Thursday, June 30, 2011
Bob, Charlie & Tony had just finished their 9th hole at the Seward CC on June 29, 2011. Carolyn took the picture from the balcony of the clubhouse where she and friends were having lunch. It was not one of our finer scoring days but it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed the round. We did go on to play 3 more holes and each of us did better. Charlie and I were back out this morning for an 8:00am tee time where we did much better. (Shot less than half our age over the 9 holes that we played). The course is in excellent condition and was just beautiful that time of day. We have an 11:00an tee time for tomorrow and hopefully it will not get as warm (hot) as it did today. Larry and Janice are planning to arrive at our house tomorrow afternoon to spend a few days. We will celebrate in,, our "4th of July" city and participate in a family reunion on Tuesday. Larry is already looking forward to our 10:00 am tee time on Saturday and we are looking forward to having them with us.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Our pink Hydrangea is blooming . It has been a part of our landscape for several years and never done as well as it has this year. We have received more than normal rainfall along with cool temperatures. That combination is probably the reason. It was down in the 50's this morning but could get up to 100 degrees tomorrow. It will probably need a "drink of water" to keep it from wilting.
I mowed the lawn after coming in from the golf course, did some shrub trimming, and after an hour of such work, was ready to set down with the computer. The whole City of Seward continues to "clean up" and get ready for the 4th of July celebration this weekend. It's not easy being the State's (or is it Nation's) "Fourth of July City".
Monday, June 27, 2011
Soon after this flood, Hughes Brothers took it upon themselves to build a dike to protect their facilities. The Corps of Engineers eventually got involved in expanding the dike system that has protected the City of Seward for a number of years. The grain elevator and gas station have long faded into history but the Hughes Plant has continued to improve and provide a very stable source of employment for over 300 people in the community
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
Brother Don is wearing a Blue Bracelet these days that supposedly improves stability. As we get older a walking cane can be a great help in walking. I find that a golf club can double for a cane while on the golf course. Don tells us that he doesn't really need it, but at a recent Home Show in the Lancaster Cunty Events Center in Lincoln, NE, they were being promoted at a bargain price.The picture is of Don using Chad to demonstrate the magnetic Blue Bracelet's effectiveness. The "test" is structured by asking the subject to strike the pose as shown by Chad. Then the "salesman" places (or pretends he places) the bracelet on the subject's shoulder. Then he pushes down on the subjects extended arm to test the resistance (or stability). By repeating the "test" several times and randomly placing the bracelet on the subjects shoulder, or only pretending to do so, an individual is able to determine the benefits. I don't know if there is any "self fulfilling prophesy" involved but I didn't notice Don "staggering" as he walked around the Super 8 parking lot while wearing his bracelet.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Elaine and I were active in the Nebraska Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society for a number of years. However, we hadn’t attended an Annual Meeting until last week when it was held at Beatrice, NE. Though the meeting began on Thursday afternoon and extended through Saturday morning, we only participated in the Friday events. It was a full day. John Hay-UNL talked about the history, problems and future of Wind Power in Nebraska. Robert “Matt” Joeckel, UNL presented a program on Rare Earth Minerals, the Humboldt Fault and the Mid-Continent Rift. A panel discussed cover crops and the state-of-the-art technique of using a combination of plants including radishes. It’s amazing how much you can learn in four hours. After lunch we toured the Prairieland Dairy in the Firth, NE area. They are producing 12,000 gallons of milk every day from 1,350 cows. It is a very environmentally friendly operation involving 9 families. (We purchased our first bottle of Prairieland milk here in Seward yesterday after seeing how it is produced). Our tour went on to the Adams Ethanol Plant. They process 60,000 bushels of corn per day producing some 3 gallons of ethanol per bushel. It is a very complicated, closely controlled, distilling and production process. The tour went on to the Flat Water Wind Farm but we elected to forego that stop and drive home. It was a full, most interesting day. We were enlightened by what we learned, met some new people and enjoyed visiting with old friends.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The top picture was taken last fall of my brother Jerry, his wife Sondra and their family. Jerry was diagnosed with lung cancer some 8 years ago and died this past Thursday, June 16. He had been under Hospice care for the past several weeks and died peacefully surrounded by their closeknit, loving family.
Relatives attended from California, Texas, Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana and Nebraska. A family gathering was held following the funeral with an opportunity to renew family ties and recall family stories. It was a "bitter-sweet" time for strengthening our Faith in God and family ties. Despite the Midwestern stormy weather, all returned safely to their homes.
Friday, June 17, 2011
My brother Jerry died last evening at the age of 74. He had fought lung cancer for several years, under Hospice care for the past couple months, but we had a very good telephone conversation as recently as a week ago. He was a good man, had a great, closely bonded family, and a wealth of friends. Jerry did many good things for many people. Among the many things he built for me(us) was this shoe polishing box. I believe it was a HS “shop class” project and think he made several of them for relatives. What a great gift. I don’t polish shoes as often as I once did, but whenever I did or do, it is always a reminder of Jerry. The price of shoe polish has increased considerably over the years but the precision, hand-made, shoe polishing box has remained, PRICELESS.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Here are 3 old friends. We are not only old and friends but we have been friends for a long time. We all grew up in the Bohemian Alps north of Garland, Nebraska. I am the one on the left, then Don and Ed. Don and his wife are here from Wyoming to visit friends and attend the Garland High School Alumni Reunion. We took advantage of their being here by driving out to Garland and then on out into the "Alps" where we all had "roots". We had a story for every hill that we drove over. Ed had even helped grade some of the roads. Each of us had farmed many of the fields that we drove past. Don and his wife lived for some years after they were married on the place where Ted Kooser and his wife now live. Don could hardly believe how the trees have grown around the place and all the improvements the Koosers have made. We topped off our trip by a stop in Bee where Lou fixed us up with some refreshment and took our picture. It was a great afternoon.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Sunday, June 12, 2011
It is said that June is the month of Roses. We have some climbers and only two tea roses. Since I took up Golf a few years ago, my devotion to gardening has diminished. It's not that I don't enjoy them but a matter of energy. We are able to see this bush as we set at our kitchen table. Elaine has been watering it with miracle grow which seems to be giving it more vigor. Maybe that's what I need.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Part of having grown-up in the 1930's when "times were tough" is the burden of becoming "attached" to possessions we were eventually able to buy. I felt some of the pangs of loss this morning as our Wards lawnmower with a Briggs & Stratton engine, sold on our daughter's Garage Sale. I bought the mower about 25 years ago while I was working in Lincoln and we had the farm. We had a JD-110 riding mower that Elaine used to do most of the mowing, but we needed a small one for trim work. As we moved to town, I bought a bit larger one with high rear wheels. Typically, I would mow the back yard with my mower and Elaine would use this one on the front yard. However, as time went on, Elaine did less mowing, and we decided that she could "relive me" occasionally which works better than each of us mowing. Not only that, but the mower was kept in the garage between our cars where it created an obstacle carrying in groceries. It was for all of these reasons that despite the loss of an "old reliable friend", we were pleased to see it go to a young family getting their first house.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Son Tim flew out to Nebraska to registered at UN-L and cousin Laurie flew back with him on August 5, 1969. The kids had a great time while she was with us. They did everything from playing putt-putt golf to going to the White House to see President Nixon and the leader of Germany. They helped make a big celebration of Carolyn's 16th birthday by decorating the basement. Verlon was up from Richmond for his birthday and on August 21st , all 7 of us left Arlington, VA in our '65 Chevy Station Wagon for Nebraska. Other than blowing out a tire on the Ohio Turnpike and staying at the Holiday Inn in Joliet, IL, we had an “uneventful” trip. We had a good visit with all the family in the Seward area as well as with those who came from California and elsewhere. On Sunday the 24th, we had Family pictures taken by Betty Sample (Sample Studios). I came across this picture recently that Mother had written on the back; “August 1969”. While I've prided myself in recording events in my daily diaries and journals, I didn't mention getting the family pictures taken. I rationalize the omission by not having my diary with me on the trip and catching up after we got home.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
June 11, 1977 was son Jon and Mary's wedding day. We all look so young on the picture taken on the occasion 34 years ago. Not only were we decked out formally but so were Jon's Grandparents. My Diary entry on the 10th was: “Jon and I picked up the brightly repainted red Volkswagen. It cost $150.00. We left home at 10:00am; Elaine with Jon, my Folks with me, and Flowerdays & Tim's with Verlon. Lunch at the Holiday Inn at the Blue Ridge mountain top site. We stopped at Roanoke to check on tuxes and on to Blacksburg. Rehearsal at 7:00pm. Carolyn and Vic were there with Brutus. The Rehearsal dinner followed at the Holiday Inn.
(June 11) “Jons Wedding Day. He and I went to Roanoke to pick up his tux. His didn't have tails as it was supposed to. Lunch with the Grandparents at the Holiday Inn. Bridesmaid luncheon. Dinner this evening with Dr Carsons. Things were pretty hectic but all came off as planned. Wedding ceremony was fairly short. Reception was long. We had a little motel wine party in our room afterward. “
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The water was recycled over the "stair steps" on the back of the maintenance building as part of the purification process plus it made a pleasant sound.
The pool did not open on schedule this summer due to repair necessary to correct the tilting of the diving tower and a more delaying problem associated with some of the pool features.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
In late April of 2003, my Son-in-Law and I had obtained permission and scaled the stairs and ladder to the top of the Seward County Courthouse to take pictures. It was not the first time I had that experience. In 1952 a fellow Church Quartet member was the County Judge and our USDA Soil Conservation Office was also in the Courthouse. He was also “custodian” of the Chimes in the Tower so he took me along up with my little Kodak. While the names of businesses have changed over the years, the appearance of the buildings have remained remarkedly similar. Last week our Magazine Club met in the upstairs of the Cafe on the Square. It was the first time I'd been up there in over 60 years. At that time it was a Law Office and my Dad had been up there to rent a farm. The coming of Walmart and economic conditions have changed the occupancy of the buildings, but we are a pretty stable community.
Monday, June 6, 2011
I went through a year-long Administrative Trainee program with the USDA Soil Conservation Service that resulted in being transferred to the Agency's National Office at Washington, D.C. in 1962. Acceptance into the training program was a real honor but it included the commitment to transfer anywhere in the United States at the completion of the program. Having worked as a Technician for some 13 years with limited promotion potential, it was an opportunity to advance into a Professional position with much greater opportunity. It turned out O.K.though we will never know “what might have been” had we not made the commitment. Elaine and my parents lived close by during the years we lived in Seward and Lincoln; and, were very much a part of the lives of our four children from the time they were born. Our move and separation from extended family was a shock to all of us. We generally got back to Nebraska a couple times a year and the grandparents came back to Virginia to visit occasionally. This picture was taken on July 25, 1964 on our way back to Nebraska. Elaine's folks had taken a bus back to visit us, tour the area, and then ride back to Nebraska with us. They were great travelers. We had a 3-seater Pontiac Station Wagon with a luggage carrier on top and all had a good time traveling. We made this trip in 2-days spending the night in the LaSalle Hotel at South Bend, IN where we drove around the Notre Dame Campus and the Studebaker plant. Vehicle trips of this kind are always a “test” of peoples compatibility and Elaine's folks helped us pass the test with flying colors.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Sixty-two years ago today Elaine and I accepted the vows, “for better or for worse”. It turned out for the better. With definite memories of the “dirty thirties” we were well inculcated with need to work, save for a rainy day and live within our means. Elaine was just 18 but had been working as the Extension Agent's Secretary for a couple years after graduating from High School. She was being paid some $75.00/month and had $1,000.00 in a savings account. I was 23 and had farmed with my folks after High School while attending NYA school in Bellevue, NE one winter and working for Swift & Co. in Omaha another. I was working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service in a Civil Service job at the time of our wedding. My salary was about $100.00 every 2-week pay period and I had the 1941 Chevy. Those were the financial conditions we brought to our marriage. My Dad wondered how we would be able to make the $55.00/month payments of the furnished apartment we had rented. As family came along and Elaine had to give up full-time employment, I took on additional part-time work and our folks helped us out with meat, eggs, etc. We had a very productive several years here in Seward before moving on to Lincoln and Washington, D. C. while always living within our means. It was only when buying real estate that we ever had to barrow money and pay interest. We have been truly blessed.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Our 25th Wedding Anniversary on June 5th, 1974 was a most interesting celebration. It began on June 3rd when Elaine and I flew from Washington, D.C. out to Portland, OR via Minneapolis. Elaine’s suitcases failed to arrive which contained new clothing she had purchased for the trip. I was scheduled to speak at an USDA/SCS Management Training session at Bowman Springs, OR the next day which was some 150 miles away. So we rented a car, Elaine wore what she had on, and I made my 2 hour presentation the next day. Elaine was able to buy a dress which got her through the session. That evening several of us drove up to Timberline Lodge for a salmon dinner with snow as much as 25 feet high along the road. I was on the program again the next day and Jim Tatum arranged an Anniversary celebration during social hour which carried over into dinner and dancing. The next day we drove back to Portland, picked up Elaine’s suitcases, visited the SCS and Forest Service Regional Offices and the beautiful Rose Gardens. We left Portland and drove past Multnomah Falls, The Bonneville Dam, Hood River, Walla Walla and on to Dayton, WA. Then through the Palouse country to Steptoe Butte and Spokane for the World’s Fair. Elaine and I demonstrated how to cut through a 20 inch log with a “2-man” saw and I climbed a tree in the Forest Service exhibit. We not only enjoyed the Fair on the banks of the Spokane River but the opportunity to visit old friends, the Scrivners and the Kehnes. When we got home, Carolyn told of someone attempting to break into the house while we were gone. I did give Elaine a ring with an Opal stone for our anniversary which years later was stolen from our Brown Palace Hotel room in Denver, CO. It was a great 25th Anniversary celebration but in some ways, “Just one damn thing after another”.
Friday, June 3, 2011
With a Wedding Anniversary approaching (Sunday), it seemed appropriate to look at some old pictures from about that time. This one was taken in the fall before our June wedding. I thought Elaine had that “Loren Bacall” look which was pretty enticing. This was just a few weeks before she accepted an engagement ring for Christmas. My '41 Chevy is the car. She worked at the Seward County Extension Office and shared a room here in town with another young lady. I worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service and lived at home out in the country. We both got off work at 5:00pm so I often gave her a ride home. Occasionally, the route home wasn't most direct but included a little side trip which was the case in the instance of the picture. Until her folks gave their approval to our becoming engaged, they were very protective of her and attempted to limit our time together. They might have known that “Love will find a Way”.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Elaine and I spent some time this afternoon reviewing fund allocations in IRA’s, Insurance policies and annuities. They have done very well for the most part during the past year but we have identified the need for some change (or at least discussion with our financial advisor). I suspect having Elaine do some of the calculations may have prompted it, but she came down with the birthday cards we had exchanged last year and announced that we wouldn’t have to buy new ones this year. We could “recycle” the very nice cards from last year. They were special last year since we both reached “milestone” birthdays. We have never made a big deal about the “numbers” and have gone back into the archives a number of times to come up with an “experienced” card. In fact, I must confess to only showing Elaine the most beautiful card I could find on the display rack and then putting it back when “tines were tough”. The 1930’s left an indelible mark on our minds that cannot be erased. It sometimes becomes an embarrassing burden.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
How do you react when you find out that something you thought was good and you've been doing it for several years, turns out to be bad?? As neighbors sacked up leaves and grass clippings, I smugly put mine on the compost pile. As the compost “matured”, it was spread over the garden and flower beds. I finished one pile this spring that had been “cooking” for 4-5 years. With an abundance of material, I put a 6 inch layer around the base of our young snowball bush early this spring. As it began to leaf-out it didn't look good, some of the buds just dried up and the blooms were just a shadow of what they should have been. I described this situation to my PhD Agronomist brother-in-law and was shocked at his prognosis. We have had our local Nursery apply all the lawn treatment chemicals and fertilizers for a number of years. His opinion is that the Crabgrass killing chemicals, etc. remain in the grass clippings and I overloaded the tolerable limit of the Snowball bush. He recommended using a mulching mower and recycling the chemicals right on the lawn. I have removed the compost, cut out the dead wood and plan to overwater the plant in hopes of leaching the damaging material below the root zone. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.