Sunday, December 7, 2008
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UPDATE -- remembering a special summer with the Dakes
I am thinking of the LeRoy Dake family at this time.
In between my junior and senior year in high school, LeRoy and Vonnie asked if I would come and work for them, to help take care of the children and help out with daily work around the house, while Vonnie worked at Cokato Hospital.
Well, to say the least, it was a wonderful summer. I enjoyed those three months so much. They also went to Tucson, Arizona, to see Vonnie's mother and I got to go along. Those days are precious memories. We met some teenagers there and went to see sights and had picnics. I met a couple of boys also. One was Phillip Perry; his mother worked for some wealthy people and she invited us all for a meal, but that was only a summer romance...
I don't think I did too much work at that time. I hope I was a help to them. When young, one doesn't have the work ethics that we have when we get older ... sure see that in the young people now ... and wonder what I was like. OH, DEAR...
I learned to French braid Virginia's hair and to make pancakes for breakfast every morning. That's what LeRoy liked, and the recipe Vonnie used I still use today.
Larry was 9 months old at that time and had trouble with eating -- and every time he took his bottle he threw up at least half of it. I remember that problem and dealing with it ... but he seemed healthy and grew up well. Ernie was so quiet, a nice little boy. Really, all three were good children. I still have pictures taken from that summer -- and lots of wonderful memories!
UPDATE -- grandson Nathan flies Solo
My grandson Nathan (Seaman) and I spent a November weekend in Colorado with friends. We had a great time, with our focus on activities that were suited for 7 year olds. Attached are a couple pictures of Nathan (and his friend Caroline) sitting in the seat of a retired Boeing KC-97 that is now a restaurant (Solo's) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here is a description from their web site:
Solo's centerpiece is a fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker. Built in 1953, this magnificent airplane refueled aircraft throughout the world. Then, in May 2002, it began its second mission -- to be the pre-eminent aviation restaurant in the United States. Forty-two passengers can actually eat in the plane of the 275-seat restaurant.
It seems that "flying" the retired airplane was the favorite activity of both Nathan and Caroline. We were lucky to arrive mid-afternoon for a very late lunch; consequently, we had the entire plane to ourselves for over an hour. We grownups also took a turn in the cockpit. All of the switches, levers, pedals and knobs are still working. What fun we had!
Also, my dad [Jim Miller] is coming to visit us in Phoenix December 9th - 17th. We are very excited ... we already have almost every evening and the weekend packed with activities.
UPDATE -- family Thanksgiving feast
Our Thanksgiving Day was especially enjoyable, being we were invited to our grandson's new home in Burnsville. Tim and Heather Droel and their sons, Houston, Boston, and Raleigh. We had the traditional (21 lb.) turkey, which was delicious, plus all the trimmings you could ever name, including four homemade pies.
The other guests were our son Rodger and Claudia, and their son Andy and Natalie and little Alison who turns 2 December 7th.
We were so disappointed that our son Darrel and Johanna in Virginia had to cancel as Jo had a severe pain, which they think was a pinched nerve. We hope they make it for Christmas instead now.
We were wishing we could share our day with you, but only have a few pictures which certainly do not do justice.
Betty and Roy Droel
UPDATE -- love the visitors
It was so nice to get reacquainted with our "great-grand" boys... Heather and Ben were great sports to come along. Grandpa made supper for them and they stopped by on their way home from Fargo, where they had spent Thanksgiving vacation with her parents and the rest of their family.
Of course, they plan to come to our family winter gathering here at our condo this Saturday, but decided to stop when it isn't quite so crowded and catch up with those growing boys of theirs. And it was so fun. I can now carry on a conversation of some length with Mason -- and got caught in the beam of Logan's smile. Grandpa's corner of toys got a work over. We are so glad they stopped by!
The Matriarch Speaks W
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?
Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.
That looks like my Uncle James Dake, at Grandma (Lois) Dake's house in Waco!
That is my brother James Dake, love the hair and clothes!
That red-headed teen must be James Dake. I wonder what year and model the car behind him is?
Editor's comment: We will have to throw the question about the ID for the car to the audience as I surely don't know ... but I would guess there is someone out there who does!
The GUESS picture is another mystery. Sorry, not even a guess!
Betty Weiland Droel
Schooling, Howard Lake, Minnesota
A short time before school started this year Justin asked me to pick up his Sammy from volleyball practice. Before the car door was shut her words to me (with a most joyful voice) were, "Grandma, I am so excited; school's about to start and it will be so much fun."
She will be 15 in March and is now in the first year of high school. I hope this attitude remains with her throughout high school.
This brought back memories of my school years. The first school I attended was our Smith Lake country school. (See Bulletin #139 for my story about Smith Lake School. --DMA) Mrs. Peterson asked Mom and Dad if I could attend, as she had only three students: Dorothy, LeRoy, and our cousin Gilbert (McCalla). So that was my preschool year.
I started first grade in 1938 at the Howard Lake Public School. Two of my classmates and I were the only kids of our 1950 graduating class who had spent all 12 years together. The only thing that I remember about that first day of school was my sister Blanche taking me to my classroom in the morning and taking me to the bus when school was done.
There was a picture of the two school buses in my brother Billy's school annual. I wonder if any of you fellows can identify the make of them. When I was in high school, we had a whole three buses.
To be continued...
Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.
SINGING IN SCHOOL
I remember when we were in the third grade in school we got new song books. One of the songs was Good Morning. It goes like this: "Good morning, good morning, the sun shines above us today, so we'll work while we work, and play while we play; that's the way to be happy and gay." That was kind of a cute little song. We sang that.
We always said the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag every morning and then we could choose songs. We'd sing maybe about four songs. We sang Old Black Joe; Oh, Susanna; Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, and Yankee Doodle (came to town).
We had a couple of girls that really sang out. I remember Alta Ruth Terry. I can see her mouth wide open, singing, and she really was a pretty good singer, for a kid. It was in the third grade or so. I think she was one year ahead of me.
LOST WHILE RABBIT HUNTING
In the fall of the year, after we had started school, it was partridge season. We used to make slingshots and shoot. I never killed a partridge with a slingshot, but we always tried. It was fun shooting at them anyway, and anything else, squirrels, or whatever.
We saved a couple of five-gallon pails partly full of rocks and set them under the back steps of the schoolhouse. We figured on rabbit hunting when we got a reasonable amount of snow so we could track. We were going to track these rabbits and shoot them. We had a half an hour for dinner. There were thick woods around the schoolhouse, so that was no problem. There were lots of rabbits.
We went out this noon hour. We didn't bother to eat, just grabbed our sandwiches, and went. We tore out there, Pat Harrington, David, Gordy Rovelstead, and myself. It was snowing fairly hard and after we'd started it really snowed hard. It just came down real soft. There wasn't a breath of wind. We tracked these rabbits around there. We never did see any, but there were lots of tracks and pretty soon somebody said, "It's about time we go back to school."
We turned around then and started back and pretty soon there were no tracks. They were all full. We didn't know where we were. It was snowing hard and the balsams and spruce and brush were covered. We didn't have any idea where we were and we couldn't follow ourselves back. We were completely lost, and one said go this way, and one said that way, and one said another way. So we started walking. I don't remember who was in the lead. We'd change back and forth, and we stayed together, fortunately.
We walked, I suppose, for a couple of hours. I was in the back and so I said, "Wait a minute. Here's a cow path." We had crossed that. All four of us had crossed that cow trail. So we went back and sure enough. Old man Waldren, down the road there a mile or better from the school, watered his cows because he didn't have a well that would support all the cows, so he had a dug well about half a mile back from the barn. Every day he'd drive those cows down there and water them.
We had been walking pretty much parallel to the road, only gradually getting farther away. Here we'd crossed that cow trail and I'd just happened to see it. We followed that cow trail until we came to his place and back to the schoolhouse.
When we got back to the schoolhouse, it was time to go home. We'd wandered around there a long time. Boy, were we scared, and was the teacher scared! And so, that was that. She never said anything to us or the parents, and we didn't say anything to our parents, and the whole thing was just dropped right there. But boy, that was a lesson we didn't have to learn twice, I'll tell you.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Today's hike to elevation 12,600 feet is interesting, in that already we have passed out of the rain forest into what they call a sub-alpine or moorland zone with short pine trees and tall shrubs. As we approach Camp Shira, it changes to a high desert zone with much shorter shrubs and much sparser vegetation. Once again, the clouds lift just at sunset to give us a closer and better view of the mountain and hopefully some good alpenglow photos.
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
More December Birthdays
December Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
It pays to be old, I THINK. This is a very special couple in our life: Rod and Renee Martin. They are always wanting to do something for someone, and today Renee called to see if she could bring some turkey soup and some banana cake for lunch. That sounded wonderful, so she came and even did all the serving and the dishes. Talk about spoiled! But we loved it.
We had been invited for Thanksgiving dinner, so didn't have any leftovers, and the soup was especially delicious with dumplings on.
I am looking forward to The Bulletin again now, and I don't know where the week has gone, but it's gone. Thought if Miss Hetty hadn't too many items already she just may want to know about our special lunch today.
Roy and Betty Droel
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?
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
The lovely, soft pink rose seemed so fitting and appropriate for the news that our friend and the Dake family member had passed away, which immediately followed as an Update.
We do have a professional Bulletin arrangement person, there is no doubt about that. It always reaches the heart when a message like that is included in The Bulletin with the artistic ability of Bitzi and the editors. I remember Vonnie as a nurse in training, like her nice old picture shows. I appreciated seeing the whole family again, and it was nice to know that they were all together for Thanksgiving, almost as a farewell to Vonnie.
I thought that was such a homey and very touching picture of the little family walking across the field, taken of the back of them. So easy to see just how big those children are getting. A family holding hands, whole and complete. Not so many now days bonded by a deep love.
I can about imagine how thrilled the Morgans are to have their cousins right here in the USA now. It will definitely be an adjustment, but we hope it works out very well for both work and a home for them.
I had to laugh at another hunting party getting their limits way too soon. After planning for a whole week's hunting, and then being all done in an hour and a half. Is that disappointing or a success?
I can tell you that I was totally shocked and thrilled and surprised to read Shari's doll story. I had completely forgotten about that. I do remember very vividly this cute little girl we just loved and looked forward to being with at the Millers. I got to play with her, and I know I had a great imagination when it came to playing house. Her dolls were important to all of us, and making sure they stayed well would have been a priority. Thank you so much, Shari, for that very kind and special memory you took out of the little drawer of the long past. It meant more to me than I can put into words that you remembered.
The pink autumn leaves photo was so unusual. I don't ever remember seeing pink leaves, but leave it to Bitzi to find them for The Bulletin.
It was fun to peek in on the Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house. No snow to arrive there by sleigh, though. I looked twice to see if that really was Caity. She is growing up (too fast). Donna Mae, I couldn't tell if you were winning or not. Very likely you were. Oh yes, Donna Mae, I served Roy some kippered herring on the little heirloom platter from Charlie's you gave us.
Beaver and Curt had the best idea yet. Just relaxing after that lovely Thanksgiving meal.
What a vivid word picture of the old kerosene stove at the old school! Bruce writes just like it is, and that makes for interesting reading when it's about the good (?) old days. Peanut Butter was a staple for many years, and it still is. Lots of varieties, but the plain old peanut butter sandwich fills the bill for most children.
Now we come to the Travelogue, with those untiring people ready to head up another mountain. Thank you, Sheldon and Kjirsten, for sharing it all with us like you do, even to the pictures. It sounds like it was a popular climb, even though I had never heard of it myself before. To have the "servants" along with you would have made it quite the vacation.
I see the big bottle of hot sauce there on the "table" spread. No wonder it tasted very good. That photo of the summit intrigued me very much. It looked to me more like the fire in California. You wouldn't forget that sight, and being it lasted only a few minutes you were fortunate to have seen it.
I was glad we had a recent picture of Ethan Horne. He is getting tall, and looks all-boy the way he splashes in the water.
I loved hearing about the uncanny family meal that was had together, not having any idea Vonnie would not be there for another one. What a nice memory for the family: Grandparents, Parents, and Siblings. I keep thinking of LeRoy. After 60 years, to be all alone now. That would take strength to face the day. Roy and Edith had been married 50 years when she died at Thanksgiving time. The aloneness was almost unbearable, but Roy so wisely accepted his lot and took a day at a time. I am so glad I could come into the picture and be his friend.
What a beautiful little face in the Chuckles! Bitzi knows how to make the most of Sarah's photos and Sarah knows how to catch just the right pose on that youngster of hers.
I was impressed with the Quotation for the Day this time. We don't realize the effect we have and the unspoken influence we leave behind as we mingle with family and friends. I think I want to consider that more by paying attention to leaving a thoughtful and kind essence.
Thank you for getting this Bulletin to us right on time again, even with your heart so full, Dorothy, our Editor, and all the tweaking and finalizing the last minute again, Jerrianne, our Photo Editor. We subscribers hardly realize what all you have gone through just before it gets sent. We just want to make sure it's there! :)
Betty and Roy Droel
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