January 27, 2003
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--- School ---
It was nice to get a nice newsy letter from Rachel. She was telling me that with the start of a new semester she has a fresh schedule. She enjoys the change. This time she was lucky and got a last-hour phy-ed class; makes it easier to be neat in classes, I suppose.
Contest time is starting for band and choir. She is doing a duet and an ensemble for choir, and a duet with Amber (her cousin) for band.
Basketball still seems to be a fun thing for her (even though she indicated that they don't have an outstanding team). "Practice makes perfect" may not always be true --but certainly it helps in becoming better!!!! I will wait to see what they do in varsity basketball .
A letter came in from the "horrendously cold city of Moorhead," where Wyatt says they saw 12 degrees yesterday, which made the highest temperature of the week. He didn't sound like it stopped activities!!
He brought me up to date on Rylie; she is walking!!!!! She is still shaky but she sure likes her new mode of transportation. She is becoming more curious every day -- and was trying to help her Daddy type the letter.
It sounds like Jolene has been having some unpleasant experiences this week. She had jaw surgery -- which is the second time for that. (The other was a few years back, when they broke her jaw before they put on braces.) They are working to correct an underbite. This week, they finally took the plates out.
Wyatt is pretty much doing the routine things -- of course, sometimes that normal routine gets to be a bit much. Basketball Monday nights, choir practice Wednesday nights, and an occasional evening special Toastmasters meeting -- besides trying to get in some prime time with his family. (I am sure!!)
Patty H. tells me that she had all last week off from work and enjoyed it for rejuvenation: First of all, kept the work to a minimum; secondly read a good book; also did some laundry and meal making. (Good for leftovers to be used when times are stressful again!)
Dan and Rachel are both in basketball this year -- and it is good that their parents enjoy watching the games, because they have lots of it to do!! Rich and Mar and the kids have been attending some games -- they are basketball fans too -- when their niece and nephew are playing!!
True Confessions of an Executive Chef
Because of the mature nature of the third installment, it will be available only through Doug at email@example.com
Let's Ask Mom or Grandma
QUESTION: Here is my question/comment. I would enjoy hearing funny family stories added as a feature. Like I would think you could come up with some about Dad and Uncle Jim, for starters? -- Roving reporter DJ
When Jim and Don were farmers they sometimes (more like always) felt they needed to give each other good advice. After all they wanted to be helpful!!!
Now we farmed in North Dakota on the flat prairie and were a John Deere family --after all, it was the best tractor to be had, don't you agree? Well, really, Jim didn't. He was an Allis Chalmers man and was very wise on all its best features.
Now time went on and arguments continued on the merits of these two types of equipment. Which was best? Was it John Deere or was it Allis Chalmers? Depends on who was giving the advice. After a few years, we moved our farming operation to the stony hill country by Lake Miltona, and then problems arose. It was not quite like farming in North Dakota had been.
Soon Don began to think of the quick tach (or something like that) that Jim had explained so thoroughly -- and soon he was off to the Allis dealer in Alex. And, you guessed it, he bought one -- so now he was going have to bite the bullet and go and tell Jim what he had done. (Sad to have to admit you might not always be right.)
So on Sunday, after dinner, we took a quick visit down to the Millers. Now to have to "eat crow." We drove into their yard and someone from the back seat pipes up, "Daddy, look at that new green tractor out there by the barn!!!"
Such is life -- Jim had convinced Don that the Allis was best at about the same time that Don had convinced Jim of the merits of the "Popping Johnny!!!!! You can imagine how much fun Blanche and I had in teasing those two argumentive men of ours!!!
QUESTION: Where was Great Grandpa Mellon's store and what was it like?
ANSWER: The store my grandpa had was in Waverly, Minnesota. It was on the corner of the block with the street that went down to the lake located just east of it. I think you would think it was cute. It was old fashioned. At first, Grandpa had managed it for a farm co-op, but by the time I can remember my visits, he was the owner. He and two women (and I guess sometimes Grandma, too) were the clerks.
In the front of the store there were some shoes, hats,and sundries. I remember bathing suits and hats as being the most interesting. There were little stools for grandpa to sit on while trying shoes on people. The next department was the food. You told the clerk what you wanted and they crawled up or down; weighed; counted out; and bagged things for you and then carried them out.
In the very back was a meat market and that is where Grandpa (and later a roly poly older man by the name of John Johnson) worked. I remember John would give you a wiener to eat if you stood real quiet and were polite. My grandpa was such a neat grandpa and was always so kind and generous!!!
Letters to the Editors
I read with interest the question about Mr. Dake and his feelings. I was privileged to know him, and I remember him as a caring, tender individual, interested in others, just as you portrayed. However, for the younger readers, I want them to know that as a person ages, gets health problems, maybe diabetes, little strokes, handicapped, etc. their personalities may change in some ways that they never were before. I fully understand this, having experienced it with my own husband, whose personality changed after he started having little strokes. We just want to remember the person as they were in their vibrancy, and keep that in mind as you mingle among older people. --EXPERIENCED NORTH DAKOTAN
I love to read your family newsletter and would like you to put me on your "e-mail" list. It's wonderful knowing what's new in the lives of my extended family. Especially yours, being I was so close to the younger three during our childhoods. Please say "Hello" to all my cousins (especially the Beauty Queen Runner-Ups ... and, of course, the Master of Ceremonies!). They know who they are :o)
Take care and keep up the great work! --Melanie
To the Editor:
I sure would like to be included in your mailing of The Bulletin, if you wouldn't mind sharing it further ... it is VERY interesting! Especially the questions, which give me a little more "background" from before we were married. Thanks!
A Report from the Roving
Another short report from "on the road." I need to add a little description, to follow up on the delicious smells that were wafting to us when we arrived Friday.
Dad had crackers, cheese and salami on the counter. He had the table set, all in preparation for our arrival. We had a selection of either homemade vegetable beef soup (done by Mom) or chili, he'd made. He was busy slicing the homemade bread Mom had made. We sat down to the delicious sliced roast beef, potatoes and carrots and wonderful gravy. And, mustn't forget a nice salad with tomatoes sliced on top! Was really delicious, and a great slice of either raisin cream or coconut cream pie for dessert; and as I claim, and Mom agrees, it all tastes even better when I didn't
have to make it! THANKS MOM & DAD!
Saturday morning they treated us to a lovely breakfast of our choice at the IHOP restaurant. We all had selections that were yummy and Beaver and I appreciated the royal treatment of both meals.
Later, Beaver and I went antiquing. BOY, was he EXCITED about that (NOT). But he was a good sport and went along. We will leave for Texas Sunday morning.
Greetings to all from the great state of Texas! We are in a suburb, Richardson, north of Dallas. We left Springfield around 8:15 and got here at 3:30. Beaver's cousin's wife, Nancy, was here to greet us. Her husband, Rick, was getting sandwiches with his California (since childhood) friend, Kent. They shared some with us; very good. Then they brought out appetizers and the men watched the Super Bowl and visited. After that they grilled steak, salmon and chicken, served along with rice, dilled carrots, salad and rolls. Very wonderful.
Rick put a laptop in the guest room for our use ... taking me a bit to get used to it :-) Very nice of them to think of doing so! They also had gone out and purchased a new double bed for in this room, formerly their son's. (He's recently married.) So, we have lovely accommodations! Even a private bathroom for our use. Beats the Hilton!
Tomorrow we all will go to Ft. Worth and do some of the tourist things to do. Should be fun. Right now I am going to put on my pj's and crawl into bed with my book :-)
Beaver is out visiting with the guys. Nancy went into her room too, kind of figure we both think the same, let them chat away to their hearts' content. All for now. Hope everything is great with all of you. --Donna
Some end of the month philosophy from the Editor:
IF YOU THINK NOBODY CARES, TRY MISSING A COUPLE OF PAYMENTS!
Grandma, Mom, Aunt Dorothy and Dorothy
St. Cloud Correspondent -- Douglas Anderson
Roving Correspondent -- Donna Johnson