Eric's Daily Weblog
A big day in our family. Brother Joe and Lance drove to Minneapolis to pick up Joe's wife Kae and their daughter Champoo, who is finally able to join us here in Minnesota. Kae and Champoo flew in today after Kae spent the last six months in Thailand assembling the paper work for Champoo to come to the USA.
They don't look like they've been traveling for three days straight. Reason? Champoo was really shy for the first hour (imagine that) then decided we should play a game called "Set." Well, we've played it before, but never against the likes of Champoo. She won the first round, then decided the other seven of us would be on one team and she on the other.
It was a tie, but she made her point.
Here is a picture taken of the family before the shock of losing a card game to an eight-year-old who has been in the country for less than ten hours happened. Champoo looks as if she knows she's about to win.
I suspect she will make quick work of learning the English language.
Friend Thelma passed away last Friday. Thelma never lost her regal bearing even as Alzheimer's disease attacked her mind and body. The big loving clan she trained up in life returned the favor in a huge way by making sure her last days weren't spent alone. Every time she opened her eyes she saw one of several dozen friendly faces. She smiled in return, and she laughed her distinctive laugh. She was still there to the end.
The staff at the Fertile Hilton were, as always, remarkable.
I always looked forward to seeing Thelma when I visited the Hilton. It was so easy to get her to smile and laugh, even towards the end. Earlier on, she always had a kind word to say, even if the sentences were garbled.
Spent the weekend at the Forx Home and Garden Show visiting with people at the Bergeson Nursery booth. I enjoyed it more than ever, but am a bit worn out today!
Yesterday, a true day-maker:
Two years ago, I spoke at a Hospice event at the Empire Theater in Grand Forks. There was a nice crowd, but in the front row were seven people who had lost their spouses. I had fun with them during my talk, and we had a lot of good laughs.
Well, yesterday a man and a woman came up to me at the booth arm in arm--which is unusual for couples in their fifties and sixties. They met that night at the theater when they sat next to each other during the talk, and got married one year later! They said they had so much fun laughing together at my performance that they went on a date the next night!
They gave me credit where credit wasn't due––but I'll take it.
The weblog is undergoing a little construction, so pardon the interruptions. I was going to say, "If you can't read this, let me know," but quickly realized the absurdity of that.
Yesterday, I attended a Rural Economic Development meeting in Minneapolis where we heard about innovative entrepreneurial ideas happening in rural Minnesota. A wind power entrepreneur commented that most of these wind farms are raking in enormous revenue, but they are owned by out of state interests and not only the money, but the power goes out of state. Why not build some farms with local ownership which uses the power locally? Apparently the revenue stream, once you get the behemoth built, is tremendous. I would cite statistics, but would probably get them wrong, but the numbers of dollars from just one wind farm in SW MN is in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
A gentleman who used to work for 3M talked about the innovation culture at the company. One of the innovators at 3M is not only an inventor, but he studies how best to get the inventions to market, and to find the maximum uses. It is estimated that this man alone is responsible for $11 billion in sales for 3M. I hope he got a commission!
We can be thankful in NW MN today for escaping a bout of snow and junk. I passed through slushy messes in St. Cloud on the way home yesterday. I gripped the steering wheel hard. Then the Google woman started telling me to make a U-turn. Typical human, instead of listening, I tried to shut her off. But was driving, so gave up on that. More demands for U-turns. Finally, I realized I was on Highway 371 headed for Brainerd. I don't remember taking the exit. It must have been one of those splits in the highway.
So, the Google lady directed me across a nice cut-across back to Highway 10. It took me through some beautiful pine forests, the boughs of the trees weighed down with heavy snow. Pretty, but...enough!