CURRENT JOURNAL - September 1, 2005
Saturday - October 1, 2005 - I'm supposed to start a new page - darn.. I will do that tomorrow. I was so busy today, I can't even tell you what I did. It was crazy. Here's a picture I took tonight of the boys' crosses. The one on the right was put at the accident site right after Jarrett died. Then, the one on the left was put there after Andrew died. The one in the middle I think is from that carpenter guy in Aurora who put the crosses at Columbine and everywhere else. Anyway, I wanted a picture of the crosses - and here they are. God bless the saintly boys. I'll have more to say tomorrow. bye for now. It's after 10 pm and you know that's pretty late for us old people! haha see ya, djb
The crosses on Keslinger where Andrew and Jarrett left the earth and went to heaven...
later today (9/30) - I forgot to put this in here, but my big adventure was merely DRIVING over to the mall. I can't believe how people drive. It's as if they have no common sense or fear of dying. They drive like they're on crack! It's unbelievable. Now I know why I don't drive as much going east as I do going west. And the western people are just as crazy, it's just that there aren't as many of them! I did go to the mall so I could get one of little gift packages you get when you buy Clinique but they won't have them until next week so I had to pre-order mine but that's okay because I like those little samples. Then, I bought some perfume at that goofy perfume store. That was interesting!!! The little man asked if he could help me and since I can never remember the name, I said that I'd look around and see if I could recognize the package. I did and he brought them down of the shelf, and said they were $79 and $99. I thought that was a little higher than we'd paid before - this is the perfume that Andrew bought me for my birthday several years ago. So, I looked in the case in front of me and asked how much that little one was. Well, it was considerably LESS. What a weasel! He wasn't even going to show me the smaller one! On the way back, I stopped at Border's and got some Scottish music - hopefully this will sound better than the Scottish CD I got with bagpipe music that sounds like an elk dying in the north woods. Anyway, then I came home and took stock of my situation. Sammi and Lindsay had left me a card and some flowers by the driveway. How pretty and how sweet of them. After a few minutes letting Hobbes inside and then outside, I decided to go water the boys' flowers. On my way there, I saw Nick and Jasmine (their dog) and we chatted. Then, I went to the cemetery and watered the flowers. After that I was going to go over to the farm and get another mum because there's only three at the cemetery and it's "unbalanced." On my way down the road, I drove by the gas station in Elburn because it was kind of busy. I figured I could get gas in Maple Park. Meanwhile, on the way to the farm, I decided against getting another mum. But I did decide to get gas. I pulled in and a disincarnate voice told me I had to PAY INSIDE. You've got to be kidding, I said to myself. So, I left that joint. On my way back to Elburn, I stopped at the other farm and got some donuts. They were out of the iced, so I got cinnamon sugar. Still quite delicious because I had one on the way home. Also got some apples. Supremely delicious!!! Then, I got home and Hobbes came inside to see what was going on. I looked out the kitchen window and I saw a hawk eating his dinner. yuk. This is the least offensive picture but he still has some scraps of food on his mouth. You REALLY don't want to see the other pictures that I took through the window inside the garage. Quite gross. Kind of like the nature programs you see on PBS. Better go. Have to do some stuff. see ya later, djb
Hawk - sitting on Andrew and Jarrett's bench eating his dinner like he owns the place!
Friday - SEPTEMBER 30, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been so busy ALL morning that I haven't been able to get out and have my great adventure. So, that's where I'm going now. I'll be back later with a report and most likely pictures. It's very exciting. I decided a long time ago that I would celebrate my birthday with exuberance. Indeed, why not! see you all later, djb (older and wiser!!!!)
My beautiful birthday flowers from my sweet husband!
later today - (9/29) - When I got the Elburn paper today, this story about Philip Austin's accident was in there. I've talked to one of his friends and he is doing better day by day. Thank God for that. There were obviously a lot of rumors going around and no one knew for sure what had happened. It was all bits and pieces and I'm finally glad to know something concrete. If you have a kind heart, send him a card!! That's my advice. And you know, I ALWAYS give GOOD advice. Remember, there but for the grace of God, could be any of us! bye for now, djb
Elburn Herald, September 29, 2005
Thursday - September 29, 2005 - My birthday eve. Today is Miles Musekamp's birthday (Denny also remembers him). He went to St. Catherine's Church in Genoa when we did. Years ago, they used to put everyone's birthday on the church calendar so I guess you could send someone a card if you wanted to. Well, wherever he is, Happy Birthday, Miles. This morning, I was down here on the computer getting ready to update the website when I got a call from Patrick - my driveway main man. He's been sealing it for years and years and years. Anyway, he was on his way here but I finally met a person who has worse directional skills than I do. He wanted to go south instead of north or east instead of west. It was pretty funny. Anyway, he got here and finished it up before 11. Since then, I've been washing clothes and picking up sticks in the yard. Dummy Hobbes had to walk on the driveway, and of course, it's not quite dry, so he keeps shaking his feet to try to get that stuff off - it's actually kind of funny. It's almost dry. Looks fantastic. He complimented whoever did it on an excellent job. So, I've got some things to do out and about in the world. It was 40 degrees outside and 66 degrees inside when I got up at 6:45 am. Brrrrrrr And some day we'll think that WARM. Pitifully warped minds that we have. I'd better be going now. It's sunny and cool - only 58 degrees here. Yikes!! see ya later, djb
Burkholder, Meszaros, LaJeunesse, Lund, Merfeld - they were part of a great baseball team!
Jarrett trying to dunk the ball on the old ugly driveway!
later - (9/28) - Well, I was down here on the computer checking out some songs to put on a picture CD and I thought maybe I should go outside and put the umbrella down because it was getting kind of windy (a COLD front is moving through). I went into town earlier and it poured like crazy. So, it's been kind of raining off and on since about 2. That's when I finished mowing the lawn, and now I'm glad I was able to get that done. So, I went upstairs and looked out the window, but I didn't see the umbrella sitting in its umbrella stand in the middle of the table. I looked around and I found it upside down in the driveway!!! It knocked the lid off the Weber grill but apparently it didn't hit anything else. How in the world it flew over there without damaging anything is beyond my comprehension. That would've been something to see. It didn't hurt any of the flowers or didn't seem to hit anything else. Amazing. Here's a picture of it. bye for now from the windy city, djb
Upside down flying umbrella
Wednesday - September 28, 2005 - It's not as late as yesterday but it's not early either! I'm trying to get a lot of things accomplished today. That's usually easier said than done if you know what I mean. I heard some very unsettling news yesterday via the grapevine. I never did see anything in the newspaper but that doesn't mean it wasn't in a paper somewhere! One of Jarrett's classmates was in a serious car accident on Saturday night. He's in Loyola Hospital with severe injuries. I'm going to send some e-mails to people who know what's going on better than the rumor mill. At least, I finally heard about it. I know this kid - he's a riot! When Jarrett was maybe in 7th or 8th grade, we'd take him up to Woodstock to the indoor skate park and he'd bring this kid and another kid along with him. That kid was so funny, he never stopped talking. Of course, early on I was told that my role was the chauffeur and I was not to speak - it could cause great embarrassment. Anyway, I'm hoping to find out some better news from my sources. God bless that little sweetheart. Say a prayer for him. While you're at it, say one for Diane and Gayla - the discs in distress girls. They're both in so much pain and there's no resolution. It's an endless nightmare because of our wonderfully overwhelmed health care system. Plus, when you're in pain, you can't really think clearly or function at a high level....all you can think about is that you hurt and you want it to go away! After my splenectomy, I hurt more than I can even describe. Andrew brought a card to the hospital and it was so funny that I had to stop reading it because it made me laugh so much that it hurt my staples. Yes, I was stapled like a bag of dog treats. haha Oh sure, I can laugh now. Better go find a picture of Kathi Berg. I like this one because she was having a great time! see ya later, djb
Bergy, Avis, Dawn, Kathi
Tuesday - September 27, 2005 - Today is Grandma O'Malley's birthday. If she were still alive, she'd be 122. A long time ago, I did a lot of research on Grandma's side of the family and then some of the other cousins picked up the pace and eventually published a book of all the old people and the young people and everyone in between. It's very cool. Especially since I was the person who found the OLD obituaries for David and Catherine (Grandma's parents). I still remember how exciting that was. It took hours and hours or poring over microfilm in the library. We always wanted to get our hands on the deaths records from the Rockford Diocese for the years 1852 until 1880 something like that. They wouldn't give them to us because WHY???? What the hell are they gonna do with them? I don't understand being stingy for no good reason. That information is the last link in the chain to the past. Soon, it'll be gone. We did get lucky years and years ago when my third cousin Richard Nolan went up to Rockford and started copying birth and marriage info by hand. They eventually let him copy the stuff (I'm sure whoever let him do that is now burning in hell). BUT, Richard died before he could get the burial information. The church in Hartland burned down a couple of times over the years which led people to believe that the records were lost forever. Not so. There are copies in Rockford that survived more than a century. It's quite amazing. Quite valuable stuff. Can't understand why they wouldn't let us get copies of it. It defies my logical brain. We still don't know where Catherine's father died. Although her obit said he died in McHenry County but we can't find any evidence of that. Plus, the Nolans are another mystery. Who came over from Ireland with Patrick and Mary? Who was the other Patrick and who was the other Mary? Anyway, I've been thinking about this for years and years. It was all consuming at one time. I'd drag Andrew and Jarrett out the cemeteries to take pictures and look for clues. They were pretty young so they didn't mind as long as I was able to bribe them with lunch at McDonald's or Pizza Hut or somewhere. Okay......it's getting QUITE late. So, I'd better be getting going.....Here's some pictures I took in Hartland. We went to the golf meet last night and I also took some pictures there. Plus, this morning, I took some pictures. I might well put them all in here. That'll give you something to look at while I'm out and about. see ya around, djb
Obviously, this is the entrance to St. Patrick's Cemetery (in Hartland)
St. Patrick's Church in Hartland
Irene and me posing beside a tree gravestone - we thought it was pretty neat/different/weird
Kevin at the golf meet last night at Hughes Creek - Kaneland won 155 to 171
Kevin and that other kid from Plainfield South
That camera with the biggest lens I've seen in a long time
Steam coming off the grass in the hot morning sun - although the air temperature wasn't that hot
Jarrett's white pine tree - it's getting bigger and bigger
My pink hydrangea - the flowers are so huge that they fall on the ground
later this morning (9/26) - These pictures below prove that I'm actually DOING something with my stuff and getting organized. Well, I have been distracted by a few shiny objects, and of course, I have to look at ALL the old pictures!! It's so wet and cold outside that even Hobbes is taking his nap in the house. Whoa! That's cold. see ya, djb
Kristen Weeks, Judy ?, Me, Sharon Berg, one of the Olson cousins in June 1966 - there was something at the Lutheran Church on Perry Road that had to do with our grandparents - I know for sure that four of us are second cousins - except I don't know how Judy ? is related - maybe she isn't??? Grandpa will know or if he doesn't Granny might remember.
This looks like it might be Tracy watching Diane playing in the water in the early days in Florida - maybe 1973?
Grandpa is watering his lawn and Diane is romping in the yard - notice the requisite palm tree and the LACK of trees in the neighborhood.
Monday - September 26, 2005 - I just heard that it's going to get in the upper THIRTIES later this week in the far western suburbs (that's us even though I don't consider us a SUBURB)!! We're actually in the country. It's air from Canada. Oh, thanks a lot. Could be a good thing for grass to grow since it seems to like cooler weather. Our lawn is partly okay and partly gone. I'd just love to dig it all up and plant stuff. Grass is boring. Even in the back yard, we don't have that much grass, it's mostly clover....maybe that why the bunnies like it. hmmm I'm in the middle of a huge project, so I'd best be going now and may or may not be back on here. I'm getting organized!!!!!!!! It's true. bye for now, djb
Andrew and Jarrett at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Ft. Myers FL
Sunday - September 25, 2005 - It's very, very humid today, and it's supposed to be 77 degrees later on and then rain again. The forecasts are all crazy because of the effects of TD Rita. Have you seen the newest depressions in the Caribbean? Yikes! Don't look, it's kind of scary. Remember last year, when Florida was hit by 4 hurricanes - I think they all do. When you live by major bodies of WARM water, that's what can happen. Although I think the people who live around the Great Lakes are okay for now - because their water is not warm. I'll put the sunset picture in here. Better go check on Hobbes. Go Bears (they lost)!!!! NIU lost. U of I lost. At least, Kaneland won!!! bye, djb
Gorgeous sunset on Saturday night
later tonight - (9/24) - I was expecting the pizza delivery guy to deliver the pizza and I heard a car outside, so I went out and it was Steve and Stephanie on their way to the homecoming dance at the high school, and they decided to stop by on their way just to say hi. Isn't that sweet!!. Her dress was absolutely adorable and her shoes were too cute!! So, of course, I had to drag them inside to take their picture!! Then, when our pizza came, it was the WRONG one!! It had black olives, pineapple and Canadian bacon on one half and sausage on the other half! Oh my mercy. I'd love to see the people who ordered that - what an "interesting" combination. Wait a minute, that reminds me of the "Mainspring of all combinations" - my line in the only school play I was ever in. I was the third lady. haha Anyway, our correct pizza eventually did show up - the Fabulous Four. All is well in the country tonight. Plus, we had a gorgeous sunset after it rained all day ( I put that picture up above). nighty night, djb
Stephanie and Steve - Such wonderful and thoughtful kids!
Stephanie's shoes - aren't they just too darn cute!!
Saturday - September 24, 2005 - It's overcast and downright ugly outside today. Where did the 80 degree temps go? It's only 66 right now and it feels colder than that. This morning, while I was reading the paper to see if Kaneland beat Sycamore - and YES, they DID!! 34 to 13. Something like that. Anyway, I heard a "commotion" in the garage (the big door was closed and the side door was open) -- of course, it involved Hobbes and some other critter - I'm assuming it was a cat because I don't think that a fox would come in the garage. I only saw a flash of orange and white, so maybe it was a bobcat or a small tiger (probably not). We have several new neighbors - maybe it's theirs. Or maybe it came from New Orleans to get out of the flooding down there. Of course, I wouldn't advise anyone to tangle with Hobbes (he's cranky and rude). Apparently, this critter came IN the garage to EAT Hobbes' food. Not a good idea. I pushed the door opener so they'd go outside on the driveway. Then, I honked my car horn to scare them if they hadn't already gone out. Right now, Hobbes is in the house. I'm sure, at some point, I'll let him back outside - I always do until it snows. He's such an animal. It's hard to keep him inside. Although, he's been staying around the house and the yard and sleeping on the deck so I'm assuming this other cat is invading Hobbes' space. Mercy!! Bob went out to play golf and I'm going to see if I can get the tractor started. Most likely, NOT! I'm not exactly sure how to get the battery unhooked. They have so many dire warnings on these things that it's close to downright scary: EXPLOSION POSSIBLE.... Yikes!! Probably won't do anything to it. I'd like to get a new tractor. This one has caused me nothing but trouble. Maybe I'll get a John Deere. hmmm Not to change the subject, but last night, I wanted to put all of the golf course pictures on a CD and I found the most wonderful gem on the Microsoft Digital Image Library 10. You can use a plain CD and burn pictures and music - plus, it has a fade-in, fade-out feature that is spectacular. I just love playing with my computer and my pictures and Andrew's "My Music." hahaha Gotta go. bye for now, djb
Andrew, Sara and Jarrett at Aunt Gladys and Uncle Malvin's house in DeKalb
Friday - September 23, 2005 - Only 7 days until my birthday! Oh boy! Here's one of my all time favorite pictures. see ya later, djb
Andrew hitting the golf ball at Hughes Creek
Thursday - September 22, 2005 - This morning, I found out that fall arrives at 4:23 pm today. I don't know where that other time came from. Very confusing to me! It sounds as if Hurricane Rita is getting a little weaker (165 mph), however, she seems to be moving more easterly as of 11 am EDT. That's a nightmare for New Orleans. Oh my goodness. Yikes and double yikes!! This morning, I woke up to heavy rain and lightning and thunder, etc. I got up at 6 to watch CNN and the Weather Channel...then, all of sudden the electricity went out for a second and the cable went out for good! Later, at around 8, the electricity went out completely for about an hour. Of course, I always call it in right away. In both cases, they didn't know about the outages. I don't ever wait for anyone else to call because you never know for sure if it's just your own house or the whole neighborhood or whatever. So, the point of all this rambling is that I had time to think about how much we depend on electricity for not just cable TV and the internet, but our basic needs. Out here in the country, we can't get water out of our well without electricity. On a very basic level, we can't do much of anything. Except sit and read or watch the rain or the birdies. It does tend to stop a person in their tracks. I think about the poor people in the path of these monster storms and I just feel so sorry for all of them. What a drain it must be on your psyche. Where in the world do you start when everything you had is gone? Start over, I guess but it's going to be very, very hard. Not just on the adults but also on the children. Think about some of these kids who've been uprooted so many times. We all know that kids do better when they have a set daily routine. Everything is topsy turvy (quaint phrase not used much any more!) All right. I have to do something interesting and/or special and/or fun and/or memorable. As of today, there are 100 days left in this year. We've already gone through 265. Isn't that amazing? I'm going to go and accomplish something!! Okay. see ya around, djb
ANDREW LOOKING AT HIS FISHING POLE - Port Charlotte FL
JARRETT EATING CORN - North Aurora IL
later - (9/21) - The tractor won't turn over - the engine, that is. What a bummer! So, I came inside for a while to let it cool off. While I was in here on the computer, I saw this red cardinal outside so I took this picture through the window and the screen. Isn't he cute?!! Whenever we see a red cardinal it always reminds us of Grandpa Burkholder. Here he is. Gotta go back out and try it again!!!! bye bye, djb
Wednesday - September 21, 2005 - It used to be that today was always the first day of fall but I'm not sure any more when exactly the autumnal equinox occurs. Think about it - equi - nox ---- sounds like equal nights - which is also equal days because that's what it is. The same amount of daylight and darkness. Pretty interesting. It'll be 9/22/05 - at 7:14 p.m. CDT to the best of my calculating ability. It could be off an hour one way or another because the table I consulted used Universal Time - whatever that is!!!!!! I wonder if it's related to GMT???
This morning, I was rounding up my garbage to put outside and I thought I'd go through some "stuff" downstairs. Of course, as usual I know why it takes me SOOOOOO long to get rid of anything because I want to SAVE everything!!! I found a project that Jarrett had worked on when he was in 8th grade. It was a Civics class presentation dated 9/25/01 - so that was four years ago - two weeks after 9-11. Anyway, here's what he wrote:
TEACHING THE CLASS
by Jarrett Burkholder
The experience that I had teaching the class was a good one. I liked being in control of everybody and having everybody listen to me. It was also enjoyable to teach people and grade their papers. Grading papers was somewhat fun because I got to see everyone's ideas and what they thought was correct (I also got to see if they were paying attention and listening during class).
Another thing about teaching the class that I enjoyed was not having to go up there by myself but having friends go up with me. That was good because then I didn't feel like every single person was looking at me.
Two things that I would change would be that I would make the student-made quizzes worth very few points because most of the students aren't qualified teachers and when they make up their speeches, they don't base them on key ideas. The other thing that I would change is that I would make part of the presenter's grade depend on whether they could keep the attention of the class and also keep them quiet.
What a sweet little treasure to find in a pile of notebooks. Think about those poor people who got hit by Katrina. The ones that made it out alive - many of them lost ALL their stuff - their treasures - their photos - their clothes - their Christmas decorations. Hey! I have more Christmas decorations than anything else except for books! Oh yeah, books, too. It's almost impossible to fathom. Because right now, most everyone is in a "shock mode." It's almost like a death. The death of your previous life that was blown to bits. That's amazing when you think about it. I imagine there will be a lot of people experiencing PTS (post traumatic stress). It'll hit them some day sooner or later if it hasn't already. God bless them all. Everyone is still reeling from that experience, now here comes Rita. Yikes!!! We're getting to enjoy another PERFECT DAY so it's time for me to go outside and do some more yard work. Yesterday, I did mow the lawn for quite a while. It still looks pitiful. Okay, see ya later, djb
Nick and Jarrett downstairs in the family room. Jarrett was most likely in 8th grade in this picture because he's wearing his glasses (he later got contacts).
Tuesday - September 20, 2005 - This morning, I read the newspapers on-line and found this article on the Rochelle New-Leader website:
Home away from home
BY ROCHELLE NEWS-LEADER STAFF
BY MARY ELLEN TAYLOR, Staff Writer
WHEN Terry and Connie Austin packed a bag for evacuation from the hurricane approaching New Orleans on Saturday, August 27, they had no idea the routine three-day departure from their home in La Place, west of downtown, would turn into a three-month exile.
“All the kids knew was that we were leaving the house because a storm was coming,” said Terry Austin, 1987 RTHS graduate and Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corp, stationed at the Marine Forces Reserve Headquarters in downtown New Orleans. “About three times a year we leave because a storm is coming. They just thought it was another mini-vacation.”
The Austins drove to Warren, Ark., where Connie’s aunt lives, and set up camp in a hotel room with children, Tara, 7, Craig, 5, and the family Boxers, Max and Princess. When it became apparent that they wouldn’t be returning home any time soon, the family continued their exodus north to stay with family members, Mike Austin, of Rochelle and parents, Terry and Wanda Austin, of Hillcrest.
The family has been embraced from more than immediate relatives since returning to Rochelle.
For the complete story, please purchase a copy of the Rochelle News-Leader. (this statement DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!)
If I lived in Rochelle, I'd buy a copy of the paper and I wouldn't be reading stories on their website! Since I don't live in Rochelle, I have to rely on the internet to find out the news. So, it's totally illogical to tell me to buy a paper to read the complete story. If I could do that I wouldn't be reading it on-line. It sounds like a "Catch 22" moment. I've mentioned this to Trisha and she agrees with me but I see nothing has changed. hmmmm
The reason this story interests me is that Wanda Austin (who is the mother of Terry) was in my high school class at Rochelle Township High School. We were in the orchestra together for four years. First, we learned to play the violin, and then later on, we switched to the viola. She had more musical ability than I did. I played by EAR - literally and figuratively.... It was quite a hoot. Bob was in the band and once a week they had to join the strings for a "full orchestra" situation. They HATED it because we sounded so bad. Every once in a while we could come up with a good sound... rarely though. Anyway, I'm glad to see that Wanda's kids and grandkids are okay.
Since it is going to be such a nice day, I have to go outside and finish mowing and so on. It's going to be 80 or 82 today - sigh.......perfect weather! see ya around, djb
Sister, Diane being held by me (junior in h.s., playing viola), Grandma O'Malley, Grandpa O'Malley
Steve, Granny, Howard hidden behind Grandma's head, Denny hidden behind Grandpa's head
Picture taken in August 1965
Monday - September 19, 2005 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO STEVE!! Granny sent me a picture of the birthday party that they had for Steve and Mary at their house yesterday. Interesting pictures. I also got some pictures from Judy - that's where the one of Anthony and Judy came from on the Casa Page. I was fascinated by Ant's "Alcatraz" shirt and then as I was looking around at the stormage situation, I came across that kid riding his bike in New Orleans with the "It's all good!" saying on his shirt which is very popular with the youngsters. For some reason, they both made an impression on me. We enjoyed ourselves at the shower yesterday. The bride & groom, Cathie and Erik, are so adorable together. I did get some great pictures but I haven't downloaded them yet onto the computer but I will do that fairly soon - (but don't hold your breath). It's raining today so it's a good day to take care of inside business! Here's the pictures I have for today. Very, very interesting as you will see......... see ya later, djb
Mary, Alyssa and Steve (I like his shirt) celebrating their birthdays at the Bergs yesterday - just a little blurry.
Steve & Mary's ANGEL FOOD cake - after the candles were blown out, you can see the smoke, BUT to the right above the table, you can see two orbs - one is brighter than the other - but they are definitely there - I think the boys came to celebrate with Steve and Mary!!
Joyce, Pat, Sherrie, Rod, Judy - No ORB in this picture, same location as the following picture (see below)
Bob, Richard, Rod, Joyce, Pat - Notice the ORB above Richard!
Judy and me
Phil's first day back to school
Sunday - September 18, 2005 - Okay, so I remembered that it's Mary's birthday today. She's the same age as Bob - whatever that is! haha HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MARY!! When Andrew, Jarrett and I would go to Florida for a month in the winter, Mary would always give them coloring books and crafty toys that she would amass during the year. She was always very good to the boys. Somewhere I have a picture of them with her. I'll have to find that. When I went outside to start mowing the grass, the key would NOT turn the ignition. Yes, I did try everything. I've never had that happen before. It simply will NOT move. That tractor is going to be history if it doesn't shape up pretty soon. Plus, I noticed that one of the back tires needs air. It was dropped on its head before we ever got it and it's NEVER been right (of course, we didn't find that out until much later!). I'm sure there's some reason why it isn't starting - kind of annoying, though. Last night, Bob and I went to BBI and had ribs - or as Andrew used to say when he was little, "wibs." haha We thought that was hilarious. I have a picture of that somewhere, too. We saw Greg and Nancy and had a very nice chat with them. Plus, Joe's mom. And also Tammy. She's funny! We found out that Ryan who works there is going back to school at NIU. He used to work with Tim. One of them quit and the other got fired or maybe he was laid off. Can't remember, but they're both extremely happy by the way things have turned out. Anyone who had kids at Kaneland when the boys died, laments the fact that it will never be the way it was just a few short years ago. There was the grade school (K-8) and the high school. Those were the ONLY schools you went to. Now, the population explosion had exploded. Everyone wants to live out here in the country because it's so pristine....yeah, bring out your city ways and then it'll all change to the congestion that you moved away from. Do I say that enough? I don't think so. The reason that Elburn has thrived over the years is because of a huge volunteer contingent. Not the just the Lions Club, also baseball and basketball. Plus, the "we take care of our own" philosophy. That will probably never change because it's too entrenched in the fiber of the town. Unless we get overtaken by the "newbies." Yikes!!!!!! Better go. We're going over to Dick and Karen's this afternoon for a "couples" wedding shower. I've NEVER been to one of those before. It should be fun. I'll take pictures. Yes, that's a good idea. bye for now, djb
Mary and Steve with Jarrett on his knee and sitting next to Andrew - Everyone say "cheese"
Andrew eating ribs when he was about a year and a half
later today - (9/17) - I completely forgot that it was Ron and Liz's anniversary. Granny gave me a heads up. I remember the year they got married because it was the same year that Jarrett was born! All of us kids were there to celebrate with them except for Steve. I think he has an FOF (fear of flying). But, although we missed him, we made up for his not being there by being extra rowdy!!! haha Here are some pictures from that great day. Just this past week, I watched the video, you would think that would have jogged my memory, but nooooooooooooooo. see ya later, djb
Lady of the Lake - this is where the wedding took place
Ron and Liz saying their vows on the boat, on the lake (the harp is right behind them)
Ron and Liz
Granny and Grandpa gettin' down on the dance floor
Mary K and Artie - Liz's mom and dad
Saturday - September 17, 2005 - Harvest Moon tonight! (Where's the snakebite??) haha Ask Bob about that! It's pretty funny. Okay, so I didn't get back on here yesterday. I feel much better today. When I got up about 10 til 7, I decided that as long as I didn't sit down, I could accomplish a LOT. Which I did. The first time I sat down wasn't until 10 til noon. So, that's 5 hours of standing and walking. I didn't do any jumps or runs or anything like that. Actually, I do have a lot to chat about. I ordered the concrete table with the chess board on it in memory of Andrew and Jarrett. The table can be finished fairly quickly, but the plaque will take around 7 weeks!! But we want it done right and we want it to last a long time, so what's 7 weeks in the grand scheme of things. Nothing much, I'd say. After I left Doty's, I drove over to Farm 'n Fleet. Thought I'd look and see what kind of lightweight rototillers they had left. I decided that the one I have is okie dokie. I took it out of the shed and looked at it and it looks just like itself! Only dirtier. Bob's going to help me get it going. Right now, he's out playing golf which is a good thing. We don't know how long we'll have nice weather. Of course, it "ain't gonna rain no more - no more." haha That's not funny. I said that the increasing intensity in the hurricanes is due to global warming. Because I blame everything on global warming. Well, I read yesterday that's what some smart scientist gentleman also said. So, you see, I'm as smart as a scientist! Of course, I also believe that too much sun makes people goofy. That's strictly by personal observation. Not to digress but after I didn't buy the rototiller, I went to the apple farm to get some apple cider donuts and some apples (don't tell anyone but I also got a caramel apple!! - boy! was that ever good!!!) Then, I had to go to Target to buy a shower present but their computers were NOT WORKING. Imagine that? hmmm They told me to come back tomorrow. I said, "No, this is it. I have to buy the present TODAY!" Then, I went over to Kohl's and they had just exactly what they wanted, so I bought it. Then, I finally came home.
When Bob got home, we went to the visitation for George Klomhaus, who was a member of the Lions. He passed away earlier this week. What a funny guy he was. Last year, he and I gave out the sweet corn at one of the wacky picnics - the Lions put on picnics for various companies at Lions Park (of all places) and then they feed the folks. There are a couple of groups who are out of control. Bad boys. George taught me the ropes. God bless him. When I went to pay my respects at his casket, I told him to say HI to the boys. I'm sure he will.
Then, after we left the funeral home, Bob and I were going to the Lincoln Inn in Batavia. It was closed. Then, we went into downtown Batavia and tried to find another restaurant. Dirty entrance and kind of wayyyy tooo casual and weird. So, I nixed that place. Where should we go? I said, why don't we go to The Claddagh? Yes. That's a good idea. We haven't been there in quite a while. As we walked in the front door of that restaurant, who should we see but Andrew's Shawn working as a hostess!! Is she ever looking fantastic. Of course, my boys were known for their exquisite taste in women! :) Her hair had some light highlights and it was quite becoming. We were so thrilled to see her. She's going to Kish and working at the restaurant - which is quite a busy schedule. Whoa. When I was going to NIU, I just walked to my classes and my jobs. I didn't have to drive in the insanity that is the highways and byways these days. People drive like they're on drugs or maybe they need drugs to calm them down! I swear it's true. Unbelievable. So, I figured the reason those other two restaurants were unacceptable was because Andrew wanted us to see Shawn. Thanks, dude! She's very special to us. Plus, the food is quite delish. (I never use that word.)
On Thursday, I received a package in the mail from Mrs. Sauer - Andrew's kindergarten teacher. I remember that she told me they had made a quilt with all of the alphabet letters on it when Andrew was in her class. Andrew drew an umbrella for the letter Uu. In the letter that accompanied the pillow, she wrote: "Andrew was a joy and a pleasure to have in class." Isn't that sweet!! She made this absolutely adorable pillow using the square that Andrew drew. What an awesome thing to do which totally surprised and delighted us. Andrew called her "Mizz Sowah." It was so cute, and thinking about it doesn't make me cry....so that's a very good thing. God bless Dawn Sauer for her wonderfully kind gesture!!! What a sweetheart. Here's a picture of the pillow and Andrew in kindergarten, his "progress report" and evidence that he finally learned to skip!!!!!! See ya later, djb
Picture drawn by Andrew - Pillow made by Mrs. Sauer
Andrew running down the driveway after the first day of kindergarten
We didn't know he couldn't SKIP - we felt like such failures!
The photographic proof - Andrew finally learned to skip in 2000
Friday - September 16, 2005 - I have to go to Sycamore right now or else! I'll be back later to chat. No, really, I will. bye for now, djb
front: Uncle Malvin, Grandma Berg, Uncle George with Aunt Helen on his lap; back: Grandpa and Granny in Florida around 1973 - apparently Aunt Gladys is taking the picture.
later that evening - (9/15) - Last week, Bob and Joan had to put Lucky, their sweet little dog, to sleep because he wasn't well. They've had him a very long time. He was very protective and kept them both company for many years. I know they'll miss him very much. Somewhere, I knew I had a picture of him but I couldn't find it until today. So, God bless sweet little Lucky in Doggie Heaven. Say bow wow to the boys. nighty night, djb
Bob and Joan's dog, Lucky
Thursday - September 15, 2005 - I feel MUCH better today!!!!! It was a strange, strange day yesterday because I finally cried until I couldn't cry any more. I just could not stop the overwhelming feeling of complete and utter sadness from overtaking my entire being. I've been trying to NOT cry because of the puffy eyes that I get - very annoying. I actually DO NOT understand any of this intense emotional outburst that surfaces from time to time, and I'm not sure what precipitates it but I have to go with the flow.....that's funny. A river of tears... What actually finally helped me to feel less bad was watching very, very old videotapes of the boys. I know, it sounds counter-intuitive but it worked!! The picture on the Casa Page is one of the scenes that's on one of the videotapes so we get to hear Andrew talking his young boy talk - it's sweet. I've always said that if you could hear the sound track that went with taking the Christmas card picture each year, you'd know that picture came about after a LOT of talking, cajoling, threatening, pleading, yelling, crying, etc.... I'm reminded of how much I talked to them - it was an incessant babble. Non-stop yak, yak, yak. It's also interesting to note how different we all looked - well, except for Bob. His hair was quite a bit darker but it seemed that my color changed every other day. hahaaa I don't understand any of this weird grief stuff, I'm just trying to get through another day. I do have to go to Sycamore some time soon and check out the plaque for the boys' table. It would be nice if I went there today!! I'll see about that. Diane got her MRI results. It's a bulging L5. Bummer. At least, we now know WHAT it is for sure! It's always something. later gators, djb
Diane (cute Santa hat!) and Donna (where are my earrings?) at Christmas
Wednesday - September 14, 2005 - I'm too sad to write about anything today. I'll just put some pictures in here. djb
front: Grandma, Jarrett, Grandpa - back: Me and Bob
Jarrett took this picture using the slant-the-picture technique. Notice that Andrew is holding his own disposable camera. I always tried to get them to take pictures, and eventually they'd say to me, "Hey, Mom, there's a good shot."
Ron and Diane with Skippy nearby on the farm in Rochelle
Tuesday - September 13, 2005 - When I went out to pick up the newspapers in the driveway, it started pouring rain. It wasn't supposed to rain until later tonight. Of course, you could tell it was nearby. It is supposed to be 90 today, so with the rain that already occurred, that'll make it really muggy. However, tomorrow it's supposed to be in the upper 70's - lovely. I just remembered that I forgot Howard and Irene's anniversary which I think was last week. I've been totally unorganized unless something is staring me in the face or yelling in my ear - it must have something to do with the heat!! haha They've been married a longggggggggg time. It's 31 years, if I'm not mistaken - 1974. Okay, so subtract 1974 from 2005 and you don't get 29 - you get 31. Thank you. Yikes!! I have some other pictures to put in here, but I certainly want to put in a couple of photos from their wedding. Happy Anniversary to Howard and Irene. better late than never, djb
Howard and Irene - aren't they cute!
Irene and Howard - 31 years ago
Monday - September 12, 2005 - Krissy and Kylie came over and we swam in the pool. It was so much fun. The water temperature is 80, so although it isn't real warm, it's not freezing - yet! Supposed to be 92 degrees today. Isn't that a hoot?! This morning I had an e-mail from Judy in CA. She reminded me that the day Kathi died was September 3rd and I think the year was 1996. So, I'm going to put her picture in here. We miss very much. God bless our dear, sweet cousin. bye for now, djb
Kathi on the swing with Diane and Judy and Ron in the back at THE farm
Sunday - September 11, 2005 - Of course, we all know what today is. I still remember that day and everything about it. When Jarrett got home from school, he wanted to go to the skate park in St. Charles. I thought that was good idea - a break from the incessant TV coverage of the disasters which I had been glue to since I heard the story breaking on the radio. Andrew's golf meet with Geneva was cancelled. We were never sure exactly WHY they cancelled it.... I'm sure everyone wanted to be home and feel safe. It was a very disturbing and frightening time.
Yesterday, Bob vacuumed the swimming pool. It is now pristine. We sat around the pool all afternoon listening to the Cubs game. The hummingbird kept coming by so I got my camera read to snap his picture. Of course, he didn't return. I went down the slide three times. The water was refreshing not frigid - yet! We're supposed to have temps in the 90's for a few more days. How bizarre is that? Anyway, I said that it seemed like a Rosita's kind of night - sit outside and enjoy the warm weather. Bob agreed. When we got there, we had to park on the street, and as we got out of the car, we saw a party on the top of the old Schwinn store (it's called something else now!!). What a hoot. Plus, as we were walking down the sidewalk, we ran into our former neighbor, Tom, who was with a friend. They had also come to Rosita's to eat. Then, when we got inside and sat at our table on the patio, who should come in but Kathy and Fred (Fred from Creston who was in my high school graduating class)! They sat with us and we had a lovely time chatting about this and that and everything else!! I didn't take any pictures of all of us. I don't know why?? But, I'm also going to put in a picture of the plant that I bought at Wal-mart in DeKalb last week. It was only $6.97. I totally love it, but I'm not sure what the name is. I had the little stake but I lost it somewhere. duh. Anyway, I'd best be getting going because Krissy and Kylie are coming over so I can order some stuff for Kylie's fund raiser at school. Have a nice day. I will too. see ya, djb
Margaritaville in DeKalb - above the bicycle store!!
Polly - it has another name - I'll find it one of these days!
Saturday - September 10, 2005 - Today is Grandpa O'Malley's birthday. He was born in 1877, so if he were alive, he'd be 128 years old. I think that might make him the oldest living person! Of course, there's those people in Siberia who live to be 150. That's because they eat yogurt! I think.
front row: Opal, Anna, Sister, Granny, GRANDPA; back row: Howard, Russell, Grandma - the O'Malleys (circa 1935)
I heard something rather extraordinary recently. Apparently, if you visit my website, you are obsessing about Andrew and Jarrett's death! Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me. I thought this was a celebration of their short lives and a way for me to work through my grief. Plus, writing and remembering them is therapeutic if not downright cathartic!! I didn't know I was causing so much trouble! What a bunch of bullshit! This statement was allegedly spoken by someone from McMuffin College. Obviously, someone who has never buried two children in one day. Who has never seen their child's lifeless body in a morgue. Give me a break! A person can read all the books they want but some people will NEVER GET IT!! Actually living the nightmare of having your children die never goes away. It cannot ever be forgotten nor should it. And I won't ever forget my saintly boys. Anyone who thinks I should can go straight to you know where. I know, let's play blame the victim game. Stupid idiots. That's all I have to say. Amazing. Not to change the subject, but here's some pictures of the setting sun and the golf course. see ya later, djb
This tree is awesome - love the setting sun
Hazy farm - just love it
Don't look at the sun
View from the top
I totally love this winding path
Friday - September 9, 2005 - Well, they changed the golf meet last night and didn't bother telling us! hmmm. They played over at Cantigny in Wheaton because the golf outing at Hughes was going to last longer than they thought. I did notice this morning that the team didn't fare so well. They were playing Glenbard South which I think is the school that Judy's boys attended. Anyway, better luck next time, guys. Last night, the Elburn Lions Club okayed the memorial concrete table for Andrew and Jarrett that will be put in Lions Park which is being paid for by donations from the students at Kaneland High School. After Andrew and Jarrett died, the kids collected money from CD and T-shirt sales. This morning, I went over to Doty's in Sycamore to order it. It's a one-piece table which will have a chess board in the middle. It'll say "In memory of Andrew & Jarrett Burkholder - 2003. Donated by Kaneland High School students." It'll probably have two plaques on it. At least, it's gone beyond the "talking" stage. While I was over at Doty's, I took a picture of a similar table and a chess board that's on a different table. This will give you an idea of what it will look like. Must be going now. Have to check on the pool situation. It's looking quite good. Tomorrow, we're going to have 90 degrees temps. That's nuts. But I love it. bye for now, djb
This is similar to what the table will look like - it will have four seats and no umbrella holder
later - (9/8) - When I went through the Elburn Herald just now, there were quite a few of Jarrett's friends mentioned in the sports section. First of all, I'm going to put Eric's picture in here since it does relate to my previous soccer reference and picture. It's fun to see them out and about and participating in a sport! Jim Gust on the football team and Will Pattermann in cross country. This afternoon Bob and I are going over to the Golf Meet at Hughes. I'll take some pictures. See ya later, djb
Eric on the soccer field
Thursday - September 8, 2005 - When I heard them saying Chalmette on the hurricane coverage, I knew that was a familiar name. That's where Bob's great-great grandfather is buried - he's the one who died in the Civil (or as I like to say Un-civil) War. He recalled that it was east of New Orleans, and sure enough, it is - in St. Bernard Parish which was hit very hard by the hurricane. So, I found a picture of that.
Frank Leigh (Bob's grandfather) and Bob in Chalmette, Louisiana
This morning, when I read the newspaper, I saw some good news. The Kaneland High School soccer team won another game. Or is it a meet? Or is it a match? Not sure. I did see that Jon Britz scored a goal last night! At least, I still know some of the kids at the high school....every year, I know fewer. Here's my photos for today. bye for now, djb
Kaneland High School Soccer Team - Excellent
Wednesday - September 7, 2005 - Did you see that picture on the Casa Page? That was going on last night, and it's not the first time I've seen that phenomenon as the sun sets. It looks like a little rainbow but less defined. I just found out what it is, it's a sundog. Anyway, I think it's cosmic. I have pictures of one in the winter but I didn't realize that they also show up in the summer. But that wasn't the only thing going on. There were about 30 (plus or minus) dragonflies swarming over Andrew and Jarrett's pond. It was just so bizarre. I tried to take a picture of them with BOTH of my cameras - the only photo I got is of ONE dragonfly in the picture I'm putting in below with the arrow pointing at it. I don't understand why I couldn't capture their images. First, that weird little rainbow and then the swarming dragonflies....yikes! It's time to skeedaddle. see ya later, djb
There's the one dragonfly I was able to photograph - in reality there was a HUGE swarm of them - surreal? You betcha!
Tuesday - September 6, 2005 - Okay, so I'm slow! I've had a lot to do since I last wrote in here. On Sunday, Bob and I went into Chicago and saw Ed and Robin. We finally have a picture of us with Ed. Of course, I had to take a picture of Robin and Ed. We had a great time walking around the city and talking endlessly. They're both so very nice. It's a pleasure to spend time with them. Here's a couple of pictures. Must go water the flowers because it's going to be 88 this afternoon. Hasn't rained for a long, long time. bye for now, djb
Donna, Ed and Bob
Robin and Ed
THE BEAN - aka Cloudgate - at Millennium Park in Chicago
Monday - September 5, 2005 - Today is Grandpa Burkholder's birthday. If he were alive, he'd be 85 years old. God bless Grandpa! see ya later, djb
Grandpa with the saintly boys - Andrew and Jarrett
Sunday - September 4, 2005 - Yesterday, we went up to Ron and Liz's house. We had a very nice afternoon for a Labor Day get-together with them and Bergy and Avis. Here's some pictures of the festivities. See ya later, djb
Uncle Ron on the deck in his back yard
Liz with Sophie and Duke
Bergy at Ron's
A relaxed Avis listening to the conversation
Sophie and Duke reflected in the sliding glass door
Avis showing us the mustard and baking soda on her finger after getting bit by a bee
Bob at Ron's
I'm behind the camera taking this shot of the sky
Super Target at sunset - taken out the car window - pretty cool, eh?
Saturday - September 3, 2005 - Last night, Bob and I went out golfing. Well, he golfed and I drove the cart!!! It did start to get a bit chilly toward the end. At the 7th hole, we saw Kevin and Austin - they're in Jarrett's class of 2006 - and both on the Kaneland golf team. It was nice to see them out there on a Friday night practicing GOLF! That's how you get better - by practicing (no matter what Jarrett used to say!!). Here's some pictures from last night. I don't have much to say, I think everything has already been said. We're going to see Uncle Ron & Aunt Liz and Bergy & Avis this afternoon. I'll TAKE PICTURES!! See ya later, I have to go plant a few plants. bye, djb
Looking down the hill from the top of the 1st hole at Hughes
Old Course - St Andrews Scotland - hmmm - Bob must've gotten this while he was there!
3rd hole - I love this view of the farm from the golf cousre
7th hole at Hughes Creek - Andrew's favorite
Bob, Austin and Kevin finishing up the 7th hole
Red zinnia - always reminds me of Grandma O'Malley
Friday - September 2, 2005 - Of course, you know I'm going crazy about the hurricane mess. This morning, I heard something that I hadn't thought of before on my own.... The people who are SUPPOSED TO be taking care of the disaster in New Orleans and vicinity, are the SAME ONES who are supposed to take care of all of us in the event of a national disaster. duh. These people can't think their way out of a paper bag. Seriously, I think grade school or even middle school kids could have managed this disaster better. Okay, so they'd need the high school kids to drive the humvee, but at some point, the bureaucrazy (I typo-ed it that way - isn't that funny!?!?) just gets in the way of itself. Common sense, hello? It's totally incomprehensible. Some of these poor people haven't eaten since probably Monday. So, let's see.... Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and now it's Friday. The thing that is annoying is that they don't want people to send water or dry clothes or stuff to them, just send money!! Are they going to make a salad out of greenbacks??? Did you see that interaction on CNN yesterday with Anderson Cooper (he's cool) and that other CNN reporter? She was in her old neighborhood in Alabama and all the houses were leveled. Some of the neighbors were asking her for water. She said, "I should go to our CNN vehicle and give them all of that water." Bob and I were sitting there and watching it and Bob said, "So, why don't you do that?" (We ALWAYS talk to the TV.) I think after a while, if you don't get some water into your body, you're gonna die. It's gotten to the point that people are so desperate they're becoming irrational - probably hallucinating. I saw a lady yesterday pass out from diabetic shock while they were interviewing her. They were able to find insulin and give her a shot. Holy crapoly. I'm just hearing on the radio that people from a very poor city near Chicago are loading a tractor-trailer truck to take down to New Orleans with water and canned foods and diapers. Private citizens. God bless them. It's a good thing that Elliot came over yesterday to show me some of his latest stunts on his bike. Here's a couple of pictures that I took. bybybye for now, djb
Elliot - excellent stunt!
Elliot riding his bike backwards!!
Thursday - September 1, 2005 - This morning, at about 7:30 a.m., there was a vehicle vs. school bus accident with kids on their way to Kaneland High School and Middle School. They said that 8 kids were transported to the hospital with NON-life-threatening injuries but all the kids were going to be checked out at various medical facilities. From what they are saying, a student driving a Chevy Blazer ran the stop sign and hit the front of the bus and caused the accident. It was at the corner of Keslinger and Francis Road. Yikes!!! I'm sure we'll hear more about it as time goes by. It is quite surprising to hear about an accident on the Chicago radio station that involves students from our school system. Of course, a school bus accident always captures everyone's attention because it's not supposed to happen. Good luck to the kids. I hope they're all okay. It does give me pause....... Keslinger.....yikes!!
Then, there's the hurricane situation. I can only imagine that if any of us were in their shoes, what would we do? Would we be forced to go into a store to steal food for our hungry children. I can understand that, but stealing electronic equipment? Are the looters going to strap it on their backs and bring it with them when everyone is evacuated from New Orleans? That's not right, that's wrong. I keep hearing the word anarchy. I read in the paper this morning that thugs stole food that was supposed go to a nursing home. Maybe they should drop some MREs from a helicopter....I heard that they dropped water bottles but they broke! holy cow. A few years ago, the kids had to drop an egg in a container and if it didn't break, they passed. Maybe they should try that... Of course, it would be nice if the guy (and you know it's a guy) who is shooting at the chopper would stop that nonsense right now! duh. It just shows the level of desperation. Try NOT eating for 3 days and see how YOU feel. Imagine that ALL of your STUFF is gone, too. It's just a surreal situation. I think the fact that we can actually see them in their dire straits in excruciating detail on live TV makes it even more bizarre. Say a prayer for those poor people. Send some money to the Red Cross or check the approved list of places to donate. DO something positive. There but for the grace of God, go any of us. Remember Y2K when we all had supplies for just such a disaster? I still have some cans of food from that time. Plus, some flashlights. You know the Boys Scouts motto is: Be prepared. Good advice. Sometimes, it pays to be a packrat! (Don't tell Bob I said that!) Speaking of Bob, he's back from Scotland. Here he is on the deck yesterday afternoon. He had a wonderful, spectacular, wonderful, fantastic time! bye bye for now, djb
Bob - back in the USA