them makes no sense. Who benefits from rushing out too soon and without proper safeguards in effect?  Many people will die or suffer permanent injuries, and not just old people like me.  Instead we should be making sure that people have enough money to eat, pay their rent or mortgage and be safe.  We need to help out of work employees, small businesses and farmers.  Big corporations and the wealthy should not be getting handouts they don’t need right now.

Speaking of wealth reminds me that we all need to think about what we should do with any money we can spare. Those of us who can, should contribute a few dollars to help people who have nothing left for every day needs.  Today is the time for us to help each other, rather than play politics with people’s lives and livelihood.

I’ve given you a lot of advice that you may or may not agree with.  I am physically safe and have most of the things I still need, except direct human interaction. But now is the time for all of us to recognize the terrible tragedy and danger we are now living with, and to decide how to clean it up as best we can. What you choose may not be the same as what I have chosen, but all of us can think of some small things we could do, give, or say in order to make life better for everyone still here and the young ones who will soon be in our shoes, learning to walk straight and honestly.


Here’s hoping for happier times again.


A Sugestionto Parents at This Hard Time

As an experienced school principal, and the mother of five children, l learned that children can learn well outside of school if thy are readingand also writing at home, and sharing there work with friends and family members. In fact, children may learn even better than they did at school.

Although our children didn’t learn as much back then as they would have learned in schools at home,  it was still enough for them to go on to there next grades and ultimately to colleges.  My claim is that American children can learn well enough at home this year if it is managed well by parents and assisted by friends on the phone, or able to send written messages frequently. Though one year of home learning is not complete education, it is enough to get children ready for the next year at school.


We Should Use Our Time Wisely

One good thing about being here in a local hell, is that we have lots of time to think and nobody can stop our thoughts.  My latest thought is that because the virus is killing so many people, and frightening the rest of us, we deserve some information about it’s appearance.  So the people in charge should give us some answers. What does that virus look like?  Can we see it if we get’s close to it? Are we able to knock it down, grab it, or step on it ?  How long do those bastards live or hang around our area? Can we squirt some poison on one of them before it kills us?  Whichever is more appropriate, we need  more information while we are hiding and shivering at home. We also need to know more about how to protect our bodies.  Right now we have nothing better to do than the questions I am suggesting.

Joanne Yatvin


How Children Learn without their Regular School

Instead of moaning about the closing of our schools right now, think about what you did last summer or when you and your children were living far away from home. Then make a plan that will work just as well for them. here is what we did.

Fifty years ago my husband, our four young children, and I spent a full year living in  in Belgium. You may wonder how we managed all that difficult time, but in fact it was  pleasant and also meaningful. No, the kids didn’t learn a new language or much of the foreign curriculum that was taught there, but they did learn how to live well in a different country, gain new friends, learn parts of a foreign language and how to spend there time well.  

On every school holiday we would travel to see parts of Italy, Germany and Switzerland. We also took the children to Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam and London.  In addition our children went on a winter ski trip in Switzerland with their classmates and teachers.

While in Belgium we lived in a townhouse with  bedrooms for everybody, a kitchen, a living room, and an outside a backyard where we kept a bunny. Our children attended an international school where classes were offered in French, German and Dutch (Flemish), but not in English.  Over that year they picked up parts of those languages, but didn’t become fluent in any of them.  Fortunately, most of their classmates spoke some English and were eager to speak it with our children.  On weekends we would drive across the border to Eindhoven in The Netherlands, where we were able to buy English books, special foods that we missed, electronics, and to eat lunch at our favorite Indonesian restaurant.  Thanks to all those books we bought, our children read regularly. We also got the “International Herald Tribune” and listened to “Armed Forces Radio”, so they could keep up with the news. Because very little television was in English they rarely watched it.

When we got back to our home in Wisconsin all our children were able to advance to the next grade.  But our oldest son had to take the biology and driver education classes he missed overseas. Although all of them missed a year of regular classwork in Belgium, they were able to resume schoolwork in the USA without any trouble and go on to regular school activities. Later, they all went on to collage in Wisconsin and earned  the credits they needed to have.



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My Message To Friends

This morning I wrote a frendly message to all of you, but while trying to publish it, I lost the message. And then I couldent remember what I had written. So here I am trying to write once more. This is certainly not the first or last time for me, because I often make mistakes and wan’t to try again. (That’s is my eternal effort which usually works even though it takes a lot of time and trouble.) I am writing today because I care abougt the health and safety of good people. I won’t be satisfied if most people just survive.

What I wrote above may sound corny to you, but I wan’t to live more years myself and have the same for my friends, family and every one else who has been honest, worked hard, and cared about the needs of other people. Whether or not you share my beliefs or feelings, I wan’t you to know that I lost a strong connection to any religion several years ago.  Now, I believe that all human beings deserve the best opportunity for health, long life, and good companionship. For all who are playing the game of life honestly, there should be no early illnesses or deaths caused by human carelessness or dysregaurd in this world.


Joanne Yatvin


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