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This week’s column is yet another “Hopscotch” column – meaning it will be about many things of great importance either fact or fiction.

As I was getting ready to mow our lawn of many brown patches, I heard a voice echoing between the dandelions. The voice said, “Keep mowing me high. It will help keep my roots cooler and me a lot happier during the heat.” (I wonder how much the dandelions paid the grass to deliver that message.)

The best thing to come out of Iowa is not I-35, it’s Andrew coming to Sears in Albert Lea from Sears in Osage, Iowa to temporarily help out.

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees baseball team has announced his retirement at the end of this season. Wearing Number 2, he has become one of the most respected players in baseball. At the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis, there was a billboard, “RES2ECT.” (Yes, you read this right, “respect” was spelled with Jeter’s uniform number to show respect.)

Per Lady Deliverer of Mail in Albert Lea: “Brian Kelly may be the best deliverer of mail in Albert Lea, but I’m a lot prettier!” (Those were the exact words of Chris Carlson.)

The 12th annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life held at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds in Albert Lea was awesome. 

Reading the story in the Star Eagle about 8-year-old Dacoda Malakowsky was made even better when he told his story in person. Dacoda truly earned a standing ovation at the Relay For Life.

The Hy-Vee stand ran out of food, Madelein’s Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies were all sold, the egg rolls were sold out – all the vendors were busy during Relay For Life. I estimate there were about 4,000 luminary bags with a candle and, when lighting, more than one person did so through tears. The lit spelling of “Hope” in the grandstand was most impressive through misty eyes.

Thanks to Dr. George Lunstrom and staff for purchasing a luminary in my name. Genie and I purchased luminaries in remembrance of family members having cancer.

Genie had Birthday No. Plenty-Nine-and-Holding on August 12. She decided that was the age where birthdays were no longer a one-day event, but rather a week-long celebration.

The week of celebration began with her and Gale Nelson (also an August 12 birthday girl) serving the after-church coffee hour at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church. (It was more like a brunch with all the trimmings.)

Monday was an all-day out, with her and Gale Nelson going to St. Ansgar, Iowa for a day of shopping and someone else fixing the meals.

Tuesday (the actual day of her birthday) we went to the Old Mill Restaurant in Austin, for a noon luncheon. The meal was topped off by a free birthday sundae with two spoons. Kim, our server, knew how to treat the VIP of the day (Genie).

Wednesday was a day of celebration at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Garner, Iowa. The life of Dan Farris was remembered and celebrated. Dan left this world at age 55 because of cancer (he was Genie’s cousin).

Thursday was a day of rest. Remember, even God rested a day of the Great Creation.

Friday was at the Steele County fair in Owatonna, with fair food and dancing on the grass.

Saturday was a repeat of Friday.

All of the week-long celebration was followed by my being tired and weak, with Genie gearing up for next year!


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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