Sunday, January 25, 2009
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UPDATE -- Johnsons visit Washington, DC
In September of this past year, we were fortunate to spend some time in our nation's capital city. With all the pictures we've seen of it in the media these last days, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the pictures Whitney took of us and the beautiful city of Washington, D.C. I'm sure many of you have been there, too, so I understand we're not sharing anything new or great. Just sharing some wonderful memories and maybe it will bring back some of your own memories. If you've never been there, we highly recommend it.
UPDATE -- enjoying North Dakota winter
We enjoyed the beautiful weather on Saturday by taking another family adventure walk down to the Antelope Creek that runs just in front of our house. The snow was VERY deep and fluffy and hard to walk in. So we pulled the two boys down there on their sleds and Jazmine had to fend for herself! Even the cats decided to join us on our walk!
We spent about 2-1/2 hours exploring the frozen creek banks. Highlights included: climbing out through large snowdrifts, visiting one of Nathan's deer stands, sliding down the bank (sled optional), and making a snow angel wall.
On Sunday we had the "aunties" (Elaine and DeLoris) out for a chili supper and puzzles and games by the fireplace. The time went by too fast!
UPDATE -- Morgans entertain kids, grandkids in Florida
The Florida Morgans enjoyed having two of their daughters, Char and Marlee, and their families spend time recently with them. Shopping, swimming pools and beaches are the main places to relax and enjoy.
We also enjoyed times when the "big" people would go out for a while and we could have quality time with just Jett and watch the canoes and kayaks on the river.
One evening we were lucky enough to have his two sisters, Alyssa and Angel, also. Then the bikes got some use, as well as the shuffleboard court. Jett made a seven and we felt that was a wonderful accomplishment for a 3-1/2 year old. We have nice streets to ride bikes on in the park; the speed limit is 10 miles an hour. Tom purchased a new red tricycle while the Freesemanns were here so Jett would sit in the basket with a sister at the controls.
UPDATE -- bathroom renovation adventure begins
In January 2004, my stepsister Lori Chap bought a home in Maple Grove. Lori and I had been housemates in a rented duplex in St. Louis Park prior to her taking the plunge as a first time homeowner. I still needed a place to stay and she wasn't about to turn down some rent income to help with the monthly mortgage payment, so I made the move to Maple Grove as well.
In 2005, anticipating the impending collapse of the housing market, Lori decided to sell the house to her unsuspecting stepbrother (me). OK, so she gave me a below-market deal and the timing had more to do with her upcoming marriage than her innate understanding of the future of Maple Grove housing prices, but I thought I'd try to add some drama. This is a story about remodeling a bathroom. It will probably need all the help it can get.
Either way, I became the official owner of 7600 Berkshire Way in October 2005. The house was in pretty good shape. The kitchen had been remodeled shortly before Lori bought the house, and Lori and I had painted nearly every room in the house, with a big assist from Aunt Marlene and family. Almost everything else was relatively modern and in good working order.
The bathrooms were the exception. Both featured outdated countertops, faucets and linoleum flooring. The tiles in the shower stall in the basement were falling down due to the rotting, water damaged sheetrock behind them. I had resorted to using a plastic trash bag held in place with duct tape to cover the missing tiles. The upstairs bathtub was bordered by lovely fiberglass paneling that was cracking and separating at the seams, allowing water to seep into the walls. The faucets in the tub and one of the two sinks dripped constantly. Long story short, both rooms were a mess, both functionally and aesthetically.
This past spring, I decided it was about time to remedy the situation. However, I am rather limited when it comes to home improvement projects. Tasks as simple as hanging a picture frame have been known to result in my throwing tools across the room in frustration after spending a futile hour on the project, only to discover that I messed something up so badly that another trip to Home Depot would be required to finish the job. With that history in mind, it was clear that money spent to outsource the labor and expertise would be well worth the savings of my time and sanity.
Fortunately, my friend Lars referred me to a friend of his who had a lot of experience in home remodeling. I had actually met John a time or two when I was in high school and he lived in Fergus Falls. I was glad to have someone I could trust to do a good job, and someone I didn't mind leaving to work in my house while I was at my own job.
After consulting with John on the costs involved with various options, I came up with a plan. I would make rather minimal renovations to the bathroom in the basement, which is rarely used. We would replace the old sink faucet and rip out the rotten tiling and sheetrock in the shower stall, replacing it with new backer board and tiling. We would leave the seashell-shaped sink and ugly linoleum floor tiling as a remnant of the original owners of the home. I'm sure the Maple Grove Historical Society will appreciate the preservation of this unique slice of late-70's home interior design.
My limited investment in the basement bathroom would allow me to put more money into the upstairs bathroom, which sees much more use. We would completely gut the room, installing new floor and shower tiling, lighting, commode, vanity, countertop and shower and sink fixtures.
The first stage of the project consisted of picking out all of these new elements. I'm rather clueless when it comes to interior design, but after looking at various home interior magazines and web sites and consulting with Lori and her friend Amy, who have much better eyes for this sort of thing than I do, I started to develop a general vision of how the new and improved bathroom would look. John was also very helpful and patient, even meeting me at Lowe's a few times to help look for ideas.
Finally, we reached a point where the major decisions had been made and we were ready to get to work. John agreed to let me handle demolition, which had two benefits. First, I would not have to pay John an hourly wage to do something I could probably handle myself. Second, I would get to demolish stuff, which would be awesome. In my opinion, it is much more fun to take things apart than to build them. I think it has something to do with my lack of skill and patience.
I began in the basement. We would finish the work downstairs before touching the main floor bathroom, which would ensure that my home was never shower-less or toilet-less during the construction period. I felt this was important.
I started by tearing out most of the tiling by hand, an easy task, due to the aforementioned rotting of the backing sheetrock. Then I followed up with a hammer, pulling the nails that had held the sheetrock to the studs. In some places, enough water had seeped into the wall to rust the nails, causing the heads to snap off as I tried to pull them from the wood. Mold in the insulation behind the sheetrock was more evidence of the damage that was caused by water seeping through the cracked tiling and caulk.
Once I had finished tearing out the tiling, sheetrock and insulation, it only took John a couple of days to finish installing the new tiling. I replaced the old, water-stained shower doors with a new shower curtain, a lower-cost option that added more color to the room, complementing the orange paint that Lori had selected when we repainted after she bought the place.
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.
(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Lois Dake's memorial gallery supplied last week's mystery photo.
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.
This is a picture of Lois (Gandy) Dake taken at Abilene, possibly at about age 3. As far as I know (inscription or told by someone), it was taken at a fair or some similar event where anyone could pay to have a picture taken on the cart with a goat in harness.
I wonder what the story behind this picture is. I don't remember Mother [Lois Gandy Dake] telling us anything about it.
Carol Dake Printz
It was my mom [Lois Gandy Dake]. I thought it was probably done by one of those traveling photographers that went around and took pictures, but not for sure on that. Also wanted to thank you for your memories of Daddy and Mom. With Daddy being gone as long as I can remember, there wasn't a lot of talk of their early years, so it really means a lot to read about it.
Patricia "Trish" (Dake) Meyer
If you don't laugh, I will take a GUESS on the picture. Could it possibly be Vonnie Dake? I searched and scrutinized for little likenesses to someone, but that's all I could come up with.
I knew I would be disgusted when I found out who the lady was in the previous week's GUESS picture. I can't believe that it was DOROTHY, and I missed it. I had a hint after I didn't guess, but chose not to cheat, ha.
Betty Weiland Droel
A new series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, but we still have a couple stories to go on the winter they lived with our folks, along with Jim Miller and my sister Blanche Dake Miller, just after World War II.
A Scary Encounter
Excitement abounds! However, after tonight's events, we feel it can be overrated (excitement, that is!).
You may have heard all of the breathtaking plans that are flying around -- but maybe I need to count them all over, just to remind myself of how plans CAN go awry. For a while there, it seemed that our plans might not ever make it!
But I guess Lois and I will still get to make our trip to Texas. And that is great, as I have been saving up for it ever since Billy told me that he would like me to go with Lois to visit her folks and to be in Abilene for her sister Coy Nell's graduation (just 10 days after my school closes)!
We are going to make the trip on The Twin Star Rocket (one of the fastest trains in the country) and "Y'all" know I am just thrilled for the chance to meet all of those cowboys down yonder! All of that could have so easily been ruined!
And how nice that Bill will be able to go ahead and pay the Cokato clerk for a permit to build a cute little house on his land that he was so lucky to find available for sale. Now he will be able to afford that car he has on order at the place where he works. (You know he is the parts man at Metcalf Chevrolet Dealers, don't you?) Just think, a darling little house that can be remodelled into a shop and garage when Bill can get materials and money to build it! It might have not been possible for a long time if things had turned out differently.
And how about Blanche and Jim's plans? They will have enough money to start buying the Miller home farm from Robert and Jeanette Miller. They plan to update it a bit (put in a bathroom -- sounds great to me) ... and I shall be living in their spare bedroom upstairs next year, if the rest of our plan works. Blanche and I have accepted teaching jobs at the Stockholm District's two-room school. I can live at their house during the week and we can drive together the 12 miles to work. Maybe, if I have company, teaching won't be such a lonely, scary job -- anyway, now I will get to try it out and see!
But for a few minutes tonight, I wouldn't have given any one of us much of a chance to pull it off. Here is what happened:
I had asked to ride along with the two couples, as they planned to go to Grandma and Grandpa Mellon's for an evening's visit. I bank in Howard Lake, and being they are open on Friday night, I had asked to stop by the bank there to cash my check, which I did, on the way to Waverly. (I want to buy some clothes for the trip and to save up enough money to buy my ticket. And all of us working kids plan to buy an Electrolux canister vacuum to give Mom and Dad for having us there this winter. So I have to be careful with my checks!)
We were traveling in Jim's car and he and Blanche were in the front seat and Bill, Lois, and I were in the back. It was a spooky looking night, with the snow almost all gone and a sort of steamy fog rising from the sloppy roads and ditch banks. As usual, several of us were talking at the same time; it seemed we always had so much to discuss these days.
Then Billy and I noticed at the same time that the car behind us was surely up close AND the two men in it were nobody we knew BUT they were flashing their lights at us. What in the world did they want?
"You'd better step on it, Jim -- or they are going to hit us!"
Billy's voice sounded odd. (I wonder if he thinks he is in the war zone again came to my mind!)
Lois gave a little scream as the car behind put on a burst of speed and passed us ... fine ... now they would take off and leave us alone. NO SUCH LUCK.
Now they slowed down and when Jim tried to pass them they nudged over until they were almost touching us. It almost seemed like they were going to hit our car hard enough to stop it. SCARY!
A couple more attempts to stop us forced Jim to respond with bold, evasive maneuvers. It seemed it was stop or be pushed into the ditch, but Jim had learned a thing or two from driving an army truck in a war zone. In the back seat, I hollered and Lois screamed -- and suddenly Billy yelled out, "Slow it down, Jim, there's a truck coming over the hill behind us!"
I guess the thugs saw the truck at the same time ... they took off, picking up speed, and disappeared over the hill ahead of us. We let the truck pass us and then stayed as close to it as we could safely travel until we reached Waverly. There we scooted off the highway and threaded through the streets to Grandpa's house. I wonder if everyone was shivering and shaking the way I was...
It was only when we started to tell our grandparents about our frightening encounter that the full extent of our near fate dawned on us. Why did we not get their license number? It was covered with gunk. How much would it have been worth to them if they could have forced us from the road? Several hundred dollars. Blanche and I were both carrying the money from our teaching checks for the month, and both boys had a good share of their mustering out pay in their billfolds. I think we all learned several valuable lessons tonight!
I am still jittery and shaky, but I am so grateful there was not another glimpse of any vehicle at all as we returned home. It surely would have been nice if there had been some way we could have gotten the cops aware of what was going on. But highways aren't patrolled very closely and there is no way to call them. Thank goodness for the arrival of "The Knights of the Road" -- and now I know why truck drivers are called that!
Plans continue with fervor ... I will let you know how they all turn out! And don't tell anybody I told you, but Lois and Billy are expecting their first baby. I guess the arrival date is to be sometime in December. Isn't that the greatest?
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.
ARROWHEADS AND FOSSILS
There were a lot of things like that. Our area there on the homestead was Indian country. It seemed like the Indians had camped in that area ... and out towards Deer Lake, which is some miles east, was real Indian country. Once in a while we found some arrowheads and things like that, but we never really looked for them. We'd have to stumble right on that stuff or we never paid any attention to it. It was just an everyday thing.
When I was helping Dad clear the rocks off in the spring, we'd find pieces of sandstone rock and that isn't a sandstone country. It must have been brought in there by the glacier. I don't know how else it could get there. We made a rock pile on the edge of the field. Some of these sandstone rocks were a couple inches thick and it was a slab, a foot or two feet in length and maybe a foot wide.
Throughout the little slabs of sandstone were all kinds of skeletons of seashells and little fish, like minnows. You could see the ribs and you could see the gills and the whole thing. There were leaves in there like ferns and other leaves. You could see like a maple leaf or some little leaf like a poplar leaf. I don't remember what they were. You could see the little main stem and then the little branches off the leaf and it just laid in there as pretty as they could be. There were some snails, half of them. It was kind of interesting.
My dad gave a lot of that stuff away. That country was kind of interesting. It was an Indian country. I've never any read any history on it. East of our place six miles, by Deer Lake, are Indian mounds and other things. That's about all there is to that, but it was interesting. It was a beautiful country when the pine was there. You could just imagine what it was like when it was virgin yet.
Several years ago, I had a young red cow that would not stay in the pasture. She was a good fence jumper, and when she got a taste for alfalfa, she would jump the fence and graze in the hay field. When I opened a gate back to the pasture and ran after her to chase her in, she would go anywhere except through the gate. She had an infuriating way of evading me, as if she enjoyed making me run after her until I was out of breath.
She was a good cow in every other way, and I would have let her eat in the hay field, but when she was out, pretty soon another cow would decide to join her. So she would jump the fence, too. Usually about the third cow that decided to join the hay field feast would be a poor fence jumper and knock the fence down. Then it was free-for-all, with the result being over 100 head of cows, calves, and bulls wrecking the fence and trampling the hayfield.
One day, shortly after the first crop of alfalfa had been harvested from the hay field, I drove the old blue '52 Chevy pickup over to check the cows. The fence jumper was in the hayfield, grazing on the side farthest from the pasture. The alfalfa stubble was short, so driving on it would do no harm. I decided to make the contest a bit more even by chasing the errant cow back to the gate with the pickup.
I opened the gate, then drove around the edge of the field and got behind the cow. She trotted toward the gate, with me following along behind. This was going to be easy! She got almost to the gate, then put on a burst of speed and veered away. I followed closely, but she went up a steep hill that I couldn't climb with the old 2-wheel drive pickup. Score one for bossy!
I drove around the hill, and got behind her again, figuring she would tire quickly. The cow could turn quicker than the pickup, so every time I had her going the right way, she would make a quick turn, bolt back the way she had come, and get a bit of rest while I turned the pickup around.
The chase went on for several minutes. My temper was getting shorter by the minute. Finally the cow was looking a bit winded and she made a beeline for the gate. I eased up as we got close, thinking she had given up. But no, up the steep hill she went again, making me go all the way around to resume the chase.
By now I was boiling. I decided to get close enough behind her so that if she tried to duck to the side, I would be too close for her to turn. I raced the pickup across the field, engine screaming, bouncing and shaking over the rough ground. We were going as fast as the cow could run, with the pickup bumper just behind her flying hooves. Her sassy demeanor was gone, replaced by fear, I thought.
I noticed white splotches appearing on the windshield of the pickup. At first I couldn't figure it out. Pickups don't use any white fluids, so it couldn't be something leaking from the pickup. The sky was blue, not a cloud in sight, and anyway, rain isn't white. Gulls flying over? Not the right consistency. Then I figured it out.
The cow was running so fast that her udder was flying from side to side. It was full of milk, as her calf was on the other side of the fence and hadn't nursed since the cow went AWOL hours earlier. Milk was leaking from her udder and drops were flying behind her.
I didn't care. I was gong to get her through that gate, if I had to push her through with the pickup.
Crash! The pickup shook! The cow had reached the end of her patience. She lashed back with a massive rear hoof, connecting solidly with the pickup. Glass shards flew high in the air, glinting in the sun. Without breaking stride, she ran through the gate. I slid to a stop near the gate, got out and closed it, and looked back at the pickup.
Those old Chevy pickups had heavy metal in the fenders. There wasn't even a dent. But the left headlight was smashed, the light socket and mounting hardware all hanging from the wires inside the fender. All that was left was a gaping hole in the fender where the headlight had been.
And the moral of the story is: When you're chasing a cow with a pickup and you're getting milk on the windshield, you're probably too close.
Our Trip To Ecuador
On Christmas day, Patty and I found ourselves in the air, heading for Ecuador to see Rachel, who is going to school in Quito. Rachel is majoring in Spanish and is spending her last year in this South American country to hone her verbal skills.
Rachel was waiting for us when we landed in Quito at 3 a.m. -- four hours late. Our plane had been delayed in Atlanta and then diverted to Guayaquil, after the weather conditions in Quito were not suitable for landing.
Ecuador is only slightly larger than Colorado but is both culturally and geographically diverse. The Andes mountains cut through the center of the country from north to south and contain a string of active and inactive volcanoes. The eastern part of the country is mainly the hot and steamy Amazon jungle, and the west side is all coast as it butts up to the Pacific Ocean. Ecuador also contains the famous Galapagos Islands some 600 miles off the coast.
We spent about half of our 10-day stay touring Quito, seeing Rachel's college and meeting many of the friends she has made. She presently has an apartment she shares with a girl from Colombia and a girl from Pennsylvania. We spent the rest of our days traveling north and south of Quito in what is called the "Spine" of Ecuador or "The avenue of the volcanoes." Just south of Quito is Cotopaxi, and at 19,350 feet, it is the highest active volcano in the world.
Travel in Ecuador is mainly by bus or taxi, and both work very well. We took the bus about 200 miles south of Quito to Banos, where we did a fair amount of hiking and were able to see the active volcano called Volcan Tungurahua up close, spewing out lava!
We also traveled north of Quito to Cotacachi where we did a five hour hike around the rim of an inactive volcano. Back in the town of Cotacachi, we explored many shops full of leather goods. This little village is known for its supply of leather products.
We also went to Otavalo, which is well known for its outdoor markets. You can purchase anything from trinkets and souvenirs to freshly butchered chickens and freshly ground spices. Many of the products are handmade, such as the blouses sold with needlework. The scarves, sweaters and afghans are made from the wool of alpacas or llamas. Needless to say, Patty and Rachel found some so-called "good deals"!
I was able to have a little taste of a very familiar food: Pie! This is not a common food in Ecuador, but this woman has mastered the art of pie-making.
We really enjoyed our trip, but we have vowed to learn more Spanish before we go back. Rachel did a wonderful job of translating, but it was still a bit frustrating not being able to communicate with the average Joe on the street!
African Wildlife Viewing Safari
As soon as we entered Tarangire National Park there were zebras. Usually, we didn't go five minutes without seeing something -- zebras, wildebeests, warthogs, impalas, elephants and giraffes in great numbers, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, monkeys, baboons, gazelles, hippopotamuses less frequently. There were lots of interesting birds, too, ranging from small, colorful songbirds to huge storks, vultures, flamingos, etc. Often there would be many animals to see if you looked every direction. It was truly amazing to see all the animals in their natural habitat.
Joseph, our driver and guide, was quiet spoken but had a wealth of knowledge; he could answer every question we thought of asking. For eight years he'd been a guide and it was clear he enjoyed what he was doing. He was very patient and would spot hidden animals and then point them out to us. Once we were about 25 feet from several lions that were totally unconcerned with our presence. We rarely spoke above a whisper so we wouldn't disturb the animals.
We spent parts of three days in Tarangire National Park and then half a day in the Ngorongoro Crater. From the top, the crater didn't look like much, but it was there where we saw the hippos, flamingos, gazelles, and hyenas which we hadn't seen in Tarangire National Park.
Photo Editor's Note: Rather than make web galleries, we've received permission to link directly to two of the 7swensons photo galleries at SmugMug. There are 109 photos in the Tarangire National Park link and 94 more more in the Ngorongoro Crater link above. Click on thumbnails for enlargements or use "Next" and "Prev" links to navigate around the galleries. Mouse over enlargements to see options for even larger versions of particularly intriguing photos ... or click on the "Slideshow" button for an automated full screen slide show.
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
More January Birthdays
January Special Days
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?
Just enjoyed reading your latest installment of memoirs about when my parents were living with Grandpa and Grandma Dake after World War II.
It is interesting how perspective changes things ... my own memories are of a later time, of course ... and I remember our dad seeming to easily talk about his war experiences. But that would have been after some years had passed ... which no doubt would have blunted some of the distress of his memories.
Anyway, "Thanks for the memories!"
Eric and Harold would both appreciate being added to your e-mail Bulletin list.
Carol Dake Printz
Editor's Note: Welcome, Harold, and Eric, from The Bulletin Staff. We are glad to have you as subscribers.
Carol, I am not sure of this, but I do not think he ever told you much about the death and destruction of it all. Even in those days when they were living with us, Jim and Bill loved to talk about the comradeship, the friends they made, the people of the area, and even the ordinary events of the war ... but the smell, the sound, the dealing with the death around them ... came out in the form of nightmares and moody behavior. I do think that was put away, deeper in their minds, as time went on ... but ask Jim today what he thinks of his army experience. His statement in the interview I did in Bulletin 18 to answer a question by Heidi Johnson and quoted in Bulletin 126, was "WAR IS STUPID: it is the rich man's folly, paid for with the poor man's blood!"
Just finished reading the entire Bulletin in one sitting, which doesn't happen much anymore. I savored each piece and want to thank all who contribute.
Your memories brought Uncle Bill and Aunt Lois to us in a way that was very touching. I thank you for sharing these times. Also, thanks to Uncle Jim, for his helping you pull forth more memories! What a special gift to us, your children, grandchildren and many friends! Thank you.
I've noted the resemblance between you and Ruth before, so got a chuckle out of her stopping at the picture (and the little bit of trickery with her husband). :-)
Donna Anderson Johnson
I found the series of articles and photos by Mitzi Swenson most interesting. It brought memories of the times we visited the area in the late 60's and early 70's.
Enclosed are two photos with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background, taken from Kenya's Amboseli Reserve in 1969. Interesting to compare the snow cap then and now.
Dorothy, you and your staff are doing a super job with The Bulletin week after week. Thanks for continuing to send to us.
I have to send a quick note. As I often do, I quickly scan The Bulletin and when time permits, I stop and read every article. My "skimming" stopped today with the photo of the colorful buttons. My grandma Haas, and my mom both had "button" stashes. The description of the long drawer in the sewing machine with all the buttons reminds me of Grandma's Singer foot-pedal sewing machine, with the long drawers and the button stash. My mom had a button "jar" rather than a drawer that I always remember.
When Grandma passed on, Mom got her buttons, and now that my mom is gone, I have her buttons in jars at my house. Thanks for the memory!
As always, I enjoy the photos and articles. Thanks to everyone for sharing. All your hard work is much appreciated.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
Remember when we hit Bulletin #300? We thought that was a milestone, and already there are 44 more right behind it. Does time fly, or what?
As I tried to see all the things in that first picture, by Sarah Steinhauer, I decided that its simplicity was the most impressive. Just simple green needles with the bud, which is the promise of a future. The snow adds to the beauty, and the picture was so sharp and clear you could almost feel the slush of the cold snow caught in the branch. I admire our photo editor so much for being able to see and design our first picture which usually sets the tone for The Bulletin that week.
Like the Update following it, of the mom skiing in the beautiful north woods snow, giving her children the lesson of fun and exercise. I can't even begin to express the impression the children in this issue made on me. First with those sweet, cute faces of Levi and Kira. What happy, content, safe, lovingly-cared-for looking kids! I suppose I sound like a grandma, but I'm not. Just enjoying someone else's families.
Actually, when I married Roy, I did become even a great grandma. I can't belittle that title, and don't get me started to tell you about "our" grandchildren and great grandchildren! We have 10 that are the cutest and smartest -- woops, enough about that.
Then, in case that wasn't cute enough, just take a look at that darling, innocent, sweet, sleeping beauty, only one week old, Kierra. I was so hoping Lori would have time and strength enough to give us an update on how McKenna accepted her brand new baby sister.
All the details were very easily visualized, especially the putting Tate in his second place now, and making sure she's still #1 with Daddy. That was so funny, and it is one important phase passed now, with having McKenna being introduced to Kierra behind you. If you prepared her ahead of time for the new baby, it helped her attitude, no doubt.
Well, then we had another Update about another new baby sister, Lelan. I wonder just how to pronounce that? What a complete family now, with a girl added to the boys! I could see that Everett had some questioning thoughts about the whole thing, but Sully looked proud. I see a very busy household in those pictures, but a happy one.
Thank you for the nice picture of the Dwight Anderson family. I could recognize a few of them from past Bulletins. We have a friend named Jaxon who just turned one year old in South Carolina. Someone's clever thinking to get all four children quiet for a picture -- put them in the tub!
Oh, Marlee, did you HAVE to? Here we are buried under snowdrifts, and you send us those pictures of the Sunny South and sandy beaches. I knew when Tom and Mavis were in Florida that they would have many stories and pictures to share in The Bulletin, as how can family and friends resist the welcome that they know would be waiting there?
I like to think of the kind, warm, generous love of the family that has opened their home to the children from Ethiopia. Jaxson looks so happy, and Ashlyn looks like she loves her cousin, Alyssa. That took some directing to get all those legs waving at one time in Myron's pool.
We have been so spoiled with cat stories that I was almost disappointed not to see a picture of one in this issue, but that was before I saw Miss Kitty had written about the sub-zero weather typical of Alaska. I would think it was unusual for it to rain there about now. If it gets too miserable, Miss Kitty, you and Mai Tai just pack your carriers and head to Minnesota, I am sure Kathlyn would be thrilled to see you. We have LOTS of snow. I promise you each your own private can of salmon.
I loved seeing the picture of Freddie and Linda. At first I gasped, thinking it was Lloyd Springer, but on second look I had no doubt it wasn't. I am so happy for them. To find someone to care and share and be a best friend to and companionship is truly a treasure. I know!
So Jayce is 10 years old now. I'm sure Uncle Weston could hardly wait for him to be 10 so he could start promoting the sports theme! Look at that shirt and ball. What a gift! Probably the best one of all.
MEMORY LANE is going to be a very meaningful favorite feature in The Bulletin for the family. That was such a good idea to take time to write out your memories, Dorothy. We all enjoyed the "Settling In -- Winter 1946" chapter this week. We have no idea what our boys must endure in the cruel, hateful war zones. It likely never quits re-running in the subconscious. He picked a good bride to help him over the humps. We do have to admit that the fish houses do look suspiciously like...
Bruce McCorkell did well to record so much from his past that we are enjoying and being entertained with now in 2009. Can you imagine the job of picking up all those buttons? That wasn't even a war nightmare.
As I handled the printed Bulletin, I just sat silent a moment (yes, that's possible for me to do), to realize what a wealth of stories and information and photos that each Bulletin has. I am glad we have an archive so none of it is lost. I feel the photo editor has a lot to do with making it the impressive Bulletin it is. The photos are placed and sized in just the right few inches to enhance the story and keep a keen interest in reading the words. Not all pictures and not all words. It's called expertise. Thank you, Dorothy, our Editor, for allowing the kind of articles that interest all of us, at any age, in any circumstance. I feel so privileged to have a part in receiving The Bulletin.
The African Wildlife Safari, shared as it was by Mitzi, kept us in suspense and anxious for the next miles. The food was fantastic. Who would ever dream of enjoying all that special, exotic food, plus dessert, in the wilds of Africa?
I am curious about Kjirsten. How did she have so much time off? We will re-read this account when the web gallery is available.
How did we ever rate getting another story about Where in the world is Weston? This one was about more sports adventure -- what else? I read it, but didn't understand it. Everyone else probably did, though.
I am glad for the Celebrations & Observances section. Interesting to see all the names and dates and special days I would never know in any other way. Beaver and Donna are having a 15th anniversary. Roy and I will have our 16th. Larry and Virginia both have birthdays this month. They actually never look any older.
In the CHUCKLES, I couldn't decide if that was a statue or a real person in the green suit. Jett looked like he was ready to run.
Oh, the Quotation for the day stepped on my toes. We can't go back and start a new beginning, but we can make a new ending, starting today. A good diet plan starting today is what came to my mind.
Thanks again for another very valuable and keepsake-type issue.
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: Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. --Mahatma Gandhi
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.