AUGUST--Pentwater, MI to Rock Lake, ND to Fargo, ND

Time in Pentwater:

Continue to work through Carl's medical problems. His shoulder is improving ....physical therapy and ultrasound treatments. The vision in his left eye has improved since last month when the only letter he could read on the eye chart was the top E. However, the blood from the vitreous hemorrhage has not cleared (blood only clears at a rate of 1% per day) so he is frustrated with the hazy vision. Carl had a Mohs Procedure to remove a growth on his temple (basal cell carcinoma). Surprised by how much tissue the dermatologist removed and how well he stitched Carl up. The dermatologist used one thread for the entire thing! So what does Carl say about all this? "Getting old is a bitch" and "So glad we did not rent the cottage this summer."

I continue with my jewelry making ......especially wire wrapping. Getting better through practice and experimentation. Not ready to use sterling silver wire (using the cheap stuff)!! This month I made a couple sea glass charm bracelets with matching earrings and two cuff bracelets.

Our friends, Ken and Sharon, invited us up to their home one Friday night. I even waded out into the cool Lake Michigan water up to my waist. Sat on the beach for awhile to sip on ice cold OBERON beers. Saw the SS BADGER (Ludington's car ferry) come in. Later, drove into Ludington for pizza at Luciano's.

Pam and Brian (IRISH EYES) returned from their summer cruise. Pam and I had a make-up consultation at Lakeshore Salon. Have not wore make-up since 2005 when we started cruising. Learned a lot and purchased some basic supplies. Also made an appointment with Mary (owner) to cut my hair before leaving for North Dakota. Al and Laurie brought their boat (FINALE) up from Muskegon for Homecoming weekend. Invited Al, Laurie, Pam and Brian out for dinner ....mixed grill plus a bunch of good food and conversation on our deck.

Below is a picture of Carl's stitches. Dr. VanIttersum is one heck of a stitcher.....small, tight and neat. Amazing how well the wound healed since this picture was taken. On the right is a photo of one of my sea glass cuff bracelets. Unfortunately, the end product was too wide and way too heavy to wear. Oh well, I learned a lot when making it. Tried a second one .....still too big and clunky so will try make a third one next month. Good thing I enjoy this!!!


Had a Birthday Party for our friend, Brian, at our cottage. Pam brought the fixings for tacos to the cottage. The two of us prepared the meat filling and chopped all the condiments in my kitchen ....while sipping wine. Meanwhile the guys watched TV. Picked up a cake (not enough time to bake one) and ice cream for dessert. Below are two pictures taken when the cake was presented to Brian. Could not fit 66 candles on this little cake. Looks like Carl had something smart to say to Brian in the photo on the right.


Just a little excitement one afternoon in our neighborhood. A renter, staying in a cottage at the end of the street, did not completely extinguish their camp fire down on the beach. Around noon, sparks from the wood coals started the beach grass on fire. Someone called the Hart Fire Department while one of the neighbors (Chris, Paul and girls Sarah and Julia) ran down to the beach with rakes, shovels and a garden hose. When the Fire Department arrived, there was no way to get the water from the trucks down the embankment to the fire. The firemen ran down steps and used portable extinguishers and lots of shoveled sand to put the fire out.

Pentwater Special Events:

Attended Pentwate'sr Homecoming. This annual event has numerous activities and brings many, many people into town .Throughout the weekend, activities we attended include the sand castle contest, Birds of Prey seminar, a parade featuring the Scottville Clown Band , MSU tailgate party and fireworks at dusk. For me, the fireworks display is the best part of Homecoming. Watched the fireworks from the back deck of IRISH EYES. Definitely the best seats in included dinner, wine and a blanket.

For the sand castle contest--approximately 250 participants worked on 50 displays. Some projects are constructed by family groups consisting of five generations. Prizes are given based on various categories which are based on age whether the castle was made by an individual, group or family. The competition is tough----would hate to be a judge. The camera in the middle row includes a photo of the camera from the back....note the picture in the camera's photo view!

The pictures below were taken during the Birds of Prey presentation. Learned about falcons, hawks, owls and eagles.


While in Pentwater for Homecoming, we noticed JUMBO at the city marina. First saw this powerboat at Hawksbill Cay (Bahamas) this past January. Later saw the boat at Waderick Wells, Cambridge Cay and Georgetown. This is an unusual boat. While, I can't imagine being out in rough waters in JUMBO, this powerboat crossed the gulfstream to the Bahamas and then worked its way up the Great Loop to Lake Michigan!


Michigan State University (MSU) has a huge tailgate party at one of Pentwater's restaurants. Food----burgers, hotdog and brats. Drink---beer, pop and water. The MSU Marching Band was there along with cheerleaders, pom pom girls and Sparty. Note the Tilley Hats in the first picture. Carl had been looking for one since March. Finally found the right style, color and size right here in Pentwater. Our friend, Al, liked it so he bought one too. Also, Sparty needs a new uniform....the current one is very worn and very stinky!

The parade .....pretty typical of a small town in Michigan. Lots of fire trucks and equipment, antique cars, a few floats and beauty queens riding in convertible cars. What isn't typical is the large contingent from MSU. The first picture is Lois, Laurie (with Chloe) and Pam waiting for the parade to start.


The Scottville Clown Band always brings up the rear of the parade. This band is very popular in Michigan. All male members although many of them dress like women.

Trip to North Dakota:

Drove to North Dakota to visit my parents and attend a wedding (Carl's niece). First leg was to Duluth where we stayed. Hoped to spend time in Duluth walking the waterfront but it was raining in the morning so we dropped that plan. Headed to East Grand Forks, MN to stay a couple days at William and Shelly Thoreson's (the parents of Rebecca who is getting married the Saturday of Labor Day weekend). Shelly's sister, Sue, was staying there too. While William and Shelly went to work---Sue, Carl and I made Hershey Kisses Roses bouquet ....Rebecca's wedding favors.

Two days.....we made 170 guest favors. Carl was responsible for cutting cellophane and ribbon plus he counted and packed final product into boxes. Both Sue and I wrapped kisses in the cellophane but Sue added all the leaves while I tied the ribbons and wrote "Rebecca and Randy" on one leaf and the date "9-3-11" on the other.


Visited my parents in Rock Lake for about a week. Have several relatives living in Rock Lake--Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Harold; Aunt Anna and Cousins Gary & Jenny. In towns nearby--Cousin Karen, Cousin Diane and Aunt Edie. My Aunt Anna invited all of us to join her for supper at the Rock Lake Cafe one night. Had a good time visiting. One night, my Mom, sister Cheryl and I drove over to Sarles for the Annual American Legion Steak Fry. My Dad was already at the steak fry (he had to shuck corn and then sell tickets). This is a fund raiser for the Legion. All the corn, baked potato and salad you can eat plus a 10 oz sirloin steak.

Pictures from the American Legion Steak Fry in Sarles. Note: Went to many dances in this building when I was a teenager. It has recently been re-sided. Top right is a picture of my Dad selling tickets with another lady (don't know who). Middle left is a picture of the food line. Thought it was odd but people picked up the sides while their steak was on the grill (called a Steak Fry but the steaks are grilled). Essentially people ate corn, salads and potato first....then the steak when it arrived. Only in North Dakota???? Note: Went to school in Sarles....3rd and 4th grade. Took a picture of the gym (stone building) and the school house for all 12 grades. Went to see the house we lived in. At the time, I thought it was a mansion. The house has been torn down. Just an empty lot that is overgrown with grass, weeds and a fallen tree.


One day, my Mom, Dad and I drove over to Calvin to see the farm where my Dad grew up. My cousin, Gary Badding, and his son, Brandon, own the house and farm the land. Used to spend a couple weeks on this farm every summer when I was growing up. Gary and Brandon were busy harvesting but took a few minutes to visit with us. Had Gary take pictures of me on the combine. This combine is very high tech with a GPS that guides the combine through the field. In the "old days", fancy combines had a cab that helped to keep the dust out. This cab has fancy controls, AC and a stereo system. The old farm house has not changed since my Dad lived there as a kid.


The pictures below were taken at the Rock Lake Cafe. Aunt Anna invited us for dinner. Top right is my Aunt Edie, Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Harold waiting for supper to be served. Top right is my Dad and Cousin Jennie. Bottom left is Cousin Karen and Aunt Anna. Bottom right is Cousin Diane.


The picture top left is the Rock Lake Show Hall! Yes, it was called a Show Hall. Three new movies every movie on Wednesday night, a different movie Friday and Saturday night and yet another movie on Sunday night. As you can see, the building is fall apart. The front door's glass panes are almost covered with spider webs but I managed to get a picture of the projectors and the ticket booth through the glass. The roof is caving in and open to the elements so someone moved the projectors down to the main floor. Hope they move them out of the building to a safer place in the near future. The last photo is of the main street. Not much left in this small North Dakota town.


Our trip to Rock Lake was cut short due to Carl's eye problem. The flashes he was experiencing continued to increase--both frequency and intensity. Were told that if this happens to seek medical attention. I called a high school classmate of mine who is an ophthalmologist in Fargo. Drove to Fargo for an eye exam ....referred to a retina specialist the next day. This was a stressful situation for Carl.....the ophthalmologist thought the retina was detached and surgery would be required. However, the retina specialist used ultrasound to exam the wasstill intact. The retina specialist took the time to explain to Carl that the blood clot has moved away from the retina.....the tails coming off the blood clot were stimulating the retina (thus the flashes). At this point in time, the chance of a retina detachment had decreased compared to when the blood vessel first started to bleed. No emergency surgery required. However, the specialist said that a surgical procedure is most likely necessary to clear the vitreous of all the blood and cells. This will be determined by the retina specialist in Muskegon that Carl has been seeing since this problem developed. "Getting older is not for sissies".

Submitted by:

Marilyn Thoreson
September 06, 2011