Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Exercise Equipment!

Nonprofit sponsors
exercise equipment
along Cannon Falls city trail

            A  nonprofit foundation that goes by the name, People in Business Care, is sponsoring the third of four pieces of upper body exercise equipment to be added to the Cannon Falls City “Walking-Jogging-Biking” Trail.  They have chosen the Tai Chi Wheels.   
            In a conversation they expressed that they back many projects and were excited to be part of one where they can experience the benefits too.
            They chose the Tai Chi Wheels exercise equipment because it offers health benefits to those who are handicapped besides those wanting to improve their fitness.
            The HealthBeat Tai Chi Wheels are designed to improve flexibility along with relaxation.   It can evenly tone muscles without strain as you adjust the tension of the wheels for your level of fitness. It is created for teens and adults of all fitness levels.

First piece...

  Sponsor of the first piece was the Cannon Falls Nelson-Scofield VFW Post 4452 which sponsored the Stretch piece of equipment.  Dave Bremer of the VFW explained that “It’s easier than basic training!”  He added that the VFW not only assists veterans, their widows and children but this is a good way to benefit the entire community.

Second piece

The second piece, the “Ab Crunch/leg lift” was sponsored by Dr. Karl Molenaar, associated with the Olmsted Medical Center, Cannon Falls Branch Clinic.  Dr. Karl explained that he bikes the trail himself and this is a way of giving back to the community... he also encourages his patients about the importance of regular aerobic activities/exercise.
The goal of adding this equipment to the trail is to provide equipment for individuals to exercise in an outdoor environment at the level they choose at no cost to them.  The plan is to start adding the equipment when four pieces are sponsored.  The trail has space for potentially eight pieces.  

A special plaque

Sponsors will be noted on site with a special plaque from the city of Cannon Falls.  The city public works department with director Tom Bergeson will facilitate the development of the sites and their care.
Interested sponsors may contact Public Works Director Bergeson at 507.263.4626 or citizen coordinator, Rosie Schluter 507.263.3893.
The sponsor of the fourth piece of equipment will be identified soon.    
A TV station from the Twin Cities has expressed plans to feature this project.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

It's still hard to remember this… but it helps to share it.

Reflections… at any age 
it's hard to see them leave.

(An interpretation of my column from back in 1990)

"I didn't know it would hurt so much!"  
This thought has been confirmed by others who had someone dear to them die - even though they were at an "old age".

And it was my thought as I drove home in the early morning dawn many years ago - after sitting with my 90-year-old mother as she died.

Now I was relatively mature… I'd raised two children… my father and in-laws had already passed away… I had studied psychology, religion, philosophy… but all their deaths hurt.


As I drove home alone I had a strange reflection… although I would miss her companionship, I realized that another reason it hurt so much was that I wouldn't be able to do anything for her anymore.
That thought surprised me!

You see, as a child I looked to mom to do nice things for me.  To hold me when I skinned my knee, to buy me a new dress for the first day of school… to make me a chocolate birthday cake.
But as the years passed and she got weaker, our roles changed.


Although it hurt to see her in pain and lonely, I focused on how much of a "high" I would get when watching her eyes light up when she saw me and exclaimed, "Rosemarie!"  (She's the only one who called me by my full name.)

And when I bought her a new dress she looked so surprised and pleased at the present and exclaimed, "At my age?"  (And I felt guilty that I hadn't done it before.)

Many situations...

Mom had various bouts with life threatening illnesses.  It almost got to be "normal".
One time when I headed to the emergency room I wondered if I was too complacent.  And when a friend said I was in "denial" and "dumb", (my friends express their opinions with me!), I wasn't sure they weren't right.
But Mom came out of it again, as usual.

This is strange…

Although I don't always take the time to hunt out the meaning of circumstances... recently I had been watching a particular ivy plant that I had had for years.  I don't have a lot of plants because I usually forget to water them.


This one had two different plants in one pot.
One ivy was from my mother-in-law and the other from my mom.

A few years ago the plant from my mother-in-law started drying up… and died.  I took it out of the pot the same time she died from a long term illness.

But my mom's ivy kept on growing until a few weeks ago when its leaves started drying up.
Finally I couldn't avoid it any longer.  I decided to remove the dry leaves and repot the plant.  I didn't know if it would make it or not.
And I forgot about the plant until after mom died.

Then I saw new growth was coming out where the dead leaves had been removed.
Kind of like coming alive again… although in a new environment.

And that was comforting too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Missing child found in Mexico… Reunited with father from Cannon Falls

Missing child found in Mexico
Reunited with father 
from Cannon Falls

Internet social media and mainly some good old fashioned sleuthing resulted in the return of the six-year-old daughter of former Cannon Falls resident Dayton Clevenger, who had moved to Denver, Colorado to be closer to his child, according to the child’s grandmother, Dawn Clevenger, who also moved there.  The family is living together.
After approximately seven months of searching by U.S. authorities, six-year-old Eden Marie was found in Mexico with her mother, Brittany Nunn, step-father, Peter Barr, and four-year-old sister, Gema, who was also being searched for by a separate father.  Two other siblings were with the group.  
Originally, the Rochester/Pine Island area in Minnesota had been on alert as it was possible the group could locate here.


The Nunn-Barr family disappeared after Dayton was given certain custody rights at the end of November, according to newspaper reports.  
Dawn Clevenger notified her Facebook friends of the situation.  On Dec. 29, 2014 she pleaded with the mother and step-father of her granddaughter to “stop running and turn yourselves in...” 
A Colorado judge had issued warrants for the mother’s arrest and said the child was in “imminent danger.”


According to newspaper reports, the Larimer County Sheriff's Office Investigator had filed many search warrants to trace the Nunn/Barr location.   
A private investigator from Minnesota, Hilary DeVary, explained that she investigated leads from the general public, used her investigative databases along with surveillance in Colorado and “dumpster diving” certain people who may have had contact with family with the result that she was able to find out that they were in Mexico.
Hilary added that she found various American stores in Mexico like CostCo, etc. so she was able to confirm that the family was in Cabo San Lucas and received packages at a mail-packaging store.  She even tracked down an order from a clothing store for maternity clothes back in May apparently for Brittany Nunn. 
  Hilary had a contact with immigration and with “extreme careful surveilance” found where they lived.  She added, that she put her investigator in a nearby vacant apartment to monitor the situation while immigration was organizing their plan.
On July 7th Hilary explained, the family was detained and “19 hours later deported back to Denver.” 

Meanwhile, back at home...

Back at home Dawn recalled that the missing family still had a Colorado vehicle with a Wyoming license plate on their car.
Dawn had also been interviewed on Unsolved Mysteries which was aired on their website on March 13, 2015.  
Working together with Federal authorities in the U.S. and Mexico, the Nunn/Barr’s were brought back to the U.S. and father and daughter were reunited on July 8.
Now the Clevenger family can watch little Eden open the birthday, Christmas and Easter presents that have been waiting for her.

All three Clevengers are coming back to Cannon Falls for a fundraiser for Eden Marie planned by the Wangen Prairie Church on Saturday, Sept 12 from 2-5 p.m.  It will be an Ice Cream Social with Silent Auction, craft and bake sale along with a picnic lunch.  Missing Children Minnesota will attend and explain their program and support.
  The funds raised, Dawn explained, are to help with all the expenses: court costs, attorney fees, private investigators and intensive emotional therapy for the child.
The $2000 reward that had been donated by Dawn and two others was given to the private investigator, who Dawn explained, “is like an angel to us”.


 Dayton Clevenger, daughter Eden Marie and Dawn Clevenger reunited.  Photo by Ryan Martin of Colorado. 

 Missing persons flyer posted by grandmother, Dawn Clevenger, on Facebook. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

“Hitches” in a small town parade!

“Hitches” in a small town parade!

There were a couple of hitches when taking part in the Cannon Falls Parade on the Fourth of July.

Hitch #1

One is that by being IN the parade - you can’t WATCH the parade.  That’s a bummer.
This means you not only can’t see all the home-made decorations (that some hoped would stay intact for the parade route) or the people in the parade.
Well, you can possibly see everyone lined up before the start of the parade... but it’s not the same.  
The spark isn’t there.
It’s like when you go to a play or movie... it’s when the curtain finally goes up that the magic begins!

Hitch #2

And then there’s the weather.  
It’s the Fourth of July... so you want it sunny and warm.   
Do you know how hot it feels on the pavement? I stored a water bottle on the Beacon float to squirt on my arms and neck and also drink.

Hitch #3

But the thing I hadn’t expected was: all the hugging!
Here’s what happened.
I hadn’t been in the parade for many years.  
At 76 years I had been in a few but decided that it was also enjoyable to find a friends’ house on the parade route and sit there talking and watching the parade.
This takes some planning because I saw some lawn chairs and markers were already lined up along the parade route 1 to 2 days ahead of time!

This year

But this year I thought I’d join the Cannon Falls Beacon’s float - for two reasons:
1) I liked receiving their specially made up tablets that are given to the crowd and 2) they asked me.  
I remembered the fun we had many years ago when the Beacon had a “drill team” with a choreographed pattern of marchers... and special “uniforms”!  Actually just jean shorts but also T-Shirts with a flag logo, socks and neck scarf.
I found some of these in a drawer on the morning of the parade!  This is not a good reason to hoard stuff - but it comes close!
And I headed off to the parade.

It’s “show time”!

After the finishing touches were put on the “float” (hay wagon) - we were given our assignment... we would walk along the parade route with bags of candy and the tablets in “newspaper boy type cloth bags” to be worn over our shoulders.
But I exclaimed... that would distort the effect of my “ensemble”!
Too bad!
So I only put it over one shoulder - vanity I suppose!

The  big “hitch” occurs!

It was when we walked along the parade route handing out the treats that I met my main problem.  
The hugging!
It came when old friends waved or stopped me to talk and I’d get “hugged”.
   Keep in mind that I’m not a “hugger” and hate being forced to do it.
But this was different!  And it was nice.

Then another friend came running up and stopped me to take a “selfie” of the two of us that I later saw on Facebook!

But the resulting problem?

But all this friendliness also delayed me from my duty.  And I would consistently find myself getting lost from my float!
And I would have to jog to catch up!  (Who knows how many hugs I might have missed?)

Ahhh... small town parades are tough!

May the world have more of them!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Rescued: Old VHS tape with memories!

Old VHS tape 
with memories of 1992 CV Fair  

The grinding - crashing sounds of the demolition derby... the steady breathing and hoofbeats of the horses lining up on the race track behind the pace car... the excitement of the youth horse shows and animal displays... the race for candy thrown at the parade.

All these memories and more came back when I found an old VHS tape of the Cannon Valley Fair I had edited back in 1992.  It had been laying in a drawer for 20 years or more.  
What better time to look at it than this 100th anniversary of the fair?

I had spent about three days at the fair that year.  I got video from the top of the ferris wheel... you can hear me grimmacing:  “I want to get off!”  (I’m not good at heights!)

More exciting to me was being on top of the announcers stand in the Demolition Derby.  Got great shots zooming in on the grinding cars in the mud and crashing into each other below me...  the emergency welding on the sidelines shooting sparks... etc.

And then came the horse shows, the kids showing their prize animals, food, and the flashing lights and rides of the Midway.

Only one problem occured in this trip down memory lane.
My VHS tape would not work in my VCR.   It showed two others films on the same tape... but not this one.

So I called the magician who has helped me before... Mark Mason of Cannon Falls.  He professionally transfers tapes, etc. to DVD’s. 
Mark explains: “My business is to save family memories for the next generation by taking old film, slides and video tape and moving them to current technology i.e. DVDs and CDs.”

Could he do it with mine?
And, embarrassingly, I really didn’t know if the video was as good as I remembered!  
And if Mark could salvage it, then someone else would know if it was any good!

                                 My hero!
 Well, my hero came through for me again.
The video is now on DVD and is on Cannon Falls cable channel 12 and on the internet.

Here are some of the memories of folks I caught in 1992... at a small town fair... in rural America.

May the world enjoy a little moment of sweetness.

(If you recognize any of the folks pictured let them and us know!)