Donnelly Minn. Christmas 2015
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come” with the words of this familiar hymn I greet you once again with my annual Christmas letter
Weather news: The ’14-‘15 winter season arrived early, with a major snowfall about the middle of Nov thankfully we only had a few major snowstorms after that. Much of the winter was cold, few nice days sprinkled in, late Mar. brought some unseasonably nice weather, but hopes for an early spring were dashed by a late season snowstorm, it was not until mid to late Apr., that the snow finally all melted and spring arrived. Some farmers got going in late Apr. favorable weather meant that by early May most farmers had their crops in, some timely rains made them come up in good time. Timely rains, and warm weather continued throughout the summer, allowing crops to progress nicely, by the harvest time rolled around all crops yielded good. Most harvest was completed with few delays, and by the time snow arrived in early Dec. most farmers had their crops harvested and fall fieldwork done. We finally got some snow in early Dec, but some mild temps meant that much of it melted, however mid Dec has brought the return of winter with several inches of snow again
Church news: after serving as our interim pastor at St. John’s /Kongsvinger for 11 months Deaconess Deb Robinson resigned to return home to the St. Cloud area, her last day here was Nov. 1st; we had a farewell dinner for her after services at St. John’s that day. On Oct 4th a special meeting was held at both congregations for the purpose of hearing from the call committee on their recommendation for a new pastor for our parish. We voted to call Rev Mike Nelson from Cokato to be our new pastor, he accepted the call in early Nov, and in mid Nov, he and his wife Sue moved here, his 1st Sun was Nov. 22nd. They have a daughter and son-in law that have a baby ,and live in the Elbow Lake area, unsure how many other children they have, she is a music teacher back where they came from and plans to continue until the end of the school year. Other events include ss program, Lenten services, and 4th of July celebration, fall festival, mid-week services during the summer at St John’s, community vbs, several joint services and the usual assortment of pot luck meals. Although I am still a member of Kongsvinger, I usually go to church at GSLC here in rural Morris where I am associate member. Since our conception we have had sort of an informal “parish” arrangement with St John’s Lutheran, Starbuck. In late summer Rev Angel Scott moved to Morris to complete her internship by serving as the pastor there, and also serves part-time at GS, leading bible studies and occasionally preaching. She and her husband have two small children; she is being supervised by Pr Mike Hanson. Other events include weekly bible study, advent and Lenten services ,ss program, joint vbs with Zion Morris, several interesting presentations by various speakers during adult Ed .At a special meeting held earlier this year it was decided to put cement in the parking lot ,but due to the busyness of contractors, it will have to wait until next year. At the annual meeting in Nov. discussion was also held on putting a steeple on it and adding a car port, it was decided to gather more info and revisit the issue next year. Other church events included all-state Lutheran choir concert in Alex, Living nativity at faith –Morris, ordination service for Rev Chris Richards at first-Morris, centennial service for trinity –Alberta, mission fest at Trinity Cyrus, a variety of other church meals, festivals, events, etc. in the area, several concerts by musical groups in the area.
Community events: Well as I have done for many years I spent my summer on the road attending many community festivals, parades, fairs, threshing shows, farm shows and other events in the area. If often affords me an opportunity to see some different things, and see people I have not seen in a long time. Our threshing bee this year celebrated its 50th anniversary with a queen reunion among other things. A number of former royalty, and their families, former residents, etc. returned for it. As a result we had one of the best bees we have had in many years. The next bee is Aug. 27th & 28th the feature will be John Deere. This yr. it was decided to combine the annual ice cream social and block party into one event which proved to be very successful. Our threshing bee royalty had another busy year partaking in about 2 dozen parades and other actives (i.e. Halloween and Christmas parties) over the year. In late Aug. the MHS class of ’55 had their 60th class reunion at the hotel 200 (prairie inn> in Morris. Since some of the Donnelly area kids had had my Mom as a teacher I was invited to represent her at some of the reunion activities
“Pr Buttons” and I are still living here in my house in Morris and plan to do as long my health and other factors permit, however given the all the health issues I have been dealing with during the past year I unsure how much longer I can do that. When people ask me how I am doing, I say “plugging along one day at a time as long, as I can get up in the morning and put two feet in front of each other, I am good for another day”. Well that is true, I do have a lot of health issues that I have been dealing with the past year, thankfully some of the issues are getting better. I have been hospitalized twice this year and had many weeks of outpatient treatment for a variety of issues. I also cut my foot on a can lid this fall ,that required a trip to the ER for stiches, and additional follow up trips to the dr., there was concern for a while that I might lose my foot, thankfully staying of it for a while made a difference and it now mostly healed. Due to my diabetes everything is slow to heal and my dr. told me he thought I should move into an assisted living place, something I do not really want to do. It was hard enough to downsize and move 4 yrs. ago and the idea of doing it again so soon does not appeal to me. I would probably have to sell the house and get rid of my cat etc. It was hard enough saying goodbye to my dog, I hate to think about not having any other pets. After I got home from the hosp. the first time I made arrangements to have a HHA & nurse come over weekly (she now comes bi-weekly) to clean house, set up my medicine, take my vitals etc., however he feels that I really need somebody on a daily basis, but other than that I do not really see any benefit to it ,never been much for eating at prescribed times, I can take care of my basic needs, so doubtful there would be any help finically with it. So a lot of thought, prayer, and conversations, with a lot of people will be ongoing in the days, weeks and months ahead. Thankfully many of health issues are getting better. A lot of people continue to ask me how my friend Mark Koepke doing, he is doing much better after his eye surgery , his checkups since then have been good, his skin condition is about the same, but with medication and other treatments he is able to keep it under control. Since we have a lot of different interests, I do not run into him too much, when I am out and about, however I do stop over there on occasion to visit, and if I need help he is willing to come over here and do that. His uncle passed away in Aug., so he & I traveled to his foster mother’s home area of Garnder ND for the funeral, meeting some of the family he had not seen for a long time and others he had never met. In Sept. we returned for the lutefisk dinner at their church, hoping to visit with his uncle & aunt, unfortunately they were too ill to attend. His sister Linda, and her sister in law Sue were back in Mn for a visit this year, she and her brothers decided not to come back for the all –school reunion in Herman, I did stop up there for a while saw a few people I knew. He does not live too far from me but there is no direct access from my place to his so we have to zig and sag to get to & from our homes. He does not have a car, so he either walks, or takes the transit to get to where he wants, or relies on me and/or other people to take him places. People also ask me how I like living in town my reply is that like a lot of things there are good and bad aspects of it. I do enjoy the perks of living in town being able to be out and about every day, attending events, seeing people, getting things I want/need when I need/want them, being close to the dr. and hosp. etc. It is also in a quiet area, not much traffic mainly because my street does not connect to main street, however I do miss the countryside esp. in the summer time, being able to step outside ,breath the fresh air take a look around at what the neighbors are doing. I do like living in town in the winter time no more having to get up to scoop/ shovel snow b/4 I go someplace or worry about sliding in the ditch on my way out or in , having to worry about getting home etc. Last year I traded my old gas golf cart for an electric one and have made extensive use of that for getting around Morris this year. I also purchased a good used snow blower to save on my back. I am still a member of the Donnelly community club, st co gen soc. and st co rep party enjoy attending there meetings and helping with some of their events. I am still writing my weekly column for the Morris sun-tribune get a lot of compliments for it otherwise just basically enjoying my life. My ad is 11 e 9th st Morris mn 56267; e-mail ad is firstname.lastname@example.org, website donnellyminn.blogspot.com, ph. 320-585-6435 (h) 320-288-8692 (c). I am also on Facebook. the rest of my family is status quo, my cousin Carl (Billy) his wife Pat and his sister Elnora are still living in South Carolina, my cousin Jan and her husband Dennis still live and work in the Alex area, my aunt Pearl Anderson is still living in the sunrise apts. here in Morris I stop over to see her on occasion and sometime take her for a ride in my golf cart.
One of the things I do more of then I like, is attend many visitations and/or funerals in the area often times it gives me an opportunity to see people I have not seen for a long time and I personally know how much it means to the family when you make that effort. Happier times were attending anniversary and birthday parties for friends
Now, may the God of Christmas, go before you during the upcoming year.
Allen & “Pr. Buttons”