Our first family computer was an Apple IIe–a 1982 family Christmas gift.  It’s 36 years later, and for the first time ever, I wrote code in the root directory to change my PC’s operating system.  I’ve always been told to stay out of the root directory.  This hasn’t been a problem because I have extremely limited knowledge of code.

Jeff set up my new PC (July 2018) with two operating systems, and I wanted to change the default start-up OS.  Jeff sent directions for me to get into the root directory and to make the necessary changes, and I did everything correctly until the end.  I couldn’t make it save the changes.  I gave Jeff a call, he told me what to do, I shut down the computer and re-booted it to make sure the changes took effect, and . . . everything works.

Obviously, the computer industry has little to fear from me, since I ultimately needed help to make the changes effective, but I feel powerful for even daring to get into the root directory and for making changes (very minor) at the operating system level.  Yea for my sense of accomplishment!

Purchase:  1 bushel of apples

Personnel needed:  1 person to operate the apple peeler/corer (Ted); 1 person to cook the apples to perfect chunky-style applesauce (me)

Equipment:  4 kettles of apples cooking on 4 burners; cookie sheets to cool applesauce while cooking more apples; freezer containers to store applesauce

Result:  Applesauce!

Ted and I went about 35 miles west to Warrenton’s Fall Festival today.  The weather was perfect–sunny and dry, with temperatures in the upper 70s.  Neither Ted nor I was overly interested in the festival as a whole, but there were two good bands we wanted to hear–one in the afternoon and one in the evening–and we thought it was a good day to sit outside, listen to music, and hang out with some country folks.

Butch Wax and the Hollywoods played 50s, 60s, and 70s pop music from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on the east end of Main Street.  They’ve been together a long time–well over 30 years, I think–and they play a lot of St. Louis venues.  Ted and I had never heard them before, but the word on the street said they’re good.  They were named one of the three top “Best of Rural Missouri” bands in the rural electric co-ops’ 10th annual survey.  Yep!  They’re playin’ up country in Warrenton.

A clue to the Warrenton culture might be the oversized bail bondsman’s ad on the left side of the stage.

If the bail bondsman’s bandstand sign struck a chord with you, Dan the Man had a booth on Main Street where I presume you could hire him, or at least get his business card.

This guy literally stood head and hips above the crowd.  He danced on stilts while Butch Wax et al played.  Yes, Warrenton’s got talent!

This little guy isn’t into rock ‘n’ roll, but he was happy for a long time making a pile of stones in the gutter.

 

When Butch Wax left the stage, Ted and I walked down Main Street to check out the booths, the food, and the car show.  There were a lot of vehicles on display, but two were my favorites.

Read the rear window.  Humorous Warrenton attitude present here.  See Dan the Man for your bail bond if neccessary.

Aaahhh, memories.  I went steady with David for two years in high school and he had a car just like this (even the same color)–except for the engine.  David had a factory-installed engine and a normal hood on his car.  

The bars along Main Street were open, and many had live music on the sidewalk for those not wanting to hear the headliners.

 

The evening show featured the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  Some of the members have been replaced over their 50+ years, but the new guy was Bob Carpenter’s son, and the next newest had been with the band for 30 years.  The music was good and the people-watching was even better.  There were so many people smoking, I wondered if the few clouds overhead were atmospherically generated or a result of all the cigarettes around us.  A lady next to us kept her matches in her bra where they were handy for her chain-smoking habit.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band performed on the west end of Main Street–right at the corner of City Hall and the jail.  Handy for Dan the Man, right?  I assume the people on the roof work at City Hall or at the jail or know someone who does.  They had a bird’s eye view of the concert.  Some of the prisoners peeked out of the windows before the music began, but that’s the last we saw of them.  I suspect they didn’t want their friends and neighbors to recognize them.

When you literally perform on the street, you get speed limit signs beside the stage.

 

I repeat, the weather was beautiful, both bands did a great job, and Ted and I had a wonderful time.  We can tell that summer is officially over tomorrow–it was dark before the concert started at 7:30, and we needed jackets for the cool evening.

Whew!  I found out today that I’m not the Lone Ranger of the Grammar Police Squad.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo differs from his boss, President Trump, when it comes to writing.   According to CNN, while President Trump tends to forego standard guidelines for punctuation and capitalization in his tweets, Pompeo has apparently “had it up to here” with improper comma usage among State Department staff.  As a result, two emails have been circulated among State Department staff in recent months with detailed instructions pertaining to the proper use commas.

According to the emails, Pompeo prefers the Chicago Manual of Style writing guidelines.  Personally, I prefer the American Psychological Association (APA) style because I think it’s far more straightforward than Chicago style, but I guess Mike likes a challenge.  Here are two excerpts from one of the staff memos–one for including commas and one for removing them.

 

Attention to writing detail might come with the Secretary of State job.  CNN alliteratively noted that Colin Powell “famously focused on font and font size,” and Condoleezza Rice was picky about margins and “cramming too much into the regulated length for memos.”  Maybe I should consider becoming Secretary of State.  I already have the grammar skills.

We had brunch this morning with Tom, Jo, and Andrea.  Andrea works seven twelve-hour days, then has seven days off.  We were fortunate this was her week off so that we could see her while we were visiting Tom and Jo.  We had a window booth at the restaurant, which provided some good people-watching while we ate and talked for two hours.  The window made a group photo impossible, however, unless all of us became shadows.

On one side of the table (without the window backlighting), we have Tom, Andrea, and Jo.

Ted and I sat on the other side of the table.

Was the food good?  I think Jo’s waffle says it all.

 

We had an uneventful trip home from Tom and Jo’s house.  There was some heavy rain as we approached the St. Louis area but, except for a little sprinkle, it was south and east of us.

We saw a cumulus cloud developing into a thundershower as we drove.  During a period of light rain, we could see both ends of a strong rainbow, but couldn’t photograph it from the car.

 

We stopped at a rest area that had a small park attached, complete with a bridge over a little creek.  It was so pretty, we went for a selfie.

These two people just spent an enjoyable week visiting with friends and family in WI and IL.  The selfies still need practice.  I included my extended arm as a reflection in my sunglasses.

We’ve had beautiful–even unusually warm–weather every day on this trip–until today.  We drove to St. Charles, IL under gray skies and through several rain showers to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Jo.

Lunch was ready when we arrived, and included what I’ll call a “heritage recipe.”  It was a perfect example of the discussion Donna, Nancy, and I had at lunch yesterday about the imprecise nature of our grandmothers’ recipes.  Hershey Bar Pie is one of Jo’s mom’s recipes and it includes a “5-cent Hershey bar” as one of the ingredients.  I remember 5-cent Hershey bars, but I have no idea how many ounces of 2018 melted chocolate equals a 1950s 5-cent bar.  Tom said he looked up images of 5-cent Hershey bars on Google and read the weight of the bar.  The pie was delicious!

The four of us spent the afternoon catching up on family news and telling family stories.  We have eight grandchildren and Tom and Jo have four, so there were a lot of good stories to tell and lots of memories to share.  Tom and Jo treated us to dinner at a restaurant recommended by a friend.  They had never been there before, but we decided to live on the edge and try it.  We all agreed that we’d enjoy a return visit any time.

L>R:  Tom, Jo, me, Ted

Today, Ted and I had lunch with my cousins, Donna and Nancy, and Donna’s husband, Jon.  We went to Pier 17 in Sheboygan for a delicious lunch, caught up on recent events in our families, and shared lots of good family stories.  I’ve almost had a Girl Cousin Reunion on this trip:  I saw Lara and Linda in Holmen, and now Donna and Nancy in Sheboygan.  Judi (Milwaukee) is cruising in South America, so I couldn’t get together with her this time.

We laughed a lot at lunch as we talked about how our grandmothers cooked with ingredients only–no measurements written down–making it difficult for us to replicate old family recipes.  I told Donna and Nancy how I cracked the secret of Vienna Torte.  They admitted they have not yet mastered their Grandma Drott’s Christmas ribbon cookie recipe, but their mother could make it perfectly.  Ted and Jon had little to contribute on this particular topic.

L>R:  Jon, Donna, Nancy, Ted, me.

After lunch, Ted and I had a very nice visit with Uncle Gibby.  He has bladder cancer and is living in a facility that provides the nursing care he needs to remain comfortable.

In my photo gallery at home, I have a picture of my great-grandpa, George Washington Dexheimer, sitting at a table with “Eddie.”  I’ve always heard the photo described as “Grandpa and Eddie,” but I never knew who Eddie was, so I asked Uncle Gibby.  He told me that Eddie was one of Great-grandpa’s four brothers, all of whom were born in Germany.  Eddie moved to one of the Dakotas and bought land under the Homestead Act.  He farmed the land until he died in an accident with a plow, after which his body was brought back to Ada, WI to be buried in the Dexheimer family plot.

L>R:  Ted, Uncle Gibby, me.

Next stop:  The Oostburg Bakery.  When Ted and I come to Wisconsin, we make sure to buy some hard rolls to take back to Missouri.  When we lived in Maryland, we shopped for hard rolls, but the grocers and bakers all thought we meant stale buns.  Unless you’re from Wisconsin, I can’t explain hard rolls (which are not hard) to you.  Ted and I now have hard rolls, some of my favorite Danish pastries, and some filled coffee cakes to take home and share with Kari.  A stop at the cheese factory in Gibbsville, just a few miles up the highway from Oostburg, provided us with some awesome Wisconsin cheese to take home as well.

The other side of the sidewalk sign says “I am in shape.  Round is a shape.”  There is a chalk drawing of a doughnut beneath the text.

We ended the day by playing sheephead and sharing dinner with Gary.  Ted won the pre-dinner game and I won the post-dinner game.  These were not high stakes games–together, we made 16 cents.  Gary won’t have to skip a meal to pay his debts to us.

We’re near Elkhart Lake.  Those are all Road America race pictures on the walls.  P.S. Ted does not have a good sheephead hand.

Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds’ most popular movie, is showing in theaters around the country for one week in remembrance of Burt.  Neither Ted nor I had ever seen the movie, and we’ll be traveling during the week it’s playing, so we invited Gary to see it with us.  I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  It probably holds the record for “longest chase scene,” since the entire movie is about Smokey (the police) chasing Bandit (Burt Reynolds) for transporting Coors beer from Texas to Georgia.  In 1977, Coors was only sold west of the Mississippi.

Bandit was well-known and popular, so people all along the five-state route used creative ways to detain the police.  That made it possible for Bandit (in his Trans Am) and Snowman, his partner in crime (in the 18-wheeler loaded with 400 cases of Coors beer) to meet the delivery deadline and collect the $80,000 fee.  That wasn’t much different from the kid who played hooky from high school for a day with help from what seemed like the entire city of Chicago in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

It was a PG-rated movie and good entertainment.

After lunch with the Spencer family, I was talking with Lara.  She said it meant a lot to Ruth and Ken that Ted and I made time to visit with them.  I told her that both of them have always been special to me.  She said the same was true of my mother for her.  In fact, Lara said, when she was pregnant with her first child, she and Jim had decided that, if it was a girl, they would name her Cassidy Vi for my mother.  Lara said she didn’t want “Violet” because Mom was never Violet; she was always Vi.  They had a boy and named him Jake, but I was deeply touched that Lara held my mother in such high regard.  Mom was Lara’s sponsor, and Lara always held a special place in Mom’s heart too.

This is Mom and her siblings–probably in the 1980s, judging by the eyewear.  L>R:  Mom, Gibby, Shirley, Ruth.

Ted and I met the Spencer gang at a local restaurant this morning.  All of us had afternoon plans, but we caught up with each other for several enjoyable hours over brunch, courtesy of Aunt Ruth and Uncle Ken.  The food was delicious, and the company was better.  I’m already looking forward to the next time we get together with this group.

Around the table L>R: Tim Bena, Ted, me, Dave Spencer, Bev Nelson, Ruth, Ken, Lara Hines, Jim Hines, Linda Bena.

 

When our group reluctantly parted, Ted and I headed across the state to our next destination:  Kiel, WI.  We’re farther north than St. Louis, and it’s evident in the landscape.  The trees are already changing to their fall colors in this area.

 

We had a beautiful drive on a warm, sunny day.  After dinner with Ted’s brother, Gary, the three of us spent some time coordinating dates for an October trip to Nebraska for all of us and time in Colorado for Ted and me.  Working around previous commitments Gary, Ted, and I had, we passed our information on to Jeff and La (CO) and to Mutzie (NE).  If their schedules can accommodate us, Ted and I will have a chance to spend time with Jeff, La, and Zaque in CO, and Ted, Gary, and Mutzie will have a sibling reunion in NE.  Ted can’t remember being with more than one sibling at a time since his mother’s funeral in October 2000, so we hope the dates will work out.

Ted and I spent the afternoon and evening with my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Ken and took them out to dinner to celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary.  Ruth told us they have been married longer than anyone else in their families.  It’s Ted’s and my goal to celebrate at least as many anniversaries as Ruth and Ken have.  There were lots of good stories and happy memories to share during the hours we spent with them.

During my senior year in college, I shared a house with five other women.  Four of us met each other in the dorm where we lived during our freshman and sophomore years; the other two were friends from outside the dorm.  The six of us had a blast!

I’ve seen Eileen and Leila several times over the years, and the three of us had a roommate reunion in Madison with Lin in 2014.  It was so much fun, we had another one today.  In the past year, Eileen “found” Carol and might have found Barb–we’re still waiting to hear if her message went to the right Barb.  Today’s lunch was even more fun than our 2014 get-together, so we decided to make this an annual event.  I hope next year, there will be six of us at the lunch table.

Fall 1968–dinner in our Orchard Street kitchen.  L>R:  Lin, Leila, Eileen, me.  Carol took the picture.  Aren’t we the healthy Dairyland girls–all drinking milk for dinner.

 

Christmas, 1968.  We put up a tree in the living room.  Look how happy we are to be together!  L>R:  Leila, Carol, Eileen, Lin.  It was my turn to take the picture.

 

June 1969–graduation day at the University of Wisconsin.  L>R:  Eileen, me, Kathy, Lin.  When Barb got married during our senior year, Kathy took her place in the house.  She was already a registered nurse, and didn’t attend UW.  Leila got married two days before graduation, so she wasn’t at the commencement ceremony.  (I got married five days after graduation.)  I don’t remember why Carol isn’t in the picture.

 

Zoom forward to September 2018–49 years after we graduated, and still having fun together.  Back row L>R:  Eileen, me, Carol.  Front row L>R:  Lin, Leila.

Ted and I drove to Madison, WI today.  There’s only one rest stop on I-39 between Bloomington, IL and the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, bu-u-u-t, . . . at that rest stop, there’s a playground.  Ted and I took a break and enjoyed the swings.  Everyone else at the rest stop drove in, parked, used the rest room, and drove out, so there was no one to take a picture of both of us in the two swings.  I went almost high enough to break the tension in the chains.  Whee!  Ted was more cautious.

 

We spent about ten minutes on the swings and felt great when we finished.  Surprisingly, all of our muscles seemed looser.  We discovered, however, that with these new-fangled sling swings, you can’t jump off the swing–you have to stop and remove yourself safely from the sling.  It was more fun to jump off the old-fashioned board swings.

The free outdoor summer concert season is winding down.  Ted and I made a return visit to Beale Street (our least favorite concert venue) in St. Charles tonight for our second-last concert.  The street is a boulevard, with tall plantings in the center.  Marquis Knox was playing and singing the blues at one end of the block, centered on the street.  With all the plantings and the light poles, it’s hard to see the band.  Even worse, the venue is like an outdoor bar scene where people come to meet each other, have some food and drink, and talk, talk, talk.  Because the band’s volume didn’t burst our eardrums, it was difficult to enjoy the music over the noise of the chattering crowd.  What we could hear was our #2 favorite concert of the season.  (#1 was Dogs of Society.)

Marquis Knox is the soloist (center) and the others in the band are his back-up.  He learned the blues from his grandma, and she taught him well.  We would like to hear him play again, so we checked his website.  He has a lot of dates scheduled in the St. Louis area, so we’re not the only ones who think he’s good with the blues.

 

It was a perfect evening to sit outside, listening to music.  The outdoor seating at the Beale Street restaurants was filled.

 

Here’s Ted, ready for some blues.

 

Unfortunately, most people seemed to have come to visit with each other, rather than to hear the band.  Look at all of them standing in our line of sight to the stage.  This is during the concert.

 

The people ahead of us came prepared to amuse themselves.  The wooden slats on the ground were rolled up in the orange case under the man’s chair.

 

Attach four legs and two support pieces to the unrolled slats.

 

Presto!  A table!

 

With a beer for each of them and their Ultra Pro Dice Tray, they were ready for the concert.  They rolled dice for the entire two hours.

 

The concert was scheduled for 6:00-8:00 p.m., and sunset was at 7:14 p.m. tonight.  Surprisingly there were no floodlights for the band.  They performed with only the streetlights to showcase them in the dark.

 

Here’s Beale Street after dark.  It’s a great entertainment complex (stores, restaurants, bars, residences, movie theater, hotels, etc.), but not a great concert venue.  After the concert, Ted and I had dinner in a restaurant in the complex.

We belatedly celebrated Sky’s birthday this evening.  As always, it was fun to spend time with Kari’s family and to share a delicious dinner with them.

These are the gifts we gave Sky.  Since he sent us an itemized list of what he’d like to receive, shopping was easy and his surprise factor was low.  His satisfaction factor, however, was high.

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  Mm-mm good!  At Sky’s request, we did not sing “Happy Birthday.”  I think he feels as awkward as I do when people sing to him.

 

Three of the things Ted and I always enjoy about visiting at Kari’s house are the boys’ bedroom tours.  Each boy gives us a tour of his bedroom, describing all the creative things that are currently in process.

Sky’s room is a Star Wars enclave.  He’s modeling part of the complete stormtrooper costume Dean created for him.  Sky ordered the helmet and said it was exciting to get such a big box in the mail earlier than he expected it to arrive.

All of Sky’s Star War items and Lego pieces are sorted for easy access.  Here’s one wall of his room.

Additional mini figures (sorted, of course) are kept on these shelves.

Dean built stairs for Dylan’s access to his loft bed.

Each step of the loft stairs has a storage bin beneath the stair tread.

We gave Dylan a 3D puzzle for his July birthday.  I’ve never seen a completed 3D puzzle, but now I know that the end result is more of a model than a traditional puzzle.  This is Dylan’s finished product–the U.S.S. Constitution.

Dean gave Dylan this storage box for his birthday and Dylan has filled it with art supplies.

Teddy told us the boxes on the wall are his pig apartments.  The quilt and pillow I made for Teddy and Waffles are on the bed and in the rightmost apartment.  Waffles is in the penthouse.  Teddy mentioned that there is room for more pigs in the housing complex.  (Hint, hint?)

Teddy converted one of his closet shelves to an apartment for himself.  Dylan offered to rent the apartment for additional storage, but Teddy turned him down.  He likes having a private refuge.

 

I always enjoy the bedroom tours and, every time Ted and I are treated to a one, I marvel at the boys’ creativity.  Grandchildren are one of life’s greatest gifts.

While I was cleaning out my dresser drawers, I found some old ID cards that brought back memories.

Unbelievably, I donated blood three times.  The first two times were in college at the urging of my nursing friend.  I was afraid of fainting, but she talked me into doing it anyway.  Afterward, I was so proud of myself for getting through the ordeal without losing consciousness that I knocked on her dorm room door to tell her about it.  Then I promptly fainted at her feet.  The last time I gave blood was in St. Charles.  I couldn’t stop thinking about all the other people on the tables–each with a bag of blood hanging at his/her side.  I didn’t faint, but I stayed on the table for awhile before going to my car, and then I sat in the car until I was sure I could drive home safely.

The lifetime membership in MAACCE, a state organization for educators, was my reward for serving a three-year term as president of the organization.  In Year One, as president-elect, I was in charge of organizing a successful state conference for 400+ people.  During Year Two, as president, I led the Executive Board meetings.  Year Three was the best.  As past-president, all I had to do was show up at the board meetings and serve as a resource person to board members and conference chairs.

 

Here are my student IDs for my graduate studies.  The hairstyle in the lower photo looks good compared to what’s coming up next.

 

The top ID in the photo below gives me access to the Library of Congress reading room and use of the library’s materials for research purposes.  The lower picture is one of my pool passes for our subdivision pool.  Check out the crazy wild hair from swimming with a fresh perm before the photo was taken!

 

Last, but definitely not least, are my SCC business card and my SCC employee ID.  The last three digits were my employee number–I was the 139th employee hired.  The college was five years old when I started working there and had only three buildings; twenty years later, when I retired, there were twelve buildings and employee numbers were well into the 6000s.  I loved my job, and working at the college was great.

My favorite shoe store is having its big fall sale.  I had $60 in rewards plus a 15 percent discount, so I decided to get to the store on the first day of the sale (Friday) while the pickings were good.  I found two pairs of shoes that I liked, but wasn’t sure which color I wanted for one pair.  The salesman knows me well, so he offered to hold the shoes for me and to work out the details of the colors, rewards, discount, and payment by phone the following day.  He even offered to ship the shoes to me so I wouldn’t have to make the 30-minute drive back to the store.  I went home to check which colors I have in that style shoe and called him back the next morning with my decision.

While I was checking my shoes, I realized that I have half a dozen pairs piled up where they don’t belong because there is no space in my shoe storage areas (I have about 100 pairs of shoes), and now I’d bought two more pairs.  It was time to clean out my shoe inventory.  I threw away 18 pairs of shoes that were worn out, out of style, or haven’t been worn in several years.

 

The next day, (Saturday) was cool and rainy, so I decided to take my summer tank top shirts upstairs to my off-season storage closet (formerly the boys’ closet) and to bring down some three-quarter sleeved shirts and some jeans.  While I was doing that, it made sense to me to go through the shirts and to get rid of the ones I get out and put away each season, but haven’t worn for years.  That project expanded to going through all of my shirts (summer and winter), and then it expanded again to include the other clothes hanging in the closets.

With the closets cleaned out, I thought I should do the same with my cedar chest, where I store sweaters.  I used to wear a lot of sweaters, but then fleece was invented and I like it better than sweaters.  I now have 13 fewer sweaters.

 

The only things left to clean out were my dresser drawers and my jewelry box, so I forged ahead.  I figured I might as well finish the purge.  Do I really need to keep four old pairs of glasses that don’t have the correct prescription?

 

And what about all those bags I get as gifts when I buy things at various stores?  I threw out 16 bags and I still have at least a dozen to use for travel, etc.

 

It’s definitely true that you have to be in a pitching mood to get rid of stuff you don’t use.  I did well.  The picture below shows the folded clothes ready to put into the Goodwill box, as well as the costume jewelry and shoes headed for the trash can.  It doesn’t include the bags, the glasses, or the well-worn clothes that are already gone.

Ted and I are both happy with the cars we chose, but we wish they were smaller.  We’d both like all the nicer things about our new cars included in the size of our previous cars–my Celica and his Prius.

Today, Ted was washing my car when I went into the garage, and I was impressed by how “small” my car is when compared to his.

 

I asked if I’ll have to buy a full-size van next time to make his car look smaller.  He said no.  Whew!

I scanned another photo album tonight and enjoyed some more memories.

This picture of my parents’ house from April 1977 is a sad memory.  It was the day of my brother Denny’s funeral and my dad had the flag at the house at half-staff.  After the burial, I was the one who raised the flag to full staff with tears in my eyes.

 

A few weeks later, there was a celebration with happier memories:  Aunt Shirley and Uncle Richard’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  I was the flower girl in their wedding and, at the party, they took pictures of everyone who had been in the wedding party.  Here I am with the ring bearer, whose name I don’t remember.

 

The rest of the story is that, when the band played the Grand March at the wedding and everyone was kissing his/her partner, I followed their lead and kissed the ring bearer.  The wedding photographer must have had his eyes on us to catch this brief moment.  Judging by the ring bearer’s degree of participation, it looks like I was a leader, even at the age of five.

It’s strange, but I don’t remember my flower girl dress being this pretty.   After the wedding,  my mom let me wear it to play dress-up.  I wore it to tatters, and that’s how I remember it.

 

In February 1978, we headed for Disney World.  Here are Jeff, Kathy, and Thom on Lookout Mountain in Chatanooga, TN.  Standing on the mountaintop, Jeff proclaimed–with all the enthusiasm of a six-year-old–that he must be the highest person in the whole world.

 

This picture from Thom’s second birthday in May 1978 shows how he ate as a baby.  First, he’d put food in his mouth; then he’d stuff his fingers in his mouth while he chewed.  Look at that red hair!

 

Fifteen days after we took that picture of Thom, Kari was born.  She had Ted’s dark hair and, right in the center of her head, there were about 20 strands of white hair.  Can you see them?

 

This is what I saw the morning after I came home from the hospital with Kari.  It’s one of my all-time favorite photos.

 

Another all-time favorite was taken in August 1978 when we visited my sister-in-law, Bev, in Upper Michigan.  The picture includes our four kids and their cousins, Cheryl and Eric.  I’ve always called this “Can you find the six kids on the sofa?”

 

Tonight’s photo album ended in November 1978.  We had just bought a new car–a 1978 Chevy Caprice Classic.  The new I-70 Blanchette Bridge was finally finished and scheduled to open the next day, so we drove the new car onto the end of the new bridge and took a picture.  That’s Kari and me in the driver’s window.   Raise your hand if you remember that you’d get that glow on the right side of the photo if you were at the very end of the filmstrip.

I’m so excited!  Ted and I booked our 50th anniversary trip–three major European cities (London, Paris, and Rome), and a river cruise that includes France, Luxembourg, Germany, and Switzerland.  We’ll fly from St. Louis to London on July 13, 2019.

 

We’ll have three days to sightsee in London before taking the Eurostar train to Paris.

 

After six days in Paris (aaahhh, Paris!), including a special anniversary dinner (restaurant TBD), we’ll join a 12-day Paris-to-Zermatt (Switzerland) cruise.  After the cruise, we’ll spend four days in Zürich and Geneva.  One of the things we’ll do while we’re there is take a beautiful train ride for a wonderful view of the Matterhorn.

 

Then we’ll fly from Geneva to Rome, and will spend four days in Rome.

 

On August 8, we’ll fly home to St. Louis.  Happy, happy 50th anniversary to us!

 

P.S.  This exciting trip will follow a wonderful resort weekend with all of our children and grandchildren in the St. Louis area.  We can’t think of a better way to celebrate this upcoming milestone than with our entire family at home, followed by dinner in Paris–and some other travel to go with the dinner.