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Sunday, December 30, 2007
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell

Updates -

Update -- a visit with Edith Anderson
by Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

As with all things precious and rare and loved, they fade with time, but the memory of them lingers to cheer and warm the heart. So it is with Edith Anderson (Verlaine Weiland's mother).

We went to see her yesterday. She has been fading for a long time, but yesterday she could move her lips to form some words. Her mouth was dry so the nurse fed her some thickened water to drink. It was so touching to hear her hum along and even mouth a few words of a hymn I sang to her.

I had told her I was taking a picture for The Bulletin as several had mentioned how glad they were to have seen the previous update and picture. That they remembered her welcome at her lovely, big farm home, (as do I) with nostalgia for her wonderful hospitality and kindness. She smiled when I mentioned the names of those who had commented on seeing her in The Bulletin before, and I could hear the word "memories."

She is so dear and will soon be 100 years old.

Roy and Betty Droel

Photo © Betty Droel
Edith Anderson, almost 100 years old.

Update -- Tyler takes flight...
by Mitzi Swenson
Dickinson, ND

Remember that song ... He flies through the air with the greatest of ease, that daring young man ... on the flying trapeze?

Tyler has played hockey since he was about 4 years old and is playing his third year as a defenseman for Dickinson High School. A split second before the photo at left was taken, he crashed through his teammate's stick ... and part of the broken stick is on the ice below Tyler's right glove. The puck, which is not in the photo, ended up lost in his jersey somewhere, so the play was stopped for a face-off.

The boys are currently in second place in the WDA but have played more games than everyone else. They are 4-2-2 so had a nice first half of the season. This week they are playing in a tournament in Silver Bay, Minnesota.

Photos © Sheldon Swenson
Airborne Tyler takes charge of the puck ... but where did it go?

Family Update -- The Wrights
by Sue Anderson Wright
Fountain Valley, CA

I hope you had a nice Christmas. I had my mother and Bill's 96 year old mother, as well as my kids and grandchildren, here for dinner. Seventeen in all. I enjoyed it but am spending the day recuperating, after taking Bill's mother to the doctor.

My kids have two weeks off of school so I am looking forward to the break. Anneliese is in her second year of college and the boys are freshmen in high school. They grow up so fast. Brittany moved back here from Oregon, so all of my kids are close again.

I have been suffering from my carpal tunnel in my right hand so have not been on the computer much. I still enjoy reading e-mails and The Bulletin even though I am not good at responding.

Wishing you all much happiness in the coming year.

Editor's Comment: For more details about Sue (Don's niece) and the Wright family, see Bulletin 190.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Sarah Steinhauer
Cousins Tristan Lane and Jade Anderson with Kira Steinhauer.

Update -- new baby will be here soon
by Kristi Larson Indermark
Phoenix, AZ

We are approaching the end of my pregnancy. About six weeks to go, and the longest six weeks ever! We are having a boy and we have choosen the name Alexander James. We had a 3D ultrasound done last week. He was very sleepy so we got so see a lot of his face. He looks a lot like Tyler, but we think he has Jordan's nose.

Jordan and Tyler are doing great. Tyler is getting so big! He is now taller than Jordan. Jordan is very excited about the new baby and is excited to help change diapers and feed the new baby.

Jim and I are really enjoying the nice weather this winter! We are enjoying NOT shoveling the driveway this year. We did finally get an offer on our house in Wisconsin so, as of March 28, it will no longer be our house.

Happy New Year!

Jim, Kristi, Jordan & Tyler Indermark

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Sarah Steinhauer
Kira Steinhauer is tired of posing for her mom's camera.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Marlene, Wyatt, Ben, Ashley, Caity & Whitney playing our gift game.

Christmas, 2007, at the Ashby Farm

We all picked presents, then each pulled an instruction (trade to the left three, really messed up the gifts!), which made the gifts travel in many different directions. The final step was, if you liked your gift, you could keep it. If you wanted to try for another, put yours back in the middle. To get a gift, each person had to meet a challenge, choosing from the list. The Matriarch spelled "Merry Christmas" backwards ... literally, turning her chair so she had her back to us and proceeded to spell the words. She got a laugh and the large basket of lotions and potions she wanted! (Shawn did spell it backwards a couple people later.) Others shot baskets, sang verses to Christmas songs and various other challenges. I think I can speak for all: we had a good time.

Photos © Donna Johnson
"Birthday boy" Beaver, opening his Fleet Farm gift card and some movies, left. He was happy! Weston, waiting his turn, right.

Photos © Donna Johnson
Dorothy, Wyatt, Marlene & Ben J. watch the fun, left; McKenna Ostendorf, enjoying Grandma's chair after the party was over, right.

K3 Smartboard

Julie Thompson is "a proud participant in the National eMINTS program," a program that enhances "Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies" and "transforms elementary classrooms into places for learning where teachers and students [can] use multimedia tools to better understand the world." The site is actually a collection of links researched by Julie in an effort to provide resources for students and parents of students in kindergarten through 3rd grade. The majority of the sites are in the math and language arts categories. There are even audio books that will make the written word come alive for your child! Here's an important resource, a real "computer classroom" for parents and children alike!

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

New Year's On Its Way: Your Thoughts?

The year 2007 is almost gone; 2008 is almost here. Have a thought you'd like to share about the old year or the new? A resolution? A fond memory? Send us a sentence or a paragraph -- short and sweet -- and we'll see what our readers have to say.

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.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. The photo editor supplied last week's mystery pictures.

How many can you identify?

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type.

Of course, I recognize those boys -- they are my three good-looking sons, Wyatt, Weston, and Ben! Wish they were that little again!

Donna Thoennes
Millerville, MN

Those handsome young men are our Wyatt, Weston and Ben Johnson, young being the key word.

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

The mystery photos are my wonderful nephews, Wyatt, Weston and Bennie Johnson! For a moment I did do a double take when I saw Weston's photo, wondering if it was my brother Richard Johnson. It is fun to have my memory jogged back to the days when the boys were so young.

Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Anchorage, AK

The GUESS pictures have me guessing, but I'm wondering if the one on the right is Hunter Holman? Are the two boys Johnsons? I give up.

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo Editor's Note: All THREE boys are Johnsons -- Beaver's sons: Wyatt, 6; Weston, 3, and Ben, 3 months. I found those photos from 1981 and 1982 while sorting through some old holiday cards and I thought they were due for another run. They made a pretty cute trio way back then!

LTD Storybrooke

Editor's Note: Larry Dake is taking a break to organize the next section of his story series about sheep herding. Find all the LTD stories via the Stories link.

Travelogue t

Photo © Frans de Been
This is what we saw this morning -- winter's season in Oosterhout.

Greetings from the Netherlands
by Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Hallo, people in the USA and the rest of the world reading this message. Hallo, Dorothy. Yes it is a long time ago since I wrote you a letter. Work and family matters last months kept us busy.

Lots at work and with family. My mother in law was very ill; she had breast cancer for more than five years. She had medication but it became intense last months. She is passed away last December 10. The cremation was last Saturday. She was 88 years old. We will miss her very much.

But life must go on! And I think she had the words like, "YOU must go on."

Now that we are entering Chrismas season, I have a novelty for you people. No, a question. Where is the largest X-mas tree? Yes, in the Netherlands. See this link below:

Photo Editor's Note: Only the linked page is in English, but click on links on the left side of the page for a poster and photo gallery with stunning pictures of a Christmas "tree" more than 1,200 feet tall ... and the pictures need no translation.

So I give you lots of enjoyment for the X-mas season and lots of snow. Give all the peaple I know over there my best wishes for the year 2008 and the best from us in Oosterhout.

Take care. Your friend in Oosterhout,


Photos © Frans de Been
Winter streets in Oosterhout.

by Ary Ommert, Jr.
Maassluis, The Netherlands

Sorry I could not answer you sooner; trouble with the computer again. Still only able to write and receive mails now. Hope to be able to send pictures next week.

Went to my sister's the first day of Christmas and the other to friends'. Had a great time and will go to my sister's on New Year's Evening, too.

Last week we had frost and we could skate for two days; now all the ice is gone. At work, a colleague hit my car when she parked next to me; it cost 1750 Euros to get it repaired.

Hope to be able to make an article for The Bulletin next week.

Greetings from the Netherlands,


Photo © Frans de Been
Not so much snow, but it is wintertime here, in Holland.

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Photo by Donald B. Johnson, January 1945
Jerry Ann & Bobby Johnson with toy train made by Donald B. Johnson for his son Bobby, Christmas 1944. Our mother, Twila Johnson, made our snowsuits.

Christmas in 1944 was a very big deal to the two little sprouts in the picture. World War II was raging and though the Sears and Montgomery-Ward "wish books" showed pretty pictures, many of the goods were stamped "not available." Steel, rubber and other strategic materials were needed for the war effort and consumer goods of all kinds were in short supply.

Model railroads were the "in" thing, but even if money had been plentiful, which isn't likely, toy trains were not easy to come by. So our father made a train for Bobby from materials on hand, using simple tools, while our mother put in long hours on her treadle sewing machine, making winter clothes for our family.

A train needs an engine -- carved scraps of wood, a Spam can and a couple of bottle tops. Two wooden thread spools on axles made of nails became wheels. For rolling stock, he made a flat car with wooden dowels to hold a cargo of "Lincoln Logs." A tank car was a tin can in a cradle of corner molding. (He must have cut a hole in the side to liberate the contents, as both ends are still intact.) A boxcar probably contained cheese or salted codfish, originally. The caboose was simply blocks of wood with painted "windows" and two thread spool wheels, like the other cars.

Staples and bent wire allowed the cars to be hooked and unhooked so they could be arranged in any order ... though the caboose was always the last. Red, white, blue, yellow, orange and black paint supplied the finishing touches. A screw eye in the engine's nose allowed the train to be pulled with a string.

Cameras and film in 1944 weren't geared for indoor picture taking, so in January, when the ornaments were removed from the Christmas tree, it was set up in the snow-covered front yard and the train was set in front of it on a board. Bobby, going on 2, and I, not yet 4, stood by in our winter outfits to have our pictures taken with the train, a few weeks before Kathy was born.

The picture I found was dated January 1945 in our mother's handwriting, with a note: "Don made the train and I made the snowsuits." I'm not certain if that included the coats, though it could have. I think the hats and mittens, the little purse and the muff I was holding were all purchased.

Though our father and mother and brother Bobby have all passed on, the train is a family treasure, jointly owned by all the surviving siblings, and currently residing with me. It has a place of honor on my fireplace's hearth. The little toy train shows signs of wear from 63 years of loving use, but it still rolls right along on its thread spool wheels.

Jerrianne Johnson Lowther
Anchorage, AK

Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Toy train still runs on thread spool wheels, 2007.

By Don Anderson
Alexandria, MN

I would like to add my two cents regarding in buying a safe automobile. Seems today the traffic is very heavy and people are rushing about with no regard for the safety of their own lives or lives of others. We must think of being protected. A heavier car is my advice to you.

Now I know you are thinking economy ... gas prices. Well, what is a few extra dollars for gas then to risk your life, or lives of others, in a lighter and smaller car.

There are times I feel my trusty old Lincoln is risky in today's heavy traffic. I strongly urge folks who are considering a newer model to think of safety before saving a few bucks on gasoline. You at least stand a better chance of surviving in case of an accident.

Life is short at best, why chance it? It is scary enough to drive on the streets and highways today. Look for safety, and protection, wear your seatbelt, drive safely. 'nuf said!

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day

This Week's Birthdays
December 30---Travis Quick
January 3---Brandon Hellevang
January 3---Virginia (Dake) McCorkell
January 4---Harry "Junior" Anderson
January 4---Nathan Hill
January 5---Jayce Michael Chap (9 years old)
January 5---Krista Rae Weiland (8 years old)

Happy Birthday!

More January Birthdays
January 8---Rosanna Miller
January 11---Brandon Harvey Lehtola (5 years old)
January 15---Shea Ashley Birkholz
January 19---Trevor Jayce Roberson (7 years old)
January 20---Lois Dake
January 22---Timothy Thomas Mellon
January 24--- Marloes de Been
January 30---Whitney Anne Johnson
January 30---Madilyn Mae Larson (1 year old)
January 31---Larry McCorkell

January Anniversaries
January 24---David "Beaver" and Donna Anderson Johnson (14 years)

January Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day
January 17---Martin Luther King Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

We had a wonderful Christmas Day at Steve and Marci Weiland's. (Steve is our nephew, son and family of Rich and Verlaine Weiland.) Marci's sister Barb and her husband, Larry, and their daughter Kari and son Mike were also there, plus a nephew, Mike Bergh, and his family from near Milner, North Dakota.

There were six children that had great fun on child size snowmobiles, racing around the great yard in fresh, new snow. Of course, we old folks had our noses pressed to the windows, watching and remembering the Good Old Days when our bones were younger and we did the same thing.

We had a beautiful and delicious ham dinner. Verlaine brought a very special Jell-O mold she must have worked all day Monday making. Very festive, with the red and white and green stripes.

Roy and Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo © Marci Weiland
Verlaine's festive Jell-O mold.

Our holiday meal was at the Ashby farm. They all came to the bedroom /family room downstairs. I came in by the tunnel ... and Beaver's bathroom there works fine for me. I got waited on for the meal that was set up upstairs. If I remember correctly, Weston picked mine up for me this time. Oh, it was really fun!

We were a mixed bag of people there ... Marlene, Rich and family, Don and I, Wyatt and his kids, Weston, Ben and Ashley, Caity (Jayce was sick), Lori, Shawn and McKenna. Beaver and Donna hosted a great, fun day, and the rest brought food to help feed us all.

Dorothy Anderson
Alexandria, MN

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?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I have to let The Bulletin know how glad I am that Kellie Thayer contributed this week. She is such a special lady and it sounds like she's one of those teachers that students remember for the rest of their lives. The world needs more teachers like that! Thanks for sharing with us, Kellie.

Marlene Johnson
Moorhead, MN

Another delightful Bulletin! Always the day brightener!

A memory, you say? The best is that we have both had a very good year, healthwise, and most of all, we were able to visit with ALL of Ken's sons and most of their familes! And another bright note -- a new great grandbaby coming -- and several great nieces/ nephews with their new ones on the way -- all in February or March.

Just wanted to say, "Happy Holidays" to you! I know you are enjoying your new home! So there are some bright spots in your year, too!

More about our travels, eventually. We plan to have my children that are here for Christmas Eve and then there are several of our friends that don't have families near that will be here for Christmas Day. We've never gotten to do that before! Though we've been guests over the years with others.

Do have a happy holiday -- and we will keep in touch via the great Bulletin!

Ruth Weiland Kitto
Apache Junction, AZ

I enjoy reading The Bulletin each week, I keep it on my favorites list. Enjoy articles and pictures of Richard and family in Oregon. He's my age and my muscles get sore just looking at the pictures!

Donna Thoennes
Millerville, MN

The stories in The Bulletin from the contributing writers have been so interesting. We looked forward to every one of LTD's sheep herding stories and the photos were great for helping us see the family in action. What an interesting, hard working life! We are hoping for more stories from Larry as soon as he can write them.

Richard, we have appreciated the stories from the Butte. I look at your fencing project and remember how tough I thought the fencing projects on the farm by Ashby were, and they pale in comparison! It is a good thing you enjoy solving one problem and then another. I'm impressed. We hope you have more stories for us, too.

Beaver, isn't it time you start writing again?

Those of us who do not have the writing gene do have the gene for appreciating the stories of others. Thank you all for your stories.

Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Anchorage, AK

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

As per usual, Saturday morning I was poised at the computer, waiting for the eagerly anticipated arrival of The Bulletin in my inbox. I just knew it would be well worth waiting for once more, even though I have felt the same way for each Bulletin arrival, and this one was right on schedule.

I scrolled down, not knowing just what to expect. I was thrilled to see such a festive, beautiful, colorful picture, so attuned to the season -- and I recognized it as another of Bitzi's creative and lovely photo illustrations. Her work is unique and of such simplicity that it is always outstanding. I am sure it must take hours and hours to prepare some of the illustrations. I loved the artistic balance this first picture had. No wonder the photo editor chose that picture to open our Bulletin #288.

It is uncanny how many times we have an announcement of a new arrival in the Updates. This time it is welcoming another great granddaughter for Gert: Makaila Belle Gordon. That huge crowd of Gert's family in a past Bulletin is going to be even bigger and bigger and bigger.

We are having a snowstorm as I write this. So glad we have no plans to drive anywhere this afternoon as it is an ideal day to be inside writing the LTTE. Ryan and Heidi in New Mexico had their share of snow, nearly burying their car. Snow tires and all-wheel drive would be the only sensible way to travel there. It sounds like the skiing trip was only enhanced by all that snow, and they are young.

I highly recommend clicking on the link for The New Adventures of Shane and Jayna. I couldn't quit reading, as they write it so vividly with many pictures. Thanks, Photo Editor, for directing us to their stories.

Another amazing add-on to The Bulletin through a web site was the blogspot site for McKenna. I have so much fun clicking on the links, but I need plenty of time to read them as they are so interesting that I can't click back to The Bulletin easily. This one included a clever way to show a lot of family pictures in the Smilebox. Bib overalls, yet. She is growing just too fast to be 6 months old already.

I clicked on the link for the International Book Library, and found new and different about books available -- this time from Mongolia. Wouldn't it be great to have a teacher like Kellie Thayer that would do projects like the batik T-shirts? Her students must feel that's their favorite class. I was very impressed with the colorful T-shirts shown on a background of brown with black slash lines. Very impressive, and drew your eyes and attention right to the shirts.

Shalana and Krista Weiland have programs in their school and I have learned to be interested in seeing the ones Donna Mae includes of her Jayce and Caity. I was thinking Larry McCorkell would love running his train around in the village Jayce had gotten set up.

Matriarch, I hope you have good response asking for New Year's thoughts from your subscribers. I'm finding it hard to sift it down to only a few events, but I will try to respond with something eventually.

If we click on Larry's story links, we will never leave the computer. They are all in the Archives, which is priceless, and each one is as captivating as the next.

After reading about Richard Johnson's manual labors up in no man's land there on the Butte, I just groaned. How could they ever tackle the project of the track coming off? Only one thing that could keep them motivated to work that hard was necessity and absolutely no other alternative at that point. That was totally amazing that they had progressive photos of it all, right up to having it all back "on the track," and ready to roll again. I took a magnifying glass to see if I could see the face better on the one picture, but he must wear a mask.

Jerrianne, just the fact you would move Miss Kitty off the keyboard long enough for you to write something yourself is to be appreciated. The sentiment and story behind the Eskimo doll ornament is unbelievable. The white fur parka doesn't look any worse for having been around since 1941. So I am 11 years older than you are, Jerrianne. I have a suggestion. Go through your treasure box and enlarge on each item for the next many Bulletins. I am sure that would be quite an adventure. Thanks for sharing your ornament story. Again, we had to click on links about Dave Ring and Edward Miller for more information than I had time to read or research, but hope to sometime later.


The link in Merna Hellevang's Miss Hetty letter brought up this nice picture of Brandon. Also a picture and story of the team. He is #10. Again, you really should see the web site this school news was in. Just click on the blue link and get comfortable as there is lots to read.

Another letter was from Richard Johnson, telling about points of interest with their miles of powerful fence, operated by a single button on the tester. This is mind boggling to us senior citizens, who are very glad to be retired, at last.

In the Tom Miller (California) letter, I was extremely interested in the link on the MIS 2 incision Hip Procedure. I had a total hip replacement the old way, which was 14 years ago. I realize time is running out, as 20 years is all they expect them to last. Actually, I can't tell which hip it was anymore, but I vividly remember the pain and therapy involved.

Carolyn and Ernie Dake -- may I just say that I was thrilled to see a comment from you, two. I think of you a lot. We go back a LONG ways, and love to see updates from your family and grandchildren. Haven't seen any for quite awhile, though.

What a cute picture of Mason and Ben Henderson! The CHUCKLES always brings a chuckle.

I loved that quotation for the day of "gratitude being our default emotion." For me, it is endless, what I have to be grateful for. A valued one is my dear husband, Roy, and our cozy, comfortable home he built 40 years ago, or so.

Thanks again to our busy Editor and Photo Editor, constantly on the lookout for something to put into the next Bulletin. Hope we subscribers come up with more great stories like the ones in Bulletin #288.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne
Bring on the New Year ... Carrie's ready!

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: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. --Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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

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.