Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ron and Linda report to Cloquet

This report comes from Shana Erickson, Ron and Linda Rolfsrud Letnes' daughter. It is posted on their web site which is accessible at the links in the left margin below.

Shana writes: The last year has been a long and hard one for my parents, and the culmination of it was the scheduled move that took place this past week. Between preparing their home in Colorado for sale, showings, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning, they finally sold their house and began packing a couple of weeks ago.
A few words of wisdom from my Mom: "De-clutter now, Shana! It will make your life a whole lot easier when you decide to sell and move again!"
Here's a picture of my Dad, nephew Antonio (a great little helper!), and Erik with the moving truck they drove to Cloquet. The truck was stuffed to the gills, thanks to Erik's master packing skills. The unpacking of the additional PODS will happen later this fall. (Hoorah!)
My Dad will be serving a parish as interim pastor for a year or more. In the meantime, the builders have already started construction on their new home in Blaine.
Here's a shot of Our Savior's in Cloquet.

A letter from Jennifer in Rapid City

Hello My Wonderful Family,
I'm having a great time staying with Nancy and Pat and Nancy's mom Phyllis, who moved in with them about three years ago. They are such nice people to be around and each one of them successfully make me feel loved and at home.
The few times I've been to Rapid City I have never actually seen the city, so on Thursday Nancy and Pat took me on the tour. We went to Dollar Giant, Safeway, Stavekirke Church, Canyon Lake Park, Hardware Hank, past the school Nancy works at, Dinosaur Hill, and a spin down Skyline Drive. We had a great time enmeshing errands with sightseeing and I even got a candy bar and an iced tea out of the deal.

Before I got to town I had started emailing a guy named Eric on my new online resource . I contacted Eric as he stated on his profile that he was a rock climber. It turned out he lived about a mile from Nancy's house and was a really nice guy. He took me rock climbing on Friday behind Mt. Rushmore at a bunch of rock outcroppings and spires that the climbers call the South Seas.


As I reached the top of the first spire I had to laugh at myself. I had just climbed up it without too much of a thought but once at the top I got a little freaked out. It seemed I was sitting on the head of a needle and had to share the space with another person and a 60 meter rope. I sat rather meditatively, clinging with both hands as Eric readied the rope for us to repel down on. Never was I so happy to get down off a climb.
Today is open, Eric might take me to the Badlands so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the phone to ring. I'm still looking for my ride to Minneapolis off where I have a posting in the rideshare section. And I'm looking forward to seeing you all and hanging out with you for the month of July.

Here are a few photos of the ladies out on the town and at home. And, fyi, I try to always update my site with current pictures. Although this seems to occur more frequently when I'm around people who own digital cameras.

Big Love to you all,

And now, the rest of the story. . .

Adam Jerdee writes from West Des Moines, Iowa:

So, I see my Mom [Rebecca Rolfsrud Jerdee] told you about our wind damage over the weekend. I wouldn’t say we were so scared, just shocked.

Though there were a couple tornadoes in the area, we were simply hit by a very isolated large gust of wind. We [Adam and Kim Jerdee] were actually both at work when it happened, but the power was out for three hours after we got home.

There wasn’t any damage to the house or any structures, but we had the top of an evergreen (about 8-10 feet of it) ripped off and thrown about 10 feet out. The fortunate thing is how it landed in an empty area of our yard and fell perfectly parallel to the little house in the back yard, doing no damage to it or the trellis.

Also, our neighbors had a very large branch break off and it did not damage their house, though it easily could have. The city will pick up our yard waste at no charge given the heavy damage in the neighborhood. That is a generous offer considering how much it usually costs.
We never would have been able to get it all done so quickly if it wasn’t for the help of the Underwood family [sister Amy and brother-in-law Dave] as well as Mom and Dad. I felt a little guilty for all the help they gave us.
Mom and Dad supplied a wonderful afternoon lunch on our patio. In the end it was just an odd excuse to get family and neighbors together.
Adam and Kim
Top: large branch in neighbor's yard
Left: our back yard
Bottom: top of evergreen next to little house
Right: the tall tree in the back ground is the evergreen that the top snapped off

Friday, June 29, 2007

Grandfather endured pain for many years

Dear Jennifer,
We are happy to hear that you made it to Rapid City to be with Nancy and Pat as you journey toward Minnesota on your way to Keene, North Dakota, for the July 7 Rolfsrud Reunion. The excitement builds!
Meanwhile, there's lots for you to do and see in Rapid City and your hosts are just the ones to show you. We really enjoyed our visit to the Crazy Horse monument last time we were there. Let's see. Nancy Cleary is my mother's, brother's grandchild. Got that?
(Photo at right: In 2005, Pat and Nancy escorted Stan, Sosie, Zach and her nephew for a nostril-side view of Crazy Horse.)

The most significant event
Last time I wrote you, we discussed my Grandma and Grandpa's arrival in the new country just over 100 years ago. You can't talk long about them without talking about the most significant event to shape their lives and the lives of their descendents.
It was Dec. 5, 1905, when the coal mine fell and crushed Grandpa's legs. Nothing was ever the same after that.
My cousin, Rosalie Veeder, tells it best:

"Since North Dakota didn't have many trees available to burn for fuel, coal was used to heat the homes as it was plentiful and more efficient. Nils and Pete Tanberg drove to a mine east of Keene to get coal.

"Nils and Pete had dug into the bank to get at the coal when the 'roof' collapsed, burying Pete almost completely. Pete yelled to Nils, 'Help me!' But Nils was buried in coal up to his chest himself. A pick axe and crow bar wedged against Nils' leg, breaking it and putting his hip out of joint."

Here's Grandma Rebekka's description of what happened in her words: (Remember that Norwegian was her native language. She taught herself English.)
"Late in the fall my husband was hurt in the Coalmine and his friend Pete Tanberg was killed. Got his leg brocke and his hip out of shape. We had to go to Ray for treatment. Dr. Scoat was the practicing doctor at that time, instead of setting the hip in it's plase, he pulled it out of jont intirely and told us it was O.K. That left my husband a crippled man for the rest of his life. I am not telling this to make Dr. Scoat go down in History as a poor doctor, but am telling it to show that was one of the payments we paid in full measure for our free homestead land to Oncel Sam."

Rosalie continues: "A splint was put on Nils' leg and he was taken to Rebekka's homestead. Later Nils was transported about 40 miles north [by bumpy horse-drawn wagon] where, under the supervision of the doctor, Rebekka, pregnant with Halvor, cared for him in a leanto attached to the back of a saloon. Nils gradually began to recover and was able to return to his homestead in late winter.

One leg shorter
"Since his hip had not been properly fixed, one leg was always much shorter than the other so he wore a built-up shoe. He always needed a cane to get around and he was not able to do many of the farming tasks that he once did. Since he could ride in a wagon and he knew the country quite well, Grandpa became a land locator. He would locate land that hadn't been claimed yet for would-be homesteaders. They would pay him a few dollars for his help or work on his farm for payment.

Clear Creek Cemetery
"Nils never got over the accident and his health deteriorated. Often he was short of breath and his heart was probably strained as well. Sometimes he would faint when he overexerted himself. During the summer of 1920, his health rapidly deterioriated until he died on July 5, 1920. He was buried in the Clear Creek cemetery near the homestead. He was 41 years old."

(Photo: Nils Rolfsrud was probably in pain when this photo was taken in 1906, one year after he was buried to his chest in coal. He would live just another 14 years.)


Modern medicine
Nils died when your Grandpa Erling was just eight. So little time for little Erling to learn about being a father from this rugged man wracked by pain. My siblings like to say that Dad always took a special view toward me. Maybe so. I was born on July 5.
During the past year, our immediate family has experienced a good deal of physical pain. You suffered from an accident in the ambulance and were in pain for months, Solveig had a bike accident and still experiences pain from it, Grandma Beverly broke her leg and has been in great pain at Knute, Briggs and Bill suffered from their car accident.
As you know, pain can be a very difficult and constant companion. Fortunately, we have drugs to try to help mitigate, ease, and deal with the pain.
I think of my Grandfather now and then, and the recent family experiences have helped me appreciate the suffering and pain Nils must have endured over so many years without benefit of modern medicine. Yet he was somehow able to overcome it enough to make a life for himself and others.
It is that spirit and strength that we celebrate today as we wonder what it must have been like to have accomplished what our Grandparents did, under the most difficult and tragic of circumstances.
Be safe and hurry home, Jennifer.
Much love, your stepdad,

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

No, it’s not a paint job.

After eight and one half years with her signature yellow beetle, Kathleen was at a crossroads. The yellow one had a fever, needed an alternator, drive belt, and something called an oil valve cap. The laser blue bug beckoned and the deal was done. Well, not quite.

Carol Jean, one of the few floorwalkers ever to take seriously a short, older woman looking at cars, was most helpful and found just the right package. That's Carol Jean in the photos with a very happy Kathleen. Then, in a scene reminiscent of the closing room in the movie Fargo, Stan and Kathleen were ushered into a small chamber with a business manager, to get a high pressure pitch.

Many cars are made from fiber nowadays so they just don’t rust. (This one is "guaranteed" not to rust for 12 years. Could just as well have been "until hell freezes over.") So the modern day equivalent of the old rust proofing pitch is a portfolio of polymer products they can spray on windshields and bodies and whatever for hundreds of impulsive, last-minute dollars. The terms "Lloyds of London", "3M" and "safety" are sprinkled liberally throughout the lecture.

What we actually wanted was an extension on the 4-year warranty. That is exactly what we got, after Stan whacked Wm. H. Macy upside the head and retook control of the room. Bill apologized, meekly promised to rethink his pitch, shook his head and sighed relief when we left. (Photo not available.)

We’re very happy with our deal. The car has a bigger engine, gets better mileage and has a sunroof, yet we paid the same price as we did eight years ago for the original yellow one. Now Kathleen is back in action and we’ll give these shiny new wheels a 1,200 mile test on I-94 all the way to the Rolfsrud Reunion and back.

Nice horsey. . .

This Rolfsrud heirloom, a rocking horse made of steel parts and solid wood, has been handed around our family for decades. We believe it was first ridden by Erling Rolfsrud and siblings around 1915 but we are not sure. Anybody know? Our Emily is getting ready to ride it, as did the Jerdee kids, her Grandpa and so many more. Please give your input in the comment section below.

By the way, it is Wednesday and so here is your bonus Emily picture. It is a hot one, high humidity, temps in the 90s, so Emily will be showing a little skin today on her stroll down Abbey Point.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sold today! Congratulations Linda and Ron!

Linda and Ron closed on their Ft. Collins home today. The money is in the bank. They're staying at Shana's in-laws right now in Circle Pines, Minnesota. The hospitable Paul and Marilyn Erickson are in Norway at present, so Linda and Ron have the run of their house. They are making preparations for moving to their townhouse in Cloquet, where the Rev. Ron will soon answer the call to a Lutheran parish there. The frenetic pace continues as the Retired One organizes a trip to the Rolfsrud Reunion and so much, much more. You go Linda!

Congratulations, Ron & Linda!

Wind damages Adam and Kim's

Adam and Kim Jerdee's home in West Des Moines was apparently hit by strong winds or a tornado over the weekend. They're fine, but we hope to hear from them when they get things straightened out. In the meantime, we got this email from Becky Rolfsrud Jerdee, Adam's mother. Dave and Amy Underwood are Adam's brother-in-law and sister, Hunter and Blake are his young nephews. We're hoping for the best outcome possible.

Becky writes: Adam and Kim suffered tornado activity this weekend... blackouts and fearsome winds... they were just plain scared. When we arrived at 1443 the next morning, their beautiful trees were in ruin and the workload looked insurmountable.
Adam was out buying a new chain for his chainsaw and asking for help. Indeed, there was tremendous damage but we all pitched in (Dave literally tore huge limbs out of the trees with his bare hands--not to mention biceps). Three hours later our labors resulted in a mountain of timber laid out on the curb, ready for the refuse guys to shred. The good news is that the winds had been high, clipping over the houses and ripping off the tops of trees and pulling up weaker limbs. Sort of a natural pruning...

Cute story: Before Adam's call for help, Amy had paid Blake and Hunter 50 cents each to clean up the twig litter the storm left in the Underwood yard. She offered them another 50 cents if they'd go over to Adam's and pick up his twigs. On arrival at 1443, the boys jumped out of the truck to check everything out.
They came running back to the truck where Amy was still sitting... "Mom," Blake said, "those are big twigs!!! This is bigger than 50 cents!!"
Those little guys worked like horses, dragging branches for three hours and loving every minute of it. MEN and TREES and three CHAINSAWS (we helped Anita and John, too)--pretty darn exciting stuff!
Kim gave Hunter and Blake $5 each.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New phase in Briggs' therapy

Steve Rolfsrud writes:
Monday, June 25
Dear family and friends:
Briggs and Bill had another weekend reunion, as evidenced by the photo at the dinner table showing Briggs sporting her unique method of napkin tucking, designed to keep the crumbs from going down the neck brace.
Bill and his Dad were here, and it gave Briggs and Bill the opportunity to appreciate each other's progress. Both have made substantial strides, and talked hopefully about making it to Boston this fall so that Briggs can complete her graduate work at Harvard.
Briggs began physical therapy today which involved some moderate work on stair steps and the stationary bike. We have always encouraged our children to strive to learn to stand "on their own two feet"; we just never envisioned this modality for accomplishing it.

In addition to starting physical therapy, Briggs has chosen to begin the task of weaning herself from the fairly powerful pain killer medications that she had been prescribed. She wants to avoid dependence, and wants to return to her natural state as fast as possible, even though it might mean short-term discomfort. And she will be at the plastic surgeon later this week to take the next step in that process.
Also included here is a picture of faithful visitor and long time friend, Gemma Soderholm.

Bill is doing very well. He was at his neurosurgeon today to have his sutures removed. The neurosurgeon concluded that no further CT scans were necessary. He has a followup appointment for late July at which time they hope to clear him for most tasks including driving.
Please feel free to give Briggs a call at 612 695 9969 as she moves through the next phase of her recovery--which undoubtedly will go better with social contact.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Check your local listings

Programming Note: If you are looking for something fun to do Monday night, check out HGTV National Open House and watch closely for the Minneapolis segment. Then, if you watch even more closely, you may see some of our daughter's artwork as the camera pans the walls of a loft. Freeze the frame, if you can, it is one of Marcy's 15 seconds of fame!
We're pumped!
The following email went out today from a very proud mother notifying interested parties of this signature television event:

This is to let you know that Marcy’s paintings will be on HGTV’s “National Open House” segment tomorrow night.
Here is how this all happened.
Marcy has her art shows from time to time…usually at Dunn Brothers coffee houses. A real estate agent and his wife buy a painting. The next day he calls Marcy to ask if he could use her paintings to spruce up a downtown Minneapolis loft he has on the market.
Marcy says, “sure.” He comes and gets a number of her paintings and hangs them in the loft. Unknown to the agent or to Marcy, the woman that owns the loft called HGTV to try and get on the “National Open House” segment and she’s successful.
The production people come and film the segment and then Marcy got the phone call to see if they could use her paintings on the show.
She signed a release and the show will be on tomorrow night at 9:30 p.m. central time.
The show tomorrow night will feature homes in Bradenton, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. Obviously, they’re showing the homes so we don’t know how much of Marcy’s artwork will actually be seen but we’re very excited and are looking forward to the segment.
Kathleen and Stan

(Below, 12-year-old budding artist at home on Friendship Lane in Chaska. Photo by Mom in 1979)

Norwegians are stoic? C'mon.. .

They chose this photo because everyone was smiling.
These are Nils and Rebecca Rolfsrud's children. Halvor and Erling, Rena, Agnes and Hannah. Their descendents will gather in Keene, North Dakota the weekend of July 7. It should be great fun, right?

Happy Birthday, Becky Rolfsrud!

Today, Sunday, is Becky Rolfsrud's birthday. She's married to Virgil, above right, who is drinking a toast to something or other. There is a Rebecca Heide Rolfsrud, a Rebecca Rolfsrud Jerdee and a Rebecca Thompson Rolfsrud, just so there is no confusion.

Happy Birthday, Becky!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

12 hours a night and Grandma Betty's dip

This is not Grandma Betty with Briggs Rolfsrud Siitari. It is family friend Laurie Ramy who, once again, has arrived at the Mankato Rolfsruds with a supply of treats guaranteed to whet the appetite and urge on substantial healthy munching by our recovering Briggs. It's all a plot to make her better faster -- and if the rest of the family enjoys the feast too, well, so much the better.

Friday, June 22
Steve Rolfsrud writes:
Briggs had a full day of visitors: Gemma Soderholm, Charlotte Gallagher, Ford and Jenn, and Bailey Breck and Mitch.
Last, and certainly not least, was the re-appearance of chef Laurie Ramy with several more boxfuls of gourmet goodies.
Recognizing Briggs' need for milder foods, she included mandarin orange jello, but also had a full supply of more "challenging" foods as her condition improves (including Grandma Betty's dip that includes cream cheese, green pepper, fresh pineapple and pecans--no, really, try it--it's great). We're all enjoying the great food.
Briggs seems to need about 14 hours a day of sleep to get by. She sleeps about 12 hours per night, and needs several hours of sleep in the late afternoon.
But on Thursday she actually went out with her mother to stop at a Hallmark card shop. She got several odd looks, what with a walker, neck brace and patch over her laceration (worn based on adamant instructions from Regions personnel). But it was fun to get out and get some fresh air and rejoin the world a bit.
Bill and David arrive Saturday and stay until Monday morning when Bill has a followup appointment in St. Paul.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Alex Rolfsrud buys first Cadillac

Alex Rolfsrud, son of Virgil and Becky Rolfsrud, recently acquired a 1990 Cadillac. Runs good, but old enough so you don't have to worry about a ding or two, Dad says. Course, big brother Aaron is an excellent body man so that's never an issue. Alex is on Best Buy's Geek Squad. He wears a badge and a uniform, above. (Look at the shine on those oxfords.) It is interesting for some to note that Virgil was 50 before he got his first Cadillac. Kids nowadays.

Correction and apology

An error has been brought to our attention concerning a previous post on this blog and in the interest of total accuracy we would like to correct the record. The mistake occurred in the caption describing a photograph of a man doing his laundry outside of his shanty on the North Dakota prairie. The caption incorrectly read: "Our Cousin Harold Rolfsrud, above, is busily scrubbing his best denims in preparation for the family reunion." That is incorrect. It should have said, "Cousin Harold is busy scrubbing his socks in preparation for the family reunion." We regret the error.

In new photo at right, we see that Harold is just about done folding the monogrammed guest towels.

Stan is the smartest, Norwegian study finds

Today, we will simply let the facts speak for themselves.

Is your oldest brother smarter? Study says so
By Benedict Carey - New York Times
The oldest children in families tend to develop higher IQs than their younger siblings, researchers are reporting in a large study that could settle more than 50 years of scientific debate about the relationship between IQ and birth order.
The average difference in IQ was slight - three points higher -- but significant, the researchers said. And the results made it clear that it was due to family dynamics, not to biological factors. Researchers have long had evidence that first-borns tend to be more dutiful and cautious than their siblings, and some previous studies found significant IQ differences. But critics said those reports were not conclusive, because they didn’t consider the vast differences in up-bringing between separate families.
Researchers said Thursday [June 21, 2007] that the results – being published today in separate papers in two journals, Science and Intelligence -- would lead to more intensive study into the family dynamics behind such differences, which are not yet well understood.

In the study, Norwegian epidemiologists analyzed data on birth order, health status and IQ scores of 241,310 18- and 19-year-old men born from 1967 to 1976, using military records. Because gender has little effect on IQ scores, the results almost certainly apply to females as well, said Dr. Petter Kristensen, an epidemiologist at the University of Oslo and the lead author of the Science study.
(Photo: The Brothers Rolfsrud -- This recent photograph is illustrative of the relative intelligence of siblings as revealed by the Norwegian study. Virgil, left, is the youngest; Stan, center, the oldest; Stephen, in dunce cap, the middle child. Ironically, Virgil and Stephen distinguished themselves with advanced degrees, in econonics and law. Stan did not, although he once received a certificate of appreciation from Richard M. Nixon for serving in the Army and from the Canadian Government for helping to extinguish a forest fire.)

Those stubborn stains

The Rolfsrud Reunion in Keene, North Dakota, is right around the corner, July 7, 2007. No one is more aware of that than Cousin Harold Rolfsrud, above, busily scrubbing his best denims in preparation for the big event. It is going to be a great time. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Latest addition to extended Rolfsrud clan

Alright, Rolfsruds and friends. Who is this little two-month-old cutie? She is a descendant of Nils and Rebecca Rolfsrud.

She is Scarlet Kirmis, daughter of Paul and Kim Kirmis. Paul and Kim live in Goodyear, AZ (Phoenix area). Scarlet is their second child; Walker their first. Paternal Grandparents are Don and Karen Kirmis. Karen is the daughter of Halvor and Martha Rolfsrud. Halvor was the oldest son of Nils and Rebecca Rolfsrud.

This reunion thing is starting to heat up, eh?

While we're at it, Karen and Don's son, Nathan, also has a little girl. Her name is Natalie and they may be planning on coming to the reunion.

We think all of Louise Rolfsrud Haugen's girls (Deanne, Melissa, & Michele) will be there too. Louise, Karen's sister, died last fall.
Kelli Rolfsrud McCoy, Karen's niece, might be there if she gets some of her class work done. Her husband, Jiro, is in Iraq... doing okay... but won't be at the reunion, of course.

By the way, as relates to Scarlet, that's Grandma Karen on the left; Great, Great Grandma Rebecca on the right.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pelvic fractures healing on a fast track

Steve Rolfsrud writes:

Briggs had a difficult start today (with recurrent nausea and dizziness that she experiences in the morning, apparently the residue from the head injury and other trauma), compounded by a two hour trip to St. Paul to see her orthopedic surgeon.
But the news she got from her orthopedic surgeon more than made up for the slow start. Her orthopedic surgeon treats her pelvic fractures. We think that the most important part of her recovery is to get her ambulatory again.

This is what she learned from her orthopedic surgeon today: she is ahead of schedule in mending her five pelvic fractures, none of which have displaced.

Initially, we had been told that she would have to spend eight to twelve weeks using a walker. It now appears that it will only be six weeks. Charlotte Gallagher's acupuncture must be helping!
She was cleared to start physical therapy on Monday. And she has been cleared to begin exercising by bearing weight while using her walker. Thus, the confident pose you see in the attached picture!
She will be seeing her neurosurgeon on July 5 concerning her neck/skull fracture and injuries. And will be seeing a plastic surgeon to do repair work on her facial laceration in the near future.

Bill Siitari
Bill has had several medical appointments and appears right on schedule for a full recovery. Bill, his father, David, and his brother, Andrew, will be here for the weekend. I'm not sure if I hear golf yet, but maybe the driving range?
We'll let you know as there are further developments. It appears that positive progress continues, moved along by the positive attitudes of both Bill and Briggs, to say nothing of the positive support that they continue to receive from family and friends.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sports report

Johann Santana is pitching a 9 inning shutout for the Twins against the Mets.
Ford Rolfsrud is teaching tennis to the children of the citizens of Shakopee.

Bill says Solveig OK; will recycle metal

Bill Shearer writes:

Solveig's surgery went well. As is Solveig's way, before they sedated her, she "negotiated" with the surgeon to keep the "hardware" he was to remove because she had plans for some titanium jewelery in her future. She spent last night alternating ice packs on and off while keeping her wrist elevated above her heart to keep the swelling down. Oh, and did I mention the Vicodan...... musn't forget the Vicodan! Today, she's sleeping a lot, making up lost sleep time — both from the surgery and from working all weekend to meet a huge deadline while she still had the use of two hands. So, today she and JD are all snuggled up enjoying the snoozing life. Oh, yes, and the Vicodan, too.
I'm sure in a day or so she'll be in shape to email her verision of the event. Thanks for asking about her.
Bill S
Thanks, Bill. == TB


When the Trailboss asked for contributions to the family blog recently, he simply meant things like photos, emails, comments, stories and the like. Yesterday a contribution arrived by snail mail from Laurie Ramy, a dear, mischievous friend of the Mankato Rolfsruds.
The Trailboss hereby gratefully acknowledges Ms. Ramy's thoughtful card and the generous enclosure of exactly $1.75.
The Trailboss had hoped to feature a photograph of the lovely card with its scotch-taped coins, but by the time he got his camera, Mrs. Trailboss had stripped the card and tucked the proceeds deep in her purse.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sosie had surgery on her wrist today

We await word from Sosie Shearer -- or husband Bill if Sosie isn't typing tonight -- on the outcome of Solveig's wrist work today. Over a year ago she severely damaged her wrist in a bike accident. She's been healing since then and was scheduled to have some of the titanium taken out today.

We are having a good thought and the highest of hopes...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Gentleman caller at the Mankato Rolfsruds

Steve Rolfsrud writes:
Sunday, June 17,
Father's Day

Dear Family and Friends:

Both Briggs and Bill had a great day. Bill came a-calling and the two spent the day in each other's company at our home.

They each donned St. Kate's t-shirts [see pictures] to celebrate their reunion--having gotten married last October at the chapel on the campus of the College of St. Catherine.
They also compared their improving scars [see pictures]. It is pretty amazing what two weeks--and a good buzzcut in Bill's case--has accomplished for their respective appearances.

Both Bill and Briggs have substantial stamina issues, and Briggs has mobility and structural issues remaining, although she appears to have a better handle on maintaining her diet.

But did they ever enjoy today!

They are humbled by the support that they have received and continue to receive. They remain inspired to do their best to make the fullest recovery possible.


Shana beats most women at Grandma's

Shana Erickson, a 28-year-old mother from Circle Pines, finished Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth yesterday with a time of 4:26:44.
She finished 3319 out of 6898 runners in the popular annual event skirting the North shore of Lake Superior. She was faster than two thirds of the 2500 women who finished. She ran the first 10 kilometers of the 26 mile event in under an hour, at 55:41. She averaged 10:11 per mile.
Not bad for a woman who delivered a beautiful baby girl late last fall.

(Photo was taken by husband Erik. For his full report, find the link posted on the left margin of this page. Click on it. Below is a picture of Erik with his new best friend that he met in Duluth.)

The top woman ran the course in 2:35:40.
Shana is Stan and Kathleen Rolfsrud's niece.
She is the daughter of Linda Rolfsrud Letnes and the Rev. Ron Letnes of Ft. Collins, Col. Linda has retired from teaching this spring; her husband, an ordained Lutheran pastor, has accepted a call to a parish in Cloquet, Minnesota, not far from Duluth. They will be moving to Cloquet in two weeks.
Shana draws inspiration from her father, who, at an advanced age, still runs in 10K events. Linda does not, but she is, nonetheless, very inspirational.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Briggs to be a bridesmaid in 2008!

Steve Rolfsrud writes:
Saturday, June 16
Dear family and friends:

Here's the good news.
Briggs had an excellent day, eating well--a little too well, in fact--but enjoyed her day. Laurie Ramy's wide variety of fabulous foods was very tempting.
Jodi Braunhausen, Briggs' childhood friend, high school tennis teammate, post-college roommate and bridesmaid, stopped by.

She came with some trepidation, as the other two times that she came to visit were the days Briggs was not able to see visitors.

But today made up for it as they had an enjoyable visit. And to top it off, Jodi asked Briggs to be a bridesmaid at HER wedding on August 30, 2008. By then Briggs will have completed her graduate work at Harvard and moved back to Minnesota from Boston.
The bad news? There is none.

Bill will be coming to visit tomorrow with his mother. Briggs is excited!


Photo: Jodi Braunhausen, Briggs and sister-in-law Jenn Rolfsrud at a pre-wedding party last year.

Editor didn't serve pasties at Ali's grad party

Ali, Stan, Patrick

Question: What do Bob Dylan, Roger Maris, Geno Palucci, Kevin McHale, Rudy Perpich and Patrick Minelli have in common?

Hibbing native Patrick Minelli has been the Shakopee Valley News editor for the past 20 years, but the unrepentant Iron Ranger has never really left home. His boss, Stan Rolfsrud, was born in Miner's Hospital in Crosby-Ironton near an open ore pit, but that was on the wimpy Cuyuna Range, not the Mighty Mesabi, and so that don't hold no truck with an honest-to-goodness, union-loving Iron Ranger from Hibbing. So be it. Stan can't claim to be an Iron Ranger. Those are the rules. Nor does he hail from Hibbing, like all the famous gentlemen named above. More's the pity.

Pat's late father didn't work the Mesabi ore pits. He was a printer for the daily in Hibbing. Consequently, Pat never lets anybody get by with sloppy printing for his Valley News.

Pat always said his two children were timed to be born on days that did not interfere with paper deadlines. His oldest, Ali, graduated from Prior Lake High School last week and was among the witnesses to an unscheduled streaking during the graduation ceremony. (The trailboss has the photos, but not the nerve to publish them. Vote below if you want to see them.)

Kathleen and Stan attended Ali's graduation party today and Kathleen took the photo, above. We had a wonderful lunch, but despite the Iron Range roots, there were no traditional pasties. Now, if you don't know what a pastie is, don't show your ignorance like Jay Leno did the other night on his Headlines segment. A pastie is a tasty meat pie that Iron Range workers often carried in their lunch pails. It is pronounced with a short, not a long, A. Incorrectly pronouncing it with a long A sound makes it sound like a strategic glue-on applique for an exotic dancer, hence the Tonight Show's blunder.

Ali will be attending St. Catherine's in St. Paul on a hockey/soccer scholarship. Our Briggs Rolfsrud Siitari recently graduated from St. Kate's. She was to be working as a guidance counselor there this summer.

Ali attended an orientation for new St. Kate's students last week, a couple of days after Briggs had her car accident. During prayers at the assembly that morning, Ali joined the audience in a request for a speedy recovery for Briggs Siitari, missing that morning because she was hospitalized.

Patrick was with his daughter and heard the announcement. He wondered if Briggs wasn't his boss's relative. Today, at the party, I was able to confirm to Ali that indeed it was my niece, and, indeed, her prayer is being answered.