“Go tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere go tell it on the mountain the Jesus Christ is born”
With the words of this hymn I greet you once again with my annual Christmas letter.
The '11-'12 winter started out like last one but it did not last long about mid Dec the other shoe dropped and we had a lot of snow and cold that lasted until almost the end of April ,one of the latest winters anyone can remember. Complicating matters were some ice storms during the winter that made everything very slippery. Things finally warmed up and dried out enough for area farmers to get in the field in early May and from then on everything went quickly and by late May most farmers in the area had their crops in. The big news in the summer was a severe storm that hit our area on June 21st with very heavy rains, hail, and strong winds that blew down a lot of tree limbs in the area and knocked out power to a lot of people in the Morris area some for several days. Most of the summer was mild and dry but we had enough rain to enable the crops to pull through. Late summer brought some of the hottest weather of the year. Fall harvest proceeded fairly quickly without too much delay and yields were better than many expected. There was some propane shortage in the area but the good news is that much of the crop did not need much drying. Winter has arrived early this year with several inches of snow and -0 temps in early Dec.
I put a lot miles on my car again this year as I traveled to many places around the area for community celebrations, parades ,fairs ,threshing shows, farm shows ,and other events. The prairie pioneer days parade in Morris was rained out this yr., attendance was down at the Threshing bee, due in part to heat but we still we came out OK .The annual ice cream social, Halloween party, and community dinner/Santa day were the other community club sponsored events, this year some other events were open houses at Superior Industries, and the new Morris coop seed plant and my 40th class Morris high school class reunion.
Church news St J/ Kong: PR. Judy Gellinske our pastor for the 5 years decided to retire in July due to health problems her last Sunday here was, July 25th. She moved back to the Faro-Moorhead area to be near family, several area pastors filled in until Rev Mary Dodgson was installed as our interim pastor in late Oct. a position she still holds We also had another successful block party at the threshing bee grounds in late July. During the summer an extensive remodeling project was undertaken mostly in the parish hall with new handicapped bathrooms and storage space added and new doors put in the church. In Oct we had a dedication service for a large gift a deceased member Lloyd Brandt left the church we had a guest pastor from Willmar remarks by his step daughters and a dinner. Lloyd was a longtime member of the Kong men's quartet when he became too ill to preform, it became the Kong men's trio, unfortunately another long time member (Henning Awsumb) passed away this year, but his son (Craig) took his place to form the new men's trio, and they sang several songs at the service. some other events I attended there were a Sunday school programs unday school programs.d ial and111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111a aa, 4th of July celebration ,KCLW brunch. Well I have not given up my membership at Kong at this point in time; I usually go to gslc here in Morris where I am an associate member. Two major events this year at gs: at our annual meeting last year we voted to proceed with building a new addition to our church .Construction was started in late summer and is almost complete. We added some classrooms for the SS, a lounge, bathroom, and expanded the dining room. We celebrated the new addition with an open house on Dec 15th. Freddie Hanson was born on Jan 21st to PR mike and PR Martha Hanson several of us from gs attended his baptism at st j Starbuck, on Mar 10th where she is the pastor. Other events this yr. were advent and Lenten services with supper proceeding it ,SS program, 6 week internet bible study institute for Lutheran theology course ,a multi week study on revelation, weekly vbs in Aug., a concert by the chord Ayers a men's chorus from Milan in Sept, other church events in the area were a concert by the group “go fish”, “new wine “show and homecoming concert ,all state Lutheran choir, Haining family performances, a performance of godly women out of history ,2 performances of angels among us by Wayne and Donna Jo Kopietze at faith Morris and trinity in Cyrus.
Every so often someone asks me how I like living in Morris now my reply is that like a lot of things in life there are good and bad aspects about it. I do miss living in the country waking up in the am going outside breathing the fresh air and seeing what is going on etc., on the other hand I do not miss the struggles of getting in and out of my place in the winter, worrying about getting home or getting someplace and it is also nice to have the luxury of attending events in Morris w/out having to travel, get supplies when I need them, go home, take a nap between events pick up something I forgot or go back and get it etc. As many of know my “Christmas present" last year was a new “brother”. A former neighbor of mine, Mark Koepke, moved to Fargo last year after living in FL for 30+ years. He came down for a visit in Aug. and we explored the possibility of his moving down here as he was living with a lady who had bipolar disease and was not taking her medicine like she was supposed to, and as a result it was causing problem for him. However time did not permit us to explore all options, so he went back to Fargo where we continued to explore that option but for various reasons it did not work out, so in December I invited him to come down and spend Christmas with me,. I got some nasty text messages from her in early Dec and once he got here she started harassing him via im and so we came to the decision that it was best that he give his landlord notice and get out of there, so in early Jan, we hired a moving co and drove up to Fargo to move his possessions down here. We put them in a storage locker and he stayed with me until he was able to get an apt of his own. It took some time but he finally was able to sign a lease on an apt at the Key row here in Morris in late Mar and he was able to start moving in, but due to the late spring, it was late April, b/4 he was able to move in and early May b/4 could get everything out his locker here. His apt is about straight west of me but there is no direct route from here to there so we have to zig zag a lot, however it is close enough that we are back and forth a lot helping ea. other out. We have become quite close in the past year so much so that I consider him the “brother” I never had. We have a lot in common and really enjoy ea. others company and he has a great sense of humor, somehow in the course of the last yr. my cat became “Pastor Buttons” who is going to lead us in singing “onward kitty soldiers” .He has a rare skin disease that has caused problems with his eyes so this fall he had surgery on them down it the cities and so far it appears to have made his condition better. He had it done in Orlando about 10 years ago but it did not last hoping and praying that it does this time. In early June his sister Linda from Wisconsin paid him a surprise visit she was here for her 50th class reunion from Herman Unfortunately time did not permit her to spend more than a couple days in the area. Otherwise I am doing OK still doctoring for my diabetics trying to eat healthier and get more consistent with my blood sugars I am an active member of the st co rep party gen soc. and Donnelly community club. Still writing the Donnelly news for the Morris s-t and spend a lot of time on line. The rest of my real family is status quo Jan and her husband Dennis are still in Alex, my aunt Pearl is in apt here in Morris, my cousin Carl (Billy) his wife Pat and his sister Elnora still live in s.c. My contact info is e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, physical ad is 11 e 9th st Morris MN 56267 my phone #'s are 320-585-6435 (h) 320-288-8692 (c) Mark's contact info is: 151 sunny slope rd. 324-114 Morris MN 56267 email email@example.com he has unlisted phone #. My website is http://donnellyminn.blogspot.com/ and Mark and I are both on Facebook.
As always we pause to remember those who have gone “home” during the past year happier occasions were some wedding anniversaries, birthday parties and other celebrations.
Now may the God of Christmas, go before you during the upcoming year.
Allen and “Pr. Buttons”