Sunday, August 13, 2017

Passing of the archives

It took two carloads and six Rolfsruds to get 'er done, but the family archives have successfully been turned over to the next generation. Meet the new custodians.
The late Erling N. Rolfsrud was a meticulous record-keeper, scrapbooker and saver. His late wife was like-minded. Both have passed on and left this trove of artifacts, too good for heirs to throw and hard to keep, especially given that we're downsizing and moving to a new location.
After numerous invitations to family members, Breck was the first to volunteer to take a look at all the material, followed by her brother, Ford and family, encouraged by their mother and father.
We're delighted by their decision to remove it intact, relieving us entirely of the burden, and gamely taking on the chore of "looking things over."
Their grandparents would be proud and grateful.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Our daughter phones it in

Ely, Nevada

Good morning Mom and Stan,

I hiked 8 miles at Arches National Park yesterday and it was so beautiful. Actually all of Utah is so beautiful! Then I was driving across Utah on Highway 50 and I met a walking Monk on the road. I stopped to see if he needed a ride, but of course, he didn't -- because he is the walking monk.
In Ely, Nevada, now, gassing up. Hope you guys have a great day!
I love you.

Jennifer and her walking monk. He's got a website, of course,

Monday, August 07, 2017

A small announcement

Ruby Rose
The excitement was palpable. What could it be? Virg's cryptic invitation to dinner gave few clues. Kim would have an "announcement" it said. Actually, a "small" announcement. We looked for "tells." Was it time to break out the champagne... again? Time would have to tell.
We arrived right on the dot for dinner last night. As usual. There were still no clues, and believe me, we looked. We turned in our dinner wine house gift, no champagne this time, didn't want to jinx anything.
Right out of the oven.
When Virg's sons and Amber arrived, Kim busied herself on her laptop... mysteriously searching for some "ultrasounds.."
What! Nah, couldn't be.
 By then, even Kim couldn't keep a straight face. The big reveal: Ruby Rose, a brand-new shitzu that will join the household when she's old enough. She couldn't get any cuter and hopes are high for the perfect dog.
Announcement complete, Kim returned to the kitchen, producing a fabulous roast beef dinner, with carrots and potatoes, -- and green beans, finished by a homemade peach crisp that you could top with ice cream and chocolate. We did.
Can't wait for the next "announcement."

From left, Aaron, Amber, Alex, Virg, Kim, Kathleen 

Monday, July 31, 2017

For Sale

We go on the MLS on Wednesday. Still have a carpet to shampoo. Here are links to a drone's eye view of the property and the results of a photo shoot.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cast of characters gathers on the shores of Lake Agnes

Cast members insisted that host Charlie Olson be in the official photo, even if he didn't have a stick. That resulted in Roger Schultz (Stage Left as Judge Brack) being cut out totally, bald head, silver mustache, grin and all. Oh well, his lovely wife made it.
The event was a regular gathering of old thespians for a dramatic reading of Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabbler,” a lengthy but worthwhile play from the late 1800s. Stroke therapists told Stan to challenge himself with new things and this was certainly it for someone who hasn’t taken a part since Sir Joseph Porter of the “HMS Pinafore,” in eighth grade — unless you count being in the chorus in the 1967 Concordia College Production of  “Camelot,” with but one line (which was performed with perfection nightly): “There he is!” 
High School chum Betty Larson invited Stan to drive up and join the unnamed group of players to take the part of George Tesman, the boring husband of Hedda Gabler — Betty’s role, well played. Charlie and Mary hosted the group in their beautifully restored lodge on the shores of Lake Agnes in Alexandria, spreading a buffet luncheon for the reunion of former classmates and others with plenty to talk about.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Live long and prosper

Hi Mom and Stan,
Marcy and I went to listen to the Minnesota Orchestra play the music for Star Trek while viewing the movie on a big screen above their heads. Several people were in Star Trek get up, including my cool sister Marcy, so I wore black and did my hair in a funky style. We had lots of fun!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Remembering Paul

The late Paul Donley earned an athletic scholarship to Concordia College. No thanks to me.
Paul was built for football. Tall, rangy and with some bulk, he was just the thing for the trenches at Jake Christianson stadium in Moorhead. Basketball, not so much. His big brother, Bill, earned a football scholarship too. Bill had distinguished himself in high school, not only on the gridiron, but by ruling the outdoor rink. He played hockey outdoors at Concordia too.
None of that for Paul. He came in from the cold immediately after high school football season was over.
That’s where I got to know Paul, playing basketball for the mighty Alexandria Cardinals. Paul was the red forward, I was black. We scrimmaged daily, grunting, sweating, pushing and shoving each other. Paul was a senior, I was a junior.
Paul was a natural educator with a permanent spot on the second string. He made it clear immediately what he was there for. He had no aspirations to take my place on the starting team, he just wanted to stay warm and make me better. And teach he did. Each afternoon he would take on the personna of the weekend foe, pretending (sometimes comically so) to be whomever I would face that weekend. “Here’s Lyle McIver,” he would say, trying to emulate Lyle’s move to the baseline, or, “I’m Bob Peterson.” No one asked him to help out the coach. He just did it.
We were going hard at it, five-on-five, one day when Paul spotted something unusual out of the corner of his eye.
“Goose” he panted subversively under his breath, using the nickname he had invented and encouraged everyone to use. “There’s a recruiter down on the other end, he’s scouting me for Concordia.” Then he conspired, “When we get under that basket, and if I get the ball, give me a shot. Let me have an unobstructed jumper.”
I agreed to the ruse, of course, wondering how his dubious jump shot could possibly help get him a football scholarship, but oh well. Meanwhile, he was probably already dreaming of making an impressive, unimpeded jump shot right in front of his recruiter, swish, nothing but net.
Unfortunately, the coach blew his whistle, and we started a different drill, now staying under the same basket, with Paul’s group on permanent offense while we worked on something or other on defense. Time passed. 
Our plan would soon go very much awry. 
Eventually, Big Paul was passed the ball in a perfect position for a jump shot attempt. He gathered himself, almost in slow motion, trusting now to so easily take a classic 60’s jump shot, releasing the ball from his fingertips in a confident moment of grace.
The ball ricocheted hard off the concrete wall, slapped to the side in a solid, humiliating shot block. 
I was still in the air when I realized what I had done. To my horror, my mentor, my friend, had thought the conspiracy was still on, regardless. I did not. The result was a mashup of miscommunication, raw instinct, and habit. No wonder his jumper had been so easily blocked.
“Sorry, sorry, sorry,” I said lamely to my crushed teammate. “I don’t know what happened. I thought we were going to wait to get to the other end of the court where your friend is standing! It was the wrong basket! Sorry!” 
“That was really low,” he said sadly, shaking his head at his pupil, who stood ashamed and misunderstood. Paul spoke with little emotion. He didn’t have to.
We”ll never know if the recruiter actually saw that disaster. We do know that Paul got his scholarship anyway, got his degree, then went on to distinguish himself as a gifted educator.
Paul suffered about a dozen heart attacks before one finally took him last month. His obituary impressively tells of his lifelong association with education throughout the state, concluding that Paul will be remembered for his commitment to education, his unwavering devotion to his family, and his life-long friendships. 
Sadly, he got no help from me.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Three generations under the drone

Sam, Grandpa John, Tom--Sam's Uncle, who let her try flying it today.

Tom pilots the new drone home, above, as Grandpa and Sam watch. Tom brought the new GoPro drone and camera to our neighbor John's backyard today, skillfully navigating his machine about before bringing it in for closer inspection. This model is quiet, has a stabilized camera, and costs about $1000. We won't worry about him looking into our windows; he's packed it up and will take it with him when he's done visiting.