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Oh, what a great week it was! On Thursday we picked up Dan and Laurie at the Rochester airport. Deb and Roland flew into Minneapolis, rented a car, and we all met at the Comfort Inn (by Trails Travel Center) where the four of them stayed the five nights they were in Albert Lea.

Thursday evening meal was at the completely-changed restaurant in Trails. (It is very nice.) This was the first time all six of us had been together since my retirement 15 years ago. Time goes by too fast!

Friday was the day of setting up and decorating for our 50th Wedding Anniversary, held the next day at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church.

If you’re looking for professional decorating and layout of a church at your wedding anniversary, Gale Nelson and Sue Mickelson are the pros. They are so good, they only do 50th Anniversaries!

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 was our 50th Anniversary party, from 2 to 5 p.m. We were married Saturday, Sept. 28, 1963 at 2:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Clear Lake, Iowa.

The pastor who married us got a bit confused. The Best Man was Robert (Tollefson) and I was Robert (Hanson). He got the last names mixed up and the Best Man signed the Iowa marriage document as the Groom, and I signed as the Best Man. Thus the Best Man became a bigamist, as he was married to Dorothy. I was then the Best Man at my own wedding. Fortunately, the pastor noticed the error before we left the church, and with a little White Out and re-signing, the error was corrected.

The Open House 50th at Central was just great. There were about 200 people who attended or were involved. Thanks, thanks, and more thanks to all of you who attended and/or sent cards plus in-person well-wishes.

The family celebration continued at The Willows in New Richland on Saturday night. Those in attendance were from California, North Carolina, Vermont, Iowa and Minnesota. Unfortunately, three of the wedding party are deceased, and two were unable to attend because of health reasons.

Dani was our great waitress at The Willows. She promised to be just as good if we held our 100th at The Willows. Genie and I said, “Deal.”

Sunday was church day plus rest if one wanted to. Dan and Laurie took Gary Fischer up on his offer to be at the farm Sunday evening to see pheasants at dusk. Gary fulfilled the offer plus, as they saw not only pheasants but also deer.

What a great day for a Soup and Pie Supper on Monday, Sept. 30 at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church! It was a little windy with a warm temperature and no rain. 745 people were fed. (We have fed over 800.) The prediction was 700, so we ran out of some food items. Even so, everyone got enough food to overflow their tummy.

Mary Ann Atchison was the chair, with Linda Anderson, Kathy Legried and Diane Thompson co-chairs. They surrounded themselves with good workers and the results showed it!

On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Dan and Laurie flew back to Vermont and Deb and Roland flew back to North Carolina. (Genie and I napped in the p.m.)

To complete the week, we had a pizza-watermelon evening meal at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church on Wednesday. The main theme was Fun and Fellowship to Fuse Generations. Thus it was called “Faith Fusion.” To be an active church, we most certainly need fusing of membership. (About 60 attended.)


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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