Thursday, December 25, 2008


I hope everyone is doing exactly what makes you happy on this Christmas Day. 

I have a little story for you.

Santa stopped at my place last Friday, at dusk.  I heard boots on the stairs and the doorbell rang.  The boots were retreating by the time I opened the door.  (No I didn't see him)  The truck roared away as I spied the little tan box on the floor by my door.

Inside the box, a red bag  and card from Janelle.  In the bag I found unshelled nuts, hard candy of the old fashioned kind.  A perfect round orange completed the gift.

Oh, no, I thought: I gave away my nutcracker, but here it was in the back of a drawer I cracked open a pecan.  Thank you Janelle

P.S.  I filled the red bag with the canned food I was taking to a food drive--the gift travels on.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Had a 1.4 loss for the last 2 weeks. I didn't post last week because I had a colonoscopy on Friday and didn't think it would be very accurate after 2 days of clear liquid only diet.

The volleyball girls made me proud. Although they didn't win, they did stop Penn State from their perfect record of not losing a set this year. I will miss Jordan, Amanda, and Rachel.

About 6" of snow on the driveway this morning. The snowblower ran out of gas before I got done and didn't have any to finish. A very nice guy that is helping with the remodeling of the house next door volenteered to finish for me. God bless him. The house was recently sold as the lady that lived there moved to Lincoln to be near her son that has cystic fibrosis. This guy, Abe, said he is helping a friend tear out and fix it up. He said the friend's dad had bought the house and then died so the son is fixing it up. I think it is in real bad shape because the previous owner didn't have the means to keep it up.

Sunday is the first day of winter. Can spring be far behind.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting home

COLD,  Yes, Reno was cold this morning.  I waited until the sun warmed the ice on my windshield to start the drive home.  I expected to have to put on chains to get across the mountains.  I didn't have to.  I arrived home safely.

From Cold Springs Valley, NV I drove to Natomas, CA across the Sierra Nevada mountains. 
I-80 is the route and today, after a winter storm passed through, the road was wet and sloppy with a temperature hovering near 25F until I was 50 miles from home.  Not the best conditions, but the sun was shining.   The ugly road wandered through a white, blue and green winter wonderland. 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Storm

How did the holiday gathering of Gatewoods go.  Anyone get any good white elephants?

Friday evening I watched Paulette dance in the Winter Showcase and she was dancing on Saturday so could not go to Reno with me.

Saturday morning.
Bright sunshine in Sacramento, ditto in Reno.  In between, over Donner Pass through the mountains.  Somewhere around Nyack, CA snow has fallen.  The road is wet on the sides and then in the middle and then dirty snow between the tire tracks.  I do not see a chain requirement; only the 40mph recommendation so I carefully drive in the slow lane.  I can still see the center line and some drivers; braver than I are zipping along.  Tiny snow flurries and I use lots of windshield washer.  Rest stop in Truckee and on to Reno.  I see the END CHAIN CONTROL sign as I leave Truckee.  The entire trip took from 8:30am to about 12:30pm

Being Grandma makes me very popular for the afternoon.  I get there in time for lunch.  About five PM Nana arrives and she, too, is very popular.  She's more popular because she has brought the PIZZA for dinner.  David and Robin, all dressed up, say bye, bye and leave for their party. Nobody cries.  We have pizza, salad and milk that gets spilled, of course.  Nobody cries as we mop it up and determine it is Grandma's fault because I filled Sterling's glass too full.

After clean-up, baths and pajamas we are ready for Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer--the original.  Skyler only moves to view the TV around Sterling who dances to all the music and in between runs in front of the watchers.  Shae has questions, as usual.  Why is Santa so thin?  What is that (the abominable snowman)?  Is he bad?  and so on.  Sandy (Nana) and I wonder how this has remained a classic.

The kids went to bed after drinks of water and checking on one more thing or another.  Sandy went home, I started reading and David and Robin came home.  GOOD DAY.

Sunday.  We went to church and then Robin, Shae, Skyler and I went to the Nutcracker.  Great show.  Enjoyed by all.  Then to dinner at Outback.  On the way home it started to snow.  Meanwhile, after church, David and Sterling did the COSTCO shopping and watched football.  Sterling was taking a bath when we got home.

And now it is Monday afternoon and I had planned to be at home.  Too much snow, roads in bad shape and one more storm on the way.    It stopped snowing several times today, the winter storm warning lasts until 10pm.  I do have to get home tomorrow.  That will be an adventure.


Forty-three years ago today Jerry helped decorate the Christmas tree in the Oakland hospital. Meanwhile I was giving birth to our first daughter. 6 lbs 4 oz, 18" long. Happy Birthday Cindy. Love, Mom & Dad.

It is REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY COOOOOOOOLD. The high today is somewhere between 0 and 4. No, Myrna, I don't want to know what the temperature is in Sacramento. I got to play in the snow this morning. We didn't get much, but about 10" piled up in front of my garage door. I'm just glad it wasn't that deep all the way to the street.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas, Part Last (?)

Here’s what I know about The Gatewood Christmas 2008:

Meet at Scott & Lisa’s at 5 PM.

Bring a White Elephant for gift exchange. No dollar minimum or maximum. We can count on each other to be sensible.

Scott will pick up Mick. I’ll find something at his house to bring for his White Elephant.

We are doing a brunch menu, even tho it’s early evening.

I will bring a ham roast and Swedish pancakes.
Shirley’s bringing fruit salad.
Cindy’s bringing potato casserole.
Lisa is providing coffee and other drinks.
Jon & April: A fabulous, outrageously decadent dessert.
I forget what Sue said she was bringing.

I think the head count is:
Sue, Jerry, Cindy, Jaydee, Kendra, Mick, Shirley, Bob, Jon, April, Cassie, Alex, Adam, Randy, Janell, Jack, Scott, Lisa, Faith, Bob, Grady = 21
Sue; any word from Chantelle?
Deb’s family: Maybe (4)
Brad: Maybe (3)
Who did I forget? (Don’t say I forgot Emily. She has a wedding rehearsal on Saturday.)

Shannon and her four kids plus Amber and her son, Parker, will be coming from Indiana to Nebraska December 27-January 3. Please help me find a time and place for them and Mick to meet with each of our locals while they are here. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be all at the same time and place. For example, could they come to Sue’s in Norfolk on Friday January 2? Maybe to Shirley’s on her day off? Could Bob help them get to the zoo on one of the weekdays? I will be with them over the weekend of 27-28. Could Cindy meet them in Fremont on one of those weekdays? They’ll be staying at Mick’s old place in Oakland until the 31st and then at a guest house in Lyons until they go home.
Any ideas?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

V is for Migration


I lost the 1.2 that I gained over Thanksgiving. I got busy yesterday and didn't get it reported. I had a mammogram in the morning. Then I had lunch with Cindy and Terry. Grocery shopping and then I baked a couple batches of cookies. Had to get done in time to watch the Husker girls win the first match of the regional vb tournament.

Jacob needs to be added to the list. Dec. 12, 1998.

Pray for good weather next weekend so we don't have to postpone our Christmas get together.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Early Christmas memories

We lived at the Peterson Place until I was six and here are some Christmas memories.
The school always had a Christmas program.  Each student was given a piece to memorize and say it alone in the middle of the stage.  We sang songs like Up on the Housetop,  Santa Claus us coming to town ,and Christmas carols.  A Christmas play sometimes written by the teacher. Families came and there was cake, cookies and pie to eat after the program.  

The Long twins, Irene and Paulene and I, the first graders at Jefferson school were dismissed early for recess and sent to the basement where the stage was set up.  We were told not to go on the stage.  We talked about not going on the stage and then Irene (I think because she was the daring one) said "Why not?" and slipped behind the curtains.  She came back and her sister and I followed her to the stage.   We were having great fun in the forbidden territory.  We were busted by Carmen Dennis, the second grader who came down for recess.  She told the teacher.  I don't remember the punishment but there was punishment.
I always worried about getting coal in my stocking for Christmas.  We hung our real stockings on the oven door because there was no fireplace and the stove was connected to the chimney.  On Christmas morning the stockings contained an orange, pieces of hard candy and unshelled nuts.  One or two gifts were on the floor under the stockings. We got toys and games.   Sue and I got dolls, tea sets and girl things.  The boys got trucks and toy guns and boy things.  Blocks and Tinker Toys were always in our toy box.
Christmas morning, in the very cold kitchen, we whispered, ate candy and played with our new toys.

The Christmas  Bob, two months old, had pneumonia remains pretty clear.  The Goulds were visiting and the house was full of relatives.  Mom and Dad were putting on coats and wrapping Bob up and they went to the hospital in Oakland probably 15 miles away.  I spent the night at Smith's and remember asking Paul Dee if Bob was going to die.  He didn't know.  Bob didn't die, of course, he spent his very first Christmas  in an  oxygen tent.  I don't remember when he came home.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Peterson Place

Janell,  you and Shirley were both born while we lived on the Yost place.  And it is the one on 51 by the AT&T tower.  The rest of us were born while home was the Peterson place.  I don't remember Sue or Mick being born but I was six when Bob came along and remember Grandma Gatewood staying with us at that time.   Dad came into the bedroom and told Sue and I we had a baby brother.  I asked if we could name him Bobby or Donnie.  I went to school the next morning and told the kids I had named my baby brother.  Joyce Steen said I didn't; parents named their children.  I do remember Mick as a baby in the bassinet in the living room.  Sue and I were playing around it and tipped it over.  Dad always told about looking up from the table and seeing Mick carrying the newborn Bob from the living room.  

I started school at Jefferson School with Mrs. Young as my teacher.  Or was it Miss?  She had taught Mother at Jefferson school.   The Smith's picked me and someone else up every morning.  One winter morning while I waited in the snow, beside the water pump.  I stuck my tongue on the pump handle.  I do not know why.  I heard the car coming up the hill and pulled away real fast.  I can still remember how it hurt.   Here's what I remember as my first day of school.  Mother drove me and waited beside the car while I walked up to that heavy door and went inside.  It may not have been my first day.  Mother said she probably had her wash in the car with Sue and Mick an would have been pregnant with Bob.

The windmill and the pump in front of the house provided the water for the house.  Mother or Dad would carry it into the house in a white enamel pail.  We had a matching dipper to drink from.  Yes we all drank from the same dipper.  The house had no running water and no bathroom.  There was an outhouse and a galvanized tub was brought in from the back porch for baths in the kitchen.

I remember  riding in a horse drawn wagon while Dad picked corn.  One side was higher than te other and he bounced the ears off that side.  I don't know if I got it by ears of corn.  I vaguely remember a lot of people butchering a pig.  I definitely remember the fatty"cracklings" Mother heated to get the cans of lard.  Then they were givie to Grandma Anderson for making lye soap.

One day Dad brought home two snowy white puppies, one for me and one for Suzie.  Apparently we could only keep one and one day mine was gone.  No explanation.  I think we named that dog Snowball.    I don't know if it was the one that bit Sue.  

I  got hit above the eye with a glass bottle.  Paul Dee was holding the bottle and told me to duck he was going to throw the bottle.  I didn't duck and the next thing I remember was laying on the kitchen table with wet cloths on my head.  
I remember both, Franty and Virgil visiting us in uniform.  It seemed to me they just appeared and stayed for a day or two and left again.  I knew they came from the war.  Grandma and Grandpa Gatewood would come to visit after they had been in Phoenix bringing grapefruit and oranges.   Grandpa had asthma and would burn a green powder called Asthmador.  We liked to "smoke" with Grandpa.   Julia, Harley, Delaine and Richard Gould would drive from Colorado for a visit.  Richard was always sick with asthma.   I  was digging in the dirt one time when Uncle Harley came by and asked if I was digging my way to China.  He told me I could.  I worked at it for a couple of days and then one night it rained and my very small hole to China filled with water and I lost interest.

Sometime after we left there, Eddie Peterson built himself a little house along the creek and tried to make a pond by building or having built a dam.  The beavers didn't like his dam and tore it down.   The Ethel and Eddie Peterson lived in Omaha.  Eddie needed a retreat.

There was a pond there for a while.    We no longer lived there when Dad tried to teach me to ice skate on Eddie's pond.  He could ice skate quite well and said if I could roller skate there was no reason why I couldn't ice skate.  Well I couldn't.