Sunday, January 25, 2004
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Kim's Hotel Johnson check in (left); Jolene in U-Haul truck (right)
Rescuing the Folks from the State of Misery
When Don and Dorothy showed up in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, who would have thought they would be moving to Minnesota by mid-January? In the words of a girl working the till at a cold, windy gas stop in Iowa, when Don told her he was moving from Missouri to Minnesota, "Are you nuts?"
Since they had sold their home and Don had packed all their possessions into boxes and stacked them by the door the day after the sale was finalized, it was time to commence the rescue mission. We left home at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 15, picking up Wyatt and Jolene at Wyatt’s Mom’s house, where they stored Riley to be picked up on the way back. We picked up Weston on our way to Long Lake.
When we arrived at Marlene and Rich’s home in Long Lake, we were somewhat puzzled when a wizened doorman dressed in a suit met us in the driveway. The doorman escorted us inside, where a sign informed us that we had entered the Charles Street Hotel Johnson. We signed in at a check in desk staffed by a quiet, chubby, uniformed fellow. A uniformed bellhop took our luggage. We received room keys, floor plans, and personalized gold embossed brochures at the desk. A large sign and a brochure announced: Continental Breakfast at 4:30 in the morning. Every room in the hotel was labeled with gold embossed signs, with the bedrooms having numbers and the other rooms labeled by function.
Using the floor plan brochure, D and I found our way to the second level and located the room number matching our room key. In our room we found mints on the pillows, a Do Not Disturb sign, a No Smoking sign, and a sign asking us to Enjoy Your Stay. Later, when the staff removed their masks, we discovered that our reception was planned and arranged by Kim, who had been staffing the check in desk. Well done, Kim, you gave us lots of chuckles! Thanks, Mark the doorman, and Whitney the bellhop!
We were gently awakened at 4:00 a.m. and enjoyed a wonderful Continental Breakfast. After kidnapping Marlene (a permanent resident of the Johnson Hotel), we were on the road at 4:45 Friday morning, agreeing that our stay at the Johnson Hotel was the best ever. The next 11 hours are of no interest, as we drove out of Minnesota in the dark, crossed Ishould Of Went Around the shortest way possible, and drove in rain through most of The State of Misery. The only notable thing about this part of the trip was that D drove the whole way while she and Marlene talked non-stop. Both of them. Really. For eleven hours! The rest of us nodded and napped in the back of the van, occasionally awakened by Jolene or Weston, who can’t resist being a little noisy sometimes.
When we got to Don and Dorothy’s, they fed us all we could eat of the most wonderful chili, a risky thing to do when the next 24 hours will be spent together in vehicles and motel rooms. The upshot of this was that the only one who would accompany Wyatt was his wonderful, long suffering wife, Jolene, who stuck with him in the rental truck all the way from Springfield to Minneapolis.
Don had put in a marathon couple of days, so the truck was completely loaded. We were on the road again in less than an hour, convoying north through a dark, rainy, foggy night. Marlene led the way, driving Don and Dorothy in their car. Next came Wyatt and Jolene in the big U-Haul truck. Weston drove the van, with D doing the worrying while I hunkered uselessly in my seat, wondering why they made me come along if they didn’t need me. I would find out soon.
After a couple of hours of driving through the aforementioned dark, rainy, foggy night, meeting heavy traffic on two lane roads, we guessed that Marlene was probably ready for a break. D called her on her cell phone, and Marlene immediately turned off the road into a U-Haul truck trap, actually a used car lot disguised as a service station. A fellow rushed out of the office to forcefully inform Wyatt that he couldn’t fit through the lines of cars (duh!), so after a little polite conversation, and with the aid of a helpful motorist who stopped his car in the street to block traffic, Wyatt was able to back out and drive to a more open parking lot, where Marlene and I traded places.
By the next stop, I had forgotten about Dorothy’s Jazzy scooter being on a carrier fastened to the back bumper of the car, and dragged the carrier on the asphalt a couple of times getting into a gas station. There was no apparent damage, and I didn’t lose my job, but figured I was probably on probation. We had decided ahead of time (this only happened once, this deciding ahead of time) that we would stop at a hotel in Cameron where D has had some luck negotiating cheap room rates on past trips. Of course I managed to not recognize a great hole in the asphalt near the motel (in my defense, it was still the aforementioned dark, rainy, foggy night, and the hole was full of water), and drove Don and Dorothy right through it. Ouch! No damage done except to my pride and my credibility as a driver.
D couldn’t talk them into 4 rooms at $30 each, so we got 3 rooms at $35 each. Luckily, everybody was tired, D and Marlene were pretty well talked out, and neither of them snores much. We were up and standing outside the locked door of the motel lobby at 6:30 a.m. for the Continental Breakfast promised by a sign in the lobby. When it became apparent that no breakfast was forthcoming, and no one was even going to let us in, we drove to McDonald's for breakfast.
In spite of my antics the night before, I was allowed to drive Don and Dorothy again, with Wyatt and Jolene following in the truck, and the rest following in the van. It was 40 degrees, a little mist coming down, not a bad morning for traveling. Before long, D gunned the van past the convoy and took the lead, a good idea, since the van was the only vehicle of the three with a working cruise control. At the first stop, Marlene and I traded places. Wyatt and Jolene stayed with the truck the whole way. We drove out of the wet weather, into sunshine, and then into somewhat colder weather as we went north, pushing into a stiff headwind. At one rest stop, all the vehicles slid as they came to a stop we were on glare ice. The main road never got slippery, much to our relief.
By about 3 p.m., we were at Lori’s new home in Maple Grove, where we were met by a large crew who unloaded some items that Don and Dorothy will not need at their apartment, but Lori will need as a first-time homeowner. Then we were off for Alexandria, with Wyatt, Mark Johnson, and me in the truck. Weston had the honor of driving Don and Dorothy for this leg of the trip. All of them were in such a hurry to get there that they took off and left us behind, so we plugged along into the wind as best we could, getting to Alexandria about 5 p.m.
The unloading crew had grown larger, now consisting of: the Johnson clan, Rich, Heidi, Kim, Whitney, and Mark, as well as Curt & Patty, Don & Patty, Lori, Chris, and the original six rescuers. Within an hour, the truck was unloaded and all the contents were moved into Don and Dorothy’s second floor apartment. In another couple of hours, the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathrooms, and the computer areas were all set up and ready to go. We cleared out so they could get some much needed rest, thankful that the whole operation had gone off without a hitch.
When I woke up this morning, the temperature here was 15 degrees below zero. Welcome back to Minnesota, Don and Dorothy, and remember the old saying: "If you don’t like the weather, remember you’re in Minnesota, be a little patient, and it will be different tomorrow!" We hope the warm feeling of being closer to your family will make up for the cold weather.
The Moving Crew
The Miss Kitty Letters*
By Miss Kitty
Happy Chinese New Year!
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, we have entered "the year of the monkey." Any excuse for a party, I say, and Miss Jerrianne says if I had a prehensile tail, I'd make a fine monkey. Hurray for monkeyshines! I say. Let the good times roll! And for those who haven't quite gotten their New Year's resolutions about getting more exercise implemented yet, you've got a second chance, Miss Jerrianne (and Miss Hetty) ... so let's go!
Here in Alaska, winter seems to have settled in. First we got snow ... lots of it ... twice as much as usual for this time of year. A nice young man came over and shoveled it off our roof. It sounded like Santa Claws and his reindeer were having a party up there. Then great avalanches of snow cascaded off the roof right past the windows. And all those pretty icicles from the heat tape up there shattered and fell into the back yard.
We watched the thermometer drop to 22 degrees below zero and we don't even want to know how much farther it fell when we weren't watching it. Then, after a few days of bone chilling cold, it zoomed right back up again, in time for the annual January thaw. What a difference 50 degrees makes! Why, before I knew it, I was back in my pouch and we were driving around town for appointments and errands just like before.
We read in the paper that the sun rose in Barrow, Alaska, for the first time in 66 days. Can you imagine two months with no sunshine at all? I'd be plenty cranky! I can't say that I've minded spending winter time indoors. Miss Jerrianne spends extra time in the kitchen and I jump up on the kitchen stool to watch her. I love the smells of comfort food cooking on the stove and cookies baking in the oven. I'd be happy to help out with the sniffing and taste testing ... but I've had to settle for kitty crunchies.
Sometimes I get an unexpected bonus ... like the frozen pizza box. I don't know how Miss Jerrianne happened to buy a frozen pizza, but she did ... and I got the box! The box has a slice cut out, so she could see what kind of pizza was inside, and that box is full of mysteries. She drops toys and treats inside. I fish them out. My little red bouncy ball looks like a cherry tomato. In it goes. I blast it out and chase it under the stove.
My toys are always disappearing ... most of the bouncy balls have vanished and my favorite mouse has been lost for days. Sometimes I hide my toys and wait to see how long it will take Miss Jerrianne to find them. I like to surprise her, hiding things in places she thinks I couldn't go. Sometimes I hide things so well that I can't find them, either. Miss Jerrianne says it's time we went on a still hunt to find all the missing toys ... so if you don't hear from us for a day or so, we are still hunting!
For more Miss Kitty adventures visit my web log:
This and That
by Elaine Wold
As critical thinkers.....we need to evaluate the following......max
Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately -- without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional pain "relievers."
Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?
Before you head to the store for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.
Achy muscles from a bout with the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in * cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.
Sore Throat?? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 Tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.
Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly -- even though the product was never been advertised for this use.
Eliminate puffiness under your eyes.... All you need is a dab of preparation H, carefully rubbed into the skin, avoiding the eyes. The hemorrhoid ointment acts as a vasoconstrictor, relieving the swelling instantly.
Honey remedy for skin blemishes.... Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a band-aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile and speeds healing. Works overnight.
Listerine therapy for toenail fungus... Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.
Easy eyeglass protection... To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.
Coca-Cola cure for rust... Forget those expensive rust removers. Just saturate an abrasive sponge with Coca-Cola and scrub the rust stain. The phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job done.
Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer.... If menacing bees, wasps, hornets or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.
Smart splinter remover... just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue all over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.
Hunt's tomato paste boil cure... cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.
Balm for broken blisters..... To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine.... a powerful antiseptic.
Heinz vinegar to heal bruises... Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.
Kills fleas instantly. Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Goodbye, fleas.
Rainy day cure for dog odor... Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.
Eliminate ear mites.... All it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear. Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.
Vaseline cure for hair balls..... To prevent troublesome hair balls, apply a dollop of Vaseline petroleum jelly to your cat's nose. The cat will lick off the jelly, lubricating any hair in its stomach so it can pass easily through the digestive system.
Quaker Oats for fast pain relief.... It's not just for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.
Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.
The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Today's column gives you a letter from our new Photography Editor--Jerrianne Lowther (who also serves as one of the Alaskan Correspondents).
ENJOY -- (I am looking forward to Richard Johnson's report. :)
When I first heard you were moving from Missouri to Minnesota in January, I thought, Wow! How can they stand to do that? ... and then I laughed when I remembered that we moved from Phoenix, Arizona, to Alaska, in January of 1975. I still have an account of that trip, written by my brother Richard, and a few photos. It impresses me yet that Richard, a 19-year-old farm boy, at the time, was able to pull it off so smoothly. He really did it all.
Alaska was gearing up for building the oil pipeline and trucks were in great demand. We had been told that we could drive a truck to Alaska and sell it for enough profit to pay for the move. Richard found a suitable truck ... in a junkyard! (Ortho mattress company had gone to leased trucks and had sold their whole fleet ... some to fix up for resale and the rest to cannibalize for parts at the junkyard.) Richard selected what he hoped was the best truck, fixed it up, winterized it, secured spare parts he thought we might need and drove it all the way to Alaska with our International Scout hooked on behind.
Mic had been working for an airline in Alaska since Thanksgiving and he arranged for a truck loan there. He flew from Anchorage to Phoenix on Christmas Day and helped us pack the truck. Then he and Kyra flew back to Alaska on New Year's Day, leaving Richard and me to drive the vehicles. We didn't have much time to sort and throw away. We just stuffed everything into the truck and headed north.
Richard and I left Phoenix on January 2 and arrived in Anchorage January 14. We did not tell anyone in the family (except Mic and Kyra) that we were going to Alaska. I said we were going on a trip and we'd call when we got home. I didn't want anyone to call us and find out our phone had been disconnected. They were too far away to help and I figured it would be easier to manage the worrying on my own.
The Bolivian Beat
By Kjirsten Swenson
I had a great time in Tierra del Fuego National Park even though it rained on me all day today. My tent leaked. grrrrrrrr :( It's late and I have to be on a bus in less than 5 hours, but I'll tell you about it a different day.
The true test will begin tomorrow, when I begin to hike the Torres Circuit. Fortunately the forecast for Puerto Natales doesn't indicate a high probability of rain in the near future, but we know that Torres is highly disrespectful towards the weather man.
Today I bused for 12 hours, arriving in Punta Arenas with just enough time to buy my butane and groceries for eight days of backpacking. Depending on my legs, the weather, and whether or not I decide to re-hike the Francis Valley and to the base of the Torres themselves, it might not take me that long. I have oatmeal and bran cereal to mix into it for breakfast. Lunch will be cheese, dulce, with ham and bread for the first days, and crackers for the last 4. All of my dinners will consist of instant soup carbohydrated with instant potatoes/squash mix or instant polenta. Yum, I hope.
I'm being evicted from the Internet Cafe... Wish me a lots of sun!
From the Files of 5
Hetty Hooper --
the Family Snooper!
Oh my, but the Boss has a nice family! I got to meet the moving crew for a quick lunch before they took off for the northern "cold land" (to find out who I am talking about read Beaver's account -- found in this paper).
Now Miss Kitty isn't the only one who can talk about the far north -- I have connections there too -- so there!
I am thinking of moving to Minnesota, too, but I think maybe I might move there in the summer. The only thing is -- I was talking to Susie in at Walmart and she tells me there is snow there every month of the year. If that is true I really wonder if I dare to go to Minneapolis to set up my office??
I think some of you might be interested in hearing a little more about the girl Ryan H. (ND) is seen around town with. She sounds nice to me.
Ryan is dating Jessica Nelson from Willmar, Minnesota. Her parents are Merlin and Myrna Nelson. They have lived in Willmar for about six years. Jessica is a freshman at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, with an English major and a Spanish minor.
And now I have to make an apology yet again! It seems I was mistaken about the Boss's son Doug. Mavis is his car, not his girlfriend -- sorry about the misinformation.
I am quite sure this newest item is true! I really don't know very much, but I do know this:
Doug has been seen around town with a girl. I was told her name is Jean Marie. Hope to find out more very soon!
And just remember, Hetty told you first!!!
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR?
Notes to Dorothy and Don before the Move ~
Just a note before the computer goes down... You will be anxious to get settled in now. Won't that be nice? It will all go well, with all the help on both ends, so no need to worry. Just let the rest take over now... sit back and relax!!!!!! It is windy out, but the sun is trying to shine ... Been nice except for the one cold spell a couple weeks ago, so not a bad winter at all... Take care...
I gave The Bulletin a "quick skim," (It looks wonderful!) but I want to save it for tonight. I will give you a more detailed review later, after my hectic day is done. There is a lot of dissent in the kitchen lately... Makes for a tense workplace; at least I have The Bulletin to look forward to! Thanks for that!
Sure hope you enjoy your move; when it gets too cold there, you know we have an open door here in sunny Arizona for you both.
Love, Auntie Lollie
Hello Dorothy. It is likely I'll have to travel to Minneapolis at least once this year. Our plant there is located in Plymouth. Are you anywhere near there?
Good luck with the move.
Love, Dan Mellon (my first cousin once removed)
from a Friend in Springfield
Our Sunday get together was great. I treasure the precious moments spent with friends and we will so miss you! Take care and love to you and Don
Happy trails, and the very best of luck with your move! I'll look forward to hearing from you when you're settled.
Glad you're still on line ... you will be missed during the hiatus!
After the Move...
Welcome back!!! Both literally to Minnesota and figuratively on line! Janie
We know you are settled into your new home and are happy for you. We make a few trips to the Cities now that Ryan is there, so Alexandria is right on the way and we can stop in for coffee and a visit with you.We will love to have you! How nice it will be that you are closer to many of the family.
Glad to hear that you are back on line and everything sounds to be up and running! I've been trying to get all of those same things (phone & utilities) set up this week, too! Mom said that she was there until late yesterday helping you get things decorated and supplies purchased. I hope you are pretty much all set now.
It was fun helping with the move (wish I could have gone down to Missouri also) and with everyone's help, the unloading sure didn't take long!
to every one of you who helped us complete the return to Minnesota so smoothly. We are so grateful! We want you all to know that we have arrived home. Come and see us! Without the backing and assistance of our wonderful family we could never have completed the trip!
Don and Dorothy
Here is our address and phone number to make sure you know where to reach us!
Don and Dorothy Anderson
720 22nd Ave E Box 222
Alexandria, Mn 56308
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY: Knowlege comes, but wisdom lingers. --Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.