Tuesday - August 31, 2004 - Tomorrow is the FIRST of September.  Yikes!!!  I'm trying to get everything organized and cleaned, etc.  Diane called me last night and said that she and Marc are getting ready to hunker down for Frances!!!!  Oh my mercy.  Not ANOTHER hurricane!  Yes, it's true.  If you want to see some really great hurricane pictures (from Charley) go to the Sun Herald newspaper in Port Charlotte, FL.  They even have actual video clips of the hurricane coming through town.  It's absolutely surreal, bizarre and quite interesting.....all at the same time.  Alyssa got her birthday package yesterday.  Lindsay and I went girl clothes shopping and got some PINK clothes for school.  Here's a picture from Christmas 2001 when we went to Florida to Bergs and Burkholders.  All right, I have work to do - enough chit chat.  bye for now, djb

Andrew and his cousin, Alyssa, in Florida at Christmas 2001

Jarrett and Bob playing chess in Florida at Christmas (2001) - Granny's in red on the far left

Monday - August 30, 2004 - The sun is shining and it's a gorgeous morning.  There's a bit of fogginess out there but we're supposed to have a nice FALL day.  We NEVER did have a summer.  Most people didn't mind but they obviously did not have a swimming pool at their house.  Krissy came over yesterday and we shopped until we dropped.  Bob went out and played golf.  All is right with the world.  yuk yuk.  I was working on my pond for a while.  The dirt is so much easier to dig when it's not dry as concrete.  My horoscope today said don't work too hard.  That's funny.  Here's a picture of Jarrett and Andrew the day after Jarrett fell out of his stroller in June 1989.  On the way down to the ground, he caught his finger on a piece of metal and needed THREE stitches.  They had to yell at me in the emergency room because I wanted to hold him.  It was quite an ordeal.  The next morning, I was changing the sheets on Andrew's bed, so they sat down and let me take their picture.  It's time to get busy on this lovely morning.  So, I'll chat with you later.  bye, djb

Jarrett with HUGE bandage on his little hand (plus 3 stitches) Andrew in mismatched clothes (notice second toe on left foot)

Sunday - August 29, 2004 - I can't believe that it's already AUGUST 29th.  That is just unreal.  Bob and I worked at a picnic yesterday at Lion's Park.  It was a hoot!  I got to do the sweet corn.  Most everyone wants sweet corn.  Although, at some point, I did get butter fingers because the butter was dripping off the tongs onto my hands.  We worked with Dave and Terry.  Plus, little Zach was there.  What a cutie - he has a beautiful smile and such a sweet disposition..  Bob took him out to ride on the ponies and feed the farm animals.  It was a huge picnic but very easy to do because everyone didn't line up at once like they do at our picnic!!  (haha).  When that happens, it's a lot harder to sling those ears onto the plates.  Plus, it's kind of intimidating to see that line stretch all the way out to end of earth.  The other day, I scanned a bunch of the black and white pictures.  Here's one that wasn't really clear, but I like it anyway because I love their expressions.  It's cold here this morning, but at least it isn't raining any more.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett and Andrew - my sweet babies

Saturday - August 28, 2004 - Grandma Burkholder sent us pictures of her yard, house and canal after Hurricane Charley visited.  When we were down in Florida at Christmas in 2001, I took a picture of Jarrett watching Bob fishing in the canal, and Andrew fishing in the canal looking the opposite way.  This is generally the same area as the following picture with Bob and Jarrett:

After Hurricane Charley

Jarrett watching Bob fishing before Hurricane Charley

Andrew fishing in the canal by the banana tree with the condo across the way reflected in the water

It's just unbelievable how much damage occurred.  Well, I guess it isn't unbelievable when you realize that the winds came ashore blowing 145 mph.  Triple Yikes!!!  Allrighty then, I've got to get my skeedaddling shoes on.....see ya, djb

Friday - August 27, 2004 - Yesterday afternoon, I went into Elburn to mail a belated birthday package to Alyssa.  On my way back home, I stopped to visit Andrew and Jarrett's grave so I could clean the stone.  They had mowed recently and there was grass all over the place.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a lot of new stuff that their friends had left for them. Lizz and Elliot left two blue ceramic fish, Trina and her crew (I'll have to get the rest of the names when I go in later) left some flowers for each boy.  Someone had also left a balloon with flowers.  It looked so festive and pretty because the mums have started to open up.  Yes, I did forget my camera!  duh.  The pictures seem to come out better in the morning when the sun is shining.  Of course, we haven't seen much of the sun lately, so I'll just have to take a cloudy picture.  When I came on here yesterday morning, I hadn't seen Lizz's poem until I was finished.  What a creative young lady.  Her brother, James, wrote a wonderful poem for us last year.  I'm amazed at the talent of the youngsters.  It's such a great way to ponder your feelings and share your thoughts with others.  We had so much fun with their brother, Elliot, this summer.  He's a hoot and half.  He'd see Bob out in the yard and ask if he could swim.  We'd just sit on the deck and watch him have the time of his life going down the slide into the pool.  Plus, he made us laugh.....and you know what they say about laughter - the BEST medicine.  This hasn't been an easy summer for us.  Anything that makes it a little bit better it certainly welcome.  Here's a couple of pictures taken a few summers ago of Andrew and Jarrett.  Hope you have a great day.  See ya around, djb

Andrew in the driveway on his bike

Jarrett holding Hobbes near Andrew's white pine tree

Thursday - August 26, 2004 - Summer is supposed to return today.  It does feel like Florida this morning - quite humid.  Then, it's supposed to be hot this afternoon.  I decided to put all of the mowing pictures on the Casa Page.  It still makes me laugh to look at them and remember that I was trying to get them all in a row.  Finally, I did accomplish my picture mission.  If they had digital cameras in those days, I'd probably have a MILLION pictures now.  hahaaaa  very funny.  But I managed to take a lot of pictures anyway.  Not much to yak about this morning.  I do have to continue sorting through the books.  So, I'd better go do that.  For some reason, I like this picture a lot.  Hazy but sweet.  see ya, djb

Andrew and Jarrett - the hazy boys hugging each other

Wednesday - August 25, 2004 - This morning, I saw the big YELLOW school buses go by taking the kiddies to school.  We noticed yesterday when we were out and about that most of the moms in Batavia just had preschoolers with them.  Good luck to all the young scholars.  There's not a lot going on today.  I think I'll start my Christmas shopping, after all, there's only 4 months until Christmas!  haha  Speaking of which, here's one of the photos of Jarrett and Andrew from 1994 that didn't make the cut to the photo Christmas card.  I still think it's cute.  See ya later.  bye for now, djb

Jarrett and Andrew in 1994 mugging for the Christmas card picture.  God bless my boys!

Tuesday - August 24, 2004 - The kids go back to school tomorrow.  How exciting for them!  Or it could be a nightmare if you're not COOL and you don't fit in.  To the high school kids reading this:  BE KIND.  DON'T GOSSIP.  Remember to treat other people the way you want to be treated.  What goes around, comes around eventually.  Some day, the nerdy guy you're being mean to just might be YOUR BOSS!  Or the geeky guy you're making fun of just might grow up and become a policeman and give you a speeding ticket!  Or a ticket for burning your leaves before 10 a.m.  Just be nice and as Bob always told Andrew and Jarrett, "Make people happy, not sad."  That's all.  This is a wonderful time to spread your wings, so to speak.  Oh yeah, and don't do drugs!  If you ever want to talk to someone, you can always send me an e-mail because I AM the Webmistress!!  This is almost impossible for me to believe but I was in high school FORTY (40) YEARS AGO.  Yikes!  Even in those olden days, we had the cliques and the girls who thought they were cooler than everyone else!  Yeah, duh.  Nothing changes really.  People are people.  We may have the most advanced technology in the world, but everyone responds to a kind word or a magnanimous gesture.  I always told Andrew and Jarrett that some day you'll have to review your life, and you really don't want to see yourself acting like a knucklehead.  Speaking of high school, here's my graduation picture from a long time ago.  Have lots of fun at school!!  woo hoo.  See ya'll later.  bye bye for now, djb

Donna Jean in October 1966 - a Rochelle Hub

MONDAY - August 23, 2004 - Elburn Days 2004 is just a memory, and most likely, a lot of trash left behind.  We worked the Hot Dog stand from 8 until we ran out of hot dogs!  When we got there, they only had brats and dogs left.  The pork chop sandwiches were long gone!  It was certainly interesting and fun!!  I took a picture of Andrew's favorite ride last night as we were leaving.  Jarrett went on it time and time again in later years, also.  They wanted to go on it because I didn't want them to!!  That's funny.


That scary ride at Elburn Days.

Before we went into Elburn Days, Bob worked on the swimming pool and I started digging out the spot for my little pond in the back yard.  I dug up the forsythia bush and put it in front of the tire that has the hosta in it.  Finally, some shade.  It seems to have weathered the move quite well.  In fact, I think it looks better than it did before I moved it!!  There were some gigantic roots from the mean tree that we had cut down last fall.  Not to change the subject but, I'm going to put in a fun picture from the summer of 1986 when Andrew was 5 or 6 months old.  See ya later, djb

Baby Andrew and Bob in our swimming pool in North Aurora - the summer of 88  

Sunday - August 22, 2004 - Bob and I went into Elburn Days yesterday and worked in the Lion's Club Hot Dog Stand for a couple of hours.  It's called the hot dog stand, but they also have brats, pork chop sandwiches (YUM!) and taco in a bag.  It was so much fun.  For some reason, everyone got hungry at 4 o'clock.....that's when we started working.  We saw Jarrett's friend, Jimmy.  I think the youngsters come out at night.  That's when we leave!  Of course, the Bears played last night.  We saw PJ Fleck (former Kaneland and NIU standout) catch the ball for the 49ers.  That was the most exciting part - to actually see someone on TV that we knew.  When my cousin, John Powers, played for Notre Dame, the Steelers and the Vikings, one of my brothers would be watching the games and yell at us when John would get put in.  We'd all run into the living room to see if we could see him.  I'm not sure if I ever did.  It's a lot easier to see the players nowadays with the BIG screen TVs.  The Bears did win but it's just pre-season.  Yes, I did go on the parachute ride (it's called the Paratrooper).  I couldn't find my boyfriend, so I had to go on it with my husband!!!  haha.  That's joke!  Let me see what I can put in here today.  All right, see ya later.  Bye, djb

Andrew going down the slide, Chad in the foreground and Jarrett on the right in 1996 or 1997. 

Saturday - August 21, 2004 - Yesterday afternoon, the clouds cleared and it was perfectly sunny and clear weather for the Elburn Days parade early last night.  That's nice.  I have a picture of Andrew, Kyle and Neal that was taken at Elburn Days quite a few years ago.  This picture makes me laugh because I told Andrew NOT to go on that particular ride.  He said, "It's not that bad, Mom, you should go on it."  Okay, so I did and it was very jarring to my bones not to mention very scary!!   That was the last time I went on a ride and I told both boys they couldn't go on it, of course, I suspected that Andrew ignored me.  Then, I got photographic evidence from Sue at the scene of the crime.

Andrew, Kyle and Neal on the forbidden ride at Elburn Days - I wonder if they had fun?

I talked to Grandma Burkholder yesterday.  The FEMA guy had come to her house and promised to give her money.  So, that's good.  She still has no electricity but does have running water.  Of course, the rainwater that came in through holes in the roof has caused mold to grow.  While we chatted, she told me that the temperature in Port Charlotte was 97 degrees and 100% humidity, plus there was a HOT breeze blowing through the carport to "cool her off?"  yikes!  I don't think so.  I know how unbearable that heat and humidity is in Fla in the summer.  Oh yeah and it smells bad.  Her grove of gigantic evergreen trees are in the canal.  I have a picture of them somewhere but I can't find it right now.  Bob and Jarrett are standing in front of the trees and they're positively dwarfed by them.  They were so tall.  That's one of the reasons Grandma and Grandpa liked that house because of the canal and the old trees.  Her tall palm trees were stripped of all their leaves.  Although I do think they're called fronds, but that might confuse the Yankees who are reading this!!  hahaha  I'm guessing that everyone down there in Florida might want to plant a Banyan tree....I bet they're still there after the hurricane.  Here's a picture of Andrew and Jarrett in front of a banyan tree at Thomas Edison's winter estate in Ft. Myers a few years ago.  Isn't it huge?  yes.  Okay, I must be going now.  I need some coffee and breakfast.  See ya later.  bye, djb

Andrew and Jarrett in front of a banyan tree given to Thomas Edison by Harvey Firestone in 1925. 

FRIDAY - August 20, 2004 - ELBURN DAYS ARE HERE!  The weather seems kind of cold and overcast, but so far no rain.  Hopefully, the rain will stay south of us today so it doesn't rain on our Elburn Day's Parade.  Tomorrow and Sunday look real nice.  You won't believe this but the tree across the street in Gene's yard is starting to change colors to orange.  Also, Ralph and Kathy's burning bush is turning RED.  Amazing.  It must have something to do with the lack of rain.  Yesterday, I got some mums to plant at Andrew and Jarrett's grave.  I also finally re-planted Jarrett's evergreen tree.  It still looks kind of puny compared to Andrew's blue spruce, but it's come a long way.  Tomorrow morning when the sun is shining, I'll take some pictures.  Maybe by then, some of the mums will have bloomed a little bit.  It's time to hit the road, Jack.  Here's a cute picture from the summer of 1989.  bye for now, djb

JARRETT and ANDREW in the summer of 1989

  THURSDAY - August 19, 2004 - It's back to double nickels this morning (that's 55 degrees!).  For some reason, we don't get to have summer this year.  Whatever happened to GLOBAL WARMING???  Last night, Bob talked to Bev and she said that apparently Ted and Vada's house has a big ORANGE X on it which means that it is "uninhabitable."  Although it appeared to have withstood the hurricane, the damage inside is too great - the horrendous winds caused water damage.  They loved living down there in Port Charlotte.  It was a well taken care of manufactured home community for senior citizens.  There was a huge swimming pool where they spent most of their time.  Grandma Burkholder would come over to swim with them.  I don't have a picture of it but it was sweet.  You think you're moving to paradise but it turns out to be hell on earth.  The heat has to be unbearable.  Last year, when I went down to see the Bergs for Father's Day, I remember going out to the garage (from the air conditioned house) and the humidity just about took my breath away.  Granny said, "It's so nice this morning, not so humid."  YIKES!!!  I think it takes a while to get used to it.  When I got back to Illinois, people were complaining about the heat and humidity, but I just laughed at them. You all don't KNOW what humidity is!!  Anyway, I'm really sad for Ted and Vada, plus for Grandma Burkholder.  What a mess to have deal with when all you want to do is enjoy life in your so-called GOLDEN YEARS!!  As Roseanne Rosannadana would say:  IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING.  See ya later, djb

Tree limb falling on Berg's car - the morning after Charley's visit (8/14)