Monthly Archives: April 2009

More vacation photos


minivan-magnet-002the ever adorable Kajsa Stanley-Erickson


The closest I am willing to come to a picture of me on the beach. grand-cayman-1-079

our little beach buddy.  He was crawling all over our snorkel gear one morning.  We watched him for a long time and took LOTS of pictures.


Birthday party….


All of my siblings and my parents live in the greater Minneapolis area.  We live in Anchorage.  There are about 4000 miles between the 2 cities. 

This makes getting together for birthdays and holidays a bit of a  challenge. 

I was feeling a bit sad that I had missed out on so many things over the past 8 months and really wanted to celebrate SOMETHING while in  Minnesota. 

So we had a birthday party:  for all the cousins.  It was a ball.

Mom and I went and got cards for all the kids.  Lucy picked up Dairy Queen gift certificates.  A cake was ordered, ice cream procured.  And we partied. 

We started out by having everyone write on everyone elses’ card.  It was very fun, each kid got a card that was signed by all of their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents on the Showalter side of the family. 

We sang “Happy Birthday” and found that it takes a lot longer when you have to run through 13 names at the “happy birthday dear…” part of the song.

That night somewhere between 5 and 5000 cousins spent the night at my folks house.  It was as it should be!birthday-001


Vacation, vacation, vacation….


It was a busy 3 weeks.  We packed a lot of fun and family and food into those 21 days.  And yet, there were so many people I did not get to see.  And those I did see, it was not enough.  But, we had a great time, and we made it home safely.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

We left Anchorage March 24, taking a non-stop red eye to Minneapolis.  Somehow, the captain and crew found out that it was Kjell’s birthday on the 25th and around midnight, the senior attendant showed up at Kjell’s seat with a piece of fudge cake.  Kjell was completely impressed.  As we began our descent into Minneapolis, the Captain came on and wished Kjell a happy birthday.  The entire plane clapped and said Happy Birthday, and my 12 year old was beaming , beaming, beaming.  It was adorable. 

We spent the first day and night wth mom and dad.  All the kids soaked up a little grandparent time and I enjoyed having a few hours of mom and dad before the whirlwind that defines my trips to Minnesota began. 

By dinner time, the first of my siblings arrived!  Yipppeee.  It is so great being a part of a large family.

The next night found us at my sister Lucy’s house.  All 5 of her girls were around at one time or another and the cousins had so much fun.  Lucy and I stayed up until about 2am, laughing and talking and laughing some more.  Her kids were on spring break, and that was just wonderful, as they are so busy we would have had a hard time fitting in a visit otherwise. 

I will break this trip into several posts, as to not overwhelm!

Birthday Buddies…


one of the highlights of my trip was having lunch with my Birthday Buddy, Myrtle Knutson. 

She and I share February 23 for our birthdays and both of us agree that there is no finer day to have been born. 

Myrtle was born on February 23, 1911, and I was born 60 years later, on February 23, 1971. 

Myrtle is pretty remarkable.  She grew up in a small town in North Dakota and moved to Minneapolis as a young woman.  She never married and worked as a bank teller until she retired at age 65.  A couple of years ago, she fell and broke her hip, she was lying on the floor in her apartment overnight, before help arrived.  A month in rehab, and she was back home.  At 98, Myrtle still lives alone and does just great.  She gets her meals delivered now, and sometimes has a friend come in and cook for her.  She uses a walker now, but is amazingly spry!  She has a slightly naughty sharp wit and can keep a person laughing. 

Myrtle is a treasure and I feel so fortunate to count her among my friends. 

When we can, we get together around our birthday and go out for lunch.  This year we went to Perkins, off Riverside in Minneapolis.  Well, truthfully, this is the only place we have ever gone out for lunch, Myrtle really likes Perkins, and they like her there as well.  So we sat at our customary table, just inside the door, but out of the draft, and ordered a little lunch.  We talked about what has been going on in our lives over the last year and made plans for next years birthday lunch. 

In a couple years, we will both have milestone birthdays.  I will turn 40, and Myrtle will hit 100.  I think we should have a big party for those!  We planned out an adventure for 2011, both of us would like to have the party in Norway, but Myrtle hates to fly, and I just don’t know if I can take the time to do a sea crossing. 

After a little bit of birthday party planning, Myrtle told me she doesn’t think she will make it to 100, so we need to plan a big party for her 99th and my 39th.  I personally think Myrtle will out live me, but I won’t quibble, I love a good party. 

This party will take place in Minnesota, next year, as close to Feb 23 as I can get there. 

Save the date!