Archive for January, 2017

Mid January in the Heartland again

img_20170112_123055201Okay, we have finished ONE week of classes and have had several blizzards after returning from Arizona where it was sun and fun filled with grandkids.  Now we are bracing ourselves for the brutal, long and cold days. Yet there is beauty in all of this as these pictures show.

I went to a funeral the other day for a man who was a pillar of our community, he would have lived to be 100 years old if he could have made it to July of this year. Not to be…I was there for his daughter who was a classmate of mine.  There were four of us who graduated in the same year who came to support our friend Judy.  My folks were there and it was a nice military tribute to a man who had seen much. Someone alluded to the boating accident he was in where he was fishing with two gals and another guy. The boat couldn’t get started again and so the two girls jumped out but went over the dam. The other guy perished too. But not Russ, he was in good physical shape because he was in the military and was on leave at the time.

As the story goes and what I heard from the speaker at the funeral was that he remembers climbing and climbing stairs and when he awoke he was on the shore of the river bank. He believed that the angel had brought him enough strength to keep climbing to the surface. I had found this story out in the obituaries for the two sisters and the one man who drowned in this accident. I talked to my friend Judy to find out what she knew…she told me her mother had told her about this mishap that everyone in town knew about. However, what is interesting is that everyone in town knew him as the hobby shop guy, the one who had all the games to sell. He told jokes and did little pranks and had earlier been involved with several of the movie theaters.

img_20170112_101659283Well, it was fun to have my friend Suzi stay with us after the funeral, she got to see our sundogs. Yes, we were stormed in the next day so we sat and sang songs together. Good use of our time.  So, today was the last day of teaching for the week, my husband and I went to a Chinese restaurant to celebrate our first week of teaching. My friend Suzi joined us and then she went off to spend time with her family.  She came for the funeral from Florida but also to see her 93-year-old dad who is failing quickly.

So, looking out our windows upstairs and downstairs was quite a scenery shot for my friend Suzi from Florida.  I wanted to share these with you so you can see the beauty of our winter scape even though you might not feel the very cold temps of minus 20 F. Only the few can stand this. I am just glad my car started right up this morning despite the cold. I had baked some pumpkin bread and blueberry scones that I brought to my students.

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End of an interesting but productive year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo, I am less than two hours away from greeting in the new year of 2017. I’m reviewing in my mind what happened last January at the start of 2016. No doubt we had just come back from Arizona to see the kids and grandkids.  Then the spring semester started and it was a good crop of students where we met in a big classroom with about four screens that could turn on.  Then was graduation ceremonies and work at the Carnegie started in earnest.  The two guys were able to move the archived newspapers from the big room in the lower level to the fire proof vault.

I moved out all the files from what was in the vault and another smaller reference room into about 70 acid free boxes.  That was moved over to the museum grounds and then our wonderful volunteer went to work with painting the rooms, the hallway and staining the floor before varnishing it.  I went to get the wainscoting and he cut them in half so that I could stain that before he put them up on the walls of the bigger room. Then I varnished and we were ready for our annual town’s summer celebration in August.

We had painters come to the Carnegie who were local artists and we also had on display a photographer who does outdoor shots of what we see everyday off the highway. Old buildings, vintage equipment, scenic shots and that was on display for four days.  On Saturday we had a classical painter’s paintings shown from what people had bought from him in the 1970s when he had escaped with his family from Czechoslovakia. Turns out he died several years after coming to the U.S. but his daughter in law, Ruth Boubin came with four of her children to see their grandpa’s work.

That was probably the best part of the year to see all the beautiful, large paintings that Antonin Boubin had done in such a short time.  He had been a dentist but he was put in prison and the guards broke his fingers to he could not do dental work once out of prison. Then he was put in prison again, a total of about 2 1/2 years.  His wife and two boys came with him via Austria to New York but no one was their to receive them so they came to my hometown in Minnesota.

I don’t know that we can top that event but I’m hoping with the money donated that we will get the lower floor finished and then we can have people come to see that with art displays in the Carnegie for our August event.

Meanwhile I had a good semester with my students this fall but technology with laptop, projector, printers were not good.  I went to Plan B and then Plan C with this problems and the students rolled with it.  I do NOT want to have this same room next semester, I just want to have a normal time with what has never been an issue before.

I also have articles to write for a grant that I wrote, I have two other writers working alongside of me to accomplish 15 articles about our agricultural area of Minnesota. I think we will get them done before May so that we can get other work done at the Carnegie. In any case, it has been a very fruitful and productive year of fundraising. I need to get all my numbers put in order so that I can have another Carnegie restoration committee meeting with the others before our historical society board meeting.  Seems some people are either lazy or do NOT have the same passion to bring back the Carnegie to function for the community.

I am hoping that the year 2017 will be a very good one for my family and for my getting more done.  Happy New Year.

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