Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Surprised Meeting You Here!

Rosy and yours truly

Felix and Aurelia

Tonight I took my little friend Rosy out to dinner. We had eaten most of our dinner when I went to get refills for our beverages. I just happened to look to my left and who do you think I saw? - - - - Peder! I could hardly believe my eyes. Had I not gone to the beverage area at just that moment and looked to my left, I would have never seen Peder and they would have left without us seeing each other. I almost NEVER see anyone I know as I frequent various places around the twin cities. Neither of us were in our "neighborhood." Peder, Sarah, Aurelia and Felix came to our table and I got to introduce them to Rosy.
After we finished eating, we joined Peder and his family at a neighborhood park where Rosy and Aurelia spent some time on the swings and the slide.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Strike

I've had many jobs in my life - jobs with lots of variety. I've been a clerk in the men and boy's department at J. C. Penney Co., a waitress at Bridgeman's, a computer operator at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, a clerical clerk at Cutler Hammer, and a church secretary. I've worked in a bakery, ran a ceramic studio in my home - also taught piano lessons in my home, was a receptionist for a mortgage company, a service writer for a telephone equipment company, and am currently an assistant to the design director and production manager at a book publishing company.

Twenty five years ago right now, I was working at the George A. Hormel Company in the stock room, where I did accounting. At 3 pm, twenty five years ago today, I was called into the office and informed I was being laid off because the union workers were going on strike. This was a terrible time in the community where I lived. Picket lines formed outside the entrances to the plant. The strike lasted about five months and came to a bitter end when the company began calling the workers back. Violence erupted when any union employee dared cross the picket line to claim his job. The National Guard was called. The image of them burned into my memory is of the line they made just outside the entrance to the plant; bright, temporary spot lights shinning down on them. You could see their breath from the extreme, cold, January temperatures, and I also remember the sight of their white bunny boots. The reports of the violence made the national news daily - not the kind of news you want the world to know about your hometown. A small crew of news reporters flying down from the twin cities, got tangled in some power lines just outside of Austin, and crashed to their deaths.

I got called back to work around the second week of February. I wasn't a union worker, but worked for the office in the company, so I used a different entrance. The picket lines were still there, but by this time hundreds of cars were crossing every day. Little by little, life in our town was getting back to normal. The strike severed many friendships, and I even know of two brothers who won't speak to each other. One went back to work; the other refused to cross the line.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Welcome Back to the USA!

After being stationed in Germany for the past 2 years and 9 months, Hans and his family are now back on US soil. This was a bittersweet day for them, for they fell in love with Germany, and I don't blame them. It's beautiful there - especially near the German/Austrian border.

I want to take this opportunity to welcome them back, and to welcome William Friedrich, who was born to them last October. Today is his first day in America. Welcome, Will!

I'm very proud of Hans and his service to our country. His next assignment will be on a ship based out of Norfolk, Virginia. Welcome back to America Hans, Rachel, Josiah, Annika, and Will.

Heidi and Marshall

Aurelia and Marshall



Marshall playing with Heidi's phone.

I've had so much fun while Heidi and Marshall have been with me the past few days. I hadn't seen them since February, and in that interval Marshall has changed quite a bit. He was walking in February, but not climbing steps and up into chairs and sofas. He's talking now, too. One thing that hasn't changed is his sweet smile. Of all my grandchildren, he is the only one with blue eyes, and he sure uses them to express himself.

While Heidi and Chad went to the Twins/White Sox game on Thursday night, I had Aurelia and Marshall stay at my home. They played together pretty well, and were a joy for me.

Yesterday Heidi, Marshall, Aurelia and I went to Austin to have lunch with our family there. It was good catching up with them. Then we drove to Rochester to have dinner with more of our family. I loved spending time with all of them.

News has it that all of my kids will be in the twin cities for Christmas! After five years - and five new grandchildren (Josiah is six), we hope to finally be together again. We have a lot of catching up to do!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We Went to the Zoo

What a sweetheart!

Our picnic lunch



Today was a fine day to go to the zoo with my family. Heidi, Marshall and I joined Peder, Sarah, Aurelia and Felix and Steve at the Minnesota Zoo. It was really fun for me to see Marshall interact with Aurelia, and Felix was generous with his smiles. One part of the zoo that particularly fun was the area with water spouts. Aurelia has been out to this zoo many time, so she went right to the spouts and enjoyed getting "rained on." Marshall was a bit timid, but eventually he decided it was rather fun and didn't want to leave.

A few weeks ago a baby dolphin was born and we got to see her swimming next to her mother. In a few weeks the two will join the other dolphins and the public will have a closer view of the baby.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's a Wonderful Day!

So many good things are happening today! First of all, it's Rachel's birthday! And though we're thousands of miles apart today, that won't be the case for long because they are moving back to the United States on Saturday! While they have loved living in Germany these past 2 and 3/4 years, they are looking forward to being closer to family once again. Happy Birthday, Rachel!

In about 4 hours, Heidi and Marshall will be arriving at my house and I get to be with them through Friday night!! I haven't seen them since I was out in Seattle in February so it high time we get reacquainted!

On Sunday I am invited to Aurelia's 3rd birthday party! What a sweet little girl she is! It's hard to believe she is 3 already!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Most of the time my blog entries are about me. They are reports of places I have been, people I have seen, and other miscellaneous ideas. This entry is about you. Click it and may be surprised at what is revealed. (This was sent to me by a dear friend of mine.)

Sunday, August 08, 2010


It's the weekend, and it's summer. I should be outside enjoying my time off from work, right? I would be, except that it's too darn hot! I just checked the weather and this is the sizzling report:

95 degrees
partly cloudy
heat index: 106 degrees
dew point: 75.9
wind: SE at 8.1 mph
relative humidity: 63%
If I could control the weather, I would program two weeks of cold, snowy winter, and two weeks of hot, steamy summer, and the rest of the days would be either spring or fall. It's probably good that God hasn't given the assignment to me. For now, I'm going to stay inside.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Today I'm tackling an area in my cottage that has gone "untouched" for some time - clearing out some unwanted books in my bookcase. Before putting any of these books in the bags going to Savers (a local charity), I have fanned the pages to be sure I am not leaving anything personal in them. One item flew out: a phone directory I created more than twelve years ago. It was interesting noting the changes. Here they are:

  • Hans was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, on the USS Carney.

  • Peder lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

  • Heidi was a student at UND in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

  • Jerry lived in a mobile home in Rochester. Janet and Dave lived there, too.

  • Lil and Jim lived in Waseca, Minnesota.

  • Lynn and Bobby lived on 27th St. SE, in Rochester.

  • My dear friend Cassie lived in her home on 10th Ave S, in Bloomington.

  • Linda lived on North Seeley Ave in Chicago.

  • Diane & Dave lived in New Town, Pennsylvania.

  • David and Donna lived on 2nd Ave NE in Austin.

  • Keith lived on Wood Stock Curve in Bloomington.

  • Sandy lived in Plymouth.

  • I worked at McLeod USA and lived in Eden Prairie.

Wow! That's a lot of change. The only ones on this address list that still live in the same home are Aunt Ginny & Uncle Allan, Aunt Liz, and Pat & Pudge, and Steve. I guess it is safe to throw the list away.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

My Birthday Dinner with Peder, Sarah, Aurelia, and Felix

Last night Peder, Sarah, Aurelia and Felix took me to the Olive Garden for my birthday. Aurelia was so excited about giving me my birthday card. In it, she had drawn a little picture. And Felix - I thought he had changed so much since the last time I saw him. Right away I asked to hold him, and he felt so cozy. I love his big eyes. His skin is very creamy and soft.

Aurelia and I shared a salad and spaghetti dinner. Yum! She seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. After eating, Aurelia wanted to go for a little walk with me. She took my hand and we walked through the restaurant. It was fun watching the other patrons smile at her. She really is a charming, little girl. Her eyes and smile are very attention getting.

Thank you, Peder and Sarah!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Another Year Older

My dear friend, Nancy, gave me this darling apron. The banner under the cake says, " I like to have my cake and eat it too!" At the lower edge is a bowl with cherries. The banner coming from it says, "Yes! Life is a bowl of cherries!"

My birthday decorations

Today is my _____th birthday! The celebrating started while I was preparing my breakfast and the phone rang. "Happy Birthday, Grandma!" said Josiah. "Are you sleeping?" No, I'm fixing my breakfast. "Are you having cake and ice cream?" I'm sure his daddy put him up to this. I've heard Hans say: You can eat pie for breakfast. My mom does it all the time! [This is NOT true.] I told Josiah I would be having chocolate cake and ice cream later in the day. He thought that sounded fun. Next I got to talk to Annika who also wished me a Happy Birthday! It's so much fun to hear my grand children's voices. They are such angels. Rachel also greeted me and wished me a happy day. This was really a fun way to start my day.

While getting ready for work, my brother called to wish me a Happy Birthday. That was a nice surprise, too!

Arriving at work, the folks in my department were still putting up decorations, so they told me to take a seat in the library while they put on the finishing touches. Each year they seem to pull out all the stops and make my office look very special. This year there were helium balloons at each corner with more balloons on the ceiling. Later in the day, I thought my cubicle resembled the old man's house in the movie, Up! I was hoping it wasn't a hint for me to "take off."

For lunch yesterday, Nancy and I went to Famous Dave’s. We sat in a darling booth – cabin artifacts surrounding it – and a very nice waiter. He was probably in his 20’s – and seemed to dote on us. We each ordered “kids” meals, because at Famous Dave’s, they are just enough. I had the ribs; Nancy had the BBQ chicken. One of her “sides” was “Drunkin’ apples.” When choosing that, she asked him what was in the apples and he said they were soaked in rum and cinnamon. After we had finished our lunches, he asked me if I liked chocolate or caramel? I told him chocolate. A minute later he came back to our booth with a large bowl with three scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge topping, and whipped cream. In one of the scoops was a large lit sparkler! He stood by our table until the sparkler died out and then took it away, telling us it was hot; he didn’t want us to get burned.

When he brought our check, I asked why he hadn’t asked to see my license to prove it was my birthday and Nancy asked why he hadn’t “carded” her because of the rum soaked apples. He replied, “I knew you were of age – but just barely!”

We had my party in the afternoon - homemade chocolate cake with homemade fudge icing and ice cream. It was a special time with some of my work friends.
I've heard from so many family members and friends - snail mail, phone calls, emails, and this year - Face book. Getting older isn't all that bad.