Birthday trips and old books

Since I still can?t drive, I told Nancy I would take her out for dinner for her birthday Saturday night to wherever she would wish to drive to. As it turned out we ended up getting Chinese takeout right here in town.

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We were invited out for Sunday birthday dinner in McPherson by my cousin Dorothy. My cousin Clair?s birthday is the same day as Nancy?s so that worked out really well.

My aunt Milly, while cleaning out her basement, came across two boxes of things my mother had collected over the years, including diaries that my Grandpa Dick had written and also workbooks from school that my Grandma Dick had used in school.

One book was for geography and was from 1903. She would have been 12 years old at that time. In it were very neat cursive entries listing the states and their respective capitals. Of interest to me was an entry for the capital of Alaska, which was Sitka. Alaska did not become a state until much later, but at the time was owned by the U.S., my research shows.

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I also found a report Grandpa had written from the First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake, Minn., in 1938. It showed he was paid $495 for preaching the entire year. It also showed he farmed as a second vocation.

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The diaries always started with the weather and usually ended that they didn?t get much mail that day. He also recorded how many trips to town he made each day. There were also entries about it being cold, such as 26 below.

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I have never watched more TV than I have the past five weeks. One thing I saw makes me think that having an arm in a sling for five or six weeks is really nothing at all. There was a report on a young boy, maybe 10 years old, who was born with just one arm and he was playing baseball and doing quite well. He used one arm to catch the ball and the same arm to throw the ball. Pretty amazing stuff.

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It?s been fun watching the KU basketball team represent the U.S. in the World University Games. The hours are odd since they played in South Korea but with recording, it doesn?t really matter.

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We watched the Macy?s fireworks show in New York City Saturday night. I believe they said they were setting off 22,000 pounds of fireworks in 20 minutes from four barges in the river in lower Manhattan. Quite a sight to see.

From the way it sounded, it could be that many pounds of fireworks were shot off in Hillsboro over the weekend.

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I gave up on typing my column this week and for the next couple of weeks, too. It?s me and Siri doing the work with an email to myself. It takes a while, but it?s not nearly as frustrating fixing what I misspeak and what she doesn?t understand.

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If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@
hillsborofreepress.com.

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