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As my Norwegian father used to say, “Yeenie, Yeenie, Yeenie, you are so busy in August, it must be your birthday month.” (He was right.)

Genie received many telephone calls, birthday presents and cards, plus in-person well wishes. She served birthday cake at the coffee hour in church and we sang “Happy Birthday” to her. She had a “Fair”-ly good time going to the Freeborn County Fair, the Steele County Fair (where we danced on the grass), and the Minnesota State Fair. She went out to breakfast at two different places, plus four different places for lunch in Albert Lea, and a dinner theater, plus the Hanson relatives’ birthday celebration at Olivia’s Restaurant in Owatonna for the evening meal. (Cheryl from Sacramento, Calif. attended and afterward we went to the Steele County Fair.) Olivia and staff made Genie feel like “Queen For the Occasion” as they brought her warm peach pie with French vanilla ice cream. Olivia is most certainly an expert at getting repeat business. (I did promise Olivia I’d mention our being there provided the experience was good. To which she replied, ”No problem.”)

One of the great birthday doings for Genie was going on a full bus to Lutheran Night at the Twins baseball game the day of her birthday, August 12. I think all the Lutheran powers, plus the Twins powers, decided to honor Genie by having Lutheran Night at the Twins on her birthday.

Gale Nelson also had a birthday on August 2, so we sang happy birthday to them on the bus. They both had their name and birthday greetings on the Twins scoreboard the fifth inning. They both had “Circle Me Bert” signs to hold up in their seats at the Twins game. Genie’s sign was “Circle Me Bert, It’s My Birthday, I’m Over the Speed Limit.” Gale’s sign was the same except for “Over” was “Under.” Sad to say, neither one was circled. (The Twins won.)

Drawings for eighteen prizes were held on the bus on the way to the game. Natalie Fell was drawn to help lead us in singing the National Anthem. (She can really belt out a tune.) Five-year-old Levi Griggs was drawn for a DQ Twins cap. (He wore it to bed that night and it has become part of his daily wearing apparel.) Spousal combinations drawn were Tonya and Joel Treptow, Gale and Lynn Nelson. Father-son combination drawn was LeRoy and Dennis Everhard. Barb First and bus driver Marilyn Matson were drawn for a 2013 Wins Yearbook each. Spencer Dahl was drawn for Twins miscellany to add to his collection.

Thanks to Laurel at Arby’s in Albert Lea for “Buy One – Get One” coupons for youth on the bus.

Thanks to Jamie, Hannah and Patty at DQ in Albert Lea for coupons for everyone on the bus.

Thanks to Guyla, Tricia and Terry at KFC in Albert Lea for a coupon designed like a Twins baseball for everyone on the bus.

If you have never paid $6 for a hot dog made in Albert Lea (Schweigert’s), paid $4.50 for a cup of soda pop, talked to Ginger or seen her play the organ, spun the wheel for a prize at Treasure Island Casino, sat behind Home Plate at the top of the stadium – in other words, been to a Twins baseball game …

Get with it! Go with us on the F.R.O.G. bus to Lutheran Night at the Twins next summer to experience the above. (There were 14 first-timers on the Twins F.R.O.G. bus this year.)

Next F.R.O.G. bus trip is to Christmas By The Lake on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Clear Lake, Ia.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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