May 23, 2017

Awesome Music

This is a video recording made at Austin High School on Thursday May 18.
Our grandson is a senior and suffered a collapsed lung 10 days before this performance.
Although the video is not the best quality, the sound is awesome.  Needles to say we are very pround of our grandson, Arn.

November 24, 2014

Happy Holy Days!

Another month of 2014 has gone by.  It is already “Thanksgiving” week.  The ads are all about Black Friday; which now lasts the whole week and includes the traditional Thanksgiving day.  A day which usually is celebrated with a family meal.   But now it seems that no one should apparently forego a bargain.  But then, the Christmas season is all about giving significant gifts, isn’t it?  Maybe not. Maybe this season is about remembering,  giving thanks for the bountiful harvest and looking forward to the “light of the world” in the middle of the darkness of deep winter.  

Happy Holy Days!

October 27, 2014

We went 2500 mile to get from Johnston to Colorado Springs this year. Also it took about a week to get there. Obviously we did not go by the most direct route. Interested in seeing Glacier National Park, we decided to take this detour on our way to volunteer at Glen Eyrie. As some of my previous blogs can attest, we usually spend a few months there every year. This year it was May and October.


Our trip to Glacier was very enjoyable. At the beginning of the second day we were blessed with a flat tire. I do mean blessed, really! It could have happened on route 212 in the middle of no-where. After a short delay in Belle Fourche, SD, we were on our way to Great Falls MT. We celebrated our 49th anniversary there. So, on to Glacier NP the next few days.


 Unfortunately the sky was hazy due to persistent high pressure and the smoke of many wild-fires south and west of this region. Non-the-less it was quite the experience. On our way south we stopped at the beautiful cathedral in Helena. We skipped Yellowstone NP, because of time and a few previous visits to this beautiful and exciting National Treasure.

In Wyoming we stopped in Thermopolis, a small bubbling hot springs park area, with free soaking in the provided pool. This was a very beautiful area as well. Corrie's FB picture was taken here. We spend the last night before getting to the Springs, in Laramie, WY. A nice college town with another beautiful church building. The had there last of the season farmers' market that evening and we enjoyed great hospitality and fellowship.

Started our volunteer month at Glen Eyrie on the 30th of September, with all the work and joy that continues to bring us.

September 19, 2014

Gone Summer

Summer has gone away.  The cool weather came early this year.  Since my last post we have done many things and gone to a variety of places.  After our “Iowa vacation” and the trip to Yankton, South Dakota, we took some local motor-bike trips.  A day trip to Iowa Falls, a neat city on a rocky place with a waterfall in the Iowa river was one of the high-lights.

  There is an old suspension foot bridge over the river, which we crossed just for the experience. A leisurely ride back got us back home safely, even though we had to go through a surprise rain storm.  Fortunately our “frog-togs” kept us dry. Just riding in our immediate surroundings is always nice.  The weather has not been very cooperative this summer.  We had many rainy days
The Iowa State fair had very agreeable weather this year; cool with low humidity.  We could have taken the bike there, but then we would have been a bit overdressed for the fair. At the fair we enjoyed the celebration of our military heritage. It was military day and we got a discount, because of my veteran’s status on the day we went.

  A nice parade with honors to many soldiers who were serving in the military in the last 70 years of wars; yes, we still had some WW-2 veterans in the parade this year.  Also homage was paid to all the soldiers who died in the last round of armed conflict.  A nice concert of patriotic songs and music closed the day’s events.
Then during the last week of August, we took a houseboat vacation on the Mississippi river.  We went together with our son, his spouse and her parents.  Of the many beautiful nature sights we saw, the visit to the National Eagle Center was a highlight.  Of course seeing many bald eagles in their natural setting on either shore, also was very exciting.   In Wabasha, Minnesota, where he Natural Eagle Center is located we also located “Slippery’s” of “Grumpier Old Men” fame.

Going through the locks was new experience for the Dukes.  Rather impressive to be the only boat in this huge lock, which can accommodate river-barge traffic, three barges wide and three barges long at one time.  Our son, who captained this excursion is very familiar with river traffic, because of his job with the USGS.  This helped us navigate the river safely.  We beached the boat at night and enjoyed a good night’s sleep in the amble berths, on board. We are preparing to go to our volunteer job at Glen Eyrie again.  We plan to take a nice detour to north-west Montana on our way to Colorado Springs.  We hope to see some of Glacier National Park. It gets a little late in the season, but we should be able to access some of the sights especially from the west.
More in later blog.

July 26, 2014

IOWA Vacation

Summer in Iowa often has warm and humid days.  This year we have had some of those, but the majority of the days in July have been very pleasant.  We even have had some very cool days. The week we decided to take a motorcycle trip to Yankton, South Dakota, was cool.  We had  lived in Yankton about twelve years before we moved to Des Moines Iowa in 2002.  I had worked there as a Physician Assistant in the Federal Prison Camp.  After retirement in 2000 we started to travel a lot, mainly on Missionary Support trips. Some of these I have blogged about.

Because of the size of property at our “lake house,” we opted to move to a town house in Johnston in the spring of 2002.  It is very difficult to keep the grass mowed and the snow removed on extended trips.  We were gone to the YWAM base in Kona, Hawaii, about three months in the winter of 2001 and again in 2002.  Although spring usually comes late in South Dakota, we still had a lot of work to do trimming the overgrown grass.  Because we were living “in the country” snow removal was not really necessary during the winter; no-one needed access to the house. 

Anyway, we rode to Bronson, Iowa on a windy cool Monday, July 14.  On Tuesday we went to Yankton, taking the scenic route through northern Nebraska.  We crossed the new bridge across the Missouri river into the city center, after we had spent a few moments of reminiscence at our old house at the lake.  After visiting some of our old stomping ground, we decided to go back to the Sioux City area and spend the night in Bronson again.  
 On Wednesday we tried our hand at some farming skills to help our friends store their hay and help remove some dead scrubbery and ground cover.  The ride home on Thursday continued to be on the cool side.  This made for a very memorable ride, especially since the weather cooperated; other than the stiff wind on Monday, it was really great be out there on our “super-scooter.”

As we continue our year of relative slow-down, we are doing some renovation around our “new” town house.  We have lived here over twelve years.  This is the longest period we ever lived in the same location - in our entire life.  Even in my growing up years we moved in less that 12 year increments.  I guess I am actually getting used to this place, it is becoming home... 

June 19, 2014

Home in Iowa

Iowa has been not much better this spring.  We had a busy time after we came home from Glen Eyrie.  Guests and continued need for hospitality for the ensuing week.  The weather finally cooperated for us to go on an extended motorbike ride on June 11.  The weather was perfect; no wind and “severe clear” air.  The ambient temperature was about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  We did about 150 miles and were gone over 4 ½ hours.  We both utterly enjoyed this ride. 
      at a Civil War memorial in Winterset, IA

After getting settled, restocking our freezer and other “stores,” we are now enjoying a time of recuperation, while thunderstorms rumble around us.  Summer is nearly here.     

May 28, 2014

GLEN EYRIE Spring 2014

New and exiting things have been going on at Glen Eyrie. Our month here is nearly finished. We'll be heading back to Johnston, Iowa, on Sunday, June 1. While we were here we only went on 2 hikes, so far. The weather has been very variable, with snow, thunderstorms, cool windy weather, also some sunshine, but cool for the time of year. Also we have been very busy doing our hospitality work at the Pink House. All the while major construction has been happening here. Due to the flooding last September, a decision was made to widen the creek, so it could transfer much more water. 

A canalization project with relining the widened stream bed with large rock rip-rap is ongoing. Two new bridges have replaced older stone-arch bridges, so the increased stream does not bottleneck at the crossroads. They will be dressed with stone later to preserve the overall look of the property.

Also, I am happy to report that our hummingbirds survived the frosty nights of mid May. They continue to feed voraciously at the feeder we provide for them. They seem to have no fear of us humans, to the delight of many people who come to visit the Pink House. Also, although they are known to be territorial and aggressive to competitors, they seem to get along pretty well; as the pictures show. 

We went on a small hike, to again capture Lady Bug overlook and again took some pictures of the views there. These views  never bore us! Always something new to see and experience. The surroundings are much greener that we have seen in the previous years, so I guess the snow and rain have been beneficial for the local fauna.