Tuesday, July 31, 2007


It's done! My daughter, Jen, is now a married lady! As is so common now, both she and her husband are in their 30's, have their homes and professions, and chose to put on their own wedding ("so we can do everything OUR way!"). As my mother did at my wedding, I came to Ohio more like a guest, with all the arrangements having been made. Most of the guests were her friends, and my son, his wife and his son, and I were the only family members on my side, although her dad, his wife and her two daughters also attended.

Jen had put a lot of thought and planning into the event, and the weekend was crammed with preparations and activities. Guests and families arrived from as far away as Holland, as well as Michigan, Minnesota, Canado and Ohio....and one couple were able to attend as they were on a month's vacation from their job in China. So it was an international event....and they made plans to reflect that.

The weather was hot and muggy, as usual for Ohio in late July, but rain was avoided and the sun came out for the picture taking after the wedding. She arrived in a horse drawn coach, and was married in a gazebo surrounded by a lake. Her friends provided the music, and all looked impressive in their plum and platinum attire. Jen wore a beautiful long white gown with beading and was the traditional glowing, smiling bride.

After a buffet meal, cake and music for dancing, the couple left for a honeymoon night in Cleveland near the airport, where their flight to the Caribbean left at 6 am the following morning! I envy them walking the beach by the sea today!

I went to the Football Hall of Fame Monday morning before flying back to Minnesota. It was quite impressive, and of course, I concentrated on the Minnesota Viking exhibits. The Super Bowl rings were incredible!

So all the wedding preparations are over, and Jen is now a married lady. The wedding Princess Bride will return to reality next week with house to clean, meals to prepare, bills to pay,....but also presents to open and Thank You's to write!

I am also back to reality with unpacking, laundry, bills, and pictures to send. Would love to go out to ride Bart, but it is oppressively humid and 90 degrees, so will visit him instead and give him a nice shampoo and put him in his stall with a fan. A few more days of unwinding, then pack and again drive north for a friend's 60th birthday party and a class reunion the following weekend. This has been one busy summer!

Tomorrow is August first....a day I dreaded when I was teaching, as I knew summer was coming to an end and in a few weeks I would be back for teacher's workshop. Now I just think of 90 days until I will be back in Arizona! It has certainly been a busy, event-filled summer!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Growing up, and in the early years of my marriage, a card game was often "dessert" after a meal with friends, or a way to spend an evening with a neighbor. I have thought about how that seems to be a dying past time in today's life of computers, email, and electronic games. I see my mother enjoying going to the clubhouse at her 55+ community, and enjoying catching up with her friends over games of bridge, gin, or pinochle.
I think in days past, the wife was home all day caring for home and children, so when the husband came home from work, the house was clean, fresh cookies or brownies had been baked, and the homemaker was eager for adult conversation. After dinner was done and kitchen cleaned, it was fun to call a neighbor to "come over and play some cards". It was an inexpensive evening and one of conversation, gossip, and laughter.

Today, the housewife shares the workload with the husband, and they both arrive home from work stressed and exhausted. They bring home a carry out meal to share, and also for their children if they are not off to sports, working out, or in some activity. They dish up their meal, and he goes to watch the news and she turns on her email while they silently eat in front of their screens. Perhaps they go to the gym for a workout or for a walk (wearing their ipods so again not needing to converse with anyone), then home to stare at a screen again, and finally to bed to rest before another busy day at work. They would not think about having another couple over to play cards....the other couple is as tired, the house is waiting for the weekend to be cleaned, and there is nothing baked....and besides, it would not be on the South Beach or other current diet.

Dan Rather wrote of the passing of "The Greatest Generation". There were so many positives this generation brought to the world.....saving to pay cash for purchases, owning their homes, sticking through the tough times in their marriages, talking with friends directly rather than through emails, spending time with the family with board games, picnics, the beach, and evening games "before the street lights came on".

I am now visiting my home town. So many memories of my life growing up in a small town return. I remember not locking the house when I left, riding my bike out to the lake a mile away for the day without worrying about being abducted by a stranger, knowing everyone in town and waving as I rode by, bringing a gun to school for show and tell or to be ready to hunt after the final bell, and knowing Mom would be home with fresh cookies when I got home.

The past generation was not perfect. Racism, sexism, and intolerance raised their ugly heads. Although I think I would have now liked to have been a doctor, attorney or journalist, at the time I felt I was limited to being a nurse, teacher or secretary if I worked outside the home. There was "men's work" and "woman's work", and it was a questionable person who crossed the line.

Time brings changes....some are for the better, but perhaps, sadly, some are not. I have been playing a game of Gin 13 every night with my friend, and have noticed I have been doing a less television viewing. I have been golfing in the morning (with no tee times or dress codes!), walking the dog with no leash in the park, and going out fishing in the evenings. All of these activities have involved conversations...some thought-provoking, some humorous, some sad, some teasing, and some argumentative (politics!). This morning I had coffee at the senior citizens building. The men sat at one table, and women at another. Some things in small towns haven't changed much in 40 years! Then someone pulled out a deck of cards and starting shuffling......

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Bluegills aren't the biggest fish, but have a lot of fight in them for the size, and are tasty eating. Enjoyed a day on a small nearby lake trying to find a hot spot for them. Didn't limit out, but did enjoy some nice sunshine and conversation, and the view of the beautiful yellow and white waterlillys floating on the smooth water. A sunny, low humidity 75 degree day on a Minnesota lake can't be beat!

Friday, July 20, 2007


One of the joys of summer is the arrival of fresh raspberries. Yesterday we were invited to pick fresh berries at a friends patch. It was a fresh, sunny morning and the berries were plentiful, big, and sweet. We ate some, froze some, and make a fresh raspberry pie, which was heavenly! Unfortunately, it appears that I am still allergic to raspberries, as I had to reach for the Allevert as the hives developed, but the taste of those fresh, sweet berries was worth the itch!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Just 11 more days and my only daugher will be a married lady! She has waited a long time for this special guy, and I am so happy for her. I have often prayed that if there was someone out there who would love her as deeply and faithfully as she would love him, please help them find each other. As he was born in Holland, it is understandable that it took a bit longer for them to finally meet, but thanks to God and Match.com, they have, and now the big day looms for them.

So now my two children will both be married and settled in their beautiful homes, and perhaps my only grandchild will have cousins one day. So the circle of life is completed, and whatever positive genes I might have have been passed on to another generation. Mindblowing.

This is one of my favorite pictures, taken when Niels and Jen were in town for Jen to introduce her man to friends and relatives in Minnesota. This was taken when they went out to see her brother and his wife, and Niels met Jen's nephew and Godchild for the first time. It appears that it was a good meeting for all!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Blackduck Fishing

Have just spent a wonderful week back in Blackduck where have been golfing, fishing, stawberry picking, garage saleing, and enjoying the fresh weather of northern Minnesota. My former roommate and her boyfriend came for the weekend, and we did some marathon fishing from bass casting, to walleye trolling to night bobber fishing. The result was some nice fish and a yummy fishfry....with fresh strawberry and blueberry pie for deluessert!

We found a great bluegill lake where we were catching big bluegills as fast as we would drop the line over the side of the boat. The weather has been warm and sunny, but a big change came today with rain and 40mph winds. I will reluctantly head south and leave the resort, but am looking forward to spending some time with my gorgeous palomino again!