Sunday, September 27, 2009

Technology Is Passing Me By . . .

Our first TV resembled this one. Ours was a DuMont.

This tiny transistor radio is about 5" x 3" x 1-1/2".

300 extension switchboard, similar to the one I operated at the
downtown Minneapolis J C Penney store

Cassette tape recorder/player

IBM 1401 (Remember this, Uncle Allan?)

Honeywell 2200

Inter-Tel console (switchboard console with 250 extensions)

This stereo system is pretty close to my current set-up. Sadly, the CD player portion is sick.

Yesterday our choir had our "Christmas Retreat," - - a time when our director introduces us to the music we will perform at the annual Christmas concert in December. It always surprises me just how close we are getting to Christmas.

This time it made me aware of something else: the problem I have been having with my CD player. It skips, grinds, and won't let go of the CDs. Christmas music is without a doubt my very favorite music. My tradition is to start playing it on the afternoon of Thanksgiving and continue playing it until around January 15. No fooling. With my CD player on the fritz, what to do??? After our retreat, I headed to Best Buy. To the young man who greeted me inside the store, I asked, "Can you point me to the CD players?" "Do you mean 'Electronics'?" "Yes. That's right." To my surprise, the selection left a lot to be desired. Oh, I could have had a Hello Kitty model, or a slick, turquoise disc that resembled the hub cap on a car. Somehow I couldn't see either of them in my living room. I walked out wondering how I was going to solve this problem.

Oh, I know, there are the more modern gizmos - ipods, mp3s (not sure what they are), etc. But I don't think I'm ready for that.

I do know the big ticket items that have been a part of my past: B/W TV - we got our first one when I was in 2nd grade; a transistor radio - my brother bought me mine when I had to ride a bus to school during my junior year of high school. I still have it; my first experience as a switchboard operator - on a real, 300 extension switchboard at the downtown J. C. Penny store in Minneapolis; my introduction to computers - first on the IBM 1401 and a couple of years later on the Honeywell 2200. The computers were HUGE back then! They were housed in a climate-controlled room, having 4 tape drives - each the size of a large, free-standing food freezer, an 80 column card reader, a processor, and a high pitched printer - the reason I don't hear so well; a cassette tape recorder/player; a VCR, to be followed by a DVD player, and a CD player.

Oh, I have progressed with much of the new technology - such as the Inter-Tel switchboard which I operated at my last job. It had this new, amazing feature: voice mail! I'm even typing this on my laptop computer. But I may have to wait for the ipod until one of my grandchildren can give me instructions!

Last night my brother helped me pick out a replacement sound system for my living room. Hopefully, it will let me enjoy my library of CDs for a very long time. Some things are worth holding onto.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gophers take Northwestern 35 - 24!

The Gophers just beat Northwestern at Northwestern! Score: 35 - 24. We are now 3 and 1 for the season and 1 and 0 for the Big Ten. Yahoo! Go Gophers!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Highlights

It's been a good weekend. Some of the highlights were:

  • Talked to Rachel and Annika for awhile Saturday morning. Annika told me about the movie they had just seen - Up. I had a fun conversation with her about the movies I have. She asked if she could come to my house. Oh, how I would love that!!
  • Dinner Saturday with my brother and sister. We met at a restaurant about an hour south of me which was half way for all of us. It was good to see them again. We have cousins - brothers and sister from one family - that have been getting together once a month for the past five or six years - maybe more. It's a great way to stay connected.
  • Gave my Faith Story at two services on our Edina campus.
  • Watched the Vikings game today with Peder, Sarah and Aurelia. We had a "make your own personal size pizza" lunch which was really good. Aurelia knows my name - Grandma D! It's so much fun to hear her say it. She was delightful, gave me lots of hugs, and shared her toys.
  • Went to an organ concert at my church. Our church has a huge Visser-Rowland pipe organ. The recital was given by our organist, Desi Klempay, who has his Doctor of Music degree from the University of Minnesota and an organ Diploma from the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, Austria.
And now my 10 minute weekend is over. Why do our weekends go so fast? That's a question I ask every week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Recent note from Rachel:

I've been meaning to tell you for weeks about how your little dinner prayer [taught to the kids when I was in Germany in May] made such an impression on the kids, especially Annika.

If we don't happen to remember right away to pray, she gets excited and yells "We forgot our praylers!!" and we all drop our forks and say the prayer. We keep telling her that it's "prayer" and not "prayLER", but she hasn't quite gotten it down yet. :)

She even does it at snacktime, even if it's just the two of us. The girl loves to pray. She will get mad and cry if we let Josiah have a turn to say the prayer at suppertime!

I just thought you should know how that has stuck with her and how seriously she takes it...thank you.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

4 Great Reasons to Celebrate "Grandparents' Day!"

Josiah - 5 years

Annika - 3 1/2 years

Aurelia - 2 years

Marshall - 10 months

Being a grandparent is one of God's greatest blessings!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New TCF Stadium

Tonight the Minnesota Golden Gophers are playing Air Force in the first ever game in the new Twin City Federal Stadium. The last time the Gophers played outside was November 21, 1981. I've seen many news stories of the progress of the stadium, which is supposed to be the best in the US. You can see impressive images here. The Video board in the East End Zone is the third-largest video board in all of college football - 48 feet high by 108 feet wide. The overall cost to build TCF Bank Stadium was $288.5 million. As I write this, the score is 20 - 10, Minnesota, in the 4th quarter.

Let me tell you, I would love to be watching it in person. Hopefully someday.

Post Script: Final Score -- Minnesota 20; Air Force 13. Yay! GO GOPHERS!!

ICC Garage Sales

Silver baskets = I bought 6

Scarlet red votive holder

Paper weight

Cranberry glass with reservoir for scented oil

Scarlet red cut-glass stacked pitcher and goblet

Scarlet red cut-glass pitcher and goblet unstacked

Wicker basket - the envy of many shoppers!

Today I went to the annual Interlachen Country Club garage sales with my friend, Bonnie. She's from the Twin Cities and has been going to these sales for the past 40 years! When she invited me to join her, I felt honored! We had a blast. I saw many things I would have loved to have had, but my home is too small for any more furniture and too many more dishes, but I did buy a few treasures.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

On September 11, 2001, I talked to my Aunt Ginny while walking to work. As I approached my office building, we said good-bye and I made my way into the building and to my department. I stopped in to say hello to my boss, and he told me he had just heard a news bulletin on his radio that a small plane had hit a building in New York City. I went to my computer and once booted up, found a major news station. It was streaming live, showing a video of one of the towers of the WTC on fire. As I sat watching it, the announcer exclaimed a second building had been hit. This was no accident.

I decided to call Hans to get his take on all of this. He was still home and was watching the story on TV. We talked for a little while - not sure how long - each watching the news, when all of a sudden he shouted, "Oh my God! They've just hit the Pentagon! I've got to get to work!"

Next I phoned Heidi. When I got her voice mail, I hung up and tried again. This time it woke her and I told her to turn on the TV. She could give an interesting account of how this day impacted her.

My cousin, Em, wrote about the day here. Very thoughtful.

It is a day I'll never forget. I went to ground zero five years ago - - it's hard to express how I felt seeing it.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Happy 11th Birthday, BUGGIE!

Today is the 11th birthday of my Volkswagen New Beetle. I surprised her with a car wash and wax! Total miles: 106,006. She runs like a top!

New Salem, Illinois

Aunt Liz found a good way to climb into her new van!
Once in, she pulls up the collapsible stool with a cord. Clever!
One of the many sights in New Salem
Inside of a typical log cabin

Actors volunteer in New Salem - a father and son
The corn is as high as an elephant's eye!

Abraham Presidential Museum and the Lincoln Home

Pat with Aunt Liz in the wonderful gift shop.
Posing with the first family.
Young Abe at the start of our tour through the log cabin.
Nancy, with the White House in the background.

Chatting with the generals.
Nancy, reading some of the many 200th birthday cards from around the world.

The residence of the Lincolns. It was a beautiful home.
This is a hat Abraham Lincoln wore. Notice the painting to the left of the hat.
Nancy, rubbing the nose of the bronze figure of Abraham at the cemetery.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln, Illinois

Our apartment was in the upper floor of this house.
Lincoln Christian Seminary Chapel
Logan County Courthouse

One of my heroes was born 200 years ago and to celebrate his birth and life, my aunt, sister, cousins, and dear friend, Nancy, traveled to Lincoln and Springfield, Illinois, this past weekend to visit the incredible Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and New Salem, an historic, restored village where he once lived and ran a general store. What a great trip - filled with fun and inspiration from beginning to end.

Years ago on Labor Day weekend, Steve and I moved to Lincoln, Illinois, where Steve attended Lincoln Christian Seminary. The town of Lincoln was named after our 16th president. Though he never lived there, he represented some residents there as a lawyer. We only lived there five and a half months, but it was our first home in Illinois and I wanted to see if I could still find our apartment house, my workplace, and see the campus plus the beautiful courthouse in the small town. I was surprised that I found all of these places without having to back track much. The apartment house and college campus looked very nice.

On Saturday we drove 30 miles south to Springfield, the capitol, and toured the museum and the house in which the Lincolns lived for 16 years. As I mentioned earlier, the museum was amazing. It nearly knocked my socks off! If you like history - particularly Abe Lincoln - this must go on your list of places to see. I asked someone working there why this is such a well-kept secret and she informed me the state of Illinois is broke and therefore has no money for advertising. How sad.

Sunday we drove through some gorgeous Illinois farmland to New Salem, the village in which young Abraham lived and worked. It is from this location that he sailed in the flat-bottom boat down the Sagamon River, to the Mississippi River to New Orleans to deliver goods. It was in New Orleans that he first saw slaves being sold on an auction block. The presentation of this in the museum was so well done that I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It's an image I hope to never forget. New Salem was wonderfully created, right down to the volunteer actors who play various rolls in the village.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

It's a Boy!

39 years ago today, we made the announcement to our family and friends: It's a boy! 6 lbs., 13 oz.; 19 inches long; name: Hans David.

Hans, I wish you a very happy birthday! I hope you and Josiah have had a wonderful time in Paris, knowing that you have a loving wife and daughter waiting for you at home. Enjoy your party tonight.

Love, Mom

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Summer's Over

The calendar says Summer ends on September 21, but for me, it ends this weekend. In my case, summer means getting out of work on Fridays at noon, which made it feel like I had a three day weekend. Also, my choir was on a more relaxed schedule this summer, but now it goes full force. The only other signal for me that summer is over will be when One-by-One starts in a couple of weeks. Once again I am going to have Rosy as my student to tutor. I just phoned her to visit and to see if she was ready for school to start next week, and she told me she really misses me. I've missed her too.