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Sunday, April 13, 2008
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In memory of Lou Miller
Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell

Update -- Lou Miller laid to rest
by The Bulletin staff

Lillian "Lou" (Peters) Miller, wife of Tom Miller, passed away peacefully, and very unexpectedly, in her sleep on Friday morning, April 4, 2008, in Madera, California. She was 81.

Visitation was Tuesday in Jay Chapel in Madera. A funeral service was held there Wednesday, April 9, 2008, with interment in Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera.

Survivors include her husband, Tom, and their daughters, Cheryl and Michele; her granddaughters, Lanae, Cherisa, Caryn, and Celina; and her 11 great-grandchildren... (She would want us to include her loving friend Cindy, their black Lab.)

She will be greatly missed by her family and a host of friends, who were near and dear to her heart!

Click here for full obituary.

Photo © Mavis Morgan
Frank & Sandra Morgan kayak on Estero River, which borders our park.

Update -- the Morgans host visitors from London
by Mavis Anderson Morgan
Estero, FL and Hope, ND

Frank Morgan and his wife, Sandra, spent a week recently in Estero, Florida, visiting with Tom and Mavis Morgan. Frank and Tom are cousins.

They were greeted with a "Welcome to Florida" cake. The four of us enjoyed time shopping and taking a stroll on Fort Myers Beach.

Frank and Sandra took in other points of interest, including a kayak ride on the Estero River, which borders Sunny Grove Park, where we live, and the Edison Ford Estates.

It was a treat for Frank to pick oranges from our trees.

Photo © Mavis Morgan
Sandra & Frank Morgan with Tom & Mavis Morgan.

Photo © Ben Johnson
High point overlooking still frozen Pelican Lake.

Update -- four-wheeling
by Ben Johnson
Ashby, MN

I figured it would be a good time to write before the busy season starts, and we also just had a gathering of four wheelers I could talk about and send some pictures of.

On Saturday Ashley, myself and 17 of our friends gathered to start out the four-wheeling season. We drove through the old gravel pits south of the farm and also to the high hill overlooking Ashby. We then went to another couple's land where we played in some sloughs and some muddy fields. So that was a nice way to relax before spring gets in full swing.

Photo © Ben Johnson
Riding around old gravel pits south of the Ashby farm.

Other than that, all is pretty well the same; Ashley only has a month left of school and then she will see where the career path will take her. As for me, I am still at the Ashby Equity, working on getting equipment ready and waiting for the snow to stop falling. One day soon, we will be able to get in the fields and get back to the part of work I enjoy the most.

Photo © Ben Johnson
Breakthrough makes for a wet & muddy experience.

Photos © Melody Printz
Amy Elaine Printz

Update -- introducing Amy Elaine Printz
by Melody Printz
Edgemont, SD

Here is an update on our little Amy, who is getting too big, too fast! She is 3 years old now and very often asks things like, "When will I be a kid so I can lose a tooth?" and "Am I high five yet so I can go to 'kool?"

She can't understand it when I reply with, "Enjoy being 3; it'll go by too fast anyway!"

She LOVES babies, dolls, purses, etc. and has an imaginary "honey" who she talks to, cooks for, etc. all day, while the other kids are at school.

There are two things that make her ditch her girly stuff pretty quickly, though: candy and Daddy! Amy spent a lot of time in the front of Justin's pickup this year while we were out doing chores. One day it was just the two of them and she was trying her best to talk him out of his pop. Her final try (which worked) was, "If you give me a drink of pop, I'll be your girlfriend!"

We were recently walking up a really steep little hill. Callie was right behind Amy, and at one point Amy lost her balance and kicked Callie in the head. When Amy heard Callie's, "OW!" she politely replied, "I sorry, but this is a heavy hill!"

Last year, Amy was scared to death of dogs. However, now she LOVES them! They are outside dogs, but every now and then I'll find one in the house. Amy will say, "I wonder how he got in the house?" Yeah, I wonder, too! :)

Ms. Amy grants them entrance whenever they stand by the door! She also feeds them crackers ... and, yes, they eat them! She can't go outside now without one of them coming over to get some Amy attention!

The other thing that Amy loves outside is rocks. Yep, rocks. Any size, shape, or color will do as long as it's a rock. We were going to visit Auntie Mo awhile ago and she picked up a rock from our yard and placed it in her purse. I asked her what it was for and she said, "To give to Auntie Mo so she can put it on her pillow!"

She'll often stop and pick up five rocks, one for each of us, and is delighted to deliver each to its intended recipient! If you're a recipient, don't be careless with where you put it, as she will likely ask you in a few days where your rock is. I promise!

Right now, one of Amy's traits that I hope she retains is that she is very forgiving. There are times when I step on her toe or bonk her head when she's "helping" in the kitchen and gets underfoot. I'll stop and apologize right away and her response, without fail, is, "Oh, that's okay; it wasn't your fault!" And she means it!

She's still at the age where she loves lots of hugs, kisses, and tickles. Her giggle is worth a million dollars, so she gets tickled and teased a lot, just to elicit one more giggle!

Photo © Ken Carson
Oreo plays with Mr. Squid.

Update -- the birds and the bears and Mr. Squid
by Miss Kitty
Anchorage, AK

We got the biggest kick out of watching the grandkitties play with their new friend, Mr. Squid. He looks like he would be lots of fun. We can tell that Oreo thinks he is the cat's meow.

We got another foot of snow this week and the good thing about that is that it brings lots of little birds to visit our bird feeder. Mai Tai and I just love watching those fluffy little chickadees. They are so cute! Oh, boy, if we could catch one of them, it would just make our day. Fat chance! We don't get to go outdoors without supervision and that means we never get to practice our chickadee hunting skills outdoors with real chickadees.

Sad to say, it's time for the bears to wake up and that means Miss Jerrianne will have to clean all the sunflower seeds out of the bird feeder to make sure we don't get any big, furry visitors. (They LOVE sunflower seeds.) And when the sunflower seeds go away, the birds go away, too. Then we only get to practice our bird hunding skills indoors with "Da Bird." (That's our favorite toy.)

Anyway, we want to share a heartwarming story about Jim Scott, Alaska's Bird Man. He's a veterinarian who heals wild creatures ... especially birds. We think he's a pretty neat guy.

Day to Day R
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

Photos © Donna Johnson
Dorothy with big gift, left; with flowers & balloon, right.

Mom's Birthday Lunch

Our Matriarch: Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, friend or any other hat she wears, turned another page of her life, into the 82nd anniversary of her birth. I must say she makes 82 look very good!

Even the weather in Minnesota cooperated, for once! So it was nice enough for her to get out, wearing her new birthday jacket, and head for a birthday luncheon with Dad, Becky and myself.

We'd stopped for Becky to pick out flowers and a balloon to present to her grandma, from her siblings and herself and, of course, the great grandchildren, too.

Becky and I had also stopped in the previous Saturday, bearing a huge gift, just to make sure she would have gotten in a little celebration for her birthday if we weren't able to make it on Wednesday.

We were so glad we could join her for the actual birthday and go to lunch with them; we all had a very nice visit and enjoyed our tasty food. And, 82% discount on her meal made a slight dent in the price, right Dad?

Photos © Donna Johnson
April snowstorm at the Ashby farm.

Winter does not seem to want to let up its grip on this part of Minnesota!

These are pictures out of our bedroom window, when the last storm was just getting a good start. I really should have gotten pictures of Beaver out plowing, once again.

Or of the little calf that arrived into all that snow. Luckily, Beaver found him in time to drag him into some straw in a building and the little guy's mother was smart enough to go in there with him!

We have more snow predicted for today. Possibly 6-12 inches, I heard. And, more calves ready to be born, so Beaver will have to be on his toes to make certain they survive!

He's already found one that did not make it, but it was very tiny, so it might not have been alive when it was born, either.

Wish them luck, the poor little things.

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. LeRoy Dake supplied last week's mystery pictures.

How many can you identify?

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.

The first picture is our dad's Aunt Jane Haines and our dad's sister, Aunty Liz [Elizabeth Dake McCalla]. And, of course, dear sister Dorothy is sitting in the orchard near the crabapple tree (the one I used to climb all the time).

Gert Dake Pettit
Howard Lake, MN

I assume the woman in the back of the one picture is my grandmother, Elizabeth McCalla. Haven't a clue about the others, though.

Judy McCalla
Salt Spring Island off British Columbia, Canada

Editor's comment: I doubt that many will do better than you did, Judy. The pictures do fit together. That is a picture of me [Dorothy Dake Anderson] on my graduation day sitting under the blooming apple tree on May 23, 1944. The lovely corsage was from my "Anty" (Elizabeth Dake McCalla) who, because of work in the factory doing seat covers for government equipment, was not able to attend and hear my Salutatorian address.

The older lady standing with "Anty" was my Grandpa Dake's sister, Aunt Jane (really great Aunt Jane); somewhere in the archives is a story about the very visit where she had this picture taken.

I have to say the picture of Dorothy in the Guess pictures was probably one Don carried in his billfold. It does look like one my sister Ruth sent in, commenting that she has been taken for Dorothy at times. She was sitting in that same pose. The first picture of those two ladies must be some I know, but WHO?

Betty Weiland Droel
MoundsView, MN

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell
Frosted Flakes
Where In The World Is Weston? S

Baseball In A Blizzard?
Must Be The Metrodome!
by Weston Johnson
Maple Grove, MN

Baseball is generally considered to be a summer sport. Probably because it is played during the summer. Which is why it felt strange to be gearing up for the Twins' Opening Day while looking out my office window at a full-fledged snowstorm. Less than 24 hours ago I had been soaking up the sun at Fort Myers Beach. Now, on the last afternoon of March, I felt as though I was trapped in a snow globe, fresh off a vigorous shaking. And yet tonight, I would be watching real live baseball in person. It was almost more than my brain could comprehend as I waited for the remaining minutes of the workday to crawl by.

I left work early, thinking that the early 6 o'clock game time and the ongoing snowstorm would be causing gridlock on the downtown streets surrounding the Metrodome. I picked up my friend Kelly at his office and we slowly made our way downtown. We were lucky to find indoor parking, but had to walk several blocks into a wind that drove stinging snowflakes into our faces. For once, I was thankful for the old Dome, as we arrived in its cozy confines just in time for the first pitch of the game.

All baseball fans love opening day. It's a sure sign that summer is on its way after a long, baseball-free winter. It fills the gaping hole that exists in the soul of the sports fan during that interminable period when the Super Bowl has brought an end to the football season but the NBA playoffs are still weeks away.

Along with these big-picture benefits, Opening Day also brings some simple pleasures. I believe that one of the under-appreciated aspects of Opening Day is the appearance of each player's batting average on the scoreboard during each at bat. No, this phenomenon is not exclusive to the opener. Each time a batter steps to the Metrodome plate all season long, the scoreboard indicates his number, position and up-to-the-minute batting average for the year. But on Opening Day, everyone's display, from the All-Star veteran to the debuting rookie, reads .000. It's a clean slate and everyone has to work his way up from those triple zeroes.

Those who are lucky enough to connect for a hit in their first at bat are rewarded with a 1.000 in lights during their next trip to the plate. Those who fail continue to stare that .000 in the face, a reminder that they have yet to execute a successful at bat this year. By the late innings, the averages become more varied: .250, .333, .500. Some even manage to preserve the pristine 1.000.

Over the first week of the season, ugly numbers start to pop up: .186 or .274 or .329. The averages gradually narrow themselves to within the .200 to .350 range, where they'll stay for the rest of the summer. Opening Day is the only time when a .750 batting average seems perfectly normal.

Opening Day also means the return of the old between-innings distractions, most of which seem to carry over from year to year. A perennial favorite at the Metrodome is the contest in which a lucky contestant gets three chances to throw a baseball from the upper deck and get it to land in the bed of a new Dodge truck parked on the field.

When this contest started several seasons ago, anyone who successfully landed a ball in the truck bed was entered into a drawing to win a two-year lease on that very truck. It always struck me as a catch-22. Sure, you could win a brand new truck, but by the time you received said truck, it would have spent the last six months having baseballs chucked at it from 50 feet in the air. And you thought hail was rough on a truck's paint job!

Anyway, I noticed that this year, accurate ball chuckers are entered into a drawing to win a vacation for two rather than a pockmarked truck. The tie to Dodge's sponsorship of the contest is a little less clear, but at least no one is receiving damaged goods now.

Another classic between-inning staple was executed to perfection near mid-game: a wedding proposal, complete with scoreboard message and live Jumbotron footage. I imagine that at some point during the off-season, the groom-to-be figured it was time to pull the trigger on a marriage proposal and decided that a Twins game would be the perfect setting to share this intimate moment. He must have known it would be an agonizing wait for the day to come, so he made sure to take care of business during the very first game of the season.

Of course, pulling such a stunt on Opening Day means exposing yourself to the potential to suffer the ultimate embarrassment in front of 50,000 people, rather than the regular crowd of 20,000 to 30,000. Fortunately, based on his girlfriend's reaction, she seemed to go along with it. His gamble -- and his patience -- were rewarded.

I suppose I should mention the game itself. It was an exciting contest, with the score remaining close the whole way. In the end, the Twins picked up a one-run victory over the Angels. The dream of an undefeated season was still alive, and all was right with the world. Even a snowstorm can't diminish the optimism that comes with a win on Opening Day!

LTD Storybrooke

Photo © Larry T. Dake
The rangeland the ewes and lambs were released to.

April Fool
by Larry Dake

6:30 a.m., April Fool's Day. Like an amiable crowd of early morning bargain hunters, waiting in a high state of anticipation at the double doors of the annual Super-Duper Sale, the freshly shorn ewes were crowded around the double gates that stood between them and the wide open range. Beyond the gates lay a vast expanse of rangeland bearing the sparse, green grass of spring. Widely scattered, the very fine blades would be extremely tasty morsels after the winter diet of coarse, dry hay.

As I worked my way into position to unlatch the gates, the excited ewes, in their white spring outfits, pressed me to the boards; I lifted the latch and the press popped open the gates.

"Come on, girls!" I called.

Lacking malice, but with single-minded purpose, the 1,200 ewes elbowed their way through, nearly bowling me over in the process. In the midst of the surge the only toes stepped on were mine: mine being big and flat, theirs small and pointy.

The front runners fanned out to snatch up the first grass. They grabbed snippets as they ran past each other in a leapfrog motion. Some of the yearlings, not quite sure yet what all the excitement was about, leapt into the air in exuberant spring-and-twists.

Many of the lambs were left behind in the pen, temporarily forgotten. Checker, believing the sheep were escaping, was leaning his shoulder on their rumps, looking for an opportunity to get around them. But when he reached the gate, he looked back and decided, instead, to save those who were not yet lost.

He effectively blocked the gate with his predatory crouch-and-stare. A few brave hearts escaped past him in leaping bounds, but the remaining lambs discovered themselves in an empty pen with large numbers of their playmates. They quickly formed into frivolous gangs, racing gleefully back and forth. Meanwhile, the first ewes out were rapidly disappearing over the crest of the nearest hill.

"Keep them together," had been my only sheepherding instructions when Jack and Jackson had left the previous day, with the semi-load of freshly shorn wool.

I re-entered the pen, calling the adolescent Checker from the gate. He and I began chasing the hundreds of lambs as they raced around and around and around. For the innocents -- full bellied, no fear, not a care in the world -- our efforts only multiplied their fun!

When a bunch ran toward the gate, Checker beat them there and turned them back again! I scolded him and he looked at me like, What's your problem? He was doing exactly what his well bred instincts were telling him -- but I didn't know that. I had it backwards. I was supposed to lead; he was supposed to deliver.

Each time the lambs headed near the gate, he prevented them from escaping. Working against each other, we were quickly frustrated. After throwing a few stones his way, I decided I'd better get to the front of the flock myself, and bring the ewes back to the clueless lambs.

On my way out the gate, I was met by a couple of anxious ewes, already returning to find their babies. They picked them up and led the now winded mob of youngsters out the gate. With me outside the gate, Checker effortlessly emptied the pen.

I didn't understand what had just happened. From birth, sheep herding was etched into Checker's brain; I would have to learn it by trial and error.

Travelogue t

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Hassan II Mosque, left; close-up of world's tallest minaret, right.

by Kjirsten Swenson
Houston, TX

The following morning, I took the train back to Casablanca to visit to the Hassan II mosque. This mosque is the second largest in the world and one of just a few open to non-Muslims.

Capped by a minaret that towers over 200 meters, it's an imposing site, but more impressive for its magnificent decoration than size. Crafted by thousands of Moroccan artisans, the mosque's mosaics, carved ceilings, and plaster moldings are astounding. It may be the most beautiful man-made structure I've seen, anywhere. A trip to Morocco could be justified by a visit to this place alone.

My last afternoon in Morocco was dedicated to exploring Casablanca. In contrast to other Moroccan cities I visited, Casablanca's medina (old Arab quarter of a North African city) was derelict and frightening, a slum of collapsing buildings and filthy streets. I was immediately uncomfortable there and retreated to the streets of the modern city center, where I admired the crumbling French architecture.

My day ended with one last scrub at a hammam, and then tea at Rick's Café. My flight to Paris left at dawn the next morning, and a later transatlantic flight whisked me back to Houston in time to celebrate the New Year with much-needed sleep in my own bed.

What I've written describes only a fraction of my adventures! Morocco is a remarkable place to travel, a country in which people, landscapes, cities, and markets are equally captivating. I intend to return at least once for more walking in the Atlas and a visit to the Sahara ... the lengthy travel times didn't justify a trip to the desert this time.

The End

Photo © Frans de Been
Koen, Marloes & Rian at Arc de Triomphe, Paris.

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

Hello, my friends in the USA!

Yes, we passed Easter this year not at home. As you already know, the 31st of March we are married for 30 years. We asked the children, what are we going to do about that? A feast or a visit of the children's choice?

After a short discussion, they came back with: "PARIS."

OK, it was for Rian and me! Almost 30 years ago that we had visited Paris. So it will be Paris.

Easter Weekend In Paris

We departed Friday at 9:30 a.m. We went away from Oosterhout with rain, but when we came more south it started to clear up. After a short trip (410 km -- that's 260 miles) we came into Paris around 2:30 p.m.

As soon as we put our things in the hotel (car below into the garage to be safe), we went to the metro station. If you want to visit Paris, you must take the metro. We had a three-day ticket for bus and metro for €76.00 (€19.00 per person). In 10 minutes we went to the heart of the city.

We visited the Eiffel Tower and some shops of the Avenue Des Champs Elysee. The window of the Cartier store was fantastic. Look, they have nice prices for that watch I saw for €240.000 and the nice ring for 12.000 €. Oops!!!!

Click here for a web gallery to see for yourself more pictures of our three days in Paris ... the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Place de la Concorde, the impressive Basilica of Sacré-Coeur and its steps, Montmartre the art-plaza, a boat tour on the Seine ... and the rest of the story.

Photo © Frans de Been, left; photo © Marloes de Been, right.
Marloes & Koen at the Eiffel Tower, left; Marloes' photo at night, right.

$  A Long Time Ago   !

Appalachian Trail Trek: Week Three, April 1973
by Jerrianne Lowther
Anchorage, AK

The rain had stopped by the time we reached the top of Wesser Bald and began the 2,900-foot drop to the Nantahala River. Each hundred-foot drop in elevation was like moving forward in time one day further into spring. Carpets of delicate spring flowers in lovely shades of pink, yellow, blue and white soon surrounded us. I waded through them, greeting them by name and introducing them to Mic and Kyra. As I later wrote in the log:

"These were still the earliest of spring flowers, but even so, what a variety! The bloodroot was mixed with similar flowers like rue anemone, sharp-lobed hepatica, and chickweed. I saw spring beauties, trout lilies, and carpets of violets. Trilliums were in bud. Trailing arbutus gave way to buttercups and birdfoot violets.

"Most of these I'd never seen before, but hours of flower book reading made new discoveries seem like old acquaintances. The whole afternoon was spring. I forgot my pack and nearly walked off the ends of switchbacks, fell into creeks, and bumped into trees. Paradise! How I dreaded to go up into winter again."

So, of course, with all this lollygagging, when we finally reached the highway below, the store was closed ... and so was the motel. Closed since the previous October, it appeared. What to do?

"A battered blue Chevy pulled off the road and stopped by the bridge. Fishermen downstream gathered their gear and headed toward the car. So did I. I said hello, explained our situation, and asked about towns or stores nearby.

"'There's a station 'bout four miles from here that sells groceries,' one said. 'Jump in, we're goin' right by.'

"Loaded with eight people, four fishing rigs, and three backpacks, the blue Chevy headed west on U.S. 19. Four miles stretched to seven before a gas-station grocery came into view. Our rescuers offered to wait and take us back to the trail when we'd finished shopping. Eying tourist cabins across the road, we thanked them and said we'd rather stay.

"'Well, give them the fish,' said one.

"'Oh, yeah, the fish,' agreed another, and he dug into a bag at his feet. 'Here,' he said, handing me four fresh rainbow trout. 'We just go for sport anyway.'

"Then five strangers drove off, waving. I hardly knew what to say.

"....Hot showers washed away dirt from fifteen days on the trail. Fresh fish and biscuits, followed by ice-cream sundaes, brought unaccustomed variety to 'dinner out.' Like few times before, we reveled in a night indoors.

"And Kyra was overjoyed. Motel rooms usually offered only one bed and she'd expected to sleep on the floor. I'd gotten an extra bed for a dollar. She fell asleep soon after dinner with soft, clean sheets and blankets pulled up to her nose." --from Walking North, by Mic Lowther.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Birthdays
April 15---Melinda Miranowski
April 19---Levi Owen Steinhauer (3 years old)

More April Birthdays
April 2---Duane Miller
April 2---Jess Cloyd
April 4---Meryl Hansey
April 4---Barb Dewey
April 5---Lorella Grob
April 6---Dusty Meyers
April 9---Richard Johnson (from Oregon)
April 9---Dorothy Dake Anderson
April 10---Brenda Anderson Hill
April 10---Lisa Kae Anderson
April 10---Shawn Ostendorf

April 23---Alyssa Lynn Freesemann (11 years old)
April 23---Miss Kitty (5 years old)
April 23---Mai Tai (1 year old)
April 25---Troy LaRon Freesemann
April 25---Mia Nelson
April 26---Heidi Johnson Henderson
April 27---Steve Rodriguez
April 27---Peggy McNeill
April 28---Justin Blackstone
April 29---Kelly Kay Larson Seaman
April 30---Kurtis James Larson

April Special Days
April 1---April Fools' Day

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Thank you for the lovely birthday greeting! My birthday celebrating was low key but very nice ... lunch with a friend at noon and out with friends for supper ... no cooking -- my favorite type of celebrating.

Today (Sunday) my boys and their families were over, in the snowstorm! So thanks for your wishes for another year -- I appreciate you remembering and sending a card. What a heartwarming touch to a great day for me. :-)

Thanks for all you do for us each week with your Bulletin news gathering and sending out a great read.

Love that Bulletin!

Barb Dewey
Ashby, MN

My Dear Miss Hetty,

I do think it would be nice if you showed everyone part of the heart-warming attention her friends and relatives have been showering upon The Matriarch -- now that she has reached the venerable age of 82..

Of course, you understand I could not picture the phone calls, the Hallmark and Jacquie Lawson e-cards, (they are so cheery, and cozy -- I keep them to review). Nor the dining that has occurred and is promised.

Thank you to everyone for being so thoughtful to this "Old Lady"!

Dorothy Dake Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Photo © Dorothy Anderson
Birthday showers of appreciation for The Matriarch.

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

Another great issue! We've been so busy with this 'n that we haven't even gotten to sit down and get pictures done. We love that all the rest have taken the time, etc. and so there are so many interesting items! Really, there is so much we need to tell you -- my birthday, our anniversary, trips here and there -- but we just don't get to it.

Now our dear friend Jeff Gillie is coming for the night and tomorrow. He is so special to us as he was at our wedding and arranged for the Sunday meeting here four years ago. He has been in northern California and Las Vegas -- and now back here for the prep time!

Till later -- thanks again for a great Bulletin -- and, Dorothy, Love to you as you approach 82!

Ruth and Ken Kitto
Apache Junction, AZ

Dear Judy McCalla,

I wish I could find some information that you might be interested in about your dad and grandma. But lacking that, we did run a photo in the guess column this week that I think you can ID at least one of the people. If so, please send me a guess to run. Then I will tell a little story about the other two, using your guess as an opening explanation for who the other two are..

I mentioned to my sister that you would like to hear her memories about Gib and Auntie... She says she wants to contact you but never finds the time between her babysitting, and housekeeping at the Cokato retirement home. Also go to the Archives in The Bulletin and research ANTY (that was our name for your Grandma) or Gilbert and you might find some interesting reading.

Love to hear!

Dorothy Dake Anderson (your first cousin, once removed, and one of the editors of The Bulletin)

I went through several boxes of old photos and found a few that might interest you. My mother had written on the backs of some and there was at least one of Gertie and others from around the same time. If you would be interested, I would love to drive up to Alexandria some time and go through them with you. Unfortunately, I won't be back in Minnesota until this fall, probably late September.

My husband and I have a vacation home on a small island off the coast of British Columbia and we always spend about six months a year there. We arrived at Salt Spring Island just last week. I will let you know when I get back to Minnesota and, if you are willing, perhaps we can get together. (I know it sounds crazy to return to Minnesota for the winter season, but I like the snow.)

I enjoy getting The Bulletin and have been through the archives and checked out the information there about Grandma [Elizabeth McCalla] and my dad [Gilbert McCalla]. Of course, I don't know most of the people in The Bulletin, but I must admit I enjoy reading about the exploits of Miss Kitty and the grandkittens. Like my mother, I am a great animal lover.

It is interesting to me that there is a contributor from Alaska, since I went with my dad, Marlys, and Grandma McCalla to Alaska when I was just 11 years old. Quite a trip!

Thanks for keeping in touch.

Judy McCalla
Salt Spring Island off British Columbia, Canada

Editor's comment: Yes, we do have contributors from Alaska ... Kathlyn and Argyle Anderson, but in addition we have Miss Kitty, Mai Tai and their housekeeper, Jerrianne (well, I imagine that is how they think of her) ... who is the Photo Editor and does the set up of the paper. Her brother Beaver is Don's and my son-in-law, as he is married to our daughter, Donna.

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

I can't believe it myself, so I surely can't expect you to, but ... this is 6:31 on Sunday evening, and I just turned over the last page (page 29) of this most interesting Bulletin. I usually have it read very thoroughly by at least Saturday noon, but this time I ended up reading it in installments, which lasted until Sunday evening.

Where do I ever start? First of all, I want to wish our Editor a very happy birthday. How I would love to remember it with lots of fanfare and attention, but I know Dorothy would not appreciate that. So, we will just calmly and sincerely wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY and another good year ahead.

I can't tell you the feelings I had as I looked into the expression of Hanna on the front page. For some reason, the word "trustworthy" seemed most appropriate for that beautiful dog. Then, reading the story of how Hanna became part of Don and Patty's family was very touching. It seems they were just the ones to have found her and taken her into their hearts. Gracie will not be back, but one has to go on with life. Hanna is never going to replace Gracie, but will surely fill the empty hearts of the Andersons. It sounds like she responds to her master's touch and voice in a way that she will be a protector and best friend, becoming more and more attached as time goes on.

And then, after that happy note, comes the news of Elaine needing home dialysis; we are thankful medicine has a solution for problems like that. The desert garden wildflowers encourage our Elaine to get back in the gardening game as as soon as weather and health permit!

By this time, the Morgans will be back in North Dakota, and the varied and interesting winter spent in Florida will all be a (special) memory. It has been nice to enter into all their entertaining of guests in sunny weather and beach activities as we shoveled snow.

What a surprise that Erik and Ashley Huseby are getting that big, already! They won't soon forget green eggs and ham! The loose tooth ended up being a good excuse to skip that part of the dinner, but I am sure Colette really wanted it herself, anyway. Fun that Ashley could actually "April Fool" Mom.

The mailbox story went over big again. Complete with pictures to prove it. Now Weston has us all eager to read the other stories he has in process. Not every damaged mailbox would be repaired and replaced as easily as that one. Weston, you have some good neighbors. Nice you got to meet them. You have to be a good neighbor to have a good neighbor.

Callie Jo Printz's introduction was just really fun reading. About her likes and dislikes and vocabulary and her good points, of which there were many. I'm glad we had an introduction again. Hope others will follow. That makes The Bulletin grow! That told a lot about her when she chose to buy her mom and dad a gift with her "pretend" $100. Innocence is so precious and so soon lost.

Then, the Update on the grand cats ... or is it grandkitties? Whatever, they are really getting big, and they seem to enjoy each other. Maybe that's just the side of the story we get through The Bulletin, but they have had a year together if I'm not mistaken so should be used to each other and have their own territory marked out. Does Miss Kitty have a Mr. Squid? That was such a funny picture with Oreo dive-bombing unsuspecting Cheerio. Is Mr. Squid a turtle? It looks like it on this picture. Can you tell I don't know much about cats?

This happens to be 1:49 on Wednesday now. I can't imagine that I could possibly have allowed that much time to pass while writing the LTTE for The Bulletin, but I finally am back at the computer. Better hurry before next Saturday gets here. Today is our Editor's birthday. Have been thinking of it all day. Now back to the LTTE ... Where was I? Oh yes, where Oreo dive-bombs Cheerio. That is such a clever picture. Good enough for a magazine!

I smile everytime I look at the picture of Donna Mae with that genuine, happy smile on her face. McKenna looks like she could be her baby picture -- same happy glee in her expression. Excellent picture of Donna Mae, and now it's heading into even another year! It sounds like you keep up a grueling schedule, even with your bones aching. I am so glad you have a new computer. You need that for sure, with all the friends you have eagerly waiting for your next chapter of the Johnson household.

What a special picture of Don and Dorothy! I loved the recollections by both, and you can tell that not one memory has faded of those happy first days together.

We were glad that Beaver finally got behind the keyboard again, with another story, and this time it was just as detailed as the other stories he's written -- so that you enter right into the situation as though you were standing beside him. He usually has an unforgettable experience when he attempts to buy something -- like the trailer this time. Having been Donald B. Johnson's son, Beaver would be schooled in handling the impossible and unimaginable.

I could not believe my eyes. LTD Storybrooke wrote another chapter of his 1988 story. Just like he never left The Bulletin, there he appears again, and another graphic illustration of the experiences on that sheep farm. The picture of the semi-load of wool was mind boggling. Think of all the sheep it took to produce that many bales of wool. This was worth waiting for, Larry. Now that you have this "Silent Visitors" chapter behind you, we are going to be looking for the next one. Thanks for the extreme effort you make to write your stories for us.

The Travelogue story on Morocco is still continuing, and we are glad. We are seeing places and things that we would never get to see otherwise, and I am just amazed at the photos of the storks. Such clear, sharp, close-up shots. Again, I say you must have a very special camera, Kjirsten. That nest is unbelievable. Nature is way beyond our imagination so much of the time.

It doesn't matter one bit that the Appalachian Trail Trek story is from April 1973; it sounds just like it could have been this April. Thank you for sharing this with us, Jerrianne. We can only shiver and look the other way when we think of what it must have felt like with no place to get in out of the weather, except a tent you had to set up first. To see the crossing of the border to another state would be an accomplishment that gave you incentive. I guess we have to believe you lived through it, as there you are in Alaska many years later.

I am getting too carried away. This is way too long. I must condense or else just stop right here. I can't stop until I comment on the "twins" pictures. That is incredible, isn't it? ... the likeness between mother [Dorothy] and daughter [Patty]?

Ethan Horne made it back into The Bulletin, I see. Those children are growing!

Thanks again for this Bulletin #303, and I hope you never lose your inspiration to produce a Bulletin every single week. We look forward to them with every confidence that the next one will be just as unusual and interesting and valuable as the last ones.

Betty Droel


Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Jennie Horne
Greg Dake ... could he be contemplating income taxes ... or the rebate?

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