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On a balmy Saturday December 6th with the temperature of 39 degrees, 56 people boarded a coach bus in Albert Lea. With Marilyn Matson at the helm, the bus sponsored by Fully Rely on God (F.R.O.G.) of Central Freeborn Lutheran Church, headed south on I-35. 

Twelve games of “Deal or No Deal” were played on the bus. Winners were Gene Wangen, Diane Wangen, Betty Gulbrandson, Starr Hanson, Donna Stolaas, Trudy Moberg, Linda Boroff, Darlene Hauge, Diane Elmer, Becky Boelter, Cassandra Johnson, and Dorothy Kirsch.

A Christmas stocking from the Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce shaped like a litter bag was given to each person on the bus. In the bag were coupons from Keith at Slumberland, Jamie at DQ South, Sara and Holly at Perkins and Guyla at KFC.

We reached our destination of “Christmas by the Lake” and Marilyn parked the bus such that we could see the lighted Christmas parade and the fireworks shot over the ice from the bus. We even had about an hour to tour main street with all the Christmas activities.

After the excellent fireworks, with a loud fireball at the end, we headed for KFC. Mari and staff greeted us empty and sent us full back to Albert Lea after an All You Want buffet. They even sent left overs with us!

To show our appreciation Lowell Elmer led us in singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” as we departed in a bright full moon.

The evening concluded with Marilyn driving the bus through the live nativity at the Christian church on Marshall Street in Albert Lea.

By now most of you have figured out the bus went south of the border to Clear Lake, Iowa. The Chamber of Commerce staff in Clear Lake rate a 12 on a scale of one to ten. Libby helped us with arrangements plus prizes on the bus. Every Chamber has a character on the staff with Clear Lake being no exception. Her name tag, the name plate on her desk, her tattoo plus her Iowa car license all say the same one word, “Kweenbe.”

The Christmas by the Lake bus is planned for December 7, 2015. (It is always the first Saturday in December.)

The next planned F.R.O.G. party is a Valentine’s Day party with pizza and pop followed by 12 games of fast moving Norwegian Bingo and ending with an ice cream buffet at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church on Saturday evening February 7th.

Many, many moons ago at this time, Mary ad Joseph were really in a bind, as she was about ready to deliver a son and they couldn’t find an inn to stay at. The little feller born in a manger was named Jesus. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.


Lorraine Haug: I have a room waiting for you. I have called you and now you are mine. GOD

Readers – is there a room waiting for you?


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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