Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dear Gram

30 October 2002

Dear A.J.:

Brrrr, it is cold! We had snow nearly all day yesterday and the temperature plummeted from a comfortable 40 something to below freezing. The snow was light, but the wind had to blow, too. We had planned to go to Ellsworth, but decided it would be wise to wait for a better day.

Only 6 days and it will be over. The longest and nearly the meanest pre-election campaign I can remember. I've known for months which candidates I would vote for and the bitterness is only "politics as usual". It just seems the badmouthing starts earlier each time. Most of the voters are intelligent and know who is telling the truth and who isn't. Or at least I think they are.

It's hard to believe you are 21 already. Where does the time go? I can't remember anything special about my 21st birthday. I was in the Air Force and probably no one knew but me. I was a pretty young 21, too. Didn't "grow up" for several more years. Probably some time after your mother was born. It is supposed to happen at 21. So many adult privileges start then, but I believe i all depends on the individual. I suppose my best time was in my early 40s. My family was growing up, I still was healthy and vigorous, and the future was looking brighter for us all. Not perfect, but greatly improved.

Sunday morning about 11:00, Gramps and I went to Uncle Sam's Casino as we've been doing for several weeks. They serve pretty good breakfasts for very little money and afterwards Gramps goes home to watch football and I stay there to play Keno. As we were sitting down, I looked toward another table and saw a lady whom I was positive was someone I knew. You grandfather urged me to go talk to er, but I hesitated until I could see she and her party were ready to leave. Took all my courage, but I got up and confronted her. She did not recognize me at all until I told her who I am. She was Mary Mudge, my roommate at Northern in Aberdeen when we were both 23. After that year in college, I ran into her again in Rapid City and we shared an apartment until I was married. The last time I had seen her was when your mom and Doug were little. That's more than 40 years ago. Anyway, I had been keeping an eye out for her since we moved back to Rapid 7 years ago. I had an address and phone number, but Iwas afraid to call for fear she had died or divorced. She and her husband, David Hardy, have 4 sons who, of course, are grown. They were leaving shortly to spend the witner somewhere in Mexico as they do each winter. Time has taken its toll on all 4 of us, but it is really a thrill to have actually found her and to know she is happy and well. We'll get together after they get back here.

Gramps and Scotty went out right after breakfast and cleaned the walks and driveway free of snow. No walk for Scotty as his feet get too cold and his toenails bleed. Wish there were a way to explain it to him, but we just have to endure is unhappy eyes.

I guess I'll fix beef stew for dinner tonight. Last night we had baked ham and sweet potatoes. Strange how much easier it was to cook when I had 5 others to please. Now, I could do without it, as you remember.

So, congratulations on your one and only 21st birthday. Keep happy and "May the wind always be at your back"--to partially quote an old Irish blessing.

Love,

Gram, Gramps, and Scotty




26 August 2008

Dear Gram,

I love you. I absolutely love you.

Always,

A.J.

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