Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
A municipal election will be held on April 4 to elect 2 members of the city council with 4 running, Collinsville Township Board 4 to be elected with 6 running. Also on the ballot will be candidates for the library board and school board. Tuesday night a forum was held for which all candidates were invited to meet the public and answer some questions as to why they desire the position.
Every candidate took part except two incumbent members of the city council.
Wednesday afternoon about 3:45 we got an email telling us the seminary campus had a water line break and all water to the campus would be shut off until it was fixed. We were lucky that day because we were in Collinsville so that Dale could help with Ash Wednesday services. We'd planned to spend the night and most of Thursday over there so having no water did not affect us. This break was part of the campus water line not the city's or Missouri American Water so it was up to the seminary to see that the work was done. I wasn't around so I don't know who exactly did the work, most likely we brought in some outside people, but I do know it was quite the break.
However, by 8-ish that night we got another email saying that the work was finished and the water was back on. Good news for everyone here that it was completed fairly quickly. But here is a question for water line experts.
When the water line broke recently in front of our house in Collinsville after the work was done everyone on our street got a notice that we must boil our water until further notice. For whatever reason this is always done in Collinsville when a water main breaks and water is shut off. But here, no such notice or email about boiling water.
I wonder why. When Ferdie and I got back here last night the first thing I did was fill his water bowl and then after he'd gulped some down I realized that maybe I shouldn't have given him water until I found out for sure about its safety. Why would one municipality always have a boil notice and another not?
Yesterday I went over to Holy Cross in Collinsville with two of our seminary students who work part time in the communications department. This department does most of the work involved with publicity in all forms and students are excellent photographers. The school is celebrating Lutheran School Week and as this is also the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, staff wanted to do something which involved everyone. it was decided to attempt to have all the kids form the Luther Seal in the gym. This seal is synonymous with Luther.
All the classes were assigned one color to wear. The seal contains yellow, blue, white, red and black. Then Mrs. Shimkus made a circle on the gym floor in inside of it she placed small pieces of paper with those 5 colors on them so the children would know where to stand. It was then hoped that all the colors would turn that mass of students and teachers into a Luther Rose.
The photograph had to be taken from above to make it work and that was the main issue. At first it was thought bringing the seminary drone over would do the trick but it turns out drones need to be in a GPS area to be able to move up, down, side to side, and it is not available indoors, only outside. Then we learned that Holy Cross actually owns a lift! I mean, seriously? So many of us at the seminary wish we had a lilt because there are many times we really need to get up higher and safer than with a ladder. Anyway, George brought in the lift, one of our sem students got aboard with the church's lift driver and it worked great. Here's a look at how it went.
If you click the pictures they enlarge and you can see the faces really well.
Seminary students Aaron and Mark
Mrs. Shimkus showing the students the seal and explaining what each color meant. to begin all the students were on the bleachers.
These are just a few of the classes waiting to get going.
Pastor Wright participated as well and even wore his Luther Seal socks with Luther's famous words, "Here I stand".
Esther Comfort Dog was part of the picture and she was with her handlers and staff.
Then it was time to get going. The kids were placed on their colored marks and the lift rolled up.
And rose higher and higher
The school audience was amazed
And here we go
At the end sem student Mark noticed a few balls which had gotten caught in the ceiling rafters and he began tossing them down to the kids.
Fun way to end an event which worked out better than we hoped. Very cool morning.
Got a call early yesterday morning from our Collinsville next door neighbor who told me our street was filling up with water. He thought we had a water main break but couldn't tell if the break was in front of our house or down the street. But, water was bubbling up pretty fast from our curb and the water was running over the sidewalk at the end of the block. We're up higher than those houses near the corner so water flows down, not up hill, so most likely the break was in front of our house.
We had no idea if the break was on our property or city property, but certainly hoped it was not ours since we had our line replaced a couple of years ago. Our neighbor John called the city and was told someone would be out when they got into work. Dale had to be over in Collinsville to officiate at a funeral so he left right away to see what was going on and check our basement for water. No water in the basement.
While he was at the house a water department person arrived and after a very brief check knew it was the city's line because the road surface was spongy from water. And he was right. Thankfully. The water guys did a great job, thorough and efficient. They had to cut a wide rectangle in the street to get at the problem, fixed the line and filled in the hole. All in fairly good time all things considered. There was a boil order and at this point I don't know if it has been lifted.
Hopefully the gravel fill will be topped with a permanent surface at some point. We thank the water department for their work.
Yesterday I took Ferdie over to an annual Collinsville event, Christmas at the Willoughby Farm. Some of our Holy Cross Lutheran School students were to play Christmas music on handbells and chimes which I wanted to see, plus the farm is now a heritage site right smack in the middle of town and very neat to walk through. There are animals galore and barns and a historically redone farm house. Ferdie loves going there as you might expect, being screamed at by Guinea Hens and seeing small donkeys and horses and cows and chickens etc. If you live near Collinsville you really need to make a visit.
The inside of the barn has been lit up and decorated for the season and the tree in the background originally belonged to Holy Cross and sat in the sanctuary during Advent through Epiphany.
At any public event this time of year Santa is sure to appear.
Every wall in the barn is hung with old farm tools
Holy Cross music director got the program going
Can you find Ferdie?
These 3 men were about to give hayrides.
Then the cute animals
These guinea hens are so funny. Sometimes they'll be racing at top speed along the ground, but when they sense possible trouble they fly up to the top of the chicken coop and just scream. Like they did here at Ferdie who actually paid them no mind at all. He was more interested in the smells of the little donkeys
And a miniature horse named Beau who was very eager for some attention.
There are also goats and cows and chickens and sheep, about any farm animal you can think of. If you haven't been there you should go.
The evening of November 30, 2006 the entire St. Louis region was hit by an ice storm which brought down power lines and trees which had a many people waking up on December 1, in dark, very cold homes. This came after a week of fairly warm days and was the second major regional storm that year. The first came in July during a particularly nasty hot and humid spell of weather. As in December, that storm saw people without power for almost a week.
Early in the evening of November 30, I went out in the icy sleet to see what things looked like. We had just put out our blue and white trees and things seemed fairly pretty and benign but it was all just appearance, the ground was a slippery as could be.
This picture brings back memories of our first attempt at decorating our campus yard. We began with just the trees and now we have an entire village we call Tiny Town. I'll put up a few pictures of tiny town in a day or two.
Then we woke up on December 1, freezing without power. It was a shocker having to go through this for the second time in 5 months. The campus workers, students and staff did everything they could to get people to warm places. The dining hall building had power for some reason and we were able to get most everyone in there. Others stayed outside working to remove big fallen limbs and trees.
It had its pretty moments, but the 20 degree temperatures were painful.
Here are some of our students and staff who were taking a break from working out in the slippery cold.
Of all the people in that picture, only Gayle is still here. The men staff have retired and the students have long graduated.
Then if you were in Collinsville, it was just as bad. The library's Blum House front yard was pretty much destroyed.
Yesterday was filled with people, music, food and beautiful weather. Holy Cross put on its annual Wurstmart featuring great sausage and many side dishes. Many members of the church work really hard to make this annual day a success.
The customers wait in the gym before being sent to tables
The carry out area as also in the gym this year which made it much easier on those who carried out and those who worked there.
The serving line for those who ate in was in the cafeteria
At 4:00 the seminary was the location of the first of several services and celebrations coming in future months commemorating the 2017 500th anniversary of the Reformation begun by Martin Luther. The chapel was filled to the brim and the singing and music shook the rafters.
Afterward as it was getting dark there was beer and brats for all out be the fountain.
Roofers arrived this morning really early to begin replacing our roof. I seriously have to apologize to our neighbors for all the noise and disruption. I'm hopeful this work will only be an issue for a day or a day and a half.
We really needed the roof done, especially the part over the dormer which had a break in the membrane which let rain into the window of the upper window. So far the wood underneath the old roof looks good.