Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hana and I spent the last two days in blizzardy Killdeer town celebrating Christmas with the grand/parents. Look at these snow drifts that welcomed us back to our house in Dunn Center today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Congratulations, Dale Bentley, on surviving double implant surgery (kidneys & liver)!

You're a soldier--the John Wayne of historical preservationists.

May the days, in your honor, begin to lengthen immediately.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I was Santa yesterday. That's me to the left.

Youngsters showed up at Dunn Center City Hall to let old Sandy Claus in on what they wanted for Christmas. I'd listen, ask a few questions, and then hand each one a brown paper bag filled with peanuts in the shell, an apple, and a candy cane.

I can't say I did the greatest job of playing Kris Kringle, but I enjoyed trying. It's possible I was the only one Mayor Brown could find who could fit into the suit!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Grandpa and Grandma invited Hana and me and the folks over for a lutefisk supper last night. Lutefisk is cod Jell-O mixed with lye. The sad part is that I'm beginning to like it. Hana about gagged.

One good thing about lutefisk is, if placed strategically, it will keep raccoons from living under your house. Come spring, though, you might find some Norwegians under there.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My dear friend and neighbor, Vivian (Rayma Marian Morrell) Knutson, has crossed over the Great Divide. She was 84. A week ago she was as vivacious and nimble as a cat, buzzing around her house listening to Christian talk radio and taking notes. She reminded me of a pioneer woman. From my porch I would often see her hauling two sloshing five-gallon buckets of water for her tomato plants. She was a bona fide cowgirl until the end.

From her obituary:

[Vivian] thoroughly enjoyed riding her horse, Snip, to and from school and had other horses throughout her youth, including Fleet and Coalie. Part of her was a daring tomboy who was thrilled to be her dad’s farm/ranch helper. She loved trailing cattle to and from her father’s homestead in the Little Missouri Badlands. She loved to reminisce about her youth and especially enjoyed growing up with her Kling cousins.

Vivian had a heart as big as Dunn County and spent most of her life serving her family and others. She loved family trips, camping at Voigt’s Bay, her father’s cabin at Lake Ilo, family reunions, history, holidays and picnics. She pursued her passions with gusto and will be remembered for growing cherry tomatoes year-round, baking delicious buns and taking photos of everyone and everything that touched her heart. She enjoyed studying God’s word, was an avid Christian-radio listener and freely shared her faith with anyone. She loved half cups of hot, hot coffee and the challenge of serving good, hot meals to horseback riders moving cattle to or from the Badlands.
Vivian has been woven into my life since I was in first grade, when she was my first Sunday School teacher. Earlier this year I volunteered to drive her to Bismarck for some errands. When we arrived home, she handed me a check to buy two wooden rocking chairs for my front porch. When I protested, she told me to think of the chairs as a housewarming gift. She said she wanted young people stay and flourish in Dunn Center, and she hinted that a second rocking chair might help attract a partner into my life. Perhaps I have her to thank for my girlfriend!

Hana and Vivian became friends immediately when they met in June. Vivian hired Hana once a week to clean her house, organize pictures, and curl her hair. Hana and I are both very sad this week. We wish there was still a light on in the old house across the street.

The funeral will be this Wednesday. I'll be trucking and, unfortunately, will miss both the wake and funeral.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

My new CD, All the Things I Done Wrong, looks to be complete soon.
Song order:
  1. Corpse
  2. Michael Jackson
  3. Stomach's on Fire
  4. All the Things I Done Wrong
  5. Day's Wages
  6. Buddha Chant
  7. Pegasus
  8. Mister, I Can't Save Your Daughter
  9. Tsunami
  10. Your Mind is Mine
Dunn Center is looking Christmas-y today. Snow has arrived. The post office and city hall both put up their plastic trees.

Also, two Black Angus bulls broke through Vivian's fence and are roaming through town.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Bad news from the badlands:

"Pearl Drop," my white Subaru, died.

Zero trucking runs in November.

My sweet neighbor Vivian had a stroke yesterday and is in a coma.