We hope to give you lots of good, informative reading. Let us know how you like the changes. We shall attempt to represent this family well and hope you continue to help us in that effort!!

UPDATES -- Family News

1. A letter from Patty and Donnie

Extra!! Extra!! Don & Patty are finally writing!! Well, Patty is doing the typing because:
1) Don is a terrible (and slow) typer, and
2) Don rotozipped off the fingernails on two of his fingers, which kind of hurts to type.

He's O.K. -- he tells me it's his superior immune system and constitution that accounts for his amazing healing powers. I knew this "boo boo" was not good when he said absolutely nothing, (he usually thinks up something colorful to say), dropped his left hand to his side and I saw something dripping to the floor. He even let me use Bacitracin ointment and a Band-aid when the bleeding stopped. It is healing quite nicely, but I imagine it will be a while for the fingernail to completely grow back.

As you know we are in the middle of chaos with our remodeling project. I'll try and catch you up to speed.... We gutted the main living area back to the log walls. The cupboards, sink, stove, arched wall partition and oak flooring were all removed -- mostly to a dumpster in the back yard. We have a makeshift kitchen set up in the bathroom -- microwave, toaster and coffeemaker.

We saved the cupboards, as much as possible, and those are in the garage for Don to paint -- a nice dark brick red. I bought some copper roof flashing and looked up some historical tin punching patterns on the Internet and fashioned punched copper panels for some of the cupboard fronts. Others will be open with chicken wire with a dark golden taupe painted interior.

Our biggest project though has been the flooring. Rich has been so helpful -- we are so fortunate to have him around! He hired a guy to find and tear down old barns in South Dakota and we essentially just paid for the labor -- the wood is free. We spent a few days pulling out old nails and then started the labor intensive process of hand sanding each board before Don installs it by fitting it to the next one using a hand plane and sometimes a lot of coercion with a crowbar to get them snug. We have spent several long days on the floor and have about 1/3 of it in. The floor is 10" &12" planks (previously from the barn roof). When we brought the trailer of wood home, the roofers took one look at it and asked if we were going to burn it! They couldn't believe we were reusing it! -- No Vision....

The roof (we hired) is about 2/3 done. The snow has slowed them up a bit. The galvanized metal panels are very slippery and parts of the roof are quite steep -- I'm so glad Don doesn't have to go up there!

Rich is building us a box surround for our exhaust fan over the stove and a center island as well -- he is very talented and we are very grateful for all of his help! Don rebuilt the kitchen wall behind the cabinets with 6" pine boards instead of sheetrock for an old fashioned look and it was a brilliant idea! It really looks great with the paint on it. We can start visualizing the finished room the further we get.

Well, I've written a book -- you can see where our time has gone -- sorry we haven't written more, we shouldn't let those things slide. Hope all is well with you -- Don does READ the emails on a regular basis and we do love to hear what everyone is up to.

Take care, Love, Don & Patty

2. And one from Patty H.

Rachel said there was a new bulletin, so I had to run down here and read it right away. I love it. I love Doug's sense of humor and you are getting so creative with the way you present this fancy paper.

Did Donna and Beaver make it all right? They might as well stay there til the snow melts. We got another "dusting" of snow today.. okay, so it was more than a dusting... in fact probably 2 inches. This time powdery and white. And yes, the snowmobiles purr like tops!

We've been battling different kinds of 'bugs' at our house. Headaches, fever, colds... you know the kind. Hope it all ends soon.

Talked with Ben tonight. He's loaded with home work so feeling a bit overwhelmed, with 19 credits and his courses, what do you expect.

Dan's getting ready for the next step of the journey. He had a brochure from NDSU and you would have thought it was a letter from Gina. He usually lets his mail sit until I've piled it high... He thought is was the schedule for when he can register for classes. But no, only another sales pitch. Glad to see him excited about his next step. Couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that he'll be in the same town/college as Gina.

Rachel is preparing for "contest". They have opportunity to participate in the choir contest with any number of groups they choose. I think she is going to do 2-3. She loves that stuff. She, too is struggling with the registration process. Oh what to take, they have increased the course offerings and now are offering more college credit courses in high school. She would like to get a few out of the way before college, so we'll see.

Well, I've rattled on long enough... Congrats on your wt loss. Keep it up. I am so glad they are so willing to accommodate you so you can succeed. Keep it up.!!

Love, Patty

3. Also one from Becky:

I thought I would send you a quick letter. I got a 95 percent on my test last week. I had two tests yesterday. I will let you know how those went when I get them back.

Jayce had tubes put into his right ear and adenoids taken today. Everything went great. He was quite a trooper. He never even cried.

I forgot to tell you about his nurse. He had a young man nurse that looked a lot like Danny so Jayce kept calling him Danny. What ever this guy Chad wanted Jayce did. Chad said after surgery Jayce asked for me and Chad said I'll go get her and Jayce said "no you stay here -- her go get her" Chad said okay buddy.

Then later on they were taking out his I.V. and he said it hurts, Danny, it hurts and Chad said, I know buddy, I'm sorry. Then he gave him a puppy and Jayce named him Chad. So, because of Danny, Jayce was the greatest ever; he never even cried.

Caity is playing in a Basketball game Friday night. And she also is having a sleep over. She is really excited. She ended up selling a lot of cookies. She is doing a lot in school. She misses mom.

OUR TRAVELOG Continues --

Back in a "winter wonderland" of Missouri. Beaver and I arrived back at Mom and Dad's about 2:00 p.m. Mindy was very excited to see us, by all the yelping and running around she did. Sounds like she's enjoyed her stay though. She's not following me around this time, like she did when we arrived ... so must feel at home.

I'll give a quick circuit "run-down:" Dallas & Waco area for relativing for four days, then on to San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Galveston, New Orleans, Biloxi, Natchez and last night at Branson. We did a show and two Imax movies in Branson.

Before that we did mansion checks, riverwalks, streetcar rides, river rides, shopping, three plantation visits, the ship Lexington visit, ferry crossings, walking the beaches, Stockyards, Crawford, TX (where our pres has a home), many other fun things too numerous for me to recall right now. :-) oh, yes...LOTS of good eating!!! And, with all the walking my clothes aren't any tighter, which is quite amazing!

We had such a nice time with relatives. It was great fun getting to know Beaver's cousin and family better. They were very accommodating to us and we appreciated all they did.

Then on to the Texas cousins. All I can say is THANKS for a wonderful time, Ya'll!! That was sooooo much fun. I loved seeing each and everyone. Would have enjoyed staying the whole week.

Thanks, Stan, for being such a marvelous "tour guide"! It was so super bringing back so many memories, by seeing your old place and Valley Mills. Thanks for sharing your "new" farm with us, it's got great potential...I'll be anxious to see how much is changed by our next visit. Beaver really enjoyed meeting each of you, no surprise to me :-)

The only thing to mar our trip was the Columbia explosion, which Beaver heard but, of course, did not realize what it was until we watched the news later. How sad for their families.

Other than that, what a WONDERFUL time we had. Hit snow in Arkansas, otherwise the weather was kind to us.

All in all a trip to remember!
Donna, Mom, Grandma, Big sis, D....your roving correspondent

A New Column
by Doug

Thinking Aloud
In St. Cloud

Uncle Jim's letter got me thinking how strange it is to try and imagine anyone you actually know out there in a real battle with bullets flying and shells bursting around them. I think I've seen that scenario depicted so many times by Hollywood that it seems unreal, or at least too fantastical to ever have happened to someone that I know. But, as his letter proves, it did indeed happen to someone we all know. I guess it's sort of like when I see pictures of bread lines and dust bowl families it's hard to imagine members of my family enduring such hardships. Sure, I've heard the stories, but life has a way of removing a person from the suffering of others. Everything is always more important when it is happening to you.

I was really impressed when Heidi took interest in things that didn't involve her or her generation directly. How many teenage girls do you know that give a flying hoot about Iwo Jima? Well, one, I guess. There must be hope for us.

I know that war is probably Uncle Jim's least favorite topic of discussion, so I'm not going to ask more questions about it, or drag it out in the bulletin any longer, but I'm glad someone did ask that question. Not so that we can boast about the war hero (heroes) that our family produced, but so that we can realize that the war wasn't just a fantasy that some Hollywood producer thought up. It really happened, and all the young men and women who were there were just as real as Uncle Jim.

I wonder if we had any relatives in the Civil War? Or the Revolutionary War, or maybe we had a relative who was aboard the Hindenberg that fateful day? I guess it doesn't really matter. It makes you think, though.



Thanks for all your hard work in putting the Bulletin together! I just wish we could have another new "column". After reading The Flags of our Fathers, I just would love to be able to ask Uncle Jim a million questions about his experience "over there" ... not that he was on Iwo Jima ... but his war experience. I know that he's probably loathe to talk about it, but maybe he could write a bit about his memories...just a thought.

After I read that book, I just cried thinking about all those boys. It tells about a message that someone had chiseled outside the "cemetery" there:

When you go home
Tell them for us and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today.

In other words...please, don't forget us. It's way too easy to forget. I sure enjoy Doug's piece. He is a talented writer.

Well, I've gotta run again. -20 this morning, but the Suburban started right up. Guess the kids won't be playing outside at recess today. Ugh!



Letter to the Editor: I love to hear the news, however I have one request : HEY ALL OF YOU OUT THERE, COUGH UP YOUR NEWS you know who you are---you don't have to have the last name of Anderson, Dake, Henderson, Johnson....IT'S ABOUT NEWS. Thanks for letting me "air" my opinion. Signed humbly curious


How about another Little kid story:
My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment and then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell into the toilet a few days ago."

There are no questions for Mom or Grandma this time -- now just a tip.... The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard!!!!!!**

* from Elaine
**modern one-liners -- supplied by Merna

EDITORS: Grandma, Mom, Aunt Dorothy and Others!!
St. Cloud Columnist:--------------Doug
THE ROVING CORRESPONDENT-----------------Donna