Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Junior Mints

As many of you know Junior Mints were one of my dad's favorite candies. Tonight we had a Myles Moment with little Erik as he handed out the Halloween candy. First he'd say, " Hi guys?" to the trick or treaters. Then he'd look them up and down. If he liked their costume they got two boxes of junior mints. If he was lukewarm about the costume one piece of another kind of candy and if he thought they looked scary he'd shake his head and say," No mom. Too scary!" He was also the first to dig into his Halloween stash tonight and I found three empy Junior Mint boxes around the house and a chocolately handprint on the wall.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Easy Bake Mouse?

We are gearing up for the big trip up north to go deer hunting. Last night Myndy and I visited about what to bring and how we plan to help mom with cleaning out some things from the basement. Myndy has plans for the Barbie doll furniture that grandpa Rufus made for the new dollhouse she picked up for Stella. As we laughed about all the "hidden treasures" in the basement we remembered one very memorable day. I had gone downstairs to play with my easy bake oven and noticed something moving inside it. A field mouse had been feasting on the leftover crumbs. Dad got a great laugh as I sped upstairs and swore never to play with that oven again! Growing up on Rural Route 4 was a treat.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trick or Treat

I am spending a few quiet minutes tonight planning the Halloween party that we always have for our playgroup friends on Halloween night. As I was perusing the recipes for bloody eyeballs and spooky snack mixes I thought back to my own Halloween nights as a kid. Because we lived out in the country our trick or treaters were few and far between. There was no walking from house to house for us either. Instead we drove around the neighborhood stopping at Tiemans, Sanders, and Korpatnicki's. Our favorite stop was always Alice Lendobeja's house. She'd scold her old dog Pepper to be quiet and she'd always have giant cups filled with candy for us. Other memorable stops were Mabel and Adam's. Mabel would always try and scare us by saying,"Hello, little Spooks." Mom and dad would patiently wait for us to get back to the car at each stop. I bet we were the only ones who burned up an entire tank of gas trick or treating!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roadside Treasure

Today Myndy and Katy traveled to Rochester to celebrate Anna's birthday at Bounce World. As they drove into Rochester they spotted a huge wooden doll house on the side of the road marked free. In true "Myles" fashion they scoped it out and agreed it was a great bargain. They shifted a few items and Katy rode with the double stroller on her lap for the next few miles until they could get it to our house. They'll pick it up on Thanksgiving. As we talked about the great find Myndy said, " I just kept thinking what would dad do?" Well, there's no question, he would have come home with the dollhouse and probably a few other items. He always loved a good deal!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What's the Score?

We attended the football playoff game and JM lost to Mayo. As we were getting into the van the girls asked, "Who won anyway?" This reminded me of my middle school football watching years. We'd walk around the football field and we never had any idea who was winning or losing. I always glanced at the scoreboard before I went home because I knew dad would ask about the score of the game. It looks like this might run in the family. Don't tell Steve!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Today is a day when I just plain miss dad. I'm not sure what brings these days on but it started when I woke up. I think part of it is because I have not ever gone this long without talking to my dad. Most days I'd get to check in at least once a day and get dad's wisdom on the day's events. Missing your words and your moral compass dad. Life is harder without you. =

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Tonight's bedtime snack is delicious apple cinnamon bread from Daube's. The trick is to slice the bread thin enough to get it in the toaster. This brings back memories of dad trying to toast his apple cinnamon bread. Somehow he also got pieces and parts of the bread stuck in the toaster. This did not deter him from his midnight snack, however.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Emergency Room

Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my hair cut. As I glanced in my rearview mirror today I thought of what dad would have said,"Do they have an emergency room?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bunk Beds

Anna has graduated to the top bunk. As she climbed up into her nest, complete with dozens of stuffed animals I was reminded of the day these bunk beds arrived. As I recall we had the charge of keeping the girls busy and out of the house for a few hours while Steve and dad set up the bunks. When the girls arrived home they saw their present from Santa. Dad was so excited to see them crawl into their beds and snuggle in.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Boy

Dear Dad, Today we celebrated Erik's second birthday. It's hard to believe he is already two. Remember the day I had him? You and mom got there a little later because you promised you'd help people get their docks in and you didn't want to leave them in the lurch. Mom bought him a Mickey Mouse farm set and tractor and trailer. He loves it and carries Mickey and Minnie around with him. His favorite phrases are,"Sit here" and "Oh my gosh". We missed you as we sat around the table tonight and sang the birthday song and watched Erik blow out his candles. I know your presence was there, though, and all of my memories of happy birthdays paved the way for these celebrations. In so many ways you taught me what being a good parent looks like.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Grandkids Know Best

We are home from the whirlwind cabin work weekend and mom is staying here to help us celebrate Erik's birthday tomorrow. She is going to make Beattie's famous barbeque and we'll don the Mickey Mouse hats again to celebrate with the Willmans. As we were reflecting on the weekend we were all amazed by a couple of things that the littlest grandkids said. When we got to the cabin on Thursday Erik looked up at grandpa Myles' fishing vest and hat and said, "Grandpa Myles?" It was sort of like...well where is he. Then this morning as we were getting ready to go Stella said,"Grandpa Myles will be here soon. Don't cry grandma." These little ones are pretty smart. Grandpa Myles was a part of everything we did this weekend from the raking and winterizing the boats to draining the water in the pipes. We all said, " Now, how did dad do this?"

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Birthday Celebration

Today we celebrated Erik and Anna's October birthdays with dinner at the Hilltop Cafe in Hubbard. We all wore Mickey Mouse hats and sang to the birthday kids. Then we came home and had a dance party at the cabin. Mr. Erik was really showing off his moves and using the hallway by the washing machine as a runway. We missed you tonight, dad. I am thinking you would have ordered the prime rib and hashbrowns. I bet you would have also had fun pheasant hunting with Jason and Steve. You may have even come home with some birds. Everything is put away now for winter and Gary and Lorine came to help us close up the cabin. Thank goodness for good friends.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dessert anyone?

The Olson crew is at the cabin enjoying a work weekend together. Since today was a rainy day everyone got a little stir crazy. Following in dad's footsteps Katy cooked up a practical joke to liven up the day. She and the girls made pretend truffles with mashed potatoes and stuffed with cotton balls. Steve was the first victim. He sampled one and the girls said, "Dad, don't you like it?" "I do but it doesn't really go with my squash", replied the polite dad. Once we told him what it was made of he was not quite as polite. We have two more in line for the special dessert tonight! Dad, your spirit of fun and silliness is alive in all of us.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Progress Report

* Leaves raked and ready to be dumped * Gutters removed * Lawn furniture stored in the garage Tomorrow's tasks * Take out the boat, docks and boat lift * Dance to the juke box * Tell our favorite stories about dad

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MEA weekend

It's MEA weekend and I am enjoying a flex day spoiling Mr. Erik. We'll head to the cabin tomorrow to help mom take in the dock, boats and winterize everything. Erik keeps saying "cabin" and trying to get in the van to head out. It's our first fall without dad and a part of me keeps thinking he's going to show up. One of my favorite memories of visiting the cabin was seeing dad come out as we drove in the yard. He'd grab Erik and the girls and get everyone thoroughly riled up and then he'd head to bed. Even if it was midnight he'd be up waiting to see us get there safely. We'll do our best to get everything put away right, dad. I'll remind Steve to put in his waders.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presidential Debate

I'd love to call dad up right now and get his take on the debate. I think he would have loved the line, "Romney said he has a five point plan. He has a one point plan." I think Obama looked sharp...any guesses what my dad would have said?

Monday, October 15, 2012


Tonight our little buddy Erik is sick. He got sent home at about 9 this morning and is finally sleeping. This reminds me of sick days as a kid. My favorite thing was to lay on the coach, watch TV with dad, and have him put a cold cloth on my head. Somehow those things made everything better.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lutefisk Supper

It's almost time for the annual Lutefisk Supper in the Goodridge Lutheran parish. After dad passed away, Pastor Bob sent us a letter thanking dad for his service to the congregation. Bob wrote about how he had an image in his mind of dad smoking a cigarette and washing out the lutefisk kettles each year. Today mom said they sang "You have come down to the lakeshore" one of the songs from dad's funeral to prepare for the lutefisk supper. I know some other stoic Lutheran will take dad's place washing out those kettles but his spirit of service will remain. Here's the last stanza of that hymn that makes me think of dad: Sweet Lord, you have looked into my eyes, Kindly smiling, you've called out my name. On the sand I've abandoned my small boat; Now with you, I will seek other seas.


Last night we spent a fun evening with some friends at a neighborhood Halloween party. At the end of the evening we started talking about accents and I demonstrated my good Northern Minnesota brogue. Somehow the topic of the pronuncation of Bemidi came up. Turns out dad wasn't the only one who called Bemidji Bermidji. Some of my other favorite Mylesisms are Italian ( pronounced eyetalian) and beautiful ( pronounced beeyouteeful).

Friday, October 12, 2012

Locker Makeover

Today when I dropped the girls off at school I took a closer look at Ellie's locker. Sometime in the last week she had brought some items from home to decorate her locker. Right in the middle was a great picture of her and Grandpa Myles. "I like having him here with me at school", she said. "Is that Ok?"

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Shoes

It's time for Steve to get a new pair of shoes. He's pretty much worn his last pair down but he doesn't know what to do because dad always bought his shoes for him. Mom is going to try to fill in and get the shoes ordered so we'll see if she is able to get as good a deal as dad would have. What's your prediction?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear Dad

Dear Dad, I can't believe it's been six months since I have heard your voice. Myndy and I talked on the phone tonight and both said we are just aching to talk with you. So much can happen in six short months. Mylee was born, little Landon was born and passed away and we have learned to live without easy task. Every day is filled with moments that I want to share with you. Today they were....Erik's crazy curls and his gusto for eating the Halloween cupcake. You should have seen his orange hands. Anna's dramatic and fluent reading of a Mo Willem's book... that kid is going to be an entertainer. Ellie's brilliant math mind and her work ethic. Steve's preoccupation with everything hunting now that hunting season is only a few short weeks away. I believe you are with me in all of these moments,dad. Love you,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Ellie had an assignment for one of her writing classes to write a haiku so she spent the evening outside with her clipboard in hand recording her observations. She has inspired me to try writing a haiku about dad. In case it has been a while since you have been in fourth grade a haiku has to have 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and then 5 syllables again. My Dad Walleye fisherman happiest on the water World's greatest father

Monday, October 8, 2012

What's in a Name?

For some reason tonight the kids wanted to know all about how they got their names. We told Erik that we wanted a strong name for him and he posed with his big muscles. For both Ellie and Anna we agreed that we wanted traditional names and Anna was named after Grandpa Rufus' mother. This reminded me of what dad always told Myndy, Katy and I about our names. He told us that if we were boys we would have been named Delbert Todd. Thank goodness for the girls in our family.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Raking Leaves

Today we spent a bit of time raking leaves in the yard. I'm using the term "we" loosely here since it was really Ellie and Steve that did the work. Dad, you would have been proud of Ellie. She started raking but then asked, "Can't we just use the leaf blower?" I know you always thought a job was more fun with some kind of a power tool and it looks like your grand-daughter feels the same way.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Family Work Project

We spent a bit of today doing our annual ditch pick up for 4-H. As we were walking the ditches in Salem township looking for bright bits of paper and trash I thought of how happy dad would have been. He always loved a family project that engaged all of us. He was never happier than when he had the son in laws working on one thing, the grandkids working on another, and his daughters working on something else. Although it was a bit chilly today we had fun accomplishing something together as a family and I am grateful for the memory of dad that it brought me.

Friday, October 5, 2012


It is Homecoming weekend at John Marshall where Steve is the assistant principal. This means dress up days, the parade, the pepfest, and the dance. Today Steve was able to address the students and staff. His speech was about making the most of their high school years and moments. It struck me that my dad did this. He made friends in high school that remained close to him throughout his life. When we cleaned out his drawers we found a box of pictures of all of his high school classmates. When my dad made a friend, they were friends for life.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Casino Winnings

If you are one of my loyal readers you may have noticed that I missed posting the blog last night. This is because I spent the evening at the Grand Casino in Hinckley with my friend Michelle. I decided that I would only play machines that reminded me of dad. I started with Duck Stamps and won $15 on that one. Then I moved on to Big Buck Hunter. I was a little nervous about this one because I actually had to pick up the gun and shoot if I got the bonus. At one point a crowd was gathered around watching me shoot. Again, I won. By the end of the night I went home with an extra $50 in my pocket. I know dad would have been proud.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On the road

Tonight I am in North Branch preparing to work with some teachers in the area tomorrow and Thursday. Last year when I was here I called dad in between schools and gave him the "low down" on each place that I visited and what I shared with the teachers. He was always interested to hear how I was recieved and especially loved hearing about any difficult situations that I encountered. I will miss having my sounding board tomorrow as I drive from school to school but I know I will stil hear dad's voice and feel his presence guiding me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Buck Fever

It's almost hunting season and time for buck fever. Steve has got orange clothes all over the house and he's gearing up for our trip up north. One of the best parts of deer hunting was looking at the great photos that dad's friend Mike would "doctor up" with photo shop. Last year he made cards that said, "Olson's Guide Service" and there was a picture of a tiny fawn with dad and Mike's big smiles.