In the beauty of the lilies...
Photo © Jerrianne Lowther
Red Lilies & Mint Leaves

Updates -

UPDATE -- Coni laid to rest
by Donna Johnson
Ashby, MN

This past hot Minnesota Monday, we said our final goodbyes to Coni Waltzing. Her memory will live with many people, for very many years to come. She made an impact far and wide, with so many people that none of us can even begin to figure out how many had grown to love her. I feel honored I got the chance to know her and to see her love of life, learning about her "Keep Smiling" motto and seeing her apply it in her fight with cancer, ending her letters and e-mails with "Beating cancer with a smile." It is our loss that cancer ended up getting the upper hand in her battle.

There was an afternoon and evening of visitation on Sunday, which brought an enormous number of visitors. Each with a different story to tell of Coni, if we'd had the time. Coni was lying amongst flowers and even a couple of beautiful trees, enough to fill the front of two rooms.

A lovely service was held in the evening, very touching, and moved many to tears. Along with the serious there were some fun stories shared of Coni's life.

From her oldest brother, Jeff, came the one about how he and his brother Randy were lying on pallets far out in the cattails, in wait for any ducks that might fly over. Jeff said they heard "the worst quacking sound we'd ever heard" -- obviously, someone mocking a duck's quacking -- and then they saw her -- Coni, wearing her blaze orange, flapping her arms and quacking away! Always full of fun!

Touching, sweet and even a bit "sassy" was Coni's exchange with Weston's mom. Donna told about a conversation she had with Coni, nearing the end of her life here. She told Coni she loved her and Coni answered that she loved Donna, too. Then Donna told Coni, "Weston is lucky to have you." Coni answered, "Yes, he is!" Her humor was still shining for us to share.

Her funeral brought many people to show Weston and her family their high regard for Coni and the loss we all feel at her too short life. Many of these people continued out to the graveside for the last ceremonies. The love she'd generated was clearly shown and many will feel a hole from her absence.

As you get out of bed each morning and stumble into the bathroom, jump-start each day with a positive attitude. Look in the mirror and say, Good Morning. I love you. We're going to have a great day!

And, in memory of Coni: KEEP SMILING.

Friends of the family posted Coni's motto outside their meat market.

UPDATE -- a journey and two new great grandsons
by Ruth Kitto
Apache Junction, AZ

I will tell you a little of the events during our trip to Idaho and Montana. While we were there we met Harold and Carol Printz in Parma, Idaho. We enjoyed getting acquainted. Son Brad and Patty shared their new camper with us -- so that was neat.

Then we went to Montana for funeral service for Ken's sister-in-law in Bozeman. After that we went back to Idaho for several days -- then on to Montana. There we spent almost two weeks with lots of Ken's families -- children, grandchildren, great-grands, new babies we'd not seen before -- and then back to Arizona.

All is well here in the 110-115 degree days! But we aren't in it too much and we will just think about January and now this seems better.

In the last two weeks we have been blessed with two new great-grandsons -- a granddaughter of mine in Kingman, Arizona, had a boy -- LeRoy Booker Hale -- and another granddaughter, in Maui, also had a boy, Mason Riley Karas.

Jeff Gauderman & Jessica Myron

UPDATE -- engaged: Jessica and Jeff
by Jessica Myron
Grand Forks, ND

Jeff had supper made for me when I came home from work on Saturday evening, July 8th. When I walked in, he opened the door and greeted me with, "Will you marry me?" I said yes, and saw a dozen roses on the table along with the watch I had picked out some months before. It was exciting!

The wedding will be held at my parents' farm in Thompson, North Dakota, on Friday evening, the 8th of June, 2007.

Click here to view our web page with all the details:

Color-coordinated families re-unite at annual lake retreat.

Standing: Tim, Zach and Jessica Myron, Jeff Gauderman, Lindsay, Brandon, Merna and Ken Hellevang, Alyssa and Troy Freesemann; sitting: Char and Ty Myron, Mavis and Tom Morgan, Angelique, Jett and Marlee Freesemann.

FAMILY UPDATE --Morgan Family Lake Retreat
by Merna Morgan Hellevang
Fargo, ND

Tom and Mavis Morgan and their family enjoyed their fourth annual lake retreat at Dunrovin Resort on Blackduck Lake in northern Minnesota. Most of the group arrived on Friday, July 14th, and the remainder came on Saturday, the 15th. A very spacious four-bedroom cabin accommodated all 17 of us. Two that weren't able to be with us were Ryan Hellevang and Jessica Nelson. Ryan was in Dallas for his training with Microsoft and Jessica is in school in Chile.

Blackduck Lake was as smooth as glass, which made for great boating, water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing. A sand volleyball court was used for a few games of volleyball. Char brought a German chocolate cake to celebrate the birthdays of Tom, Marlee, Ty and Tim. There was time for water play, fishing, Scrabble games and a campfire with s'mores, Troy on the guitar, and singing."

Everyone stayed through Monday and others left Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. It was a special get-away and we enjoyed our time together.

Jett (age 13 months) & Grandpa Tom, left; Ty & Alyssa in paddleboat, right.

UPDATE -- How Capt. Jack met Ginny Adair
by "Capt." Jack Adair -- with a little help from {Rufus}
Coon Rapids, MN

Well, I guess you would refer to this as an update {or up-chuck!} Have you met Rufus? {This is Rufus.}

I'm not too regular {sounds like a medical problem to me ... have you tried Metamucil?} No, I mean I'm not too regular at writing. I'm a bit of a procrastinator. {I know, you've been going to join the Procrastinator's Club since 1963.} But I've been urged to contribute to The Bulletin again. {Yes, your Mom always liked your writing.} Besides her.

Well, where to start? I got my first guitar . . . {I'm sure nobody wants to hear about your old guitars!} Oh. Okay.

I'm Jack, been mentioned in The Bulletin before, affectionately known as Captain Jack. Married to the wonderful Virginia (Ginny-Ditto-Ginn) for 44 years (Note to Miss Hetty -- July 21st.) {Ginn should get a medal!}

Ginn was born in Chicago, but I don't hold that against her, as she convinced her parents to move to Brainerd, Minnesota, when she was five. I was born in Meaford, Ontario, Canada, as that's where my mother was, and we were very close at the time. Meaford is on the coast of Georgian Bay, just off the northeast of Lake Huron. There's a continuing story there that I'll get to later, or in a later Bulletin.

As I can't talk about my third love, guitars (second is grandkids), I'll talk about Ginn, my first. I suppose you could call it kind of romantic, or something, but it worked out for us.

Ginn had always wanted to be a nurse, and eventually reached that goal. She took her nurse's training at the old Glenwood Hills hospital in Golden Valley, just north of the Twin Cities. Then she was hired to work there, working in the delivery room, mostly.

Well, my Mom worked in the kitchen at Glenwood, and was the first there in the morning, to get the coffee started. Ginn was working nights, and if it was quiet near the end of her shift, she would drift to the kitchen for coffee and to read the paper. They got acquainted there. Scene change.

I had been in the service, Army, and just got out after six years, in 1960. I was still living at home. I wasn't looking for a wife, or even a real girlfriend, but didn't mind some female companionship. I started double-dating with a couple of cousins and a friend of theirs. Not the brightest bulb, but good sense of humor. Except she started getting serious. And Mom didn't like her.

Ginn had indicated she had broken up with a long time boyfriend awhile ago, and was a little lonely. Mom (good ol' Moms) said, "My son just got out of the service, nice boy, you should meet him." Something like that.

One night Mom told me she was having a friend from work over for supper and would appreciate it if I broke my date and stayed home to visit. I grumbled, but Moms being Moms, I complied. Met Ginn. Didn't think much of her, nor her of me. End of story? Nope. Moms don't give up easily. About a month later she tried the same routine again; this time I was more for it, and Ginn and I clicked. Meanwhile, the OTHER one kept calling three or four times a week.

One weekend I had been very sick. Ginn had come over after work to see how I was doing, and was reading to me, when the OTHER and some friends came by. Mom told her I was in bed sick, but she pushed to see me. Mom said, "Well, his nurse is in with him now, I'll see if she'll let you visit."

So OTHER came into the room with her two friends, and there I was, looking worse than I felt, in one bed, and Ginn sitting on the other. They tried to talk to me a little, but after about five minutes, Ginn says, "You'll have to leave now, I have to give him his bath!" They left and I never heard from her again. Didn't get that bath, though.

Ginny-Ditto-Ginn & Capt. Jack Adair, wed 1962, left, and now, right.

Next time, whenever that will be, I'll explain about my adoption, and other family. Bet you can hardly wait.

Photo Illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Things get so crazy around here, we refer to it as SANITY LIMITED. --Capt. Jack

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photo © Lori Ostendorf
Birthday float aboard pontoon boat; from left: Grandpa George Chap, Jayce, Chris, Caity, Cole Cochran, Shawn Ostendorf.

Caity Chap Celebrates 10th Birthday At "The Lake"

Caity enjoyed her day at the lake with Lori, Shawn, Grandpa George, Cole, Chris and Jayce. They got in a pontoon ride and LOTS of fishing. Her cake was a cheesecake with strawberry topping (a favorite!). She also got in present opening AND shopping. So, it turned out to be a great time.

Photos © Lori Ostendorf
Caity with Grandpa George, left; driving the boat with Shawn, right.

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. Thanks to Mavis Anderson Morgan for sending last week's mystery pictures.)

How many can you identify?

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

That's my sister, Char [Morgan Myron], and me [Merna Morgan Hellevang] trying to get creative with a breakfast of Cheerios on the bed.

The babies in the cooler are our son, Ryan [Hellevang], and his look-alike Cabbage Patch doll in 1985.

Merna Morgan Hellevang
Fargo, ND

It's Char and Merna (Morgan) on the left and LOTS of Cheerios! No guess on the other, though.

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

The first photo, of the Cheerios girls, are Char and Merna.

Would the "cooler baby" be Marlee?

Char Morgan Myron
Thompson, ND

I intended to send in my guess and by the time I finished reading The Bulletin, I had forgotten!

The left picture I think is Char and Merna. The right picture I'm thinking is maybe Ryan?

Janie Anderson
soon to be Wahpeton, ND

Editor's comment: No need for the question mark ... as you have indeed guessed correctly!

The kiddie with the doll is Ryan Hellevang ... and the girls are likely Merna and Char.

Elaine Anderson Wold
Wahpeton, ND

Sorry I am so late in responding -- I know ALL four of them: my dear big sisters Charlotte Ann (Morgan) Myron and Merna DeLaine (Morgan) Hellevang are the ones enjoying the ENTIRE box of Cheerios. Picture #2 is the little boy who made me Auntie for the first time -- Ryan Kent Hellevang, holding my Cabbage Patch doll, Tyson Guenther.

Have a great day and keep up the great work! I love reading The Bulletin!

Marlee Joy (Morgan) Freesemann
Burnsville, MN

Travelogue t

Greg and Sonja Dake left Durham, North Carolina, for Shanghai, China, on January 6th and returned January 28th. It was a business trip for Greg and Sonja went along. They took extra time for sightseeing while they were there.

Photo © Greg & Sonja Dake
Old Town Lijiang.

Traveling to Yunnan Province

Back to Lijiang
(posted by Sonja)

Once back in Lijiang, the guide asked if we wanted to go straight to Old Town or back to our hotel to rest awhile. We decided to go to the hotel. We both took a nap, then headed back downstairs to meet the guide to go back to the Old Town for a bit of shopping and some music.

I bought a black cotton jacket with dragons embroidered down the front in gold thread at one shop, for 25 RMB. I also got T-shirts for Samuel and Sean, at another shop. The T-shirts for sale there weren't screenprinted; they were hand-painted, so each one was slightly different. The ones I chose for the boys were free form designs, loosely based on the Naxi pictograph writing, which the guide had told us was the only remaining pictograph written language still in use in the world today. We bought a few gifts for friends and family back home and some paintings similar to the one Greg had liked in the restaurant and shop in Dali.

We took a few more pictures and then it was time to attend the Naxi Ancient Music Festival. This was held in a small music hall in Old Town.

The musicians all played traditional Chinese instruments, some percussion, some strings, some wind. There were some seated musicians in front, playing what looked like dulcimers, two hammered and two not ... 75% of the musicians were ancient themselves, 80+ years old. A few of them even fell asleep between songs a few times. The director was a middle-aged man who also played an instrument. He spoke about the history of the music in both Chinese and very good English.

We learned more about the history of the Yunnan Province in that 90 minutes than we had the entire time we'd already spent there. At one point, while he was talking in English, someone's cell phone went off with a musical ring. He paused and said, "that wasn't our music; that was from Motorola." He got a big laugh from the people in the audience that understood it, so he repeated it in Chinese and got a much bigger laugh. The music was, of course, very different from anything Western, but interesting and enjoyable, nonetheless.

After the concert was over, I bought a CD of the music at the souvenir stand in the music hall and we headed back to the hotel for the night. Again, thankfully, the heat was on when we got there and we slept warm and more comfortably than our first night at that hotel.

to be continued

Photo Editor's Note: We are serializing Sonja and Greg's web log and illustrating it with the photos they are posting, but there is far more photo material available than we will be able to fit in The Bulletin, so we also provide the links to the blog, for those who are interested:

Web Log:

Photo © Lori & Shawn Ostendorf
El Dorado Royale Resort, Riviera Maya, by the beautiful Mexican Caribbean.

A Mexican Honeymoon For Lori & Shawn
by Lori Ostendorf
Rogers, MN
Part 1 of 2

We honeymooned at the lovely El Dorado Royale Resort, in the heart of the Riviera Maya, facing the beautiful Mexican Caribbean. It's 25 minutes south of Cancun International Airport and 15 minutes north of Playa del Carmen.

This resort had been pounded in a hurricane last season and is still not back to 100% original condition, but it's getting there. The beaches were without much of the sand, as the sand had been hauled to Cancun to fix their beaches. Which meant we did some walking on rocks to reach the shoreline. We also were shown buildings that had been 3/4 full of sand ... sand mixed with glass and many other things, meaning none of it was reusable. Considering all of this, they've done a fabulous job repairing the resort, and we'd have never known there had been a problem, without being told.

We enjoyed a great variety of fine dining fare, including a romantic candlelight dinner on the beach. This is where we received a special "Happy Honeymoon" dessert and were serenaded by a saxophone player. It was very nice! Had to chuckle, though ... we were served "Baked Alaska" in Mexico ... not exactly what I would have expected!

Some of the other restaurants we enjoyed during our stay included international cuisine at El Cocotal, Italian fare at D'Italia, pan-Asian dishes at Kampai (where I also enjoyed sushi), specially prepared grills at Jo Jo's Seaside Caribbean Grill, and International Cuisine at La Isla. These were all meals with several courses, attention to details and close attention from the wait staff. The nice part, being an all-inclusive resort, one didn't have to check the price lists for all this excellent dining. However, it's amazing that we didn't gain 20 pounds there!

Photos © Lori & Shawn Ostendorf
Romantic candlelight dinner in cabaña, left; honeymoon plate, right.

Photo © Lori & Shawn Ostendorf
Lori & Shawn, evening on a Caribbean beach in Mexico.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
July 30---Justin Printz
July 31---Tim Myron
August 5---Austin Patrick Montford (1 year)

Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
August 5---Wesley and JoAnne Sigman (17 years)
August 5---Sheldon and Mitzi Johnson Swenson (29 years)

More August Birthdays
August 6---Sully Michael Brown (2 years)
August 7---Melanie Lehtola
Ausust 7---Weston Johnson
August 8---Erik Huseby (5 years)
August 11---Mitchell Allen Miller
August 13---Jeffrey Todd Aydelotte, Jr. (11 years)
August 16---Jason Quick
August 16---Rod McNeill
August 16---Darryl McNeill
August 19---Christopher Michael Chap
August 19---Jordan Nicole Indermark (3 years)
August 24---Becky Chap
August 24---Maggie Zeppelin (2 years)
August 25---Jeff Aydelotte
August 26---Donna Richards
August 30---Jessica Ann Myron
August 30---Ethan Wallace Horne (4 years)
August 31---Devan Alexander Seaman (4 years)

More August Anniversaries
August 6---Ryan and Heidi Johnson Henderson (1 year)
August 9---Jeff and Twila Anderson Aydelotte (15 years)
August 15---Don and Dorothy Dake Anderson (56 years)
August 16---Eric and Leona Senenfelder Anderson (3 years)
August 20--- Shane and Jayna Lee Swenson (1 year)
August 28---Ken and Merna Morgan Hellevang (24 years)
August 30---LeRoy and Vonnie Thomas Dake (58 years)
August 30---Chris and Jennie Dake Horne (9 years)

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thank you very much for the very thoughtful birthday e-card! I enjoyed it!
Jeni :)

Jeni Larson
San Diego, CA

Photo © Shawn Ostendorf
Caity with 10 candle birthday cheesecake.

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 just have to write a letter to the editor this week. So many weeks go by and I don't get around to sharing my appreciation for the interesting things that show up in The Bulletin.

This week I have the feeling that a beautiful butterfly has flown into my view and paused briefly before fluttering away.

I regret that I never met Coni. I have so admired Weston's devotion to her through this experience. And I have so appreciated the way he shared Coni with us through The Bulletin. Weston and Coni's family will continue to be in my thoughts...

What a delight children can be ... I laughed out loud when I read "Where's Henry?" Please tell me ... is that a three legged cat or is it just the fancy way that Fancy stands? (Kristie assures us that all of their cats have all four of their legs -- but we wondered about Fancy, too, from her picture. --Ed.)

Wow ... what an inspiration! I was impressed with Patty's and Donnie's write up before I even got to the pictures. Congratulations!

( there anything we can do to get Patty and Donnie to write more often? I remember getting some very entertaining holiday letters ... they have a great knack with words! We have the evidence ... please, please, please!)

Shawn and Lori certainly do have a Happy Glow ... I am very happy for them as they begin their lives together as man and wife. Kimberly did such a nice job presenting their wedding pictures last week. And here's just one more. --Ed.

Photo © Kimberly Johnson
Lori's bridal bouquet.

Hang on tight, Levi!

Ginny Dake McCorkell
Blaine, MN

Touched by The Bulletin...

Surely The Bulletin has touched many of us readers with the announcement of Coni's passing. There are many who are sharing and caring with Weston and the family at this time.

Also, touching others are the cute pictures of all the little ones, how sweet each one is! They grow up so fast so we enjoy seeing these pictures so much.

The "before and after" photos of Donnie and Patty are truly an inspiration to each one of us and should encourage us to fight the "battle of the bulge." Congratulations to them! It is good to be inspired from such good news of others!

Elaine Wold
Wahpeton, ND

I was so excited to see the weights from Don Jr. and Patty. What a tremendous milestone for them both. Boy what hard work and dedication. That didn't just happen by wishing!

Carolyn Dake
Duluth, GA

I have been catching up on The Bulletin -- many days of "joy and sorrow interwoven" -- the beautiful wedding with hope for happiness ahead!

Sorrow twice -- I am truly amazed at the "fight" Coni had -- and always seemed "on top of things" -- how they tried to find the best of care, far and near.

Then to read of Roy's brother, Louie; I know many memories will be with all of us for a long time.

Anxious to see the next Bulletin!

Ruth Kitto
Apache Junction, AZ

I saw my oncologist, Wednesday. My daughters, Maralee, Brenda and Julie, went with me. The news wasn't good. The CAT scan and tumor study showed that the tumors in the liver are growing, I have other enlarged lymph nodes, and a very tiny spot was discovered in the lung.

Starting this Friday, I'm on a new and more aggressive chemo treatment. I'll be on something called Avastin ... not a chemo drug, but it is used in conjunction with chemo. Its purpose is to starve the growing tumors. Then I'll also be on something called CPT-11. I will try this new treatment ... which can and probably will cause more severe side effects, so I may lose my hair with this one.

This is the long and short of it, at this time. Thank you, one and all for your support and prayers. It is truly appreciated. Love to all of you..........

Diana Mellon Martin
Coon Rapids, MN

When I try to make pictures easier to e-mail to you (by making them smaller or by decreasing the memory), I always lose the photo quality. Do you have any suggestions on how others send pictures to you so that the pictures don't have have too much memory but still have good quality?

I would appreciate any tips that you can give me. I have tried everything that I know to do, but in the future would like to be able to send better quality pictures.

Also, thanks for another great Bulletin this week. I appreciate so much the time that you put into it. It helps us "Texas" cousins to get to know the others in our family so much better.

Angela Roberson
Hico, TX

Photo Editor's Note: There are several ways to send photos without losing quality. One is to send the original file, straight from the camera, to my e-mail address. Another way is to post them to one of the web photo album addresses, such as Webshots, Shutterfly, or Yahoo. The less manipulating of the original photo file, the better; then we can do that tweaking here. Our thanks to Virginia McCorkell for tweaking (and often framing) far more photos than she has ever gotten credit for -- including the Stanley and Janice Dake photos in last week's Bulletin.

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

There are no words. None. I cannot even begin to describe the awesome beauty of the first picture that scrolled up on The Bulletin. The design, the coloring, the dreamy effect, the butterfly -- all signifying the final goodbye from many, many friends that learned to love Coni. It was just so beautiful and so right. So comforting. Thanks again, Bitzi.

Coni & Weston

When I first saw this picture in The Bulletin, I was immediately drawn to this pretty lady, and to the man who was a part of the Johnsons I still miss. I don't know when I have seen love and happiness expressed in the eyes like Coni and Weston on this picture.

It was all a beautiful fairy tale ... and then the following Bulletins gave us the news of the diagnosis and efforts to overcome this final outcome. We all entered into the story with our hearts -- and loving sympathy we never did tell them about.

When my dad died I said, "Oh, Mother, this is the end," and she wisely said, "No, this is just the beginning of trying to get along without him."

The very next item was the new baby sister, so we were lifted to a different plane to see the happiness of three brothers welcoming Trinidy.

That was so interesting about "Where's Henry?" and the innocence of Jordan as she just carried on with her other two cats. A good lesson for me to quit fretting about what I can't change. One "Henry" was as good as another, to her.

I can't tell you how happy I was to see the pictures and story by Don and Patty. I have been so anxious to see the "remodeling," and this was just what we were wanting. The plain facts ... very true. It is the secret revealed -- now if we just heeded it, like they have. It is a success story that is hardly believable. We can't congratulate them enough -- they deserve a LOT of honest praise.

I will pass on the GUESS pictures again.

The China trip is always so interesting, with its descriptions not glossed over with travel brochure ability. The bare facts about restaurants and hotels and guides. Can you imagine how exhausted that couple would be by this time? Thanks, Greg and Sonja, for continuing to share your story in all its details.

I wonder what Amy really thought as she drove over those same roads in Montana, where she was as a little girl? Am sure things had changed, but it is beautiful country when you aren't struggling with sheep for a living. De-tasseling, going to visit Suzanne -- better enjoy life now before reality hits and you buckle down to trying to make a pay check stretch.

I had never met the Dake of this week's Army story. Clerical work would be a plus.

For some reason I was seeing Weston in Tracer's face, but likely they are no relation.

Thank you for putting in the pictures of the flowers from our kind neighbor. Right now they have finished blooming and are baking in the hot sun.

That Levi flying through the air in his personal aircraft brought a smile. Took some clever photography, but we do have some very clever and creative staff.

Thank you again for all you put into making The Bulletin what it is each week. We will be very interested in whatever you can include in your follow up of Coni's funeral details. I saw Bitzi today, and she, too, was wishing we could have made the trip to the funeral. Our thoughts will go to Weston as he faces the adjustment.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Douglas Anderson; photo by Sarah Steinhauer
Levi has mixed feelings about going to the beach.

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