Current Journal - (October 1, 2005)

even later than before - (10/31) - Here's some pictures I found tonight while I was looking for that other picture!  Where's St. Anthony when I need him?  bye for now.  Happy Halloween.  djb

Andrew acting like a typical 7 year old in a picture taken by Jarrett

Picture of Jarrett taken by Andrew - notice the ghosts hanging in the background

Jarrett practicing his scary face BEFORE putting on his makeup

Frankenstein's monster and Count Dracula, aka Jarrett

Jarrett's pumpkin

later today - (10/31) -  I found this picture of our neighbors that was taken a few years ago.  I think it's pretty cool.  see ya later, djb

Cody, Deborah, Kit on Halloween a few years ago.  Loved their costumes!

Monday - October 31, 2005 - HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO YOU.  I woke up early this morning.  I could barely keep my eyes open after working in the yard yesterday for hours on end.  It was brutal.  I never knew what time it really was because all of my clocks outside and in the garage are wrong - they're not even an hour off, they're more like 5 hours and 17 minutes off.  New batteries are needed, I think.  I didn't even mow or mulch, I just cut and pulled and ripped out and cut some more.  Bob went over to Hughes for one last day of golf - 27 holes.  It was a nice day as far as the temperature went but it got cloudy in the afternoon.  It's supposed to rain today - can you believe that?  What a bummer.  I do remember one year it poured on Halloween but the kids went out anyway.  That was the year (maybe it was 1999) that plane crashed in Indiana.  Don't know why I remember that.  I guess because that was all they had on the Chicago news that night.  Oh yeah, the BEARS won yesterday.  I listened to the entire game (plus overtime) while I worked outside.  They start the coverage at 9 AM - not too fanatical, are they!  Better go.  Have to go to the grocery store this morning - early.  Have to get some Halloween candy even though I don't think we'll have that many trick or treaters, but you never know - we must be prepared.  Here's some pics from years gone by.  I'm looking for the black and white of us young Berg kids dressed up for Halloween when we lived in Capron.  It's around here somewhere!  bye, djb

Baby Andrew dressed as a soldier

Andrew the clown running from the scary pumpkins

Andrew the Clown

Andrew the pirate with a parrot on his shoulder

Jarrett the pirate

Andrew the pirate

Jarrett with his skull and crossbones shirt on blowing up a balloon - this picture reminds me of that movie, The Blair Witch Project

Sunday - October 30, 2005 - Happy Birthday to Bryar today - she's a big girl now.  We had a great time at her birthday party yesterday.  I even jumped on the trampoline.  Whenever I go over to Kings (which always involves going to Karen and Derek's house), it evokes a sort of small town in the midwest feeling which is untainted by the big city ways that are creeping into other little towns, like Elburn, for example.  It reminds me of a smaller version of Kingston. There are no subdivisions being built out there -- it's purely Americana panorama.  Farmland for as far as the eye can see, and I love it.  Flat, flatter, flatest.  In the distance on the way to their house, you can see the nuclear towers in Byron.  Those things give me the creeps but at the same time, I find them fascinating.  Derek's brother, Andrew, Kylie, and I went for a ride on their golf cart (and you know how much I LOVE golf carts) around town and over to the grade school.  It was hilarious - after a while, Kylie took over the wheel and she totally scared me by telling me that she was going to jump a ramp.  Say what?  Apparently, that's a trick she learned from her uncle.  I'll put some more pictures in later, but I'm going to have to go outside and do some yard work before it rains or snows or whatever it's going to do out there.  Maybe I'll see ya later, djb

Aunt Donna jumping on the trampoline - no, I didn't break it.

This building reminds me of the grocery store we used to go to in Kingston (50 years ago).  It's really in pretty good shape considering how old it is.

Saturday - October 29, 2005 - We're going to Bryar's birthday party this afternoon.  I made her a CD-R with the pictures from the early August swim with the 5 girls.  It's so cool!!!  This morning, I went outside and tried to figure out how to work the air tank.  Well, the darn thing doesn't have any air in it.  You have to PUT air in it.  duh!  That baby's going back to the store.  So, I pushed the tractor out - it was heavy.  Then, I got out the bicycle pump but I couldn't figure out how to do that, so Bob did it and filled that back tire all the way up.  I doing it backwards (don't ask).  Anyway, the tire now has air in it.  Then, I put air in my wheelbarrow tire.  Whenever it had a heavy load, it would drag on the ground.  Then, I did some rototilling just because I can!  The amazing thing is that for so many years, I didn't know that it was THAT easy to operate.  Now, I'm tilling everything in sight.  It's way too much fun.  The new neighbors across the street are totally into Halloween.  They have the MOST AWESOME HUGE decorations ever!!!  I'll have to take a picture.  Now, I'm going to get all my cameras ready for our trip.  Bob's getting his hair cut (it was looking a bit shaggy - don't tell him I said so).  haha  See ya later.  Happy Birthday to Hannah.  It's such a fun time of year to have a birthday.  Thanks for thinking of Jarrett.  It always makes me happy to know that he's not forgotten.  bye for now.  See ya later, djb

Bryar's first birthday party (2003)

Friday - October 28, 2005 - Happy Birthday to Granny!!  Happy Birthday to You!   Tomorrow is the Italian-themed Birthday Bash at Berg's house in Florida.  Bryar's Halloween-themed Birthday Bash will be held in Kings tomorrow.  It's very exciting.  I wasn't able to do any mowing yesterday because the tractor has an almost flat tire on the back right.  A while back, I bought an air tank which I haven't used yet.  It's supposed to put air in things that need air.  So, we'll see if I'm able to figure it out and mow/mulch later today.  Right now, it's still too cold to do anything outside.  Even Hobbes doesn't want to be outside, and he has a fur coat on! 

Last Sunday, they had a story in the Daily Herald about the farmers, friends and neighbors (even strangers) helping Curt Meredith harvest his crops.  It made me cry because it reminded me of what the community did for us when Andrew and Jarrett died.  Random acts of kindness - anonymous acts of love.  I'm putting a link to the page with the picture from Sunday's paper and the story from today's paper.  (Curt Meredith, farmer)  I was waiting for the Elburn paper to put something in yesterday's news, however, they did that thing that I can't stand.  They put just part of the story online and then you're supposed to BUY a paper to read the rest of the story.  Duh!  If you lived here, you could do that.  If you don't live here, you can't find out what happened.  Well, I'm putting it in here so you can read it.  It is totally awesome.  The picture is worth a thousand words, I guess.  It makes me think about the development that is overtaking Elburn and the surrounding communities with houses being planted on some of the most fertile farmland in the world.  Houses sprouting instead of corn and beans.  Gives one pause.  There are a few reasons why we can be hopeful about the future for our little town - the deep roots of the farmers and their inclination to help one another, the selfless spirit of the people who live here, the realization that kindness is always better than meanness, and the Golden Rule:  do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Amen, djb

The Merediths

Thursday - October 27, 2005 - Oh, did I mention that the White Sox won the World Series?  Pretty cool.  One of the reasons they were able to do so well is that there were no "overpaid stars" on the team acting all big and pompous and egotistical.  Team - there is no "I" in team.   Plus, Ozzie was a baseball player on the White Sox so he knows the score (haha).  The Coach on the other team, did you notice what a poor sport he was.  If he was a kid on my team, I'd make him sit out an inning and think about his negative attitude!!  haha  Apparently, he needs a time out.  Oh yeah, he's got some free time on his hands now.  How would you like to be married to someone like that?  Mean and crabby!!  No, thank you.  Plus, he bad-mouthed his own team.  If you don't have something nice to say, don't say ANYTHING.  hmmm 

We'll always be able to remember when the White Sox won because it was on Aunt Liz's birthday.  Uncle Ron told me that last night they went to the German Restaurant on 436 - I think it's in Casselberry.  Andrew's first grade teacher's sister lives in Casselberry.  It's a small world after all.  Speaking of leaves on the ground - yes, I do have to mow/mulch again today.  It's cold but at least the sun is shining so we've got that going for us.  Okay, it's 11 am -- time to get my working shoes on and get to work.  If I see some more pretty trees, I'll take a few pictures.  okay, bye, djb


Good idea!


Uncle Ron, Aunt Liz, Andrew and Jarrett at Lion's Park in Elburn

Wednesday - October 26, 2005 - Today is Aunt Liz's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LIZ.  She happens to be in Orlando this week on business, and Uncle Ron went along with her.  Alan and Veralee are already there.  So, on Saturday, they're all getting together with Diane and Mark and Howard, Irene and Patrick (maybe Stephanie) and Steve, Mary and Alyssa for a HUGE birthday bash because Granny's birthday is Friday (that's exactly 4 weeks after MY birthday).  It's a birthday week, all week in Florida.  Amazing, isn't it!?  Fun, isn't it?  Yes.

I couldn't stay up to watch the White Sox WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When it got tied in the 9th, I couldn't watch it.  Then, when it went into the 10th, I knew that was it - I couldn't watch any more.  I was so tired, I had to go to bed.  Bob stayed up until the end.  It's very exciting for us.  We've NEVER had this caliber of baseball team for a long, long time.  Sure, we had the 1985 Super Bowl BEARS (I'm not here to cause no trouble, I'm just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle).  That was the year I was pregnant with Andrew and it was unforgettable.  Of course, we had Michael Jordan and the BULLS years.  The Cubs will never win anything as long as they're owned by a corporation.  You have to have passion to win.  How can you win if your decisions are made by navy blue suits (from the suburbs) in a beige meeting room high above the city!?  We'd love to see the Cubs do well.  Indeed, why not?!  I like all the teams because remember they were all little kids once.  But the only team I hold 100% allegiance to is the 1994 Brothers Concrete team.  We were awesome!!!!!!!  Go White Sox, djb

"I'll be the Coach if you can't find anyone else to do it."  (that statement made me a Coach!)

Tuesday - October 25, 2005 - This morning, I started up the rototiller and tilled until it ran out of gas.  I probably should dig up some of the plants and rototill and then re-plant them but this time of year, it's not a good idea because the root systems will get severely disturbed.  I decided to plant a couple hundred (plus) daffodils out front - I haven't actually planted them yet, but I did make the decision to do it.  The bunnies don't eat them because they're in the onion family (I think), so that'll be fun to see them come up in the spring - something to look forward to.  I also got some red and yellow tulips to plant along the northern edge of the big garden.  I'd like to move the burning bush but it might be too big to dig up.  The pampas grass is so gorgeous.  It's a pain because it's impossible to dig up and move but it always looks so pretty in the fall. 

Note to Anna:  I've heard that the kids who have gone to see him say that Phil is able to communicate by doing a "thumbs up."  He's probably going to a rehab place at some point in the near future.  It'll be a long road for him but I'm sure with the support of his family, he'll do fine.  If I find out anything else, I'll let you know.  Got to go now.  see ya around, djb

The famous pampas grass

My very own burning bush - I got it when it was just a little spark

Maple trees and the Russian olive behind the house - against the very BLUE sky

Monday - October 24, 2005 - I woke up at 6 am, so I'm going to get a couple of pictures in here before I go outside in the VERY COLD weather to get the newspapers.  WHITE SOX WON.  Hurricane Wilma has landed.  see ya later, djb

Zoe at our house this summer on the 4th of July

Hope in a basket - a little blurry but very cute.

Sunday - October 23, 2005 - Uncle Al's birthday today.  Happy Birthday to my brother, Alan.  He's the same age as Bob.  Right now, he and Veralee are in Florida.  Yikes!  Look out, Wilma's headed toward the SUNSHINE state.  At least, you have warm weather down there.  When I got up this morning, it was 32 degrees - that is FREEZING!!!  With all of the excitement about the World Series, I haven't been watching the weather like I usually do.  Of course, when the weather is on, it's usually about Wilma.  I don't think anything that I wanted to save got frozen.  It has to get into the 20's for a hard freeze.  I still have a LOT of yard work to do.  One day soon, I have to get some winter fertilizer put on the lawn.  Wait a minute....the lawn is gone!!  When I got the picture of Zoe's without her tooth, it reminded me of a picture I have of Jarrett without a tooth that had been sitting here for a while.  So, I'll put those in.  Note to Anna:  I'm trying to find out how Phil Austin is doing.  The last I heard, he was still in the hospital.  Hopefully, I will get some more up-to-date info soon.  bye for now, djb

Zoe just lost tooth number 4

Jarrett with a missing tooth

Saturday - October 22, 2005 - Bob and I have been outside for the past three hours burning the limbs that I cut off the trees this past summer and especially last week.  Wow!  It was quite a HUGE fire!!  We actually saw the sun come out a few times this afternoon (it's 4 p.m. right now).  I hear that it's a little bit rainy in Chicago for the WORLD SERIES.  This morning, I went into Elburn to the post office and I stopped by to clean the boys' gravestone.  Here's a few pictures from my day.  I didn't get one of the fire.  Too bad.  Maybe next time.  see ya later, djb

Andrew and Jarrett's stone - the leaves are falling like crazy!

Trees in the neighborhood

Trees across the street - nice burning bush!

Friday - October 21, 2005 - I notice that it's going to be cold and rainy tomorrow at the start of the World Series in Chicago.  Years ago, they used to have the World Series at the end of September (around the time of my birthday).  Of course, now they have to drag it out so I guess they can make more money.  I don't know why.  Chicago is usually cold at the end of October.  Then again, we haven't had a series around here since 1959.  When I was in grade school, our Principal, Mr. Herrin (that's not spelled right), was such a sports nut that he'd put a TV in the gym and anyone could go down and watch the World Series but you couldn't leave.  If you left, you couldn't come back.  I remember watching when Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were hitting home runs left and right (without the benefit of steriods).  It was very exciting.  Plus, I remember watching the TV in the gym when John Glenn went into space.  It was very exciting for all of us.  We had to beat the Godless commies in the space race, and we did get to the moon before they did.  Now, all those astronauts are spending months on end up in the space station - wouldn't that be weird?  Yes.  I suppose you would have a good view of Hurricane Wilma.  Yikes!  She's keeping everyone on edge.  Who knows where or when she's going to hit next.  It's interesting that with all of our technology we still can't completely figure out the path of the hurricane.  They're doing better with the tornadoes and the thunderstorms.  I love to watch the radar when a storm is moving in.  You'd think that the Weather Channel would be the place to watch except for the fact that when there's a lot of wind, the cable usually goes out, so that doesn't always work out so well.  Plus, aren't we supposed to turn off the TV when there's lighting?  I remember when the boys were younger and I'd hear a tornado warning, I'd make them get downstairs in the family room.  Probably scared them.  That's all right because I was terrified of the tornadoes.  They keep changing what you're supposed to do when a tornado comes.  Now, they're saying to get under something heavy, and protect your head.  Right at the start of tornado season, I always get Jarrett's yellow helmet and hang it on a hook so it's easily accessible just in case.  I'm always "Worst Case Scenario."  I found some pictures of the boys on their first day of school in 1997 and 2000.  Doesn't that seem like a lonnnnnnnnnnnng time ago!  Wow.  Time does fly.  Here they are.  The sun is shining and I have no place to go except out in the yard to take care of leaf business.  see ya around, djb

Andrew and Jarrett - first day of school 1997

Jarrett and Andrew - first day of school 2000 (notice how much Jarrett has slimmed down in 3 years)

Thursday - October 20, 2005 - Updating this website always takes longer than you'd think!  I'm not whining, I'm just stating a FACT, Jack!  Last night, I went into the garage and saw a mouse - I am seriously mousophobic.  It makes me crazy.  Andrew used to buy mice to feed his Pac Man frogs.  It made my skin crawl just to see them.  One time, I played a handheld video game and I did so well that I got to the special section and it happened to feature mice running around on the screen, and I screamed and tossed the game on the ground.  "Why'd you do that, mom?"  My reply was that I don't like mice.  (Wait a minute, I remember when I lived in Orlando and I had to drive to work on I-4 and all the tourists who were going to Disney World to see Mickey were clogging the road the trying to hit me...yeah, that makes sense.)  right!!  Well, when I got up this morning, Hobbes wanted to go outside, so I put him out in the garage.  Of course, I put the light on for him so he could FIND THE MOUSE!  Hopefully, he will!!!!  I have to wrap this up because I've run out of coffee and I want to see how Wilma's doing at 7 a.m. on the Weather Channel.  See ya later, djb

Diane, Granny and me in Florida

Wednesday - October 19, 2005 - I woke up early this morning - right before 5 am, and decided that I should try to get some things accomplished BEFORE the sun rises.  Plus, I wanted to hear about Hurricane Willlllllllmaaaaaaaaa!  Double Yikes.  Overnight, she turned into a Cat 5.  Sounds pretty bad, but they usually don't slam into the land at that speed - although Andrew did.  He never liked the fact that there was a devastating hurricane named after him.  I told him that Hurricane Donna's name also had been retired because she was very bad.  I hope everyone in the projected path has their provisions purchased and are ready to "hunker down."  Don't you think that after all this time and all these hurricanes, that everyone in the state of Florida would have at least 100 double AA batteries, 250 C batteries and 500 D batteries in their battery drawer at home!!??  Every time they show hurricane preparations, they always show the batteries.  Well that, and the plywood.  By now, everyone should have enough plywood to build a small structure in their backyard after the winds subside and they take it off the windows!  Mercy! 

Just so you know, we're NOT going to any of the World Series games.  I think the best place to watch a game is on TV.  Otherwise, I'm ALWAYS looking somewhere else when something exciting happens.  What was that?  Why did they do that?  Except for the year I was a baseball coach for Andrew's team when he was 8 years old.  Then, I always knew what was going on.  If I didn't understand it, Bob would explain it to me.  For example, suicide squeeze and the infield fly rule, etc.  Those were the days, my friend.  Must go make some coffee.  It's before 7 am and the sun is starting to come up so I can let Hobbes outside.  Yesterday afternoon, a lady cat came by to visit Hobbes.  She was very cute.  I hope she stays away because he is rude and unfriendly.....she can do better than that.  byebye for now, djb

Andrew in August 1993    

Tuesday - October 18, 2005 - This morning I went to Home Depot to buy compost and fertilizer and dirt and sand.  Then, I came home and opened up my 4 in 1 ladder and climbed up and started pruning the dead limbs out of my sickly elm trees.  It was quite an undertaking.  Some of the branches were as big as a small tree.  It was unbelievable.  Bob's grandpa was a lumberjack and that's exactly how I felt.  I was using that BIG, LONG gigantic extension limb cutter thing.  It certainly works.  I now have a gigantic pile of limbs on the burn pile for a conflagration of Biblical proportions.  Yikes!!  In the midst of my pruning adventure, I got a call from Krissy and she came by just in time before I pulled a muscle or dropped a limb on my head or some other disastrous event.  We had a fun time looking at the sample CD from her wedding photographer.  This guy is awesome.  Well, he's beyond awesome.  I enjoy seeing the work of an artistic photographer who has truly taken it to a higher level.  Breathtakingly beautiful pictures.  Then, I got out the Burkholder Christmas video cassette that we started in 1986.  It's a hoot and a half.  It starts out with Bob's grandparents, Mammy and Pappy, talking about the good old days.  And at the time they were in their 80's.  He lived to be 88 and Mammy lived to be two weeks shy of 103.  So, they had some interesting stories to share.  Of course, when you watch the videos that Bob shoots, you notice that it's steady.  Whenever I get ahold of the video camera, it's shaky city.  I get distracted easily.  We got to listen to Andrew sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."  It was quite a treat.  Well, it's late.  So, I'm going to sign off.  Plus, I'm exhausted from my work in the yard.  See around, djb

Pink cosmos with bee

Monday - October 17, 2005 - Finally, Bob and I got the rototiller working!!!  That was very exciting.  My flower beds are seriously lacking proper drainage - the little root systems are crying out in unison - please help us!!!  So, I did.  I rototilled, but I have to do more!!!  Also, I found out that the elm trees have elm leaf beetle destruction - which is WAY better than Dutch Elm Disease, also called DED, but some spraying is going to have to be done at some point in time.  I don't really trust those tree companies because they always try to make you feel guilty if you don't spray your trees all the time and they are VERY, VERY expensive.  I LOVE TREES - all trees except for that weasel tree we used to have whose name I don't know.  It was dirty.  Okay, so catalpa trees are also dirty.  There's one right by the boys' grave.  Dried beans pods are everywhere - looks very untidy!  I know that weeping willows are also messy, but they're so overwhelmingly gorgeous that I give them a pass.  haha

We can't believe that the White Sox are going to the World Series.  How exciting.  That is just a total hoot and a half.  In August 1993, we had our brush with fame at US Cellular with Andrew's Milk Duds/White Sox batboy experience.  It was a lot of fun.  Plus, we got free food.  Here's some pictures from that day.  GO SOX!!  bye for now, djb

Andrew's baseball card - very cute.  He was 7.

Jarrett's baseball card - pretty cute.  He was 5.

Andrew and Allie performing their bat person duties

Joey Cora over by third base - which is where he still is!

Ozzie Guillen was on the cover of the program the night we were there.

Sunday - October 16, 2005 - Yesterday afternoon, we went over to Ashton to Krissy and Brian's engagement party.  It was a lot of fun - tons of food, friendly folks and conviviality abounded.  Although it was quite chilly after the sun set, most everyone had brought along a warm coat.  The little kids running around were oblivious to the cold (see Friday's Thought for the Day).  But they had the fire pit roaring with burning logs and that was the warmest spot for everyone to gather around - I love fire pits.  They must evoke some sort of primal love of fire in me.  On the way over to Ashton, we stopped by the Lutheran Church on Perry Road near Steward and I took a picture of the Vesta's gravestone.  Of course, the sun was on the wrong side and I didn't get a really good picture that you could actually READ what is inscribed on the stone but we already know what's on there anyway.  Then, we decided to go out to Grandma and Grandpa Burkholder's grave and see the engraving that was done after Grandma died.  They did a good job.  I'll put a few pictures on here.  I've been editing for over an hour and I need a break!!!!!!!!!  See ya later, djb

Vesta's stone - Sam and Bekka Vesta

Nuclear Power Plant in Byron - on the way to the cemetery

Beautiful fall trees - not quite a lovely as usual because of the drought

Not quite a full moon - but very lovely nonetheless

Krissy and Brian - I took this picture of them at Bryar's baptism - Easter 2003

Saturday - October 15, 2005 - Yesterday afternoon, I mowed the grass.  The grass in the backyard is perfect grass - green, etc.  The grass in the front yard is ugly, brown and dead.  Very disturbing.  I don't know what I'm going to do with it.  Personally, I'd like to get rid of it with a John Deere tractor and plow, then plant corn.  I'll take a picture of it.  Seriously ugly.  Also, while I was mowing out back, I got my FIRST bite from a bee or a wasp or whatever it was.  It hurt and hurt and hurt.  Yes, I put ice on it immediately.  I put mustard and baking soda mixture on it and let it dry three or four times (that takes out the venom).  However, I've had this type of bite before and it hurts and hurts and hurts for a long, long time!  Now, this morning, it itches.  However, last night, I put some wart remover stuff on it.  That is the strongest, nastiest smelling concoction around.  That stopped the pain and the itching because after all, it does remove WARTS.  Jarrett had warts over the years.  He was fanatical about getting rid of them.  It makes me laugh to remember his intensity.  Oh, I saw in the paper that our Kaneland Knights lost to Geneva last night.  bummer.  It's their first loss.  I also noticed that the Kaneland High School golf page is still dedicated to Andrew.  That is so sweet.  I don't know who did it, but Thanks, Dude.  You know it's a guy.  haha  Better go.  Have to check on Hobbes.  He's so happy that I'm home.  I'll talk to you later, djb

Zoe - Princess of the Hula Hoop - she could do this all day!

Hope drinking her sippy cup while sitting in her rocking chair

Gayla, Hope and Zoe - putting water in the Water Table

Friday - October 14, 2005 - It's supposed to get up to 75 degrees today.  When I was out in Phoenix last week, I noticed one day when it was 100 degrees outside, people were wearing BLUE JEANS and LONG-SLEEVED shirts.  what?  It was crazy.  Something must happen to their brains if they think that's normal.  Probably too much sun....  Yikes!!  Anyway, I had a good time with the girls.  In fact, right now I'm going to the store so I'll put some pictures in here for your perusal.  Probably will have to mow the lawn this afternoon.  I love crab grass because it's green.  bye for now, djb

Zoe and Hope in the kitchen with their pink Bears for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Zoe on her scooter

On your mark, get set, Go, Hope!

Zoe skating while wearing her Healey's (I think that's how you spell it).  They're roller skate shoes - very cool! 

Thursday - October 13, 2005 - I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  Whenever I start to whine about anything, God always seems to hand me a new lesson to think about how grateful I should be for what I have.  When I got home last night, I turned on the computer and read an email from Granny in which she informed me that Sherrie Elson had passed away.  I knew that Sherrie had been admitted to the hospital last week and it didn't look so good for her.  She grew up two houses away from the Bergs in Florida.  I've known her for many, many years.  I can't remember exactly how long ago she was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) but it was quite sudden and shocking to all of us who knew her.  What an incredible fighting spirit she had.  Even at the end, she was still able to communicate using one finger.  Think about it.  That is amazing!!  That is awesome.  We know about ALS because my cousin, David O'Malley, had it.  His body stopped working except for his brain - a prisoner in his own body.  I know that in Sherrie's case, her family was relentless in helping her in any way they could.  Her brother, Joey, fashioned a way for her to communicate using a computer.  What a wonderfully, supportive and loving family she had.  Now, she gets to go to her family in heaven while she waits for her angels on earth to join her one day.  God bless you, sweet Sherrie.  (P.S. Say hi to Andrew and Jarrett from their mom).  bye for now, djb    

  ELSTON, SHERRIE LYNN, was called home on October 9, 2005. She was 34 years old and had fought a long battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Sherrie will always be remembered for her beautiful smile and the warmth that she radiated. She is survived by her parents, Raymond and Patricia Elston, sister, Cathy Elston and brother Joseph Elston, two nieces and two nephews. Visitation will be at Baldwin-Fairchild, Altamonte East between 7-9PM on October 12, 2005 and we will bid her farewell in a memorial service at Calvary Assembly of God on October 13, 2005 at 1PM. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Carolinas ALS Center, P. O. Box 32861, Charlotte, NC 28232-2861. Arrangements by Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, 994 East Altamonte Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL. 407-831-2031.

Wednesday - October 5 - Just printed my boarding pass and I'm on my way. bye.  Don't forget Bob's birthday tomorrow.  Wish him a happy birthday on October 6.  bye for now. see ya later, djb

Bob, Jarrett, Andrew and me waving in the window in MN

much later - (10/4) - I scanned some more photos.  This is all you'll have to look at for a week!  I'll take some good pictures while I'm gone and you'll have something to look forward to when I get back!!  Most of the pictures below were taken at Aunt Gladys and Uncle Malvin's house when Bergs came up to visit from Florida.  Aunt Clara came over from Oak Crest Retirement place and she was incensed when they called and asked Aunt Gladys WHERE she was.  Aunt Clara said, "I'm 90 years old, I don't have to tell anybody where I am!"  You go, girl!  She's buried in Blackberry Cemetery near Andrew and Jarrett.  After remembering visiting her gravesite in 1997 and thinking what a nice place to be buried, it was the determining factor as to where we would bury the boys.  Thanks, Aunt Clara.  We just love their spot.  It's near the road in the back, and it's very peaceful.  Okay, this is all for now.  Take care of yourselves while I'm gone.  smiley face, djb

Avis, Malvin, Grandpa, Aunt Clara, Granny, Gladys and Sonja at the Ericksons in DeKalb

Gale and Malvin

Gladys and Mary Ellen

Sara reading a book to Jarrett

It's time to eat

Aunt Clara (actually she's my great Aunt)

Gladys, Sonja, Ron, Liz, Bergy, Avis, Malvin

Andrew, Sara, Jarrett - they ate in the living room (with me)

Everyone chatting about Norway

Aunt Gladys and Uncle Malvin get the joke - Alan is thinking about it!

This was me (and Andrew) in Florida.  I was probably at my heaviest weight from the daily use of steroids for over 4 or 5 years at this point.  Yes, I did lose 65 pounds.  Thanks for asking!

later on Tuesday - (10/4) - I went to the cemetery and took a picture which I put on the Boys' Stone page.  Here's a bunch more pictures and also here's a picture of Sammy and Lindsay's pumpkin.  It's so sweet.  Even though we had a lot of rain, the flowers were still kind of dry.  I've got to check on some stuff.  I'll have one more bunch of pictures before I sign off for a week!  bye, djb

The pumpkin from Sammy and Lindsay for the saintly boys - it's so cute

Andrew was pretending to be "Elvis" - no, seriously!

Andrew and Kyle with the turtle they caught at the lake - then they returned him back to his watery home

Bob with Grandpa and Grandma at Woodhaven

Me and Jarrett - he's wearing his Crocodile Club tee shirt - I still have it!

Howard and Irene in their dress up clothes - I think this was their Christmas party

Jarrett and Andrew helping me trim the evergreens

Jarrett had the winning "pasta car" - he won a gift certificate at an Italian restaurant

Phillip, Anthony, Andrew and Jarrett in Creston at a family picnic

Jarrett on his tricycle with a sword attached to the front (?)


Tuesday - October 4, 2005 - Today I'm getting ready to go out of town for a week.  I'm leaving in the morning and I'll be back next Wednesday.  Just a little girly adventure.  Bob and Hobbes will be here.  Of course, Hobbes will NOT be happy about staying in the house.  It's going to get very cold on Thursday.  I see that the high will be in the 50's and the low in the upper 30's.  That's a big brrrrr.  We've been lucky with our weather this fall.  Right now, it's 77 degrees - supposed to get in the mid 80's today.  Earlier this morning, I went out in the front yard and planted some grass seed.  Hopefully, it will start growing because grass does like cooler weather.  I prefer WARMER weather, so that means I must not be grass.  haha  That's very funny.  This morning, I scanned a bunch of pictures.  This afternoon, I'll scan some more for your viewing enjoyment.  I totally LOVE looking at the old pictures.  Makes me smile.  see ya later, djb

Andrew dressed up for a chorus concert - yes, the tie is still in his closet.


Jarrett at the Mother's Tea in third grade - I also still have that tie.

Bunch of Bergs at Ron's house.  I like the way Sophie is eyeing Jarrett who has his eyes closed.  Bob and Andrew look out of it.  Apparently, Uncle Ron is taking the picture and he always does the count:  one, two, three - flash!

Andrew - first day of school - what year?  Don't know.

Jarrett - first day of school but which year?  Same as above, I can't remember.

Jarrett feigning surprise!

The Britz's at the 6th grade science fair - WHERE'S JON????

Andrew on the old white portable phone

Jarrett on the computer with his pack of gum on the desk

Monday - October 3, 2005 - Beginning yesterday afternoon, the thunderstorms kept coming through every few hours, so I decided to go through my "STUFF" in the computer room.  Lo and behold, I found a HUGE box of photographs that I had previously gone through and then forgotten about.  I found pictures from the Berg's 50th wedding anniversary party taken from Jarrett's perspective.  Here's a few of them.  There are quite a few more and they're hilarious because it's from a kid's point of view and not the studied pov of a seasoned photog.  I totally love them.  It's going to be 86 or 88 degrees here today so I'm going to get my skeedaddling shoes on and go to the store before it gets too hot and humid.  see ya, djb 

Jarrett (a self portrait)  "You have learned your lesson well, Grasshopper."

Grandma and Grandpa Berg on their way to the 50th anniversary festivities

Uncle Bergy telling Jarrett, "I crush the paparazzi like a bug!"

Alex, Patrick & Andrew mesmerized by a video game

Alex, Jarrett & Breece at the festivities - Jarrett must have given Andrew the camera to take a picture OR he just decided to snap this shot on his own without asking Jarrett.  (February 1996)

Sunday - October 2, 2005 - Okay, so there's 90 days left in this year.  You have a lot of time to begin any sort of project before 2006 sneaks in the back door.  You could learn how to break dance!!  Or learn how to knit or crochet, for example.  Start a walking program.  Read a book.  Plant a tree or some bulbs for next spring.  Whatever.  Or you can just sit in your chair and watch TV and take a nap.  Me, myself and I have to write some letters - lots of letters.  Thank you cards, etc., etc., etc.   So, that's what I'm going to do now.  Here's the inside of the birthday card that Grandma O'Malley sent me 50 years ago!  That really is a long time ago.  Seriously.  It's a half century - that's a long, long time.  Ok, see ya later, djb

It's nice to see Grandma's handwriting, and she called me Donna Jean!

Saturday - October 1, 2005 - This day's news is on the September page.  You'll have to go the Journal Archives to read it.  Sorry.  I'll never get this finished if I have to re-type it from yesterday.  It's not THAT difficult to find it.  bye bye, djb