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.
Wherever Ferdie goes, his bear goes and today they went with us to Collinsville. For some reason Ferdie dropped his bear in the front yard and went on to checking out other things. And there Bear sat until a neighbor put Bear on our rocking chair on the front porch. He sat next to a stuffed raccoon which another neighbor had given us as a joke for all the real raccoons we'd dealt with in our yard.
Cute, eh? Bear has his arm on the arm of the chair like a real person. Finally Ferdie discovered him.
And that was the end of bear on the chair.
But we also had another kind of funny bear story. Tomorrow is our grandson Connor's birthday and when I asked him what he wanted, he said "a giant bear". I looked everywhere today and frankly, with Valentine's Day tomorrow, it seems giant bears are a popular gift from husband to wife, boyfriend to girlfriend and vice versa. I dispaired of finding this bear and I knew he wanted one because he'd asked for a giant bear at Christmas but no one believed him. Finally I walked into Schnuck's and there was a giant bear right in front of me in the floral department which puts truth to my belief that these things are big Valentine's presents. Right there with all the men buying bouquets. I got the only bear left and he is as cute as can be and really really soft. I put him in the grocery cart just like I would a toddler and we shopped. Many other shoppers tried to pretend they didn't notice the huge bear riding along like a human, while other got a big laugh.
He is now on our couch waiting to be presented to our Valentine grandson born on the 14th of February 8 years ago.
Katie and Charlie and the boys were settled in to the second day of being snowbound yesterday with no end in sight. The streets in their subdivision hadn't been plowed nor did it appear plowing would be done anytime soon. But, at some point in the day several boys in their neighborhood came by and shoveled their driveway enough that their car could get out whenever that time comes. How nice was that? The deep snow was just too much for one person to have accomplished.
Riley checked it out and Drew was still working in the background. I read a story on WTOP in Washington DC which explained why subdivisions and other areas where people live would be the last to get plowed. The process starts with the main arterial streets and highways so that trucks can deliver goods and services to local places. If the main roads aren't cleared then there is no point to leaving home because there wouldn't be anything you could do or anyplace to go.
I do know the Bailey's are very close to being out of food things and it would be so nice if they could get out at some point today.
This picture was taken by Katie at around 3 in the afternoon when there was one of those "hopefully the snow is over" kind of times. But no. Pretty soon it began snowing again and hard and wind. So luckily they were able to get the boys out one more time to run off some energy. You can just make out Charlie and Jake in the distance while Drew stopped to do something with a snow board. That shoveled area is the driveway. Hahahahaha. Charlie must have kept at it all day, doing it over and over. No way a car fits through that opening. But it might make a nice luge run.
Honestly, I've watched so much weather because of this blizzard, I half believe when I look out our window, I'll see tons of snow.
By 8 this morning Katie and Charlie and the boys had a ton of snow out in the Maryland side of DC, but that didn't stop them from getting out to shovel and let Riley the dog, who loves loves loves the snow, get a chance to play.
I'd say Charlie shoveled enough for one day.
Then Katie used a tree in the backyard to practice trapeze while the snow doubled as a net.
It's kind of hard to tell, but she's hanging upside down. Now that is crazy...
I know. My kids are adults and have kids of their own, but I still worry. The Washington DC area and much of the central northeast corridor is looking at a huge blizzard with snow up to two feet.
I start imagining all kinds of things. Will they be stuck at work and not get to the little boys. Do they have enough food to get through the weekend? When you live and work in DC you do your grocery shopping on weekends because there isn't time to do it during the week. Will they stay off the road? Will one or the other be stranded at work?
It's my brother in laws birthday today, an all around best guy who gets into some of the more interesting situations while bike riding, running, golf working, and especially bird picture taking. In honor of his birthday, some bird photos he took which have been unforgettable.
Pretty cool pictures, eh? But then this:
All in a Chicago area backyard. Timing is everything with a camera.
Yesterday, January 16, 1919, was the anniversary of the start of Prohibition in the United States. This liquor free era lasted until 1935 and brought with it secret stills, secret drinking halls, secret passwords and public crime by bootleggers and mob guys. Dale and I were talking about this period of time today while he was reading a book on Chicago Heights history. The "Heights" located in the south Chicago suburbs, was a mecca of illegal stills and the center of the production and distribution of illegal alcohol in the Midwest. The Chicago Heights mob affiliated with Al Capone and was a source of quite a bit of income for him. When the local paper, the Chicago Heights Star, became publicly critical of these gangsters they bombed its offices.
This conversation had me remembering our family's prohibition era heritage on the south side of Chicago's Roseland neighborhood. My grandfather was a drummer who played in a band during that time, almost always in secret speakeasies. Actually most likely not so secret, lots of local authorities were probably paid off to look the other way. My dad was a young kid during most of that time who learned the password to give at the door of these places so he could get in. And, bands back then weren't what we think of as bands now. Much more formal. Here's an old of photo of the band my grandfather was a part of back in those days. He's in the back row on the left.
One of my more prized family items is my grandfathers drum practice pad and sticks.