Search for the perfect pumpkin
Photo © Heather Dewey
Brock Dewey sizes up pumpkins for pie -- and jack-o'lanterns.

UPDATE -- Brock Dewey checks out the pumpkin patch
by Heather Dewey
Ashby, MN

We hope you are all doing well and enjoying the wonderful colors! Can you believe it's already Fall? I attached a picture of Brock in the pumpkin patch (above).

David, Heather and Brock Dewey

Editor's Note: Barb Dewey introduced The Bulletin subscribers to her grandson Brock when he was born (Bulletin 191, February 12, 2006).

Photo © Dorothy Anderson
Jaxon Hill is off to a great start!

UPDATE -- Jaxon Hill snoozes through his first week
by Nathan Hill
Dwight, ND

Here is Jaxon's one week photo. He is a good baby, LOVES to sleep, eat and sleep some more. His older sister, Jazmine, has taken on the job as "little mother" and loves to hold and cuddle him. Older brother Jonathan pats him gently, all the while saying softly, "Baby ... Baby ... my Baby."

All for now, around here if you don't snooze you can't keep up! :)

Nathan Hill
Dwight, ND

Photos © Adriana Brown
Kathleen, Aaron & Earl Stahlecker, left; Angela, Aaron & Adriana, right.

FAMILY UPDATE -- the Stahleckers
by Kathleen Stahlecker
Gatesville, TX

Just a little update on our family. I really do not have a lot of news, but we have thoroughly enjoyed all of the news from your family. We so wish we could be closer to enjoy some of the festivities that go on up there.

I know you are not supposed to be envious, but there are two of your children that tend to bring out a little of that in us! HA! Donnie and Patty's place is just gorgeous! I hope to see it one day. It looks like it should belong in a Country or Farm & Ranch magazine. Those two seem to just complement each other. Of course we know dear old cousin Donnie, and have only met Patty once, but she seems to just fit in. They look great with their mission to lose weight. Oh! my goodness, the picture of Donnie by the grill looks so much like James. It is evident they are related.

I have been on that loss of weight mission for over a year, due to health issues, and it is a day-in, day-out battle, but it has to become a way of life, if you want to grow old and see your great-grandkids, etc. God willing. I still would like to lose 60-70 more pounds. My eating habits I have adjusted due to being pre-diabetic. But I have the issue of exercise as I have a bad knee and my hours at work are usually 12-hour days. So, I need to figure out a time for that and something for my knee.

The other child we really envy is Marlene and family. I told Earl the other day that we need to just head that way and maybe Rich could give him some kind of a gopher job. The City of Temple has changed their retirement policy and Earl has in his 20+ years so he is eligible to retire. He has not made the decision yet, but at least it is now an option. There have been a lot of changes the past year and not all for the good, so at least now if it gets too bad he has that choice. He still would need to work at least three days a week, as we have a lot of those things called bills to pay off, due to a lot of things from past years.

Anyway, back to Marlene -- their adventures take us back to the ranch days at the bottom of the Sangre De Cristos mountain range and waking up to that beauty each morning. Life was simple then, but the memories that we have of those days we will never forget. Before I leave the subject of Marlene's family, Rich really has a wonderful way of writing and words. Angela writes poetry, too, but has not had a lot of time for it these days.

We all keep busy. Carol came and spent a few weeks not long ago. Enjoyed seeing her, although we did not get to see her as much as we would have liked. As she stated previously in a note to you, it was a working trip. As she explained, Mother is starting to realize that she needs something smaller, etc. as far as her place, so there are a lot of things that need to be done in order to place the house on the market. Carol and Stanley worked hard and got a lot done in those two weeks, but there are still things to do.

Earl was able to help some. They have changed his work week from four 10-hour days to five eight-hour days, so he no longer has Fridays off. That throws a hitch in a lot of things as far as getting extra work done.

Our kids are all busy, too. Little Sully got his body cast off on September 7th. He is really doing well with the walking again. He is still supposed to keep things kind of calm as far as jumping off stuff, etc. for another month. Of course he is a BOY -- so that gets interesting.

Photo © Adriana Brown
Sully Michael Brown -- out of his body cast and rarin' to go!

Adriana now works at Cook's Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. She really likes it so far, but it is a drive, so that is not too fun. Their new baby is due the first part of April. They do not know yet what it is supposed to be.

Angela keeps very busy with the four children. The two older boys are back in school, but, she keeps busy running to soccer, etc. with them and anything else that needs to be taken care of. Scott is on the road a lot. She then helps out Adriana with Sully, as Adriana works nights two or three nights a week and has to get rest, which is hard to do with a 2-year-old. Most of the time, she has the days a few days apart, but right now she is still in orientation. So, there are some days that fall too close together to get caught up on her rest.

To say the least, Angela's job right now is CHILDREN. Trinidy is three months old now. She is so cute and very laid back. She just takes it all in stride most of the time. Sully and his Aunt Angie are great buddies. The girls live about 35 miles apart.

Aaron is a senior. His life right now is full throttle ahead. He is looking into colleges. He has not decided yet on a major but is leaning toward teaching and coaching. They have started their football season and they are doing pretty well. Aaron is a tackle on the offensive line. The girls make most all of his games that are at home. De (Tricia's husband) and the girls came last night to watch them.

Photo © Adriana Brown
Aaron Stahlecker, Trinidy, Tracer, Trenton & Trevor Roberson & Sully Brown.

Earl and I both keep way too busy, and our bodies are starting to tell us we are over the 50 mark. Gets really upsetting when you can not do what you once could do. But I guess that is inevitable so might as well deal with it. Just wish we could reach the point that we could have just some "MY" time for a few days without knowing that there are things that should be taken care of.

My job is VERY demanding, so as long as I am working for "Head Start," that is something I will have to deal with. The children are not the problem; it is the parents and employees and then, of course, the paperwork. I teach and am also Director, so when the kids and employees go home, my job just starts on the administrative end of things on a lot of days. I know if I had little ones at home I probably could not do what I do. A lot of days I am to work by 8 a.m. and do not get home until 8 p.m. or later.

I'd better run. Just wanted to check in with you and tell you we enjoy hearing from everyone through The Bulletin.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Midnight, Caity's blind "tuxedo" cat, seems to really enjoy playing with Max, the new chihuahua puppy! Although Midnight's playing looks very rough to me at times when he steals Max's toy, Max never squeals, so perhaps Midnight is more gentle than he appears to be! Plus, Max keeps going back for more...

Photos © Donna Johnson
Midnight & Max love to play chase games with Max's chew toy.

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

We seem to have missed Grandparents' Day by a month, or so ... oops! How did THAT happen? Well, never mind ... better late than never. So gather 'round, all you grandmas and grandpas! A new grandma has her "grandbaby" on display. OK, you can take your turn later -- just send your pictures to the Matriarch. (They must include YOU with your grandchild -- or grandchildren.)

This time meet Grandma Patty Henderson with her very first grandchild ... Mason Taylor Henderson (son of Heather and Ben Henderson). Aren't they sweet? We just love grandchildren! And if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll meet another precious grandbaby Mason!

Photos © Donna Johnson
Grandma Patty with Mason Henderson (& Brooklyn Johnson, left).

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 Ginny McCorkell and Kristi Larson Indermark for sending last week's mystery pictures.

How many can you identify?

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

Ahhh, I have seen this photo (pictured on the right) before -- in one of my sweet and adorable husband's photo albums. I know it is a photo of him (Kurt Larson) with his beloved Grandma Blanche Miller. Now I can't remember if he said the other gal in the photo was a cousin of his or a foreign exchange student that stayed with them for a while.

Jeni Larson
San Diego, CA

Editor's Note: It is indeed a cousin ... and we will see who will tell us her name.

The left photo is Mom (Blanche Dake Miller) and Uncle Bill (Dake) and the right photo is my nephew Kurtis (Larson), Mom, and our daughter Sandy (Miller Smith).

Steve (Miller)
Coral Springs, FL

The GUESS pictures made me think the lady on both pictures was Blanche! The one in the car must be Bill Dake, and I have a feeling the girl with Blanche on the next picture is Suzanne McCorkell. Wonder how right or wrong I am this time?

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

LTD Storybrooke

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; Storybrooke Farm photo by Suzanne McCorkell
What's new at Storybrooke Farm, LTD? We sure do miss ewes!

Travelogue t

Photo illustration © Kimberly Johnson
Mark, Whitney & Kim wade in an ice cold mountain stream in Montana.

Montana Adventure Winds Down
by Marlene Johnson
West Yellowstone, MT

Well, we're packing up to leave this little city that has been our home for three weeks. We're going back to Minnesota so that Rich can get a convention. The kids and I were lucky enough to get to Hector but he hasn't gotten to one yet this year.

After convention Rich will come back here to West Yellowstone to finish up and the kids and I will go back to Long Lake to cut back the hosta and cover the roses and make sure everything is "put to bed" for the winter. Then, after that, we're headed to Richland, Washington. At least that's what we've been told so far.

Two "boys" who used to work for Rich have come here to West (as the natives call West Yellowstone) to work with Rich on the project. Some of you may know Joel Foner and Landon Nye. It's been nice having them here. They took Markie mudding the other day after a really nice rain. Now, I don't understand the thrill of getting a perfectly nice jeep all muddy, but according to the boys, it's something everybody should try. Maybe I'll hold off on that until sometime later.

We have met so many wonderful people here, including a couple from the park. Come to find out they live really close to Rich's sister. They want us to stop in sometime when we're on our way through and I think we just might do that.

We were also invited over by the couple who have the study meeting. An older couple and very fun and interesting: Curt and Betty Carson. And yes, they're related to Kit Carson. Curt's a hunter and has many the trophy to show for it. He regaled us with hunting tales. Curt's a very comical man and he kept us all entertained until far too late in the evening.

He was kind enough to tell us about a shortcut home which took us down the narrowest dirt "road" I've ever been on and across two of the oldest bridges I think I've ever seen. They were big steel bridges with boards for driving on. Landon told us that he'd heard the safest thing to do in a case like that was to open our windows for the drive across in case that old bridge were to let us down and we ended up in the river below. Landon's a funny guy, too.

We were told to keep our eyes open for deer on the long drive home. It's no fun when a deer runs out in front of your car in the dark. We didn't see any deer running across the road on our way home but we did have a huge old moose run right in front of us. I guess they forgot to warn us about moose. But we did get a good look at him and his big antlers from the lights of the truck. He was a beauty!

That's when Joel told us that a moose is the very worst animal you'd ever want to hit when you're driving. They're so tall that they'll come right through your windshield. It's a good thing we have Landon and Joel with us because they're so full of helpful information.

It's hard to believe that a person can become so close to people and places in just three short weeks. I told Rich last night that I feel so torn about going "home" (wherever that is). I want to see friends and family again but don't want to leave those we've met here and this beautiful part of the country. But I'm sure that there are more wonderful people to meet and more beautiful places to see, so I'll just be content with that.

Thanks so much for The Bulletin. It's the best thing since sliced bread ... as the saying goes. You all have done such a nice job on it and the rest of us just keep hoping that you don't get tired of it.

Marlene and the rest.

Photo illustration © Kimberly Johnson
Joel & Mark get a big kick out of "Muddin.'"

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

On the third Tuesday in September, our queen presented how this year was and what we may expect for the coming year. Our government is positive how our economy is improving. For the first time in five years we are climbing out of the red numbers. That means that most people will have more money to spend next year. Some taxes will be lower and the salaries will be higher. Since April this year, more money is spent in shops and people go on holidays more often. Also in our garden center we notice the better economy.

The number of unemployed people is going down and some companies have trouble finding good, educated personnel. Starting in November, I will also get a few percents more salary and next year an extra day off.

The summer in the Netherlands was extreme in many ways. I have never experienced something like this before. To me a sign that the climate is changing. The spring was too cold and wet and at the end of June a period of tropical temperatures started that lasted almost a month.

All the records of high temperatures were broken and our top was almost 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit). On that day was a yearly walking event. Four days you have to walk 40 kilometers [that's 25 miles each day] and on the first day it killed some people. In the evening they decided to cancel the game.

In August, suddenly the temperature dropped and we had almost three weeks of rain and hardly saw the sun. September started and the high temperatures came back for more than three weeks. In August the record of rainfall was broken and in September again a record of high temperatures. Now October started and we have normal conditions for the time of year.

At work it was not pleasant in July; some days it was so hot you could hardly breathe inside the building. In a greenhouse it can become extremely hot because it has a glass roof. Since a few weeks we are working on the Christmas show and much work has to be done. We also are working on a new routing inside the shop and things are not going as planned. Too much work; we need more colleagues to help us but difficult to find in a short time. We hope to be ready in about three weeks but I don't think it is possible. So, coming weeks, we will work extra hours to do what we can.

This Friday and Saturday we have The Furiade in my town. The Furie is a steamboat that helps big ships to dock in the harbor. The Furie is over 100 years old and is restored by volunteers. That took almost 10 years and now the boat is the main item in the festivities. On Friday we have fireworks and a fair and the next day a parade and all sorts of ships in the harbour of Maassluis. You can make a short helicopter ride over the town or go bungy jumping. Will make a report from The Furiade for the next Bulletin.

Greetings to you all from the Netherlands,

Ary Ommert Jr.

by Frans de Been
Oosterhout, The Netherlands

Hallo, people in the USA. Yes an article for the newsletter, that's not always easy to do. You can make a story about what happened in your place, town or whatever. But I have something completely different to send this time.

We always have celebrations and people who have a thing to give for an occasion like birthdays, etc. To start with mine, we have had recently a 25 years celebration of friends of ours. Always you see on the invitation a gift idea! That can be flowers or euros or dollars. Mostly they make a small mailing envelope where they put money.

You can make an idea of money in different ways. I have now an idea that I used for that party. "ICE" and coins ... 10 or 20 or 50 cents coins.

Photos © Frans de Been

You take ice cube forms (trays) and you put the coins in the forms and add water and freeze in the freezer, left photo; then you buy a bucket or washing-up bowl and start with a few centimeters (1 or 2 inches) of water and make a start. After that you start to fill up the bucket or bowl with ice cubes with coins in them, middle photo; then you must not forget to make, from a coat hanger, a structure to form a strong connection to the rope in the bucket (as I have done), right photo.

Photos © Frans de Been
A gift of hard, cold, spendable (eventually) cash!

After a long time of hard and cold work (a few days) you get this, left photo. You take three broomsticks and make a tripod, middle photo; then you make at the top of the three poles a connection and below use a small rope to tie the bottom ends of the legs together so the poles cannot fall apart. Then you have a splendid gift, right photo.

When you arrive at the party or occasion you must put the gift in a corner and let the temperature do the rest. It depends on how large is your ice lump before they can enjoy the coins (normally, two days).

Try it for yourself ... maybe THEY like it to get this gift. It is something else than an envelope or candy...

o In Service To Our Nation j
Gert Dake Pettit is compiling information on family members and friends of the Dake family who served in the armed forces during and after World War II.

Airman First Class David S. "Beaver" Johnson, in 1969 or 1970.

Sergeant David S. Johnson, Air National Guard

The first step in my military service was something of a lark. During my junior year in high school, a couple of classmates invited me to go along to Fargo to put our names on the waiting list for the Air National Guard. Since we could get out of a half-day of school, I went along. I hadn't seriously thought of military service before that, but in 1966 Vietnam loomed large in the future of all of us, and the choice was stay in school and find a job that carried a draft deferment after graduation, enlist, or be drafted.

After high school, I spent a year at a local junior college, with no real idea what I wanted to learn. Well, that is, I didn't have any interest in the classroom learning. During that year, my name came to the top of the waiting list, and I enlisted after the school year ended. Due to my stellar performance in school, the draft board was looming very large in my future.

On July 6th of 1969, I flew to warm, sunny San Antonio, Texas, for basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. Basic training was not terribly difficult, mostly consisting of getting us into decent physical shape and accustomed to military discipline.

After six weeks, we were shipped by bus to Biloxi, Mississippi, where I was to enroll in Aircraft Radio Repair School at Keesler Air Force Base. Only a few hours after our arrival, Hurricane Camille roared in, and we spent the next week cleaning up and doing relief work for hurricane victims.

I must have lifted something too heavy during the cleanup, because I was dogged by back problems through the rest of my active duty, and for years afterward. The only consolation was that, after months of suffering, I got a duty excuse that prohibited marching and prolonged standing. So I walked to school and back on my own, instead of marching like everybody else, and I got to sit out all formations and inspections. That duty excuse was the envy of my buddies, but I would have traded it for a healthy spine in a heartbeat.

After a week of hurricane relief duty, I started school, in the Basic Electronics course. The class moved at a snail's pace, so out of sheer boredom I switched to a self-pacing class, which was all self-study. The class was intended for people who had prior electronics training, but anyone who thought he could make it through was allowed to try. There was a catch -- self-pacing students had to move through the curriculum in half the time the regular class took to do it, or be set back to the beginning. The biggest incentive was that if I succeeded, I would be going home about six weeks earlier than my planned separation. I made it through, with a couple of narrow escapes on test days.

Aircraft Radio Repair school followed, and didn't offer a self-pacing option. It was interesting because it was mostly hands-on, working with actual aircraft radios. This was still in the days of vacuum tube radios, so the sets were as large as vacuum cleaners, and just as noisy, with all their cooling fans running.

I graduated from Aircraft Radio Repair School early in 1970, and reported to the 119th Fighter Group at Fargo, North Dakota, where I would serve one weekend each month and 14 days of field training each year. During the time I was on active duty, they had made a transition from F102 airplanes to F101's, a newer model of fighter. We took a lot of pride in getting our "new" airplanes in top condition. (Here's a link with some nice pictures of F101's, along with more information than you ever wanted to know:)

Each radio that we removed from an airplane had every vacuum tube checked before it was returned to service. Because we were meticulous when repairing radios, we had a failure rate that was the envy of many aircraft radio shops.

The early 1970s were the time of the first energy crisis and we felt the effects. It took a lot of fuel to heat the hangar after opening the big door to bring an airplane in or out, so we were required to replace radios out on the flight line, rather than having the airplane brought inside. It took less than a half-hour to change a radio and check it, but the flight line at the Fargo Airport has got to be one of the coldest, windiest places on the planet.

It was fun to replace a radio if the weather was nice. After climbing a ladder, removing a door on the side of the airplane, replacing the radio with a repaired one, and replacing the door, we were required to check the newly installed radio. The first step was to start the gasoline engine on the remote power unit and power up the airplane. Next step was to climb up the ladder and crawl into the cockpit. I always worried about doing something dumb, like pulling the ejection seat lever, but all things that a dumb radio repairman could activate were supposed to be pinned and safe.

Checking the radio was pretty simple. The radio was set to the proper frequency and a call made to our own shop, the com-nav shop. Next call was to the Fargo Tower, then Ground Control. If they all could hear me and I could hear them, the radio was OK. If there was time, a person might linger in the cockpit for a couple of minutes, imagining what it would be like to soar into the wild blue yonder in such a machine.

The years of my enlistment saw a great expansion of the National Guard, as the Vietnam War ended and the regular military was downsized. In my shop, we went from eight men to well over 20 men. All the new guys had prior service time in the regulars, so all of them were ahead of me for promotion. There was not enough work for all of us, so out of boredom, and seeing little chance of ever attaining more than buck sergeant, I got out of the Air Guard in 1975, when my six year commitment was over.

For more "By Beaver" stories about military life, check out the "Beaver Tales" menu.

Beaver Johnson, right, with sons Ben, Wyatt & Weston.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
October 18---Lori Anderson
October 18---Adriana Stahlecker Brown
October 18---Diana Mellon Martin
October 18---Dan Mellon
Octber 20---Wade Morgan Printz (7 years)
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
October 17---Troy and Marlee Morgan Freesemann (12 years)

More October Birthdays
October 1---Brooklynn Ann Johnson (2 years)
October 1---Carolyn Amy Horne (2 years)
October 4---Wesley Sigman
October 5---Leona Anderson
October 5---Steven Miller
October 7---Steven Anderson
October 10---Hannah Aydelotte (5 years)
October 10---Cody Printz
October 11---Jay Smith
October 12---Muriel Wold Rodriguez
October 12---Tami Anderson Hunt
October 14---Douglas Anderson

October 22---Rich Johnson (from MN)
October 24---Eric Shockey
October 24---Ken Kitto
October 26---Ardis Sigman Quick
October 27---Marlene Anderson Johnson
October 28---Derrick McNeill
October 29---Sami Larson (12 years)
October 29---Tom Miller
October 30---Anne Mellon Montford

More October Anniversaries

October 1---Keith Mason and Lori Anderson (1 year)
October 4---Don and Patty Bratten Anderson (9 years)
October 5---Tom and Lou Miller (33 years)

October 27---Don and Gert Dake Pettit (16 years)

October Special Days
October 9---Columbus Day (observed)
October 29---Daylight Saving Time Ends
October 31---Halloween

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

I want to tell you about a special thing that happened last Saturday evening.

I was in a building with 850 people, and I sat in the second from the back row in this huge crowd of people at Eagle Bend, Minnesota.

Right in the chair directly in front of me was a little boy. I looked more closely, and decided that he was one of the cutest little boys I had seen for a long time. I looked at his mother sitting next to him, and then at his dad sitting next to her -- and it dawned on me like a bolt of lightning ... I KNOW WHO THAT IS. That is -- wait, I had better ask first. So I tapped the mother on the shoulder and asked her what his name was.

She said, "Levi."

I could not believe my good fortune to be sitting directly behind this star of The Bulletin. It was our little Levi that is in every imaginable situation in The Bulletin.

He was so good. Sat so still and played with his toys and books very quietly. He took a little sack out of his mother's bag, which was sitting on the floor, and tried his best to open it. So, finally, his mother saw his predicament and opened it for him, giving him just one little piece at a time, which kept him entertained for a long time.

I had better just quit here. I may sound partial, but really he was such a cute and good little boy -- Levi Steinhauer.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo of Levi by Sarah Dake Steinhauer
Levi Steinhauer shows off his mom, reflected in his shades.

Keith and I had a fun time celebrating our first anniversary. We can't believe how fast the past year has gone by. On Friday, Steven took us to Angel Stadium. Keith is a big Angels fan, and he was excited the team won the game, even though they didn't make the playoffs this season.

Then on Sunday, Keith and I drove to Newport Beach to spend the afternoon. We took a narrated harbor cruise around Newport Harbor. Celebrities seem to pay a lot of money to live on one of the seven islands in the harbor. We thought George Clooney's $30 million estate was a bit overpriced, but it was fun seeing how other people live.

We followed our trip to the beach with dinner at the Olive Garden, and we were glad we ordered a piece of chocolate cheesecake to take home with us from the restaurant. We had followed tradition and kept the top tier of our wedding cake in the freezer for the past year, but after two bites we decided that some things don't get better with age and we opted for the chocolate cheesecake instead. :)

Lori Anderson
Irvine, CA

Photos © Lori Anderson & Keith Mason
Keith & Steve, left; Keith & Lori, right.

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


I love having the opportunity to see pictures from our relatives and to be able to share our own with them, as well!

Adriana Stahlecker Brown
Granbury, TX

Photo © Adriana Brown
Aaron Stahlecker (No. 77) on Gatesville Hornets football team.

As to the game in the Update -- Yes, they won! It's so much fun to see our "little" brother playing football. He's gone from annoying and bothersome little brother to fun and sweet big-little brother! Ha!

Angela Stahlecker Roberson
Hico, TX

My niece, Cathy -- my sister Ruth Weiland Kitto's daughter -- just had her first grandchild on July 15th. It is this darling, precious baby, Mason Riley Karas.

They live in Hawaii and Cathy lives in Chicago so it is extremely difficult, depending only on pictures. Cathy's only child is Amy and this is the first grandchild, so you know how dear he is to all of us.

Being you get all this kind of news, I had to send you ours.

Great Aunt Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Mason Riley Karas

I'm sorry I've been so away from everything lately. I haven't been feeling well, and I tend to cocoon and stay quiet when that happens.

I had a scare with my right eye Saturday morning. It dilated to twice its normal size, and the doctor sent me to the ER. Well, as it turns out, I accidentally rubbed some medication that was on my hands into it, causing the problem, so everything is fine with it now. I am so careful about hand washing, so was really surprised at how that happened, but stuff happens.

Both Maralee and I are fighting colds, and I've developed a sore spot on my lower back just below the ribs, so am keeping an eye on that. I'll mention it at Chemo on Thursday to see what they think.

Well, it sounds like winter is upon us. Mentally, I'm not at all ready. It's always so difficult to get around in. I can handle the cold, but the ice and snow is my problem. Well, I guess I need to stop whining, and just be grateful that I'm here to see it!

I hope you all are doing well. Love to all......Diana

Diana Mellon Martin
Coon Rapids, MN

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

Of course my first interest was the first picture. It was again very one-of-a-kind, and if I were Bitzi I could put a suitable caption on Dorothy's lovely photo, but being just "me," I would call it PEACE. Mr. Benjamin knew where to go to escape all the commotion of a 50th birthday! Don't you envy him? Actually, I did envy him until I saw that loaded table of the birthday feast.

I clicked on the "click here if it doesn't display properly" just to see how it would display, and discovered it is so much larger. Anyone would be able to read that and every picture was so clear and vivid and detailed. I could even see what was in the salad.

We wish Donnie a very happy 50th birthday. I am sure it was one of the happiest, being he is a brand new man, at least a brand new wardrobe likely, and he looks so young having lost more weight than he ever dreamed he would. It took both Donnie and Patty to really stick with it and be that successful. We admire them with all our heart.

All the anticipation has been realized now that Jaxon Hill has finally arrived. Another cute baby for The Bulletin readers to watch grow up all too fast.

Like Mason is doing -- six months old already. Hardly possible, is it? His newborn picture seemed so recent. Thanks for the update and the picture.

There are some photographers in your family, I see ... the clever pictures of Whitney and Mark make you take a second look to see all the interesting details they include. Like the black and white picture -- yet the yellow pavement markings. Hmmmm...

I must say, I was very touched to read the appreciation for a certain special husband, and it sounds like he has inherited very desirable traits from his mother and dad. His mother was a dear woman who worked very hard and always stayed pleasant and willing to serve. The dad so thoughtful and generous and capable of any job at hand. Donna Mae is fortunate to have Beaver as her helpmate in all the ups and downs of life. A burden shared is much lighter with one such as Beaver must be in that home.

Isn't that just spooky (maybe not the right word) to see the likeness between Dorothy and my sister, Ruth? That was really fun to see the pictures side by side. Our photo editor is a professional, and we are reminded of that every time we see her expertise displayed in The Bulletin. We appreciate her willingness to keep on keeping on, with only our LTTE's as a thanks for all her hard, long hours at it. Maybe Miss Kitty sleeping nearby is an inspiration...

Another rising writer and designer. When did Rich ever get time to make that beautiful, meaningful "A river in the desert"? That is a keeper I have printed.

I respect and admire the late Robert McNeill for his service to our country, although I did not know him. I see he was a son-in-law of our Gert [Dake Pettit].

Fun to see Brooklynn's letter. She can spell about perfect. Wonderful! And Zach has a new girlfriend. We will be needing more updates. The Bulletin is at max with 27 pages printed on my printer, but we keep adding more family events. I had better slim down my LTTE or there won't be room for it.

I just loved reading the letter from Shari Miller Larson and the recent pictures. She was such a special little girl to me as we spent so much time in their home. Time brings changes, and now Blanche is gone, but memories of the family remain precious. The Bulletin had a picture of her and her brothers and mom and dad out in the watermelon patch. She was such a cute and fun little girl.

I laughed right out loud at the Foto-funnies this time. You will have to look at it again if you can't remember -- it's about the dog wanting help for that kid's head that seemed stuck to the pillow. That was really funny and looks like that's exactly the problem.

Last week I had gotten this far and the computer froze so I lost it all. I better send this quick before another disaster happens.

Just a comment that, whenever Larry feels up to it, we are patiently awaiting anything he can send for us to enjoy. He puts everything into what he writes and it's worth the wait.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Douglas Anderson; photo of Jazmine & Jonathan by Brenda Hill

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