Monday, September 29, 2014

September 25-29, (30) 2014 Miller, SD 40th High School and Family Reunion

 Thursday: My sister, Beverly, and I drove from Aberdeen, SD to Miller, SD in the convertible that I sold to her.  We helped some of my classmates build our float for the high school homecoming parade on Friday.

Me, Mary Wipf Wagner, Karen Rezek Harr, Sueann Rowan Meyer

Wayne Ruhnke and Kelvin Grey

Kelvin Grey, Wayne Ruhnke and Gail Weiland Zeller
Friday: It was a beautiful fall day in the 80’s for the parade.  Their theme was “super heroes”, so we were the “original super heroes”.  Instead of attending the football game, I spent the evening with my family.  Miller has a population of about 1500.  There are several older homes that have been made into “guest houses”.  All my siblings and one niece with her family were able to stay together at one of the houses.  We planned a spaghetti dinner in advance with people bringing various parts of the meal.  A couple of other relatives joined us, too.  So it was a great evening of eating, drinking, and telling stories.
Me, Lori Landgrebe Schneller, Gail Weiland Zeller, Chris Oligmueller Stevens and Sheryl Gerdes Bedard in front

Me, Janice Moore, Jerry Zeller, Beverly Krause, Don Zeller
Saturday was spent visiting with family at the house and at the local nursing home.  Our aunt Dorothy is 98 and living there.  Several of us visited with Dorothy in a conference room instead of in her small room.  While we were there, her sister Julie from Faulkton and one of her daughters showed up.  So we were blessed to see the only 2 remaining siblings of our mother.  We also have one aunt living that was married to one of my mom’s 5 brothers.

Joe and Dorothy Zeller, Jeanette Shamis and Julie Bowar
My 40th high school reunion was on Saturday night.  It was a fun evening of visiting with each other.  Of about 90 classmates, 34 were there.  With that size, we were able to visit with everyone that was there. 
Lori Landgrebe Schneller, Mary Wipf Wagner, Kathy Donlin Harvey and Me

Joe Zeller, Ruth and Vern Schaefer, Gail Weiland Zeller, Me

Me, Gail Weiland Zeller, Wayne Ruhnke, Lori Landgrebe Schneller, Kris Oligmueller Stev
Sunday:  Our family drove about 25 miles north of Miller to attend the Polo Bazaar.  Polo is a small community where our mother grew up.  We still have 3 first cousins that are farming on 3 family farms close to each other.  One was homesteaded by our great grandparents over 100 years ago.  Our other aunt, MayLou Schaefer Oakley from Miller was here.  2 of her sons and their wives were working at the Bazaar and one other cousin: Ken and Pam Schaefer, Mike and Ann Schaefer and Bob Schaefer.  We also got to see our aunt Julie from Faulkton one more time.  The Bazaar consisted of a great dinner, bingo, fish pond, cake walk, and country store with home baked goods.  There were other people from Miller and Polo there that we were able to visit with, including Joe and Gail Zeller, Vern and Ruth Schaefer, Lori Landgrebe Schneller and her mother, Bernita (friend since grade school). 
Janice Moore, MayLou Schaefer Oakley, Me, Beverly Krause

Me, Bernita Landgrebe Voelker, Lori Landgrebe Schneller
I rode back to Aberdeen with my sister Janice.  We ran into more family at Walmart: Adam and Annie Zeller and their adorable kids Ramsey, Veda and Nolan.  Spent the evening doing laundry, packing and watching one more “chick flick”.
Adam and Annie Zeller, Veda, Nolan and Ramsey
Monday:  We are meeting another classmate of mine for lunch in Aberdeen, Nancy Augspurger Carlsen.  Then I fly out at 3:00 pm for North Carolina.  My cousin, Jeanette Bowar Shamis will be on the same flight.  I don’t arrive in NC until 11:00 pm.  So I am including this day in my blog before it actually happens.  That is a first.  But I have a good internet connections here.  So we will be back to life on the boat after today.

Tuesday:  I jinxed my flight by writing in my blog in future tense vs past tense.  On Monday, my flight out of Aberdeen had mechanical problems.  I was not going to make my connection in Mpls, so I decided to stay in Aberdeen another night.

I had a nice visit with Jeanette Bowar Shamis before leaving the airport.  Then at Janice and Jim's, Jim's Aunt Mary and Uncle Henry were spending the night.  So it was nice to visit with them.  Janice was so sweet to get up and take me to the airport at 4:00am.  Jeff Sveen from Aberdeen was on my flight this morning to Mpls.  He had been a Ski for Light volunteer with me in the Black Hills of SD, but it had been about 6 years since we had seen each other.  That was a nice surprise.

Ready to load my last flight from Atlanta to Wilmington, NC.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 19-25, 2014 Aberdeen, SD Sister Time

I decided to spend one more night in the Black Hills.  First I joined my coffee girlfriends at 6:30am at Black Hills Bagels.  We shared a lot of laughs and a few tears when I had to leave.   I had a late and long lunch with my friend, Cheryl, and played cribbage in Piedmont, halfway between Rapid City and Sturgis. 

My sister, Janice, has a sister-in-law that lives in Sturgis, Toni.  And her sister, Julie and Ron were also there for BHSU homecoming.  So the 4 of us visited a few bars in Sturgis for an Oktoberfest celebration.  Then we went to Spearfish for dinner and to hear Pete’s band one last time before I head east.  The River Liffey Boys were playing at Flannagan’s.  It is a small house that was converted to an Irish Pub.  I was the DD to drive the 20 miles back to Sturgis.  Not sure when I’ll get to hear Pete sing again.  So it was tearful good-bye.

Pete at his job at Rushmore Shadows

Pete at his gig at Flanagan's

Ron and Julie Meeker and Toni Moore
Saturday morning, I drove to Aberdeen in time for church with my sisters, Janice and Beverly (who had arrived from Oklahoma that afternoon).  We were joined by my niece, Heidi, her husband, Glen Crawford, and their children, Garrett and Claire.  After church, we went to the Crawford’s for dinner and margaritas.  We actually planned a slumber party since it takes about 30 minutes to get back to Janice’s. Garrett and Claire are in 3rd and 1st grade, and they are learning to play cribbage!   They had to go to bed before the game was over.  But the first thing Claire wanted to know in the morning was who won the game. 
Me, Heidi, Janice and Bev in our "selfie"

Janice and Claire with a 20 point hand
On Sunday, we had breakfast, and played more games.  It was a beautiful day, so the kids took turns giving the Aunts rides on their 4 wheeler.  We also played a little basketball, actually HORSE, so there wasn’t much running involved :)

That evening, we met the Crawford’s at their church bazaar.  The kids had worked at the “fishing pond”.  We had a wonderful beef dinner with pie.  Their grandma, Marie Crawford, joined us for dinner.  

 On Monday we had lunch with Nancy Sundstrom from Groton, SD.  Nancy and I went to dental assisting school together 40 years ago.  We were also room mates for part of the year.  Mid afternoon, Janice, Bev and I went to visit Marie Crawford’s mother, Grandma Dosch, who is 101.  Just last year she moved from her house to an independent living apartment that is attached to a nursing home.  It’s not even assisted living.  She looks great.  Our visit included dessert and coffee and some of grandma Dosch’s orange flavored home made “hooch” called orange dream sickle.  Then we went to Marie’s for bratwursts and beer and all the fixings.  Another fun day!
Janice, Me, Bev

Nancy Sundstrom and Me
Tuesday, we had a lazy day which included a pedicure and nice home cooked beef roast.

Wednesday, we took a tour of North East South Dakota.  First we drove to Faulkton, SD.  We visited our aunt Julie Bowar, our mother’s sister.  Her daughter, Jeanette, from Chicago, was staying with her for a week.  And her daughter-in-law, Cheryl, who lives on their family farm and is married to Larry, also came to visit. 
Julie, Jeanette and Cheryl

Next we went to Cresbard to visit a friend of mine, Judy Oliver.  Judy is the mother of 2 dear friends of mine, Tracy Perdue and Tami Petersen.  We have spent a lot of time together over the last 20 years.  Judy has been a state fiddle champion, and today was the first time I had ever heard her play.  We also toured their home with many paintings that were created by Judy and Dan Sheldon.  These two people are very talented! 
We went to Northville, SD for dinner.  We met Janice and Jim’s motorcycle club there along with our niece Heidi, Glen, Claire, Garrett and Grandma Marie.  Another fun day!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Septermber 9-19, 2014 Rapid City, SD

Wow, what a fun and busy 10 days! 
First: time with my son, Pete.  He plays in band called the River Liffey Boys.  The River Liffey runs through Dublin.  They started as an Irish band, but they play a lot of their own music and some other cover songs.  I was able to listen to them perform 5 different nights!  And various friends joined me on every occasion.  Pete and I also had some great mom/son time on his days off.  Can’t get enough of that guy!

Business:  I saw my dentist, doctor with lab work, accountant, lawyer, insurance agent, massage and hair appointments.  I still own my old office building with a previous dental partner.  We rent the building to the dentist that bought my practice.  So there were maintenance issues to look at and plan, too.  Dr Haave did an awesome job of redecorating the waiting room and her private office!

Friends:  Tracy and Richard Perdue were gracious hosts.  We are close enough friends that it was comfortable to come and go as I needed.  I had fun cooking a couple meals for them and having friends join us.  Tracy’s sister, Tami, her husband John and son Cory joined us for a couple meals at Tracy’s.  I actually new Tami before Tracy, and we have been friends for over 20 years.
Thursday, Sept 11, I was greeted by snow on the ground!  This was a record for early snow fall in Rapid City, SD.  At noon, I went to a Zonta meeting.  Zonta is an international service organization that I was a member of for over 20 years.  It was great to see so many of my friends.
Friday morning Sept 12 and 19 I met with the “coffee girls”.  I have a group of friends that meet for coffee every Friday morning after working out at 6:30am.  I was a part of that for at least 15 years.  Now I occasionally call them on Friday mornings and they pass the phone around to say “hi”.  I had to scrape the windows of my car that morning!
Yvonne, me, Connie, Marge and Barb
 Saturday, Sept 13, my good friend, Barb Auwerter organized a bicycle ride for her 63rd birthday.  There were about 15 of us ranging in age from 47-67.  Barb is such a lively, friendly, happy person.  After the bike ride on the bike path in Rapid City, about 10 of us rode to the Meadow Brook golf course.  We sat outside eating pizza and drinking beer from about 11:30-3:00.  I think we went through 11 pitchers of beer!!!  I have not been with that many women who like to drink beer since my last family reunion :)  Good thing we were on bikes and not driving.

Sunday, I went to church at the Cathedral and talked to many people that remembered me.  After church, several choir members that I used to sing with went to lunch at the Colonial House (my favorite restaurant).  I really had a nice time visiting with them, too.
Cheryl Ulmer, friend for 25 years, and I spent a couple evenings playing cribbage and just enjoying “girl talk”.
Great lunch with Debbie and Denny Stuck, from our sailing fleet in SD.  Can't mention every name, but great seeing so many people. 

I filled everyday to the fullest and loved every minute.  Not sure when I will be back in Rapid City.  But with Pete still here, it will happen.

Below are pictures from Saturday night at Murphy's listening to the River Liffey Boys.

Colleen Schneider and me

Lonny and Kim Weyer and me

Lorraine Himrich, me and Colleen Schneider

friend Kiley, Colleen, Jason, and Gene Schneider (dental school classmate)

Me and my partner in crime, Cheryl Ulmer

Jim Thompson and me (love Kim's dad)

September 5-9, 2014 Sioux Falls, SD and Okoboji, Iowa

Sept 5:  I left for Sioux Falls today.  I drove through Groton and stopped at the local drug store to see if, by chance, a friend of mine would be working.  Boy was Nancy Sundstrom surprised when I walked in the door.  She follows my blog, so she knew I was in MN, but not here in Groton, SD.  Nancy and I were classmates in dental assisting school in Watertown, SD in 1974.   We even shared an apartment for the second half of the year.  We have been friends for 40 years!  We were friends when Dave and I started dating.  We have stayed in touch over the years.  We made plans to get together when I get back to Aberdeen later this month.

In Sioux Falls, I went to the home of Sheryl Gerdes Bedard.  We have been friends since 1st grade, 52 years.  Another grade school friend, Lori Landgrebe Schneller, joined us for dinner.  Afterwards, we went to Sheryl’s and got out our high school year books.  We went through the entire class to refresh our memories for the 40the reunion later this month.  Oh my, did we ever share some laughs and great memories.  I am so blessed to have such great life long friends.

Sat Sept 6:  I met Ski for Light friends, Chelle and Steve Hart, for breakfast.  I used to guide Chelle cross county skiing back in the 90’s for many years.  We have stayed in touch over the years.  Her sister passed away with cancer a couple years ago.  So she gave me a pair of her sister’s earrings.  The family had the jewelry they wanted, so Chelle is giving jewelry to friends that are like sisters to her or who cherish their sisters.  That was so special!

Saturday afternoon, I was invited to join my friend, Sheryl, and another girlfriend of her’s, Claudia, for a 3 day vacation at Lake Okoboji in Iowa.  They had a condo rented at a resort right on the water.  What great timing!  I have been to Okoboji several times in my life, as a child with family, with Lori and Sheryl in the 70’s and with Dave in the 80’s.  Dave, Pete and I even came here once around 2006.  We had a nice dinner outside on the deck at the Fisherman’s Wharf on the water.  Then we enjoyed a bonfire by the lake.  Can’t do that on a sailboat.  Sunday we just hung out by the lake, beautiful day!  Monday shopped.  Tuesday returned to Sioux Falls and then on to Rapid City. 
Lake Okoboji

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Claudia, me and Sheryl

Sunday, September 7, 2014

August 27- Sept 4, 2014 Minnesota

Dave’s Stepfather’s funeral isn’t going to be until Sept 4.  His body was donated to the Mayo Clinic for research, so they decided to have the funeral on Hap and Alice’s 41st wedding anniversary. 

Dave spent Wed, Thurs, and Friday helping his mother organize finances with appointments and phone calls.  Wed, Pete, Alice and I went on a shopping trip to Mankato.  It was nice that Pete could spend time with Alice this week.

On Saturday, Dave and I went to Minneapolis to spend some time with the Clausen’s, Joe and Erin.  Dave helped them with some household projects on Sunday while I drove to Wyoming, MN to see a dental school classmate for a few hours.  (All this was last minute plans, so sorry Jerry and Barb that we didn’t get together with you.)  On Monday, the Clausen’s had a family Labor Day picnic.  We knew the Clausen side, but were able to meet some of Erin’s family.  Fun day.  Tuesday, Dave and I spent several hours talking through all the options for our traveling over the next month.  Dave is going crazy with nothing to do after one week.  And all he thinks about is what he could be doing on the boat.  So we came to the decision that he will return to North Carolina after the funeral and I will stay until the end of September for my class reunion and family reunion.  My sister and husband, Janice and Jim, are coming to Hap’s wake and funeral.  Then I will go to Aberdeen with them, borrow a car, and spend a month touring the state with friends and family. 

Wednesday: we returned to LeSueur for the visitation at the Funeral Home from 4-8:00pm.  Hap was an avid hunter up until about 2 years ago.  For the past few years, the family made orange t-shirts with deer hunting logos and Hap’s name.  So all the family members wore them to the wake.  It was a great way to be able to tell who the family members were.  Hap had 6 children (one passed away with cancer) and 3 step children.  So there were many grand children and great grandchildren there, too.  Hap touched a lot of lives living his entire 92 years in LeSueur, except for his years in the Navy.  He was a WWII veteran.   There were a lot of fun stories shared that night.
Alice, Dave, Jay, Stan

Stan, wife Sue, Birdie

Joe, wife Jeanie, Debbie

Thursday:  The funeral was held at Alice’s church and was a beautiful service, with Hap’s 3 daughters speaking.  There was a 21 gun salute and the grandchildren released balloons.  Then there was a fantastic meal served by the church.  After the meal, I said my good-bye’s and headed for Aberdeen with my sister. 

We arrived in Aberdeen in time to have dinner with my niece and her family, Heidi and Glen Crawford, Garrett and Claire.  They didn’t tell the kids who they were having dinner with.  When they arrived at the restaurant, they all gave me hugs.  Then the first thing the kids said was “where’s uncle Dave?’  They were able to talk to him on the phone before they left.  They are growing up so fast, 1st and 3rd grade now.  Wish I would have taken a picture.