Tuesday, September 5, 2017

July 31-August 7, 2017 week in South Dakota

birthday picture before leaving the marina

Our flights originated in Brunswick, GA.  We were at the airport early and were able to visit with the ticket agent.  We didn’t have any seat assignments, even though we booked the flights in April or May.  Dave and the ticket agent said it was because I booked through Travelocity.  Hmmm.  He could give us seats for this flight, but not the Atlanta to Minneapolis flight.  We had to see the gate agent in Atlanta, but this guy put in a request for us.  We only had an hour layover, so we figured we’d be lucky if we had a seat.  Dave hates being at the back of the plane by the bathroom.  If you are on the isle, everyone stands in line with heat radiating off of their back side.  So he says. 

When we landed in Atlanta, our Delta phone apps showed that we had seats assigned.  Cool!  Well, our buddy in Brunswick got us seats in “comfort plus”.  Great selection of snacks, including bananas, selection of about 20 movies on our own screen, and maybe free drinks.  I didn’t catch that, which was a good thing.  Those of you that travel a lot probably think this was no big deal, but we loved it.

We arrived in Minneapolis/St Paul and rented a car at the airport in the late afternoon.  We met Dave’s niece, Dena, and her three kids for dinner.  Always fun to see them and see how much they are growing and changing.  We don’t see them enough.  For those of you who know Dena, her cancer is in remission and she’s doing great.  Dena supplied a cake for us to celebrate Dave’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Dave!!  Bring on the Social Security checks!
Dave, Dena, Julianna
Malachi and Mateo (aka John Belushi)
Julianna, Malachi, Mateo, Dena

After dinner, we drove to Maple Lake, MN to spend the evening with my cousins Vern and Ruth Schaefer at their lake home.  My sister, Beverly, met us there, too.  We made it just in time for a pontoon ride on their lake with a fun rum drink in hand. 
Vern and Ruth Schaefer, Beverly Krause
view of the lake from their cabin

On Tuesday, August 1, Bev and I drove to Aberdeen, SD together and let Dave have some alone time.  We arrived at our sister, Janice and Jim Moore’s house before dinner.  Always nice to return there.  They make everyone feel welcome.
Janice, Mary and Beverly

Janice and Jim their home on the market, so they had a showing Wednesday morning.  We picked up the house and headed out for breakfast.  We had wonderful ribeye steaks for dinner.  Jim has made a tradition of grilling juicy South Dakota ribeye steaks for us when we return.  That’s something we don’t get anywhere else.  Thanks, Jim.

We played cards and triominoes and had a fun night.  We decided to leave our mess and clean up in the morning.  Well, in the morning, we found out about 9:00 am that the house showing was TODAY at 10:00 and not yesterday.  So we all scurried around helping clean up and headed out for breakfast again. 

Friday, our brother, Don from Pierre, SD arrived with his two grandchildren, Garrett and Claire Crawford.  They had been spending the week with him.  They returned to Aberdeen and their parents, Heidi and Glen Crawford.  We had fun playing croquet, badminton, football, and cribbage with everyone.  Then we had about 12 family and friends at their home for dinner. 

Claire holding her own in cribbage
Saturday, our other brother, Jerry and Barb from Minneapolis, arrived.  That night we had about 20 people for dinner with extended family.  Great time.

On Sunday, all the siblings and relatives headed to Faulkton, SD.  Our mother’s last living sibling, Julie Bowar, was celebrating her 90th birthday.  She also has one sister-in-law, Maylou Oakley, who was also there.  We were able to visit with many of our relatives all afternoon.  It was such a nice gathering.  18 of the 31 first cousins of my generation were present.  The only family of a sibling not represented were the ones that live in California.
Julie and Maylou with my generation of first cousins
Julie Bowar's family
Julie Bowar and Maylou Schaefer Oakley
siblings Don, Janice, Mary, Beverly, Jerry

After leaving the celebration, we stopped downtown Faulkton to check out their carousel.  It has been there for many years and runs on 2 nights a week.  So several of us thought we should go for a ride.  It was my sister Bev’s birthday.  So of course we had to get a picture of her and post it on Facebook.  Happy Birthday, Bev.  
Happy Birthday Bev
Faulkton carousel

On Monday, we drove to Watertown and visited our long time friends, Tom and Lesa Franken.  We met almost 40 years ago in Germany while Tom and Dave were in the Air Force.  We will both be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversaries this year.  They were married the day before us in Brookings, SD.  Then all 4 of us had a 2 year honeymoon in Germany.
Tom and Lesa Franken with Dave and Mary

That ends our SD tour.  We saw a lot of people in a short time, but we always wish for more.

beautiful SD sunset on the prairie

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