Monday, December 26, 2011

I Don't Like Cold Weather

One way to keep our memories alive, according to Humorist Will Rogers, is to talk about the weather. I find it hard to understand how we can have CLEAR SKY, bright SUNSHINE  B-U-T  it is cold! I mean BELOW FREEZING. It did not quite make the forecast of 3 below last night but +2 is still cold for me. I NEVER did like cold weather. When I was age 11, we were poor. School was a mile across a pasture. My younger brother, age 9, was in the hospital dying. Mom sat with him. Dad had to feed the cattle for the folks he worked for. In our family were twins Leonard and LaVerna, age 3. We lived in the hired hand 4 room house. It was COLD and had snowed that night, and I set out to walk to school. I got about half way and my ears, feet and hands were getting numb. I was crying and found myself a snow drift that had one of those curved tops, probably six feet high. I snuggled up out of the wind for a few minutes, then I finished walking to school. I got there late, stumbled into the one room country schoolroom - half out of it. The whole class  was disrupted from my entrance. The male teacher tended to me and revived me. I remember that day crystal clear.
After school a family came to pick up their kids and they took me home. That was the coldest I had or ever have been. This was in about 1932 or 1933. 

My brother did die from pneumonia. It was an era when the Depression had just started. We had been share croppers in Trego County, Kansas (rural WaKeeney). We had hail, 11 inch rains, etc. 

Dad had to take Bankruptcy. We moved to Mom's brother Fred Koleber's, who lived near Eaton, Colorado. After my brother Alfred died in 1933, we moved back to Barton County, Kansas. Fred Michaelis financed us to get re-established. His wife, Eva (Margheim) was my dad's oldest sister.

Shortly after that, 1935 the Dust storms rolled in. But we survived.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

Last May I spent several weeks in the hospital and in rehab in a nursing home to recover from the effects of deydration. Then in August I accidentally took an overdose of insulin, which landed me in the hospital again, as I fell during that experience and cracked my ribs in 14 places. Somehow I've made a complete recovery, tho I still have issues to deal with, but am feeling better than I have in several months. 

Since I have daily visits from the super volunteers at Meals on Wheels, who bring my lunch Monday through Saturday, I am able to enjoy short visits with people. I live alone and don't drive, and that can get to be a lonely experience. My daughter Becky comes to my house to visit and help me with "chores" several times a week. And her husband Jamie stops by to do occasional repairs. This week Becky took me out on Tuesday morning to an appointment with my foot doctor. Then we went to the eye doctor where I got my glasses straightened, repaired and cleaned. After that she took me to get a (she said a badly-needed) haircut. Well, you hate to get all dressed up with nowhere to go! So after all those appointments, we went to lunch! It was a lot of fun...being out and about and visiting. We even saw Christmas lights in the daytime. 

I'll be getting out next weekend as I go to Becky's house to celebrate Christmas eve with our family. I'll ask her to take pictures and share them here, for all my friends to see. 

As I always say in my emails "Thanks for listenin'"!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Dear friends and family,


Merry Christmas Everyone! Yes, 2011 has nearly expired to make room for another year. Looking back over past decades with nostalgia, I'm flooded with memories (I'm 90 years old—celebrated August 8th) of past experiences. I lived through the Dust Storms of the 1930's, the grasshopper plagues, and jackrabbit drives. That brings us up to WW2. In my Army years we crossed the Atlantic on the original Queen Elizabeth ship to England in preparation for the June 1944 Normandy France Invasion via Utah Beach. Our unit joined General George S Patton's third army across France. December 1944 Battle of the Bulge from Belgium, Luxembourg, across the Rhine River into Germany. I served as an interpreter for our unit, since I spoke German from childhood. May and June found us near the Czechoslovakia border. We returned to camp Lucky Strike—France to board a Kaiser Liberty Boat (ship) for bumpy ride across the Atlantic, with ocean waves brushing over the front deck next to our escort of Porpoise with their rhythm. We rode on the deck by the rail, feeling so sick! Then back to my job for 54 years at Thies Packing Co., highlighted in November 1947 with the birth of my twins—Becky and Dennis. The Lord has blessed me with great family and friends. Becky is employed as the Parish Administrator of a church and Dennis retired from the Army, now full time organist at Western Hills Methodist Church, El Paso, Texas. His wife Marie serves as a Major in the US Army at Fort Bliss.

I am doing fine. I made a couple trips to the hospital this year, but with good medical care and lots of hard work, I've recovered from a bout of dehydration and 14 cracked ribs. My meals are delivered by Meals on Wheels, so I have daily company in my house! My daughter Becky and her husband Larry Jamison look after me. I lean on them quite a bit.

This is a summary of life in Canon City, Colorado. Happy to be healthy and wishing each of you a joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year. Stay in touch. Oh by the way, if you have a computer, visit my blog "Ernie's Journeys" at I'd be very happy to hear from you (email me at MERRY CHRISTMAS!