CHAPTER 12: MOTHER'S NOTES
[Friday, March 2nd, marks the 2nd anniversary of her death. The last years of her life and especially the last months were not easy for her in many ways. The Lord has given her mortal body rest in the bosom of the earth and her soul rest in the arms of the Savior. She is at rest; I am very often restless. We so easily forget what a gift a spouse is while we are in the way with them. Appreciate what the Lord has given you and thank Him for generous kindnesses. We had many, many years of happiness together and together with you children. After our retirement we shared countless days and hours that have meant much to me. Watching her put her painting talents to work was a pleasant surprise. All of you have evidences of that talent in your homes. The hours she spent in producing those works of art were a joy to her. She also spent much time while in Florida walking the beach and gathering shells. All of you have evidence of that interest in your homes. One of the nicest observations of her was made by Prof. Kuehne who said "She was a kind and gentle spirit,” at least words to that effect. We miss her but thank God she is not missing anything now and for eternity. Love Dad]
(Written on February 26, 2001, before Dad embarked on writing his family history.)
Mom’s words are in plain text, without quotations.
[Dad’s commentaries are in brackets and italics, just like this note.]
(Editor’s notes and children’s comments are within parenthesis and also italics.)
(Paul’s Note from his 2013 Reprint: These notes are not all the daily notes she wrote—there are many more note books. Also, the 50+ paintings included in this section (Appendix A) are not the sum and substance of mom’s art. She also made many quilts, sewed many dresses for the girls, embroidered, knitted and spent many hours every summer canning and putting up preserves. And she was the photographer of the family. But, best of all (in my memory) were the 3-5 course meals that she made three times a day, almost every day.)
[Sent you some of mother's thoughts from 1975. Dug around and found some from an earlier date. Will give you excerpts from 1969 and 1970 this time. Dad]
(This comment from Dad accompanied his initial foray into Mom’s notes, Thoughts from 1975. For this 2013 Second Edition, I have repositioned them in chronological order, now Section IV.)
I. Notes from 1969 and 1970
April 20, 1969
I don't know just when Roland will find time to put in the garden, for besides taking care of Messiah, the Thespians are putting on a play in two weeks and Roland has practice with them every evening. Debbie and Dan are in it, but no one will let me read the play. It is a mystery, and of course would spoil seeing the play.
A week ago this Sunday, the Messiah Congregation gave Roland the call. He returned it last Sunday…
Little Rollie is just thrilled, and of course a big shot with his classmates at school for a while. He made little league… John has been taking time to teach and play with him, too.
Oct. 7, 1969
The good news from here is that Roland will be giving up one of his jobs soon. The whole congregation is happy that Pastor Schierenbeck has accepted the call to Messiah.
Our family was down to six for most of the summer. John worked out West… Daniel worked in Austin, building silos... Ruth spent the summer up north, babysitting... Lois Jean did a lot of baby sitting here, and so did Debbie. Kathy worked part-time at Ben Franklin. And between times, all worked in the garden.
We took a three day vacation at Spirit Lake... Beth and Rollie learned how to row a boat. It was so much fun just to watch them.
As a result of a telephone call from a neighbor, I am candling eggs at the chicken farm, about 3 hours a day four days a week...
We now have a piano... it is never quiet a minute when the children are home. Good thing we do not have a TV.
January 8, 1970
...I had not intended to make each of the girls a dress for Christmas, but did get material for other Christmas gifts. Then Jeanie and Dennis decided to get married and I ended up doing more sewing than ever. Kathy and Ruth were the attendants.
We had no trouble getting to Jamestown [for the wedding] but ran into quite a snow storm on the way back. Couldn't see the road anymore, so stayed in a motel for five hours. Even then the roads were icy and many cars in the ditches and snow banks. Kathy and Ruth took the train and were at home before us. Grandma was stuck in the cities a few extra hours, because of poor train connections.
The only news about ILC is that the gym floor should be laid this week. Everyone is patiently waiting for it.
June 24, 1970
The wedding [John and Carrie] was very simple and very nice.
The hail storm that we had last week, really hit the Prof's gardens. Many windows were broken out of the professorages.
Since May, I have a new sewing machine, a Bernina. And do I ever enjoy it. In fact, that is all I want to do, sew.
[The following is a note from Eva Nolting to your mother.] The picture of Lois Jean and Dennis is so nice. I hear you'll soon be a grandma. That doesn't seem right at all.
November 8, 1970
...We shall be grandparents twice next year. Jeannie in February and Carrie in April.
We had a nice family celebration on our anniversary... used the good dishes and glassware and candles besides. We celebrated on Friday, spending the day in the Cities. Did some Christmas shopping, had lunch, took in a show.
Daniel is home for a week, then he leaves for the Air Force base at Lakeland in Texas.
[Hope these thoughts from your mother's pen or rather typewriter bring back memories of good days for you. I will continue giving you some of mother's remarks in days to come. Dad]
II. Mother’s Notes 1971 and 1972
"Arsenic and Old Lace was very funny. The funniest bonor was the corpse who put his arm around Norman's neck as [the corpse] was being carried off stage. The audience just roared. At the house afterwards, the players gave Roland a cuff-link and tie-tac set. So thoughtful of them.
Daniel enlisted in the Air Force... now he is in the medical service... flew home at the end of the year. He looked fine, stands straight, put on a few pounds…
Roland gave me an electric scissors. Really enjoy using it…it cuts through thick material so easily...
During the Christmas vacation, Ken Martin and Paul drove to Acapulco, Mexico.
Now we have a pet, a parakeet, inherited from Daniel. Rollie named him Charlie Brown.
April 14, 1971
Jeannie had her baby on Feb. 21...I went by bus to Balaton, and spent ten days with them… Also had a new experience, little piglets...I had to take the new born away from the sow put them in a smaller pen, under a heat lamp. I really didn't mind, as long as the sow didn't mind. As a little thank you gift, they presented me with a little yellow piggy bank. Quite a remembrance. [The bank is still in use. It gathers the pennies even to this day.]
Kathy is interning in Fon du Lac.
November 2, 1971
We did manage a few days of vacation. Went to Kenosha to visit my brother and family. But we were in Milwaukee almost every day… Rollie was the only one of our children to come along. Lots of room in the car, no arguments. I felt lost.
We did take the girls shopping in the Cities, as a treat for staying home. Stopped first at the Munsingwear plant. We did bring our lunch along, and ate that next to a fountain. Men of the family to take in a ball game, so over to the park we drove. Had planned to eat the rest of our lunch then, but we soon realized it had been left on the bench next to the fountain in downtown… So we "dined" on hotdogs at 40 cents apiece.
January 27, 1972
Two weeks before Christmas, Kathy called to tell us she broke her ankle in three places… The cast went up to the middle of her thigh… she managed to teach school and get around...
October 5, 1972
With my new bifocal glasses, I should really do a bang-up job on this letter… Age creeping up.
Beth spent 8 weeks at Lake Owen cooking and cleaning...
And I had a vacation, a trip to Seattle. Paul and Barb were best man and bridesmaid at Ken Marin and Susie Draeger' wedding, held in Seattle...We were gone about one week. Much as I enjoyed the trip, it is just too much driving for me at my age. Took me several days to recuperate. My role was one of chaperone and another driver.
We will have a wedding Thanksgiving Day. Kathy and Omar Olmanson will be married then, at Nicollet church. Kathy will continue to teach... One by one they leave the next. This house is becoming so quiet, never thought it possible.
I finally left the chicken farm. Am working at Prange’s, evenings and every other weekend. Enjoy it very much, especially in the fabric dept.
III. Notes 1973 and 1974
Feb 26, 1973
This semester our Ruth is out practice teaching in Fond du Lac. She is enjoying it.
Our Daniel was also home in January. He just finished a tour of duty in England. He did some sightseeing in London and even a tour into Scotland. This was quite a weekend. Saw ILC win the championship at New Ulm. Was that ever a thrill!
(Note: I think Mom got it wrong. Big Rollie named the parakeet Charlie Brown. Donuts and bird at 7am on Saturday mornings. Dad's "gentle" hint to get up? Bribe! New Ulm Tourney. Got out of school early to go to that one. Couldn't talk for two weeks after it with all the yelling. Rolly]
Sept. 27, 1973
Paul and Barb were duly married, lovely wedding, and so many guests… It is really nice to have one married of the family living in town… On the Fourth of July...a picnic at a park in Menomonie. That afternoon we attended a play, "Caddie Woodlawn" …It was presented in the Mable Tainter Theater. It is a replica of the Ford Theatre in Washington…
Now that Ruth has moved out of the house to her own apartment, we have one extra room, wonder of wonders. So after the kids played fruit basket upset with the bedrooms, and are settled and happy, Roland moved his books upstairs in the large room and has his own study...
Roland has the Thespians and has picked a play, "Our Miss Brooks." [Actually we put this play on twice and I recall my opening remarks or closing whatever. Any similarity between this play and Immanuel is purely intentional.]
We did have a good weekend to get acquainted with the boy grandchildren, Jason and Matthew… Guess I had forgotten what live wires boys are…
November 29, 1973
This energy crisis is really affecting everyone, even ILC. The students will have school on Saturdays until vacation, and then have an extra week off. No more lazy Saturdays at our house… We attend as many basketball games as we are able. But the benches do get a little harder each year… Wonder of wonders, our house is now painted green and white...
March 7, 1974
Kathy and Omar had a baby boy, born Dec. 13, 1973… John and Carrie have a girl, born Jan. 23, named Jolene Michal. [She was just married in May 2001. How fast they grow up. Born in the last sentence I typed and married one sentence latter. So it goes with grandchildren. I don' yet have all their parents married and their children are inviting me to their weddings. Five this year 2001. Dad]
July 22, 1974
Barb had her baby on April 17, Jeremy they named him... He is such a good boy and so darling. It is so nice to be able to watch one grandchild grow up slowly… The second week in June, we visited the children, made the "Grand Tour."
Ruth will be going to Red Wing the first week in August… She and Mark are engaged and are planning a summer wedding.
Nov. 8, 1974
Daniel seems to be content going to school here… He is spending more time on his music [So what else is new?]
Roland told the Jr. Class just where they will be doing their practice teaching… Deb is going to Fond du Lac.
On our anniversary, Roland and I went out to lunch, to the Ponderosa. Almost thought we were back on Pinnacle Peak outside Phoenix. The same large room, long tables with benches, but here were chairs too. Missed the cowboy doing the steaks over the huge grill, with cigarette ashes falling on the meat…
Dec. 16, 1974
...The Udos have arrived and everyone at school was quite excited. They live in an apartment in the same building as Paul and Barb... Mrs Udo was quite shy, knows English, but just answers your questions.
Daniel is going to visit some of his friends in New Mexico, this vacation... Longs for the sunshine and girl-shine.
[The 1975 notes you already have; just put them in line now and soon I will give you mother's observations on 1976 etc. Dad]
IV. Notes from 1975
[The following are quotes from letters addressed to Robins (Mrs Hallauer, Duehlmeier, Nolting). I will print out only those sections that deal with you children.]
Feb. 6, 1975
This letter is being typed on a brand new typewriter, given to us by our children as a Christmas gift. [Still in use by the way.] We were completely surprised, but it is nice to have one in the house again...The kids purchased the original one at Pranges.
We had a lovely Christmas, Kathy and Omar and Justin were here. Paul and Barb and Jeremy came over after church, too. So we had a houseful. The little ones are so much fun to have around.
One weekend during the vacation, we all went to Mankato to visit the children. Roland and I stayed at the Holiday Inn, one with a pool. So Saturday afternoon, while the men watched the football game, we "girls" and children went swimming. That was a treat for everyone. Sunday was a repeat of Sat. Monday we picked up Beth and Deb and Rollie and came home…
Southern Minn. really had a blizzard last month. On Saturday evening, Jeanne called, they were without electricity for a while lots of wind and snow. One worries more when the kids live in a trailer. Sunday noon, we called John and Carrie, they were still without electricity, but have a furnace run with gas and a gas stove with which to cook. She said the boys enjoyed the candlelight. Early to bed and early to rise was the story of their life those days. Kathy and Omar were without power the longest. Tuesday before it came back on. They lived in the front part of their trailer, and also have a gas stove in the kitchen, but it took a day to really warm up the house. Now it is funny to think of them wearing caps and mittens, and huddled under blankets to keep warm. Melted snow for water. Omar couldn't get out of the drive way much less
the road, which hadn't been plowed.
Our Debbie is in Fon du Lac these nine weeks, for her practice teaching... She had so much time on her hands we received three letters that first week. She is staying with Gilbertsons, and they are spoiling her. Steaks, cookies, pop, midnight snacks, warm room of her own.
Ruth has asked Deb and Beth to be in her wedding party this June. Last letter she wrote that she found her wedding dress, now to find a pattern similar. So that will mean a few sewing projects this Spring…
April 21, 1975
Roland is patiently waiting to get into the garden. Had better be soon or we will have potatoes and onion growing in the basement. All are sprouting.
Debbie is back from practice teaching... no call given out. She will take a course or two at Eau Claire University this summer.
At Easter time this year, we had John and Carrie and kids visit us. Put them up at the Ramada Inn, special rates over the weekend. So everyone did get a dip in the pool. Daniel's girlfriend was also here, in fact spent about 10 days with us... So we had 16 for dinner Easter Sunday, put two tables together. Roland at one end, me at the other, kids big and little in between.
These next two months are just going to fly by so fast. First the banquet, May 3rd...
Then there is the Tea, graduation, and one weekend a shower for Ruth at Red Wing. On June 7, Daniel will be married, here in Eau Claire. It will be a small affair. Doreen's parents are driving up for the wedding.
Ruth and Mark will be married June 21. Have started dresses for that affair…
Rollie has a job for the summer, working on a farm in Red Wing, Dudens… Will only have two home this summer, Quite a change. And could be that way next fall, if Deb receives a call…
...Jeremy had his first birthday, so Barb invited us all over for cake and punch. The Udos were also there, and has Nsikan grown.....
[There will be more coming from mother's letters but enough for today.
Just got back from spending three days in Fridley with Deb and John. Dad]
V. Notes from 1976 and 1977
January 13, 1976
Our family has grown smaller since Deb left for Lemmon, SD... Caught a ride there with Sprenglers… So now there are four of us around the dining room table. Rollie must help quite often with the dishes, especially when Beth and myself are working. But he doesn't complain...??? Told Beth she shouldn't move or go away from home, but kids have a way of doing just that, and that is as it should be.
New Year's Day we drove to Mankato, and saw the newest Grandchild, Jesse Lee, John and Carrie's boy. Drove home that night through a snow storm... grandma fell asleep half way home and missed all the fun.
John came and brought us a pair of speakers for our stereo, which all the children gave us for our 30th anniversary [still in use by the way, Dad].
Paul and Barb had their baby Dec. 3, a boy and named him Nathan.
April 6, 1976
So this is the weekend, we are leaving town, Mankato bound, to see Jeannie and Dennis's new baby boy, Karl Edward. That is number 12 grandchild.
July 22, 1976
Last Sunday Mark was installed and ordained at Millston. Roland preached the sermon. Prof. Koch and Pastor Schultz came too and helped… Roland's brother Ernie and wife as well as Doris and Earl were also there.
Debbie is home, she bought herself a Bernina sewing machine.
November 7, 1976
One more trip to make this year and that will be in November. Roland will fly to West Columbia for Teachers Conference. After the meeting is over he will fly to Winter Haven. And I will fly
from here and join him there. Our planes will land within a half hour of each other so Paul will have to make only one trip… I am quite excited about the whole thing.
Jill was born.
While in Florida visited Cypress Gardens and Bush Gardens Visited with Galstads.
Packed my suitcase so full of citrus that it burst. Had to tie it shut with a rope.
Temperatures at Atlanta 60 degrees, Chicago 16 degrees, Eau Claire 0 degrees.
March 21, 1977
While Dab was home for Christmas we shopped for Bridesmaid dresses… Nancy Haertl and Beth will stand up for her.
Our Ruth had her baby early… on Feb. 13 Vanessa was born. [Again a few weeks ago she was married these girls nowadays go from the cradle to the altar in a moment of time...Dad]
[Mother keeps track of the constant flow of children and grandchildren that are welcomed into our home or we into theirs. Will not give you a blow by blow account of those visits. Suffice it to say they were always welcome and the grandchildren a joy to see them growing in size as well as in number. Now I try and keep track of the great grandchildren. Dad]
June 28, 1977
And then there was graduation. Almost didn't make it to the service. A week earlier, I had been house cleaning and pulled the tendon in my pelvic area and that affected my right leg. I could not
use the leg without severe pain...My mother came on Sunday so was with me and kept house while others had exams at school I was so thankful I could attend the service that I did not even shed a tear while Rollie graduated. [If I remember correctly I pushed her in a wheel chair to that service. Dad]
On the 4th of June drove to Lemmon and attended a bridal shower the ladies of the congregation gave Deb.
By the end of summer or early fall, we should have 18 grandchildren. Quite a passel of kids. Our younger children complain that by the time they are married and have children all the good names will be used up. [Maybe that is why Rollie still is not married, Dad]
November 3, 1977
We had a busy summer preparing for Deb's wedding. Was very simple, but so pretty in the amphitheater at school.
Dan and Doreen had a little baby boy, born on October 11 named Johnathon Charles.
[This closes out the notes on 1977. Dad]
VI. Notes from 1978 and 1979
Daniel is doing his practice teaching this semester at Boyd School in Eau Claire… Well we were able to take Beth to Florida for her practice teaching. And what a trip it turned out to be. Drove through a snow storm all the way to Indianapolis… The way back was not much better.
We will be having two new grandchildren—Ruth and Deb are expecting.
July 23, 1978
The day of Beth's final leaving is coming closer… August 13th she will be installed...in Markesan...she found a 1969 Ford… 48,000 miles. Daniel was installed this day in Valentine, Neb.
All the children but Kathy were home during convention week.
My mother moved into an apartment in Milwaukee last month. She is on the 14th floor and enjoys the view.
November 1, 1978
Anyway we moved, and that is in itself a project. After 14 years in one house we really had quite an accumulation of "junk"...We all are thoroughly enjoying this house. We gave the house a tryout during teachers’ conference many of the children were here. Having a family room helps the overflow of people.
This Sunday John will be installed in Cambridge and Roland will do the honors. Deb was glad to move there and have a house of their own.
March 1, 1979
We had a very different Christmas this year. Spent Christmas Eve with Bethany at Markesan.
We have been entertaining the students at our house, by classes. It is one way of getting acquainted, but I don't remember all their names, but can put brothers and sisters together. Rollie had a birthday last week, so Sunday we invited his class over for supper. Now this Wednesday it will be college freshmen. Working our way up the ladder.
Am on the lookout for a picture to hang over the davenport in the living room, one that we can afford. Prange's have one I truly like, but… [We did buy it and still have it, Dad]
June 3, 1979
Roland and I took a trip to visit my mother. Went to Milwaukee over Memorial Day weekend. From her apartment the view of the river, lake and city is just beautiful day and night.
There is such a variety of birds around this house. Many I have not identified as yet.
August 3, 1979
Our "manse" stays quite cool these warm days. I love the smell of the pines. We have a small but beautiful tree just outside our bedroom window that was filled with white flowers, much like a lilac bush, and smells good. But no one can tell us what kind of tree or bush it is. [I believe it was known as a Japanese lilac. Dad]
Since we have an energy crunch, and since Prange's is doing its bit to conserve, the store is quite warm these days, which makes for a good excuse to sew a few cooler dresses for work...
October 21, 1979
Bethany and Perry were here on the weekend of my birthday; and announced their engagement... We approve of him. They plan to be married next summer-July.
Roland keeps quite busy with running the school and teaching. Never realized all the problems that arise.
[So ends the notes on 1979. Keep cool these hot days. Dad]
VII. Notes from 1980
MARCH 26, 1980
We bought a pair of lamps and they are on speakers in the living room, really look nice and lights up the room better. So this house is about how I would like it to look.
Mark’s call is quite exciting, but Spokane is so far away, so is Florida.
Prange has put new, plush, majestic carpeting in my area. So I dare not complain about tired feet. It makes the whole area take on another look, like a fashion store should look.
April 24, 1980
The banquet is being held at the left guard. Unless I ask Rollie questions about just what boy is taking which girl, he doesn't volunteer any information. My girls were talkative… Perry bought a house in Nicollet, so they spend their time painting.
Off to Valentine got their just in time to greet a new grandchild, Gina… Enjoyed playing grandma… Now our grandchildren total seven girl and nineteen boys…
We visited my mother on Friday, she enjoys cooking and had a good meal for us...visited Deb and John in Madison then on to Ruth and Mark's for Easter service.
July 3, 1980
This weekend will be quite a full one. Beth is being married Sunday in Messiah in Mankato. My brother is bringing grandma so she will not miss the activities. She hopes to live long enough to attend Rollies' [don't we all – Dad].
Roland is busy with the buildings, cleaning, repairing, and painting what ever needs it most. New linoleum has been laid in the dining hall and kitchen area, really makes the room look larger… Looks so nice, good enough to eat in.
Mother speaks of the storm and the damage to the property...Used candles at night or went to be early, since we had no electricity… So thankful noon was hurt… Aching backs and blisters will soon heal.
August 11, 1980
Now the cleanup work which is constant… Slowly the stumps and logs and brush is being removed and the place looks almost normal… Last weekend, no one was here to do any work, so dad took off on Saturday and went fishing. He caught a few fish. I just let my line trail along behind and enjoyed the scenery. Also did a little rowing of the boat. Glad no one else was watching, I really zigzagged along the shore line. Sunday spent the day with Ruth and Mark. Dad needed a relaxing few days.
November 13, 1980
...Daniel brought Jill along, she was so good. Helped me while I hung clothes on the line, she handed me the pins.
October also brought our 35th anniversary, could hardly believe it has been so many years already… we spent a very quiet weekend at home. So we had a candlelight dinner, using the cross stitched tablecloth I finally finished. As a combination birthday and anniversary present, Roland gave me a silver coffee service. I was very much surprised, but pleased as it does dress up the dining room. So I use it for Sunday dinner.
John and Carrie moved to Weippe, Idaho.
While they were all home and growing, I would sometimes wish they would grow up faster, now I wish they were all home again. Never satisfied.
Do all of you know that Kathleen and Omar have a daughter? Born October 2, named Beth.
[So 1980 came to an end and so does this episode. Dad]
VIII. Notes from 1981
March 28, 1981
To Jeb and John on March 13 born Matthew Roland… Paul and Barb and family drove up some students from Florida after Christmas break… Had car trouble. Paul brings fresh fruit along, we really enjoy. Perry and Beth were here in February brought along some fresh fruit.
May 27, 1981
Seems as if I have been cleaning house and baking for ever and ever several families were here for Rollie's graduation. Ruth, Kathy, Lois Jean, and Deb... Most brought their own tents or campers… We had a cook out. Some of the girls brought cakes and salad which helped, enjoyed their company and the grandchildren have fun playing together and getting acquainted.
Daniel and family planned to come but after he accepted the call to Houston decided to stay and start packing.
The past few days are so quiet, no deadlines, very unreal, but enjoyable.
August 30, 12981
We had a busy summer. Roland preached in Valentine… also in Ipswitch dedicating a new church.
Then came July and pastoral conference… Children and grandchildren all through the house. Never knew quite how many would show up for meals.
Then with Paul and family, we went to Spirit Lake… It had been 12 years the last time we were in Rib Lake.
My mother is causing me some concern. She has been in the hospital several times the last month... she will not hear of a nursing home.
As a birthday and Christmas present, Roland gave two pieces of Pendleton wool. One plaid. I would like to make up this fall. Can hardly wait to get at it.
Sept 22, 1981
We visited grandma one weekend… she had been in and out of the hospital several times.
Rollie is really busy. He studies at the sem house, so I do not see much of him.
November 23, 1981
Ruth and Mark have a girl born Oct. 17 named Valerie… So we now have 30 grandchildren and another one due in Feb. Amanda Ude loves to play with all her cousins. But Luke, who is her age, does not always appreciate the attention.
Rollie now has his own car, purchased it from the oldest Larson boy.
[So 1981 came to an end.]
IX. Notes from 1982
[First a letter to you children dated] March 13, 1982
We are planning a trip to Texas April 4-11. Will be good to see some of you again. Wish we could make it out to Idaho too, but not this year. Speaking of vacations, how about a family camp out, get together? Perhaps somewhere in Minn. or Wis., northern, after Synod meets? A place that would have a cabin for us. Think about it. [We did have such a camping trip after the synod sessions, in the Kettle Morain area. Some of you were there. No cabin for mom she had to sleep in a tent much as she disliked it.] [End of mother's letter back to the Round Robins, Dad]
March 24, 1982
Your note [Doris] about Phoenix being smoggy at times. I can hardly imagine. But after 20 years, the city has grown. I was glad to have the experience of living there, and that we were able to visit and see some of the country and sights. No snow and bitter cold, we could probably appreciate some of the time now. At one time we had considered retiring in Phoenix, but now I don't know, especially with the children scattered. Twill be a few years before that happens. Can't afford to retire.
Our newest grandchild put in his appearance on March 5 Beth and Perry have a boy, Quinn.
As for the conference in January, Jeannie and Dennis were here. One wonders just where all this will lead to. Since they have left, or rather put out of Mankato congregation, we do not hear much of what is happening.
Rollie just found out that he will be going to St. Louis for his vicaring next fall.
The falling economy has touched Pranges. We all had our schedules cut by two hours per week.
May 30, 1982
Well we did venture South as far as Houston, Texas, on our vacation. Had to drive through rain, thunderstorms, and a blizzard. Just thankful, we had a safe trip there and back home.
Tea time and after the tea we had a pot-luck supper for C.M. to celebrate his 50 years in the ministry.
August 6, 1982
Then it was getting packed for out camping trip. Thoroughly enjoyed all of it, campfires at night, roasting marsh mellows, mosquitoes, bible study, swimming, the Milwaukee zoo, seeing grandma, trip to the old world museum , a weekend with Mother again and nights with Donald and Doris, and a Brewer Baseball game, a water balloon fight the first night of camping, the cold nights, wish I had another blanket along. Had our meals with one family or another as we do not have a camp stove. A very relaxing time.
We will be moving into Gunde's house… We visited Gunde's house Wednesday morning. It has a basement, hurrah, storage space. And an enclosed basement room for Rollie.
November 12, 1982
Roland served as vacancy pastor for a second time at Messiah. This Sunday Pastor Lau will be installed as pastor of Messiah. So that will be the end for Roland's serving as vacancy pastor.
[Remarks about the last 4 years at ILC, end of 1982 through 1986. The last four years were the most enjoyable for me. I had been relieved of administrative responsibilities and could occupy myself with courses that I had long taught. When the school day was over I could go home and
relax. The home we enjoyed those four years had a beautiful view of meadows down below in the valley. We saw many deer and foxes as well as birds of many kinds. Sitting on the patio on summer evenings brought many a view long to be remembered. Spent many an hour in the gardens. Raised a host of many kinds of melons. Froze an abundance of tomatoes, corn, peas etc. as well as chili for the winter. Besides the vacancy at Messiah, I also served at Berea and again at Millston.
When 1986 arrived I was ready to leave the classroom and be put out to pasture. But as you will recall the years of being in the pasture we interrupted with regular frequency. More of that later. Now to return to mother's notes. Will pick up on her notes of 1983 on the next episode. Dad]
X. Mother’s Notes from 1983 and 1984
April 10, 1983
Finally saw and held our newest grandchild, Aaron…Yesterday dad put in a few potatoes but the snow was so bad he couldn't see the rows… Rollie enjoyed his trip to Texas. We were glad his car held up… Still holding down my job at Prange's, but wasn't so sure about that one day. I was carrying some drapes over my arm, and my feet got tangled up in the folds and I fell flat on my face… I fractured my nose, and had two beautiful purple and black and blue and green eyes. But after the first 48 hours I felt much better… Now this spring, we want to visit my mother in MIL. She is getting weaker… Donald would like to have her enter a nursing home, but she is not ready for that…
Dad is vacancy pastor at Inver Grove Heights… Mark and Ruth will be moving in July. We will really miss them and Millston. But so it goes.
So now Roland is taking care of Millston. Renew old acquaintances… We spent some time in Milwaukee. Went to lunch at Maders… We all left Saturday for a cottage in Northern Wisconsin, for a week of fishing with Paul and family Jeremy is serious, Nathan has a quite a glint in his eyes, Micah is just loveable… I enjoy listening to him talk. And Daniel is Grandma’s boy.
Kathy and Omar sent Justin up to camp this summer. He slept with us but took his meals at the dining hall… Checked in with us often.
Mark Gulerud is coming to Millston. He will be installed on Jan. 8. We have enjoyed being at Millston each Sunday, it is showing on Roland… Our Daniel is settled in Tampa, and has a job and now a home.
Debi and John are expecting twins any day now. Every time the phone rings, I hope it is Deb with the good news… This weekend Roland ordained and installed Rollie as pastor in Sioux Falls. So glad Rollie received a call. So thankful Paul is back in the ministry… Now this weekend Roland will install Paul at Watertown and at the country church.
It was the first graduation that my mother was not able to attend… She has adjusted to life in the nursing home... She looks so tiny to me.
December 4, 1984
This summer the children are planning a family gathering near Cheyenne. One of the last weekends in October, we drove to Milwaukee to visit my mother and my brother in Kenosha. Donald had an operation on his knees, and is on crutches and wheel chair for three months.
June 4, 1985
We had planned to visit Ruth and Mark in Michigan, but the weather turned bad, so we stopped a day with Deb and John, and family… How thankful we have been with the good health of our children and grandchildren. But God saw fit that Kath's last baby was still-born. A little girl. We visited the grave so small on Memorial Day.
Beth and Perry had a girl born April 25th. They have three children now. Named her Kimberly. She is so sweet...
We are all quite excited about our trip to Cheyenne.
[Excerpts from a letter written by Dad on July 24, 1985. It was written after our trip to Cheyenne and the campgrounds. You gave us a clock and we still have it. "The clock says, "Prepare to meet thy God – rather the Lord through the prophet Amos says, "Prepare to meet thy God." It is a warning and an invitation. To the careless, indifferent, unbelieving it is a severe warning; to the humble child of God it is a gracious invitation and promise.
My parents began that preparation 65 years ago at baptism, they continued it through instruction at home and 19 years of Christian education. The one important factor in that preparation was the constant reminder that it is the Lord who prepares in His way. When we begin to make our own preparations, we forget that it is the Lord who determines what is acceptable and never man. You and I are not going to sit on the throne of God and hand down verdicts. It is the Lord. So in preparing to meet Him for eternity we will be prepared when we turn to His Word for instruction. "Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth." Most people talk too much and don't do enough listening when it comes to preparing to meet their God. He speaks- we listen. He speaks - not husband, wife, or children, relatives or friends - but God speaks - we listen. What does He say? "By grace are ye saved through faith in Christ Jesus without the deeds of the Law. Luther rightly says "when I stand in the presence of God all I know is the Gospel... We have tried to give each one of you that God given preparation so carefully laid out in His Word. You, too, will do well to hear only God and His Word and to put aside the foolish thoughts of sin-blinded men...." So far dad's letter.]
[More from mother's notes on another day, Dad]
XI. Mother’s Notes from 1985 and 1986
October 23, 1985
Our family reunion with our families was just wonderful. Beth and Perry and children did not come, a new baby and too much business. Dan and Doreen and kids did not come either, just couldn't swing it financially. Through LeRoy Greening, we were able to get a beautiful lodge and campground all for ourselves for the get-together. Plenty of rocks and boulders for all the children to climb and explore a small stream with trout. Boys went fishing to the reservoir across the road from us. Dennis and John brought their canoes to use. One day several of the families went to revisit Snowy Range, just as beautiful as ever. Rollie and the older children climbed the mountain and slid down the patches of snow…
It was good to get reacquainted with John's children... It has been five years... By Friday everyone was leaving.
The children presented us with a beautiful clock, an anniversary gift. It will be our fortieth next week.
Retirement, Roland submitted his resignation to ILC. He will finish out the school year... Right now we are planning to move to Mankato as we have three daughters who live there... I shall retire from Prange's, springtime I guess. At least I have my ten years in for a small retirement from them.
Ruth and Mark are expecting in April... John and Deb are all moved into their new quarters in Middleton… Jean and Dennis are enlarging their house... Beth and Perry put in new windows...
January 27, 1986
This is Wisconsin in the winter, but it started so early this season. Hope by next winter, we should be able to spend some time in Arizona.
My mother died on December 17th in the evening of a heart attack... A service was held at the funeral home, in Milwaukee on Friday evening... Deb and John were at the service none of the others could get away. Perry had ordered a beautiful bouquet of flowers from all the grandchildren. Mother was 85 years old.
It was so much fun to have the grandchildren here. Jill, Jonathon and Gina. They couldn't get enough of the snow, and we have plenty... Then Beth and Perry came on Christmas Day....
So now it will be the job of going through our belongings and deciding just what to keep and what to give away. Roland has gone through his books... Paul made the remark that Rollie could have all the German books, and he the English.
April 15, 1986
We had Debi and children here for about a week they had water in their basement apartment… We spent some time with Paul and Barb in Watertown while on vacation... spent one day in Mankato looking for an apartment... Dale Bernthal put in his appearance.
[Dad's notes: finished out the school year, packed up and moved to 405 North 5th Street #118 in Mankato in the middle of June 1986. Brought to a close 22 years of teaching at ILC Mr. Don Ohlmann invited us to make use of his home in Sun City, Arizona during the coming winter. We looked forward to doing just that. Northwest Airlines had a special offer for senior citizens for a goodly number of tickets to be used over the period of a year. Picked them up and as a result we were able to fly to see John in Washington, to fly to Arizona, to fly to Florida, and to fly to Saginaw and home again.]
[Mother's notes pick up again on November 17th from Sun City Arizona, Dad]
Sun City, Arizona November 17, 1986
Packing up and moving to a lovely apartment in Mankato, Minnesota, June 21. Lois Jean and family live only one block away, and Kathleen and family live 3 blocks away. So we are all back and forth often. Beth and Perry live about 15 miles from us, and they drop in often when in Mankato on errands. Roland has helped Perry several times with deliveries and wedding set ups. We are thankful to be with the children. Fourth of July, Paul, Barb and kids, Rollie and all Mankato people as well as Perry, Beth and children had planned a welcoming picnic at Sibley Park.
Then some journeys began. To Saginaw during Synod week. We drove the northern route. Stopped to visit Mackinaw Island. Interesting, also bought some special island fudge. Saginaw and Ruth and Marks and children. Dale, the baby, 3 months old then, was quite a husky boy [too bad she could not see him now 6 foot 2 and growing]. Ruth took us to Frankenmuth, one of the founding areas of the Missouri Synod. Visited the St. Lorenz church, huge.
We also went to a farm and picked blueberries. In forty five minutes we had plenty...Weather was quite warm and humid there.
Roland preached that Sunday as it was Mark's tenth year in the ministry and Roland had installed him at Millston, cake and ice cream after the service [you should have seen the dinner for his 25th anniversary]. Beautiful church in Saginaw.
Had to leave. Drove south around Lake Michigan to Kenosha, where we visited Donald and Doris. Donald did take us to Milwaukee and the cemetery where Mother is buried.
Our next stop was in Madison to visit Debi, John and children. While there we toured the House on the Rock. Stopped for a picnic at Shot Tower State Park... Christopher, one of the twins, became my pal. Roland preached for John also and we left after services for home.
While in Mankato I attended the State Fair with Kathy and Omar... also had a picnic with the three families at Fort Ridgely... It is just great to be so close to the children.
We are now in Sun City and enjoying every minute of it... weather beautiful. Really feel for you Northeners with winter upon you already.
[The following are words addressed to you children in a letter from your mother. Dad]
As Christmas draws ever nearer our thoughts go back to the first Christmas we shared 27 years ago here in Phoenix. It was a time when many of the customary dressings' of the Christmas season were absent or at least at a minimum level. No snow - no cold- no traditional church building- no highly decorated living room- very few gifts - as a result there were many emotional tugs at the heart - feeling that somehow you, children, were deprived of something due you. There was also very much a positive side to that Christmas. When the trappings are removed, one sees more clearly the essential and the essence of Christmas is God's gifts, the Babe of Bethlehem, come to fulfill the law for us and to die for the removal of our guilt.
Sometimes in the rush of daily life even now, we tend to let the nonessentials, the luxuries, the hurts of life, get in the way of seeing clearly the marvelous, eternal, and gracious gifts of God's love. We dare not let earthly treasures, people's ambitions, or feelings close our eyes to the heart of Christmas.
Nowhere, as much as in Phoenix, some 23 years ago have we learned "to look to the hills from whence cometh our help - our help cometh from the Lord who made the heavens and the earth - He that keepeth thee shall not slumber nor sleep." And again to find the truth in that promise, "Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee."
From the warmth of the Valley of the Sun, to you and yours a warm Christmas greeting in the name of God's Son, Jesus Christ…
[A letter from you mother 25 years ago and still very much to be read and respected this 28th day of July 2001, Dad]
[Note: At the end of the last installment of your mother's writings, I said it was a letter sent to you children some 25 years ago. That of course is not correct. That letter was written in 1986, which makes it some 15 years age not 25. Sorry for the mistake. Dad]
(Dad gives Mom credit for sending this letter—I do not doubt it was sent out with her name. However, the words are Dad words; not Mom’s. Mom was articulate and well (novel) read. Literate but not one to use King James English. John)
XII. Notes from 1987 and 1988
Jan 15, 1987
Sun City, Arizona: Our address is still Sun City, but only for one more week. The Don Ohlmanns are coming the 27th so we must move on to visit Dan and Doreen and children… Pastor and Mrs Norbert Reim had us over for a supper. They have a spacious home on a golf course, with a view of desert and mountains in the background... We have had a few winter visitors here. Rollie and Mark Kranz and his mother drove down after Christmas... We took Rollie to "our" old house on Highland Ave and to South Mountain Park… Joel and Peter Gerbitz were visitors in the valley. They stopped to visit one evening with the Gerlachs.
One of our most interesting trips was to Sedona, and Montezuma Castle, and the Oak Creek Canyon… Also took a trip out Scottsdale Road to the little city of Carefree. Beautiful homes built into the hillside and among the huge boulders and desert… Spent some time wondering through the many gift shops. All items on the expensive side. At Cave Creek we stopped at a Frontier Town... but there the prices were more in our range and purchased a leather hand tooled belt for Roland Spent Christmas Day with Nancy and Mark Batig.
Took Selma Ohlmann and her sister Irene to Mary Coyle's Ice Cream Store. Had a Sundae, delicious homemade ice cream. From the "coward's" size on up. The Gerlachs introduced us to Mary Coyles while we were living here. Pleasantly surprised to find it still existed.
One Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Schemm took us on a sightseeing tour, just west of Sun City. Visited a new retirement area, Happy Trails Trailer and RV area, both of which were expensive, but interesting to visit. Then we drove west through acres of citrus groves, roses, vineyards and full of vegetables to the White Tank Mountains.
Also made a trip with Mrs. Schemm and Selma Ohlmann through Wickenberg, to a dude ranch. One needs money to stay there. On to Yarnell and stopped at a Catholic Shrine, built on the side of a hill, Stopped at Prescott. Had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, where we had deep fried burritos, with red sauce. Very good. Then through Clarksdale, across Prescott Valley and through the mountains and Prescott National Forrest. The hillsides were covered with pines and patches of snow on the ground.
So nice to smell the pines and see snow on the ground. We drove up to and over to Jerome, which had been a mining town, then a ghost town, and now fast becoming a tourist trap... Many buildings being restored. And then on to Cottonwood.
Debi's Christopher fell on a patch of ice and fractured his thigh... Deb is due the end of January, I hope to get there to help out.
Before we came to Phoenix, we spent a week with John and Carrie... He took us sightseeing there in the mountains.
May 7, 1987
Enjoyed our stay with Daniel and Doreen in Tampa. Their four are growing up fast. Daniel took us on as sightseeing trip of Tampa. Stopped at a cigar factory... smelled so good. We also visited a Spanish Galleon on the bay.
Our next stop was Saginaw, and snow. Beautiful to see again. I borrowed a warmer coat of Ruth's to wear when Roland and I took a walk. A pleasant visit with everyone. We left there on a Saturday and flew to Detroit, where I went on to Madison and Roland to the Cities and home. Our suitcases went on to New Jersey. Roland's was delivered the following day but mine the same evening. One often hears of such mix-ups.
I spent two weeks with Deb and John and family after I got there Nathaniel was born. John took a week’s vacation so all went well in spite of all the confusion.
I took the bus home, a long lonesome ride, But good to be "home" again.
We were almost decided as to where to use our last two airline tickets when Roland took sick. So after seeing an urologist and X-rays, he had surgery—prostate gland reamed—so no lifting or driving for six weeks. We take short walks now.
During his stay in the hospital, Beth had her baby, a boy. So I divided my time between them. They named him Tysen Drew.
[Dad's note A lot of travel packed into that last letter. Was good to see the children again and to visit new and old places. Made more miles in those few months than ever before. To be continued....]
[Note: Just had an email from Bohde that the judge has granted Flora the right to come to Minnesota and temporarily be in a nursing home here in MN. This is for a six-month period and will be reevaluated at the end of that time. She will be in a nursing home some miles from New Ulm to begin with but when an opening occurs in New Ulm will be brought there. Marie has worked for this for years and finally has won a temporary victory over Flora's family that pays no attention to her. Dad]
Oct. 30, 1987
The summer has past by really fast. Some of the highlights were: a week at Lake Vermont with Paul and family; family get-together picnics for my brother Donald and Doris, Debbie John and children, my niece Donna and her two children, visiting during the summer…
Roland has gone fishing with Sippert a few times, and has been preaching a number of times. Today is his last day on a part time job. He won’t take on another job for a while, not until after Barb's baby is here. She has to be careful these last four weeks, stay off her feet, so I had spent a week with them early October, this week her folks are there, and then we will go and stay until the baby arrives.
Well the Twins won the World Series, and we had the grandchildren over to watch all the games but one. The mothers decided that Grandma and Grandpa needed a night off, but we did not mind them coming, wall-to-wall kids. Popped a lot of corn for everyone.
Finally finished my Cathedral Square quilt. Five years in the making. Statistics are, 720 muslin squares, and 1,323 2-inch colored squares.
August 18, 1988
[This letter came from Rochester New York. We came there in a very hot July and were there until October.]
Our weather has really cooled down today, only70 this morning… Roland is mowing the parsonage lawn.
We are enjoying are stay here in Rochester, NY. The parsonage is an older, stately home. As there are 4 bedrooms upstairs, I use one as a studio, another as an ironing room, another as our bedroom, and the fourth has a single bed in it. The living room is large, had been the church, and the dining room also. We were invited to a member’s home for dinner, and then saw slides of the house turned into a church, and the building of the present church.
One member has taken us on a few tours of the city and surrounding areas. He is a native of New York. Much to see here. He and his wife took us to see Niagra Falls and surrounding points of interest, Lock Port and locks on the Erie Canal. The canal runs south of us a bit and drive over it quite a bit. Visited Fort Niagra, built in 1679 on Lake Ontario, and Niagra River, Canada just across the river. Viewed the Falls from various points and then took a boat ride up to the American Falls, and to the base of Horeshoe Falls... Drove across the river to Canada, toured the city, beautifully landscaped. Back across into USA and home. We left at 8:30 a.m. and were back at 8:31 p.m.
The members are so good to us - fresh garden vegetables, Polish rye bread, cookies, and invitations to dinner. Quite a few are retired, and older than we are… there is much to see here. We are planning a few trips, one to Finger Lakes area and to see the Thousand Islands on the St
Laurence Seaway. [Dad's note: We did get to the Finger Lakes and to the Grand Canyon of the East, but never did make it to the Thousand Islands but it may be that my memory fails me here. I do have some recollection of the area whether from pictures or from being there.]
Many apple orchards, vineyards, plumb, cherry and peach trees in the vicinity.
Visited Eau Claire several times this Spring, a banquet, the concert and graduation, to Watertown. Took Jeremy home after graduation. Had to help him finish packing. So glad we were in Eau Claire for our children’s school days.
[Dad's note: We indeed were happy to have them under our roof during those years. When I mentioned this July 2001 to Ruth she replied that she thought she missed some of the camaraderie that dorm life had to offer.]
At this house [Rochester
] there is lot of empty wall space. I have finished a few pictures and hung them up, three winter scenes [winter scenes were painted at my suggestion for the summer was very hot and I wanted something cool to look at.]
We may have visitors this month. The Riggert family from Middleton are going to Syracuse and to Boston in August and hoped to stop here. The Riggerts did come and took mother's winter pictures along to frame them. They have become a prize addition to our apartment walls here in Mankato.
[Dad: Will pick up with our return trip to Mankato and on to Florida soon.]
November 30, 1988
Where to begin, seems our life has been busy and full. Anyway we left Indian Landing Church right after the Installation Dinner, and drove as far as Ruth and Mark's in Saginaw. Had a pleasant rip through Ontario and along the lake. Visited all day Monday, and then left early Tuesday morning. We wanted to get through Chicago area before the traffic got to heavy, and managed easily. Arrived in Middleton early in the afternoon. Deb and John are now living in the whole parsonage, as the church is finished. The house is tastefully finished off and the family has room to spread out. So glad for them.
Then on to Mankato and home. While there the kids gave us a certificate for dinner at the Kaiserhoff in New Ulm. Paul and Barb and family came on Sunday, and Rollie too. So with Lois Jean and Dennis, Kathy and Omar, Beth and Perry and Rollie and Deb. S., we were twelve, and had a private room to ourselves. It was so nice. The grandkids were scattered between
Lois, Kathy and our apartment, and Mara and Amy and Justin took care of the kids.
The Thurows called and also wrote, to let us know just what to expect and just what is needed in the way of clothes and cooking utensils etc. (in Florida)So after tying up odds and ends we packed our car full, and off on the road again. Stopped at Deb and John’s again, and then at my brother's in Kenosha, and around Chicago Sunday morning. Drove as far as Elizabethtown, KY. and were glad to stop. The land was pretty then, but drove through some hilly country, outside of Louisville. The drive through the Smokeys was just great, hillsides covered with rust and the greens of the pines, and misty and hazy valleys, sun shining through blue skies. Then on through Georgia, to Gainsville, green grass, palm trees, flowers blooming everywhere, warm bright sunshine and enjoyed the accent of the Georgia people.
Carl Thurow had made reservations for us all at a motel in Gainsville. We arrived before they did. When they arrived we went out for diner and got information on the situation in Manasota Key and North Port. We left the next morning headed for Manasota Key and the Peters.
We have a nice two room apartment on the Peter's property. Their home is on Lemeon Bay, beautiful view. It is truly a winter vacation spot. Church is held in a room in an enclosed mall In North Port, a city about 17 miles from Manasota Key. First Sunday we had 11 people in service, and last Sunday 17. Daniel and his family attended...winter visitors from Ontario Canada regularly showed up.
We are enjoying the beach, on the Gulf side. Swim most every day, a few days after Keith (our first taste of a hurricane) had gone through, the waves were quite high, and rough. We walked the beach and collected sea shells.
Think of the members in Rochester often and hope all goes well.
Our Deb and John had another boy, November 23, named David.
III. More Phoenix Memories
Just a few more memories before we leave Phoenix country for the north. You may well remember visiting Montezuma Castle as well as Sedona, the Red Rock country. On the way to Sedona we stopped to see what a car ahead of us was looking at. On the road was a large tarantula. You may also recall going up to the church outside of Sedona and looking over the valley and hills of the Red Rocks. An area where many western movies were made in past years. Just outside of Sedona was Oak Creek Canyon and river. You kids went sliding down that creek one Sunday with the Gerlack children. The road to Flagstaff goes up that canyon. Paul and John may remember a trip we took one Sunday to Douglas and Bisby on the border with Mexico. I went there to preach for Joel Gerlack. At that time he too had left the Wisconsin Synod. Later he went back.
XIII. Notes from 1989 and 1990
April 19, 1989
At Christmas time, we followed Daniel up to Tampa and spent the day and evening with them and her folks. Seranos had a buffet lunch about 3 in the afternoon and opened gifts at their home. Piles of paper and gifts, was very comfortable to be there. We drove home on Monday, and started to get ready for the visit of Kathy, Omar, and their seven children as well as Rollie. Weather was a bit cool but everyone went swimming and boating. They left on Sunday after church. It is always so quiet when everyone leaves. I am glad to have the tidying up to do.
We did a lot of visiting, some sightseeing. Cyprus Gardens, stopped at Winter Haven, Myakka State Park Took the air boat on the lake. The guide pointed out the alligators sunning and swimming, many wading birds, Sandhill cranes, Anhingas, osprey, and of course vultures. All
this while Ernie and Esther were with us.
They, Ernie and Esther left after three weeks. Then Ruth and Mark and children came on Wednesday the 29th. They left after traveling to Sannibel Island and attending church services...
Slowly the visitors at our services are leaving for their homes up north. And come May 21, so will we. I have mixed feelings about that step. The Peters have been very good to us…but it will be good to be home again. Miss the kids, old and young.
This Sunday, Pastor Kuehne from Winter Haven came down, as he will take over for the summer.
About a block down the road from our apartment, people were having a house built. A skull was uncovered on the lot. It turned out to be an Indian Burial ground. About 80 skeletons were uncovered. The bodies were believed to be dated from 600 to 1400 A.D. So many visitors, we did not volunteer to sift sand.
[Farewell to Manasota Key and hello to Mankato. Dad]
July 13, 1989
Needless to say we are very glad to get back to our own home...Always takes a little while to unpack and get settled again. We did buy two new chairs, large one for Roland and a smaller one for myself. Gave our old ones away. Now I have the large dining room table as my work table in the middle room.
A Gurgel family reunion was held in La Crosse on July 9. All of Roland's brothers and sisters were there. Many of the nieces and nephews attended. We had three of our children there, Bethany and Perry, Deborah and John and Paul land Barb. A total of 92 people.
Among the shells I brought from Florida were some sand dollars. As gifts for each of the girls, painted scenes on each. They turned out quite well. And then did a large collage with many shells. Haven't decided where to hang it yet. We need a larger house. [The collage hangs in our bedroom and is greatly admired to this day. I am surrounded by many things your mother made during her life time from quilts, to pictures to clothing etc. How can I forget her. Dad]
We have no plans for the summer, as we had an extended vacation in Florida.
December 12, 1989
First of all, really thought I would be writing to you from sunny, warm Phoenix, but the weather intervened, a snow storm coming from the west, just where we would be driving, so we canceled We spent some time with Paul and his family on Lake Vermont. Fishing good. Went with Kathy to State Fair...
One Sunday afternoon we took a walk and after walking up the hill, Roland felt quite tired, and had a tightness in his chest. Monday he went to the doctor and diagnosed as Angina Pectoris. Given a prescription 'Procardia' one of which he takes every day. [Have done so for the last 12 plus years. Switched some years ago to a pill called Norvasc, seems to have helped these many years. Dad]
July 31, 1990
Here we are again planning a trip to Florida. We are looking forward to spending the cold months in a warm and sunny clime during the month of June we took a trip to Lamar to visit Rollie Stopped at Valentine to visit the Ohlmanns. Many of Roland's former students living around Valentine had a barbeque at church for him. It was fun visiting all of them.
This morning I started, knitting Barbie Doll ethnic outfits—Hungarian, Spanish, French Empire, and Victorian. They are just darling. Will give one to each of the younger female grandchildren, for Christmas...have finished seven only two more to go.
Will be in Florida September 1 God-willing.
October 23. 1990
Manasota Key: On August 18th we left Mankato and drove to Sparta and spent the weekend with Ernie and Esther. Attended church at Millston, as we hadn't seen the finished building, Very nicely done. On Monday we drove over to Middleton and spent three days with Deb and John and family. On Wednesday my brother Donald and his wife, Doris, came. We caught up on news and just visited. Thursday drove over to Saginaw. Naturally Roland preached for Mark. [Ruth as you look over these many letters of mother you might be surprised how many times she notes that we stopped at Saginaw as well as with the other children. Dad]
Stopped at Lexington, Ky. that first night. Second night at Lake City, Florida. Caught in a terrific down pour and had to wait a half hour until it stopped... talk about hydroplaning. Next day on to Manasota Key. Weather had been warm, 142 days with temps 90 and above. We took a swim every day in the gulf. Water temps 80 or so. Beautiful sunsets over the gulf. [Mother has many pictures of those sun sets. Dad]
Last time we were here, the hurricane Keith hit this area. This year, Marco, a tropical storm. But we made sure we had candles handy and filled some pitchers with water. It rained all night and the wind blew, and we could hear the wind blow and the roaring of the wind and waves. After the wind stopped, no noise, really unearthly quiet. Next morning we found the yard a mess, palm fronds, and one palm tree down. Took a while to clean up.
On October 23
, we had our first service in our own building. [It was the police museum done over into a chapel.] On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Peters had his own pipe organ installed in the church, it sounds wonderful. [We have pictures of the renovation of the building and the installing of the organ.]
I go out to church at least once a week with Gloria Peters to wash the many windows in the church... the atrium also needs much attention... but a couple who just joined are willing to help in that area.
Enjoyed the pastoral conference at Live Oaks. Everyone but Pastor Arvid Gullerud enjoyed the boating trip on the river. His rubber raft sprung a leak and he went swimming....
[Note: Just an afterthought: Do any of you or your children still have the Barbie clothes mother made and spoke of in one of her previous letters? It would be interesting to know if they are still around and treasured. Dad]
XIV. Notes from 1991 and 1992
March 5, 1991
Weather report: a bit cooler these past few days. Also some much needed rain showers. The citrus trees are blossoming now, fragrant odor when walking past the trees. Spring is here but one hardly notices the different seasons. [Dad's note: My father always said he was happy to get back to Wisconsin from Globe Arizona that he might experience distinct seasons of the year.]
In November the church was dedicated, attendance some 34. We had a picnic lunch, tables and chairs were brought in. Pastor List preached, his wife came along.
Then on Thanksgiving we drove to Daniel and Doreen's in Tampa. Spent the evening visiting and playing word games. Paul and Barb and boys arrived on December 16, for a week’s visit. The boys enjoyed the beach, and sunny weather. One boy had a nice sunburn. The whole family drove to Disney World.
Peter had the boys stomp for clams off his dock on the Bay, and they found three pails of them. Barb made clam chowder... very good.
On Saturday, Dec. 22
, Roland came down with the flu [Dad's note: It wasn't the flu but some ear virus that made me extremely dizzy and unable to sit up. Mother thought she was going to be a widow.] Had a big Christmas dinner with Daniel and Paul's family. Paul preached for
Roland Sunday. They left for Milwaukee after service. House was so quiet.
Attendance at church has been increasing.
February has been a busy month. Roland's brother Ernest and his wife, Esther arrived on the 6th and were here for two weeks. We enjoyed their company. Visited the Everglades one day. Took a boat trip among the Ten Thousand Islands.
Letter from Ruth, and family pictures taken at Paul's commissioning to Nigeria.
A telephone call from Amy Wendland. She would like to come down here for a few weeks, has a paper to write Depression Years, she is looking for help from grandpa.
The Lester Maas family from Sleepy Eye are visiting in the area. We had them over for some meals.
Had a letter from Paul he is kept busy in Nigeria.
Church attendance was 42. It kept growing with some Canadian Lutherans visiting at North Port.
March 3 church attendance 48 so it grows. Amy here for a few weeks.
Dad called Deb about their trip down here.
[Dad's note: Mother's Round Robin letters From March 3 to December 16, 1993 are gone. Cannot find them anywhere. I am certain she wrote but where she put them is a question. So I have been picking up items from her Diary which is quite complete in its day by day summary of activities. Will scan the diary for interesting tidbits for the next few years. Dad]
[Had visitors at the Key. One family from Coloma, the Reinhardts met him again when I served at Coloma years later, a family from Eagle Lake, Andereggs and of course Deb and John and children. They enjoyed the swimming, boating and sights of Florida. Daniel and family were here often. For Mother's Day they gave mother an orchid corsage, the blue ribbon matched her blue dress. She was very happy with the gift. Dad]
Heard from Paul in Nigeria and their many problems. Also Rollie leaving Lamar.
[Kuehne from Winter Haven came down to prepare for taking over when we leave. We left on May 19th after service and made some 1800 miles back to Mankato. Arrived here on May 21st and mother remarks that it was good to see the kids en route and at home. Dad]
[So ended our second journey to Florida. This one lasted from the end of August till close to the end of May. The congregation there had grown and had acquired their own building. We were to make one more trip to North Port and Manasota Key. That one would come in November of 1991 till February of 1992. Dad]
[When we came back in May of 1991 I had a hernia operation that slowed me down for some weeks. Had it done again in April of 2001 and was a much better job the second time. The summer months were filled with visits from the children and grandchildren and letters from Paul in Nigeria and Roland in Colorado various places. Mother's daily entries sounds like a broken record. Dad took his walks, she was busy with painting and sewing. Dad made the dinners. Kids were over or we were invited to their home. Attended Synod meeting at Eau Claire. Went fishing with Sippert.
North Port had been calling for a permanent pastor. Hallauer was one who had received the call but according to mother's notes Mrs. Hallauer declined. I was contacted to see if I would be willing to serve again. When the end of October and early November snow storm of the century hit we were ready to head for warmer climates. Dad]
[We left Mankato Friday, November 15th as usual we stopped at Sparta to see my brother then on to Hales Corners to see Deb and John and family, then headed south for Florida with a stop at Chattanooga, then one more stop before hitting Manasota Key. Mother writes:] It is almost as if we had never left. Spent $135.00 on groceries... Robert and Gloria glad to see us again.
A bit different this time for we were serving while calling a permanent pastor. Happy to see Daniel and family again. They with Doreen's folks will be here for Thanksgiving dinner. Even Doreen's dad came to church. Mrs. Sorano could not believe that he would attend.
The congregation called Prof. Koch to be their pastor. That call was returned.
Cats and dolphins. A black cat had visited us for a time, when she concluded that we were to be trusted she brought her kittens. She watched to see what we might do. When she was convinced she could trust us with her little ones she disappeared and left the kittens to our care. Dolphins by the dozen in the Gulf. Fun to watch them swim and play and feed.
Made many trips to Venice and the Candy Store. [Mother enjoyed the many varieties they had to offer.]
Debbie called they have another boy, Jesse.
Saturday, December 21, dad watched football game on TV. [ PACKERS BEAT THE
VIKINGS IN DOME IN TWIN CITIES. REPEAT PERFORMANCE LAST DECEMBER 2000
Jill home for Christmas from ILC. She had gained 15 pounds.
Michael Sprengeler has the call to North Port.
[Mother working on a picture of a chapel in the Grand Tetons. I believe it is in Ruth's hallway now.]
Ernie and Esther came down for a visit. Good to see them. 42 in church.
Sunday, January 19th
Did dishes then drove to Sarasota and visited the Selby Gardens. Really enjoyed it. Large grounds and all threes and plants had printed signs by each group of vegetation...
Wednesday, Jan. 22nd
We drove Ernest and Esther to dock at 8 a.m., where they left with some 30 people on board a boat for a fishing trip out on the gulf. They caught a few fish but no real keepers.
Ruth called, Mark has call to Sleepy Eye, MN. Would be nice to have 4 daughters and families close to us. Mark has had many calls over the years, but Saginaw has a hold on him.
Pastor Karl Stewart has accepted the call to North Port so our days down in Florida are numbered.
The Stewart family arrived...very low keyed people, mother writes.
Church attendance 44, the Quades were here.
Dan and Doreen move to Eau Claire? Doreen would have job at Wendys.
Sunday Feb. 23
Installation Day for Pastor Stewart, Pastor Schierenbeck is down here for that service. 41 in church. Welcoming dinner for the Stewarts… We left North Port about 11:35 for the cold north Atlanta, Nahsville, Louisville, fought rain and snow finally gave up at Kenosha, on to Hales Corners and Deb and John's. Everyone is fine Baby Jesse is a big boy at 10 lbs already...
Wednesday, Feb. 26th
Headed for and arriving at Mankato made some 1760 miles since Sunday noon.
[End of Florida episode in our lives. They were pleasant months and years. Dad]
April 19, 1992
Spring Break: Gena at ILC so we drove to Eau Claire and picked up Gina and Jonathon and brought them back to Mankato. The next days we had a house full of children playing with cousins in the recreation room and around the dining room table.
Paul and Barb back from Africa. Interesting to hear their adventures. Paul out looking for a house to buy.
[The big news of the last part of 1992 was our trip to Vermont. Left Mankato September 10 headed for the green mountain state. Made stops along the way. Sparta, Hales Corners, Kenosha, Saginaw. Left Saginaw on Saturday, 19th, drove to Port Huron and into Canada heading for Rochester, New York. Preached for Paul Nolting, who had undergone surgery. The congregation had a pot-luck dinner for us. Mother's note:] Was so nice to see all the members again, and catch up on the news.
Left Paul and Betty about 7:30 a.m. after a delicious and filling breakfast. Now in Schenectody, New York 11:20 a.m. Arrived in Bennington, Vermont about 12:30 or so. Much traffic and sightseers - took picture of St. Francis Catholic Church (quite a building). Finally found a motel for the afternoon and evening. Now off to Grandma Moses Gallery. [This the reason we headed for Vermont. One grandma painter to see the works of another grandma painter.] Besides her painting also other items of interest. Then down to Bennington Battle Monument.
9 a.m. off to Arlington, Vermont Museum of Norman Rockwell. Many of his Post Covers are on display. One lady, showed us around. As a young girl she posed for Rockwell . He used many home town people as his models.
Before the museum opened we toured a cemetery. Birth dates on the tomb stones ranged from the 1500 to 1600s.
Visited Fort Ticonderoga. Walked around the buildings and walls. The price for going inside was $7.00. Thought we could spend that better some other place. Then headed for Killington Inn. We had made reservations to stay there for a few days a month or so in advance. After a good breakfast at the Inn, quite a few mostly older people also in the dining room, we headed out for more sightseeing.
Stopped at Woolen Wonderland on the border of Vermont and New Hampshire. Purchased 2 place mats [still use them today]. Also purchased a sweater. 11:00 a.m. stopped for a picnic lunch at a park in the Green Mts. National Park. Visited Chimney Point on Lake Champlain… Colors were just coming out on the hillsides... Can't wait to get home to try and paint the mountains.
Very delicious dinner tonight- clam chowder, dad had salad with artichokes, large steak, well done, baked potato - dad- rice pilaf for me, carrots, something green, thinly sliced, cheese cake with strawberries and cream on top. I was full.
Burlington Vt. Frost on car window. Snow being made for ski lift up a bit from us. Toured a maple sugar house and also a marble quarry.
heading back to Rochester, had some confusion finding the roads we wanted.
left Rochester and headed for Saginaw. Mark has call to Jamestown- Saginaw still holds him.
Left Saginaw and took the northern route back to Mankato. It was a long and tiresome drive before we finally got to our apartment.
Our backs and shoulders are a bit sore from so much driving and sitting. The trip was well worth it. Mother enjoyed the scenery and the work of the two famous artists.
[Dad. We have done a lot of traveling in our retirement years. Shades of grandma Bauer.]
XV. Notes from 1993 and 1994
Apart from the regular routine of a year, 1993 saw us spending some 5 months in Columbus, Ohio. Went there at the request of the Mission Board to investigate the possibilities of opening a mission in that city. There were three families requesting such an endeavor. They were Mr. and Mrs Tiefel, Mr. and Mrs. Shrader and children, and Mr. And Mrs. Jim Lane.
A town house was rented for us near a meeting hall and swimming pool. We were able to use the hall for Sunday services and mother used the swimming pool regularly.
We did a lot of advertising in the local daily paper with some success at times. Did have a number of inquiries and visits but nothing to warrant the establishing of a permanent mission at this time.
We had visitors from the family at various times. Beth and Perry and children spent some days with us. They spent some time sightseeing. They toured the replica of the Santa Maria in the harbor, the Topiary Gardens and other points of interest in the city and the vicinity.
Donald and Doris also visited for a few days as did Ruth and children and another time Mark, Ruth, and children. Pastor Paul Tiefel and family came to visit his parents and attended church one Sunday. That gave a boost to the attendance.
On Sunday, August 22 we had a picnic after the service. After dinner the men had a meeting to consider where to start canvassing. I took the children on a hike during the meeting. Chris, Mrs. Shrader, supplied Key Lime pie and I made a squash pie. Member of the church discussed what course to take.
By October it was quite evident that it was time to call a halt to the endeavor. So On October 25 we headed for Mankato by way of Saginaw… and Hales Corners.
The stay in Columbus was pleasant in many ways even though it did not result in the establishing of a mission there. The Town House was adequate, but the area was not the most desirable for establishing a mission. Thefts and murders were not uncommon in the section where we lived.
[At the end of mother's diary for 1993 she has the following.]
Places where we lived:
April 45 La Crosse, Dad Wis.
October 45 - me
Left for Rib Lake in April of 1947 till June of l950
June 1950 through December of 1953 New Ulm, MN
January 1953 through end of October 1959 Belle Plaine, MN
November 1959 through June 6 Phoenix, AZ
June 6, 1962 through August 6, 1964 Cheyenne, Wyoming
August 6, 1965 through June 1986 22 years
June 1986 to present Mankato MN
July 88 to October 88 Rochester, New York
November 88 to May 89 Englewood, Florida
August end 90 to end of May 91 Englewood, Florida
November 91 middle to end of February 92 Englewood
June 2, 1993 to October 25 Columbus, Ohio
[Also a closing few notes on this page might be of interest in showing mother's literary interests.]
Books to read: "China" John King Fairbank
"Death Penalty" William Coughlin
"Bridges of Madison County" Robert James Waller
"The Last Czar" Radinsky
"Treasures of the Tide"
[Mother's letter dated January 25, 1994]: It is very cold and windy today here in Mankato. We walked over to Don's Hobby Shop for some needed items. The wind is strong and cold.
We were in Eau Claire for the Christmas Holiday. We stayed at Howard Johnson Motel. They have a lovely pool and hot tub. The grandchildren and parents came to swim also. We spent Christmas Eve with Paul, Barb, Rollie and grandchildren. Attended Christmas Eve Servicer at Messiah. Children's service very well done. Visited with many of the members after the service. Weather was icy cold that night.
After service on Sunday, all of us had a Brunch at the Fireside restaurant, where some of the older grandchildren work. Back to Mankato.
Since we are home again, Pastor Fleischer asked Roland to preach the Sundays he would be gone. So we drove to Fridley each Sunday morning from January 9th to February 20th. Have been invited to dinner a few times already. Last Sunday Jim and Beth Sydow had us over for dinner.
Becky Fossum and Andy Buck were there also. He is a very tall person.
March 13, 1994:
Take heart, I saw one robin in a fir tree while on a walk. Spring is just around the corner. [The problem so often is how do I find that corner.]
Roland has been preaching again… this Sunday at Eagle Lake... next Sunday at Okabena, and then at St. Cloud. It is interesting to meet and visit with the groups. Lois Jean and Dennis will also be at Okabena. [Dad's note. Jeannie sat with mother during the service at Okabena and afterwards mentioned to me that mother was having problems following the liturgy. Evidence of Alzheimer’s then already.]
I have a book our daughter Ruth sent me as a Christmas present. "Quilt in a Day."
I am painting a picture, a rural scene, a large one. And started a small one, "Little Red School House" in the country. It is coming along nicely...
We have a new granddaughter, a girl named, Johnna born the 4th of February to John and Cathy. They live in Lewiston Idaho. So I quickly made a quilt for the baby.
[Dad's note: Mother had many problems with that quilt never quite got the way she wanted and the way she was used to doing things.) Johnna was the last of our grandchildren. Now we look forward to the great grandchildren.]
July 5, 1994:
We were in Eau Claire for convention. Took Sippert along. He slept most of the way. Stayed at Paul and Barb's.
Lois Jean has red raspberries growing in her garden. Have enjoyed some of them. The rhubarb is also very good.
Roland's brother Ernst is here. They went fishing. Had a breakfast of fresh fish.
Donna, our niece, was here. Brought a picture of my mother taken at the nursing home. Very well done. Our apartment has a new gas stove. We were so surprised when it was installed. Our apartment will be painted and new carpeting laid one of these days. It was done.
November 11, 1994:
The weather has been very pleasant and warm sun shine. Golden leaves are still on many of the trees. My Christmas cactus outdid itself with flowers. It was just beautiful.
And then in September, a picnic was planned on Saturday the 24th for my birthday. Jeanie's son Karl was able to borrow a large tent, tables and chairs. Weather was perfect. We had a lot of fun. The girls gave me an identification bracelet, name on one side and telephone number engraved on the other side. Whenever I took a walk, I made sure I had some identification - usually just a piece of paper with name and address on it. Paul and Barb as well as the local families were at the birthday party.
Donald and Doris came with a load of apples from their trees. [Dad's note: Those trees all but one are cut down now 2001.]
This Sunday Roland is preaching at Okabena as Vance Fossum is preaching in Balwin, MO. Paul preached for me at Austin so I could go to Okabena.
From November 20 through January 8th of 1995 Dad served as vacancy pastor at Austin, MN. We left early each Sunday morning and drove to Austin. Usually had dinner with the Eichstadts. Mother enjoyed singing with the choir. On the 8th of January installed Stephen Kurtzahn as pastor of the congregation.
[Rolllie was working in Florida. Had purchased a pickup truck came to Minnesota in it. When he returned to Florida it was stripped. Cars. cars always an expense. My father always said he could afford 7 children but never a car. Dad]
XVI. Mother’s Notes from 1995 and 1996
[Continued to enjoy the children’s and grandchildren’s coming and goings. Mother making good use of the pool and enjoying many walks with dad. In July went to La Crosse area for a family reunion and to observe our 50th Wedding Anniversary. Took Beth's children with us. They enjoyed the time with many cousins. Marie and Wilmer also celebrated their 50th anniversary at the same time.]
[Mother's letter dated] April 19, 1995: Kathy's son Bernt is marrying Gretchen Hanel the end of the month. They have a house and are busy working at bringing it up to date. [Dad's note: They just recently sold that house and have purchased a home on sky line drive. Larger home and much larger lot.] The wedding is April 29 at Immanuel here in Mankato. Two other grandsons will be married this year. Jason the 8th of April and Karl in August. So our family increases.
August 17, 1995
We have a marriage coming up in September. Will attend a shower for her, Jamie, on Saturday. She is marrying Karl Wendland. Now we are looking forward to helping out at St. Louis, Balwin, MO. Should be interesting. It has been quite a while since we were there last. (In mid-sixties dad served as vacancy pastor.) I remember the flower clock in the park.
Rollie did some preaching at Immanuel while they are calling for an associate pastor. He does a good job.
We had tickets for Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, "Sweet Hearts". I enjoyed "I Do, I Do" more so than Sweat Hearts. We were home by mid night. I was very tired, but glad to have seen it.
Debbie and three children were here overnight a while back. They were on their way to Sleepy Eye to attend a wedding.
October 27, 1995
We had an interesting time at Faith Lutheran Church in Balwin, MO. While we were there two of the ladies took us on a tour of places to see: The Arch, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Grants Farm, the St. Louis Zoo, which is very large. Spent time walking or riding the small trains which tour the whole area.
Our daughter Lois Jean and husband Dennis are heading out to Arizona soon.
Mankato now has a civic center arena. Used for ice-skating as well as other things. Had a skating show of internationally known figure skaters. I attended. All were very good. We were there till almost midnight. The tickets were $37.50 per person. But it was worth it.
[We spent part of November, all of December, and part of January, serving in Loveland Colorado. Enjoyed meeting many old friends and former students while serving at Prince of Peace Congregation.]
[Mother's letter] February 6th, 1996
We enjoyed our stay in Loveland, and we met many friends. The sun shining on the lake and then the sun and clouds are various colors. Didn't take long and all was clear again. We took many walks around some of the lakes. Beautiful homes in the area. Everyone is very friendly. School bus let off or picked up quite a few children in the church parking lot. The little ones were interesting. Lovely warm weather most of the time even in December and January.
One Sunday Robert and Gerie Ohlmann came to visit us in Loveland. The Greenings also made a trip down from Cheyenne to see us.
I needed a new coat and found one at the Mall in Mankato. It is beautiful blue. Purchased a cream colored hat to wear with it. Roland liked it. It was just what I needed. [Sorry to say mother did not get too much use out of that lovely coat. Now her granddaughter Vanessa has the pleasure of enjoying its beauty and comfort. Dad]
XVII. Dad’s Notes
[Mother's diary notes and her letters to the Robins have come to an end, so I have to rely on my memory for these last years. Somewhere in those years we did make another journey to Rochester, New York for three weeks while the Noltings made a trip to Europe. My recollection says perhaps in 1996 for mother's memory was really suffering lapses. She had problems remembering the people of Indian Landing Lutheran Church. I could no longer leave her travel about the city on the bus lines as she had done on previous visits there. It must have been in September for they remembered her birthday with a little party after church. When I look in her last diary which concludes mid 1996 there is no entry about such a visit. I would hasten to add that the memory lapses were not total. There were times in the last three years when her memory and awareness were quite fair.
During the years from July of 1996 to November of 1998 we did journey to various churches where I preached on occasion such as St Cloud, Kimball, Okabena, Berea in Inver Grove Heights, Fridley. From May 1998 until November of 1998 we were in Okabena, living in the parsonage. Even though the memory was declining she did seem to enjoy our stay there. In the morning we walked to the post office and in the evening we walked to where a bridge was being built on the edge of town. The members helped in many ways to make our stay there, my serving as vacancy pastor, pleasant.
When we returned home at the end of October, although I continued to go there for several more Sundays, there was a dramatic change in mother's health. She became more and more in need of help in many ways. I began making inquiries about a nursing home. Put off a final decision until after a scheduled doctors visit set for March 3, 1999. On March 2nd I took her to the hospital in St. Peter where she passed away that evening. Three days later, March 5th we laid her mortal remains to rest in Pilgrims Rest Cemetery here in Mankato, waiting the day of our Lord's Coming to take to the mansions above those that are His.
These years since her leaving us have been to a large extent lonely years. But the Lord has seen fit to use me still in serving His congregations either on a Sunday here or there on occasion or at times for an extended period.
To that list mother gave you some episodes ago of places where we lived, you might add Fond du Lac , September and October of 1999 and Coloma, Michigan from January 1 to June of 2000.
I still see the two families living in the Mankato area quite often. I do journey to Fridley to visit my daughter and her family in that city. Just recently made two trips to Saginaw, Michigan. One for a wedding of Vanessa Bernthal and another to help celebrate Mark's celebrating the 25 years of his being in the ministry… Also get to Eau Claire to visit Paul and his family.
On Saturday, August 18, will be at the wedding of Quinn Dauer. In September, God-willing, will spend some time with the three youngest of the Udes while their parents go west to greet the coming of their first grandchild.
The final days of this ancestor are yet to be written. Will leave that in your hands. Dad]
[Note: One day is much like the previous one. Get up. Take a walk (a bit later now that daylight is slow in coming). At breakfast and enjoy the weather. Has been more than delightful this past week and a half—ever since the wedding on the 18th got drenched. Quinn and Hiede live hardly a block away from me so I will have an opportunity to see them on occasion. Saw them yesterday and Hiede was enjoying the cooking for her husband. She seemed real happy and content.
Will be preaching for Salem’s Mission Festival on the l6th and then should be heading for Fridley and young boy sitting for Deb and John. Waiting to hear when Amanda will have her baby.
Mankato State University began yesterday. Quinn and Nikki are attending.
Omar is making a bus trip to the cities each day to work at Fridley. For the present it is paying well but the ride to and from takes about 3 hours. How long that will continue is still a question.
Most of the grandchildren are in school or will be next week so mothers and fathers have a bit more free time? Dad]
[Note: When you get past fifty it pays to think twice about when you can do and what you should not do. When you get past eighty you don't even have to think you just do not do. Years have a way of taking their toll. I am just glad I can still get out and walk but am at the point where I look three times before crossing a street and even then get some surprises. Cars have a way of coming out of thin air. We are enjoying some very pleasant fall weather. Fifties at night and seventies during the day hours. Dad]
[Note: The wind is blowing strong and cold. It is blowing me to Fridley for the weekend. Will be preaching for John who is going to Red Wing with the boys and Deb for a Mission Festival. The weather is to warm up on Saturday and Sunday so what we have now is just a taste of what eventually will be coming and dominating us for some months. Wish you all a happy Reformation Festival and all that brings to mind. Dad]
[Note: Almost a third of November has come and is going. So far it has been much more like October than dreary November as Hawthorne describes it. Have been getting out for an early morning walk of some 70 minutes and an afternoon hike of about an hour. The fresh air has been most welcome even though at times it flies by and at me a bit fast. Am thankful for the ability to get out and to enjoy high blue skies and cool welcome breezes.
Have not had a word from John for some time. Too busy? Always enjoy hearing from all of you that have the ability to handle e-mail. So far do not have to become concerned with anthrax over the computer. Have not been greatly concerned with the postal mail either.
A lot of differing opinions regarding the 'war' have been coming over the media. To each his own but I am convinced the president is going in the right direction. I have learned long ago that it is easy to second-guess those in authority, but usually those who do so do not have to answer for their opinions nor do they have the insights that those in authority have by reason of much private information. Pray for those who must make the decisions and guide the nation.
Read John Ude's message on tuition etc. at ILC. He makes some rather sound points. I hear echoes of what was said thirty and more years ago.
Will be watching the Packer Bear game this Sunday. Takes me back many decades when that rivalry was the dominant one for those two teams. In the cays of Lambeau and Halas long before the Vikings ever showed up to beat the Bears was number one on the calendar. The Bears have pulled off some surprising victories this year. Hope they loose on Sunday.
Scrubbed the kitchen, hall, and bathroom on my knees Thursday. Discovered that is more than a major undertaking for one who has passed the eighty-one age. Back and legs are still complaining of being unfairly treated. Well at least the floors appreciated it for they are smiling with whiter teeth than for some time.
Well I hope this finds all of you warm and content under fine November skies.