Sunday, March 15, 2009
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In Bulletin 350, Kjirsten mentioned interviewing for her upcoming emergency medicine residency in various cities across the country. In December she interviewed in Chicago and took time to view some famous Windy City landmarks and post pictures of her adventures on the web.
UPDATE -- our big house move...
I cannot tell you how excited everyone is to finally have "The Big House" moved to the Howard Lake farm.
All last summer we had been searching for a house to build that would fit the needs of two families, Lisa's and mine. We found a plan that we liked and we'd all be able to squish into. We figured with help from her kids and mine we could build it ourselves. We put it on the back burner until I could find a nursing job, being I had just graduated.
One day in August I was searching the local paper for a recliner when I came across an ad that said "free six bedroom home ... you move it." I showed it to Brian and Lisa [Boldt] and said, "What do you think?" I made the call to John Dammann; he told us the house was just south of Lester Prairie and we could come on over and look at it that afternoon, if we wanted to.
When Lisa and I walked into that house, we got the feeling that we had come home. It was unreal how we both felt the same way: this was our home! Brian, Lisa and I had a short conversation and decided to step out in faith and tell John we wanted the house. Click here for the rest of the story and more photos.
UPDATE -- Morgan brothers visit in Oregon...
We recently spent a week in Astoria, Oregon, visiting Tom's brother, Bob, his wife, Eloise, and other members of their family. We flew from Fort Myers, Florida, to Portland, Oregon, where a daughter, Coreen, met us. We stayed with her and had the use of her PT Cruiser.
Bob and Eloise are staying in the Clatsop Village Care Center, which is very nice and is well qualified to meet their many health needs. Both are 91 years of age.
Day to Day R
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? What's going on?
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.
I think the guess picture is of the five Dakes. However, which is one is LeRoy or Billy, I can't tell. The girls are Blanche, Dorothy and Gert.
I didn't send in an answer to last week's picture as I had a round of the flu and just couldn't get things together; but this week here is my guess: Leslie Benson, Blanche Dake, Dorothy Dake, Gert Dake and LeRoy Dake. Good photo and in front of the Dake auto -- a Chevy sedan.
Thanks for the great job you are doing with The Bulletin.
I am pretty sure I can get this one right, I knew them all pretty well!
The first one is Teddy (on the ground) then cousin Les Benson, Blanche, Dorothy, myself (Gert), and LeRoy -- all Dakes. In front of us was one of Mom's flower gardens, that she loved so much to take care of!
And behind us is the Best Chevy ever made -- 1937, no rust, no dents. It's the car that Dad let me take out to the alfalfa field to learn to drive. The last day that it was in front of the house, I think it was about 13 of us piled into the car and had a short, goodbye ride in it. Then its final resting place was at French Lake Junk Yard.
Gert Dake Pettit
As far as the GUESS picture is concerned, it would seem it was a family picture ... with maybe Bill, Blanche, Dorothy, Gert, and LeRoy. Are the windows in the house upstairs that room you were in, Dorothy? Also the room I was in when I got so sick that time while we were visiting there?
Betty Weiland Droel
Editor's comment: Yes, indeed, the windows in the house that you see in the photo are in the room I was in. And later, in our days of knowing each other, you did sleep there. Both you and I spent time being dreadfully sick in that bedroom. I think we both were very blessed to make it through those two separate "close calls" -- you with your burst appendix and me with my polio attack! But here we are, looking back to those long ago days! You never know the "whys" -- do you? --DMA
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 few stories from 1946, just after World War II. Two weeks ago I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow about Lois and Bill Dake. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.
And then there were my visitors ... that is rather a joke. When we came out of "Contagion," we came into a hospital that was overflowing with patients ... all being "hot packed" or working on their physical therapy. And in between that was their general care. So that meant that visitors were to come on Sunday afternoon for very brief visits only.
The first week I was there, nobody knew I could have visitors ... so I visited with the girls who worked there. Then, during the next week, some of us were taken to the Annex of Fort Snelling's hospital. The company commander allowed us to come but did not allow visitors. That order was finally lifted the first week in November, when the new commander came in. I was there for that first visitors' period. And then, in the following week, I was declared ready to go home ... and so I really had only two visiting periods in the four months' stay. But I did have some visitors.
Two of my visitors talked their way in to see me; the first one stayed just a short time and left a "gift" for me. His name was Elmer Dokken and he was from Cokato, Minnesota; he was an officer in the March of Dimes. That is the organization established to assist in defeating polio. Part of their program is to give financial assistance for polio victims. He came to tell me that I am the only victim of the disease in Wright County and that the March of Dimes will pay my complete bill. Isn't that the nicest thing? People can be so kind and thoughtful!
The second visitor did some sweet talk in deep "Texas." That was my good friend Coy Gandy (Lois's dad). I understand he assured them he had important messages for me and, being he was here from Abilene, Texas, and could not stay until the regular Sunday visiting hours, "Maybe Y'all could just see your way to letting me talk with Dorothy for just a few minutes, please, Ma'am?"
Well, of course. And the few minutes stretched into quite a few minutes. He had to tell me how each of my new Texas friends was doing. (It made my heart lighter to hear that not one of them was at all sick.) He even brought a special message from Charlie Russo: "Y'all hurry up and get out of that hospital!"
I sent my greetings back to all of our combined families. Of course, I did hear from almost everyone by the U.S. Mail service, but this was so much more special!
The next visitor sneaked in to see me on one of my nights when I wasn't able to get to sleep. The door of our room opened really quietly and a well dressed, rather "painted," stylish little lady kind of floated in. We carried on a really quiet general conversation. Then she handed me a little square box, wrapped and ribboned. She said she knew how it felt to be young and away from home so she had brought me a little gift to keep me entertained. Then she told me, "Good Night, Dorothy; I'll turn your lights out and you just think nice thoughts -- and open your gift tomorrow." She left the room and I have never seen her since.
But her little gift was cute, and I did find out who she was. The gift was a puppy dog on a stand; he was manipulated by pushing a button on the bottom of the stand to pull his legs, tail, and head up with some rubberized, heavy string. He barked really cute, too. When Mrs. Lien came in, she enjoyed his antics and then told me who the lady was. She is the wife of an original owner of MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) movie studios. Her sister is a private patient of Sister Kenny and the two sisters live in a little apartment there in the hospital. She likes to visit anyone who is lonesome and help them settle in. Rich people can be good people, too. (Another lesson I want to remember!)
Very soon after that, we had the fun of riding to Fort Snelling Annex. It was nice because we no longer had pain, and another girl (I didn't know her) and I were taken there with the siren blaring --- fun to look out and see the astonished looks on people's faces ... victims sitting up, staring back at them. I really don't think the driver was supposed to do that ... but he did!
As I mentioned before, we were not given visting hours for the first months. But some of us were fitted for "Canadian walking sticks" and sturdy shoes and were allowed to send home for street clothes to wear during the day. Someone could bring the package to the office. I wrote home and told them that information. I thought maybe they could mail the package to the Annex.
That Sunday, the nurse from the front desk came down through our ward. She was carrying a box and she brought it to me. Then she said, "Dorothy, it might be nice for your eyes if you look out your window for the next few minutes." (Now I learned still another thing ... some officials can by-step harsh edicts, with grace!)
I got out of bed, where I had been resting, and then stood by the south window, looking out. In about five minutes, I saw a car I recognized ... it was Bill and Lois's new Chevy! In it, I could see four heads. They stopped back far enough so I could easily see them all -- but close enough so I could kind of understand what they were saying.
Lois scrambled out first. I thought Lois was beautiful! I have never thought much of pregnancy before ... but this was "our baby" Lois was carrying. Oh, but I was thrilled to see my dad, my mom, and big brother Bill climb out to join Lois in a group, standing and waving. (And then I learned another lesson: cherish your family ... they are a part of you!) There was lots of communicating in that 10-minute or so visit ... not in words, but communicating love doesn't need words!
The last visitor I had was just two Sundays ago. We finally had an official visiting hour assigned to us for the Sunday afternoon immediately after the new company commander arrived. I did not think that anyone back home would know that we could now have company. And the fort is a long ways from anybody's house, of the friends I have in the Cities area. Really, not many of us did have visitors that day, for the same reason ... no one knew about it. About half of the hour had passed and no one on the porch had had company, and then one of the girls said, "I wonder who that handsome guy is visiting?"
I looked through my east window that leads into the ward and I saw who she was talking about ... and I squeaked out, "Oh, my word, that is Eugene McKenzie!" The rest looked at me blankly but explanations had to wait as Eugene came in!
We shook hands; thank goodness I was dressed properly and sitting back against a bunch of pillows. He sat down (upon my invitation) on the one available nice chair.
We chatted a bit. He told me that the two girls from Wisconsin had told him that morning that we were having visitors' hours that afternoon. So he decided to come on the streetcar, as far as it went, and then walk the 15 or so blocks that it took to get to the hospital annex. We, neither one, could think of much to say, so after a polite length of time he shook hands for a goodbye, wished me a quick finish to the time I had to spend in the hospital, and then he left.
I wonder if I will ever see him again ... maybe not ... but what a lovely thing he gave me! (You never know what to expect from life!) Eugene and I had met once before he came to see me. He had been visiting Dick and Tom Miller and we went there visiting, too. In the course of getting aquainted, we discovered that we had the exact same birthday date ... April 9, 1926. So now we are 20 ... and who knows what the next 20 years will bring us?
I just know that on Sunday of this week I am going to have an all afternoon visiting period. It will begin right after our whole family finishes with our "pot luck" noon meal together! I am finally going to get some real visiting in!
Editor's Note: Don was going through my school scrapbook and he found the page I had done for preserving some mementos from the time I was out with polio. He found the receipt of the bank at Howard Lake paying the bill for my four month stay in the Sister Kenny Institute: total care and then rehabilitation for four months, for a total of $2,348.43. (That could easily be the charge for one week or less for that type of care today.)
But in 1946 my teacher's pay was $145 a month (Blanche's was only $150 a month) -- for just nine months per year. In 1946, that $2,348.43 was a lot of money -- more than I or my family could afford -- and it was paid in full by the March of Dimes from donations (see above links).
I did a search of dMarie Time Capsule for 1946-51 and learned that in 1946 minimum wages in the USA were 40 cents an hour ... a year's standard wage was $3,118 and an average sedan cost $1,400. The price of a house averaged $12,638, first class postage stamps were 3 cents, eggs were 65 cents a dozen, a loaf of bread 10 cents and a gallon of milk 70 cents.
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.
MRS. RYLANDER'S CHOCOLATE PUDDING
One nice spring day my dad traded a small bull from a fellow by the name of Emil Rylander over on the South Bustie Road, as we called it. It's Highway One now. Down the road about half a mile from the old place there's a road that goes off to the south across country over by Orin Patrow's and Shine Lake. There used to be homesteaders back in there. They were prior to my time. They were gone when I was growing up.
That road went about three miles clear through to what's Highway One now. It was always the tote road. All those roads were called tote roads because they were used to bring supplies to the logging camps. I suppose at one time they probably might have hauled timber over them, but I don't think very much, because a lot of it went down the rivers and the railroad.
I was 8 or 10 or so, and David was a couple years younger. We had a wagon and a team and we just hooked the little bull behind and led him along. He led good. So David and I got to go along. That was a real experience. We went across that tote road up and down those hills. It was nice in the summertime. Dry. We didn't have any problems and we got over there.
Emil Rylander and his wife were nice, genuine, Scandinavian people. We got there and she had to feed us coffee and a beautiful lunch and all that kind of a thing. If there was anything that would not go down, it was chocolate pudding. I could hardly swallow it. We got around this table and what does she bring out but some nice little clear goblet-type glass dessert dishes, the ones with a little stem on, and fill them with chocolate pudding. It was no little dish either. I can still see it.
So David's looking at me kind of cross-eyed. He could eat the stuff a little bit, but he wasn't crazy about chocolate pudding either. She had milk to drink. I wasn't too crazy about milk either. She filled up our glasses with milk and we were supposed to eat that chocolate pudding. We had to eat it. We didn't dare to leave it because my dad wouldn't like that and we didn't want to hurt her feelings because she was a nice person.
My dad was talking with Emil and when he was talking it'd take a thunder bolt to get his attention. Fortunately, he didn't see David and I. I finally decided the only way that pudding would go down was if I'd take a big spoonful of chocolate pudding and put that in my mouth and then quick take a little sip of milk and wash that pudding down. I found it really worked pretty good. Ah, I was pretty smart. I'm working at that pudding, which was a mistake. I looked over at David and he didn't even have half of his gone yet and here mine was all gone, so that's where he was smarter than I was.
I'm sitting there thinking I was really smart. That was really good. Then she spied my dish and boy did Mrs. Rylander come cackling over there with the pan again and filled up my glass plumb full again with chocolate pudding. Ah, boy, I'll tell you, I made sure I didn't get that pudding gone before we were ready to go. I was a little more cautious that time. I didn't eat all my chocolate pudding right away. I saved it. I ate two dishes of chocolate pudding.
Oh my, dad was a big storyteller, talker, so he never noticed what was going on. I'll never forget that. I just about ran out of milk, too. I had to really ration that sip of milk in order to get that pudding down. I tell you, that was funny. I could have kicked David because he wanted to laugh and didn't dare.
The route to Ibo typically requires a several hour minibus ride from Pemba and then an unpredictable journey in a dhow (sailboat) that can take many hours to complete, depending on the wind conditions. Under different circumstances, I would have considered this to be a grand adventure. But the idea of subjecting myself to another hot and dirty day of travel when I was already feverish and in pain was enough for me to justify splurging on a flight instead. And I'm glad I did; the views of the Quirimbas Archipelago were phenomenal from the aerial vantage point provided by the five-seater shuttle plane.
The sea thousands of feet below was a stunning array of blues and turquoises that blended in a seamless horizon with the sky above. The sea was interrupted by emerald green patches of land, the forested islands that are now protected Quirimbas National Park. The dramatic landscapes below me were truly awesome. I was overcome with a sensation of thrill and anticipation, realizing that I was about to experience someplace truly special.
A short while after leaving the coast behind, we landed on Ibo's dirt airstrip. The "airport" on Ibo consisted of a short dirt runway and a simple structure that provided a shady place for islanders and travelers to wait for flights. I caught a ride on the boutique hotel jeep (the only functioning motorized vehicle with four wheels on the island, as far as I could tell) for the short ride into town.
Development on Ibo so far has been minimal. The only lodging was a restored governor's mansion that has been converted to a high-end boutique hotel with nightly rates far beyond my budget. A single night there would have cost 20 times what I was used to paying for a night of sleep in Africa.
But I was lucky enough to meet a Belgian expatriate in Pemba who had been living on the island for a year. He had described a new community tourism project in which three local women had prepared simple rooms in their homes to rent out to travelers looking for both budget lodging and an intimate glimpse into traditional islander life. It was a perfect opportunity for me to visit an island that would otherwise be financially out-of-reach, and a unique chance to share a few days with a Mozambican family. So this is how I came to know Ansha.
A child was summoned to take me to Ansha's house. He led me down an overgrown path past crumbling colonial buildings and stopped in front of one that was neater than the rest, recently painted in a lovely shade of yellow, with a stately porch and white columns. A strikingly tall and thin woman appeared at the door.
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More March Birthdays
More March Anniversaries
March Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
We love it when special occasions like birthdays inspire Kyra to send cookies and this week's Alfajores filled with dulce de leche were right up our alley. We didn't quite know what they were until Kyra explained that they were traditional Peruvian filled cookies. "Mitzi may have gotten to go hiking in Peru," she said, "but you got the cookies!"
At first, though the caramel filling between the top and bottom cookies tasted familiar, we couldn't quite put a name to it until we read Kyra's explanation:
"The filling is the special feature, from my perspective. It's called dulce de leche [sweet milk jam] and the recipe is really straightforward: put an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a deep stockpot and cover with at least three inches of water and boil for three hours or so. Of course, it says right on the can not to do anything so foolish, but when it cools down and you open the can, the rewards are spoon-ready."
I thought I saw Miss Jerrianne blanch when she read that and I know I did. Good grief! If the can exploded, it would be like a bomb going off in the kitchen. Scary! She thinks it would be much safer to use an alternate recipe, like the first method in the recipe in the above link:
"Pour 1 can sweetened condensed milk into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil. Place the pie plate in a larger shallow pan filled with hot water. Do not allow the water to cover the smaller pan. Bake at 425 degrees F for 1 hour or until thick and caramel-colored. Beat until smooth."
The cookies are delicious -- and while Miss Jerrianne really enjoyed the Swensons' accounts of hiking and mountaineering in Peru, she's convinced that we got the best of the deal!
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?
I have certainly enjoyed reading about your life and adventures. It is so interesting to me to hear about your experience with polio and your rehab. I was a very young child (under 5) when I had polio, and it was a very mild case, so I was lucky. I didn't have to re-learn walking, though I did develop a mild limp and had to wear what I considered to be horrible shoes. All things considered, I was extremely lucky...
Editor's comment: I did hear of your being sick with what your parents thought at first was a case of the flu and then your doctor determined was polio. Your grandma (my Aunt Elizabeth, who we called Anty) told us all the details. I wondered then, and still do, the why of the two of us ending up having polio while no one anywhere around us had it!
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
I wonder if you knew how important it was to include the message about Daylight Savings Time Begins? Also, you so wisely mentioned that it would be turning the clocks AHEAD, because some of us stop and ask ourselves, "Let's see now, is it forward or backward? Oh, yes, spring ahead!" So, we diligently changed our clocks to one hour ahead, which meant losing that hour of sleep. We tried to compensate by going to bed early. A good excuse! Thank goodness for a few of the clocks we have that are automatically set.
Something about the beautiful blue sky made the first snow picture so striking. I hardly had expected so much snow in North Carolina. Suzanne would be right at home in it, but likely the North Carolina folks would find it a disaster to try to drive in and keep plowed out.
Not to be outdone, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous contest proved they can do one better in using their snow to good advantage. Thanks, Jerrianne, for the interesting photos of the sculptures.
I loved Heidi's update about never say never... That was quite an unusual update, with such a drastic change of occupation, and we are glad you actually liked your substitute teaching experience. You really didn't have to make us so envious by your mention of spring flowers up and blooming. Who knows what our last month of real winter will bring yet? From skiing to daffodils. You have a variety.
The way the photo was taken, the bunny looks as big as Kira. She looks very used to being that close to Dude. Leave it to creative Sarah to make a scarf from angora rabbit fur.
I was shocked to see that little Madi Larson was so big already. We haven't seen too many pictures of her growing up. Her arrival, her first birthday and now she is already 2. The bean story had a better ending that it could have had. (Thanks, Betty, for pointing out that we captioned Madi Larson's photo with her mom's name. Jeni gets the photo credit but the little girl dressed up in her mom's finery is clearly Madi. The archived copy has been corrected. Apologies to Madi and Jeni --Photo. Ed.)
For some reason we get this very intense interest in what the story will be this time about the grandkittens. This time Tabasco takes the limelight, and she looks so well groomed and healthy. Lucky cats, don't you think? I had to laugh, and was relieved at the same time, that the Roomba was just too tall to suit Ken and Kyra. Thanks, Miss Kitty, for this update. We learned we can depend on you to fill us in on the cat subject. In fact you could be a gossip column in yourself! With Mai Tai's direction, of course.
Thanks, Donna Mae for the coverage of Grandpa Don turning 82! That is the only time it pays to be that old ... in a restaurant deducting a percentage for each year. Otherwise, it is in the midst of the old age throes. Evidently, the water is always open there for the beautiful swans to winter.
Each week I am glad to see Dorothy's portrait beginning each chapter. It is so lovely of her. She has such a calm, sweet expression, and unaware of the events of life ahead for her. Learning to walk all over again. One LTTE commented that to bring out the facts and memories of those hard days would not be easy, but that we all are appreciating and following very closely each detail written.
Some of the therapy reminded me of when Roy was facing the same treatment as he was recovering from a stroke. What pain and constant pushing of the therapist to do just a little bit more. He has movement in his left side, but no strength. I really don't think Dorothy will fully know how valued her account is to us.
It almost gave you a sad lonely feeling to think of those children looking down the road just in case they might see someone besides their own family and yard. What a desolate place they must have lived in so far from others and from supplies. Their mother and dad must have worked so very hard, and for very little, but Bruce was an honorable fine man to the day he died, and left a rich heritage to his children of that memory.
"A lovely arc of beach," it said. But to me it looked like a lonely stretch of nothing. I just admire Kjirsten for her ability to navigate through all those countries and languages and customs and still "liking it instantly" when she got to the next place. Could anything be more of a trip spoiler than an abscessed tooth? The severe pain it must have been. So far from anyone that could remedy the situation. I am anxious now for the next chapter as it said, "To be continued..."
For the CHUCKLES, I thought that was a perfectly ideal caption. Poor Carrie looks so bewildered, but she is trying so hard to be interested in that big, thick book. Glad to see a picture of Carrie and of Greg as it seems so long since they had time to share one.
The Quotation for the day, "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" Ooohhhh, groan! How about 102?
This is hardly the quality of LTTE that this Bulletin #351 deserves, but it is all I can put into it for this time. We do want to send a very special thank you for all it meant to get The Bulletin office back in working order. We tend to take for granted that The Bulletin will be there on Saturday morning and it got quite traumatic to miss it, until we found it on the Web, thanks to the Photo Editor, Jerrianne, for directing us there.
If our Editor, Matriarch, Dorothy will allow me to, I would like to add a quotation to this from her letter we just received:
"I really feel thrilled to be back at my job this morning. I am even sitting here all dressed, hair combed, and breakfast eaten (but I am going for a cup of coffee next). I look out and see the sun shining on the buildings next door... It looks like it might be another spring day."
This told me that she was pretty happy to be back to normal, and enthused to complete The Bulletin. Misfortune makes us very thankful when all is well again.
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:
March is an in between month,
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.