Category Archives: family

“How I Spent My Summer Vacation”

Okay, it’s not one of those papers written for school, but I’m due to post a note about our family trip up to The Homeland and all our activities there — boring to some, even more boring to others.  Well, here goes…

The 14hr 2min drive up nort’ went about as smoothly as it could, and we arrived with most of the clan already there. The first couple days were spent visiting with family and friends, checking out the Polk County Fair, and getting over the “jet lag”. I swung a trade with a baseball card booth in one of the display buildings, and picked up grab bag goodies for the young nephews. Staying just ½ block from the fairgrounds is pretty darn convenient, and a nice location to watch the fireworks, too. And since we apparently brought our St. Louis weather north with us (we had a couple days of 90°F+/high humidity) the shorter walks were appreciated as well.

Friday night the four brothers and their wives had a nice supper at Joe Dimaggio’s Pizza & Grill. (My first car was a 1977 Honda Civic hatchback previously owned by Joe, and I got to tell him that it served me well. And yes, that is his name.)

We had a pleasant surprise when Max (our foreign exchange student from Germany back in the 80’s) dropped by in the middle of his business trip in the US. We were two Texans and a serviceman in Iraq away from the entire shebang.

Saturday morning started with a 5-K walk/run, and many of the clan were among the 140+ that participated.

Polk County Fair 5-K Walk/Run (K on the far right)

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A New Year’s Eve with Family Out the Wazoo!

On the event of nephew Paul II’s New Year’s Eve wedding to Alyssa in Tulsa, the Runner family joined a mass family migration to south-central US. Besides a beautiful wedding and some great quality time with family, this was the first gathering of all of the grandkids in one place – quite a trick!

ALL the grandkids; K is in the gray dress towards the back, and a dapper Paul II in military formal

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The Nest, She’s-a Empty

Mo and I have had sufficient time to recover from last week’s tactical victory to sit back and reflect on K’s move to Mizzou.

We got to Mizzou just before the 9AM start time, and sure enough, as soon as we got everything emptied onto the sidewalk and the car parked, the rain began to fall.   We managed to schlep everything up the stairs, towel off the wetter stuff, put a few things into place, meet her roommate Devon, pick up a few needed items, rearrange the furniture (again), and eventually (sniff) say goodbye…

room 241
K, early on in the move-in process

In our periodic contacts with K since, it sounds like college life is to her liking, and will be even moreso once a couple weeks have gone by and some of the kinks are straightened out.  Mizzou-RAH!

Polk County Fair, and Family Reunion

The Runner family recently returned from spending a few days back in God’s Country — NW Minnesota. The Polk County Fair was the impetus for drawing the family back to the homestead from all over the country (and world!), and a person couldn’t have asked for better weather.  And amazingly, no mosquitos!

Almost the entire family was able to attend. While my sister and her husband couldn’t make it from TX, two of the kids could, which was great.  Having Max from Germany was the icing on the cake.

family photo
from left to right: the Runner family, the Double-S family, Grandpa & Grandma, the AZ family, Max, the MN family, and TX family representatives

I was able to drag K and Wm along to play with the alumni band in the July 4th parade, and met several friends and former classmates as well.  Much rhubarb was consumed (in sauce, pie, ice cream, and cake form) and I was able to enjoy some licorice ice cream — my favorite!

Looking forward to the family getting back together the end of the year for P2’s wedding…


The Sunday commencement ceremony went quite smoothly (2 hrs, as advertised), and 239 of St. Charles West’s finest were given their walking papers, including K:

K and her proud parents

And, ironically, the next morning K began her summer class at the local community college.  Should be a nice way to ease into things before leaving to Mizzou in a couple months.

It’s a Girl!

…actually, it’s lots of girls.

Saturday night was K’s prom night, and that means all the to-do; getting hair done up, getting dressed, meeting everyone for photos, the dance, and this time around — the post-dance party and sleepover, which we hosted.

Kay’s hair looked wonderful, and she and Kev made a great couple.  The photo shoot at the Ameristar Hotel lobby was a zoo, with kids from many schools milling the lobby and promenade, but everyone looked dressed to the nines.

Mo got periodic text updates from K (another girl wore her same dress!) while we finished prepping the house.  Later that evening the kids started arriving — we have no idea what the peak occupancy was, but as the boys filed out between 1:30AM – 2AM, we believe the overnight count was 16 girls!  I didn’t have an exact count, because I had to leave by 7:30AM to play trombone and sing at the final McClay campus church service, and the girls were still going strong at 3AM when I finally went to bed.

During the time I was at church, my cocoon hatched!  As previously expected, it was a Polyphemus moth, and a bouncing baby girl, at that.  In the photo here, she was still hanging to allow blood to flow to the wings as they unfolded into shape (here is how she will eventually look).  As the weekend was drizzly and cool, I am waiting until lunchtime today to release her into the wild.  I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll have luck mating before her ~1 week of life is over.  I wouldn’t mind more of these beauties hanging cocoons in the local flora.

Potpourri (RIP, Uncle Dunk)

We found out today that Mo’s favorite Uncle, Mack “Dunk” Goree passed away. He asked that no obituaries be posted. He will be greatly missed for his humor and easy-going demeanor (and for pestering his sister Aunt Ruthie). He was single and had no children, other than the menagerie of animals that he cared for. R.I.P, Dunk.

I have certainly dodged a bullet so far this spring (knock on wood) allergy-wise. We should be close to the heart of oak pollen season soon, but the cool drizzles that have cycled through here the past 1-2 weeks have taken the damper off. I’ve only had a couple days where the rims of my eyes were reminding me that I should be using eye drops about now. I’d like for the whole month to go this way, but I do have some yard work to tackle too, though.

The past weekend we took two bids on some concrete work in back; a pad outside the walkout that would tie in with the bottom of the deck stairs, and a “wash” along the entire back side of the house. Also, I plan to frame under the deck with rock and fill with pea gravel, plus cover the underside of the deck with weed block material, to restrain the wasps/spiders/robins from taking up residence under there. Mo also wants to add more flower bed to the back. Sounds like work to me…


Well, I’ve successfully migrated over from Blogger to here in WordPress. Blogger was nice and simple, but trying to format yesterday’s post without acres of vertical whitespace was impossible, and I was already somewhat familiar with WordPress after creating many posts at WGOM for the SBG Library. I’m not entirely happy with the template yet, so that may evolve for a while.

The sun is in its deepest solar minimum in the last 100 years. I’ve been hoping to break out the solar viewers and monitor sunspots again, but its been many months since that was possible. The next few will probably feature only small sunspots as well, which are too small to view without magnification.

I received a fistfull of Twins cards from Matt at Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius as the back end of a trade I made with him.  There were a couple dozen of pre-2000 commons that I already had, and several post-2000 commons that I probably have (still haven’t checked), but looks like a lot of new ones to sleeve and bind.

Getting back to formatting again, I need to spend some more quality time on the genealogy website again.  I still have a slug of Swedish records for my side of the family, and I haven’t done much of anything on Mo’s side in quite some time.  Meanwhile, the documentation that I have posted needs to be added to my Family Tree Maker database so that I can file away the piles of pages on my desk.