Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Last Thursday, halfway between having our satellite internet installed in Grand Rapids and visiting our son and his family in Grand Forks, we stopped in Cass Lake to visit Ernie's dear Aunt Dorothy. She was at her cabin on Grace Lake and she welcomed us with open arms. Poor Aunt Dorothy. She was married to Ernie's mother's brother, Orville, who died many years ago of Huntington's Disease. Then in the last month she burried her son who also died of Huntington's Disease. And, she has a daughter who also is suffering from this horrible disease. Aunt Dorothy is coping the best she can, and with her determination and sense of humor she will be okay. What a remarkable woman she is! As a young woman, she and a friend decided that they wanted to get out of town after graduation, so they found a school in Minneapolis to attend together. They made friends with three other gals, and together they went on to a teletype operators school in Sioux Falls. While there they learned if they requested to be placed together that the school would do all they could to keep them together. They all five went to Utah to a military base where they worked during the war. Later Dorothy and one of the gals decided they wanted more adventure, and they transferred to California. She eventually came back to the north country and married her high school sweetheart!
Aunt Dorothy is 82 years old, and is still bowling and playing golf! She was state bowling champion one time, the biggest thrill of her life. But she says that now she is a better golfer than a bowler. She loves music, dancing, playing cards, and travel. She has visited every one of the 50 states and many countries in Europe. She is now planning a trip to Australia, just because she's never been there.
I remember the first time I met Aunt Dorothy. It was before we adopted the four kids, so it was just our three kids and Ernie and me. We went to see her at another lake up North where she used to have a cabin. The flies where awful, our son Kevin was sick, it was hot and we had a big storm. But my clearest memory of her is the trick she played on our youngest, Chris. He must have been about four years old, and was acting smart about catching a fish or something. She asked him if he was hungry, and when he said he was, she made him a sandwich. She asked if he wanted mayo or butter, did he want lettuce, and then reached for the little round covered plastic dish in the fridge and completed his sandwich by adding two huge wiggly leeches! As she handed Chris the sandwich the black squiggly bloodsuckers were sticking their heads (or maybe it was their tails, who could tell!) out of the edge of the sandwich! Chris thought it was the funniest thing anyone had ever done, and to this day he talks about his leech sandwich that Aunt Dorothy made.
We were so honored to spend the evening with her. We shared a pizza, a glass of wine, some old time music, and many hours of memories. God bless you Aunt Dorothy! We will be back to visit again soon. We love you.