Thursday, February 24, 2011

The sun is going down

Here is a sequence of pictures I took of the sunset a few days ago.  The sunsets on the gulf are really beautiful and inspiring when one can see the sun disappearing into the water.
I did a tennis clinic today and my calf muscle held up fairly well.  It is about 80% and I say that because it makes me sound as if I know what I am talking about.  Just like the big boys who are pro!!!!
Terry and I had a fun evening.  We met friends of Terry's for dinner.  They are from Connecticut and I would say they are close to 80 or maybe even older.  They are down here for about 3 months each year.  They stay very active and are fun to be with.  
I actually did some work today.  I fixed some holes in walls that needed repair and then spent a couple of hours cleaning out the back rain gutters.  I needed to invent something that I could reach about 15 feet so taped two long pieces of wood together and then taped a small garden tool on the end to clean out the junk.  I got all the debris out and they should be good to go for some time.
Other than that the only news is the weather is warm, sunny and fun.  I think I am beginning to get a real sun tan.  It is not great but enough to make people in St. Paul jealous!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A fun visit

The picture is from grandma's birthday party.  From left to right are Dale, Deb, Deb, Allen, Carmen, Mary and Mark.  Allen is the oldest, Deb is next and Mark is the youngest.
We had a fun time today.  Amy's parents, Jeanne and Dick, are in Florida for this month.  They are just a very short distance from Terry's place so we invited them to come for a visit today.  We took the shuttle to the beach and walked for an hour.  When we arrived back we  had lunch at the club.  It was a fun time.  The weather was perfect and the food at the club was great.  One can not complain about temps in the high 70's and sunny skies in February. 
I am excited for this afternoon.  I will pick up my new tennis racket at 4 and then of course I will for sure have a great tennis game.  My inexperience and my age have nothing to do with my skill level, it is all in the racket.  I am planning to take another tennis clinic Thursday as my calf muscle is healing nicely and I should be good to go in two days. 
The bike remains in netural but with my calf getting better maybe the bike is next to get a work out.  I HAVE to get more exercise as my weight is up a few pounds and that just can not be so more exercise, less food are in order. 
Enough for now.  I do hope that friends and family in MN, ND etc are enjoying the winter wonder land.
Sister Joan sent a picture of someone sitting in a frozen outhouse.  I wonder if that came from our growing up on the farm!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Better late than never

Here is Grandma Saunders with most of her great grand children.  This was taken on her birthday weekend, February 5/6. 
There were some missing but many are in the picture.
I have been lazy in writing on the blog.  I did return to Naples FL last Monday.  I arrived to weather that is certainly much much different than St. Paul.  Today it was pleasant sitting by the pool in the sun as the temp was right around 80.  I guess one can not want better weather than that in February.
I have spent my time playing tennis, walking the beach and in general enjoying things.  I am staying with a friend, Terry, who was a high school classmate.  We have reconnected after many many years.  She has a home in Naples.  At this time my timetable is open as to when I might return to MN.  The longer one stays in this nice weather the harder it is to think about returning to winter in MN.  I have found that it is easy to relax, enjoy and just be here.  Now that I have decided to step out of Servant Camp things seem less hurried, less stressful and more relaxed.  For sure I will miss the excitement of camp, of the staff and most of all the campers but the other side of life outside of camp is also exciting and alluring. 
I did slightly injure myself as I was warming up to play tennis last Friday.  I hurt a calf muscle, didn't even know I had a muscle there!!  It acted like a bad cramp but it just did not go away so I have been limping around a bit the last couple of days.  I am hopeful that I can be on the court and on the bike in short order but will see.  I guess the bottom line is this body really is not what it used to be!!!!
No maybe it is time to catch some sun again.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The old and the new

Here are pictures of grandma's family in 1999 and then again last weekend.  Of course in our celebration last weekend there were some missing but you can see that time marches on.  Many many more little kids now and of course there are some not with us now that were here in 99.
We are beginning to come out of the deep freeze in in St. Paul.  After several days of way below normal temps we are now at or above normal and they say we will remain this way through the coming week. 
I need to get up on a ladder (I will be careful) and get some ice off of my north roof.  The ice dam is large, I have yet to get any water in the house but I do not want that to happen.  I will either chop or melt a valley in the ice dam so that any water that tends to dam up behind the ice can run off the roof.  With the temps mild for the next days maybe some of that ice will disappear.
I have enjoyed these last few days as there has not been much happening so it has been a time to relax, do some paper work and just kind of be. 
I made a huge decision last week and it is good but with mixed feelings.  After 33 years of doing Servant Camp I decided it was time to step down and see what God has for me in a different way.  So for the first time since 1979 I will have a spring and summer without the concerns of staff, campers, budget and all that goes with it.  I am really excited but of course one does not do something for that long and then forget it so I suppose I will miss it but I know it is in God's plan for me and because of that I am excited.
I am expecting and hoping that this time can be a time of new life, new direction and more exciting things in my life.  Even though I have tended to do things for a long time all my life I also feel that I have done well in putting things behind me and moving on so here I am waiting to see what happens.
I will end today with much saddness as little sister Helen is experiencing so much cold and snow I just feel so sorry.  Helen, maybe you and Mike need to move north!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Many of Grandma Saunder's family were able to make the trip to Fargo ND last weekend to help her celebrate her 90th birthday.  It was a fun weekend.  Here is the picture of her grandchildren.  Four of them were not able to come and two of them have passed away.  It is quite the group.  It looks like the men are greatly outnumbered by the gals but the four who could not come are men so the number is almost equal.
It was a fun time as it is always great to see family and spend time together.  In my family John/Mary were not able to travel what would have been a round trip of 1500 miles but everyone else came.  I enjoyed Aaron/Amy and kids here Friday afternoon and again on Sunday evening.  Sunday evening Cynthia/Mike and family along with Travis came over to cheer the Packers on to Super Bowl victory.
We are experiencing very very winter weather with a -9 temp this morning and about the same expected tomorrow morning.  I guess winter really is not ready to say good-bye.
Not much new on my end.  I am having a bit of remorse with this cold weather as I did enjoy the warm Naples FL weather.  I am a bit envious as I see they are having 70's and 80's there which if my math is correct is about 60-70 degrees higher than we had yesterday and today!!!
Enough of that as it is almost depressing.
Will get some paper work finished before I get to sleep.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I spent the weekend with John/Mary and family.  Monday morning at 4:15 I got on the road with the idea that I could get to Madison early and in the process I could drive through Chicago before the AM rush hour traffic hit.  All went well and I arrived at Aaron/Amy place about 8:30 AM.  After unloading my things in their basement I called Aaron to tell him I was there.  He asked me if I had looked at the weather and I said no.  Well after looking at the forcast of perhaps 20 inches of snow in Madison Monday-Wednesday I loaded my things in the car and headed home by 9:00 AM.  Roads were OK but not great and I finally arrived in St. Paul about 2:15 tired of holding on to the steering wheel tightly and maybe also tired after driving 5000 miles in the last 4 weeks.  I knew I was coming back to winter but the snow kind of surprised me.  The 4-6 foot banks at each corner seemed to stare and and smile at me at each intersection.  My car was fine but it did complain a bit when I started it in -2 temps this morning.  AND the wonderful pillow I purchased for my back while I drive failed to tell me that if I left it in the car in cold weather it would turn to being stone hard!!!!   So much for it's usefulness.
Here I am with blood a bit thinned out, pants without legs, short sleeve shirts once again hung in the closet and hands that let me know you can not answer your smart phone with gloves on.  Well I guess it is what it is and life is all about changes and adjustments.
I am now doing some work for grandma's 90th birthday bash this weekend.  It will be fun to have much of family together but we will miss John/Mary and family.
No, I need to get something warm on my feet.