WEDNESDAY - August 18, 2004 - I love that picture of the twins.  They're just so cute.  Today is supposed to be more summer-like here.  Last night, I talked to Bob's mom and she said that upon further inspection, Ted and Vada actually have more water damage than she did.  She was planning to sleep at her house last night.  There is water, but no phone or electric.  They have no idea when the electric will be back on seeing as how the Hurricane Charley knocked over all the utility poles!  Someone from her "Red Hat Club" knows someone who can work on her roof.  So, she's got that going for her.  I'm not sure if Diane has electric yet.  Haven't talked to any Floridians today.  When she went to work yesterday, she said that there was quite a bit of damage further east of Winter Park.  It's just such a nightmare.  Plus, a lot of the gas stations are without power.  You'd think that might cut back on the number of people driving around aimlessly but apparently it doesn't.  Oh that reminds me.  I have to put in the picture of Joe's tattoo because it was No. 1 on my request line!  haha  Yesterday afternoon, I went by Andrew and Jarrett's stone to weed whack and water the flowers.  Forgot to bring my camera so I'll have to go back today because I didn't have my window cleaner with me to clean the stone.  Better get going.  It is garbage day here.  Hope you have electricity wherever you are.  If you see a lineman, thank him for his hard work.  bye. later, djb

In MEMORY ARB - Joe's tattoo on his leg in memory of Andrew! 


Tuesday, august 17, 2004


The Twins - Gale and Gladys - were born 84 years ago today.  Ain't they cute?

I scanned this picture of my dad and Aunt Gladys and sharpened it up a little bit.  It's so cute.  In those days, it was pretty rare for both twins to survive, so Gale and Gladys amazed and amused everyone near and far.  One of their cousins told me that they tried to see the twins whenever they could because it was so much fun to see two little babies the same age.  What a hoot.  Well, Happy Birthday, Grandpa and Happy Birthday, Aunt Gladys.  I'll be back later to chat.  See ya, djb

Monday - August 16, 2004 - When I turned on the computer, I got an e-mail from Diane that the Bergs have phone service.  WOW!  That's amazing.  Diane still doesn't have electric.  She sent a picture of a big tree on their power lines.  It has to be fixed.

Big limb that fell on Diane's power lines. 

That reminded me of the summer that we moved here (1990) when the Plainfield tornado went right over our heads.  Here's the aftermath with Andrew and Jarrett checking out the damage that occurred to the cherry tree.  That was VERY, VERY scary. 

Another disaster picture from the past - Jarrett and Andrew checking out the cherry tree in August 1990

All right.  I'm going to get my skeedaddling shoes on now.  All this disaster talk is making me crave caffeine!  See you all later.  We didn't hear from Grandma Burkholder yesterday, but I'm assuming they're on their way to Port Charlotte.  bye for now, djb

SUNDAY - August 15, 2004 - Whew!  What a day we had yesterday.  We kept not hearing anything.  Then, a little after 4 our time, I got a call from Irene and she said that Berg's IM came on and that Howard was talking to Grandpa Berg.  This was the first time that we were able to communicate with them since Granny's phone call early yesterday.  They always had water but no electric and phone.  Anyway, I eventually talked to Grandpa on IM, but I had to go to the farm to get vegetables.  In the summer, I have to eat sweet corn and cucumbers with onions!  So, while I was gone, Diane called from her cell phone and Grandma Burkholder called from their Big Adventure Road Trip.  Diane left a message to say that they were okay and she had to get some more minutes for her phone and she'd call back.  Then, I talked to Grandma and she said that Ted and Vada had actually talked to one of their neighbors and although their house had sustained some damage, it was still standing.  whew!  They were in Bloomington at that time and were planning to get to Florida by Monday.  Bob and I had to go to Rosita's and after we got back I talked to Diane.  She had telephone service but no electric.  It's so bizarre.  Go figure.  We still don't know what happened to all those people on Sanibel.  That place took a direct hit.  Maybe I'll go into the newspapers and see if I can find anything.  For some reason, I'm drawn to the natural disasters like a moth to the flame.  Maybe it's because I had a hurricane named after me.  After a particularly devastating hurricane (not sure what the criteria is) the name is retired!  So, Donna is retired and so is Andrew!!!  Mercy.  We're so special.  Okay, I'm going to go upstairs and clean my glasses because when I was in the grocery store this morning, a can of V-8 fell into the cart and punctured a tiny hole and it started squirting at me.  The meat lady laughed at me.  I laughed at me.  It was pretty funny.  But it's hard to see through the tomato juice.  All righty.  See ya later, gators, djb

Grandpa is holding Jarrett, Diane is holding Andrew who is holding his blankie, Granny is holding the bunny.  Grandpa, Diane and Granny got to experience Hurricane Charley FIRSTHAND!!!  The eye of the hurricane went RIGHT OVER THEIR HEADS.  That's a double yikes and a triple yikes!!!!!  Or as we used to say on the farm, "Mercy Maude!" 

SATURDAY - August 14, 2004 - AFTER THE HURRICANE!  Yikes and Double Yikes!!  Yesterday, I spent a large portion of the day watching the Weather Channel and CNN.  I justified it by cleaning the leather furniture in the living room otherwise I'd be considered slothful.  As time went on, I realized that it was headed for Charlotte Harbor which is right by Punta Gorda and next door to Port Charlotte where Grandma Burkholder lives and also Uncle Ted and Aunt Vada (however, they were all here in Illinois) plus, Uncle Joe and Aunt Lois live in Port Charlotte, too.  THEN, of course, it headed for Orlando where Steve, Mary and Alyssa live, plus nearby Casselberry where Granny & Grandpa Berg and Diane live, plus Veralee and Karen were out at Disney at a hotel.  Holy moley.  Last night at 8:20, I called Diane and was able to get through to her before the phone lines went down.  The hurricane was right overhead at that time.  She and Marc were hunkering down!  Granny called me this morning from a neighbor's cell phone.  They made it through the storm physically intact, although part of their fence fell down.  I'm sure the psychological implications will be harder to deal with for everyone involved.  Remember, I experienced Hurricane David in 1979 and now I can't even find evidence that it went where I know it went.  Anyway, it was very, very, very scary.  This is much worse because the electric AND the phones are out.  That's bad.  That's very bad.  I called Howard, Alan, Ron and Aunt Gladys to let them know the Bergs were okay.  Bergy called me from Wisconsin to check on things because he knows that I hear all, know all and tell all!  Then, Alan called me back and said that he had talked to Veralee.  She and Karen were trying to decide if they should go to Disney World or what?!  They've already paid for it, so I'm sure that would be the logical thing to do.  Grandma Burkholder called from Bill's house after she had talked to her next door neighbor, Kenny.  Grandma lost the roof on her lanai, the roof on her carport, plus there are other holes in the roof, the shed was decimated, the stand of 60 foot evergreen trees out back were knocked over like toothpicks and only two are still standing.  Kenny lost his entire roof.  sheesh.  What a mess.  Ted and Vada can't get ahold of anyone in their neighborhood.  SO, the three of them are driving down to Port Charlotte later this afternoon to check it out!  Can't blame them one bit!!!  It makes me feel sick to even think about it, so I can only imagine how they must feel.  A hurricane is such a powerful and devastating storm, we just can't really fathom the breadth and depth of the destruction because we can only see such a little bit of it at a time.  God bless all the people down there who are going through this horrible situation.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.  bye for now, djb


Gale & Mary Ellen (BERGS) with Jewell & Glen (BURKHOLDERS) in Port Charlotte, Florida a few years ago

FRIDAY THE 13th - August 13, 2004 - Well, I guess Charley is on his way to Florida.  Remember that book by John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley?  That was a pretty good book.  I imagine most people in Florida wish that instead of being a hurricane, Charley was actually a dog!  Hurricanes are very scary considering that it's now getting close to a Level 3.  Yikes!   Last night, I was watching the Spanish channel and they had video footage from Cuba before the storm.  If you want to know what's going on down there, you have to watch those channels, although most of the time, you don't know what they're saying except for Huracan.  The best advice is to BATTEN your hatches.  Plus, go to the grocery store and get lots of water!  I talked to Irene last night and she's making hurricane food this morning:  chicken cutlets!  Sounds wonderful.   Good luck down there in Florida, all you guys!  I'll be watching the radar.  See ya later, djb

Andrew and Jarrett laughing for the camera in a black and white shot! 

later...(8/12) - I've been looking through some pictures this afternoon.  Here's a good one of Andrew and Jarrett at a picnic in Creston a few years ago.  It's so much fun to see the old pictures.  Must be going now.  See ya, djb

Andrew giving Jarrett the bunny ears in Creston a few years ago.

THURSDAY - August 12, 2004 - COLD?  Yes.  We broke cold records last night, I think.  It's only 55 degrees right now.  Yikes!  This is completely nutty.  It could be worse, I guess.  We could be getting ready for a hurricane!  Many years ago, I was living in Florida when Hurricane David hit.  It was pretty bad (strong winds, lots of rain), but the worst part of it is the anticipation and the constant reminders that the hurricane is coming......the hurricane is coming.....  At least, I know what to do in case one ever hits Illinois.  haha  very funny.  It sounds like the gulf side is going to get a lot of rain.  They just said that some parts of Tampa near the water are being evacuated.  If Irene and Howard read this, I hope you guys have a lot of WATER in bottles.  Water in the sinks, water in the bathtub, etc.  Plus, batteries and food!!!  Well, you know what to do because every two minutes someone is telling you how to prepare.  Oh yeah, don't forget to BATTEN YOUR HATCHES!!!  If you have any hatches, that is.  Whatever a hatch is, I don't know.  Yesterday, I went into Andrew and Jarrett's website and started re-saving the pictures into my Picture File.  I'm SO GLAD I have those already saved.  Let me see what I can put in here today.  It was fun seeing all the pictures again.  See ya later, djb

Bob, Donna, Andrew, Jarrett in Port Charlotte, Florida quite near Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda where the hurricane is going to be visiting.   

WEDNESDAY  - August 11, 2004 - I finally got the printer to work!  I'm still not sure what I did, but as long as it works, I don't care.  The scanner is back in working order, too.  I have ONE picture in my picture file.  Before my hard drive crashed, I had hundreds of pictures.  That's one way to purge the files, I guess.  At least, everything on my website is intact.  That's awesome.  Even though it can be a pain sometimes, the internet is an amazing place.  Just Ask Jeeves!!  haha  Here's my picture for today.  It's Kylie and Andrew many, many years ago.  Gotta go.  See ya later, djb

Kylie sucking her thumb while sitting on Andrew's lap in the swing by the BIG tree

TUESDAY - August 10, 2004 - I'm finally back!  No thanks to Dell Computers but MUCHO thanks to Nick.  I won't go into the gory details but it's certainly been an interesting week.  Amazing how much we come to depend on our computers and our connection to the WWW.....not to be confused with the WWF (that's the World Wildlife Foundation). hahaaa  Today, I'm going to be loading the rest of my programs but I have the basic necessities for now.  whew.  What a trip.  Speaking of cruises, Veralee and Karen are on their way to the Bahamas.  Hope they're having good weather.  Probably doesn't really matter as long as they're having fun.  We had a gorgeous day yesterday even though the weather people said that a big thunderstorm was coming our way.  Glad they were wrong.  I did have to download Weather Bug last night.  They're saying that our high temperature for tomorrow and Thursday is going to be in the 60's.  Hey, this is AUGUST!!!  Whoa.  I'd rather be breaking high records than low records.  Here I am talking about the weather again.  Let me find a nice picture of my sweet boys to put in here.  Everything is moved around so it's kind of fun to try and find stuff.  Bob told me that the blue moon isn't blue, it's a black moon, so let me put a sunset in there just for fun!  See ya later.  It's good to be back, djb

Andrew and Jarrett with Sophie on the deck at Aunt Liz and Uncle Ron's house a few summers ago.

TUESDAY - August 3, 2004

Donna's computer is having some problems. The website will not be updated for a week or so.

MONDAY - August 2, 2004 - Tomorrow will be 17 months since "the accident."  Rather than dwell on my grief, I've preferred to focus on my peripheral life.  But I've come to realize that grief is not really a noun or an adjective, the proper word is grieve, a verb.  It's an active verb, not passive.  The loss of my children is incomprehensible, a constant, never-ending pain that causes me to act in a bizarro way - fake happiness, stifled tears, stiff upper-lip.  When the whole time, I'm really trying to understand how I can go on when the deaths of my children pits me face-to-face with my own immortality - my own death.  No futures for my children or their children.  I'm grieving the loss of possibilities not just their loss.  Grieving makes most everyone very uncomfortable.  I imagine they're saying behind my back, "Isn't it time she moved on?  Shouldn't she be over it by now?"  I knew the day would come when everyone else moved on and I'm still left here alone because I'm contaminated by the noun (grief).  No one wants to catch it.  I don't believe there's a vaccine.   djb

Jarrett and Andrew a long time ago at Woodhaven 

later on - (8/1) - I just put a picture on the Boys' Stone page.  Because it's the one year anniversary of the stone being put in, I wanted to go in and water the plants and clean the stone.  Plus, I brought in the little wind thingamajigs that I bought at the Kane County Flea Market.  Those things are a riot.  They don't need much wind to move.  It will be an exciting day when I can take Jarrett's tree back in to plant it on his side of the stone.  Right now, it looks so bare.  We're going to Rosita's tonight so if you want to be jealous, you can.  We love their food!!  Okie dokie, I'm going back out by the pool.  Perfect pool day.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett and Andrew in an artsy fartsy shot

SUNDAY - AUGUST 1, 2004 - Did you see the full moon/blue moon last night?  It was awesome.  Wait a minute.  I took a picture of it.  Let me see if it came out.  Okay, so it was NOT such a good picture.  Here's a picture of a lovely sunset:

The sun setting on the ocean.  It's so pretty?!

Yesterday, we went to Rochelle so Bob and Bergy could play golf.  Avis and I went out and about.  We saw Wanda Ussery Austin at Keepers.  We always go there - it's a secondhand store that supports the homeless shelters in Rockford.  What a great place!  Then, we went to Alvarez and had some Mexican food....not too much.  Then, off to Nancy's Dress Shop where I bought a summery black dress that was in the BACK room.....On Sale, of course.  It was a hoot.  Then we came back and watched Micki who was doing MUCH better yesterday.  She doesn't have doggie pancreatitis.  But, I do have to check on a wildflower/weed that was growing on the fence and has red berries.  Maybe they're poisonous.  Maybe not.  After we came back from the Steak Pit in Oregon, she was doing even better.  Her eyes finally looked normal.  The Steak Pit means you get to meet Peter the Greek.  What a character.  What a riot.  What GREAT food!!  Because we were with Bergy and Avis, we were treated like family.  It was unbelievable.  Shirley was our waitress - a total doll.  She never flinched when the verbal sparring was flying overhead.  I thought Peter might break into a dance at any moment.  Quite memorable.  Here's some pictures of Denny and Avis with Jarrett and Andrew back in 1988 and 1987:

Uncle Bergy giving Baby Jarrett his bottle in the summer of 1988   

Aunt Avis with Andrew (holding his own bottle and his blankies) with Mo Jo sitting guard on the top of the chair in 1987

We're supposed to have 90 degree temperatures today.  We'll see about that!  I must go now and help Bob with the pool.  Talk to you all later.  bye, djb