Saturday, May 9, 2020

February 13-17, 2020 Weekend in Florida

I spent Thursday unpacking and doing laundry.  On Friday, Dave and I drove to Fernandina Beach, FL for a boating class for docking on Saturday.  Since it was Valentine’s Day, we drove to the beach to have an early dinner to beat the crowds.  Our class was at the city marina on the intracoastal waterway from 8-5:00.  Actually, part of the morning was a written test.  Then the rest of the day was spent practicing on a sailboat a little smaller than ours.  There was only one other student, the 2 of us and the instructor. 
After class, we drove to St Augustine.

On Sunday, we met Gene and Colleen Schneider for brunch.  They are South Dakota friends that spend a few months at an RV park north of St Augustine.  We drove to their campsite that afternoon to visit longer.  They cooked whiting fish for us that Gene caught in the ocean off the beach.  Very good!  We spent another night in St. Augustine before heading home on Monday.  We had to stop in Jacksonville, FL to pick up chain and 2 anchors that Dave had taken there to be galvanized.  We stopped in St Mary’s, GA to have a late lunch/early dinner.

Our table was on the second floor deck at O.C. White's

Gene and Colleen's RV site

Dave, Mary, Colleen, Gene
moving the chain from the fork lift to the trunk of the rental car
We returned to the boat about 5:00pm to find Pete with severe and constant abdominal pain.  It had started on Friday after we left town.  He was able to work Friday and Saturday.  He had Sunday off.  But on Monday, he had to come home from work about 10:00am and had been laying there in pain all day.  We took him to an Urgent Care clinic.  They decided he should go to the emergency room for a CT scan to determine if it was appendicitis.  We arrived there about 7:00pm, but he wasn’t examined until 11:00pm.  

February 4-12, 2020 Sioux Falls visit with friends

Bev’s flight back to Oklahoma was today, Tuesday, February 4.  After I took her to the airport, I drove to Sioux Falls to spend time with grade school/high school friends.  On the way, I stopped for dinner in Mitchell, SD.  The daughter of good friends, Devyn Killion, was attending Culinary School at the VoTech school.  She gave me a tour of her classroom and her apartment.  Then we had dinner together before I left for Sioux Falls.  We have known Devyn all of her life, so it was really an enjoyable evening.
Mary, Barb and Marge at coffee once more before leaving town
I spent Wednesday and Thursday at Sheryl Gerdes Bedard’s home, friends since 1st grade.  I visited her last September after her hernia surgery.  She was in and out of the hospital until Christmas Eve.  So she was still recuperating.  I helped her with a few household chores.
Sheryl with Bella
Gail Weiland, Zeller joined us by late afternoon on Thursday.  We have been friends since she moved to Miller in the 4th grade, and she married my cousin, Joe Zeller. 
On Friday, Gail had an appointment in Sioux Falls to buy a wig.  Not sure if she wants me sharing this, but for heath reasons, she has been wearing a wig for over a year now.  We helped her pick out a new style, but with the same color.  It was really kind of fun.  Sheryl even ended up buying one. 

We rented a VRBO for the weekend in Sioux Falls.  Sheryl didn’t have beds for all of us at her house.  Lori Landgrebe Schneller joined us there before dinner.  We have all been friends since Lori moved to Miller, SD in the 6th grade.  Sheryl had made us lasagna for dinner.  It was great to just settle in and spend time together.
Lori, Sheryl, Gail and Mary
On Saturday, there was heavy snow predicted for the Miller area.  Sadly, Gail decided she had better head home.  Sheryl, Lori and I spent time shopping and had dinner at the Outback Restaurant with another Sioux Falls friend of Sheryl’s.  It was snowing in Sioux Falls, too, so we headed back to the VRBO for a relaxing evening.  We just enjoyed being together.

We had to check out of the VRBO on Sunday.  Lori spent the day with us before heading home to Canton, SD, about 30 miles south of Sioux Falls.

On Monday, I spent the night with Chelle Foley Hart.  Chelle and I have been friends for close to 30 years.  I was her cross country guide at Ski for Light for about 10 years.  I picked her up from work, then we went out for dinner.  Her husband passed away last year.  She had moved into a “villa” townhouse last October, which I hadn’t seen.  I was her first overnight guest.  We had a great evening visiting and sharing a couple beers and some homemade Kahlua and celebrating my birthday. 
Mary and Chelle
On Tuesday, February 11, I took Chelle to work and headed west.  I stopped in Mitchell again to see Devyn.  The cafeteria at her school is open to the public.  She was one of the breakfast cooks that week, so I had breakfast there.  It was fun to see her at work.

Then I continued on  to Rapid City.  I was able to have dinner that night with a couple sailing friends along with the Petersen’s.  We met Scott and Marlene Dannenbring, Denny Stuck, and Jackie Killion at Jambonz, a cajun restaurant.  Debby Stuck was out of town.  Always good to see all of them.

I had an early morning flight back to Georgia on Wednesday.  Even with the flu, I was able to see many great friends over the 3 weeks I was there.

February 1-3, 2020 After Ski for Light parties

Saturday, February 1. The party continues
One of our previous board members, Diana Cornford, hosts a party at her house on the Saturday after Ski for Light.  They have a big beautiful home that is perfect for party’s.  It was such a nice day that many people were able to be outside on their deck.  There were many participants from Canada there.  Most of them also sail.  They wanted a photo taken of all the sailors that were there.  There were 11 people in the photo, I believe only 2 of us were sighted, crazy. 
Kylie on the left is from Australia, all the others (besides me) are from Cananda.
Kaye, Mary, Silvia

That evening, there was a 50th birthday party for Tracy Perdue at their home.  I think there were between 75 and 100 people there.  Fun night of seeing more Rapid City friends along with the Ski for Lighters that were still in town. 

On Sunday, I attended mass at the Cathedral and was able to visit with a couple other choir members that still remembered me.  They had invited me to sing with them, but I still had a cough from the flu.  That evening, I had dinner with Fred and Pati and watched the first half of the Super Bowl at Murphy’s Restaurant.  Then I joined Bev at Cornford’s for the second half.  Another fun gathering of people.

On Monday night, Bev and I provided take out Chinese food for the Petersen’s and Perdue’s.  Kim Weyer had stopped by to visit, too, but couldn’t stay for dinner.  After dinner, I introduced them to my new favorite card game, 5 Crowns.  It is a type of Rummy game using a special deck with 5 suits.  They added stars for the 5th suit.

Mary, Kim Weyer, Bev
Tracy and Richard Perdue, Mary, John Petersen, Bev, Tami Petersen

January 27-31, 2020 Black Hills Regional Ski for Light

On Monday, I slept most of the day, but drove to Deadwood that late afternoon while it was still light outside.  I just stayed in the room, which I was sharing with Nancy.  She had arrived late Sunday and had a great day volunteering with Bev.  They work at a table in the main ski lodge selling t-shirts, hats, and other SFL bling.  They are also an information desk as needed.

On Tuesday, I got up for breakfast, but decided to go back to bed for awhile and come up late.  Well, I slept until 3:00.   That night, I was able to go out for dinner with my family, including Nancy.  Bev, Don, Katie, Memphis, Nancy and I had dinner at Mustang Sally’s close to both or our hotels.  It was great to be with everyone, but as soon as we ate dinner, I was off to bed again.  Ski for Light had a slot tournament and karaoke that night.  Everyone else had a great time.
Bev, Don, Katie, Mary, Memphis

On Wednesday, Nancy and I slept in and then went to the ski lodge for the downhill portion of the event at about 10:00.  I didn’t have a lot of energy, so I just said hello to people and took pictures.  Pretty pathetic.  It was almost harder being here while feeling awful than it would have been if I hadn’t come at all.  I was able to see Kaye Leslie.  Someone else had stepped up to guide her.  She usually cross country skis, but decided to try downhill skiing today.

Richard Perdue and Tara Knutson
Don Zeller guide
Chris Jonas, Canada, guided by Tracy Perdue
Mary with Gwen Brandhagen Rapid City friend
Kaye Leslie from Canada with guide

Kaye Leslie making it down the slopes

Nancy and Bev

Brian Korwin guided by Katie

Miss Wheelchair America with Memphis
Nancy modeling the SFL shirt making fun of SD's campaign that said "METH, we're on it"

Katie and Brian
Nancy and I left before lunch and drove to the cross country site.  They prepare the food onsite open an open fire and in a cook tent.  Always yummy.  We only stayed until about 2:00 and I had to head back to the room.  Nancy had a lazy day with me.  There is a bonfire at the cross country meadows on Wednesday’s, but we missed it.  That night the family gang had dinner at the Mineral Palace, the Ski for Light headquarters.  Kaye Leslie, Pati and Fred joined us.  So nice to finally spend time with each other. 
Kaye Leslie and Mary

Pati, Mary and Fred

Memphis had enough of the adults and moved to her own table, but Grandpa Don had to play with her
Thursday is race day.  Nancy and I went to the cross country ski area again.  
We helped with the races.  I helped keep time for the skiers and Nancy handed out metals.  It was a beautiful day with fresh snow falling all morning.
Nancy helping Kaye off of the "people mover" that brings people from the main road into the cross county site

Nancy ready to hand out medals

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Tami Petersen with Heather

Kaye Leslie at the starting line

warming tents

Nancy and Mary friends for 45 years
Nancy always ready with a smile

The banquet is on Thursday night.  Again, the family was able to sit together.  It was so fun sharing time with them and getting to see Memphis.  She had her halloween costume along to keep herself entertained.  She had met Miss Wheelchair America that week.  Before the banquet started, she wanted to give her a bracelet with magical power.  It was so cute!

Bubba and Wild Willie

Mary, Jeanine and Hope, long time volunteers

Kaye Dial and Bev

Memphis presenting Miss Wheelchair America with her magic bracelet
Katie, Memphis and Miss Wheelchair America

Not sure who was having more fun

Mary with Fred and Pati

Memphis and Mary
 After the banquet, I actually went to the Saloon #10 with the crowd.  I made it until midnight, then turned into a pumpkin. 

On Friday after Ski for Light, there is an unofficial gathering at the Saloon #10 at 10:00 for Bloody Mary’s and fair wells.  Then we packed up and headed back to Rapid City.  That night, Bev and I joined some of the Ski for Lighter’s that were staying at the Alex Johnson Hotel downtown.

These guys have been around since the early years of Ski for Light

Kaye Leslie and Storm with Kaye Dial

Mary with Nancy, Pati, Fred and Kaye

Nancy, Kaye D, Kaye L, Pati, Mary, Bev

Bev and Memphis having fun at the slopes

Kim Weyer, Janet Sanders and Mary keeping track of time during the races

Katie and Brian, they have radios in their helmets to communicate while skiing

Mary, Kaye Leslie, her guide Dave Schaefer and his wife

Don and Katie

Pati and Katie at the lodge

Don, Brian and Katie
 These last photos were additional photos from other people.  Great week!!