Monthly Archives: August 2012

Today my cousin, Tim reminded me that his grandmother, my Aunt Laura would had been 100 years old had she still been with us. My Aunt Laura was born August 3, 1912 in International Falls, Minnesota. She was the oldest child of my grandparents, Allen and Anna. It would be almost 10 years before she would finally get any siblings, after which she would get a total of 3 in a little over 5 years. During those years, Aunt Laura would become her mother’s right hand, helping out with the younger children and with the farm, since her dad worked on the rail road and was away much of the time.

During World War II, my Aunt Laura became one of the famous Riveters, working in the Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin to help out the war effort. My Uncle Bill, her brother, always hated that term, Riveters, because they actually did not rivet anything, they welded, and Aunt Laura became very skilled at welding. That is very difficult for me to imagine, because Aunt Laura always seemed so feminine to me. I couldn’t imagine her working as a welder. My dad had been a welder too, and it is a sweaty, dirty job, so to think of Aunt Laura doing that, as well as my Aunt Ruth and my Uncle Bill, was very odd. My dad didn’t work in the shipyards during the war, because he was on active duty in England, on a B-17G Bomber. His siblings wanted to show their support for their brother, as well as the rest of the troops, and they did so very efficiently.

Aunt Laura went on to marry and have two sons, Eugene and Dennis, and three grandsons, Tim, Shawn, and David, and great grandsons Daniel and Cody. Boys seemed to be her lot in life. Girls, if she ever wanted any, just weren’t in the cards for her. I never heard that she was upset about that, so I think she must have thought it was a pretty good idea. As far as girls were concerned though, Aunt Laura stayed the night with me years ago, she and my girls got along just fine.

It’s hard to believe that Aunt Laura has been in Heaven for a decade now, but I’m quite sure she is celebrating her special day with my dad, Aunt Ruth, Grandma and Grandpa..and many others. Have a wonderful day Aunt Laura!! Happy birthday, and we love you!!

My brother-in-law, Lynn is a man who likes to make jokes. Much of his life is about being a comedian. In fact, he might have missed his true calling. He was always trying to bring out the funniness in any given situation, and if there wasn’t anything funny, particularly, then he would simply create it. He might make a face in the middle of an otherwise normal picture, or he might just pick you up and shake you…something he could do since he is 6’6″ tall, and most of the people around him aren’t even close to that, although his girls are pretty tall, as are their husbands, so the grandkids could beat him out if they are lucky.

He is like a big kid, who forgot to grow up. That said, you might find him playing kids games, or playing with kids toys anyway…but then that isn’t so awfully unusual. Most of the men I know are really just big kids anyway…including my father-in-law, who hooked up with Lynn one day and decided to go out sledding…and not just go sledding, but managed to get Lynn to pull him on the sled. Nevermind if the kids wanted to play…the sled was, shall we say, occupied.

But, one of the funniest things Lynn did, was so totally unintentional, and yet ended up being very funny, although, I don’t think my daughter, Amy thought so at the time. Amy was just 2 years old, and she loved being around her daddy, no matter what he was doing. We were living on the same land as my in-laws at that time, while we got our own land ready to move onto. Bob and Lynn were in the garage working on a car, and Amy was wandering around the garage, watching the proceedings. She was wearing a little white dress with red hearts on it. Lynn loved the little kids, and love playing with them, so when he looked down and saw Amy there…a teeny girl, by the way, who only stands 4’11” as an adult…he started talking to her. I had thought that she might have been afraid because he was so tall, but that wasn’t it. It was just that she had to look so far up to see him. As she tried to look up at her uncle, she instinctively backed up, and the next thing she knew she was sitting in a drain pan full of oil. It was so funny, you couldn’t help but laugh. I think Lynn felt bad about that one, but it wasn’t his fault…just an accidental funny moment.

These days, most of Lynn’s funniness has taken on a modern flair, because now he likes to send jokes out via text message. Every few days Bob will get some joke from Lynn. Like I’ve said before…boys just never grow up. Happy birthday Lynn. Today the joke’s on you. Check out these shots. We love you and hope you have a great day!!

Travel has always been something my family has enjoyed doing. As a kid, I remember that my teachers and fellow students were surprised at some of the places we had been. When Bob and I got married we wanted to pass that on to our girls as much as possible, and while we didn’t do quite as well and my parents had, Corrie and Amy have had the opportunity to go a number of places. Bob bowled in the national bowling tournament, so the places we went were places we might not have gone.

One place we went that was not on a bowling vacation, was Beartooth Pass in northern Wyoming. It was an amazing trip. The area is beautiful and the mountain views are awesome. It had been quite a while since I had seen summer snow. The year my daughter, Corrie was born, in fact. She was born June 30, 1975, and it snowed for a few minutes on the 4th of July that year…I couldn’t believe it.

The trip through Beartooth Pass, however, made the 4th of July snow look like a rain storm. It was so much fun to see all that snow. It was over the top of our camper. They had to have poles to show the snow plows where the edge of the road was. I know we have all seen stuff like this before, but we really hadn’t come across it, in my memory anyway, so it was pretty cool. Our girls got pretty wide eyed when they saw it too.

Vacations are all about going to new places and seeing things you wouldn’t normally see in your own area, so I guess you could say that we definitely accomplished that. And some vacations are of the type that you really never forget them, and for a variety of reasons. This was one we never forgot for several reasons. The vast scenery, which was so beautiful, the deep snow, and the breakfast that became lunch because what appeared to be a few miles down the road on the map, ended up taking several hours to travel. Everything turned out ok in the end, because we also tried Buffalo burgers for the first time, and they sure were good.

 

We have, in our family three boys who while they weren’t bad boys, did have a flair for antics. I’m going to call them The Three Musketeers of Mischief. As those of you who have been active in the Family Stories page I set up on Facebook might already know, these three boys were full of mischief. In case you don’t know who I am referring to, that would be Greg, Forest, and Elmer. They are all fairly close in age, although sadly, we lost Forest July 3, 2005, and because they were all close in age, they liked doing the same things, which mostly included being places where they probably shouldn’t have been, but because they were the kind of boys they were, they survived their own mischief…mostly due to sheer luck, but probably a goodly amount of skill too.

One time, these boys had gone swimming in the river, where it runs through Mills. That was the thing to do in the summer. They got to the train trestle and decided to cross it to the Amoco Refinery to get some wax to make wax hands with. Forest and Greg had gone across the train trestle many times, and so were pretty good at running across them, when necessary, but Elmer was more of a novice at running the tracks…until that day. As they were going across a cart that hauls workers and such, came up behind them. Greg and Forrest ran on across, but Elmer was still going along pretty slow. The other boys yelled out to Elmer to run!! He went a little faster, but not nearly fast enough. As it came closer, and they yelled louder, Elmer decided it was time to get outta Dodge, and he learned in a really big hurry how to run on the trestle. Greg says he was probably better at it than he and Forest were. Not that Elmer thought that information was any kind of good news.

The wax hand incident didn’t have such a good ending though. One time, Greg and Forest were making wax hands, by building a fire in the back yard, but it was raining, and the fire wouldn’t stay lit. They decided to go into Greg’s house and use his mother’s new stove, since his parents weren’t home. The stove worked very well, but when they were finished playing, they began the clean up work…a little late, unfortunately. Greg’s parents got home, found the mess, and they were…well less than pleased. Forest was sent home immediately, and Greg had a meeting in the shed with his dad…yikes!!

Yes, these boys were definitely the Three Musketeers of Mischief…in their younger years. They all outgrew these childish pranks, and turned into great guys. And really, I don’t think their childish pranks were any worse than any of the rest of us. Just boys being boys, and kids being kids. They did make life interesting whenever I was around them though, so I can’t say their pranks bothered my much at all.