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Pithy Precepts - Aspirations and Inspirations: A Family Life Workbook

Pithy Precepts - Aspirations and Inspirations: A Family Life Workbook

Автор Pete Prestegaard

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Pithy Precepts - Aspirations and Inspirations: A Family Life Workbook

Автор Pete Prestegaard

301 страница
2 часа
21 янв. 2009 г.


A practicing pundit's take on two hundred topics, all distilled into a page or less.

The basic idea of Pithy Precepts is to capture the author's thoughts on life, business and finance in a terse and entertaining format. Responding to questions from his offspring as well as their kids, author, entrepreneur and investor Pete Prestegaard gives his unabashed take on life, God, society, men and women, family, sex, kids, medicine, sports, starting a business, money, investing and retirement, plus more than 150 related topics.

His ideas are presented in his usual terse and pointed manner, leaving little to interpret, with longer illustrative essays on several key entries.

The overall concept is to provide input and serve as a guide for his and other families in the future.

Included also are more than 100 crisp thoughts, poems and even prayers of other and five appendices with life assist and background setting information.

21 янв. 2009 г.

Об авторе

Mr. Prestegaard?s seafaring blood, possibly a Norwegian legacy, was held in check while he carved out several successful business careers. By 1997, however, the call ?to sea? became irresistibly strong, resulting in the travels and adventures found in this work.

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Pithy Precepts - Aspirations and Inspirations - Pete Prestegaard

Pithy Precepts

Aspirations and Inspirations

A Family Life Workbook


Pete Prestegaard

iUniverse, Inc.

New York Bloomington

Pithy Precepts - Aspirations and Inspirations

A Family Life Workbook

Copyright © 2009 by Pete Prestegaard

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403


1-800-Authors (1-800-288-4677)

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any Web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

ISBN: 978-0-5955-2974-2 (ebook)

ISBN: 978-0-5956-3027-1 (ebk)

The author wishes to acknowledge with gratitude that both the concept and title for this book, as well as many of the thoughts in it, arose from the fertile minds, wisdom and care passed down through the generations by Gus and Carrie Prestegaard, Josie and Martin Kretzschmar, Oley and Ingeborg Lizzie Nelson, Peder and Ingeleiv Lena Prestegaard, and Doris and Paul Prestegaard, grandparents, great grandparents, and parents of the writer, and early generation Americans all. It was only through their good graces that I was able to make this work a reality.

iUniverse Rev. Date 1/15/2009




Part 1— Life’s Pithy Precepts

Chapter 1

Life (and Death)

Chapter 2


Chapter 3

Of Men and Women

Chapter 4

Family, Children and Home

Chapter 5

Health and Medicine

Chapter 6

Life’s Tools

Part 2– Pithy Precepts – Money and Business

Chapter 7

In General

Chapter 8


Chapter 9


Chapter 10

Our Economy

Chapter 11

Retirement and Inheritance

Part 3 – Pithy Words…Pertinent, Impertinent…

and Some Just Tickle

Chapter 12

Long-lived sayings 

Chapter 13


Chapter 14


A Final Thought

Appendix 1

Doris’ Doozies

Appendix 2

A Prestegaard Timeline - 850 Through 1952

Appendix 3

The Top 15 Lists

Appendix 4

Frugal Travel

Appendix 5

Getting Along at Times of Change


In memory of Mom, Doris Kretzschmar Prestegaard, insightful, unstinting, Christian in the best sense, unfailingly loving, encouraging and forgiving, who knowingly married into, and became a beloved and key part of, the challenging Prestegaard family and its traditions.


Clouds above me like spindles of wool,

Winding, unwinding—

Rolling along the floor of heaven,

Dipped in the dye of the setting sun;

Now heavy with burden of rain, uneven,

Now light and airy—of cobwebs spun.

Tomorrow you’ll gambol like fat little lambkins

In a meadow of indescribable blue;

Today I rode to the crest of a mountain

On your soft magic carpet of varied hue.

Of late you were filled with the blasts of the North Wind,

Cold, sullen, and grey you hung in the sky.

But now shaken out by the hand of the South Wind,

I see you lazily floating by.

Warm earth and the odor and fresh green of pine trees;

It’s Spring—and I sing, an exuberant youth.

The power of God could build temples of all these—

Clouds ephemeral and white words of truth.

Then I would I might say it more beautifully,

Clouds are like spindles of fleecy wool,

Winding, unwinding …

—prize-winning 1933 poem

by Doris Louise Kretzschmar


Wisdom is an ephemeral thing. We’re constantly in pursuit of it and, in truth, its concrete nature always eludes, just out of reach, like some chimera.

Paul and Doris Prestegaard, my parents, and to my personal knowledge before them, Gus Prestegaard and Josie Kretzschmar, grandparents, showed the way and demonstrated wisdom and charity many, many times and ways over the years as they passed down a legacy of thoughts, stories and homilies. Paul, with Doris’ active assist, even compiled a direct forerunner for this book’s second part, in Pithy Precepts – Financial, and together they coined the catchphrase for the title.

   A precept of course is simply another word for principle, or a lasting standard. The pithy modifier used here means terse, concise and to the point. Perhaps with a bit of a twist. Therefore, none is more than a page. One can add two more P’s, the synonym of perception and the fact that these are Prestegaard and specifically, this Prestegaard’s, thoughts. These are not immutable laws.

One recognizes that once we’re gone, it is rather too late to say, gee I wish I’d known him a bit better. This thought has occurred to me and is also a genesis for putting pen to paper here. Working on the book has also pushed me to make conclusions in areas that have been fuzzy before.

   The journey we’re all on is not easy, and wisdom and lessons learned seem too readily forgotten, only needing to be re-acquired again and again, often at some cost and/or pain. Of course, one must acknowledge that each new generation wishes, and even needs, to learn many of its own lessons anew. Such is life.

Against this background, this book is also a take off on the Mirror sagas of the Vikings as the way wisdom is passed along. My main motivation and hope, though, is small: to provide some insight and nudge forward the reader, family, sharing accumulated knowledge, with the idea that perhaps a few future mistakes could be avoided and lives enriched in the process. Much of this content, I suppose, could be considered obvious. But the fact is, these points weren’t always clear up front to me.

Anyway, giving future generations a past framework and comfort that their then-current problems are not all that different from what happened before is a small form of legacy. Life’s road is often lonely. Hopefully this may be a sometime companion and kindred spirit. Finally, one could say that the modest amount of content here really reflects that I haven’t learned all that much in these 66 years!

   Although the format is assertive and perhaps my direct offspring will feel too controlling (yet again!), in fact this would be better as a workbook, with pages available for clipping in and out, to be revised again and again, as new knowledge, insights, and wisdom, develops. Hopefully this will happen as all continue to gain on life’s rocky path upward, wherever that may take us.

   While these Precepts happen to be Prestegaard family related, and this book is specifically for our family, based on my experiences, and whimsically therefore what could be termed PPP’s, also the initials of a certain person, the fact is that most all the thoughts could apply to a broader readership as well.

   Two words of caution. Each reader will doubtless disagree with some of the content. That’s fine. I do hope that individual disagreements don’t mean discrediting the whole, as sometimes can happen! Secondly, there are some further illustrations or essays on certain points. These are shown as sidebars in columns to amplify or illustrate a point more specifically.

When I say this work reflects accumulated knowledge and wisdom of prior generations of U.S. immigrants I of course mean that as best I can recall, have knowledge of or have researched. A bit of history may help.

Prestegaards all came from a poor background. By poor I mean our forefathers came from non-land owning Norwegian, German, Swede and Danish families, as did many other immigrants. As my dad would say, really poor. These people were called cotters in the old country of Norway and something akin to gypsies for the branch from Germany. All left family and heartbreak behind with a persevering hope for better in this new country. But whether out of desperation or brio, all were determined, risk-takers and wanted more for themselves and their families. They were willing to risk, quite literally, all, to break with the past, that time period that many back then called the bad old days. At the least, they endured great uncertainty, just for the opportunity.

The U.S. in the 1800’s, the time of our families’ emigrations, simply offered extraordinary potential, as did no other place or time we know of, in all of history. Details of the journey for some will be chronicled in another work to follow before long (I hope).

But for this preface, suffice to say that our forbearers served as laborers or in service to others, and were in truth indentured until debts incurred to make the journey could be repaid. They struggled many times and ways over the generations to make ends meet and gain respect. There were bankruptcies, tragedies, early deaths…and many a wonderful happenstance too. But in all, somehow they persevered and marched onwards.

A number of the entries here have been extracted from an unpublished prior work, 65 and Half Way There. We’ve spent notable time working on the index, to hopefully make this work a ready, if occasional, reference tool.

   All this said, there still is the quite valid question of who am I, and what credentials do I have, to take this try-to-be-authoritative pundit’s view on such a wide swath of topics. That answer no doubt at the end will rest, comfortably or not, in the reader’s opinion.

   I was named for my dad and my great granddad on the Prestegaard side. These are people of my legacy and I wish to do them proud. This is not a personal history. It uses my Dad’s work, recounted elsewhere including in his oral history Off In a Cloud of Whaledust, as a starting point.

   This is a Prestegaard, not a Kretzschmar, or Anderson, or Brown, Barb’s two families, work. Prestegaards who immigrated to this country came from just one place, Norway. But it isn’t wrong to note that most Norwegians, except the Lapps, many generations earlier came from stock who emigrated from German lands to Norway. And one can also readily see that the Norwegian language is most closely tied to German.

To Prestegaards and others, whoever you are, I hope you may enjoy what is meant to be a quick read. And that some thoughts here may tickle your intellect or funnybone, or both, and resonate with you and yours. Finally, please feel free to share your own perspectives if the spirit moves, for possible adaptation and recognition in a future volume.

—pete prestegaard



I’d like to thank good friend Don Warner, my wife Barbara (BP) and daughter Jenny for their particularly valuable insights, support, proofreading, suggestions and, well, for at least some of the criticisms!

In a more general sense, I’d also like to thank Donita Moorhus and Bob Grathwol; Tom and Denia McGuire; Brian and Kathy Dickens; Malcolm McRae; Brian and Darlene Heidtke; John and Michele Simourian; Gary and Paul Anderson; Pat McAuliffe; Jim Meier; Marty and Kathy Piccinich; Frank and Magda Fronek; and Gisela and Ed Moriarty, all for their now decades-long inspiration and friendship.

I’d also like to thank Guy French, Dayton Hudson, Pillsbury and the Minneapolis Star Tribune personnel departments; John Snyder, Greg Sullivan and Bill Lyon at Irving Trust; and Winston V. Bud Morrow, Colin Marshall and Jim Calvano of Avis for their perspicacity (from my standpoint) and bravery in hiring, promoting or supporting a brash but shy young

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