1st December
written by JAK

Dad’s been working on his new train layout. Unfortunately he no longer has one of these to help:


30th June
written by JAK

With my honorary nieces and nephew playing mini golf in Brainerd, MN.

7th September
written by JAK
Link at Marines booth at MN State Fair 9/2/2012

Link at Marines booth at MN State Fair 9/2/2012

So my Dad complained the other day that Deanna Durbin was STILL up as my latest post—as if someone could ever have too much Deanna Durbin!

For the sake of familial harmony, here’s a pic of my bro-in-law Link at the State Fair last weekend.

This one’s for you, Dad.

31st December
written by JAK

It’s been quite a year…

It started out quiet enough, but that all changed in June.  First the accident, then the months living with my parents, the endless medical tests, the eventual diagnosis and treatment, and—once I moved back to my apartment—adjusting to a much constricted way of life.

But today I bought:

It’s a scary new world.  I’ve been strangely hesitant to get back out there and drive after 6 months of not driving. I hope that fear goes away with time.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be up for a long road trip again.

I’ve been kind of proud of my self-sufficiency and comfort-level with the bus, though I know the “comfort” aspect of it would disappear once the bitter winter finally arrives. But I have also depended on my selfless family and friends for many rides as well.  Thanks!  You’re the best!

Although it’s been so crazy, I think this is one of the best years I’ve had.  Part of it is gratitude for not injuring or killing anyone else or being seriously injured myself.  Whether it was luck, a guardian angel, or merely chance,  to have emerged with just a few scratches is a miracle.

Living with my parents those first months was wonderful too.  It’s for precisely that reason that I moved back to Minnesota: you can depend on family (and they can depend on me too!).  They never let me feel like a burden.  And, although I wasn’t expecting it,  it was really nice to not live alone for a while after so many years.  (Plus Mom spoiled me with home-cooking!)

All in all, a very good year.


So…….what should I name the car?

27th December
written by JAK
Christmas 2011

Christmas Day 2011: Uncle Dick, me, and Michelle

Christmas 2010

Christmas Day 2010: me and Michelle...brrrrr!

24th December
written by JAK

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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17th July
written by JAK

26th October
written by JAK

This is from last year, but I like it so here it is again: Monster Mash featuring

Me as Dr. Frankenstein
Dad as Dracula
Mom as Werewolf
Link (bro-in-law) as Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster
Michelle (sister) as Bride of Frankenstein


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22nd July
written by JAK
Family photo

Here she's simply called "Mother."
(My grandmother is the little girl in white.)

Tonight, in preparation for a weekend visit to my grandmother’s half sister in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, I’ve been pulling census data from (thanks Candace!).

Tracking down my great-grandmother has been quite a task. There is the fact that she married four times (she outlived them all!). But much more troublesome record-wise is the various spellings of her one name while married to my great-grandfather.

For her first name they’ve got Minnie, Wilhelmina, and Wilkelmine. The last name I have found as Benlin, Renlin, Renton, Reuben, Rewlin, and Reulein. It’s really Reulin…I think.