Sunday, March 22, 2009
Browse The Bulletin archive index
In Bulletin 350, Kjirsten mentioned interviewing for her upcoming emergency medicine residency in various cities across the country. In January she interviewed in Boston and took time to view some famous Massachusetts landmarks and post pictures of her adventures on the web.
Day to Day R
Ashby High School Band and Choir Concert
Beaver and I attended the Ashby High School Band and Choir concert March 16th. I am so happy that Caity is playing flute. Never having played an instrument myself, it makes me very proud of her.
The Junior Choir sang "I am a Small Part of the World." The boys alone sang "Sixteen Tons."
The Junior High Band played "Shawnee Creek Legend," "Joshua," "A Patriotic Festival" and "Doctor Rock." They did a great job!
With Caity being right behind the director, I only got pictures before and after.
The Matriarch Speaks W
Judy McCalla Visits The Matriarch
Judy McCalla (my first cousin, once removed) paid us such a great "get acquainted" visit. I invited my daughter Donna Mae and Donna Richards (her weekend guest) to come and meet Judy. We had a lovely afternoon together, comparing and explaining and updating each other. Drinking coffee and eating pastries (served by Don, as he found opportunity between our chatting) played a part in the afternoon, too. We both hope this is the first of many such visits.
Judy brought along her family photo album and I did have fun going through (and making copies of all the really exciting snaps). It was our last chance to get in the visit as Judy and her husband, Jack Kleven, will soon be on their way back to Salt Spring Island, off British Columbia, Canada. They have spent their winter between the Cities area and Florida, so they did escape some of the blast of this cold, "old fashioned" Minnesota winter.
As you can see by the picture of their home, we can guess that Judy and her husband and kitties will be glad to get back for the summer. We saw pictures of the plantings Judy has done to beautify their home area -- and lots of scenery pictures that I hope to look at again when we find another occasion to do so.
Thanks for the visit, Judy, and be sure and come again!
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.
Mom [Mitzi Swenson] is 50! We celebrated with Black Forest Cake. She'd been dreaming about it since seeing a dried-out version in a bakery window on the Annapurna circuit last fall in Nepal. My brother Tyler [right] plays with fire with delectable results. I think he should be my personal pastry chef, but he wants to be a chemist instead. Such an overachiever, this boy!
The kids helped celebrate my birthday with Black Forest Cake, left. It was a pretty authentic recipe that we'd like to modify a little for another time. Tyler, right, has always loved to play with fire, and he's melting the sugar on Crème Brûlée with my new butane torch!
Mitzi Johnson Swenson
Well, of course, the one on the left is my little sister, Mitzi, easily recognizable as a well known world trekker. I'm not sure about the guy burning the pudding, but I reckon he's related.
That looks like my sister Mitzi holding a huge cake. Could it possibly be for that 50th birthday celebration? Tyler seems to be torching something, Crème Brûlée perhaps?
Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
Ya know, I think that would be our little sister, Mitzi, and her son, "Mad Scientist" Tyler.
OK, Mitzi, that is some cake! I will have to pass on the picture on the right of the fellow making the custard. Always a far fetched guess, but I try.
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 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.
First Sunday Home: November 17, 1946
The first Sunday after my arrival home from the Fort Snelling Annex, we had a big family get together for noon lunch and the afternoon. We had it here at the farm. Mom provided the ham and fixings and the rest brought pot luck -- a veritable feast! I haven't had such variety of succulent food since leaving home four months ago! Everyone brought her specialty. The eating was grand, the visiting spirited! And then came the entertainment -- planned and prepared by my sister Gert and me.
Gert has been doing my workout with me every chance she gets. Mom has made me a special exercise suit and Gert uses her shirt and jeans. We do the whole routine for an hour's session or else for two half hour ones each day, five days of the week. So Gert had planned a display of our skills -- for all who wanted to watch.
We did our workout on the living room carpet, which gives a little cushioning. She had choreographed quite a little display, using our various exercises in a way to impress everyone with our supple movements. No kidding, don't laugh -- we weren't bad at all. We pretended to ride bicycles, lying on the floor, holding our lower bodies up from the floor and revolving the legs like riding a bicycle and then doing push-ups, etc.
The only thing Gert has to help me with is "sit-ups." My abdominal muscles just do not kick in very well ... the nerves to them are probably in pretty weak shape. Maybe they will improve over the next two years that I will be doing the routine. We did the short form so it wouldn't be too boring. We did get a nice round of applause when we finished.
The cute part followed the demonstration, when Grandpa Mellon spoke up, "That really doesn't look very hard; anyone could touch their head to their knees with their legs flat. And that touching your feet with your hand with your legs straight looks pretty easy, too!"
"Well, come on then, Grandpa, and show us how easy it is!" So he did! He came out on the floor area where we were working out, lowered himself to the floor (a bit gingerly, to be sure -- but successfully); then he put his legs out flat, clasped his hands behind his head, and proceeded to -- well, to sit there. Somehow or another, his head would not even lower itself to try the trip to the knees.
"I guess my neck is too stiff. Let me stand up and then I won't have to use my stiff neck!" So he struggled up.
He stood up straight and then tried to reach his toes with his hands with legs stiff and found it way beyond him, so he cheated a little and bent his knees ... but still he couldn't reach his toes with his outstretched arms! Then he gave up with, "It beats me how you two girls are so limber!"
Now he understands how the exercising I have been doing in the hospital these last months, and that Gert has been doing in Phy. Ed. in school, has indeed helped us become more supple than most people.
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.
I'll tell you this skunk-trapping episode. There were a lot of skunks up there by my grandma's old house and nobody was living in it. Dad and I got it in our heads that it would be kind of nice to trap some skunks. I used to get a fur buying list what the furs were worth from McMillen Fur Company. I used to catch a few weasels in the wintertime and send them to them. Skunks were worth something.
Somewhere, Dad had heard or seen or somebody had told him, that if a skunk got off the ground, he couldn't stink. He had to have his feet or some feet on the ground. I don't remember if it was his hind feet or what. So we built a little sawhorse affair, something like a teeter-totter. We built a couple of them. We took them up there and we weighted them down and it had a little tripping mechanism of some kind so as soon as he got into the trap, he'd trip it before he had time to even blink. That was the idea at least, to hoist him up in the air real quick, and there he'd be. I don't know what we were going to do with him after he got there.
We made two of those and we got them up to Grandma's old house and got them set and sure enough, when we went up there one morning, we had a skunk in it. And oh, boy, did he stink! You could smell him for a mile. So that ended the skunk trapping, right there. That was the end of that. Just in case you get a notion to trap skunks, don't do it that way.
SKUNK UNDER PORCH
Another time, while we're talking about skunks, that was after I'd left home or was working out at least, there was a skunk that got under the little porch that Dad had put on by the kitchen door there. They tried to get him out different ways.... They got the notion they'd kill that skunk with strychnine. They put some strychnine on something and pushed it under there and he ate it, all right enough....
Well, that skunk stunk. Oh, mercy, it really stunk something fierce, right under the porch. Ma had some aluminum cooking pans she had to throw away. There was no way she could get that smell out of that pan. So it's really something.
CAT CHASING WOODCHUCK
Another time I saw the old cat chasing a woodchuck on that same plowed field. I happened to look out there, and here across the yard came this woodchuck, loping along with the cat loping along behind. The cat wasn't making much of an effort to catch the woodchuck, I'll say that, because that cat could never handle a woodchuck. They're an awful fighter. That was interesting, just to see that cat and woodchuck go loping across the yard.
First a howling blizzard woke us,
Greetings from the Netherlands
Hallo, people. Yes, Spring ....?????? I don't know, but we had a photo shoot at the park here in Oosterhout. Thousands of new flowers were in the park. I hope you like it.
Greetings From Oosterhout,
The jeep driver summoned a child 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 a lovely shade of yellow with minty blue trim, with a stately porch and white columns at the front. A strikingly tall and thin woman appeared at the door. Her smile was broad and welcoming; she motioned me to follow her through the open door.
The room she showed me was very simple. It had a bare concrete floor, a bed with a mosquito net draped around it, and a single wooden chair. The room was airy and bright with a large screened window, but I noticed there were no lights. Instead, a kerosene lantern had been left on the floor near the bed. For a sum totaling around $15 per day, this room would be mine and Ansha would cook each meal for me for the next few days.
Ansha introduced me to an orphaned boy who, at age 16, had completed all of the classes offered at the island's high school and was now trying to earn enough money to move to the mainland to continue his education. He offered to show me around the island and introduce me to a few of his favorite people and places in exchange for an opportunity to practice his English.
Our first stop was at the home of Ibo's resident historian, a former school teacher with an amazing memory and a remarkable collection of documents and notebooks related to the island's history. We passed a delightful hour on his porch together. He pulled out document after document, many of them yellow and brittle with age, and carefully ran his finger underneath sections of text and figures to highlight how the island's politics, demographics, and economics had changed over the decades. He captivated me with stories about the colorful history of Ibo while I nodded encouragingly and struggled to keep up with his Portuguese.
At the end of our visit, he pulled out an article about the island published in an Italian travel magazine a few years ago. He grinned with pride as he pointed out his quoted words and read them to me in accented Italian.
We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the island, stopping to visit the three old Portuguese forts, a cemetery, and what I understood to be an old Hindu crematorium.
I was surprised to see Chinese characters on some of the headstones and paused to imagine what this place must have been like centuries and centuries ago, when merchants from the Far East stopped here to trade spices, ivory, and precious metals.
I was pleased to think that perhaps not so much had changed; the island's isolation and lack of participation in the modern economy or Western culture has left it largely alone. I wonder how long Ibo will escape the homogenizing forces of our smaller and smaller world?
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More March Birthdays
More March Anniversaries
March Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
Talk about being birthday'd! We had yet another birthday dinner this evening at a best friend's home close by us here, Rod and Renee Martin.
We had butter-tender beef tenderloin steaks, and then fresh strawberry pie for dessert. We were so full and so happy and it really helps to ease the fact that a person is another year older. They gave me a Pampered Chef jar opener that we can mount on the cupboard for when we get even older, so we can still open jars.
We are so ready for the first day of Spring. Almost all our snow is already melted away here -- exposing a lot to rake up soon.
Just wanted to share my special event with you.
Betty Weiland 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?
It is time once again to express my appreciation for all your efforts in getting The Bulletin published. I so look forward to that each Saturday and am always rewarded with such interesting, delightful, enchanting (cannot think of more words of praise) articles and pictures.
Thank you, Dorothy, for sharing your polio story! I had a grade school teacher who wore a leg brace because of her polio and so intriguing to hear of your experience. She never talked about it and we didn't ask -- not "polite" in those days, I guess ... now I am curious about her.
And Kjirsten's travels and pictures -- wow, what an adventuresome life she leads! I enjoy every word and picture of each location she has explored and described ... a thanks to her. I hope she does get her ER experience in Chicago, where I visited last spring ... fun to see those pictures, too ... made me smile.
You too, Weston, a fun narrative of your trips on the road. I also like the stories of your family (especially Donna's) and friends -- a taste of American life and history. :-)
A devoted fan,
It was refreshing to read about Melanie and Lisa's monumental task at hand... This beautiful old home that will be home to their families! What dedication!
I would enjoy helping, if I were available, and most of all, I will enjoy seeing this beautiful home in its permanent setting ... resting graciously on the Howard Lake farm!
What a treat to have Kyra send you alfajores! We've had them and they are delicious. I've never made dulce de leche but we've brought home several jars. My college Spanish teacher made it the same way as Kyra and said to be very careful doing it. We've often taken it backpacking as it's delicious in oatmeal or with apples dipped in it, or licked off a spoon.
I'm in Houston for a few days, visiting Kjirsten. She was awarded membership in alpha omega alpha, an honor society for the top 15 per cent of medical students, so I came for the dinner. Next week she'll be inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. We think we've sold her condo so I'm helping her sort and pack up as she's finished with classes the end of March and will travel in Southeast Asia until graduation in May.
We're off to San Antonio, Texas, today for a festival.
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
The Bulletin announced that the first day of Spring will be Friday, March 20th. Surely that can't mean the winter is already past, and we are heading into another season. In Minnesota, seasons are very noticeable, and we still have a lot of snow as a reminder that the effects of winter really aren't gone yet, even if spring insists on arriving right on time.
As I look out the window now, I see nothing but puddles and standing water as the snow melts, slowly but surely. I think of all the debris that will need to be raked, and it sort of takes the thrill out of this next season that is upon us. I can about hear all the repercussion from that statement. We are SO ready for Spring. We are SO tired of ice and heavy coats.
The first picture had me puzzled. Now just what is that supposed to be? To read the caption made me smile, as we have just had a magnificent Amaryllis drop its final blossoms. There were three long, slim stems with four gigantic red blossoms on each one before it finally finished blooming. I should have recognized that the picture was the beginning sprout. That was such a colorful illustration, Bitzi. That took some creative designing.
I have a dear niece who lives in Chicago. She hasn't mentioned "the Bean" pictured in Kjirsten's update. That is most interesting, and following the link led to an impressive description and more pictures. It looks like something a person wouldn't want to miss seeing there.
I have a cousin who just moved into a highrise in downtown Minneapolis, and the Chicago at sunset picture looks like what you can see from her 10th floor window, out onto the Minneapolis lights at night. One could just stand there and gaze at the vast distance of lights and buildings.
The update on the beautiful old house being moved was very outstanding. To think such a huge building could be transported so far without falling apart amazes me. The very best part is how it all came to be, and the hopes and dreams Melanie and family have for making it their HOME.
I would just love to walk through that house. It must have three floors, and very likely they are beautiful, varnished wood floors and huge rooms. I read with deep interest every single word of the story of the house move from the link provided for more pictures on the web.
I am so glad someone was able to record the step by step moving process, and when there was so much against them can you imagine the feeling of seeing it finally in the spot where it would become their home now? There seems to be a lot of work yet to be done before they can even move into it, and we are hoping for updates of the progress. Please remember, The Bulletin family is going to be watching for whatever you have time to share with us.
It is wonderful that Tom and Mavis can travel and enjoy their health and means together to experience a home in Florida as well as traveling to Oregon and wherever they choose to go. What a joy that would have been for Bob and Eloise to have had a visit from them, and having family time at Coreen's home. Again, whether in a home or rest home, just to be together is what is most important in this life as long as possible.
I can tell you that it really impressed me to see dad and baby look alikes. The "haircuts" of Kierra and Shawn were identical, and that picture will be one of the keepsakes in her album, I am very sure. What a happy grandma, and Donna Mae just has a way of making those grandchildren so loved.
Memory Lane becomes more meaningful as the story progresses from the first symptoms of polio to this part of learning how to walk again, and how much the visitors meant at that time. I loved reading the account of each set of visitors, and the awkward silence of that gentleman who put so much effort into making it to the Annex. At that time Dorothy was 20, and was wondering what the next 20 years would bring. Let's see, now it is still another 20 and even more? A day at a time becomes a lifetime.
It was very touching to think of the March of Dimes paying for the hospital bill. It gives me a different attitude toward those charities. I was not familiar with the dMarie Time Capsule, but I did click on it and found it very interesting when you put your own birth date in.
Homesteading Days about the chocolate pudding was so hilarious ... yet so sad, really. The poor little boy not ever having many treats, but he just could not tolerate chocolate pudding and then a second helping, too yet. I can understand it would remain a vivid memory right up until now as it's being rehearsed all over again. Not liking the milk, either, was an important part of the story. Roy would have felt the same way. He did not care for milk or pudding-like foods, either. However, he does love chocolate.
The Travelogue was once again describing a place we will never see. To have one motorized four-wheeled vehicle on the whole island is hard to comprehend. I couldn't decide if the photo of that large house with the goats on the sidewalk was that expensive place or where she did stay? It is to be continued, and I hope there will be a picture of that tall, thin woman that appeared at the door. How captivating to be left right there on the doorstep until next week, ha.
Miss Kitty, thank you for taking time to write to Miss Hetty so we could all get in on the cookie story from detail to detail. Kyra must be quite a baker, and she would know that was one birthday gift to her mom that would really go over big. I thought myself, as I was reading it, that the unopened can of sweetened, condensed milk would have exploded after cooking for three hours! Thank goodness there was a short version of the recipe. Now if we can only devise a way to share these great cookies with the rest of us without us having to struggle to make them... Oh, never mind. We will have to be satisfied with your word for it.
Judy McCalla wrote a very nice LTTE, and here shows what a lovely pair these two are. Cousins. She also had polio, she said. Don Anderson had just sent this picture, which I thought was so appropriate to add to this, being it was of both Dorothy and Judy.
We really laughed at the caption of the CHUCKLES again. Hunter Holman telling his mother to RELAX. I wonder if she even knows how to, at this stage of his experimenting and learning.
I always make sure I see the Quotation for the day, and try to understand the logic or the humor or the good advice it always gives. March being wintry winds and balmy spring-like days was very appropriate for our area. We see the huge water puddles being absorbed into the softening ground, and think of nature watering her earth in the process.
Time's up for the LTTE for this time. Roy is almost ready to leave without me, so one quick thank you before I sign off.
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: It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. --Charles Dickens
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.