Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The LONG COLD Winter

It has been awhile since I last posted here, but I have been busy moving snow for a couple of weeks or so, among other things. Last December I was working on our Christmas letter and I only have so many creative juices to go around, so the blog took second or third place. I feel like pa Ingalls in "The Long Hard Winter"- I think that is close to the correct title-by spending hours every day there for awhile, scooping, blowing and scraping snow. I spent some time on the roof of the garage scooping off a foot and a half of snow to lighten the load and raking off the house roof as high as I could reach and blowing out the drive ways. After dragging myself back to the house for a break the plows come by again and it starts all over in the driveways. Anyhow, this global warming is really turning out to be a bitch this year. Oh, and did I mention that the average temperature the first ten days of January was 0 degrees? Frankly I think that around here it must have been a lot lower than that, many days never got above -5 degrees. Enough about that. It looks as if the January thaw may be just around the corner. This is one of those winters when you are driving down a sub zero highway with the snow blowing across the road and cannot believe that six months ago you rode a bike down the same road in a t-shirt. The last PGR mission that I was on was up at Fort Snelling for a soldier that was gunned down at Fort Hood by the name of Kham Xiong. He was originally from Laos and his family had a long history of service, primarily in Viet-Nam and Laos during the war. While standing the flag line it was interesting to see all of the middle aged men in their assorted uniforms and berets shaking hands and hugging one another. Forty years ago they were all young men running through the jungles of south east Asia making life difficult for the enemy. Christmas was good this year although we missed the DeFor family greatly, they're still in Germany, probably for most of this year, so maybe next year. Gen and Steve and the boys made it from Rochester in nasty weather but they got here and that is what counts. My mother in law Bernice spent Christmas in the hospital after surgery for a tumor that has since turned out to be the only cancer site. This cancer business, it's getting to the point that almost everybody I know has had a go around with it. Anyhow, one of St. Jans' co-workers transferred to another position at the agency and they are not hiring any replacements so the work load just continues to rise. They have said that they may allow overtime to complete things which is a change. Jan would retire tomorrow if only there were some way of covering health care. It is amazing now-a-days how the health care angle keeps a majority of people working at jobs they really don't like just for the health care benefit and that is getting worse everywhere too. I have been extremely lucky to have had an account that paid for my health care after I retired that took me to medi-care and the VA. When I enlisted in 1962 I had no idea how valuable that service would be in the future, of course at that age nobody expected to live much beyond thirty, much less retire at a ripe old age of 62. I have been working on some more slides in this winter prison so I'll search around and add something new. I see in my last post that I used the same batch of pictures that I used in an earlier post, so with any luck at all these will be fresher. Take care and stay in touch. The pictures are from my brother Paul and my trip to the Canyon in 1975 and a trip that Jan, Rachel, and I took to Yellowstone the same year.