1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country's flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day?
We don't fly the flag at home. The only American flag I have is the one that was given to my mom when my Dad died. She was presented the flag at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
My mom receiving the flag that
covered my dad's coffin.
Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)?
When the girls were about 2 and 4 years old, we traveled to Philadelphia. There were some historical things we did and places we visited.
Sadly, the thing that truly stands out for me about Philadelphia is the stressful trolley ride back to the hotel. Sophia was having fun, but Olivia was having a challenging time. It had been a long day and I think she just wanted to take a nap.
And then it happened. The mother of all diaper-fillers. Right. On. The. Trolley.
"Are you serious?" I thought. "Of all the places this could happen." There was nothing I could do at that point except wait until we got back to the hotel.
Thankfully, the girls and I were near the end of the ride and there were only a couple of other people on the trolley. The ride couldn't come to and end fast enough for me.
Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House?
YES! Thanks for jogging my memory. We did see that.
The Betsy Ross House.
Enjoyed the tour and learning more about Betsy Ross. I remember being in the courtyard waiting for the tour to begin. There were only so many people who could go into the house at any one time.
Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore?
I think I've been there when I visiting Washington D.C. It would have been about 25 or 26 years ago.
If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)
I don't think I saw Fort McHenry. Doesn't bring up any memories.
2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.
Not sure what this means. I'm clearly out of the loop on flags.
Olivia and Sophia learning about the U.S. flag
on July 4, 2011.
3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?
There's not a lot of songs that I enjoy listening to on the radio. If there is one I enjoy when I arrive at my destination, I may listen to it for a bit after the car is turned off.
When my Dad was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease,
I labeled his stereo so he would know how to turn it on.
Generally I don't listen to the end of a song. Either I need to go into the place that I've arrived at or I can hear the dogs howling for me to come inside. I love being welcomed home by the dogs. (Apparently in wolf packs, there is a wolf or two that stays back when the others go hunting. The dogs that stay will howl to guide the hunters back home.)
4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What's an expression you associate with your father?
The traits of qualities that I think of when I think of a good dad: Compassionate. Respectful. Understanding. Encouraging. Supportive. Loving.
A good dad is a provider to his family; is committed to his family; builds up and respects his wife; and makes time to spend with his family.
He finds joy in the simple things in life, wants to be at home, and makes time to see his children's activities.
In one of the buildings at the Historical Village at Pella, Iowa,
the girls sat down in the old desks
while my dad taught them something.
I don't know what.
They were just having fun in the little school setting.
(Taken on April 29, 2009.)
These are all things that describe my dad. He was, by far, an incredible good role model, an inspiration to me both as a person and in his service to others, and made such a positive impact in the world.
He seemed to know people wherever he went; and people were always so happy to be able to talk with him. He valued strong relationships with people; and those he loved knew they had a special place in his heart.
The people at the Scholte House in Pella, Iowa,
let my dad play the pump organ there.
He use to play the pump organ at his church
when he was growing up.
This was a highlight of the day for him
to be able to play a song on the old organ.
(Taken on April 30, 2009.)
I can't think of one expression that I associate with my dad. The one thing that I do miss is hearing him announce to my mom when I called, "Dorothy....it's ANN MARIE!!!!" It was like the biggest deal in the world that I called...or at least he made me feel that way. Both he and my mom genuinely cared about what I had to say. I miss that. A lot.
5. What's one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?
Nothing comes to mind as being a rule that I always disagreed with when I was growing up. The guidelines - rules - that my parents set for me were ones that I knew were set with love. The boundaries they set for us, the things they expected of us - these were all things that we knew kept us safe, happy, and out of trouble.
Having firm boundaries and guidelines with the girls when they were growing up (and still are growing up) is something that I've continued. I think of things that my parents did that helped provide that security, comfort, and knowledge that we were loved. These are things that I try to do with Sophia and Olivia.
6. Insert your own random thought here.
On Sunday, my sister and I went to St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church - the church that my parents founded in the 1970s when they moved from Minneapolis to Plymouth. Fr. Don was celebrating his 40th anniversary of his ordination of becoming a priest.
My parents thought very highly of Fr. Don; and he provided a tremendous amount of support, encouragement, and compassion during their later years - especially after my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and mom with multiple health ailments.
At any rate, after the mass, we went to the reception. Mary and I went up to congratulate him.
He was both surprised and very happy that we were there. He was so welcoming and appreciative of our parents and of us. It truly was a highlight of the week so far.
That day we also had a severe hail storm and strong winds. The sky changed to one of the eeriest shades of green that I've ever seen. Trees were swaying in the 60-70 mph winds. Hail was pummeling the building.
The storm on Sunday, June 11th.
When I came home, piles of hail were sitting on the sides of the roads. Pulverized leaves were strewn on the roads. In some parts of the metro area, there was so much hail that they had to bring out snowplows to clear the streets. I've never seen anything like it in my entire year...over half a century!
Later that evening, I found out that the berry patch that we enjoy going to - and have been going to for over 20 years - was devastated by the hail. They lost everything - all their plants were pulverized or the berries blew off the plants.
Today, I found out that the CSA that we are members of also was significantly affected. Many plants were decimated by the hail. Lots of hard work - gone in less than ten minutes. The sad thing is, this particular CSA provides a home and work for many developmentally disabled adults. It follows the Camphill philosophy; and does so much to help the adults live meaningful and productive lives with one another.
We were fortunate not to have had that level of damage....just some branches and leaves down.
Tuesday night/Wednesday morning another storm came through with significant lightening and loud booms of thunder. There were several strikes very close to us. We lost power about 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. It was restored by 10:30 a.m.