Sunday, July 22, 2007
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Family Update -- home coming
We've got a lot of exciting things happening for us right now...
Last Wednesday, the offer we had put in on a house almost two months ago was officially approved (finally!). Typically, when you put an offer in on a home for sale, you will know within a day or so if your offer has been accepted. It took so long for us because the home was in pre-forclosure and the mortgage companies had to go through quite a long process to "sign off" on the sale. It was an intense and long waiting period, but everything is official now and was worth the wait. Our closing date will be July 31st, barring unforeseen circumstances.
Kurt and I are very excited to get into our own home and are anxious to retrieve all our belongings out of storage. My mother and step-father have been graciously allowing us to stay in their home while we've been in limbo for the past five months. No one had expected that it would be more than two or three months, but it has gone extremely well and the time has gone by fairly quickly.
Grandma Brenda and Grandpa Scott have enjoyed watching Madi grow on a daily basis and have informed us that she must stay with them when we move out! (Since she is still not sleeping through the night, I give them a week, tops, before they change their minds!)
Madilyn is growing and changing so much each day. She will be 6 months old at the end of the month, but she thinks she's much older! She wants to be assisted in standing ALL the time now. She's decided she's much too old and mature for that sitting or lying down stuff. I have a feeling that, a few months from now, she'll just get up one day and start walking.
Another interest of hers lately is grabbing anything and everything she can reach to inspect (and taste) it. She's getting quite good now at manipulating her toys and her pacifier. Her adorable baby head is starting to sprout some blonde hair, so she's had to retire her "Bald & Beautiful" T-shirt. And now, if something strikes her just right, she will laugh (and laugh), a hearty giggle at whatever she finds so amusing. Of course, the thing that she found so funny yesterday isn't at all entertaining today. Nevertheless, Mommy can often be spotted making funny noises and faces in hopes for another giggle fix.
Kurt is still enjoying his new(ish) job with Piller, Inc. His extensive travel schedule is starting to taper off, so we will get to see more and more of him. We're hoping that once his training is complete, we will have him home every night (or nearly so).
My job as a stay-at-home mommy is the most rewarding -- and the most demanding -- job I have ever had. It doesn't pay much, but the benefits are AWESOME! I wouldn't trade it for the world. I feel extremely grateful that I am able to be home with Madi.
I hope this letter finds each and every one of you well. We will keep you updated once we get into our house. I'm sure some photos of countless days of painting walls will follow...
UPDATE -- finding my way
It has been awhile since I sent an update to The Bulletin so I thought I better get caught up on my subscription. I have had a very busy first half of 2007. Highlights included vacations in Florida, New York City and San Francisco and work trips to Spokane, Grand Forks and Fort Wayne (twice). Sometimes it seems that I'm spending more time outside of the Central time zone than in it, a trend that will continue this weekend, when I'll be in Salt Lake City for a conference from Friday through Tuesday.
Earlier this summer, I tried my hand at landscaping, installing a garden in my back yard (with mixed results). The garden is still an ongoing process, so hopefully I'll make more progress if my summer ever slows down a little bit.
When I haven't been traveling or gardening, I've been very busy at work. My manager is in the process of leaving the company, which has allowed me to take on more project management responsibilities. It has been a great opportunity for advancement, but has also meant a lot of hours at times, even more so than usual. Fortunately, I've still found time to go to Twins games, play in a volleyball league once a week and hang out with my friends every now and then.
All of this activity has provided me with a lot of fodder for Bulletin articles, but has left me with very little time to actually write those articles. I'm hoping to atone for that in the coming weeks, starting with a Travelogue covering my trips to New York and San Francisco.
I appreciated the forget-me-nots in memory of Coni last week. I also received a nice flower arrangement from my family this week, which was very thoughtful. Of course that anniversary has been on my mind lately, although I have been keeping so busy, that I haven't had a lot of time to reflect on it. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Looking back, it seems impossible that it has been a year. I wouldn't say the year has gone by quickly, by any means, but it still doesn't seem like a year could have passed.
Overall, I feel that I am doing well. I still think about Coni every day, but I finally feel like I'm getting to the point where I can remember the good times instead of dwelling on the bad. I read an article lately whose premise was that people generally are not good at accurately predicting their emotions. We try to imagine what it would be like to win the lottery or if our favorite team captured a championship in our favorite sport, or how we would feel if we were paralyzed or lost someone we loved. According to the article, people who experience extreme highs generally find that their happiness was not impacted as greatly as they would have imagined. Conversely, those who experience extreme lows are surprised at their resiliency and their ability to adjust to their new world.
I'm starting to feel that there is truth in that. I have always tried to see the bright side of any situation, which has helped me remain relatively happy in life. These last couple of years have not been easy, and there was no such thing as a bright side to what happened to Coni, but what I've come to realize is, despite everything, I am still basically me. I am not the same person I was before meeting Coni and losing Coni. But I have generally kept my sanity and happiness. I still have the same dumb sense of humor. I can still get riled up over something as trivial as a baseball game. I guess what I am trying to say is I'm starting to feel normal again.
Day to Day R
Caity's Sister Comes To Visit
We had fun guests over the weekend. They arrived Saturday evening, after a fairly long drive from Wanamingo, Minnesota. It was Caity's sister, Rebecca "Bec" McGuire, her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Colin (4), Kiernan (3) and Cavan (1).
There were lots of activities crammed into that short time; Beaver took them on a cattle "safari," driving right out amongst the cows and calves. They climbed hay bales and found kittens! The children rode little cars in the new shop, played in the play yard and then, of course, took the big climb at the gravel pit. In the evening, we had a bonfire. I retired early, leaving the rest to enjoy the evening together.
The Matriarch Speaks W
The Editors are hoping to put Bulletin 267 to bed a little earlier than usual this coming week so the Photo Editor can concentrate on a photography workshop that begins on Friday. Please do keep those cards and letters and photos rolling in -- and the sooner the better! Thanks! --Ed.
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.
How many can you identify?
I'm guessing the young lady with the dog is my sister Genelle. I'm not certain about the dog but I will guess her name is Peg. I have no clue as to who the three people on the right are, though the oldest one does look familiar.
Editor's Note: Larry Dake, who supplied the photo for Bitzi's deft touch-up, called the subjects "My pals." He didn't identify the dog specifically or clarify the dog's ownership, as far as we know.
I don't like it when I feel that close to knowing who the GUESS picture is and then not really being sure. The eyes of the girl with the dog seem familiar, but probably my imagination. The next picture resembles features of Anita Pfingsten Weiland -- could it be Phoebe caring for her brothers?
Seems like we all recognized Vonnie in her nurse's uniform the previous week.
Betty Weiland Droel
I believe I know the answer to the mystery picture #2. That would be Aunty Lenore (Miller/Pfingsten), my Dad (Dick Miller) and Uncle Tom (Miller). The picture of my dad in profile looks so much like some of my brothers when they were young it is amazing. Great picture.
Carolyn Miller Dake
Thanks for another "guess" game. Don't think I know the girl with the dog but the other picture is my oldest sister, Lenore, with a couple of "tow-heads." My brother Dick is standing on the ground and the other one must have had wet pants 'cause she was about to take care of him ... whoever he is! At least 18 months old, so it had to be about 1930. Hope there is some other information to clarify...
Taking The Scenic North Route Home
After Ken and Amy's wedding, we decided to take the scenic route home. It is very flat right around Storybrooke Farm but you don't go very far before you get into gently rolling hills. We drove through farm country intermingled with wooded areas ... one beautiful country scene after another.
Mom and Dad have many memories of camping and fishing in northern Minnesota. We didn't find the exact places they mentioned but we did take a scenic wilderness drive through Itasca State Park.
We had hopes of seeing where they took a picture of me wading across the Mississippi River when I was 4 or 5 but we didn't find it before we ran out of time and needed to head for home.
We saw lakes in a couple of different places that were reminders of fishing days. As we came around one curve and down a little hill, we saw a loon having brunch. He was close enough to shore that we could see the fish he was wrestling with. It looked like a pretty good sized catch and it appeared to be putting up a fight going down...
It was an overcast day, so it made for easy traveling. We ran into a few rain showers before we reached home which was refreshing as it has been so dry. We ended our journey safely ... and were reminded that there isn't much that makes home look better than being away for awhile.
$ A Long Time Ago !
My Incredible Journey To Alaska
In the morning, we toured a lot of the mountain roads above the town of Homer and did other sightseeing during the day, stopping at the Alaska Wild Berry Shop. We bought some rose hips jelly, etc. to take home, also went by the Yah Sure Saloon, which we figured must have been built by a Norwegian from Minnesota. [The Yah Sure Club burned down a few years later.]
Toward evening, we went back out on the spit and had French-fried halibut and shrimp at a drive-in and bought a cooler full of frozen fish to bring back to Minnesota.
While we were out on the spit, three dogs that looked like they were representing at least 15 different breeds mixed together were playing out on a shallow sandbar. Kathy went down there with them and was picking up pretty shells that had washed up. Jerri and I were quite a ways up on the spit in the bus watching them when the tide started to come in and was cutting off their connection to the spit.
Kathy didn't notice it right away and we were wondering if we would have to call the Coast Guard to rescue them. By the time it dawned on her what was happening, she had to take off her shoes and she and the dogs waded to shore. In a short time, the whole sandbar was under several feet of water.
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More July Birthdays
More July Anniversaries
July Special Days
Miss Hetty's Mailbox:
Dear Miss Hetty,
I want to thank you for the cute birthday card you sent for my birthday. I had a great day. Our neighbors Kayla Copeland and Nancy Ruland took us out for noon buffet at Page, North Dakota, which included dessert of ice cream and the best chocolate cake, which had a caramel and nut frosting. Then, in the afternoon, a man who worked for us years ago came and we had coffee, birthday cake and ice cream. In the evening, a couple from Park Rapids, Marvin and Julie Grotte, and Walter and Donna Grotte from Finley, North Dakota, came for a visit and we repeated our afternoon menu. uff da....
My birthday was great ... what better way to spend it? Rachel, Gina and I went with some other girls to Emo, Ontario, Canada, for a church convention. Rachel threatened to sing "Happy Birthday" in the dining shed, but I put an end to that pretty quickly. I think I've celebrated three birthdays at Emo so far ... wouldn't mind spending a few more there. :)
Miss Hetty Says
Green thumbs must run in the Anderson family -- year around!
Mavis Anderson Morgan said she wanted to show you a picture of her pink clematis this year, as it is only two years old and has done so well. Elaine Anderson Wold sent the second picture a few months ago to show me how cheery her violets looked against the winter snow. She told me that the stand they are displayed on was given to her by Dwight and was the one he had originally made for his mom, Cleo Anderson.
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?
+ LETTERS TO THE EDITORS?
I so much enjoy The Bulletin each week, so I can't say enough about how much I appreciate all the hard work of the editors. I'm always completely entertained, even if I don't personally know everyone mentioned.
I had to chuckle at celebrating the 15th anniversary of Jim Miller's 70th birthday. I remember when I was celebrating the 10th anniversary of my 30th birthday some years ago. So many years ago, that next month I'll celebrate the 15th anniversary of my 40th birthday! Takes the sting out of growing older if you are still celebrating your 40th birthday!
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate being able to search through back issues of The Bulletin. A co-worker was talking about her daughter's recent field trip that took her to the Oklahoma City Memorial. I immediately remembered Weston's wonderful account of his experience. I went into The Bulletin website, clicked Stories, found Weston's stories and clicked on the Oklahoma City Memorial. There it was! Just that quick and easy. I shared the story with my co-worker and, as with the first time I read it, it brought tears to my eyes. And my co-worker's.
I'm so glad you provide the resource that made it so easy to review that touching account. Thank you again for The Bulletin, all 265 (almost 266, I'm sure) copies. Each Bulletin brings a smile, a chuckle or an outright guffaw, as well as a tear to the eye and a few awwww's between. Such talented writers and photographers! Keep up the good work.
Photo Editor's Note: The "Site Search" link also works. If you type in Oklahoma, a number of pages will come up -- including Weston's Oklahoma stories. We gave Weston's story collection a new title this week: "Where In The World Is Weston?" -- a title suggested by Weston.
Thanks to Uncle Tom for his piece on Grandma Miller's TB treatment and that time in their lives. I remember my dad talking about it so often but I had never put the whole thing together quite that neatly and specifically in my mind. Now my dad's remarks about Mabel make sense, etc. I was deeply touched by the account. Thanks again.
We would love to hear more -- fox farming maybe! Or Grandpa Miller's boat rental business? I remember the water running sound of the minnow tanks in his bait house.
I was also touched by the poem about Wyatt a couple of weeks ago. The Bulletin brings so many special things to our lives. Thank you.
Carolyn Miller Dake
There was a nice job done on the cannon story, as well as on the whole Bulletin, this time.
Good to hear about our "Florida" friend Jim Miller, having his 70 plus birthday and all who helped him celebrate.
Mavis Anderson Morgan
Photo Editor's Note: We hope you checked out the Hope cannon web gallery link, which shows the building of the new cannon carriage from start to finish in 44 photos that were sent to The Bulletin.
Betty, do you have any more pictures of Gust and Edith Anderson's old house? I still remember the fish pond in the front that someone would inevitably fall into, or get pushed into, after meeting. We went there for union meeting on the fifth Sunday of the month.
Thanks for forwarding me The Bulletin.
(Dr.) Tom Miller
Old friends are precious. Old pictures are precious. Especially when they are of loved ones and family. This picture was taken beside a little pond in Edith Anderson's yard that (Dr.) Tom Miller mentioned. Verlaine Weiland was looking through her mother, Edith Anderson's, pictures and ran across this prize:
These children by the fish pond are, from left to right, Lenore (Miller) and Henry Pfingsten's oldest son, Arlin, with his sister and my sister-in-law, Anita (Pfingsten) Weiland, and Verlaine (Anderson) Weiland, also my sister-in-law. The little boy on the right is Walter Pfingsten, Arlin's and Anita's brother. I see that Verlaine has a doll -- just like her granddaughters, Shalana and Krista Weiland, have their beloved American Girl dolls, Abby and Kristina.
These two girls from the Atwater area married my two brothers from Minneapolis, which I think is an unusual coincidence.
This is a nostalgic moment to share. It all stems from the old family picture of the Millers that brought memories to the surface of several who enjoyed seeing it in The Bulletin.
Betty Weiland Droel
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
The illustration of Storybrooke Farm with the title printed across the sky, as it was, looked just like a book cover. If it were a book of experiences on the Storybrooke Farm, I'm sure it would sell to the old timers up in that country, as well as to us. Very peaceful scene and beautiful blending of nature's colors. -- Thanks, Bitzi.
Levi waits his turn to be the number one picture again. His little baby sister had to take a place way down the line. She is going to be another cute addition to The Bulletin with all that personality and snappy eyes. They don't stay little very long.
I keep looking at that picture, trying to make Larry Dake out of it. He has changed. The spinning wheel in the background and the wood stove with a fishbowl sitting on it (being it was summer) looked like a Good Old Days pose. I thought the ink cartridge was running out, but then decided it must be the sun shining through the blinds, making the striped shirts on them both.
I knew Madi would be growing all too fast, but hardly expected her to be so big already. A smiler, like her mother!
I was so glad to get in on the Miller reunion through The Bulletin report. Good that Jim could come to Minnesota to keep up with the changes in those of his family who could make it to come.
The Civil War ceremony was impressive. People become very dedicated when it's a cause like that. Thank you for the coverage of that occasion, and sharing it so meaningfully.
I was so impressed with the delicate, beautiful blue Forget-Me-Nots in memory of Coni. What a thoughtful poem about SMILE, which was so typical of Coni and what most remember about her having, even in her most difficult moments. One almost felt a hushed respect reading that memory page.
Thanks to Uncle Tom for his details of Olive and her TB stay at the Sanitarium. Harold Naef was there at that sanitarium. That was where he met a fellow patient, Allan Harris (wife, Eldora). They lived near Willmar, so maybe several had met them, too.
I was touched to see where Amy Dake took all the substitute Moms under her wing. So typical of Amy, and how the hungry Millers would have appreciated the meals Bill and Amy served. No wonder Lenore had so many stories to tell in my hearing of her time caring for her family in the mother's absence.
Right away I looked to see, and YES, it was to be continued. So, we got to enjoy another chapter of "My Incredible Journey To Alaska," and more to come. I remember having been in Homer myself. Had some of the most delicious baked, stuffed salmon I will ever eat in our friends' home there. Alaska is so spectacular and breathtaking. To just stand and observe the views, a person is wordless describing it accurately. I wonder what Cap'n Jack and Virginia will have to tell us when they get back from their Alaska trip?
It seems like every week The Bulletin gets to be shorter, but it really isn't. In fact there were more pages to it in the printed copy than usual. It's just that it is so captivating you hate to see the end.
That birthday picture of Jim Miller is about how he looked as I remember. That would have been taken a few years ago now, but he is one who will always be young.
Ginny, I loved reading your Letter to the Editor about the chocolate recipe. You expressed it perfectly for the rest of us. Also all the rest of your LTTE was very interesting, and you are to be thanked, too, as you provide a lot of the special features that are part of each Bulletin. Doing a very necessary work in the background -- we can't forget you, too. Where would we be without your camera and expertise on graphics?
Sue, unless Verlaine also tells you, Edith Anderson would get her mail at Rich and Verlaine Weiland's, 758 109th Ave NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448. She would so appreciate any little thought of her as she spends her long days and long nights in the Park River Estates care center in Coon Rapids near Verlaine. It's hard to think of one who was so kind and hospitable to others for so many years to no longer be able now. She turned 99 years old on June 26th.
Marloes is enjoying her youth, by the looks of it. How many of us could leap like that? I don't remember EVER being that limber and graceful. The quotation for the day was: "Joy is not in things, it is in us." It looks like Marloes has that happy heart -- maybe the Netherlands [and/or Spain! --Ed.] is a great place to be.
No doubt about the CHUCKLES being from a few years ago. Very pretty ladies, and an especially artistic illustration of the Foto-Funnies, as usual.
As Ginny said, thank you to you editors for all your dedicated work to produce another Bulletin for us. Unless folks contribute their updates and letters and stories, we couldn't even have a Bulletin, so it's thanks to all for keeping our excitement at a peak as Saturday morning comes.
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Quotation for the day: In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams
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This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.