The Pudding Pack

A Short Story
By Doug and Dorothy

Editor's Note: The following is a story with two narrators. When the writing is in normal prose style, it is the Mother speaking. When it is written in journal entry form, it is the Son who is speaking.

Storm-tossed flag at sunset

Chapter One
Stormy Beginnings

We have reached a dividing of the road and we are about to start our new life. We have just finished packing our car, and it is amazing what we got into that trunk.

When you consider that we are going to be traveling with Don and I and our three youngest children for half way around the USA, it takes organizing; especially when the two oldest are teen age girls and the youngest our junior high son who may have to fight for his rights, if he wants to get his camera, equipment, drawing materials, and comic books along. (The last rather upsets his Dad who thinks a trip is for viewing the scenery -- not drawing or reading comic books.) But I am sure that our resourceful son will find a way!

We have been planning for this momentous occasion for a long time. About a year ago I had decided to work hard at my Weight Watchers Program -- and it was an excellent time to do it. I had taken a sabbatical leave to finish getting my degree. I had plenty of exercise hiking around the campus. Last summer I had been pinned: having received my Weight Watchers pin with its seven diamonds (well, zircons, anyway), one for each ten pounds of weight I had lost.

Now that I am here, I intend to stay -- so the last thing I shall put in the trunk (hidden under the other things) will be my bathroom scales.

All that is left to do is to pack the ice chest with lunch items. I have hit upon a way to prevent being pressed for cash on every hand. I have made envelopes (and stored them in a hiding place in my garment bag). In each envelope is included the budget for each of us for each day of the coming month. I will hand them out each morning. It is up to each how the money is handled for that day -- saving for bigger purchases will be a prime effort for each of us. To make the lunch money last better, I will pack goodies for everyone to use freely -- and we will replenish this store along the way. (It is going to be a real test to stay legal -- the term we use in WW correct eating!)

I know tomorrow I am going to be excited -- but kind of lonesome, too. We have to tell our cute little granddaughters, Lori and her baby sister Becky, goodbye for a month's time. And when you are used to seeing them every day it will seem lonesome without them. I am just a little nervous about being gone this long but I am sure everything will be fine. Donnie has rather odd shift hours with his new job but Donna and George will keep an eye on everything.

We are all waiting for everything to work out so they can buy our house to add to the business they bought from us earlier and we can move to the beautiful home that we are in the process of buying. The paper work is all finished and now it is the waiting. So this trip will be a wonderful space filler between our old way of life and our new. Now just don't let me forget that scale!

We did not get an early start. The last minute confusion was time consuming. I am not sure what kept the kids dashing in and out, but I know what my last minute errands were. I handed out the money envelope to each person, made up the lunch to go in the ice chest, tucked my bathroom scales in under the bags in the trunk, checked my own clothing bag and suitcase. This is what we were each allowed; of course what we could carry with us we will be responsible for and must keep out of the way.

I will digress a bit to tell you what our rule of order is, as handed down from our Captain: 1. There is a waste bag in the back and all garbage is to go into this bag. 2. At each stop we are to take turns seeing that the bag is emptied. 3. Each of us is to "police" our area. 4. There is Don's duffel bag, into which go the dirty clothes for each day. Thank goodness for laundromats!

Another thing that slowed us down was the need for Dad to go over with those at home the how, where, and when of this separation. And then a hug for the granddaughters and we loaded in. We came as far as our first stop with the kids in the back and us in the front. I can see this is not going to be a satisfactory arrangement, as everyone wants a window seat. Some changes are in order.

Our day started out then with the last minute rush of getting everything aboard. The first part of the trip went very well. We were traveling through the southern part of our own state, Minnesota, taking the Interstate for easy driving (and plenty of Stuckey's to stop at).

We reached the wayside rest that is between our state and Iowa and there we took a little rest, a stretch, and a look in the icebox for a quick snack. I was able to get by with an apple; the pudding I had packed that comes in its nice little packs seemed popular with everybody else. I will have to remember to buy a couple cartons at the grocery store tomorrow.

I don't know who was the first to notice the darkening sky -- but it surely was getting darker by the minute. We all clambered back in. Doug climbed in the front with us so that he would have a window view, too.

Now comes the scary part of our day! As we started our trip again, we all became still -- the chattering and good natured joking stopped. We were all engrossed in watching the storm develop. It was getting so dark that Don turned on his lights, as the others on the road seemed to be doing, too. The color of the sky is hard to describe. The wind started to blow, the rain began to fall and was soon coming down in torrents.

Don pulled our car over under an underpass. Which we were sharing with a couple motorcyclists and two other cars. We all watched anxiously and thought TORNADO. After the worst of the storm seemed over, about a half mile or so away, something large and flat came floating down to settle on the ground.

We pulled out and drove down the road a half mile and there was Stuckey's -- so Don drove up and parked and we all dashed through the rain to ride out the rest of the storm. Some folks in the store were saying that a little town about seven miles away had been hit by a tornado. They had also seen the floating object and commented that it was a wall of one of the buildings that had been flattened. I must say we are getting a real send off. I do hope this isn't a portent of the days to come.

And now comes the part that we "ladies" will never get to forget. After we left the Stuckey's, (had a snack there) and scrambled into the car, it was generally agreed that we would drive to the next big town so we could stay in a nice motel with a pool. It always seems so far when everybody is looking forward to "getting there." Finally we saw the signs for motels in Ames, Iowa; they looked promising. And sure enough, we found a very nice one, within our budget, with connecting rooms (and a pool, which we didn't intend to use).

We have arrived at the end of the first day of this trek of ours. I was just thinking as we drove along, "What a great way to celebrate this bicentennial of our great nation -- get out and become acquainted with it." It has been a long day, but our trip is on its way!

6/13/76: We embark. Minnesota will soon be a memory. My reading material only narrowly survived Dad's rigorous inventory. He says I won't need them, but I know from our '74 trip that there are many miles of boring stuff before you get to good stuff, so I'm smuggling some Master Of Kung Fu and Weird Western Tales. I have to go now because Marlene keeps trying to read what I have been writing.

2nd Entry: My trusty Polaroid is itchy, but there is nothing to shoot. Finally, I convince Patty and Marlene to goof around and make faces and I shoot that. Dad tells us to knock it off. I think I have Marlene fooled into thinking I'm just drawing now, so I can continue this entry in safety. I could go for a vanilla pudding right about now. Hope we stop soon. Some dark clouds now. The gathering storm? I have to sign off, I think my snoopy sisters are on to me. What I wouldn't give for a rest stop!

3rd Entry: Rain. Lots of rain. Very quiet in the car now. Sky, very dark. More later.

4th Entry: Everyone in the car is afraid to use the word "tornado," but we are all thinking it. The sky has turned the same color as the windshield of a Ski-doo snowmobile!

5th Entry: We've stopped at an underpass! There is junk coming down from the sky! Wow, it didn't take long for this expedition to hit pay dirt! I can't believe something this cool would happen on the first day!

6th Entry: We have harbored at our first port-of-call: The Holiday Inn in Ames, Iowa. A shame we won't have a chance to use the pool; we would probably get struck by lightning if we did. I took my first real snapshot of the trip, a sunset shot that I think will capture the true beauty that is Iowa. We have really cool adjoining rooms and it almost seems a shame to go to bed, because we are all having so much fun soaking in a new, foreign environment! End transmission, day one.

So now we needed to unload. I requested that my bathroom scales be unloaded by one of the helpers -- only then to find that Mar and Patty both needed their scales unloaded, too. Dad hit the roof. Three scales!

My word, what foolishness! Of course not one of us had checked with the other as to what all we were taking along. Dad says he wonders if somewhere in that capacious trunk the kitchen sink is hiding.

I suggested that we put two of those little weighers away and have one that one of the three of us will be responsible for. Now we can only hope that other things and events will cause a lapse of memory about this episode, but I am afraid that I can see ahead the story of "The Three Scales" being used to serve as an example of women's unpredictable behavior, whenever that subject comes up!

Editor's Comments: Doug and I hope you have enjoyed our collaborated efforts at story telling. In following issues of The Bulletin we will be running chapters from this story.

by Marlene

Thanks for the Bulletin again! I love Doug's recipe "column." I remember those wonderful bean thingies Donnie used to make. But I remember that he'd share the leftovers if he couldn't finish it all. How did he tolerate us standing around him like the family dogs, waiting for a bite of the goodies?

We still don't have our computer fixed so I have to wait for Heidi's computer to do my e-mailing. Don't know when we'll get around to fixing it or if it's even worth it since it's so old.

Markie got his trumpet last week. He carries it around just to look cool....wonder if he'll ever play it? He is excited though and he starts lessons in June. I think he'll do fine because he's got rhythm ... or whatever.

Rain, rain, rain. It just won't stop since it started a week or so ago. But the lawn is green..enough to make the grass grow so that Mark has something to actually mow instead of just pushing the lawn mower over the brown grass.

Time to get the kids again and then we're going to paint Mark's room...color...Dolphin Fin Gray...should look nice and it gives the boy something to do. I suppose it'll give me something to do too?

Keep up the good work...Marlene

by Rachel

Hi Grandma!
Once again, I have been slacking in the communication department. So I thought it was about time to "check in." It seems like I've been very busy, but don't have much news.

I finished my Nurse's Aid course and now I am waiting for the test so that I can become certified. I'm looking for a job, but not too many long-term care facilities are hiring! Also this summer I have a lot of basketball and volleyball camps and leagues, which will keep my schedule full.

With Dan's graduation coming up we've been pretty busy; we're cleaning the garage tomorrow. *ugh* :-(

Hope all is fine and dandy down there!

Memory Lane

Down Memory Lane
by Elaine

Last Saturday afternoon, DeLoris and I took a trip Down Memory Lane. We do this each year about this time as we recollect these memories again. Memory Lane is a trip to the local cemeteries to put flowers on the graves of our family members.

Our first stop was in Wahpeton. Here are the graves of Grandpa Harry and Grandma Cleo, Brother Elwood, and my husband, Earl. We reminisced about when we were among the first to purchase lots in this soon-to-be-established cemetery on the west edge of Wahpeton. Money was scarce, but we could buy 4 lots for $300, payable @ $100 a year, so we bought them to help get it started.

It is known as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the area, with its pretty shrubbery and blooming apple blossoms on the trees. A local girl worked as a girl scout project to have clubs or private persons purchase flags for the circle, and I got one for the Wold-Anderson families.

It is breathtaking to see all the beautiful arrangements of flowers with all the veterans' little flags on those graves, plus these tall ones around the circle. Over the Memorial Day weekend, there will be a heavy stream of cars circling it, admiring the beauty of the final resting places of many loved ones. A nearby Veterans' Memorial has Elwood's name on it also.

Our next stop was at the Old Wahpeton Cemetery adjoining. We stop to put something on Hannah and Jean's graves, as they are a part of our family, too, we feel! This is the old cemetery that tells much of the history of Wahpeton, with all the tombstones marking the early families of Wahpeton, including Mr. Rich, who founded the city and for whom Richland County is named.

We then went to Great Bend cemetery where the Berndts are buried. Here are the graves of Gust and Rose, our grandparents, also Carl Grob, Bob and Gustie Mitzel, Cy Berndts, as well as our ancestors, the Lubenows. We put an artificial rose on David Lubenow's, one of the two first settlers here in Berlin, as it was then called. His stone is a very large upright one, since it seemed one's importance in the community was memorialized in the size of a marker.

Many of the stones are engraved in German writing. We recall the names of many who were friends and neighbors of our grandparents as we heard of them in our childhood. I remember my first memory of this cemetery and church was as a little girl going to the funeral of Emil Mitzel. His mother, Old Grandma Mitzel, walking in with her ankle length skirt, (the shorter ones were now in style) weeping unbearably, has never left my memory.

We stop to look at the gravesite of the Ramseys ... neighbors of Grandma's. On their marker is the story of how their son, Glen, lost his life in WW 2. It was so hard on them, to lose their only child, that it affected their health and they died quite young from the great loss in their lives.

We then drove on to the Dwight cemetery ... the burial spots of the Andersons ... relatives of Grandpa Harry. We were amazed to see the number of new burials there in one year's time, including several more classmates of ours. There is a new veterans' memorial put up here also in the last year or so.

One interesting stone which I always look at is the little child of Julius Andersons, Harry's relatives. They were poor people, he being a stone mason. He made a stone of concrete, with an inlaid printed name sign, printed in Norwegian and it is covered with glass. After 100 years, it is still readable. What a tribute to a little child when one could not afford ready made markers, and this stone has stood the tests of time.

I remember very well as a child, when the soldiers came for each Memorial Day and having a little service with the firing squad and playing of Taps, which has always impressed me.

There are various words and origins of Taps. The story I like is that it originated on a battlefield of the Civil War and was recognized by the US Army in 1874, and is given as the highest honor to those who have served our country.

The first verse is....."Day is done,
Gone the sun, From the lakes, From the hills, From the skies,...
All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.

Memorial Day first began as Decoration day when flowers were placed on the graves of the Civil War dead. It was later changed to Memorial Day to honor those from all wars.

In earlier days, one often planted tiger lilies, or brought fruit jars of lilacs to put on the graves of the departed. However, with power mowers used nowadays, flowers often were cut off, and with the spraying of dandelions, real flowers were often sprayed, so it has become very common to purchase decorations for the graves. Many use the plastic ones ... saying MOM and DAD, or other, also, little wooden crosses with flowers attached, and many have vases attached to the stones for putting in silk or plastic flowers.

Whether it is tiger lilies, lilacs, or fancy purchased bouquets, and whether it is called Memorial Day or Decoration Day, all generations felt the same special heart tugs with every grave they decorated.

Don has done a collection of "Memory " items and from them I have chosen a few to run in the Memory Lane column. This is the Fourth -- and last. --D.M.A.

Farming Operations in the 40's
by Donald Anderson

In the years from 1942 to 1947 we used a 21 inch cylinder Wood Brother separator and used a sweep rake to gather together the shocks to the thresher. It was my job to run this.

We cut hay with teams and 5 ft. mowers. Then used a haystacker to make stacks in the hay field. Straw piles dotted the fields and we hauled from them during the winter for bedding.

Dad bought his first new car in 1949, a Dodge Wayfarer, maroon in color. Mom and Dad really enjoyed having a new car. I think the price was under two thousand dollars. (The cheapest new ones now you pay $20,000 for.)

Dad was well on his feet in the 50's; he bought more land and updated the machinery with larger tractors, 4-row cultivators, power controlled machinery.

I admire his courage through the rough time to pull through and be comfortable. Dad did not get help from anyone. I can attest to him making it on his own. Certainly the war years were of help, but he still had to be there and put up with shortages and earlier he got by with very little money to farm and raise a family.

Hope you young 'uns realize how thing were for your forefathers and keep in mind the tough times could return. I hope they don't; once in a lifetime is enough; however I was young but even so I saw my father struggle through them!

by Donna

The Question:
Describe the most wonderful vacation you've ever taken. Why was it so great?

From: "Donna Richards"

I'm not a member of the Anderson/Dake clan, but thought I'd write anyway. My favorite vacation wasn't just 1 vacation. When I was a youngster, my family and our neighbors, the Raths, always took a few days at the end of summer (often around my birthday which is August 26), and go to a "cabin" by the lake. The 2 families would choose a different lake every year, some closer to home, some several hours' drive away. We'd rent a couple cabins at the lake and spend 3 or 4 days.

I remember the men getting up early to get the best fishing in the morning. We kids and our moms would go back to sleep until it was time for breakfast. The men would return from fishing, and all would have a hearty breakfast. There were 3 kids in each family, so there were 10 of us together for meals, and I had playmates instead of just my "crummy sister" to play with. (Love my sister dearly, but having a 5 year old tag along when you are 10 is always a burden!)

We kids would occasionally fish (later in the day than the early morning excursions), go swimming (if the water was warm, and sometimes even if it wasn't), and generally explore the area. What carefree days, and what fun we had! I've taken grander vacations since, but those yearly trips were a great treat for a farm girl. Not to mention that if it was my birthday I usually got a birthday card, and maybe a little present from more than just my family!

Thanks for letting me reminisce,
Donna R (that other Donna)!

Would like to hear from you !!!!!How about answering the current question -- You will find it at the top of Donna R's account of her favorite vacations! Or maybe you would prefer to answer the newest one:

What single accomplishment in your life have you been proudest of?

May I please hear from you? :-) Donna J

Cut and Dried

Below you will find 55 notorious expressions. Each of these similes is as old as the hills, is worn to a frazzle, and has by this time become as dull as dishwater. If you want proof of just how insidious they are, just see how they sneaked into the previous sentence.

However, this is a test of your memory. How many of the following phrases can you complete? Take 1 point off for each one you leave blank or get wrong. Give yourself 2 points for each correct answer.

A score of 55 is fine, 75 is dandy and 95 is super!

1. As fresh as a 
2. As brown as a 
3. As neat as a 
4. As smart as a  
5. As right as 
6. As pleased as 
7. As vain as a
8. As meek as a 
9. As brave as a
10. As stiff as a 
11. As heavy as
12. As light as a 
13. As fit as a 
14. As green as
15. As black as 
16. As white as a
17. As frisky as a
18. As pale as a
19. As happy as a
20. As simple as
21. As hard as
22. As limp as a 
23. As slow a
24. As quick as a  
25. As funny as a
26. As sly as a
27. As cold as
28. As cool as a 
29. As warm as
30. As quiet as a
31. As good as
32. As playful as a 
33. As blind as a
34. As fat as a
35. As thin as a
36. As hungry as a  
37. As dead as a
38. As clean as a
39. As innocent as a
40. As sweet as
41. As pretty as a
42. As ugly as
43. As stubborn as a
44. As sour as a
45. As sober as a
46. As sick as a
47. As clear as
48. As keen as a
49. As busy as a
50. As scarce as
51. As slow as a
52. As sharp as
53. As deep as the
54. As rare as a
55. As bright as a

   The answers for the questions will be in the Sunday, June 1 issue of The Bulletin!

The Family Cookbook
Culinary Heirlooms
by Doug Anderson

      The cupboard is bare, gentle readers, and so it is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that this week's installment will be the last Family Cookbook entry. The response was overwhelming and I want to thank every one who contributed in making this feature a success for as long as it was.
      I had so much fun doing last week's compare/contrast experiment, that today I want to do something similar. This week's entry will be a collaboration of sorts, between myself and Grandma Cleo.
      Upon studying my notes for new ideas I came upon some recipes of Grandma Cleo's that Auntie Elaine had sent me. One of them was for bread pudding, and this piqued my interest because bread pudding is part of our signature desert at The Chanticleer, the restaurant where I work. We serve chocolate bread pudding with creme Anglaise (English cream) and fresh fruit coulis.
      I thought it would be a nice way to cap off my column by combining Grandma Cleo's bread pudding with my creme Anglaise and fresh fruit coulis to make a simple, elegant desert that we all could enjoy.

Grandma Cleo's Bread Pudding
In a large bowl combine:
6 beaten eggs
6 cups milk
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of raisins

Blend in 10-12 cups of broken bread.
Bake in 9"x13" pan for 45 minutes, or until spongy and not mushy.
Auntie Elaine suggests a teaspoon of nutmeg or cinnamon.

For our purposes, I want to suggest an addition to Grandma Cleo's fine bread pudding recipe:
A cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips melted in a cup and a half of whole cream.
Use low heat and bring the whole cream to a simmer and add the chocolate chips.
Stir until you have a well-blended brown liquid.
Add to above recipe and combine well.

It is best to bake chocolate bread pudding in a "water bath," that is, a larger pan with a half inch of water in it, and the bread pudding in a smaller pan inside of that. The bread pudding must be covered with plastic wrap and then foil, respectively, and stirred vigorously at least once during baking, preferably at the halfway point.

"Chanticleer-style" Creme Anglaise
Bring 1 quart of whole cream and 3 drops of vanilla extract to near-boil.
Combine 6 beaten egg yolks and a half cup of sugar.
Slowly blend the egg yolk and sugar into the near-boiling cream.
Cook at medium heat, stirring constantly for 20-25 minutes, or until it is visibly thickened.
Let cool at room temperature. for half hour, stirring occasionally.

Fresh Raspberry Coulis
Heat 2 quarts fresh raspberries in two cups of water and half cup white wine (optional).
Boil briefly.
Puree well, using food mill or good old-fashioned elbow grease!
Return to boil.
Add one and a half cup of powdered sugar, slowly, stirring constantly.
Strain well, preferably with China cap.
Cool for at least an hour, funnel into plastic squeeze bottle.

Any fresh fruit may be substituted in the coulis recipe; I chose raspberry because it is the classic flavor to combine with chocolate.

To present, ladle about and ounce and a half (about a half of most standard large soup ladles) of creme Anglaise onto a large, white plate. It is important that you don't use too much, or else your dessert will "swim" in itself. Best to practice one before turning it on your guests! Let it cover the entire inside of the plate, but not the outer rim.
Scoop chocolate bread pudding into center of the plate.
"Paint" the creme Anglaise with your plastic bottle of coulis, streaking and drizzling in any design you wish. Add to this ordinary chocolate syrup, also "painted" in streaks, limns, circles, whatever you wish. You can also intersect these lines and designs using a toothpick, adding some artistic flair, if you are feeling particularly creative.
Top with a little powdered sugar on the bread pudding, maybe some crushed nuts around the rim of the plate, and Voilà, a desert that will stun the most skeptical of guests!

      I would like to thank the two most prolific contributors to the cookbook, Auntie Elaine and my sister Donna, for all their inspiration and support. Bon Appetite!

Gardening Tips

by Doris Anderson

Okay, I'll admit it--if I don't write something down, chances are that I'll forget! :-) The same holds true for gardening. I tend to keep some evergreen potted plants year after year. Due to our weather conditions, many plants do not go dormant in our milder winters.

Almost lost a nice one recently--a pretty Mexican heather plant with tiny white flowers started to look sickly. In the hustle and bustle of life, I forgot when I last checked the root system. It finally dawned on me to pull the plant out of the pot and take a look. I was really sorry to see how neglected it was--way past time to repot it.

I trimmed the root ball, then replanted with potting mix. Sprinkled in a pinch of Blood Meal (nitrogen), added a little Osmocote for good measure, and watered it. Fortunately, it's doing fine and looking healthy again.

Then I began to wonder how best to avoid losing a valued plant and keep better track of my repotting. A trip to the local craft store has helped me solve the problem.

I found what look like oversized Popsicle sticks -- 75 to a package -- for under $3.00. A Sharpie permanent marker seems to work well -- just add the date you last repotted the plant, then stick it into the pot along the edge. These items remain in my gardening basket as essential tools. I have better gardening management and healthier plants. Most of my potted plants now have Popsicle sticks with dates on them! Of course, if you have a better system, do tell! :-)


P.S.: I have over 50 potted plants! Excuses, excuses, excuses! :-)

Big Deal
Classifieds (


Notice: Wanted, people willing to learn fencing

Training program at the Beaver Johnson residence. Need responses ASAP. Further notification, for training dates when available. Call 218-747-2034 or contact or

Regarding the offer of fencing lessons made by Mr. Johnson, will a foil and mask be provided, or will I be required to bring my own?

D. Anderson
Isanti, MN

Our Present Staff:
EDITORS: Mom, Grandma, Sister, etc.
Doug -------St. Cloud Correspondent - "Family Cookbook"
Beaver------"By Beaver"
Rich---------Mr. In-A-Jam(b) &
Kim------his assistant
Donna------Researcher for "Memory Lane" & "Chuckles"
& Let's Get Better Acquainted