Thursday, September 29, 2016

It was a great Labor Day!

Hans, Josiah and Annika came to Minnesota for the long Labor Day weekend. I picked them up at the airport on Friday night and they slept at my house. On Saturday morning, Pete and Jan drove up from St. James to take Josiah and Annika back to their place and Peder came to pick up Hans. We played Yahtzee while we waited for them to arrive.

Sunday afternoon around 4, everyone returned, including Peder's family, plus Steve. Everyone wanted pizza, so we drove to Godfather's.

Again, Hans, Josiah and Annika spent the night at my home and in the morning we loaded up their belongings and went to the State Fair. This was the first time for Hans' kids to be there. Peder and his family went also. I had reserved an electric cart, and that was perfect!

Hans, Annika and Josiah in the race cars

Josiah and Annika in the Dairy Building with the carved butter heads

Josiah petting a baby animal

Annika (Hans in the background) in the Agriculture Building by the giant pumpkins

Josiah posing next to the largest pumpkin

Annika and Aurelia

Josiah and Annika chilling out before it was time to return to the airport.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Nancy's Cabin

My friend Nancy invited me to come to her cabin last week. Her parents bought this land in 1959 and Nancy has told me about ever since I have known her. This was my first invitation, and I was really excited to see it.

After visiting Pine Haven Christian Assembly, we drove to Park Rapids and ate at Summerhill Farm, just north of the city. They had a lovely outdoor seating area. Here's Nancy with her lunch.

Entrance to Nancy's property

This is a big meadow. Just beyond it are red pine trees. Nancy had 35,000 of these trees planted 6 years ago.

I love this shot of Nancy standing among her the trees in one of her woods.

The drive to Nancy's cabin is really long. I didn't ask her just how far it is. 

Inside the pole barn. This building was a big part of the nursery business she and her father ran. Nancy is standing on the back of the big John Deere tractor. She's been working to clean out this building and I thought it looked great!

A beautiful, little waterfall, gurgling from her lake, which they named Rose Lake. This water flows to a little creek.

Nancy's cabin

The kitchen. Nancy recently remodeled this room with granite counter tops, new backsplash, and new appliances.

Living room with new carpet

I love this fireplace. There is no shortage of birch wood!

Putting on her shoes to join me in the front yard

Beautiful Rose Lake. This is a 50 acre lake. There is a bit of wild rice growing along the shoreline. 

Lone Canada Goose. I watched this goose for quite awhile. It seemed to enjoy snacking on the wild rice. Later I spotted about 30 Canada Geese in one of the bays. When they decided to make a move, they swam in single file to another part of the lake. 

Nancy in some of the tall grasses

Later in the afternoon we took off for Itasca State Park, which is only 7 miles from Nancy's property. Here we are walking on the pathway that leads to the start of the Mississippi River.

 I don't know how long this post has stood here, but I believe it was here when I was in 6th grade. It was so nice to see how nice the park is kept, in spite of the big wind storm that blew through the park early in the morning of July 21—the same storm that hit Ely when Peder's family and my cousin Linda were at a resort on Burntside Lake and Janet, Pat and I were in a hotel in Ely.

Nancy and I had a delicious dinner at the Douglas Lodge within Itasca State Park. The table was set with the beautiful, scalloped place mat shown below. The flower is the Lady's Slipper, Minnesota's state flower. If you double click any photo, you'll see it enlarged. The placemat boasts of the state park's 125th anniversary year. 

Notice the log over the pathway? It should not be there. It is one of the many, many trees that fell in that terrible July 21st storm. Our waitress told us the state law allows fallen trees to be removed from the roadways, but if they are not interfering with the road, they must remain where they fell due to nature. There were parts of the park that looked like a war zone—especially at East Entrance.

The next morning we drove back to Nancy's cabin to check on a few things. This part of her land has been named Norway Pine Point. Apparently, years ago, one of the friends became lost during a winter storm. He wandered around and when he came to a familiar Norway Pine tree on a point of land, he knew where he was and could walk back to the cabin. Thus, the name Norway Pine Point.

Nancy grew up on this land and it was obvious to me just how much she loves it. 

The front view of the cabin

Paul Bunyan and his baby crib in Akeley, Minnesota, home of my dear, dear friend, Lil.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pine Haven Christian Assembly

Saturday my friend Nancy and I drove up to northern Minnesota to see her cabin in the woods. On the way, we stopped by Pine Haven Christian Assembly to take a look. This is the church camp I attended each summer after 5th grade through the summer after my junior year in high school. My dear friends Judy and John Otto met us there and took us around the camp grounds and we had so much fun reminiscing the old times. Currently they have a cabin a little ways from the camp and in summer, Judy works in the camp office. Here are some of the photos:

L to R: yours truly, Tay (camp manager), John, and Judy

The entrance to the camp

Judy Kooy Otto with the Lodge in the background

Judy and I in the Naomi cabin. She and I stayed in this cabin as campers.

John and Nancy outside cabin Naomi
The Chapel

Inside the chapel, at my request, John sang "How Great Thou Art."  He has a beautiful voice.

The canteen is located inside this beautiful log cabin.
It was great to see the camp in such a beautiful state. Many people over the years have donated many wonderful things and hours and hours of labor. I sure enjoyed seeing it again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

She Winked at Me

I wasn't shopping for a new car because I loved my car. It is a Final Edition of the New Beetle. It has "Final Edition" plaques on either side of the car. 1500 of these beautiful blue, hardtop versions were made and 924/1500 is engraved on the steering wheel.

This photo is from May 2010. I'm standing between my red 1998 New Beetle (first edition) and my new, 2010 Final Edition, on the left. My boss bought the red car from me and still drives it.

Saying "good-bye" to my blue 2010 VW
Friday I was at the Volkswagen dealership to check on a warning light that had flickered the night before while driving on the highway. While they were looking at my car, I meandered into the sales room. That was a mistake. There I saw a beautiful new Beetle. It was a "limited edition" — a white convertible with a blue denim roof. The seats were covered in blue denim with white piping and the backs of the seat pockets were stitched like the back pockets of Levi jeans—double red stitching.

I'll cut to the chase. I ended up driving one of the "Limited Editions" and was impressed with the handling and the new safety features. It got me thinking: at my age, it would be good to have these features. As I was getting out of the car, I realized a convertible was not practical for me, but then "she" winked at me. She was parked two cars away and her beautiful tornado red took me in.

I walked over to her and looked in her window. The dashboard was exceptional! I said to the salesperson, "I'd like to have a look inside." Once in, I was sold. So I put the car on "hold" for 24 hours so I could think it over, pray about it, and discuss it with my brother and dear friend, Lil. Saturday I called back to say I wanted to purchase it. The rest is history.

Here I am sitting in my new car.