Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Note From Gene Lackore

Winter Texans no doubt remember Gene and Donna Lackore, regular visitors for years—until the past year. Then, the march of Donna's Alzheimer disease prevented them from making the trip. And we missed them!

Here's a note I received from Gene a few days ago:


Just wanted to let you know I have to eat my words about Donna. She is now a resident at Good Samaritian Home in Forest City as of Wed. this week.

The girls were pushing hard for my health, I didn't realize what it was doing to me, but already can see they were right.

I haven't been to see her yet but the girls go every day and she's good maybe better than I. It was so hard to let go, makes me feel like I've let her down. I've waited on purpose because she has been so tied to me, that I thought it would let her adjust better. As far as I know she hasn't been upset looking for me and that's what I'd hoped for.

This is a Alzheimer unit on the nursing home with 12 patients. It is only 2 or 3 years old since they built this wing on. It so nice and the staff are just great. We know several who work there and this is where I go to a support group every month. My father was in this nursing home as well as Donna's mother also several other aunts and uncles.


Good Advice

Here's a poem written by my aunt. I'd not seen it before but found it quite appropriate. I hope you enjoy it, too!


* * * * * * * ** * * ** *

I'm Fine

There’s nothing whatever the matter with me;

I’m just as healthy as I can be.

I have arthritis in both my knees

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

I think my liver is out of whack;

I have a terrible pain in my back.

My hearing is poor and my eyes are dim,

Most everything seems out of trim.

The way I stagger sure is a crime;

I’m likely to fall most of the time,

But all things considered, I’m feeling fine.

Arch supports for both my feet

Or I wouldn’t be able to walk down the street.

My fingers are ugly, stiff in the joints;

My nails are impossible to keep in points.

Complexion is bad, due to dry skin,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Dentures drive me crazy, I’m restless at night

And in the morning I am a sight.

Memories failing, head’s in a spin,

I’m practically living on aspirin,

But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.

Now—the moral is, as the tale we unfold,

That you and me, who are growing old,

It’s better to say, “I’m fine”, with a grin,

Than to tell everyone the shape we are in.

By, Gertrude Austin Detloff

Monday, July 20, 2009

Forty Years Ago Tonight

Forty years ago tonight, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. We all watched it and heard it.

We heard it because Collins Radio Company of Cedar Rapids (the company for which I worked 21 years) designed and built the communications radios used on the Apollo mission.

One of the main program managers was in my division. I know Jim and Helen well, as they also go to the same church I do. That big event was 9 years before I joined the company, but according to Jim those were pretty exciting days at what I call "the radio factory."

I've been told that the Collins communications systems were the only systems on the spaceship which were not redundant. How's that for confidence!

Today the company is known as Rockwell Collins, Inc. They continue to build high-quality electronic equipment for airplanes and the military. Just about every business jet in the free world uses "our" radios, as do many airlines. The new Boeing 787 will have lots and lots of "Collins" equipment on board.

It was interesting to work for the acknowledged world leader in electronics for aviation! It took me to far-away lands and enabled me to meet many interesting people.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Note from Melanie and Fred----

Here are a couple of notes from Melanie and Fred, winter residents of 5th Street.
Dear Allison and Tony,

Thank you so much for your last email and we were very surprised to hear about the fire so close to the park! I am sure it must of been quite nerve racking for the people still in the park but thankfully it was contained before it could reach RV35.

We arrived home yesterday afternoon after our very enjoyable trip out west. As planned we stayed first with Sherry and Gary in Duluth then with Laverne* and Gene in Bismark. We were surprised at both cities, both small but very nice. Sherry and Gary live about thirty miles of Duluth on a lake that makes our lake look like a mud puddle, ha! Sherry and I went out in their canoe for a couple of hours and that was great fun.

We then went on to stay with Laverne and Gene and they took us to many wonderful places of interest that neither of us had any idea of, we just hope that we can do the same for them in the not too distant future.

From there we moved on and stayed in Custer, SD, for a few nights seeing all that was on our list and more. The Black Hills are absolutely breathtaking, something neither of us will ever forget.

We moved on to Sheridan and again saw all that was on our list, so many wonderful places, too numerous to mention. Of course I took lots of pics and now will have to take the time sort them.

I hope you don't mind but I do have a favor to ask of you. Would you please save us the cd of 'You've Got The Time' that you so kindly were offering to people. I mentioned it to a friend in England (via email) and she said she would love to have one as she has never heard of it and we plan to take her the one we bought back with. We have so enjoyed listening and reading our bibles but we have some catching up to do due to being away but I know we shall have completed it before we go to England in six weeks time. Thank you so much.

I had better cut this short now as I am doing the laundry, yet my mind is still very much on holiday recalling all the wonderful memories of places we saw.

Take care and God Bless you both always,

Melody and Fred XX
* * * * * * * * * *

Dear Allison and Tony,

Thank you very much for your last email and also a big thank you for saving the cd (MP3) for us that I asked you for. I know my friend in England will enjoy listening to the one we shall take her in a few weeks time.

I know you have been to England so when I tell you that she and her husband attend a very old church that sits facing 'the village green' you will be able to imagine it. The sad side is that the village no longer is out in the country so to speak, it is now on the edge of my home town and considered a suburb, even so the church and immediate area still resembles the village scene of years ago.

Of course I do not mind if you wish my last email to be included in the blog, but please double check it for spelling and grammar, ha!

I have to keep this short as we need to go into town and do a few errands but I wanted you thank you for the cd.

Take care and God Bless you both,

Melody and Fred
June 13, 2009

Notes from the editor:
  • * That would be the Sheriff of 5th Street!

  • Yesterday, Pat and whizzed right through Duluth, MN, and up the North Shore to Silver Bay to visit little Miss Molly. Today, we ventured up to Grand Marais for lunch.

  • Three summers ago, we volunteered at a fish hatchery north of Bismark. We enjoyed the area.

  • Our very favorite vacation area is the Black Hills of South Dakota. In fact, Custer is the place we prefer to stay.
I'm glad that Fred and Melanie got to experience and enjoy some of our favorite places!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

TEA Party at Rockport 35 RV Park

July 4th was the day for hundreds (thousands?) of TEA (Taxed Enough Already) parties across our nation. There was one right here at our park!

This was the program for the gathering:
  • Welcome
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • America the Beautiful
  • Remarks
  • Prayer for the Nation
  • Parade of Signs

    Allison, chief TEA server, gave prepared remarks, excerpts are below:
  • We are witnessing God removing His favor from our nation as we move Him out of public life.

  • I am not a politician, not a Republican, not a Democrat—I am an American! And I care what is happening to this country.

  • Known as Cap and Trade, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 has been deceitfully passed off to citizens as promoting environmental responsibility. It has, in fact, been called, "The biggest tax in American history."

  • Mark Twain said, "If you don't keep up with the news you are uninformed—if you do, you're misinformed." Sadly, that is often true . .

  • . . . call and write your representatives and tell them not to pass harmful legislation . . .

  • Enocurage one another and collectively contact your representatives

  • . . . pray for your leaders. God commands us to do so.
Allison also said there is on-going action:

Participants will meet at the library the 2nd Monday of each month for a 912 Meetup. A place to learn about issues and candidates and begin to work together to take back this nation.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Photo of flag of the United States of AmericaA bit of background on this article:
Bob Swanson, full-time RVer who winters at Rockport 35 RV Park with his swife Kathy, sent the "I am an American" note below. He suggested that others email their stories.

Allison picked up the challenge and added a bit of her American history, along with Tony's.

These are great American Fourth of July stories. I thank them for writing them and trust they do not mind them being published for all the world to read.

And you, of course, can do the same!

From Bob Swanson:

My father's parents immigrated from Sweden, learned English and became Americans.

My father was born in America and died here, he was an American.

My mother's parents trace their heritage back many generations from many different countries, they were all Americans either by birth or by legal immigration.

I am NOT a Swedish-American, I am an American; I am not a many different countries-American,I am an American.

So apparently those who chose to call themselves African-American, Asian-American, etc. etc are NOT 100% Americans.

As a 100% American, I know America was founded on Judea-Christian laws and principals. I am proud and happyto see God's name on MY public buildings, the money I use, and the use God's name in public affairs, ceremonies and all things American. I am happy to place America as "one nation under God" when I pledge allegiance to my flag and I believe memorials containing references to God, whether they be state or federal, are right and no one, including the Supreme Court, has the right to remove or in any way change those references such as crosses, the Ten Commandments, or any other reference to God. I believe prayers should be said by those who wish to do so at all public functions including schools and especially government functions.

I am an American.

Robert A. Swanson

I hope you forward this to others: Add your own statement of heritage, if you wish. I would like to read yours.

From Allison

I am proud to be an American.

My father was actually German and Irish but he loved to laugh with a twinkle in his eye and recite, "I'm Welsh, Irish, Dutch, German, French..........and on and on. He was very proud to be part of this melting pot called The United States of America.

My mother was English and Indian--sometime I heard French and Indian. She was an orphan so searched for her roots. Her mother had heritage in the Blackfoot tribe in Montana.

Tony's grandparents came through Ellis Island. They were so proud to be American. Tony says his father would never have called himself an Italian-American nor participated in any organization that focused on ethnic differences--Tony never would either--He is American! period.

I am saddened by the lack of knowledge Americans have of their heritage and the heroics that God used to make this nation great. God says, in Scripture: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6) I'm afraid that is a valid description of the United States for history forgotten is bound to be repeated.

Saturday (July 4) we will host a TEA Party. We carry signs, will proudly salute the flag, sing patriotic songs and pray for our nation in Jesus' Name.

Every Day...Every Minute...
Every breath is a Gift from God!

From Keith Williams

I, too, am an American!

Heritage-wise, I am a pure "half-breed"—exactly 50% Welsh and 50% Norwegian.

My Williams great-grandparents came from northern Wales. One set from the island of Angelsy and the other form near Mount Snowdon. I have had the good fortune to visit both areas.

My Austin (changed from the traditional Austinson, or in my case, Oleson) great-grandparents came from Norway. And I have spent one night in Oslo, where I attended a concert in a great concert hall. I don't know much about them but believe they came directly from Norway to southern Minnesota.

One of my great-grandfathers never learned English, I am told. At the time, Lime Springs was a "Welsh ghetto" so he probably felt little need to learn a new language. And my father didn't speak English until his older sister started going to school. But having switched to English at the age of three or four, he forgot most of his Welsh and could not converse in it.

But I have to believe these folks worked hard to be Americans and never looked back. I've heard not a word about even one of my great-grandparents or even grandparents returning to "the old country" even for a visit.

America has always welcomed those who, well, want to be AMERICANS. It appears that a good number of recent arrivees have little interest in becoming Americans. It's not clear to me why they bothered to come.

Do you suppose it is because of the opportunities that we offer?

Or the liberties that we enjoy? (Yes, there are some left.)

Or the "free money" through subsidies, health care, education, etc., that we seem all to willing to provide?

Probably some of each.

But I'm concerned. I grew up in the America of Ike and Goldwater and Kennedy and Regan. That's the America which I thought I was part of, and would like to be again. Clearly, those of us who long for that type of America again must become more vocal in exercising our freedom to speak out.


From Julee Crever

Several years ago we were staying with friends at their cabin in Wisc.[a very common activity here in the midwest]. The 6 of us decided to go to the local Indian casino for dinner and some entertainment. I had on a purple knit top with colorful beading in a large v across the front,with jeans.

Out of the clear blue sky, this gentleman there who was Indian said, "Why you dressed like native American?"

It totally caught me so off guard, I was speechless [unheard of for me]. I stammered a bit and out popped, "Because I am!"

I still get upset and offended when I think of that episode.....excuse me, I am just as American as you are and take unending pride in that fact.

My grandfather came from Norway when he was 17, knowing he would never see his family over there again. He told me he came here because this was the "land of Milk & Honey", what courage.

On the other side of my family my grandmother left her family at age 17 to sail here for a chance at a better life. In Scandinavia, the family farm just kept getting diced up as each new family member reached adulthood & they were truly literally running out of land for everyone. This grandma worked until age 76 running the laundry at a large Baptist hospital here in St.Paul. They were eager to learn English as they felt embarrassed using their own native tongue in public.

Our oldest granddaughter just turned 17 in June and I cannot even imagine her sailing off somewhere [getting on a space ship for Mars] never to be seen again. Brave people.

Have a wonderful weekend celebrating our countrys' birthday.


Who's next? Email your "I am an American" story to: kaw@syntheticsaves.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hot Dogs on the Fourth!

On the Fourth, join other park residents and Allison and Tony and enjoy that famous American meal: Hot Dogs!

Tony will cook up a batch of hot dogs, there'll be all the trimmin's plus some chips and a drink—all for a buck-and-a-half.

It sounds like a great way to celebrate independence, and, for one meal, independence from cooking! Come and meet some of your neighbors at the park the Rockport 35 RV Park way: by having a meal with them!

It just doesn't get much better than that!