Posts tagged ‘birthday’


. . . And so much to be thankful for. 

My dad has been gone for three decades.  My mom for a quarter of a century.  In addition, there have been at aunts and uncles and grandparents that have gone on before me who are part of every single cell in my body.  I miss them all.

My two sisters Jean and Cher and their husbands Tim and Ger and their families – a great start to a list of family that extends to cousins near and far, nephews, nieces, (and GRAND-versions of those relations) near and far from every branch of the family, including a great group of in-laws.  Aunt Shirley, my dad’s last remaining sibling, a 94-year-old sister, adds her energy to our family functions. There’s my wife Sue, who has been with me coming up on four decades, (through rain, or snow, or shine).  Our two kids Heidi (and her Hubby Jon) and Steven (and his fiancé Shea), who have been so wonderful and such sources of joy.  And two grandsons – Jonathan, who will be two years old on Christmas Day, and Henry, who just joined us two weeks ago.

There are so many more – and naming names is simply too voluminous, so I won’t try, but I give thanks to God that I am surrounded by so many fantastic people.

There are many from my early years who I still see online or in person that date back to kindergarten – and that was 1959, folks!  Great friends that have delivered so much to my soul and being … friends from Parkville, from Mt. Iron High School, from the youth groups at church, and then on to Gustavus Adolphus College, where lifelong friendships flourished and still abound. I am proud to include former teachers and professors as well.

I spent half of my life as a teacher for the Pillager School district – a career of 34 years with great people – fellow teachers and students alike.  Some have left this world; some are still a big part of my life.  There’s no end to the list of people who blessed my professional career in Pillager, and then overlapped into my everyday life.

My entire adult life has been spent in the Brainerd area, resulting in so many good friends beyond my work at Pillager.  They are in the church choir, they are from plays and musical performances I’ve been involved with around the area, they are folks I’ve met through a great many different engagements.  After retirement, I found even more people who helped me foster some other pursuits – mentors from writing groups, bowling league team members, photo club gurus, and all-around experiences that have defined these retirement years.

The Facebook way on birthdays is to send comments and likes – and I am so glad to have so many friends and family who will acknowledge me on my birthday – I am always amazed at who takes the time and the good will to send a like or to add a word or two in the comments.  You are all so very special to me.  I always feel so good reading such messages.  And here’s a thought . . .

Facebook will often give the birthday people a chance to designate a charity to honor a birthday – that’s all good, but I want to break out of that notion. Here’s something I’d like you to consider instead of leaving me a birthday comment (but go ahead and do that too.  I am enough of a ham to feed sumptuously on that . . .).  It is immediate, it is easy, and it is beneficial. 

Take that good will I mentioned a few paragraphs back and share it with another.  Allow me to make some suggestions:  ask your grocery store clerk if they’re having a good day. Greet someone at work that you usually don’t see often enough. Let someone go first at a four way stop.  Pet your dog a little longer.  Smile at that person who is on the other side of your political fence.  Call that person you haven’t heard from in a while. Don’t get mad at the news (that’s a gift to yourself, really.)  Give thanks to anyone for a beautiful day.  Have that extra treat with your lunch – and get one for someone else while you’re at it.  Listen a little longer to whoever you need to listen a little longer to.  Add your own ideas – each one of you has it in you to do so.

And if anyone asks you what you’re up to, you can tell them you’re just doing an old TV commercial thing.  (You have to be about my age to know which commercial it is . . .)

Just tell them, “Charlie sent you.”

Thank you all.  Deus nobis familia et amicis.


Week 48

And so, week 48 and I am now officially 60 years old – I had to do nothing but endure the passage of time to get to this point … but like I’ve been telling everyone, 60 is six perfect tens.  I love that idea.  It sure beats the heck out of being all negative and poopy about turning such a milestone type age.. and more on this later….

Our daughter had come home for Thanksgiving – which meant we had to bring her back to the airport (150 miles one way) on Monday.  To complicate matters, the weather decided it was going to be wintry and uncooperative – and I’ve developed a dread of driving in such conditions.  Fortunately, our daughter has a friend  (who grew up with her, attending the same daycare, and becoming a nurse just like our daughter) who was willing to meet us at the northwest corner of the cities, saving us a good two hours of rush hour traffic.  That was a huge blessing – otherwise we would have been driving home in one lane traffic after dark, which is SO not what I wanted to do…. We got home about 5 pm Monday, still having faced one lane driving for the last 45 miles or so, but it was mostly in the light, which is a lot easier on my nerves.

Tuesday and Wednesday were the snow events of the week.  Eleven inches in all, two snowblower runs, pulled snow off the roof – the whole winter home maintenance thing… I do have to get out of here for a bit to survive this winter….

Wednesday also found me very grateful for my dear wifey Wilma…. It was my turn to bring breakfast to Men’s Bible Study that morning, and she whipped up two pans of her ‘egg pizza’ … it was a huge hit with the guys – to the point of one of the wives contacting us and wanting the recipe …. So … here it is for you…..


Crescent Sausage ‘n Cheese Bake


1 (8 oz.) pkg. Crescent Rolls

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Brown and Serve or Little Sizzlers (thaw slightly for easier cutting)

2 c. shredded Monterey Jack or Swiss Cheese

2 T. chopped green peppers (optional) fresh or dried

4 eggs

¾  c. milk

½ tsp. each of salt and pepper

¼ tsp. oregano

Preheat oven to 425. Place crescent rolls in an ungreased 13X9 inch pan; press over bottom and up ½ inch on sides.  Place slice of sausage over crust. Sprinkle with cheese and optional green peppers. Put eggs in bowl and beat slightly, mix remaining ingredients and pour over cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Keeps well in the refrigerator and heat up well in microwave. You can prepare and store the dry and liquid ingredients separately the night before.


The guys and I ate well that morning – and it paid off later that day when I bowled a nice 217 as part of my bowling for the day.

Thursday – if it wasn’t bad enough that there was a mess of snow, Mother Nature added a good subzero attack into the mix.  We started a run of below zero every morning since that day to today … don’t know when it will break, but the sooner the better.

Friday – my official 60th birthday – and a good time indeed.  Mother in law called me in the morning, daughter called me around noon, son had called the night before — and then off to Grizzly’s to join my former work buddies for an evening of frolic and visiting.  I was tickled to see Doug and Linda there – he was my first principal I had ever worked for – and he has proven to be the best of those that filled that job … and then so many other good folks…. It was a good time indeed.  Wilma and I got home and she presented me with my gifts … a new bowling bag (large enough to hold the shoes as well) and a new sweatshirt…which I am wearing as I type …. It was a nice day.

Saturday – more cold, but run errands.  WE did one more birthday event by taking dinner at Olive Garden … and we always bring home the leftovers, so we ate well for sure.

Sunday was church – our choir director’s husband is having some health problems, so we ended up doing as best we could for her – she’s so consumed with what his illness – she can use all the help we can give, so we did our best with our song for the day  — and we hope things fare well for them.

Sunday afternoon found Wilma and me taking in a concert by a group of folks we know quite well… the post prior to this one gives you the idea…. It was a nice way to kick off the Christmas concert season…. Here’s hoping there’s more music like it….