The Kollmans

Life and Times of Taken a sum Doodum

Home Again March 30, 2008

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We arrived back in Howard Lake late on Friday night. The funeral was sad, because, after all, it was Liza’s grandmother. However, it was also a time to see family and friends, reflect on all of the wonderful things that grandma Pearl had done in her life, and rejoice in the fact that she is no longer in pain and in a nursing home, unable to even recognize her closest family. My grandfather said it best when he said “We can’t think about ourselves, we have to think about her, and know that she is at last happy and free and resting very peacefully”. So, we have to take our cues from Grandpa Allen, who, after all, knew her best.

Our travels were quite exhausting. We were in Aberdeen for Easter – Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday night. We stayed in Mark and Diane’s screen porch, on the futon. It’s always stressful to have all of your stuff in suitcases and spread out all over. On Monday, we packed up and drove to Howard Lake, but didn’t even have a chance to unpack, only to change the clothes in our suitcase, before we headed to Hendricks on Tuesday. We spent Tuesday night at a hotel in Brookings, Wednesday night at Liza’s uncle Kelly’s house, and Thursday night at a different hotel in Brookings. The dogs spent 3 full days in the car, and then most of Friday as well, as we drove home. They were very glad to see our house, and even more glad when we actually unpacked our suitcases this time, and stayed for longer than just one night.

We’ve been having a relaxing weekend since we got back home. Yesterday we went to Ikea and then out to eat, and then we stopped at the Delano theater to go to a movie on our way home. After we got home, we seemed to be in a movie mood, because we watched two more before heading to bed around 3. Can’t remember the last time we stayed up until 3 Am! Today is a lazy Sunday. We don’t have much planned, perhaps a quick trip out to buy some soda. Otherwise, we’ll relax, and gear up for the coming week.


Easter/Sad Times March 25, 2008

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The Kollmans were in Aberdeen for Easter. We arrived there about 9pm on Thursday night, after leaving the city in mild 50 degree weather without coats or scarves, and driving for 6 hours through a raging blizzard. We were glad to be in the warmth of the Johnson house, after that treacherous drive. Thursday night brought almost no sleep, whatsoever. We slept in Mark and Diane’s porch, which is a room that we actually LIVED in for the first summer we lived together. The dog yard was excited by the snowfall, the small dogs were excited to see us, and the blizzard had left the night so bright there was really no way to sleep. We were up early on Friday morning to collect Diane from the airport. She returned from her month in Alaska to about 8 inches of new snow. So, Friday afternoon saw dog sledding, naps, and unpacking for all.  We watched the movie Across the Universe on Friday night – after eating out as a family (minus Scott, of course).

Saturday was supposed to be a day of relaxing and resting and being together as a family. However, Mark’s sister Becky called in the early afternoon to say that Mark’s mom (Liza’s grandma Pearl) was not doing well at all. She’d been in the  home in Hendricks for a couple of years, and had fallen sick on Friday afternoon. Mark decided to drive to Hendricks, and Diane went with. However, they didn’t make it in time, and Pearl died late in the afternoon on Saturday.

We stayed with Michael in Aberdeen while Mark and Diane spent the afternoon and evening in Hendricks, which is about 2.5 hours from Aberdeen.  We had the Wii to keep Michael busy, as well as dog chores and things to keep us busy. Mark and Diane got back late in the evening, and plans were made. A plane ticket was purchased for Scott, and we made our own plans. On Easter Sunday, Mark and Diane had to go back to Hendricks to meet with the funeral director, so we were again in charge of things in Aberdeen. We were going to head back to Howard Lake Sunday night, but decided to stay with Michael, as Mark and Diane didn’t get back until about 8 or so.

Yesterday we got up early and headed home to Howard Lake. We didn’t really unpack, just changed some clothes in our suitcase and checked to make sure that things were ok here at home. This morning Tony got up to head in to the studio for the afternoon. He’ll be back here around 4, and we’ll pack up the dogs once again and head to Hendricks. We will probably be there until Friday or Saturday, as the family viewing is tomorrow, and the funeral itself is Thursday.

We hope that all of you had much better Easters than we did!


St Patrick’s Weekend March 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — kollmans @ 12:13 pm

Well, strike the last post about spring. Its been snowing here since early morning. Yes, its accumulating, and the roads look to be a bit slippery. So, guess we’ll have to wait a few more days to clear out the flowerbeds and start parking on the street again.

Even though today is technically St. Patrick’s Day,  we already did our celebrating so are back in the same old routine for the week. On Saturday, we got up early and went to St. Paul in time for the parade. It was a pretty neat thing to see. For anyone who hasn’t been there, it is mostly Irish families who all get together and march down one of the main roads in downtown St. Paul. It was pretty fun to watch. Lots of happy people and shouting, and plenty of adorable dogs.  After the parade, we met up with Dustin and Sarah and some other friends from Aberdeen. We headed to a bar, Alary’s. Alary’s always has a big to-do for St. Pats. They’ve got a tent set out in their parking lot, girls in skimpy clothing, and a whole line of porta-potties behind the bar. No green beer out there, but Bud Light in green bottles, so it pretty much counted.  We stayed at Alary’s long enough to meet up with Todd and Jamie, who showed up after awhile, and Anthony and Katie, who showed up a little bit later.

Most of the others wanted to head back home, so Anthony and Katie and the Kollmans left Alary’s and headed to some other bars in St. Paul. We bar-hopped for a few hours, ended up eating at a Mexican place, and finally called it a night around 8 pm or so. We had a fantastic time! The bars in downtown St. Paul are absolutely packed on St. Pats. We had to wrangle for tables and stand in line for a long time to do things like buy beer and go to the bathroom. However, the atmosphere totally makes up for it. So many people, all in such good spirits, makes being in that type of environment a really fun way to spend the day. There’s just something about being in a huge crowd of people that makes for a fun afternoon/evening.

Sunday, we drove up to Todd and Jamie’s place in Hugo. We watched a movie and just generally enjoyed hanging out with friends. We heard the food that they made was really good (cornbeefhash and chickenwings) but since neither of us eat meat we’ll have to take everyone else’s word for it! We had some snacky foods and really enjoyed seeing everyone, especially Dan and Theresa, whom we haven’t seen since their wedding. All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.

Check out our St. Pat’s photos in the photo album!


Spring! (almost) March 13, 2008

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Well, not quite. But, it certainly feels like it! The weather has been getting warmer and warmer, and today it was supposed to be around 50. The sun has shrunk the piles of snow, and left mud and water in their wake. Nothing budding on the trees yet, but today feels like the first really nice day at the end of winter. The kind where you use to take off your coat at recess to play with your friends in elementary school.

Still working pretty hard, and trying to keep up with housework. Today we took a break from all of that and went on a family walk. We’d never walked the dogs here in Howard Lake before. They get plenty of exercise running up and down the stairs inside, and being outside on their tie-outs.  Since they are small, and since our house has a lot of space, we don’t walk them each day like we’d have to if we lived in an apartment or if we had bigger dogs. We used to walk them quite a bit in Aberdeen, mostly for our own exercise. But, we moved here at the end of last summer, and it seemed to go from much too hot to wintertime, all at once. And its been that way ever since! Even though our dogs are northern breed dogs, they really hate being outside when it’s cold! In fact, if it is cold out, they often sit on their rear ends in the snow and refuse to walk around.

But, it has at last gotten to the point where we can be outside without coats, and they are excited to be out as well.  So, today we pulled out the harnesses from the closet and took the three of our dogs for a nice walk. Rx had to stay home and have a nap in the kennel, as he has been much too wild and out of control (and also because four dogs is a bit too much to handle in an unfamiliar place). We walked a few blocks around our house, in directions we’d never gone in this town before. It was nice to explore some areas of the town we live in, and great for the dogs to be out with us as well. Of course, they all three came home completely covered in mud. Muddy paws, mud and water on their bellies. Now everyone is resting and relaxing, and we are trying to get our work for the week done so that we can enjoy St Patty’s day weekend with our friends!


Home Again! March 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — kollmans @ 2:54 pm

The Kollmans are home again in Howard Lake. Liza arrived last night, flustered, with way too much stuff in the van. The entire family is back together again, plus Rx who has come to stay while Diane is still in Alaska. We’ve been busy unpacking and trying to settle back into our daily routine. The snow was completely gone in Aberdeen, but there is still a lot here in Howard Lake, so we are patiently waiting for the weather to warm up so spring can actually begin. Liza is absolutely exhausted after her two week stint at Mark and Diane’s house – so she’s very much enjoying the “quiet” of home once again. Hope you all are safe and warm and where you belong!


Almost there… March 5, 2008

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Liza has almost made it through her two weeks in Aberdeen. Mark and Michael should return sometime tomorrow or Friday… and after helping them unpack, getting Michael’s homework finished up, and packing her own car, she should be back in Howard Lake by early Sunday afternoon!

She is very excited about this. It has been a long two weeks. 🙂