another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Well, let's start the blogging catch-up with what I did last weekend. Namely, go back to Iowa for the funeral of my Aunt Viola Tjarks ...

To be very specific, Viola was the wife of my Dad's brother Arend, and was my last surviving aunt or uncle. It'd been a number of years since I last saw her ... at my Uncle Leon's funeral (works out that way all too often, I guess).

We'd usually see Arend and Viola at family gatherings -- especially New Year's Day when we'd have pretty much my Dad's whole family over. That was the pattern until I went to college at Iowa State. Arend and Viola lived in Ames, so I made a habit of visiting them every week or two. Thus I got to know them better than most of my the rest of my aunts or uncles. I'd go over and visit for a half hour or an hour, just to chat. Frequently, it was on new comics day, because I could take care of two things at once in that section of Ames, away from the college. After Ellen and I were married she and I would keep up the pattern of visiting Viola and Arend (and then just Viola, as Arend passed away that fall). As Ellen says, we were helped considerably in our food budget by Viola giving us vegetables from their garden that she'd canned.

And Viola was famous for her Kringla (that link looks pretty close to her recipe). So, it was cool that for the funeral lunch some of her great-grandkids made a number of trays of Kringla to serve. Very fitting.

I got a chance to visit with many of my cousins that I rarely see (yep, usually for funerals), including some of my first-cousins' kids (Viola's grandchildren) that are pretty much the same age as I am (and so I mostly hung with them at family gatherings). I hadn't seen them for 25 years since we lived in Ames and hung out at Viola's house.

Anyway, the funeral was on Friday morning (Dec 2), and since Ellen and I were most of the way there anyway we drove on to Missouri Valley and visited my mom and Ellen's family for the rest of the weekend. Nothing eventful -- I took care of some errands for my mom, and we harrassed our niece Rachel as she was serving/cooking at a pancake breakfast. We drove back on Sunday, listening to the Bears beat the Packers and ogling all the cars and truck that had driven off the road, presumably during the snowfall on Saturday. For our drive it was clear and the roads were dry, so no problems, but that Saturday must have been pretty bad driving.


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