Friday, December 23, 2016

It's Christmas in Minnesota the second part of the puzzle

   July follows June on the calendars that we use around here, so Jan and I took the trailer over to Lanesboro for the 4th. They have a terrific fireworks show, that must be better than a lot of larger towns. We did some riding in the area while we were there. when we returned home I started on removing our old counter tops as we are getting new Cambria counters. We are getting some heavy rains every couple of days, so all of the low spots are showing up in the fields, with the crops under water, some of which were replanted more than once before the farmer gave up. It was Aaron's birthday party at the farm on the 10th, and Eli got the 650 #1 running again, I had given up after 3 rebuilds. Jan and I made another run to Mayo in Rochester again, and they biopsied the other side of my tongue. It must have been OK because I did not have to go back for more carving me up. Also hauled a ton of wood pellets into the basement for our pellet stove, don't think that we will freeze this year anyway. I got in a couple of PGR missions along here, one for a WWII paratrooper who jumped into Normandy on D Day. I was 12 days old at the time so I don't recollect that event. Eli, Lindsey, Jan and I drove back to Rochester, again, to pick up a bar that she found on Craig's list for our basement, it came in handy for the first few Viking games.
   August. St. Jan visits with her Mom in Windom in the rest home, some times it is tough, sometimes not so bad. Jan takes care of her paperwork and bills and that's a big job. So far she has managed to burn through a 120 acre farm in expenses. I did a little work on the deck, modifying a railing so that snow can be removed more easily, cause you know there will be snow in the future, sure as death and taxes. We headed out to stay in Spearfish to hang out with the Theobalds. Gen was going to run the Deadwood Marathon which runs from the Deadwood country club down Spearfish canyon, and finishes in a city park in Spearfish. Except for the pitch dark start at the country club the route down the canyon was as beautiful as ever. We first saw her at Savoy, then leap frogged ahead to bridle Veil Falls and then on to the park in Spearfish. She did manage her 2nd best time and everybody had a fun weekend in the Hills, again. Eli and I drove over to the Westbrook area one night to get a different skid loader, which has turned out to have a few problems. A PGR mission to South Dakota and lawn mowing just about finish out the month. On the last day, Eli and I headed out on a short bike trip, he had our Triumph and I rode the GS, down through Iowa and south western Wisconsin. We hit as many back roads as we could and spent the night in Fennimore.
   September started with Eli and I hitting more back roads in the direction of Wabasha, Minnesota. We stopped in Galesville at a small restaurant called the "Garden of Eatin", and it was good. I knew that riding with Eli was going to be good eating as he very seldom dines in a fast food joint, and I was not disappointed. Also I don't think I could have taken more than 2 days trying to keep up with him, anyhow we had a great time. Jan and I drove to the Cities to pick up two of our grand kiddos at their other Gramma's home. They were back in Minnesota with their Dad Hans. They came home with us for a couple days in the "country". The hard rains kept coming and coming keeping low spots under water for most of the Summer. I think after some spots were re-flooded and re-planted more than two or three times most farmers just gave up. We got the trailer out again and loaded up and headed over to Oakdale, Wisconsin for our semi annual trip over there. On the way we shredded a tire in Austin and got it replaced, luckily I had just checked the spare and checked for proper lug wrenches for the first time before leaving home. We had some great riding but the weather turned on us before leaving, We had over 4 inches of rain the night before we left for home, plus heavy rain on the way home. After getting home I packed the GS and rode west again for my Big Horn loop. Out around the Hills, to north of Sheridan, over the Big Horns to Greybull, down to Ten Sleep and back to Buffalo. From there to Kaycee, and Wright in the coal fields, to Rapid City and home, with a detour to Redwood Falls to watch Leah and Aaron's kickball games. And that is pretty much it for September.
   October. Started with more heavy rains and putting the trailer up and getting it winterized, and filled up with deck furniture. Spent time getting things moved out of the kitchen in preparation for the new floor covering, kind of a pain getting the fridge through the door to the dining room, and all of the trim off and labeled for re-installation. I drove to Miller, South Dakota for a PGR mission for a missing WWII P-51 pilot shot down over what became east Germany. His remains were just identified. The South Dakota Air National Guard did the "missing man" fly over with their F-16s. The flight lead breaks from the finger four formation, and pulls almost vertical in full afterburner until almost out of sight. Then to cap it off Fagen out of Granite Falls did a low pass with one of their P-51s. We were back in Rochester to visit our doctors for a follow up. We are getting on a first name basis with most of the personal there, anyhow it turned out fine. Just to safe I took the other three wheels off of the trailer and had those tires replaced also at the same shop in Austin. Also got the kitchen repainted after the counter tops and new floor covering, and returned to where else but Rochester, but for Sam's birthday party this time. Jan's birthday is the 22nd so a couple days later we drove out to the Hills again for stay at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, and down at Hot Springs. It is nice to be out there after the tourists have gone home. We had the Mustang GT and ran up the middle of the Hills, great fun on the Iron Mountain road. I ended the month with the usual Fall drudgery of cleaning up all of the leaves and getting rid of them.
   November. The weather has been unusually pleasant with temps in the 60 and 70s, needless to say I was riding as much as possible. And then we have the Vikings, after their 5-0 start they started to reverse that trend, oh well next year. I had a PGR mission to Iowa to stand for a police officer ambushed near Des Moines. It was one of the biggest missions that I have been on lately, and not the first ambushed officer either. Brother Phil and I ran up to Rush City to pick up some bike parts and have a burger in Cambridge, kind of a pilgrimage we do at least once a year. We were trying to decide how many years we had been doing that, and came up with at least 30 years. I did help Eli with a project putting some used steel roofing on one of his sheds that he is turning into a shop, also helped with a "tree" house he is building in the grove for the kids. And just like that Indian Summer ends, with 30 degree temps and snow, not that that is that unusual here this time of the year. Thanksgiving was in Rochester as is the norm with all of the gang from this part of the country at least. We also have been shuffling beds around, our bed out to Leah, upstairs bed to our room, awaiting the new King size. With the King size, the upstairs bed went back upstairs. And that finishes out November.
   December. Jan and I drove out to Sioux Falls one day to shop and get out of the house I guess. She did come home with some bedding for the new bed. I also had another PGR mission to Jordan and started in wrapping presents. We were down to Ormsby for the bank's yearly lunch, it's always good sandwiches, scalloped potatoes, etc.. I wonder how many big city banks do these sort of appreciation feeds? Very rural Midwest sort of thing I think. Now the temps have turned cooler, like the teens above and the snow needs to be blown and shoveled out of the way. Then it got really cold, -24 with a -39 wind chill, two days later it was in the mid thirty's, a 60 degree rise. I am about ready to wrap this up, after loosing my first draft mysteriously I had to re-type it all again. The lesson being, watch where you put your fingers on the keyboard!! All in all Jan and I have had a good year, praise the Lord, everybody reasonably healthy, or as I tell people that ask "how are doing", my answer usually is "upright and taking nourishment". So from Jan and I, I want to wish you all a very blessed Christmas and a happy New Year. As I write this epistle our Daughter Rachel, with her husband Hans and their gang, Josiah, Annika and William are on the road coming home from Virginia. Thanks to cell phones we can get a play by play of the trip complete with photos. So they should be in the area by tomorrow and the whole family will be out to Eli and Lindsey's for our Christmas. So I hope that you find my second part of the puzzle informative, and leave a comment if the spirit moves you.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if my 1st comment posted, but anyway enjoy your blog. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...Jacquie Zimprich

Ardy said...

The spirit has moved me!! I'm leaving comment!! Daddy, I love your Christmas Dispatches from the Prairie...Merry Christmas!

Phil & Laura said...

The Spirit was here too!! Always curious to view the world thru another's eyes and ears.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year :)

DD4 said...

Merry Christmas, Pete and Jan. I really enjoy your Christmas letters and hope you continue to write them. Your reports from Rochester seem to be good. Praise God!

DD4 said...
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