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Sunday, December 27, 2009
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Happy New Year

Photo © Gert Pettit
Greetings from Dusty and the two people who live in the house with me, Gert and Don Pettit. We are sending Best Wishes for the coming New Year to all the people, world wide, who have become friends through being involved with The Bulletin.

Updates -

Photo © Ary Ommert, Jr.
White Christmas in Maassluis, Netherlands, from Ary's window.
(Scroll down to the Travelogue for the story.)

UPDATE -- a winter song from Capt. Jack
by Capt. Jack Adair
Coon Rapids, MN

Well, due to shortness of time, I won't convey the adventures of your ol' Capt. and Rufus until a later issue. But due to the heavy snow storm, the first real storm of the season for us midwesterners, I'm dragging out an old song I wrote maybe 20 or so years ago. It fits our winters just fine, and even Rufus likes it. {There ya go, putting words in my mouth again.}

It's called:

Ode To Minnesota

I've lived long in this state, and I think it's just great,
In the spring, and summer, and fall.
but in that other season, when I'm freezin' and sneezin',
I can't hardly stand it at all.

(Chorus) And the snowplows are humming, the snow is still coming,
It's drifted clear up to my knee;
When the snowflakes start falling, I hear voices calling
From Phoenix saying, 'come visit me.'

The kids they all love it, they push it and shove it
To build a snowman, 40 feet high.
I whimper and sigh, what makes me cry?
My car is down under it all.

With my fingers frost-bitten, inside of my mitten,
And white spots all over my nose.
I go everywhere, with an unblinking stare,
Just 'cause my eyeballs are froze.

The kids they all go 'round the old radio,
To hear what the announcer will say.
The kids they start jumpin', but Mom's heart is thumping,
To hear 'school will be closed for the day.'

Just put on more clothes when that cold north wind blows,
And you'll be right back in the groove.
I'm wearing 12 pair of long underwear, and I'm warm ...
but I can't even move!

And the snowplows are humming, the snow is still coming,
It's drifted clear up to my knee;
When the snowflakes start falling, I hear voices calling
From Phoenix saying, 'come visit me.'

©John N. Adair, DBA Jack Adair, AKA Capt. Jack, AKA Grampa Jack

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Joshua Tree in Sonoran Desert near Tucson, Arizona.

UPDATE -- a trip to the desert for a visit
by Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Larry and I 'just happened' to have some NWA tickets to use before the end of the year and I decided that Tucson would be a good destination ... warm and sunny. My grandparents, Ivan and Mamie Thomas, lived in Tucson from about 1945-1965. Mom and Dad always talked about going back to Tucson "one more time." That all seemed like a good reason to go and check it out.

Monday morning, when we were to leave, there was four inches of new snow. At the airport we watched as they cleared the runway ... 17 snowplows traveled in unison back and forth ... was quite the parade. We were delayed as they needed to de-ice our plane before take-off but when it was our turn to get de-iced the announcement came that the trucks needed to go refill with de-icer. But then it was decided that 'maybe' they would have enough to complete the job. 'Maybe' isn't a real confidence builder but it must have been enough. We were soon on our way.

We arrived in Phoenix, grabbed a shuttle bus to pick up a rental car and headed straight for Tucson. After checking in at the motel, we decided we had time to go look up the two addresses that we had of where Grandpa and Grandma Thomas had lived. We found a very old trailer court about where we figured theirs would have been but it wasn't the kind of place where you want to hang around too long so we didn't find the exact address. There was a large apartment building where their other trailer house would have been.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Ivan & Mamie Thomas's trailer home in 1947.

We stopped at eegee's for their famous fresh fruit slushy on the way back to the motel ... they would be really good in hot weather. Breakfast at the motel was a hearty buffet ... eggs, sausage, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, waffles, oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit, yogurt, muffins, toast, etc. ... so we had a good start to each day.

Our first destination was Sabino Canyon. We have pictures of Grandpa and Grandma picnicking there ... and one of Grandma wading in the river. You can no longer drive into the canyon but we took the shuttle ride. They warned us that we would need a coat and I said, "But we are from Minnesota!"

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Mamie Thomas in Sabino Canyon.

We smeared on our sunscreen and perched sunhats on our heads ... and went to the car to get our coats. The whole time we were bouncing along through the canyon, we were in the shade and it was COLD. I put on my gloves and wished I had my sweater, too! It was a BEAUTIFUL canyon, but with a bouncy ride and all of the shade, we did not get any good photos there.

We dawdled along some of the trails by the visitors center at Sabino Canyon. That was our first view of the desert up close. I had thought it was such a drab, unfriendly place ... but by now I was really starting to like it!

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Trails at Sabino Canyon visitors center.

At noon we strolled into the El Charro Café. Jennie Horne recommended we go there for some local flavor. We pretty much had the place to ourselves ... except for a cluster of soldiers. El Charro's Café was started in Tucson, Arizona, in 1922 and is The Nation's Oldest Mexican Restaurant in continuous operation by the same family. I found it ironic that the lady who started it was from France. Her father had been commissioned to build the St. Augustine Cathedral in Tucson. The original El Charro Café is still serving in downtown Tucson.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Lunch for two at El Charro Café.

Next was the Catalina Highway up to Mt. Lemmon. That highway has "the equivalent of driving from the deserts of Mexico to the forests of Canada in a short stretch of 27 miles." Words fail to describe it and photos are inadequate for conveying the awesome grandeur of that drive.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Along the Catalina Highway.

There were lots of places to pull off and absorb the beautiful sights. It seemed that with every twist and turn of the highway there was a change of rock, vegetation and mountain vistas. As we climbed the mountain, it became cooler and cooler and yes, there was snow to add to the variety.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Viewpoint along the Catalina Highway.

There were two things that made me uncomfortable about the mountain driving. The first was the speed at which people on bikes would 'coast' down the mountain ... it was more like flying! The posted speed limit is just for cars and trucks, right? The other was the section of road where one lane was washed out and we went through on the shoulder of what remained of the road. Guess the highway crew deemed it safe to go through as they didn't send us back down the mountain.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Catalina Highway.

We got down the mountain just in time to go through Saguaro Park (east) at sunset. We got about a third of the way through and the park ranger caught up to us and said we needed to move along as the park closes at sundown. So we only got a handful of pictures there ... wish there had been time to go back. I am really loving the desert and mountains by now! The really nice thing about it ... anyone ... even if you drive a Jazzy ... can go pretty much everywhere we went. On the way back to the motel, we stopped at Weinerschnitzel's ... for a hot dog and chili cheese fries.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Evening at Saguaro (east).

On Wednesday morning, Carolyn and Rodney Loera (she is Larry's cousin) and another couple picked us up and we went to a morning Bible Study. We were invited to stay for lunch. I think there were 10 of us around the table ... excellent home cooking! In the evening, Carolyn and Rodney invited us to come for supper at their home ... more great home cooking. Carolyn and Rodney had moved to Tucson for the winter just three weeks before. We enjoyed the slower pace and time to visit after the fast pace of the day before.

To be continued...

Family picture: Jeni, Kurt, Madi & Sami Larson.

Photo © Tim Holman
Arch Rock -- Southern Oregon Coast.

UPDATE -- Hunter's grandparents visit his auntie
by Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Tim and Lois Holman (Hunter's grandparents) took a little trip from Spokane down to San Luis Obispo, California, to see Ben and Carissa Vance (Hunter's auntie) not too long ago. Both Ben and Carissa are going to college there. Tim and Lois took in some of the sights along the way home ... and I grabbed a few of the gems to share with you ... with Tim's permission. : )

Photo © Tim Holman
Black sand at the Dunes -- a beach in Southern Oregon.

Photo © Tim Holman
San Luis Obispo, California; after a wave splashed on the rock, this is the run off.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photos © Donna Johnson
Caity Chap & Josh Evavold, left; Jayce Chap, right. (Yes, Jayce wore the same sweater as last year. And Josh was the only classmate who happened to be nearby, for me to get a picture. Thanks, Josh, for being game for a picture.)

Christmas Concert

Caity and Jayce had their Christmas program last Monday. They have a new teacher, Lori Risbrudt (happens to be cousin to Wyatt, Weston and Ben); she does both band and choir. I must say she had her hands full, with kindergarten to senior performances to manage.

She is the most laid back person, though; does not appear to be ruffled by much of anything, which makes things much better for the children and those helping her out with the concert. Even with a couple little glitches, you could see she takes it as no big deal, so therefore, so does everyone else. I admired her results; it was a fun, entertaining and original program.

Caity enjoys Mrs. Risbrudt; she actually enjoys going to band class now. So, that is a vast change from last year, when she wanted to quit all year. In fact she had, but Mrs. Risbrudt talked her into rejoining and trying a different instrument, changing her from flute to trumpet. Caity admitted to me last night that she is very glad she stayed in band. And I am very happy she did, too. I feel that playing a musical instrument is very valuable.

All in all, a lovely program that kept our attention the entire time. There was no lull while kids filed on and off the stage as in prior years. She had various areas of the gym set up, so kids filed out in different areas, as others were finishing up their pieces. Worked great.

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Christmas In A Minnesota Snow Storm

Hope you had a nice Christmas...

We surely did, as it didn't end with the pizza ... that was our noon lunch. It had looked like Don and I would eat pizza from a box for our Christmas dinner. I thought almost every plan for the day had been pretty well changed, if not eliminated, as the snow got deeper by the hour. Don sent a dispatch around that reported one death, 84 injuries and 1054 vehicles off the road. I expect lots were caused because drivers couldn't see the road. (Well, of course, there are many miles of icy stuff, too.)

The surprise came when Donna and Beaver and Becky and the kids came and spent a couple hours visiting -- and they had our "supper" along. We had lasagna and chili (with garlic toast) as the main meal and then we had little cream puffs for dessert. We all ate together. It might not have been so traditional ... but it was yummy!

Then came the total surprise. Donna had made a large card and she had decorated it with family members' photos (with cute add-ons to enhance each picture). She and Becky had visited all over town and had found meal gift cards from the restaurants here in town -- both fancy and fast food -- and she had them each in an envelope with the names of the family members who gave them and the place they were from. They were hiding in some large packets hidden under the photos. Now, when the weather improves, we can start to eat out! We shouldn't have to make meals for a long time to come.

They have now all gone out to visit Shawn, Lori, and girls. The weather seems not to have daunted anyone in this area so very much! Glad that is so; it made a lovely break from the gloom of the weather. Now I must get busy writing some thank yous...


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. Gina Henderson supplied last week's mystery photo.

How many can you identify? What's going on?

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

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 an easy one! Mason, Abigail and Logan Henderson have a favorite spot at Dan and Gina's: unload all the toys from Abby's toy box and climb right in! Aunty/Mommy Gina is pretty tolerant of this activity!

Patty Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

That would be Mason, Abby and Logan Henderson. They are checking out how many fit in the toy box, by the looks of things.

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

On the guess picture, I hope I don't make a mistake like I did last time. Here we have Mason Henderson, his cousin Abby Henderson, and his brother Logan. Mason and Logan belong to Ben and Heather Henderson and Abby belongs to Dan and Gina Henderson. They are having quality time together in the toy box, is what it looks like, while the boys' sister, Brienna, is sleeping. Right?

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

Here's my guess for "identify": my oldest son, Mason; my adorable niece, Abby, and my youngest son, Logan!

Heather Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

The GUESS picture can only be one family. That is the BROWNs with the blue eyes. Sully, Everett and Lelan. Did I spell that right?

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Editor's comment: You've got the spelling right ... but there are more blue-eyed kids in the family than you might guess ... and these blue eyes belong to Mason, Logan and Abby Henderson.

Memory Lane

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. 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.

Dorothy Dake, 20, hand tinted portrait, 1946.

by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

Making Plans

In our family, we have family feasts with everybody contributing to the fare... We have them at every holiday with whoever has the desire and opportunity to come. Most of the time they are held at the family farm home that started as my Grandpa Mellon's home when he was in his teens. Now my mother and father and my youngest sister are the residents. This year, the family group is smaller. LeRoy and Vonnie are down in the South and I am up in the North. But the rest will all be together, I haven't a doubt.

So then the second choice of company to be with for the holiday would be my best friend, Louella. But there is a hitch there, too. As I entered in my journal, the last holiday (Thanksgiving) she was called back on an emergency at the hospital where she is an X-ray technician. This holiday she is free and Ralph is coming up to take her to her home for a week's vacation. Oh, he would give me a ride, too ... but I haven't enough "off time" from work to make the trip home.

So I have been waiting for an invitation to some home up here ... but, so far, I hear most all of our friends talking about where they are going. So it seems maybe I should talk with Bertha and Mrs. Walters and see if the three of us could maybe fix a meal together. I decided not to ask at the Nurses' home, as they have a new couple who are their house parents after a change over this fall, and we hardly know each other.

The scene in the city is very Christmas-like, with decorations up and we have had a snowfall, which helps set the season -- but somehow I do not seem to feel very festive. I have to remind myself that I am grown up now. I am thinking it might be well to learn to take a few disappointments, as I am sure I will have plenty more ahead of me. I have saved enough this week so I can eat out. No use to pout.

To the Rescue

It is time to write in my journal. I had no holiday invitation -- my idea to have a combination "ladies of the house" meal had proven impossible, as they both have family homes they go to every Christmas. So I was just plain out of luck... But don't weep for me as, in spite of lack of invitations, I did have a lovely evening and I did not have to use that five dollar bill I had saved for such an emergency meal. My Christmas holiday meal was certainly not very traditional, but it was lovely and I met such a nice person (well, really, two of them, counting Skeet).

This morning, I had determined it might be well to learn to take a few disappointments, as I am sure I will have plenty more ahead of me, but then I decided to look for a restaurant where I could have a nice meal. I decided to do just one big meal. I had saved enough this week so I can eat out. So I started calling -- and I could not get a single restaurant to answer their phone!

Did I start crying? No, I just got my "Irish temper" up! I am not giving up, I decided; I will just call and ask Max where there is a restaurant that is open on Christmas!

I made the call and it was answered by the "Skeet voice." I asked him for a connection with his dad. He got my phone number and told me that Max would call me back. It was several minutes before his call. And the last indignity of fate ... Max was obviously sporting a cold. But he did not let me back out of telling him the whole story of the why of my call. As he told me, "Dorothy you don't just call me over nonsense ... so tell me what this is about."

And I did ... ending with my rather strange request, which I am afraid came out rather "ungrown up" sounding. But I informed him that it would not hurt me a bit to just stay home...

"Will you quit being foolish!" is one of the things he said to me ... and then he said I was to dress up nice and put on a warm coat, hat, and boots as it was cold out, and then he told me that he knew a place that I would truly enjoy. He would make reservations for 7 o'clock and Skeet would come and pick me up and deliver me there and would come back in an hour to bring me home. And he said, "Be at the door and when the cab arrives just run out and get in the back like I have you do."

I knew that Skeet usually was much more formal with his passengers -- so those directions startled me a bit. But I told him how nice he was (to another, "Oh, quit being foolish!"). I told him that I understood the directions and would be ready at 6:30 ... as he was quite sure he could get a 7 p.m. reservation.

Well, as you know, at 7 o'clock this far north at this time of the year, it is totally black. I saw the cab coming and it was Max's older one that doesn't have any light on the top. I slipped my coat and boots on over my outfit (already had my hat on, as that can be a time taker). I headed out and jumped in the back behind the driver ... and sitting in the front seat was what my Geography teacher calls a "Native American" (but what lots of others refer to as an Indian). He turned around in his seat and said, "Hi, Miss Dorothy," in the Skeet voice!

So then he told me just why I have never really had him as a driver before. His mother is a lovely Chippewa who Max begged to marry and Skeet explained that this city of Bemidji treats him just like any of their other young men. But his dad does not like to embarrass me by having to be seen driving with Skeet. Well, I shall have to tell him, as I did Skeet, that I will not be one bit embarrassed riding with him.

I am not going to detail my evening out, but I met "Miss Plum." I am thinking that is her entertainment name and not her real one. She is a lovely Chinese lady of undetermined age who has a little store down next to the colleges. She sells lots of interesting things to eat. She has a little dining area on one side of her little store. It has four wooden tables with wooden chairs and everywhere you look there is red, gold, or black ... with lots of dragons and such. It was so fun having her explain to me what was on the menu.

Finally, I just told her to bring me something that was of her choice. What a lovely evening! I decided to buy a treat or two for the ladies of my rooming house, and a little something for the kids I know. While I was busy doing that, Skeet came in and I saw him talking to Miss Plum up by the cash box. He didn't seem in a hurry, so I finished with my shopping and went up to pay for my exquisite meal ... only to be assured that it was already paid for. I couldn't even pay for the things in my hand, as that was a gift from Miss Plum, herself.

So here I am at home by myself on Christmas night. And I cannot think that I ever had any better holiday than this one has proved to be -- just think, I spent time with two new friends -- a Chinese lady and a teenage Indian boy. I have been taught by my parents that people are to be judged by their character, not by their skin color. I do believe that, and I do think I have met two very kind and thoughtful people. So all is well that ends well. And this day indeed ended well!

Travelogue t

Photo © Ary Ommert, Jr.
White Christmas in Maassluis, Netherlands, from Ary's window.

Greetings from the Netherlands
by Ary Ommert, Jr.
Maassluis, The Netherlands

Hello Everyone,

Last sunday we had heavy snowfall in the Netherlands. This was a long time ago. Made some pictures and you see my town, Maassluis, covered with snow. Traffic, trains and airports had many problems and the snow is still there. Even more snow is expected in the coming days, so we will have a white Christmas in the Netherlands.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2010.

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Ary Ommert, Jr.

by Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Photo © Frans de Been
White Christmas in Oosterhout, Netherlands.

Hallo, Everyone.

Yes, winter time is here in the Netherlands. After so many years we have (we hope so much) a white Xmas. The Weather Forecasters predict six times in a century a white Xmas for the low Countries. We have now more snow than Austria and Switzerland. (Global warming?) Last week we had enough of that white powder.

Now, Sunday morning, we had a bigger surprise. Yes, more snow. I think if we tell this to people like the Family Morgan they will be smiling at us.

The same as more people in the USA will.

Here it is just usual as normally -- work, eat, sleep and start every day as each other day.

I send you some hot new made pictures of the Sunday snow. Have a good Sunday.

Frans de Been

Photo © Frans de Been
Snowstorm in Oosterhout, Netherlands.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Floating a river on bamboo raft near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
by Kjirsten Swenson
Albuquerque, NM

After three nights in Khao Sok National Park, we left the tree houses behind and spent a day traveling the length of Thailand by air. Our goal was to meet a few of my medical school friends in Chiang Mai, a large city situated in the northern part of the country. That evening, it was great fun to see familiar faces in such a foreign place. We took turns sharing stories of our adventures in Asia and made plans to spend the next few days together.

Our first day in the north was jam-packed! We started by floating down a lazy river on bamboo rafts. The surrounding forest was lush and beautiful, a lovely backdrop as we meandered on by. However, the bliss was soon interrupted by children armed with water guns and buckets. It was Songkran, the Thai New Year. Families had brought food, drink and lots of merriment to celebrate.

The festival originally involved sprinkling water on friends as a blessing, but this tradition has transformed into a nation-wide water fight. They exuberantly throw water on any living person that passes within range, using buckets, water guns, or just splashing in the river. We were soaked time after time, but didn't mind being the objects of their amusement ... the heat was wicked, so it was a fun way to cool off.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Elephants share river with bamboo raft near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day

This Week's Birthdays
December 29---Mitzi Johnson Swenson
December 30---Travis Quick

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
December 27---Earl and Kathleen Dake Stahlecker (35 years)

January Birthdays
January 3---Brandon Hellevang
January 3---Virginia (Dake) McCorkell
January 4---Harry "Junior" Anderson
January 4---Nathan Hill
January 5---Jayce Michael Chap (11 years old)
January 5---Krista Rae Weiland (10 years old)
January 6---Sean Thomas Cannon (11 years old)
January 6---Kierra Elizabeth Ostendorf (1 year old)
January 7---Logan Benjamin Henderson (2 years old)
January 8---Rosanna Miller Dahlinger
January 8---Lelan Elaine Brown (1 year old)
January 11---Brandon Harvey Lehtola (7 years old)
January 13---Russ Riesenberg
January 15---Shea Ashley Birkholz
January 19---Trevor Jayce Roberson (9 years old)
January 22---Timothy Mellon
January 24---Marloes de Been
January 30---Whitney Johnson
January 30---Madilyn Mae Larson (3 years old)
January 31---Larry McCorkell

January Anniversaries
January 24---David "Beaver" and Donna Anderson Johnson (16 years)

January Special Days
January 1---New Year's Day
January 18---Martin Luther King Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

George Larson has coffee with granddaughter Madilyn Larson.

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thanks for the nice card. We've had a fun day. Ben, Ashley, and Weston have been here most of the day. We did a little snowmobiling, a little skiing, and plenty of eating. Hoping the weather doesn't get too bad so we can get down to see you...

Beaver Johnson
Ashby, MN

Thank you for the nice birthday greeting. My wife treated me to a massage at the salon at the Arrowwood.

Ken Hellevang
Fargo, ND
(at the Arrowwood in Alexandria right now)

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?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

I enjoyed The Bulletin very much today. I noticed you ran the picture of Don, Jan and I as kids. That was a surprise! I know one day I will probably have to get high speed but I hate to give in as I don't use it so very much.

Hope all is well with you and I hope you all have a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS.

Shari (McKenzie) Allen
Edina, MN

Editor's comment: Perhaps now that you are a subscriber, you will find more of interest to read!

Enjoyed your story of the lost Coke. :-) Also, if he did he really drive around during bad weather looking to help out, it was very nice of him!

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Author's note: Max is based on a very real man. It is such a long time ago that I only get whiffs of memory ... but I do know for sure that he offered several of the young people on our street rides in bad weather ... and if you talked about it to the older people, they would all know about his rescue work. And that was one fierce storm, by the way!

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

I had heard comments that The Bulletin would be a little short this time, being not too many had sent in a contribution to its pages, but when it arrived in our in-box on Saturday morning, it was amazingly complete, with 32 printed pages. I know I have to credit our photo editor, Jerrianne, for knowing just how to space and arrange the stories and pictures to fill in any thin areas. Thanks, as we were not disappointed in our Bulletin #392.

What a grand photo of "Winter Begins" from Anchorage, Alaska! We are always impressed at anything "Alaska" as, in our minds, it is the extreme of most everything, especially the winter weather. It has a beauty all its own with the pristine white and the majestic mountains bordering its miles.

What a grand surprise to see the update of Tom Miller, Sr.'s trip to Florida to see brother Jim. Those two weeks would have just flown by. With life passing so quickly, one has to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves -- like that ridiculously low air fare.

We were expecially glad to see Steve and Marian with Jim, as they look like life is agreeing with them as the years pass. Then that very nice photo of Tom and Jim together. We were so glad for all the details you shared, Tom, and for the pictures worth a thousand words (or more).

Then, there was OUR Tabasco, who looks like a pampered and very much alive cat. Can't say a cat doesn't have expression in their eyes. You can almost read her mind.

We needed that variation from all the other Bulletin star cats, as Dusty took the spotlight for a change. Thanks, Gert, for introducing us to that new member of your family. It would be so much fun to watch him meet Mai Tai and Miss Kitty. All of them claiming rights. Keep us posted on him.

What could be more of a memory than baking decorated cookies at Gramma's house? They looked good enough to eat, and I am surprised there were that many left to photograph.

Donna Mae, don't worry about your cookie skills, as someone has to have the stove to bake them in, so that was your huge contribution. The picture of Lori and McKenna was very nice.

As a child, I had a collection of key chains one time, so I can well understand the fun of finding a way to display them. I had them all connected together into a huge pile. I have a few yet.

I clicked on Dave's Snowflake Page link, and couldn't quit looking at it and clicking further and further into the information. Thanks for that. Very interesting to look at when I have more time.

What a sweet picture of those McKenzie children, and then to think of who and where they are now. Thanks for that story for us of Don's family.

The Memory Lane got pretty complicated, with all the delivery details of the people and food. What a shock to find that note AND the Coke that should have been delivered long ago. All your little details of everything makes your writing so unique, after so many years, and we loved imagining we were right there with you in the cold wind when that kind Max drove up, offering you a life-saving ride home.

What a nice picture of Kjirsten in the Travelogue. She looks so calm, cool and collected, regardless of the boat trip. We had to laugh at your accommodation of a tree house, but I am sure you loved the challenge, Kjirsten, and aside from the bugs and spiders, it would have been a great experience.

HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY, Elaine! You hardly look 80, though -- are you sure? Someone baked and decorated a beautiful cake for you.

The CHUCKLES photo was to your credit, Jerrianne, and how did you get it from Texas, and is that Texas snow? Looks like four dogs, or is it three? (It's four Alaska dogs enjoying Alaska's first snowfall of the winter season in October 2009. I can believe that snow may seem magical in Texas every time, but in Alaska, fresh snow only seems magical some of the time. --Photo Ed.)

The color of springtime is in the flowers ... Hmmm, and the color of winter is in the imagination ... Hmmm... That will take me some time to think about.

For a Bulletin that needed more input from the subscribers, it turned out extremely well, and it seems full and running over, to me. Thanks for all your work and last minute scurrying.

Betty Droel


Click here for a larger version you can zoom in PDF format.

(Check back next week for the solution.)

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: Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift. --Regina Brett -- 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on -- Cleveland Plain Dealer. Bonus link -- good for a smile. Happy New Year!

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

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.

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