MERRY CHRISTMAS 2016

As one reflects back on events of the past year, one would think that could be source material for the annual Christmas letter.  In fact, I have difficulty imagining another source.  This past year, as with several others of recent vintage, started in winter, moved on to spring, then summer, then autumn, then winter, again.  And yes, despite the continuing onslaught of global climate change (remember . . . it’s science) we will continue to receive snowfalls for the foreseeable future.

[And here’s “Mr. Science” now, applying the scientific method to the holes in napkin rings. How did they get there?  For what purpose?  Were any animals harmed in the production of such rings?  Was TPP responsible for their foreign production?  Will science and facts eventually prevail?  The inquiry continues . . . ]

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The year in review . . . 

January

Despite daily exhortations from Princess, Viking, Holland America, U of M and IU alumni associations, and Sven and Ole’s trolling motor expeditions on the Long Prairie River, we did not travel this month.

[First, just a quick look back at Christmas last.]

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[As usual, we begin each year with the Super’s birthday!]

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[I hosted “Shun Li and the Poet,” the community education foreign movie at Grand Arbor. While asking the assembled masses to participate thusly, I did mention they would become international superstars via blog.]

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[The Super made her acting debut as a juror in the Lakes Area Radio Theatre’s “Trial.”]

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[After Christmas, Grandson Tom went back to Purdue where he graduated in spring.  It was a monetary relief to one and all.]

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[This is what 31 degrees below zero windchill looks like.  Yeah, it’s really ugly.]

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February

[William Kent Krueger came to town.  Cork Corcoran did not come with him.]

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[The rest of the month was pretty much sports, including the national champion Gopher women’s hockey team.]

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March

[Yup, it was National Pi Day!]

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[Full moon over an ice-free Lake Darling.  March 24, the earliest ice out in anyone’s memory?]

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April

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[In April, we finally succumbed to the encomiums of Viking River Cruises (OK, you actually have to succumb about a year in advance) for a 3-week adventure from April 18 to May 7 along the Danube, Main, and Rhine Rivers from Budapest to Amsterdam with stops in between.  I was originally going to regale you with a shot from each city, but sanity prevailed.  Here are a few.]

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[Budapest, above and below.]

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[Europe is all about outdoor coffees . . . or other beverages.]

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May

[River cruise continued . . . why not, it was so much fun!]

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[Parting company with John and Helen in Amsterdam . . . ]

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[Two days later, waving good-bye to Pam and Tom and the continent.]

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[Just home from Europe, it was time to hit the road again for “The Boy” was graduating from college!]

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[Tom and Celia are now happily ensconced, and employed, in Westminster, Colorado.]

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[With the proud grandparents.]

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[As long as we were in the neighborhood, we paid a visit to Ruthie’s big sister, Rita, in Nashville . . . Indiana, that is.]

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[I conquered Nashville’s infamous Salt Creek Trail with a song in my heart and breakfast on my lips!]

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[Back home once and for all, it was time to go topless!]

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June

[Fathers’ Day produced a bit of a mini ’65 class reunion.]

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[The Boys of ’65, looking ever so dapper . . . and old.]

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[Our close personal friend and prodigious writer, Jess Lourey, gave a “Rewrite Your Life” TedX presentation.  It can be found on YouTube.]

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[Our close personal friend and sister-in-law, Karen Obert, went to Cuba.  While there she decided to have an appendicitis attack if only to prove that country does indeed have good medical service.  Her mother, Pauline, next to her, reportedly survived the trip unscathed.]

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[The 14th/15th anniversary for even more close personal friends!  Their first date was exactly one year before the “official” one.]

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July

[Happy 4th . . . ]

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[And just like the days in D.C., we celebrate with a Capital Fourth.]

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[Our close personal friend, star of Footloose, and member in good standing with the high school carolers, Josie Nelson had her own show on Prairie Public Television.]

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[Yup, pretty much a perfect summer.]

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August

[Our annual visit to Camp Brosius in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.]

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[Back home, Big Ole’s total makeover was finished.]

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[Then the Gross family from D.C. environs came to pay us a visit in Alex – a little pontoon ride around Lake Carlos and outdoor dining at Bug-A-Boo Bay.]

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[It was a class reunion luncheon, and . . . ]

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[No, I didn’t.]

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[Well, Danny is a Vikings fan.]

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September

[It was somebody’s “major” birthday?]

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[So here’s what “he” did . . . ]

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[Twins game . . . ]

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[Rooftop dining at Union Restaurant . . . ]

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[Then a Lynx game.  In keeping with tradition, the Twins lost, the Lynx won.]

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[Grape Stomp, and concurrent activities at Carlos State Park.]

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[The aforementioned Ms. Nelson.]

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[“Author, Author” – With The Biddies fine dining at the St. Paul Hotel before going to see Carl Hiaasen at the Fitzgerald Theatre . . . ]

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[And then the next day with two of our favorite Minnesota authors, Jess Lourey and William Kent Krueger (behind the book shelf), at Cherry Street Books.]

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[The Biddies returned to Camp Brosius for fall clean up, once again leaving me to fend for myself.]

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October

[Bradley and I and our respective chins were the only representatives from the Class of ’65 at the homecoming parade.]

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[On October 10, Grandson Tom and Celia reunited at his new place of residence and employment in Colorado.  He subsequently discovered his headphones will not have to be surgically removed.]

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[Our fall colors, from the privacy of our own home!]

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[“Teen Idol – The Bobby Vee Story” at the History Theatre in St. Paul.]

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[But first, fine dining with Ken and Jeanne at the St. Paul Hotel, now our regular dining venue in the state’s capital city.]

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November

[Annual Turkey Day at Basketball Dan’s, with a stop at Prospect Park for a panoramic view of downtown Minneapolis on a beautiful day.]

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[A date that will live in infamy . . . ]

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[As so indicated!]

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[One of the few bright spots during the entire process was our new close personal friend, Cydnee Sanders, a Pan American Games gold medal winning baseball player for Team USA and our congressional district organizer.]

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[Gretch and Mohamed on election day, Uncle Mo’s first ever presidential vote.]

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[The Super and Anthony Miltich with their now well-practiced routine for Piano Man’s ” . . . and put bread in my jar” at the winery.]

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[On November 17, Jami and Lucky left us to move to their new permanent home – The Harn.]

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[We joined them for Thanksgiving, staying at the Mississippi Headwaters Hostel in Itasca State Park, about 9 miles south of The Harn.  The Super enjoyed the fireplace at the hostel.]

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[Leaving for The Harn the next morning.]

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[The Harn, surrounded by 20 acres of woods.]

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[Thanksgiving at the hostel, with one other couple staying there who just happened to be from . . . Alex!]

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December

[Many, many years ago, sister Gretch matriculated to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design in Washington, D.C. Now in blissful retirement, she is resuming her art desires with classes at the National Portrait Gallery. This is her latest, a seasonal effort.]

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[Winter Wonderland]

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[Uncle Mo updated his FB profile photo to wish everybody a Merry Christmas!]

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[And another seasonal effort by Gretch.]

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[Finally, a little holiday toast to one and all!]

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.  ~  Garrison Keillor

Up Next:  Just a reminder of why: https://alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com/about/

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “alexandriacardinals.wordpress.com,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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6 Responses to MERRY CHRISTMAS 2016

  1. Kelly wosepka says:

    Thanks for awesome Christmas card! Merry Christmas to you both. Enjoy the season! See you at the rink!

  2. Ruth says:

    What a wonderful year!! I am exhausted from traveling all over the world with you, but wouldn’t have missed it.

    We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
    Here’s to getting together in Alexandria which we missed doing last year!
    Ruth and Jim

  3. JamiG4 says:

    Wow! What an amazing summary. Lots of fun was had by all! Hope to see you this week for another North Woods adventure.

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