Sunday, May 24, 2009
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UPDATE -- mother and daughter earn degrees at NDSU
Just a little recount of graduation at North Dakota State University on May 16th. Curt, Rachel and I picked up Gina and Abby and headed for Fargo on Friday. We stopped in at the Matriarch's in Alex on our way. Dan and Ben joined us at the motel on Friday night and Abby got to do a little swimming with Grandpa Curt and Aunt Rachel. Gina and I were the camera crew.
Saturday at 10 a.m., Rachel and I joined more than 800 students to make the trip to the stage to accept our diplomas. Rachel's major is Spanish and International Studies with a Business minor. I was on the "26-year plan" and received my B.S. in nursing. I graduated from NDSU in 1983 with my Associate degree in nursing and always wanted to complete my degree ... so, 26 years later, I did. It was a pretty neat thing to be able to "suit up" with my daughter and head across the stage! Rachel was pretty gracious to let her mom tag along behind her. The campus changes each year and when you "attend" classes online, you have no idea where any of the important facilities are!
After the graduation, the parents of four of the graduates hosted a little grad party at the home of some of our friends in Fargo. Fun to see some of the relatives there, as well. On the way home, we stopped in to see Mom and Dad again, and some of you may have gotten a flurry of pictures from that short stop. We granted Dad an honorary degree and have pictures to prove it!
UPDATE -- a new home under construction
It's been forever times pi squared since I've paid for my subscription by providing an update, and we've got exciting stuff going on. So it's time for my delinquent account to become current.
As I may or may not have mentioned, we're building a house this summer! We finally decided that our house we're in now just doesn't fit us anymore. We'd like a bit more room, and we want to be in a neighborhood with more kids they tend to have a brighter outlook on life than some of our fuddy-duddy neighbors.
We looked around, but just couldn't find what we liked in Moorhead. We really wanted to stay on this side of the border, so we finally decided we'd build. But we still had to find a lot to build on! Jolene stumbled across one in a development in Evergreen Meadows, in south Moorhead. That lot ended up being pretty small, but there was a bigger one across the street, and we immediately loved it!
In this map, our lot is on the north side of 41st Ave S, just in the bend in the street. It's kind of a triangle shaped lot, just under a half acre. There are a lot more houses there now; this Google picture is a little out of date.
Chris Lind Custom Homes is building for us; they've been incredible to work with. They broke ground a week and a half ago and already have the basement walls poured!
I'll send more pictures and updates as things progress, but thought I'd get this much out this week!
UPDATE -- checking future possibilities in Oregon
In October, I went up to my daughter Cheryl's home in Portland to spend some of the winter, just to see if I could make that my home someday. Then they got 18 inches of snow, which broke ALL records and we were housebound for several days.
I stayed until the First of January -- looked around to see just what was available and what prices were being asked. I saw that I would have to sell out here to get the finances to buy up there. Their markets had not been hit as hard as ours so it will take a couple of years to make the final move. In the meantime, I have bought a townhouse in Beaverton and my youngest granddaughter will be living in it, with an apartment for me when I visit Oregon.
I still have the cabin at Fish Camp and have been up there cleaning up the tree branches and pine needles to remove the fire danger. Right now the fire danger is HIGH. But know it will not keep people away as many will be going up to the National Parks, just to get away from the heat of the Valley.
I plan to go back up to the townhouse next week to spend about 10 days to get some more things settled. I need some furniture for my apartment and other things need looking after.
My plans are to come to Minnesota for the Miller cousins reunion on June 27th. Jim is planning to come, too, and we may have a car together. Cheryl and Rick will be with me but they will not be staying as long as I plan to be there.
UPDATE -- Tyler Indermark turns 4
Tyler celebrated his 4th birthday on Thursday night, May 14th. We had the water slide set up and lots of cake! He had his 4-year check-up on his birthday and is doing great. He is in the 99th percentile for height; the doctor estimates him to become 6' 4" at full growth.
Day to Day R
JoAnne And Wes Sigman Bring Lexie To Visit
To show how long it has been since they were here, they even had to get directions! Ed and Peggy also stopped by for a short while, on their way to a birthday party. I joined them all for a picnic at Peggy and Ed's the next day. It was good to get some "catching up" done!
We all met at Holiday Inn in Alexandria for the Mother's Day Brunch. It took a good sized area to hold us, but they accommodated us very nicely. From left to right: Lori & Shawn Ostendorf holding Kierra; Tammy, Larry & Shirley Ostendorf; Beaver & Donna Johnson, with Jayce & Caity Chap, Rylie Johnson in front; Wyatt Johnson, Becky Chap, Chris Chap holding McKenna Ostendorf, Jessy Chap; Donna & John Thoennes, with Donna holding Camryn Johnson; Weston behind them, Brooklynn in front; Ben Johnson and Ashley Torgrimson.
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.
The first of this week's mystery pictures is of Travis and Jason Quick. The picture appears to have been taken a short time after the Quicks returned to Minnesota after their time near us at Austin. The other picture is of Larry Dake, according to his cousin.
P.S. I really did know two of the folks in last week's mystery, but I failed to let you know.
The young men on the left are my nephews, Travis and Jason, sons of Ardis and Charlie Quick. I think the young man on the right looks like he could be my cousin Larry Dake.
Isn't it amazing how CUTE all of my grandchildren were? These two are Jason and Travis Quick. And, of course, my nephew Larry Dake was pretty cute too!
Gert Dake Pettit
As for the GUESS pictures, I am guessing that one on the right is Ernie Dake. The other two boys MAY be some of Gert's family. The older boy seems to have eyes like Ardis.
Betty Weiland Droel
A 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, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, 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.
It's Happening -- A Finish To The 1947-48 School Year
Louella and I continue our plans but we are now very busy at school. Blanche and I want to finish our year and leave a good impression of the work we have done so I have to keep my school duties in mind and try to do my very best work.
There are two activities planned for the school each year. We have had the spelling contest. (I was the word pronouncer for this district which has two schools competing.) The final winner was from the other district. Now the upper grade students are also preparing to compete in the Minneapolis Star Journal's current events competition. We have a couple of sharp students who may have a chance but the 8th grade competes in this, too, and our 8th graders go to Cokato ... so that limits our chances. But we give it our best...
Two weeks ago Blanche and I had a special invitation to attend a piano recital that was presented by our student Ruth Lindahl and her music teacher, Mrs. Gould. Ruth is in 6th grade and is in advanced piano. I wonder if she should be called a protégée...
Mrs. Gould is well known on the state level for her method. She has two grand pianos that take up her whole music room. They are placed back to back and she played on one while Ruth played on the other. It was a special delight to hear such lovely work done by this older woman and her student. It was especially nice as this was done with just Blanche and me as the audience. We sat in lovely antique chairs in the Gould's beautiful home and heard a stellar performance! I was proud to be a fellow teacher for that moment!
There is a new song out that I think has my theme in it... It is so nice and hopeful. I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover by Art Mooney. The girls at school like me to play it for them, and it brings sunshine and rain to our classroom. Today, I had Ruth play it for us. She does such a cute rendition of it. She adds lots of flourishes and we all enjoy that! We do lots of singing and it keeps us "in tune" with one another. Even Loren seems to enjoy it.
This year is very nearly complete. My plans are made for next year. I do believe I was successful but teaching totally tires me out! Two weeks ago the board met and accepted our resignations. While they understood that Blanche was determined not to continue teaching, they thought perhaps they could get me to change my mind. They approached me with a suggestion:
If I was willing to take the position Blanche had given up, they would ask permission from the state officials to give me an extension of my teaching certificate. This is a method of gaining teachers to fill job openings due to the continuing lack of available teachers.
If I had accepted that, I would have had a raise in wages, and Blanche said I could continue to rent the room from them ... BUT ... I am totally worn out! Even though I feel I have done OK, I also feel I am not a natural like some of my teachers have been, or like Blanche is ... so I am going to take a year, at least, to try something different. What will that be? Well, I really don't know yet ... but I do have some temporary plans.
Here, then, is the plan that has worked out for this coming spring. Blanche and I are going to have a big picnic for the last day of school; we will have a committee of mothers help us plan it. It is a day of competitions in the phy. ed. department -- including all kinds of races and ending with a softball (we call it kitten ball) game with two dads being the captains. And, of course, a huge meal that includes ice cream cones (provided by the district) for everyone. That is our "goodbye" day and I have a feeling there will be some kind of special attention paid to us as we leave. I plan to have plenty of Kleenex available, as I have a feeling I may need it. These kids have gotten into my heart!
After Memorial Day, Louella will be through school and will come for a visit to her home before she starts her new job. She is already working part time at the hospital where she is in training. She will graduate as an X-ray technician, and will be working in the Bemidji hospital full time after graduation.
This is the basic outline of our plan: after her vacation at her home, I will ride back to Bemidji with Louella, taking clothes for the summer. If I stay for the winter, I will need to come back and see everyone and get my things for the rest of the year. That will be decided later.
I will pack up and move to that beautiful city and look for work. And while I am looking, I can share Louella's room until I find a job; then I will hunt for a room nearby. I know that sounds very "iffy" but I am excited. And if I don't find a job, I can always come back on the bus and get a summer job here at home.
I want to try something new and different. It has always felt like I was sort of trapped into teaching. I liked it fine this year. BUT ... do I like it well enough to make a full time career? I am not sure and I need to find out!
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.
In the old days, way back in teens and all the way through the twenties and all the way through the thirties, people went out to North Dakota and western Minnesota to the harvest field, threshing. They worked shocking grain and driving bundle teams threshing grain and whatever else they did.
Sometimes there was somebody that stayed on after the threshing and plowed. They took four or six horses and plowed. That's the way they plowed their land. They'd work for a buck a day and board.
The only time I ever worked in the harvest field was in the fall of 1939 when we needed the money. So my dad and I went out there and worked in the harvest field. We went out there just on the Minnesota side, Breckenridge, and Wahpeton, North Dakota, and worked for big farmers, brothers, brothers-in-law. We threshed 31 days straight, except Sunday.
No rain. I'd look out there and there'd be lightning and I thought, "Boy, now we get a day of rest." Not a drop, not even dew sometimes. We were out there with a bundle team and had it hitched up at 7 o'clock in the morning. It's unreal. It was just dry, dry, dry in those years, ah man, it was dry. So we worked.
The first place we went, we were getting a dollar and a half a day and we shocked grain, shocked oats and barley. We slept upstairs in the attic of a house. It was hotter than everything up there and there wasn't any fan. It just had a window in each end.
Every morning we had little round meatballs made out of rabbit, or I don't know what they were made of, but they were awful tasting. I didn't like them. They had pancakes with white corn syrup and those miserable little meatballs. You had to eat them, because you had to have something to eat, I'll tell you right now.
You got out there and started to shock grain. You could do that early, even if it was a little damp. It didn't hurt anything. Then in the middle of the forenoon they'd bring out a couple measly sandwiches. Boy, they were tight people. One day we left. I don't remember what happened, if Dad just decided to move or what.
I spent just one night at Ilha de Moçambique before traveling to Nampula for a flight to Maputo, Mozambique's capital in the southern part of the country. Though it would have been a grand adventure to travel by public transportation down the Indian Ocean coast, stopping at pretty beaches and interesting towns along the way, the date of my return flight to the States was fast approaching. So I decided I'd rather not committ to 40+ hours of sweaty, dusty bus riding over the next few days.
Instead, I caught a minibus to Nampula, where I visited an anthropology museum that had a great collection of artifacts from Northern Mozambique's distinctive ethnic groups. I was especially intrigued by the musical instrument collections and would have loved to experience a traditional drumming session. I passed a pair of quiet hours in the museum before heading to the airport for my evening flight to Maputo.
I won't say a lot about Maputo, except that I was disappointed. I guess I was expecting a pretty, quaint capital on the coast with a few of the luxuries I'd been craving ... perhaps a nice spot for gelato, a decent park for a morning run, and some colorful street life. Instead, I found a hideously sprawling metropolis that was dirtier, noisier, and scarier than any other city I've ever visited.
I expect and don't mind a certain amount of urban derelict when I visit large cities in developing countries, but Maputo still looked like a war zone to me and had none of the charm that I can usually find in such places. Downtown was home to lots of abandoned buildings, ugly looming concrete ones with broken windows, that added to the war-zone atmosphere. The amount of trash and unidentifiable scum in the streets was horrific. And so much for a morning run in a park ... the green places I visited were clearly not maintained, unpleasant, and felt unsafe. Even the street life seemed depressed. Lots of people were begging, and those who weren't seemed nearly as miserable.
There was, of course, one wealthy, manicured neighborhood that was home to all of the foreign embassies and several high-end shops and restaurants, but in this context of surrounding poverty I couldn't enjoy its pretty cafes and expensive ice cream.
So I left as soon as I could, traveling north by minibus for several hours to reach paradise, also known as Tofo in these parts.
To be continued...
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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 am busier than ever trying to figure out how to get less busy in the end and still make a living. I now do the Nebraska paper (www.countryregister.com/nebraska) and that has been a very fun project. Something new, which always keeps me going. But it keeps us very busy in the office, too. Loved connecting with good old mid-west people. And connect we did. Had a 24 page paper the first issue.
Thanks, too, for the continued weekly editions of The Bulletin. Always fun to look forward to.
Would you please change my e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org and delete email@example.com ... I hate to make you go to the bother but my employees need to process the mail at the other address and, being it is of a more personal nature, I do not wish to share it with them!
Barbara Wheeler Floyd
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
I saw that Perkins Restaurant had their huge USA flag at half mast on Saturday and was curious as to why. A patron in the restaurant realized my questioning, and said, "I can tell you why," and proceeded to tell me that it was a day to honor the service people. I thanked him, and felt sorry I hadn't even known about that special day.
Then The Bulletin arrived, and right there on the front pages were pictures that would help us to observe Armed Forces Day. Thank you, Photo Editor! That was very respectful and patriotic to include those pictures Frans de Been had submitted of the World War ll vehicle exhibition, sent all the way from The Netherlands.
I can't even picture what a ladybug birthday party would be like! I wish we had seen a picture of the cake. But, the antennas were reality enough! Levi is turning 4 years old. Why do I wish children would stay children longer?
Then another new lesson for me was what Elaine Wold had written regarding May 17th being Norwegian Constitution Day. Also, the explanation of the flag colors was interesting to me, too. We have lots of Norwegian friends, being we are from Minnesota.
That was respectful for Angel Freesemann to learn the feelings that come with remembering and placing flowers as a memorial. Especially, for a mother she likely never knew, being just 4 years old when Judy died.
Thank you for more McCalla family details and pictures. I like the name Mika. Thanks for the correct pronunciation ... I had been saying MIKEa.
Every time I get to Memory Lane I am thankful to still see the same first picture used of Dorothy at 20. It sets the tone for the story to follow, and she has such a soft, gentle expression.
To think of where Louella Smith is now, in 2009, and where she was in 1948, gives one some serious thinking. Her successful children and her successfully making her way as a widow is touching to me. I had to laugh at Dorothy's comment that she was going to leave "sensible to be determined later." I am sure their plans all worked out even better than they hoped.
I would like to hear Carol exclaiming when she sees her little cute self as was pictured in Bulletin #361. I dearly loved this picture.
The story of Bruce's uncle and friends finding the bones was gruesome, but what a find to see those bones in the position they were in. Unforgettable, that is for sure!
The Travelogue had pictures that were so different than we had seen before, like the fishing nets drying. That would have been quite a sight in their colors and how would a person ever straighten them out to be used again? Gave me a new respect for fishermen, and the strength they would need to pull the nets into the boats.
Yes, I am sure, Kjirsten, that on your returning home to the United States you would find it a culture shock to fit into normal routine and environment and luxury items we feel are necessities that would never be known there.
My great niece Krista Weiland pages through my printed copy of The Bulletin to find the CHUCKLES, and if she doesn't find one she is so disappointed. I guess we all enjoy the CHUCKLES, but likely you are running out of suitable ones to print. Or do you put in a WITH LOVE just for change and variety? Doug, where are you?
Photo Editor's comment: Oops! "Somebody" forgot to restore the CHUCKLES headline after we used WITH LOVE for the Mother's Day picture of Levi and his mom. We use CHUCKLES or WITH LOVE or THANK YOU in that headline space -- whichever one seems to fit best.
For some reason the Quotation for the day was just excellent, I thought. "There is no way to be a perfect mother [or person], but a million ways to be a good one."
We are so glad it is spring and going into summer here in Minnesota. To watch the flowering trees and bushes and flowers coming, all in their turn, is a reminder that we can depend on and trust in the Creator of it all to be consistent and timely.
Just like our Bulletin -- every Saturday morning, like clockwork, there it is -- arriving on our computer screen. THANK YOU 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: That's what it takes to be a hero, a little gem of innocence inside you that makes you want to believe that there still exists a right and wrong, that decency will somehow triumph in the end. --Lise Hand
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.