Sunday, September 24, 2006
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FAMILY UPDATE -- moving on
I'm writing to you from balmy West Yellowstone (36 degrees F. with snow flurries, going down to low 20's tonight). Before an update, first a geography lesson...
How many of you know which state West Yellowstone is in? (I would have gotten this one wrong!) I didn't fool Donnie; he has been here snowmobiling. Anyone? I would have guessed Wyoming. WRONG! (We are within 5-10 miles of Wyoming.) We are also within 10-20 miles of Idaho, BUT NO, We are heralding from Montana!
I will start by explaining that I have a new job that not only takes us on the road but will try to keep us there. This new job is in construction management for assisted living projects as well as hotel construction. The picture shows less than half of this project. The company I work for does the framework for these buildings all over the U.S. and Canada. I was asked to come to West Yellowstone recently from my training in Grants Pass, Oregon, to finish this timeshare hotel.
The previous manager of this site disappeared for two weeks before my office knew whether he was dead or alive. They found him alive but unwilling to continue leaving his family with small children.
This hotel was about half finished with the framing when I arrived, and we have continued from there. I expect to be here for another four weeks or so and I don't know where I go next, possibly to New Mexico for two projects there, but nothing is confirmed yet. We are excited to see some of the country and find new friends wherever we go. So, the long and short of it is we are gypsies! Employed gypsies, but gypsies, nonetheless! We have seen many raised eyebrows when we try to explain what we are doing, but we don't feel the least bit put out.
The most often asked question we have gotten is, "What about the children's school?" Kim is out, which is nice; Whitney is a freshman this year and Mark is in 8th grade. The answer is very easy! Whitney started with an online "public school" program two years ago and Mark joined her last school year.
This is a fully accredited public school, approved by the State of Minnesota, and they have many states which participate in this program. Whitney and Mark "go to school" 180 days a year and have the same vacation days off as the Minneapolis Public Schools. Whitney and Mark simply (maybe not) sign on to the school's web site and fill out their attendance form; then they download their assignments for the day, do their work, and send it back. Whitney was one of eight students the first year, then Whitney and Mark were two of 500 students last year (attendance capped at 500). As for this year, I haven't heard how many students there are.
They like their teachers this year. Whitney's biology teacher just happens to be a medical doctor! And yes, they can e-mail their teachers and get a quick response to their questions, either by e-mail or by phone.
We have gotten a 5th wheel trailer to live in and I am currently in the "Grizzly RV Park." YES, there really ARE grizzlies in and around this park! Marlene and the kids are coming after Hector Convention, which ends this [past] weekend. We all plan to go back to Minnesota for the Eagle Bend 2 Convention, which is the second weekend in October.
That's all for now; we will write when time permits.
Rich and Marlene and family
UPDATE -- holding on
Lately I have had a lot of people call or e-mail to ask me how I'm doing, so I guess it is about time I write an update to try my best to answer that question. To be honest, part of the reason I haven't written anything lately is because it is kind of hard to sum up how things are going. I don't know if I can answer that question in my own mind, much less to anyone else.
I guess the best way I can put it is I am doing as well as can be expected. Work has been busy, but I've been able to concentrate and get done with what I need to get done. I'm still able to get out and have fun with my friends. So I do feel that I am still living my life, that I have not been debilitated by everything that has happened.
On the other hand, it seems that thoughts of Coni are still with me every minute of every day. At first those thoughts only brought pain and sadness, but I do feel like more and more they are bringing happiness or even a smile. Some days are better than others. A lot of days are bad, then good, then bad again, or vice versa. I guess it is just a process of putting the bad memories to rest and holding the good memories close.
The overriding feeling I've had lately is that I have gone back in time by two years, to before I met Coni. I live in the same house, go to the same job. Instead of spending all of my free time with Coni, I spend it doing the same things I did with my time before I met Coni.
So there is a familiarity to everything I do, yet nothing feels the same. After spending last year getting to know and falling in love with Coni, then spending the first seven months of this year doing whatever we could every day to fight Coni's cancer, living with it every single day, it is a surreal feeling to be right back where I was before it all started. Sometimes it is hard to believe it really happened at all.
I am trying to spend some time looking forward instead of back. I'm planning a trip to Phoenix in October to attend a symposium of many of the doctors who have been studying ACC, the cancer Coni had. Coni and I had planned to go together before things took a turn for the worse. I am also planning to put a garden in my backyard before the ground freezes so I can raise flowers and vegetables next year, something Coni and I had talked about doing. It makes me feel like I can still do something for Coni, and in a way I feel that I will be doing those things with her, even though she will not be there physically.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support. It really means a lot to me to hear from everyone.
UPDATE -- moving in (soon)
Bridget came over two days this last weekend to help with painting in Becky's kitchen. I painted in the kids' bathroom, which will need an additional coat at some point. Becky and Caity helped out where needed. It's a little chilly in there right now, with our temperatures dropping after the storms blew through on Saturday. We will have to wait for electricity to continue working out there now, as it's too cold to paint.
UPDATE -- moved in, new addition coming soon
We go to school/work/daycare during the day Tuesday and then Nathan's sister and family are coming in the evening. Wednesday we leave for Hunter Convention. We plan to come back on Sunday evening and have our new baby via C-section on Tuesday morning.
Brenda, Nathan, Jazmine & Jonathan Hill
UPDATE --"H" Farmall on parade after 60 years
The first tractor that my dad (Harry Anderson) purchased new was a 1946 "H" Farmall. This summer commemorated the 60th anniversary of its purchase. There is an Old Machinery Display and Parade each year at the Wilkin County Fair in Breckenridge, Minnesota, in August, so this year I entered the "H" to celebrate its 60th birthday. It went over quite well and I received a nice trophy.
Granddaughter Jazmine Hill rode along in the parade. (She would be Harry Anderson's great granddaughter.) She took it very seriously and waved at the spectators like a little princess!
Barb designed and made the sign, which told the tractor's history, and I mounted it on the front of the loader.
This "H" was purchased new by Harry Anderson of Dwight, ND from Feneis Implement of Mooreton, ND and was delivered to his farm on July 16, 1946. With over 60 years of dependable service, it continues to be used on the farm for yard work and snow removal. The cab was purchased, restored and installed in 1990.
Cabs for Farmalls were sold by a few outside vendors, but never in large numbers. International Harvester advertised these cabs in dealer-only catalogs. Cabs often went to industrial users, where they were battered and abused. Few cabs of the 1940s era remain today. This cab was made by Tokheim, Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Day to Day R
Grandma Donna Chap sent home a gift with Caity after their last visit ... a Chihuahua puppy. Max is four months old, a very friendly little guy. Max seems to be a quick learner and is already good about the "puppy pad" and otherwise going outside with the "big dogs." He loves playing with Tate and will miss him when he goes back home. (Tate and Jake are here on a visit while Lori is out of town on business trips.)
World Wide School
The Matriarch Speaks W
I thought you might enjoy getting a look at Rich's and Mar's new home on the road ... a 5th wheel and truck... so the family can follow the construction jobs. Rich stopped by for supper last Sunday. After the Hector convention was over, his family took their Suburban and headed out to see his work area. Two of the young men who worked for him have joined his crew and are going to Montana, too. They plan to follow him to whatever jobs he is placed on.
I think everyone thought I would be upset. Well I am not! I just wish I could go along!
On second thought, Don just sent me the Underground Weather for the Yellowstone area, and yes, there is snow in the mountains. Maybe I am glad I am staying home!
At 6:30 Tuesday morning we got a call from Marlene. She offered to treat us to breakfast here in town. Marlene, Kim, Whitney and Mark were on their way to Yellowstone. We met them at the easiest place in town to meet ... near the highway (and Caribou!) and quick service for travelers. They planned to drive straight through -- with Kim spelling Marlene, it all went fine.
Who Is This?
Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.
How many can you identify?
I know that is Great-Grandpa Mellon ... and is he with Lulu (his second wife)?
Carol Dake Printz
Editor's Note: Very close ... it is indeed Grandpa Mellon with his second wife, Lulu (Lent), taken in my folks's living room. She was a widow with a daughter and son-in-law ... very nice people. I think Grandpa and she were married in about 1953 but I cannot find any record in my two family books. Aren't they the happiest looking couple in that picture! I think they had about six years together before Grandpa died.
The GUESS picture looks like an advertisement for something, doesn't it? A very happy couple, and a lovely, comfortable home. But who they are I have no clue.
Looks a little like brother LeRoy, doesn't it? It should, as it is our Grandpa Mellon and his second wife, Grandma Lulu.
Editor's comment: Thanks for guessing, and yes, I have always thought that Billy and LeRoy both looked a lot like Uncle Everett and Grandpa.
The picture of Grampa Mellon and Lula (bell) was very nice. She was a good wife.
You know Blanche stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Mellon some when she was in normal training at Buffalo so saw much of that old couple then. They were PERFECT hosts to your sis and I was very thankful for their great love for Blanche.
I think I know the people in this picture as being Grand Pa Mellon and his wife Lou! Don't know the date but he was always a nice looking gentleman!
Editor's comment: Yes, Tom, your memory is keying you in ... but the name of his wife was Lulu -- now that was close!
Sanctuary Among the Tall Stalks
I had no idea I was being followed. In my mind, I had just perpetrated the perfect crime; I had taken the last can of pop from the downstairs refrigerator and walked away as calmly as Jesse James riding away from the Northfield Bank. I snapped the can open with some resolve, breathing in the artificial grape bouquet with a deep sense of self-satisfaction. I escaped through the basement ground level door and made a left straight into the cornfield, a clean getaway -- so I thought.
I counted seven rows, made a right, walked approximately twenty yards past my father's workshop (perfectly aligned with the telephone pole with the red paint on it), made a left, counted another seven rows and dropped in my tracks.
This was it.
This was my own private Shangri-La, hidden deep in the green and leafy cornstalk jungle. Actually, it was just a large cardboard box in the middle of a dirt row, my GI Joe footlocker and a stash of comic books, but to me it was as lavish and secure as any mountain fortress.
I smiled to myself and took a long pull off of my syrupy grape soda. Now to savor the spoils of war, I thought. What suits a fine summer's day in the middle of a cornfield more than some literature? I said to myself and gently slipped out the Sergeant Rock comic book that was rolled up tightly between the bases of two cornstalks.
"Where are the Russians?" I wondered aloud, after a minute. "There should be Russian soldiers if they are trying to show what happened in the final days of the war. Who writes this junk, anyway?" I had done a little bit of reading in my father's History of World War II book and subsequently demanded a certain amount of plausibility in my fiction, even if the particular fiction I was currently reading did cost only twenty-five cents and advertised sea monkeys on the back.
Then came a rustling of corn leaves behind me, a few rows over, from the direction of our house. I fell down on all fours and shimmied down the dirt row at a fairly good clip, hoping to catch a glimpse of the intruder. I must have looked like some kind of rare, mutant salamander to any pilot who may have been flying overhead.
Someone was creeping through the rows, making a feeble attempt at being stealthy as they did.
Fortunately, I had run drills to prepare for this eventuality. The only possible evasive maneuver was simple: Retreat.
I hopped up on my feet and began a serpentine trot for the end of the row. I had undoubtedly been detected, but the exact location of my hideout was still unknown to the intruder and I knew I had to guard that information at all costs. Everyone needs sanctuary, after all.
I burst out of the cornfield and onto the dirt road, gasping for air. After a brief bout of hyperventilation in the ditch, I picked myself up and headed for the house. I brushed clumps of black dirt from my jeans and eyeballed the corn rows suspiciously as I went. The leaves remained silent and unmoving, offering no clues as to the identity of the intruder.
I perched on the backyard swing-set for the better part of an hour, waiting for someone to come out of the cornfield. I gnawed on my fingernails and paced back and forth by the sandbox. I realized that it was a very large cornfield, so I changed my vantage point every so often, checking the dirt road and the faraway regions behind my father's workshop. At some point, I became hungry and wandered off to make myself a sandwich.
About a week later, I was enjoying some recreational time among the tall stalks when the very same kind of intrusion happened again. This time, the commotion came from the direction of the wooded area behind my father's workshop. It seems the intruders had decided to try a different approach, perhaps to catch me unaware. Fortunately for me, my enemies' sneaking technique had not improved at all. I detected their approach as easily as if they had been driving a forklift through the rows.
I dropped the model of a German U-boat I was working on and closed my footlocker.
Determined to keep my fort's location covert, I engaged my retreat plan once more. However, this time with a small twist, strategy-wise; I hoped to draw the intruders away from my bunker by making a great noise, retreat a few rows and then lie in wait for them. In this way, I would find out the identity of the intruders without giving away my fort's location.
I crashed through several rows like a crazed wildebeest and dropped to the ground. I waited for what seemed an eternity, probably a full five minutes. I peered through the base of the cornstalks. I saw nothing. I heard nothing.
Then came a brassy shriek from directly behind me:
I leapt up and spun around to find my five-year-old niece, holding out my half-finished U-boat as if she had just found King Tutankhamun's tiara.
"Holy smoke!" I said, feigning ignorance. "Where'd ya get that?"
My niece squinted up at me through disbelieving eyes. She may have been only five years old, but she was nobody's rube.
"It's yours. Whattya' doin' out here with that box?" she said.
"Box?" I asked, arching my eyebrows.
"Is that your fort? Can I play?"
It was obvious that my whole operation had been blown. My cherished sovereign state had been thrown over by a curious child with an uncanny knack for tracking and a keen eye for deception. I felt I had no choice but to take this obviously gifted military prodigy into my ranks and train her as my adjutant. This would mean I would have to show her the whole operation, which apparently she had already seen, so it all seemed quite logical from a strategic point of view.
In forty-five minutes she grew weary of her training and her visits to the cornfield grew less and less until they finally stopped altogether. Apparently, she did not have the fondness of being ordered around that is essential to make a good Private, so I discharged her.
After that, I pulled up stakes and moved my cache of military secrets back indoors, where it would be safe from corn-picking machines, curious crows and precocious five-year-olds. I unfolded the large box and dragged it back to where I had requisitioned it from. In the end, there was nothing left of my fort but a few broken cornstalks and some oddly gratifying memories of sanctuary in a very unlikely setting.
Hiking Jasper & Banff National Parks
By the time we arrived in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, to drop off Sheldon to catch his flight home from the Queen Charlotte Islands, we had decided to drive all night so we would have a couple of days to hike in the Canadian Rockies.
Kjirsten drove until daybreak, then I took over, stopping only for gas and coffee and a caramel roll to go. We stopped briefly in Jasper, then headed for the Columbia Icefield area. Our plan was to find a campsite, then hike up Mount Wilcox.
It was supposed to be a moderate scramble, but near the top we found it to be very steep, with slippery scree slopes and dangerously exposed. Tyler was ahead of us and we could barely see him at the summit when we decided to turn back. He learned a valuable lesson in not getting too far ahead as he negotiated a slow return. Aunika and I hiked back to the camper as fast as we could and had hot tomato soup with vegetables ready when Tyler and Kjirsten returned. We ended the day with camp pies and hot chocolate around a campfire.
The next day we drove to Emerald Lake near Lake Louise and hiked the Emerald Lake Triangle. It was another beautiful day with spectacular scenery and gorgeous wildflowers. The last part of the hike was down a few miles on a heavily forested slope. Without warning, a tree root jumped up and tripped me! It was a few weeks before I could kneel on one knee without remembering a slow pitch forward and THUD.
Dinner that night was at the Grizzly Fondue House in Banff. One of our family traditions is dinner there (if they don't complain while hiking). We started that when Sheldon and I took Shane backpacking the summer he was 7 or 8 years old. Four hungry hikers devoured wonderful meals, complete with chocolate fondue, and slept like logs that night.
Our final day dawned clear and sunny, so we took the first shuttle to the Sunshine Mountain ski area to begin our hike to Citadel Pass. It was another day of fantastic scenery and wildflowers. We enjoyed eating lunch with a view of Mt. Assiniboine in the distance. (Click here to see "Lunch at Citadel Pass" photo in Bulletin 220.)
About the time we returned to the camper, it started to rain, which made it much easier to begin our drive back to North Dakota. Once again we drove all night, arriving just in time for Kjirsten to see the dentist and eye doctor before she returned to Baylor College of Medicine for her second year of medical school.
o In Service To Our Nation j
Gilbert McCalla, U.S. Marine
Gilbert Orrin McCalla, USMC
Gilbert Orrin McCalla joined the Marines and trained at Camp Pendleton at San Diego, California. Gilbert was training to be a paratrooper.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
More September Birthdays
September 2---Michael and Sarah Dake Steinhauer (4 years)
September Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Keep Us Posted!
Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
Dear Editor, Dorothy -- Absolutely loved Doug's pictures and captions of Patty and Curt. It ALMOST made up for your estimation of IOWA, "nothing worth taking a picture of" ... HEY!
That's my home state, born and raised (reared?) on Iowa corn and hogs! I know we/you all love Missouri -- I adopted it as HOME -- but when I was in school (1930s) Iowa was the ONLY state in the Union with NO illiteracy! We could all REED & RITE!
The latest edition was very engaging; thanks for another winner.
Please tell Betty that she must google "caped musicians captain yak" to see a picture of that outfit. "Captain Yak" by itself is too general, as we found out there is a children's character named Captain Yak and a World War II pilot by that name as well. Thanks!
What a nice article Doug wrote! [Whatever Happened To Dreamy Me?] I wasn't familiar with all the things he's done in his lifetime. He is so gifted in so many ways, and has talents in many fields. Who knows what's around the corner for him!
I'm in Texas ... Stan and I are painting and doing other maintenance, update projects on Mother's house ... so that is about all I'm getting done at the moment. E-mail is getting put "on hold" ... though I do have my laptop with me.
Carol Dake Printz
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
What a thought provoking first picture this time! The couple sitting, still very much in love with each other, even when a child has arrived in the family. The child is not between them, but beside them, and they still want to be together. For some reason, that really appealed to me. Like the old fashioned values still surviving.
The long awaited story of the Missouri trip was worth waiting for. The pictures told a lot of the story, and even the Foto-funnies got involved this time. We are just glad you made it home safely, and nothing but best memories.
The family updates, and updates by charter members would be especially interesting to those closely related, and those who were a part of The Bulletin's beginning. I do enjoy reading them and watching the children grow. I would never have guessed that could be Mason Taylor Henderson. I guess I still expected him to be a baby, like I had seen him last.
Oh, no -- part 3 of 3 by the Swensons about the Queen Charlotte Islands Adventure. That means that was the last chapter of that story. We follow the Travelogue with great interest, and check out the connecting links and web sites -- AND there are always some very unusual pictures, like with the crab.
That would have added a lot of spice to Elaine's day, to see what next appeared on her nonsense tree. Did the face on that tree look like our Editor's husband, or am I the only one who thought so? Oh dear, I could be getting into very hot water here.
I'm still amazed every time I see a picture of Gertie (Dake) at the present time. I have this vision of her looking like I knew her best, in young years, not as a mother to Peggy McNeill. I may just be in more hot water, so I will quit right here.
I can't imagine -- who in the world would ever send a picture to The Bulletin of chives gone to seed? But it did make a lovely bouquet, didn't it?
It was pretty exciting to see an LTTE from Arg and Kathy Anderson this time. We need more news and pictures of those dear friends of mine. We love keeping up with their children and grandchildren, too, though. Time is bringing too many changes.
The Quotation for the day was especially noteworthy this time. It is so true that a child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark. At least that was very true for myself. I still carry impressions from very young years, some good, some not so good. I remember my aunts that were so good to me, (actually spoiled me), and it is a special memory even today. Those were marks made that I want to carefully preserve lest they get erased. I would like to remember that quote as I spend time with my great nieces.
Once again, special thanks to you for our Bulletin, always on time and always full of new and interesting articles next to the hearts of a lot of folks. Thanks for letting me say thanks.
Photo illustration © Douglas Anderson; photo of Shari Larson by Virginia McCorkell
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
Quotation for the day: The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. --Elisabeth Foley
EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is email@example.com 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.