Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sorry about that

I was home for two days and since it was unplanned, I didn't bring Grandma's journal home with me.  Hence, no posts yesterday and the day before.  Back in the groove now, however.  I think.

"October 31, 2001:  Nancy took me shopping.  Bought a new coat.  Drove past Dale's new house.  Laid in a supply of groceries -- a senior discount on Wednesday.  Stayed at Nancy's part of the evening to watch the Halloween children.
November 1, 2001:  Myrtle called in a.m.  Mary, Mitch and Anna here in evening.  We played one game of Rummicube.
November 2, 2001:  Jayson and family came in the evening and brought Chinese food.  After we had eaten, put up pictures, clocks and items in the kitchen.  A lady came about 8:00 and said the pounding kept her awake!!!!  Sarah is quite a go-getter."

Not much of a segue there, but I bet Sarah was a go-getter.  She would have been a bit over one year old at that time.

I was pulling up floor tile in Grandma's unit (before she moved in, obviously) so the contractor could lay new flooring.  I suppose it was a bit late and I hadn't figured the tink-tink-tink sound of my screwdriver/wedge and hammer would carry.  Knowing now that it did, I didn't have a problem with someone calling me on it.  However, I did not like that the man scared me half to death since he did not knock on the door and wait for me to answer it, but instead, since he had a key, he just let himself in.  The first inkling I had of any problem was when he was addressing me quite emphatically with my back to him.  Holy cow, talk about civility!  Lucky for him I didn't over-react and toss a hammer at his head.  I recovered, apologized, and quit for the night.  I still think that was very rude.  Hrumphff!!

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo, but here is Sarah a few months after Grandma's journal entry.  I think she was probably still being chased around by her parents a lot of the time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Changing clocks

"October 28, 2001:  Moved the clocks back an hour.  Nancy brought more "stuff".  Bill, Jenny and Patty here in evening.  Later Tom and Jeff came -- Tom brought Runza lunch.  He had been helping Dale do brick work.
October 29, 2001:  Talked to Ray in a.m.  Mary took me to Beauty College for hair-do at 5:00 p.m.
October 30, 2001:  ??"

My journal doesn't have question marks, but if I miss a day, I just put "a normal day".  If there was something extraordinary, I would probably remember so normal is fairly safe.

In other instances, I know Grandma had Mitch come over and change the clocks.  He was tall enough to reach them and seemed to be pretty adept at it.  Grandma was so tickled at how quickly he got them all done.

Someone in the know can correct me, but I believe this is Grandma and Uncle Ray.  If so, I wonder if that is their dad's hat's shadow at the bottom.

Oh, a point of interest.  A year ago yesterday was when I started this blog.  How time flies.  Or in the words of Grouch Marx, "time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Back to a slower pace

"October 24, 2001:  Mary, Mitch and Anna here in evening.  I showered and then we played Rummicube.
October 25, 2001:  Bill called -- Jenny is getting along fine.  Talked to Myrtle and Helen.  Nancy came in evening and we played Rummicube.
October 26, 2001:  Anna here in p.m.  We played Go Fish and Crazy Eight.
October 27, 2001:  Nancy, Mary, Mitch and Anna went to Winside to finish cleaning the house."

I am thinking Anna must have had the day off from school and Mitch didn't.  I wonder if I stayed home in the morning and took Anna to Grandma's for the afternoon so I wouldn't miss a whole day of work.  Regardless, I am sure they had a fine time.

Maybe Nancy remembers, but I am thinking those kids probably weren't a whole heck of a lot of help in cleaning the house.  Maybe they were the comic relief.

The picture is from a different cleaning day, but I thought this was a good opportunity to post the Four Hats photo.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Welcome to 2001!

"Moved into Apt. 708 at Pioneer House on Saturday October 20.  Stayed at Nancy's Saturday and Sunday nights.

October 21, 2001:  Started to unpack.  At noon Mary, Mitch, Anna, Nancy and Tom ate at Boston Market.
October 22, 2001:  Nancy helped unpack.  I stayed in my apartment Monday night.
October 23, 2001:  Dane and Kyleah came in p.m. and helped unpack, then we played Rummicube and watched TV.  Nancy went to Omaha with Bill.  Jenny had surgery -- one kidney had a spot of cancer.  The kidney was removed."

Well, things started off at a bit of a hectic clip; unpacking, going out to eat, and a surgery in the family all in the span of three days.  Grandma doesn't say that she went along to Boston Market, but I am sure hoping she did.  Or at least if she was tuckered out, that we brought her back something.

What she was kind enough not to memorialize in her journal is that when she came on Saturday for that first time, the paint on the walls of her bedroom was still wet.  I was in charge of painting and as per usual, procrastinated.  In my defense, I was a single mom at the time with a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old.  Those aren't the best ages to bring kids along and trust that they won't get paint on them somehow.  But, I had lots of advance notice and did not manage my time all that well.  All's well that ends well, however. 

I think I will never forget Grandma and Maude (her walker, for those who aren't familiar with that name) all but dashing down the hall from the elevator to see her new place.  She had trusted the Lincolnites, led by Tom and Merilyn, to pick out a place and get it ready for her.  So, she had not seen her new home until the night she moved to Lincoln.  And she was in a bit of a toot to get to it, as it turned out.

You can't tell from the photo -- must have been the flash or bright sunshine coming in -- but Grandma had her new place painted the same colors as the Winside house.  She said it was because her things already went with that color, and that is good, solid logic.  But for me, there was the added bonus that the place immediately seemed like her home.  It made for a smooth transition and she seemed so much at home right away. 

I like this photo for many reasons, but mainly the lovely smiles.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What now?

"July 22 and 23, 1995:  Raymond and Marina in Lincoln.
August 3, 1995:  Raymond and Marina left for California.  In p.m., Howard and Marvin A. came to visit.
August 5, 1995:  Greta got some diabetic things for Howard. 
Helen and John visited Raymond Jones during the middle of August.
August 20, 1995:  Went to Lincoln for Anna's baptism.
August 27, 1995:  Katie B. and Louise H. visited here in p.m.
March 29, 1998:  Marina died.
April 3, 1998:  Marina's funeral."

Yup, that's correct -- Grandma went from August 1995 to March 1998 in this particular journal.  I have to remember to grab something new for my next post.  I do not immediately recall a 1998 or 1999 journal, so we may very well take an even greater leap with the next journal. 

Had to post a photo of the lovely Marina.  She and Uncle Raymond always seemed so very happy and infatuated with one another.  It was fun to be around them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Found the photo(s)

I found the photos of Anna with Grandpa and Anna with Grandma from that first visit.  Here they are:

Grandma must have been worried

"July 20, 1995:  Howard to Dr. Patel -- took biopsy.  Raymond's took us to Toni's to eat.
July 21, 1995:  Pinochle at Ida's.  Gaylord's and Lee and Virginia N. here in the evening.
July 23, 1995:  Helen and I played Scrabble.  Bill here at noon -- Jayme was at music camp.
July 25, 1995:  Helen and I played Scrabble here.  John brought the stand for cassette tapes.  Raymond and Marina went to Elmer & Myrtle's."

I am thinking Grandma was worried about Grandpa's health, or very involved with company and cards and Scrabble, but I am positive we were up to Winside prior to July 25 to introduce Anna to the family, and there's been no entry by her about that.  Even if that date is incorrect, I have looked ahead in Grandma's journal and there's no mention of a visit prior to Anna's baptism in August and I know we were up before then.  But, I will forgive her the lack of a mention.

I imagine Mom remembers how ornery we were with the first Anna visit.  I hatched a plan and Rick dropped Anna and I off in St. Paul's parking lot and then he and Mitch rode down to Mom's.  We had to tell Mitch it was okay to tease Grandma this one time.  So, they get in the driveway and Mom comes out and Rick tells her that it was hot (which is was) and I was really tired so Anna and I stayed home.  Mom admits she told them in sullen tones to just come on in the house then.  By that time I was walking down the hill with Anna, so we didn't tease her for too awfully long.

Well, I thought I had a photo ready of Grandpa and Anna during the introduction visit and now I can't find it.  So instead, for no particular reason, here are Uncle Elmer and Grandpa living it up.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grandpa back home

"July 13, 1995:  To Norfolk in a.m. and p.m. to see Howard.
July 14, 1995:  1/2 inch of rain in evening.
July 15, 1995:  Nancy came -- went to see Howard in p.m.  He's diabetic -- also has infection some place.  Raymond and Marina took Nancy and me to The Granary to eat.
July 16, 1995:  Howard called from hospital at 8:00 a.m. that he could come home.  Nancy and I went after him."

I am glad Grandma wrote this kind of stuff down.  I had no idea when it was that Grandpa was diagnosed as a diabetic.  I wouldn't have even been able to come up with a good guess.  Not that it's so important now, but I think it's good to exercise my brain a bit and put things in there to recall later.  Also, that kind of stuff makes me look smart.

The photo was taken in July, so Anna is less than a month old here but look at those healthy little thighs she has going on there.  This is during the time Mitch was heavily in to those temporary tattoos.  Now that he is old enough to get real ones, I am glad he doesn't have one on his face.  Anna might be getting back those tummy lines from being folded in half.  But she doesn't look to be unhappy about it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anna's here!

"July 6, 1995:  Anna LaRayne was born.
July 7, 1995:  Pinochle at Leona's.
July 8 and 9, 1995:  Nancy came -- cleaned the kitchen cupboards for me.
July 12, 1995:  Raymond and Marina came in late afternoon.  Howard got sick.  Greta, Marina and I took him to the emergency room at the Lutheran Hospital.  Howard stayed at hospital.

I guess I was wrapped up in a new baby, but didn't remember Grandpa being in the hospital so close in time to that new baby.  I know he was not in the hospital by the time we went up for the first visit with Anna, so maybe that is why I am not recalling that very clearly.

The photo was taken very shortly after Anna decided to quit fooling around and breathe.  We had more than a few tense moments (seemed like minutes and minutes and minutes . . . ) during which Joann (midwife) was thumping Anna's feet and banging on her back before she took that first breath.  Joann admitted later that she was just about to call in the big guns to get her breathing.  Anna sure looks over-baked with those red fold lines on her tummy.  But then, she was.  And other than those two issues, she hasn't been much trouble.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New potatoes!

"June 29, 1995:  Howard gave Greta new potatoes.  June has been quite dry -- we could use a good rain.
July 1, 1995:  Nancy came -- helped put cages around tomatoes.  Ramon N. came -- helped Nancy.  Tom's came in evening.
July 2, 1995:  4th of July picnic at Dorothy Jo's.

I won't go again in to my love of potatoes.  Just nice to know the garden and Grandpa came through for Mom on her birthday.

And here she is, closer to her birth than she was in 1995.  Might have been a potato fan by then, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A van?

"June 18, 1995:  Greta, Howard and I to Lincoln to Nancy's for Father's Day.  All the kids there -- weather was ideal.  Dale's got a "new" (to them) van.
June 23, 1995:  Sophia Morris and Arlene Lurz here in p.m.  I had Arlene R. play for me at Pinochle Club.
June 25, 1995:  To church in a.m.  Helen came here in p.m and we Scrabbled.
June 27, 1995:  Jean, Marjorie, Dorothy Jo and Helen here in p.m."

I am guessing the out-of-state folk were in town for the 4th of July even though it wasn't a big reunion year.  Which is very nice.

Either Grandma is playing fast and loose with the word "van" or I am totally forgotten that Dale and Lynn ever had one.  I just don't remember that or see them as van people.  But, as I have admitted on this blog before, I don't claim to remember much.

I have always liked this photo of Jean and Marjorie and Grandpa.  They certainly got a kick out of their Uncle Howard, and vice versa.

Monday, January 14, 2013


"June 11, 1995:  To church.
June 14, 1995:  Has been sunny since Sunday.  Went to WELCA.  Delmar J. painted the back steps in p.m.

Brogren reunion -- those from a distance:
Fritz & Evelyn S.
Roland, Roberta and Roleen S.
Ray & Aileen
Luayne & family
Neil and Ann B.
Haroldean and Gene
Darrell, Marva, DeAnn H.
Ronald and Dee M.

June 16, 1995:  Pinochle Club postponed -- Elsie J. had had eye surgery and didn't feel well."

The reunion list was a bit of a postponement, too, but better late than never. 

I wonder if anyone has counted all of the Brogren descendants.  There has to be a ton of them.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Testing to see if I can post from my iPad. If it works I should be back with weekend posts next weekend.  Trying a photo now....

Well, it obviously worked but my online album is verrrrry slow to load. May have to make draft posts during the week and preload photos in them.  Or . . I could clean out my desk and get the leftover tower set up at the house and not rely on my iPad. Oh, the endless possibilities!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A day late, but that's okay with me

"June 8, 1995:  Rainy and cloudy all day.
June 9, 1995:  Ray & Aileen here in p.m.  Went back to Norfolk for supper and to a motel.  Verna (Louie's) B. on Thursday had a stroke -- was taken to Omaha.
June 10, 1995:  Tom, Bill, Nancy and Mitch came about 11:00.  Went to Legion Hall at noon for Brogren reunion.  Haroldean and son Gene stopped here about 10:00.  Haroldean hadn't been here for years and wanted to see if it had changed much.  Had a good turnout.  The Lincoln folks went back in evening."

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this the reunion where Mitch got all muddy and embarrassed?  I believe it was.  Of all the ones for me to miss, right?

I wanted to add this photo and clipping that relate more to yesterday's post than today's, since I couldn't pass on the Hagar cartoon yesterday.  Plus, today we have a mention of Uncle Ray, so the photo is appropriate in that way.  Happy, happy all around.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Such romantics

"June 2, 1995:  Pinochle Club at Ella M.'s.
June 4, 1995:  Greta came in a.m. -- had flower bed by the street almost finished when it started to rain.
June 5, 1995:  Greta came after work and finished setting out the flowers.  I helped for awhile.
June 6, 1995:  Helen and I Scrabbled at her house.
June 7, 1995:  Our 59th anniversary.  Got a permanent in p.m."

Maybe they made goo-goo eyes at one another, but Grandma's brief notation on the date of a wedding anniversary seems to indicate when you get to 59, it's not horribly exciting.  Speaking of horrible, here's a cartoon of Hagar the Horrible that I found in the treasure trove box.  Obviously, Grandma saw the humor in it.  I could have manipulated the scan a bit to take out the background and make it lighter, but I thought I'd portray it as it really is instead.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Impatience for impatiens?

"May 29, 1995:  Greta, Nancy and I to cemetery in morning to put out flowers.  We ate dinner at the Legion Hall.  Too wet for Nancy to set out any of the flowers.  She left for Lincoln about 5:00.
May 30, 1995:  Arlene R. brought eight chickens that I had ordered.
May 31, 1995:  I planted some petunias in the planter.
June 1, 1995:  I finished the planter and set out the impatiens.

I imagine those chickens were already butchered.  I've said it before and I'll say it again -- it makes quite an impression on a little girl to see her cookie-making, hug-giving grandmother grab a chicken and lop its head off with not so much as a moment's hesitation.  I can still see the stump with the two nails in it to put the neck between.  I can also clearly see headless chickens running and flapping around.  Once I got over the initial shock, I think I was pretty game for the rest of the butchering process.  There's nothing quite like the smell of singed pin feathers at the gas stove or watching the contents of gizzards revealed.  Ah, the good ol' days.  Well, sort of.

Not surprisingly, I have no photos whatsoever of chicken butchering time.  But here's one that shows generally the area where all that took place; not in the backyard but beyond a bit.  Of course, that's Grandma and Aunt Irene painting screens.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Horn tooting

"May 27, 1995:  Nancy came in morning.  We went to greenhouse in Wakefield for plants in p.m.  About 5:00 p.m. we had heavy rain with some hail.  To alumni banquet in evening.  The class of 1975 honored me -- paid for my dinner and gave me a corsage.  After Greg L. introduced the class, Brian W. said some nice things about me -- I got a standing ovation.
May 28, 1995:  From Friday evening until this morning we had over 5 inches of rain -- the rain gauge ran over.  To Dorothy Jo's in p.m. to visit Ronnie, Sheryl and Kristine, also Marjorie C.  Ronnie and Marjorie had come for class reunions in Laurel."

I do not think I am mistaken in saying this is one of the very few times I remember (I guess remembering is the key word here) Grandma tooting her own horn.  But it seems this was a well-deserved occasion to do just that.

I am glad May is almost over as I keep typing Mary instead of May and having to go back and correct.  I may have missed a few, but I don't want to know about it.

Semi-appropriate to what Grandma wrote about, here's a photo of Ronnie in or out of the basket, and Lloyd and Mom in the box

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ola Brogren

"May 22, 1995:  Lester took me to Pierce to doctor.  Had some radishes and onions from the garden. Rained this evening -- first since a week ago Saturday.
May 23, 1995:  3/4 inch of rain last night.
May 26, 1995:  Patty B., her girls and Della W. here in the morning.  Della is interested and does make quilts.

I can probably find Della on facebook.  I wonder if she remembers this visit.  I imagine she was able to view as many quilts as she had time to look at, and discuss as many as she had time for.

From my previously-mentioned treasure trove box, here is the section in the Winside history book (1942) on Ola Brogren.

"Ola Brogren was born December 11, 1852 in Brobru, Sweden.  When he was 16, he went to Westraby, Germany, to obtain work.  A serious famine in Sweden caused many other young people to do likewise.  His first job paid him about 5 cents a day.  He worked on a farm.  In 1863, he moved to Fahmarn, Germany, which was located on an island, where he also worked on a farm, his top wages here being about $30 a year and he worked himself up to a foreman.

In 1874, he was married to Dorothea Margareta Kahler and some time later in 1881, Mr. Brogren came to America, located first at Omaha where he worked on a section at $1.40 a day.  His wife joined him a year later and in 1888 they rented a farm near Elkhorn and started farming.

In 1891 he bought a quarter section of land 1 mile west and a mile north of Winside for $13 an acre and the family moved on this place which was their home until October 10, 1912, when Mr. and Mrs. Brogren moved to town.

Though 90 years old Mr. Brogren is still active and on occasion gets out his cross-cut saw and fells a tree.  He experiences unusually good health for a man of his years and gets around well.  He enjoys telling a joke and as his daughter, Mrs. Anna Andersen, will tell you, "he always sees the bright side of life no matter what happens."

Mr. Brogren can speak five languages, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German and English.  One impression he leaves with you in relating his life's experiences; it is this:  America truly is a wonderful land!

Mrs. Brogren died April 7, 1941.  Surviving children are:  Hans Brogren, Gretna; Mrs. Emma Stahl, Randolph; Mrs. Anna Andersen, Winside."

Going out on a limb here, but I think I would have liked Mr. Ola Brogren very much.  I wonder if he gave Grandpa hints on cutting down trees.  I know Ola's great-great-grandson Dale cannot be left alone with a stand of trees and a chainsaw unless one is expecting no standing trees when they come back.

The photo of Dorothea, Grandma Anna and Ola was taken in 1938.  Look at those working-man hands.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Gadding about

May 16, 1995:  Helen and I Scrabbled.  Delmar J. put on screens.
May 17, 1995:  Has been sunny and no rain since Saturday night when we had a shower.  Busy Bees ate dinner at Prengers.
May 19, 1995:  Pinochle Club at Elsie J.'s.  Arlene R. gave me a ride.  Greta came after work and planted garden.
May 21, 1995:  Greta took me to church.  In p.m. to Norfolk -- Helen, Dorothy Jo, Greta and I.  We shopped first and then went to Bonanza's for Monte's graduation party."

My spellcheck like "gadding".  I guess I never was sure if that was a real word or not.

I found a box of 'stuff' and it's a bit of a treasure trove as far as this blog goes.  It is going to be difficult to not use it all up all at once.  First up, I just have to use this undated letter.  It made me laugh.

'Dear Marian,

We are busy writing to you, Dale, Mary and me.  They decided to make you a picture and I should write a letter to you I was told.

I read stories for two hours straight this afternoon before they would let me quit.  One I had to read twice.  We didn't get to the mulberry trees this afternoon.  We went outside awhile and Lloyd let them have his duck and goose calls to blow for awhile.  That lasted quite awhile.

They sure are good kids to mind.  If I say what I want them to do or not do firm-like they just mind.  I sure like kids that know how to mind.

We are baton twirling with our pencils.  Mary can do it without dropping it.  Dale and I can't.

Hope you are feeling much better.


I wonder if both Lloyd and Aunt Myrtle went inside during the duck/goose calling demonstration.  That had to be most unpleasant for them, but totally delightful for the two of us kids.

For some reason I am not able to add a photo right now.  I will post anyway and try a bit later.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mitch, the yakker -- finally

"May 13, 1995: Nancy, Bill, Jenny and Patty came in the morning.  Bill took us to dinner at the Black Knight in Wayne.  We played cards in the afternoon.  About 4:30 we went to Dorothy Jo's for Teresa's college graduation party.  Bill's left about 6 or 7:00 -- took Mitch back with them.  Nancy had brought him to Greta's in the morning.  Mary and Rick didn't come -- doctor advised Mary not to take such a long drive.  Tom and Merilyn came to Dorothy's and then here -- we played cards.  They left for Lincoln about 11:30.  Tom had a job to finish Sunday.
May 14, 1995:  Nancy, John, Helen, Dale, Kyleah, Dane, Howard and I were at Greta's for dinner.  Had a good dinner and good visiting."

I hate to pick on Grandma here, but of course it was a good dinner and good visiting.  Good grief.

I am glad to read that Mitch went a-traveling without his parents.  Most of us remember when that would not have happened -- not no way, no how.  But by this age, he was getting much better.  I think mid-May would have been about five months after the shock I had in the grocery store when Mitch started talking the ear off the lady behind us in line.  It was like a switch was tripped -- prior to that incident he pretty much wanted nothing to do with anyone that wasn't Rick or me.  But that one day, shortly after Christmas and his birthday, that he started telling this lady who was a stranger all about his presents and excitement for the holidays.  Thankfully, she was not opposed to talking to a little guy and responded with all the right questions and shared enthusiasm.  I swear I could have walked out of the store without him and he wouldn't have noticed.

Here's a photo of Mitch a different Christmastime, obviously not enjoying himself very much.  Moments before he was happy in his little disguise, but once the camera came out he was done with it.  Obviously.