Sunday, March 29, 2009
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UPDATE -- fighting a flood as the Red River rises...
Wednesday morning, March 25th -- In about the last 48 hours or so, Fargo-Moorhead has had flooding, thunderstorms with hard rain, and this morning -- four inches of snow, with up to four more inches on the way. The snow is actually probably a lot better than rain, as it will be a lot slower to make its way to the river. But it will probably make the river stay high for a little longer duration. Forecasts call for freezing weather for the next few days, which should help slow the rapid flow to the rivers.
Some good news is that the Red River at Wahpeton crested a foot or two lower than they were predicting, and has already begun to descend. But the Wild Rice river, which joins the Red just south of Fargo, is still rising, albeit very slowly at this point. It is very near its crest (but already a tenth of a foot above flood stage).
The predicted crest is still right at 40 feet, at about midnight Sunday. At that level, we're still fine at our house. Even if it goes to 41 feet, we would still be fine.
I left work at noon on Tuesday to go help a neighbor (whose house looks directly out over the river) put in a few sandbags. By the time I got there, they were done, so I went up to Oakport (just north of Moorhead) to do what I could to help. I ended up filling sandbags for about four hours, using some homemade sandbag fillers that were essentially a wood 2 by 4 frame, about six feet long by two feet wide, with two bottomless flower pots screwed in.
I filled bags with Jake, another software designer about my age, and Amanda, a sophomore at Moorhead High School. Amanda got the next bag off the bundle, opened it, and handed it to Jake. Jake then put it under the flowerpot, and I shoveled three scoops of sand into each bag. Jake and I traded off scooping and holding, while Amanda (who was out there for about eight hours) always had the next bag ready for us.
Including stops to let the sand truck back in and dump, the three of us were making about 200 bags per hour. And there were seven other stations, exactly like ours, as well as at least a dozen other stations standing around the pile, filling with nothing but a shovel and a person holding an empty sandbag.
As we filled, weary but grateful residents backed in with their trailers, pickups, or tire trucks, and others moved our sandbags into their vehicles. It was an incredible thing to see, all of these people working together so efficiently. One huge tire truck with a half dozen college students backed in, and they immediately began entertaining us while they worked, singing songs and acting goofy. In this time of crisis, they helped me remember myself 12 years ago, a college student living in the dorms, not knowing the stress of worrying about my own home. Back then, Jolene and I filled sandbags with countless other students and area residents at "sandbag central."
The Fargo Forum website has been doing a great job of keeping things updated, but a lot of people have been asking, so I thought I'd give a quick report from inside the lines!
Wednesday afternoon, March 25th -- here's another interesting link (Fargo Forum floodcam).
Photo Editor's Note: Found this note at the link Friday afternoon: Cam OFFLINE as of 03:00 on 03.27.09. Workers at the cam location were evacuated and we cannot access the building at the present time. We will bring the cam back online as soon as we can. Thank you.
The bridge on the right (Center Avenue bridge) is the one I had to come over today, because the 12th Avenue N toll bridge that I usually use is already seven feet underwater! The water is normally about 20 feet below these bridges. Now its within a couple feet! The Center Avenue bridge will close sometime today or tonight.
The 1st Ave N bridge that I would use next is already closed because the west end of it runs directly into the dike they built to protect downtown Fargo.
Since the north routes are already closed due to sandbagging operations in Oakport, that will leave the new Main Avenue bridge (which is on the left in the video feed) as my next option. That should stay open throughout, but I'm guessing the traffic will be pretty bad! The I-94 bridge should also stay open, but that's my last resort!
I don't even know why I'm at work; all I can think about is flood!
Saturday morning, March 28th -- The water is touching our new sandbag dike in one low spot. Everywhere else it's still a couple of feet away. There's some water in the middle of our street; that's stuff that has come up the storm drain. We're still south of the Country Club Division that has been evacuated. Our development is called the Country Club South Addition. So we're still riding it out at our house. My mom came and got the girls on Thursday night, taking them to her house in Millerville.
The river appears to actually be dropping this morning. They're not ready to say that it's going to keep doing that, though.
UPDATE -- Kjirsten accepted for residency in Albuquerque
In Bulletin 350, Kjirsten Swenson mentioned interviewing for her upcoming emergency medicine residency in various cities across the country. In January she revisited Chicago and took time to view more famous Chicago landmarks and post pictures of her adventures on the web.
In March, Kjirsten was thrilled to get her first choice for the next three years for her residency in Emergency Medicine -- Albuquerque, New Mexico! (But we're still planning to use more of her "quest" photos from this winter in the next few issues! --Photo Ed.)
FAMILY UPDATE -- the Indermarks
Arizona is getting warmer! We have been enjoying some beautiful weather these last few weeks -- in the 80's. Although with nice, warm weather came the TERRIBLE allergy season. Both boys have had to deal with itchy eyes and sneezing.
Our babysitter, Jagoda, is on vacation for three long weeks. She has traveled back to Poland to visit her family. While she is gone, the boys are in the daycare at Jordan's school. Tyler has loved every minute of school. Alex, on the other hand, has never been in a "daycare" so he is not too fond of sharing attention with other kids.
Jim and I have been keeping busy with work and travel. We took a long weekend and went to Florida last month to spend some time with Grandpa Miller. We were able to help Grandpa with his house; we even had time to bury our feet in the sand at Bradenton Beach.
Jim's parents will be visiting us next week, to help with the kids while Jagoda is on vacation. I am looking forward to the much needed help!
Since Alex turned one in February, I thought it was time for updated pictures -- some of my favorites from our trip to JC Penney's.
Jim & Kristi
UPDATE -- tumultuous times
Some weeks, news trickles in -- this week it came in a flood -- literally. Along with rain, snow, blizzards and thunderstorms in the Midwest. In Anchorage, we had some dandy avalanches and a volcano that has been erupting every few hours all week. So far, we've been lucky and most of the ash has gone north, but if the wind shifts, we could be in trouble very quickly. The ash is very bad for lungs and anything with moving parts and, especially, electronic equipment. We've been able to get The Bulletin out, but most airline flights were cancelled this week. It's a mess! It has been snowing and that helps cleanse the air and settle the ash. It's sloppy, but it helps!
As it happens, this week was the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound and Friday was the 45th anniversary of the Great Alaska Earthquake, the strongest earthquake ever recorded in North America ... and Anchorage was right in the middle of it. (The next big one is overdue.) It was also the grandkittens' second birthday. So far, this week's activity has made for interesting news stories and fascinating pictures ... and we are grateful that it hasn't been any worse.
Miss Jerrianne said she would catch up on the news that didn't fit this week (and photos that she didn't find time to prepare) next week ... volcano eruptions permitting!
Day to Day R
Sandbagging At Wyatt and Jolene's
Beaver and Ben each drove one of our pickups. I brought along some food, and off we headed for Moorhead, to see what we could do to help.
Marlene, Whitney and Mark also brought their pickup and went and waited in line with Ben and Beaver. They all waited for hours! While the guys were moving forward, or just sitting in line, Marlene and Whitney were helping the people inside crank out over 8,000 sand bags an hour! Pretty amazing.
Back at the house, many people showed up to make a low dike around the houses in Wyatt and Jolene's neighborhood. Friends, relatives and total strangers showed up to help them try to protect their homes from the encroaching river. (Rylie, Brooklynn and Camryn are staying with their grandma outside the flood area, so they aren't having to worry about them.)
Even in the time we were there, the water moved in ever closer. Before we left, they were evacuating the homes north of them. Time will tell whether the efforts paid off.
The Matriarch Speaks W
Rachel Returns To Minnesota
Rachel is home from Ecuador. She arrived this week end and spent the time since her arrival in getting acclimated. She has a niece (who she had never actually met in real life before) and two nephews who sort of remember her to get acquainted with, as well as lots of other friends and relatives to greet and catch up with. But today, Monday, March 23rd, she came by our home. We loved seeing those three girls!
We had a couple hours to see for ourselves that Rachel, Gina, and Abby are all just doing fine! We had a visit, a demonstration of Spanish, an update on immediate plans, and a catch up on baby's skills -- and then, to remember this all by, I have a new calender from Ecuador. I get to keep that and can practice my foreign language skills (very meager) on reading the information contained on it, thanks to Rachel.
Back to the immediate plans: Gina and Abby are riding along with Rachel, who is the one with most of the plans -- while Gina and Abby spend some time with Leah, Gina's sister. Rachel will stay with a couple of the ones she knew from school days there. She is going to spend at least part of her next two days setting up the credentials needed to make her ready for graduation in the middle of May. She is at present also working on her Senior Capstone, the last Paper to complete the final requirements for graduating from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
One note of interest: Rachel and her mother, Patty Henderson, will be in the same graduating class. A while ago, Patty was setting up the credentials for her graduation after completing the work on her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Won't that be nice? A daughter and a granddaughter graduating from North Dakota State University in the same ceremony!
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? What's going on?
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.
I think the mystery photo is a picture of Kjirsten Swenson taking a picture of herself in "The Bean" in Millennium Park in Chicago. I see the Chicago skyline in the background complete with the Jay Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry.
That's Kjirsten taking her picture reflected on the Chicago "Bean."
Mitzi Johnson Swenson
As far as the GUESS picture, I am very sure that is Kjirsten Swenson in Chicago. Looks like the same person taken in front of "the Bean" there. So that was Tyler, Mitzi and Sheldon's son, in last week's GUESS picture. We haven't seen much of Tyler yet. How about some updates on that young man? Other than playing with the butane torch.
Betty Weiland Droel
Photo Editor's Note: You may recall that Tyler helped us learn about "Dutch Babies" (Pannekoeken) and shared a recipe that has become one of my favorites. --Jerrianne
A new series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, but we still have a few stories from 1946, just after World War II. Two weeks ago I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow about Lois and Bill Dake. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.
Second Sunday Home: November 24, 1946
After Meeting this morning, we had a quick lunch and then we got in the cars to go to Grandpa and Grandma Mellon's 50th wedding anniversary. Gert and I decided to ride with Bill and Lois. LeRoy, Dad, and Mom rode with Blanche and Jim. (They would all have to go home earlier for chores.)
We wanted to get there early enough so we could help Grandma with the last minute preparation for the Open House that was to start at 2:30 and continue until 6:30 (or whenever the last guests would quit coming). It was the first time I have gotten to ride in their new car. Bill is pretty lucky to work for Ernest Metcalf at the Chevy garage, as cars aren't so easy to get -- they are not in full production yet.
I spent the time while we were making the trip finding out about all the latest in Lois's plans. They now have a crib and a baby changing table. She said that when her dad and mom and Coy Nell came, while I was in the hospital, they brought lots of her stuff, packed into the trunk and half of the back seat of their big Cadillac. Of course I have been up to see her a couple times since I came home ... so I really knew that they have lots of sweet things for "our baby's arrival," which is to be very soon now. Lois has trouble with swelling ankles, so she needed to keep her feet on the ottoman this afternoon.
The first people I got to see when we arrived were my cousin Rolly, Marcella and Tommy (who has grown so much in the months since I saw him last). I am so glad that none of them caught polio from me!
Grandpa was excited to show me something that is special to him and that he knew I would think special. Grandpa and Grandma have lots and lots of cards but the one he especially wanted me to see was from Hubert Humphrey, the mayor of Minneapolis. Grandpa and he had met (and become instant friends, I think) during the time Grandpa was a Minnesota Senator. They met at the capitol in our capital at St. Paul, where Mr. Humphrey was working in the War Production office, and then, later, the War Manpower section.
We girls were to unwrap the gifts and set them out to display, with the card clearly showing who gave each (and enter them in a notebook so Grandma can write "thank you's" later). So Gert and I took turns and cousin Diana Mellon (who is only 8) helped us when she wanted to.
Blanche, Lois, Aunt Daisy, and Mom helped with serving the guests their lunch. They cut the cakes and dished up the ice cream and put out the cute bell-shaped, open face sandwiches ... and the nuts, mints, and also little gherkin pickles. Oh, it was a very nice lunch and a jolly crowd, as Grandpa is a tease and so gets teased a lot, too. I could hardly take in that I was here in Grandma and Grandpa's home for their grand occasion!
It got rather crowded as my grandparents are business people and have lots of friends, plus there are lots of relatives, too. But people did not stay so very long, so there seemed to be room for everyone. They have lots of nice gifts ... and I must say they made a handsome couple. A 50th wedding anniversary! How very special -- not too many people make it! There were times this summer when I did not think I would see this special moment ... BUT HERE I AM! Many more happy anniversaries, dear Grandma and Grandpa!
Larry McCorkell sent us a manuscript he transcribed from his father's tape recorded memories and made it available to The Bulletin for a series of excerpts. These stories were originally tape recorded by Bruce McCorkell of his growing up days on the homestead near Effie in northern Minnesota. They were recorded from a period of the mid 1980's until the early 2000's. These are Bruce's words of happy, sad, funny, good, and hard times.
When I was growing up, we lived out there on the homestead and my old Uncle Amos Randall had a sawmill that was run by a steam engine. He lived over on Highway One about three miles south of our place. Every spring they'd saw for a while, maybe a month or so. People that wanted some lumber sawed would bring their logs in during the winter and he'd saw them. I used to go over there and sometimes he'd be sawing on our mud vacations when we didn't go to school. It was always fun to go over there and see the mill work. My dad used to go over there and help him.
My dad had a mill and my Uncle Walter McCorkell had a mill, so I had quite a bit of experience around sawmills, at least when I was young. Uncle Walt had a tie mill. Uncle Walt and I cut jackpine into eight-foot sticks. Uncle Walt used to shoot mice at night in his shack with a forty-five. When I stayed in the shack when we sawed lumber, we made sourdough pancakes. I also helped my dad cut pulpwood in the wintertime on Saturdays and vacations. I learned how to cut pulpwood in the woods. That's in the days when they cut it by hand. They didn't have chain saws.
Later, we perched on a stone wall overlooking the port where we could see dhow sailboats coming and going. For a languid hour or so we watched as a few stopped to unload the day's catch onto the beach and others collected passengers and produce to transport to nearby islands.
As the afternoon lengthened, we wandered through the town's maze of winding streets, stopping often to admire the colonial architecture. On the outskirts, the buildings resembled those I'd seen in other parts of rural Africa. They were simple structures constructed of stone or coral with mud walls and thatched roofs. But the town's center provided evidence of European influences in the island's history. It consisted of broad dirt avenues lined with stately colonial buildings in various conditions of disrepair. Some were brightly painted and beautiful; others were falling apart in a most photogenic manner.
I was especially delighted by the trees that seemed to grow anywhere that was uninhabited, their roots wrapping around stone walls and branches stretching out of second story windows.
To be continued...
Celebrations & Observances
This Week's Special Days
This Week's Birthdays
This Week's Anniversaries
More April Birthdays
April Special Days
Miss Hetty Says:
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?
We've loved The Bulletin so much, and look forward to it each week. We have especially enjoyed your story about the polio. I had a great aunt and a great uncle with polio, and it makes me wonder about their days with diagnosis and recovery. Thank you for sharing with us!
However, we have to request that you take us off of your list. We have switched back to dial up, and it just can't handle the pictures like our satellite connection could. I know Carol prints some of them off, and we'll just have to get our Bulletin fix when we go to see her! :)
Editor's Note: Of course we can't lose a good subscriber like you! I will put you in my mailing group that I send the URL to each week and you can read it on the web. I hope if there is anyone else having trouble with Bulletins that have gotten too big for dial up that you will let us know. We can take the burden off your e-mail inbox and still make it easy for you to read it on the web, too! --DMA
Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
I have usually seen yellow daffodils that I can remember, so this was quite a surprise to find the delicate pink, fragile-looking, beautiful blossom for the first picture. It blended in so nicely with all the variety of flower pictures in the following Greetings from the Netherlands by our friend, Frans de Been. These are the real and genuine crocuses from the famous gardens in Netherlands.
It is quite a privilege to have these folks as your friends, Editor, and it adds so much interest and beauty to have their stories and pictures included in The Bulletin when they have an opportunity and time to send them. I don't think I have ever seen such a carpet of the lilac and purple blooming crocuses as Rian is cycling past.
I am just so impressed at the vast, far away places Kjirsten has been to. She is one strong, brave, curious. and able young lady. She must maintain a dignity to keep from the danger of being molested in all these places and travels as she must need to carry her possessions, and usually she is alone. It seems that one time she did lose a camera, or do I have that wrong?
And then Mitzi was telling us about the achievements and honors and special awards that Kjirsten has earned in spite of all she includes in her schedule as far as travels and trips. She must be exceptional to stay right up to speed in her difficult studies for such a choice of profession. We do feel she has done well to include all the photo work she does, and her detailed accounts of the destinations which would be very time consuming, yet she thinks of her Bulletin friends who love to read it.
We could almost see that tall, slim lady answering the door there, and inviting Kjirsten in to her simple but accommodating room and meals. The historian gentleman who shared his treasures of the story and history of Ibo would vividly remember this young lady from America, who listened so intently to his Portuguese. I just can't imagine those silversmith men working on the floor like they do. So limber and young. I was pretty happy to see it is still to be continued.
Is that little baby Kierra really getting to be so big already? I wonder who else thinks she favors her daddy? She has such a sharp, alert look in her eye. A cutie from any angle.
Donna Mae giving us a look at Caity's band concert is just one more indication that Caity is nearly a young adult already. We have watched her grow up through The Bulletin's pages, and although I have never even met most of these folks, I feel like I know them as friends. I do sincerely enjoy The Bulletin and its homey, pure family news and pictures.
To look at the picture of Dorothy and her cousin Judy, who have both suffered the polio illness, and are going on with life was meaningful. Dorothy always has a smile. The grace and gentleness I witness in her spirit are an inspiration to me.
Judy and Jack's summer home reminded me of the Red Chair Antique family's home in Isanti. I wish they would send in an update letting us know what they are doing toward a spring opening or whenever. That is such a quaint place. People only need to get acquainted and familiar with it, and they will have lots of shoppers.
Memory Lane was again about the difficulty of walking again. We had to laugh at Grandpa thinking that the exercise seemed so easy, and he couldn't even begin to compete. What an interesting picture to see the home place and all the old cars. Roy can name just about any old car (or new one) that he sees, and usually the date, too.
Oh yes, Bruce, your stories of northern Minnesota in those days of growing up would have to include a skunk or two. No one could even imagine the disaster it would be to have that skunk smell lingering, and no modern equipment or appliances or water power to clean it up. Bruce's account sounds just like he's sitting here telling it himself. He was such a quiet man. I can't picture him dictating these chapters to his son, Larry.
I always enjoy reading the Miss Hetty column. It does take inspiration to sit down and send a letter to her. That is so necessary to keep her motivated. I, too, was wondering just where Weston is now.
Rich Johnson told Miss Hetty that he would enjoy helping with the house that was moved if he was available and not out in Boise, Idaho. I can vouch for the work Rich would do, too. I was staying with Norman and Nancy Johnson (Rich's uncle and aunt) when they had Rich come over and do some finishing work inside their home. It was such beautiful perfect precise work, and so quietly and quickly done. I was so impressed and thought if we ever needed anything done that he would definitely be the one we would ask, but so far that hasn't happened as we haven't needed anything and Rich is far, far away.
Mitzi mentioned that Kjirsten graduates in May. That will be a grand, exciting occasion for sure. Then the real living will begin, and moving into the professional medical world will absorb all her moments for sure. I hope we can keep updated on her future plans.
WOW, we haven't seen a close up like that of Kira. That smiling, mischievous face could make anyone feel happy just looking at her.
The Quotation for the day is exactly like our weather right now here in Minnesota. The sun makes it so nice and warm, but the shade and the evening are jacket weather yet. The first day of spring has come and gone, and with it is all our snow.
Thank you again our Editor and Photo Editor for another very easy to read and enjoyable Bulletin. Each one is so varied and so different in the subjects. It never gets to be a predicted feeling as we read it, and we end up having to read it word for word rather than skimming through it quickly. This doesn't happen without a lot of work being done in the background, and for most of the week.
To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.
Quotation for the day: We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear. --Martin Luther King, Jr.
EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is email@example.com
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.