The Bulletin
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Browse The Bulletin archive index
Home About Archive Recipes Stories Galleries Who's Who Where

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Tim Holman
New Year 2010 arrives right on schedule. Let's make it great!

Updates -

Photo © Patty Anderson
Snow about to avalanche off cabin roof.

UPDATE -- Christmas in Isanti
by Patty Anderson
Isanti, MN

Thought I'd send a little picture of the snow getting ready to slide off the roof. Every once in a while the whole thing goes and sounds like an avalanche in the house. I woke up early Christmas morning to such a rumbling. No one else seemed to stir, so I took the opportunity to get up before the crowd and get the egg bake into the oven.

The kids were all here and no one had to hurry off Christmas morning like usual, since the roads were so bad. Leona's mom decided to stay in Mankato and Zach rescheduled Christmas with his dad for Sunday. We were able to get the snowmobiles out and do a little sledding, which was fun.

I took the picture of the cabin this morning (Saturday) and it snowed all day until just recently. Don cleared the driveway twice with the skid steer and there is a fresh inch or so on it again. He'd guess our total snow fall for this storm to be about 20 inches. Welcome to Minnesota!

UPDATE -- all together now at Bogus Basin ski area
by Whitney Johnson
Meridian, ID

We're sitting here at the Bogus Basin ski lodge, so I thought it would be a good time to send you one of the family pictures we took yesterday. Kimberly flew out here on the 23rd and Heidi and Ryan drove up here on the 26th, after spending Christmas with Ryan's family. We haven't done a whole lot other than relax, eat and play games, but it's been really nice to have everyone together for the first time in two and a half years. They'll all be here until after New Year's and then it'll be back to the old routine.

Whitney, Ryan, Heidi, Marlene, Rich, Kimberly & Mark.

UPDATE -- weather kept far away kids far away
by Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

We had Christmas here at my house, but my far away from home kids didn't make it. I didn't want them to even try. But Mel and her kids and Linda and her friend came, and Brad Boltz came, and the grandkids. Beau's wife drove up from the city, which was a nice surprise for me.

Mel and all the young ones got started playing Rook, so it was a laughing good time. About 7 o'clock, they wondered if maybe I was getting tired. Having to get up at 5 on Saturday morning to go to work, I said yes, so they decided they had better leave. But it was fun, even though I missed the ones that didn't come.

Ardis has suggested having our family get together party, instead of Christmas, when Beau gets back from Iraq, which should be in February. That sounded good to me.

Guess I had better say good-bye and Happy New Year to you all.

Kurt & Jeni & Madi Larson; baby brother on the way.

FAMILY UPDATE -- Kurt and Jeni Larson
by Jeni Larson
Warsaw, MN

Our sweet Baby Boy is due to arrive anytime now. His due date is January 17th, but I have a feeling he'll arrive sooner than that. (Cross your fingers for me!) During our last check-up, the doc said everything looks great, and that he is right on track. Then, while she was taking some measurements via ultrasound, she muttered a surprised, "Ohhhh!" -- followed by, "He has quite a large head!" Great. Aren't some things just better left unsaid?

Madi is already acting like an awesome big sister, including "Baby Brother" (who is still nameless at this point) in everything she does and says. She'll come show me her artwork that she created, and then hold it up to my belly and say, "See!" to show her little brother. She's just so precious and such a joy in my life. I can hardly believe she will be turning 3 years old at the end of the month.

Sami turned 15 years old a couple months ago and has quickly reminded both Kurt and me of how BUSY teenagers' lives are. We hardly see her these days, thanks to friends with cars and driver's licenses. Seems like just yesterday we were that age and had little time for spending with "boring ole parents"! The time we do get to spend with her, though, is always awesome. She is a witty and fun young lady. It's no wonder she has so many friends who want to steal all her time!

Kurt is doing well and is very excited to meet his son (as am I!). He's coming up on his 3rd semester back at school, trying to finish up his Bachelor's in Psychology. So far, he's taken nine classes and gotten all A's! We'll see if he gets in as much studying time this coming semester, with a newborn and a toddler in the house.

I'm sure he'll do great! He is an amazing man, husband, and father! I am inspired by his drive and determination in working and going to school full-time, and awed by his patience and tenderness with Madilyn. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family.

I hope the New Year brings all of you many blessings, and that you enjoy them with an attitude of gratitude. Hopefully, we'll have some pictures of Baby Boy to post soon (and a name for him!). Stay tuned...

First Christmas as a family: Jessy, Chris & Grady Chap.

UPDATE -- Grady's growing up fast
by Chris, Jessy, and Grady Chap
West Fargo, ND

Grady is now two months old. We had his two month check-up on December 22nd and we have a big, healthy boy on our hands. Grady weighed in at 16 pounds, 6 ounces, which placed him in the 100th percentile for weight. And he measured in at 25-1/4 inches long, which placed him in the 99th percentile for height. Many people have told me, with that size, that I need to start training him for football right away. For now, I'll hold off on all of the football drills.

Grady & Santa take a nap together.

Every day seems to bring on more changes with our beautiful baby boy. At first it was smiles that we would see, then came a little cooing here and there, and now it seems as though he is trying to have conversations with us. Jessy even thinks that he knows how to say mama, but I think that is just wishful thinking.

Hopefully, we'll have good weather next weekend, so we are able to make the trip down to Alexandria. We are so excited for Grandma and Grandpa to meet your great-grandson!

Grady, up at 2:30 a.m. on Christmas morning, full of smiles.

UPDATE -- in Anchorage, 2009 goes out in style
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

All's well that ends well, they say, and in Anchorage 2009 made a very splashy exit. First of all, December 31 began with a "blue moon" -- the second full moon of the month, which only happens once in about two and a half years. It hasn't happened on New Year's eve for nearly 20 years and they say it won't happen again until 2028. On top of that, there was a partial lunar eclipse as the moon was setting -- at a decent hour, around 10 a.m. on Thursday -- and the sky was clear! You can read all about it and see a picture here.

And that's not all. December 31 officially ended Alaska's 50th anniversary of statehood year -- and Hawaii began their 50th anniversary of statehood at midnight, with the coming of the new year. Well, Alaska and Hawaii are kind of like buddies, as states go, both coming late to the party that way. So Anchorage threw a party with the Hawaiians in Town Square. There was an ice skating party for the young 'uns and lots of entertainment, with fire and ice as the theme. The Hawaiians brought their own 20-foot fire-spewing volcano. There's a gallery of pictures here.

And at 8 o'clock, the fireworks display began. We heard it was pretty wonderful. We didn't go, and Miss Jerrianne didn't go, either. She stayed right here so we wouldn't be scared when the fireworks in our neighborhood began. We thought that was the best part of all. We stayed right here and had our own party at home and we enjoyed it very much. So Happy New Year to all!

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Palm tree in Sonoran Desert, Oro Valley, Arizona.

UPDATE -- a trip to the desert for a visit -- part 2
by Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Come Thursday, we were ready for more. We followed Gates Pass Road through Gates Pass. Was beautiful with the morning sun on the mountains, which were totally different than the mountains on the Catalina Highway.

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Balanced rock, Saguaro National Park (West).

Once through the pass, there is a valley full of Saguaro cactus. Shortly after entering the Saguaro National Park (West) was our next destination ... the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. There were paved paths through the whole area with dirt paths for the hikers in the crowd. This turned out to be everything I had hoped it would be. The variety of desert vegetation was absolutely amazing. I kept thinking I must have a photo of every possible plant and cactus in the desert and then just around the bend there was something I hadn't seen before. There was an art gallery but by the time I got there I was too tired to bother ... but I did stop in the gift shop. : )

Photos © Virginia McCorkell
Desert trail, left; Ginny picks out a T-shirt in the gift shop, right.

After lunch, we headed out to the scenic Bajada Loop Drive, which is an unpaved road through a dense Saguaro forest. I was impressed to learn that the Saguaro cactus root is just three inches below the desert surface. The root is as long as the cactus is tall. In a single rainfall, these roots can absorb as much as 200 gallons of water ... enough to last a saguaro for a year! The green that you see is a waxy, pleated skin on the cactus that can expand to hold the water in a layer of spongy flesh.

In the center of the cactus are woody ribs that hold it upright. The Indians use the ribs to build fences and shelters. They have a fig-like fruit and the seeds are also edible. The Saguaro lives to be about 175-200 years old and in its lifetime it produces about 40 million seeds.

Photos © Virginia McCorkell
Saguaro cactus at dusk, left; close-up of spines on Saguaro arm, right.

We kept handing the camera back and forth, taking pictures. Now this gets to be absurd after awhile ... but just around the next corner we would say, "There's another good one," and continue to click away. It was so much fun!

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
You get the same feeling looking at this as you do driving in a snowstorm!

All good things come to an end ... so we packed our bags and came back to a cold and gloomy Minnesota. Usually I am more than ready to come home but this time I really wanted to stay. I think I could be a SNOWBIRD. ; )

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Saguaro forest with Tucson in the background at dusk.

PS: Shari and Kristi ... I had forgotten that you were in Arizona and then later I discovered that you were actually pretty close to the airport ... bummer ... we could have had lunch together. Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda ... Next time!

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
End of the day & the traffic is still heavy.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Donna Johnson
Card that held Mom & Dad's gift certificates from family members.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Mom & Dad checking it out.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Grandpa Beaver & Camryn having the book explained by Brooklynn, left; McKenna & Camryn out for a ride on their favorite toy at Grandma & Grandpa's place, right. Loved how they were sharing it nicely; that is NOT always the case. :-)

Photo © Donna Johnson
Atley (Jolene's dog), fully worn out!

Photo © Donna Johnson
Naptime for Caity & McKenna.

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

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. Ginny McCorkell supplied last week's mystery photos.

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.

I have to try the guess pictures. The one on the left is Virginia Dake McCorkell, shopping in a neat little store for some goodies that she feels she can't get along without, and now this other picture is a tuffy. I am going to guess, though, and say it could be Virginia Dake celebrating her 7th birthday with her brothers, Ernie and Larry Dake.

Mavis Anderson Morgan
Hope, ND

Ginny is in the picture on the left. I believe that is Ginny again with her brother Ernie, in the other picture.

Earl (Stahlecker)

Photo Editor's comment: And then there's that little guy, almost hidden behind the candles ... now who could that be? Could it be one of our favorite authors, now known as LTD?

My guess: Virginia McCorkell and Ernie, Larry and Ginny Dake. Appears it is Ginny's 7th birthday; must have been on the farm near Lester Prairie?

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Oh, I just gasped right out loud when I came to the GUESS pictures. There, right before my eyes, were Ernie and Virginia, right at the age when I knew them well. Then that mature lady on the left is that little sweet girl, Virginia, in older years. Looks like a 7th birthday party at the Dakes. I remember Vonnie going from that fridge to that table, making a most delicious casserole of creamy Lima Beans.

Oh dear, I wish I could have recalled my GUESS for last week when I was so sure those blue eyes belonged to the Browns. Doesn't pay to be so sure. Mason, Abby and Logan ... hhhmmmm.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

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.

Winter In Bemidji
by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

An Introduction

The first really cold day arrived this first week in January. I woke up on Monday and noticed that Jack Frost had been busy during the night. It was warm enough in my room but the hall to the bathroom was chilly for sure and the windows were covered over with frost. I could now try out my whole winter "get up." Wool in abundance and layers to be taken off, if need be, during the work day. Lucky me. A cup of coffee and a slice of toast with Bertha, who had to make sure I was properly prepared for the winter cold. On with my felt liners and then the boots. Then hurry the four blocks to work.

The trouble was, there was a brisk wind and all the clothes I had -- and the scarf around the face --did not manage to hold out all the frigid air. I started out at a brisk pace and had gotten a few yards along the route when, thankfully, I noticed the cab -- Max was coming. He had already picked up a couple of passengers but I was to experience my first delivery from the freezing winds. What a nice man! (He would say, "Hush up and get in ... and don't let the cold in!) It is certainly warmer in a crowded taxi than on the streets of Bemidji in January!

Getting to Meeting by Myself

Louella is visiting Ralph's family. (I am thinking this is getting to be a pretty serious relationship.) So this morning I would be going out to the Holmans' by myself. I made a breakfast of cookies and milk and then got dressed. I decided to wear my good coat. It has a fur collar so I thought I could get by with a hat rather than a scarf for my head. I don't like to take off the felt linings when I get to there so I didn't use them in my boots. I did put on the wool skirt and blouse with a sweater over it ... but decided against wearing trousers under the coat. They are rather hard to deal with when you arrive with lots of others.

After all, the bus goes very conveniently ... you go a mile or so and then get off to transfer onto the bus that goes out to the college area. You get off a block from the Holmans'. And when you arrive, you just walk right in and hang up your coat and go into the living room where the chairs are set up. We have done it together every Sunday since I came, so I know the way by heart. What can go wrong?

Well, for one thing, I found out in the winter cold buses are sometimes not so dependable. I caught the bus exactly on time and it was warm enough to be very comfortable. We rode in silence (no Louella to talk with) ... and when we got to my change-off place (right by the little Shell station right on the corner), I went to the front and the door opened. I climbed off, half thinking the bus might be sitting there waiting for the transfer riders like it often was ... but no.

So now do I go in and wait in the smoke-filled station where a bunch of fellows would be standing around the heater? No, I didn't want to carry cigar smoke into Holmans' house. So I decided to make that short wait right where I was!

Today was fairly quiet but there was enough of a breeze that it caused me to turn up my collar and hunch my head down into it. I could feel my legs tingle from the cold. My longer coat might have been a better choice. The wait seemed to go on entirely too long and I got colder by the minute ... and then just when I thought I had to do something, the station attendant came out and hollered to me...

"Hey, Miss, I think there must be something wrong with the bus ... you'd better come in here and get warmed up." I was so glad for someone to make up my mind for me. I started toward him ... and then he added, "I'll watch fer the bus and when it comes I'll run and stop it fer ya. Just go over by the stove and warm up." I noticed that the two other men in the station had pulled their chairs back so I had plenty of room to get close to the heat.

Well, in another 20 minutes or so it did come -- and the man did stop it -- but it was not the regular one. I went out and climbed on and when I asked where the regular bus was, I was informed it had broken down -- so now we were on a cold one, not yet heated up. The rest of the trip was made in the cold and there was the block to walk after we got to the stop where I got off.

I got so cold I could not think about anything but how cold I was during the time after I climbed down at the stop and walked as briskly as I could manage until I climbed the front steps, holding onto the rails. (Wow, were they cold -- even through my nice leather gloves!) I managed to open the door and stumble in.

Evelyn tells me that I moaned when I went to take my coat off. (I don't really remember.) Usually, Louella and I come an hour before anyone else -- so I guess they noticed that Louella wasn't along and that I was almost an hour later than usual. I began to shiver and then to shake ... and it was decided that I needed to get warmed up and I needed help. So Mrs. Holman had me lie on their bed (which is next to the living room). She had the girls get the hot water bottles and fill them with warm tap water and put several around me.

She covered me with blankets and then left the door ajar and went into the living room where I could hear a low murmur as she spoke to Mr. Holman and so I laid there and warmed up while the rest arrived. I could hear them sing as they had their church meeting but I shook so at first I wonder if they didn't hear me. Finally, I began to feel normal again -- and I got thawed out. I hope I never do that again.

Winter can be sneaky -- it slowly cools you off to a dangerous level, I have been informed by those more familiar with it. Treat the cold with respect! I also learned, "Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!"

Travelogue t

Photo © Frans de Been

Greetings from the Netherlands
by Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

New Year's Greetings, Everyone --

All the best to you and your family for the year 2010. From your special friend in the Netherlands. Yes, for me special because I think more about you and my U.S. friends than you can think.

Yes, health and prosperity are the main words for the future.

We have a made a false start. Rian is falling a few days ago in the kitchen. She fell on her left side and now she has a muscle problem. And Marloes was three days ago in the hospital and had her two wisdom teeth taken out. She even had some sleep and had a small stock of medication for her. She looks like a hamster (left cheek). This morning I was at 4:15 in the hospital for her to get some antibiotic drugs.

The rest of the family is OK. Koen is to be at ... (you can never guess) over two weeks he goes to Colorado (in the area of Denver) for three weeks of training by the US forces and at the end of March he goes again for five and a half months back to Afghanistan, so we let him do his thing.

For the rest, nothing exciting that the snow is away and that it will be cold these coming weeks. Yes, it is wintertime.

So this was my letter to you for the first time in 2010.

Take care and many greetings from Holland

Frans de Been

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Bouncing through rainforest on elephant near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
by Kjirsten Swenson
Albuquerque, NM

And then we rode elephants! It was quite the experience... They truly are magnificent beasts. We sat on a comfortable bench that had been secured to a massive elephant. With little warning, she would turn her head and sneeze with gusto, showering us with elephant snot. This was probably an effective cooling mechanism on a sweltering day, but we found it rather uncouth. In spite of the occasional spray, it was a delight to slowly bounce through the rain forest with such a lofty vantage point.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Elephants carries passengers across river near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

At the end, we had to cross the river. Our elephant enthusiastically doused us in trunkful after trunkful of water! We were dripping from head to toe by the end.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Elephant enthusiastically douses passengers with trunkful of water.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's 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
January 8---Lelan Elaine Brown (1 year old)
Happy Birthday!

More January Birthdays
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:

Rodger & Claudia Droel, Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thank you for the anniversary card. Thirty-five years is quite a milestone, as you are well aware. It certainly gets recognized here, but does not necessarily attract a lot of singular attention, due to so many other family events this time of year. My mother is here with us right now and is taking us to lunch.

Earl Stahlecker (and Kathleen)
Gatesville, TX

Thanks for the cute birthday card! I spent the day unpacking and recovering from driving all the way home from Salt Lake City on Monday. In the afternoon, I cross-country skied with a friend and warmed up with a mocha. We grilled the last package of salmon from a fishing adventure a couple of years ago for an easy dinner. Thanks again for the greetings!

Mitzi Johnson Swenson
Dickinson, ND

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

Doug's crossword puzzle is a clever idea. I'm having Whitney print it out right now so we can work at it today.

Marlene Anderson Johnson
Meridian, ID

Good morning to the Editors:

I was so happy to see a Bulletin in this morning's e-mail again. For some reason I didn't get one last week ... but last week I was too busy to check out why. (I imagined I was dropped for lack of contributing or maybe you had taken a holiday vacation.) And then, like a wonderful Christmas surprise ... there it was!

I did check out last week's via archive. :-)

Dorothy and Don, it was fun to hear about your gift of restaurant coupons ... great idea!

Thanks again to all you faithful contributors and editors! Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a wish for a happy and healthy New Year!

Barb Dewey
Ashby, MN

Editor's comment: I wonder what happened to your last week's paper? It was sent the same as usual. I am glad you knew how to get it to read!

Saturday was a work day for me, and then right after work Don and I went over to Jim and Shelley Pettit's for the Pettit Christmas. When I got home, I decided I should get into my e-mail. And there was the new Bulletin.

I was happy with my kitty's picture in The Bulletin. I read the letter you sent me from Jerrianne and she mentioned that she wondered about Dusty's age. He was about 5 months old in the first pictures, and a little over a year now.

I am sure glad you have the archives to get into. Last week's Bulletin was on my e-mail yet, being I thought I had read it -- and then realized, after I had deleted it -- that I hadn't. I wouldn't have wanted to miss the pictures of Jim, Tom and Steve. Steve looks like a Miller, but I can see Blanche there, too.

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

Just thought I'd drop a note saying I appreciated The Bulletin (as usual!). Ginny's write-up was great; enjoyed seeing her Grandma's picture and the pictures they'd taken. Capt. Jack's Ode to Minnesota was hilarious! And far too appropriate for most Mid-Westerners right now! Thanks to Doug for the fun puzzle challenge!

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

I just got a chance to look at The Bulletin and I have to go back to last week's to read that, as for some unknown reason I did not receive it. :(

I wanted to comment on Doug's addition of the crossword puzzle. I must admit I'm not very good at crossword puzzles but I'm going to try my hand at this one.

Christmas was pretty uneventful for my family. Doug did not want to get out in the weather and so we stayed home, for the most part. On Sunday, I entertained for Doug's family (as we had planned on having them Christmas Day) so had a houseful of people, including Doug's parents, who are in their 90's. We heard lots of good stories and music from both of Doug's parents (and only his parents!).

The 26th of December, Doug and I celebrated our anniversary, once again at home. Like I said, a lot going on but little was done so no need to write anything!

Just wanted to say "hello" and hope you have a very Happy New Year!

Bridget and Doug Larson
Ashby, MN

I must say that I am enjoying the crossword puzzle by Doug this week! I've never been very good at crossword puzzles but I'm actually able to answer a lot of these and am now working on filling in the blanks!

Thanks for the fun puzzle, Doug!

Lori Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

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

Just enjoyed a very long nap (under the electric blanket). It is Sunday afternoon, and very snowy and icy just outside the door, so am enjoying the snowbound feeling. We are expecting it to thaw, and all the excitement of the huge storm will be a memory. Jerrianne will probably laugh at our thinking half way up a garbage can is a lot of snow.

First and foremost in The Bulletin this time, we want to mention how much we appreciated the update from Larry and Virginia about their trip to Tucson. We did not even know they went, so it was quite a surprise to read about their trip. We were especially interested in the memories of Mamie Thomas. Part of our youth was knowing Vonnie Thomas Dake, and her mother, Mamie. LeRoy and Vonnie so kindly cared for Mamie in her last years, as Larry and Virginia so kindly cared for Vonnie and LeRoy.

Having seen the old pictures of the trailer home, and then of Mamie in Sabino Canyon, spanned the years like they were not as many as they really are. Pretty nurse Vonnie, that married LeRoy Dake, and Ivan and Mamie Thomas are loving memories.

The typical Arizona pictures with the cactus and Mexican food, was most interesting, along with the Catalina Highway awesome description and pictures. We loved hearing about those folks you met there (well, actually, Larry's cousin), and I was trying to think where they came in at in the McCorkell relationship.

"To be continued..." is always a great ending to adventure stories.

I was so amazed at that winter song from Capt'n Jack! To think he wrote that, and it rhymes ... woops, of course it would rhyme ... sorry, Jack! Now I would so love to hear it to music. Very appropriate to have it next to the Arizona update, as it says "come visit me" from Phoenix. Well, I know my sister Ruth, and Kenny, probably do not spare on the invites to come down there to the land of the sun about now. I don't know how many times I have read and re-read that Ode to Minnesota. It is great!

That was such a lovely variation to the stories I was reading to see that nice picture of Kurt Larson's family tucked in there. I love keeping up with how the families change and grow that we have watched for so long in the pages of The Bulletin.

I have to laugh. Hunter is the focus point here whenever we hear about the Holmans or Larsons, etc. To be Hunter's grandma and grandpa is much more status than just being Tim and Lois or Bruce and Judy. Ha. Anyway, that was a nice change of scene to go along the Oregon coast, after having been on the Arizona highways.

Having attended school concerts for my great nieces, I was noticing how much Caity and Jayce appreciated their teacher. I know there is so much action and timing and rapport with the students that I would think the directors would be totally exhausted after it's all over. Miss Risbrudt must be a great person and teacher. Could the reason be that she is related to the Johnsons?

What a very nice gesture for Donna May and Beaver and family to come, bringing food and gifts, to the snowbound folks in Alexandria. Gramma and Grampa raised a very caring family, and they are enjoying them now as we keep hearing about each one being so thoughtful of them. I can well understand how they urged Don and Dorothy to move back to Minnesota where they can be near their loved ones. To say goodby to Missouri was not easy, but saying hello to Minnesota might have made up for it.

I had mixed emotions as I read the Christmas Memory Lane story. To be so far away from family, and to face it so bravely and like an adult would not be easy, but I see Dorothy was able to handle it all, making a nice memory to share with us all these years later.

That Ralph had to spoil everything, at least for Dorothy, ha. The "Irish temper" was good for something! Sitting there with money in your pocket gave you courage to seek out Max to learn where a restaurant was open, and once again he came to the rescue. I am sure the taxi driver and Miss Plum often thought about that nice lady, all alone on Christmas, and were glad they could help.

The most touching part of the whole story was that Dorothy walked out with the same money she came in with. How special!

The Travelogue was quite different from the regular travelogues we have been reading about in those other countries. This one was how a White Christmas looks in the Netherlands. We are always interested in pictures from Ary and Frans, as it shows us a different side of Netherlands than the windmill and waterways.

Looks like they have the same problems we do right here in Minnesota with the stalled cars, or at least snow- and ice-covered ones.

Then, just after that, was the familiar Travelogue scenes of late from Thailand, and the links included made it especially intriguing. Quote from a link: Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand is an amazing place. It is covered by the oldest evergreen rainforest in the world, huge limestone mountains shooting straight up in the air, deep valleys, breathtaking lakes, exciting caves, wild animals and much more.

From one of the links of Kjirsten's time in Songkran: People roam the streets with containers of water or water guns, or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby. No wonder Kjirsten didn't mind getting soaked time after time, and she can say she was initiated to Thailand in the traditional way.

Special to see the recent picture of George Larson and Madi.

Miss Hetty was fortunate enough to get a letter from Beaver. I think we are about due to hear from him in The Bulletin again. Some of his fascinating stories, if he needs a prompting.

OH, we have a new feature +WORD FUN. That is something different for our Bulletin, and a challenge for sure, with the familiar names in the list. What fun, and it isn't so big it would be wearisome. I was excited to see 1 down. My tiny friend is standing guard over Doug, but I can hardly wait to tell him about his fame.

Oh my -- the Quotation for the day was thought provoking. I have a cousin that just passed away in Missoula, Montana, and it was a vivid reminder again that life IS a gift -- tied with a bow or not.

So, now I wonder what all I may have slid past not commenting on? I really enjoyed this week's Bulletin again, and already Xmas is in the past, but New Year's Day, 2010, is still ahead.

Betty Droel


Solution to Last Week's Crossword Puzzle

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

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: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. --Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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.

Home About Archive Recipes Stories Galleries Who's Who Where