Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fond Memories

Yesterday I went to the memorial service for one of the dear neighbors we had when I was young. She was one of the many wonderful mothers in our very special neighborhood. Two things I recalled about Neola was that she had been part of the Ice Capades when she was a young women. She taught several of us how to skate backwards and do cross-overs. The fact that she shared this always made her special to me.

Also, they were the first family in our neighborhood to get a TV. But they wanted to be sure we could all share in the fun and let us pack into their living room to watch this new marvel.

Our neighborhood did lots of things together. For years we had neighborhood picnics, held in one another's back yards. My dad had a movie camera, so we have movies of the picnics, bonfires, and even of me riding my first bike (3rd grade). The 12 or so mothers had a birthday club and had fun celebrating each of their birthdays together.

Neola's kids (my contemporaries) thought it would be fitting for her mom's memorial day to have a picnic, so yesterday about 60+ people gathered at one of our city parks and poured over old pictures and talked about our memories. Several of the old neighbors were able to attend, including the last remaining "mother" and her daughter, Vae. Vae and I had played together when she was home from school with the measles and I with chicken pox. We all agreed that we were rich to have experienced such a loving neighborhood in which to grow. Neola, you were a blessing to me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another Family Member Has Become a Blogger

My niece, Lynn, has joined the world of blogging. You can check it out here. I'm so happy about this as it sure keeps our family connected.

Many years ago our family kept up each other's news and comings and goings with the 'Round Robin. I'm not sure who started it, but it worked like this: someone, such as my mom, wrote a letter and mailed it to my Aunt Liz. Aunt Liz read it and then wrote her letter and put both letters in an envelope and mailed them to my Aunt Ginny. Aunt Ginny read both letters and added one of her own. Then she mailed them to my mother, who would remove her first letter and add an undated one. This continued for years. Oh, how exciting it would be when the 'Round Robin appeared in one's mailbox.

Eventually this included me, my brother and sister, and my cousins. When it came to me, I would set aside some time to sit down and read each letter. Sometimes this was the only time I would hear from far away cousins. Occasionally we would include photographs. As more family members were included, it would often take 9 months to make the rounds, especially when one would keep it for months and would finally discover it under some other papers, would jot a quick note of apology and get it sent on its way. Of course, an envelope had to get larger and larger.

That 'Round Robin ceased to exist some years ago - I can't really say when. Its replacement has been emails, and now blogs. I love how the blogs keeps my family connected. If you've been thinking about creating one, please do it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Observing the Colors

Last Saturday was Flag Day in America. While Aurelia still slept, I hung my flag on my patio. There was a breeze most of the day, so it waved gently, looking grand. While sitting out there later in the day, it reminded me of one particular afternoon while in Stuttgart, when Hans, Rachel and I were outside watching Josiah and Annika, and other children playing on the playground equipment. The children stopped what they were doing and stood quietly. Then Hans commented, "Oh, they've stopped for 'The Colors.'" He went on to explain that everyone, everywhere on U.S. military bases around the world, stops what they are doing in respect for the raising or lowering of the flag. At that point, I remembered our bus stopping mid-route while on the base in Japan, while the flag was being raised and the National Anthem was being played. I am so proud to fly our flag!

Aurelia Has a "Sleep-over" with Grandma

Friday night Aurelia came to my home to have a "sleep-over." She hadn't been to my home in a little while and it was interesting to see how she carefully observed everything. She wasn't sure of me, and she didn't seem comfortable about her mommy leaving her. But once Sarah left, we went to the kitchen and I started giving her a little supper. Once again, she kept looking at all of the things I have on the walls - mostly plates. She could hear Peppi singing in the dining room, so I took her to see him. He seemed to delight her.

We played for a little while in my cottage, and then she fell asleep in my arms. She slept until around 3:15 am and then woke up, very hungry. I fed her a bottle, changed her, and she slept again until 8 am! That was good as I had come down with a cold and needed the extra sleep.

Saturday morning I bathed her and we played again. She had lots of smiles on Saturday. It was really nice to have her with me, and good for Sarah and Peder to have a night and morning to themselves. And I sure hope she didn't catch my cold.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Star Wars

When Star Wars first opened, our family went to see it at an outdoor theater. This theater was unique as it had two screens, so one could choose whichever film pleased them. The speaker for our vehicle was playing Star Wars, but I was watching the movie on the other screen. Don't ask me what it was, as this was about 30 years ago.

Just about a month ago I watched Star Wars in Stuttgart, Germany, with Hans. I know he was very pleased that I had asked to see it with him. For the first 30 minutes or so, I sat quietly taking it in. Then Hans said, "Do you have any questions, Mom?" So I asked a few things. Now I must say that Hans is a big fan and owns all of the Star Wars movies (don't ask me to list them), and when Rachel told me Hans had seen Star Wars 90 times, he explained, "That's only 3 times a year for the past 30!"

Hans, how I wish you could come to Minnesota this summer as there is a Star Wars exhibition at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This afternoon I listened to a radio interview with the actor who played C-3PO . It was really interesting. They said 55,000 tickets were sold already for the event. I'm glad I was able to watch this classic with you, Hans.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Something to Consider

It seems the subject of the rising price of fuel is on every one's minds these days. In speaking with my Aunt Ginny this afternoon, she said she paid $4.099 per gallon the last time she put gas in her car. Heidi told me she has been paying over $4/gal for quite a while. The highest I have paid - to date - is $3.93. A co-worker of mine in our Michigan office said he was paying $4.19/gal. While in Germany, I saw 1.46 Euro per liter. At that time, that would have translated to $2.3068. Remember, one gallon equals 3.78 liters, so that would total around $8.95/gallon!

Today I ran into this article. It makes a lot of sense to me.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

This 'n That

This afternoon I went to Rosy's to tutor her mother and grandmother. What a fun time we had! I hadn't seen Rosy since the last Monday of April due to the mission trip to Ukraine. In that amount of time she has lost her two bottom front teeth. Her grandmother and mother have been working on the little phrases I taught them the first time we were together. They are so eager to learn. Mid-lesson, Rosy's mother, Maricruz, gave me a delicious dessert. I'm not sure what it was, but it looked like pudding and was orange flavored. There was a sweetened cream for the topping. When I said it was very good, Maricruz beamed!

Rosy's family lives near the Mall of America and IKEA. I took advantage of this and drove to IKEA to shop for a few things. I knew they usually had house plants and so I planned to buy one for the little table on my patio. To my surprise -- they had pineapple plants! I never dreamed I'd see a live pineapple, let alone own a plant! In the photos you see part of my patio including my new pineapple plant and my beautiful calla lilies. I'm so glad I tried something extraordinary. It's hard to stop looking at them.

There's a new word being used this summer: staycation. With the high cost of fuel, many folks are finding it nearly impossible to go away for a vacation. We're being encouraged to explore the sights and sounds in our own cities. Two things I want to see are Fort Snelling on July 4th where they re-enact part of the civil war, and the home of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway. In a couple of weeks I'm going to the Twins game with my church choir. We'll be playing Washington. There are also free concerts every Tuesday night at the band shell at Lake Normandale. I may even venture into the pool where I live! There's plenty to do without spending lots of money.