Family Dinner Out

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

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Modern Families

Somebody in our family got the idea a while back that it would be just great if we all got together and had dinner out. Of course, the first question that came up, where to eat? Some wanted to go to McDonald’s, others wanted Chinese buffet. We had a few younger ones voted for Italian. One grandson with the oriental wife wanted Japanese sushi. I shouted, “this is getting us nowhere, we are all going to go to Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen and pull a few tables together and enjoy a family dinner.”

We all finally got seated at Ralph’s Place. I ask,  “how about ordering.” Each one wants to order from the menu by themselves. Immediately I shouted, “No way José, this is not going to work, it will drain my bank account.” We can all have the special and I will pick up the check. If each one wants to order separately we will go Dutch. No one wanted the special, as I thought, with a breath of relief. Orders finally were all placed, waitresses started bringing out all the different meals.

Everyone was relaxing and enjoying their meals when we heard some police siren’s out in front. Pretty soon a policeman walked in the door with this big old fellow, who looked like a lumberjack. The policeman asked, “Is somebody here named Leland Olson.” That’s me, I replied.” The policeman says, “This old geezer was wandering around in the middle of the street looking for a restaurant called Ralph’s Gizzard Kitchen. Nobody in town seemed to know where it was.” Whoever picked this place to eat must not get out of the house much! So anyway, “This fellow claims to be the great-grandfather of Leland Olson. He got the message to meet everyone here for a family dinner.”

I jumped up and gave my great-grandpa a big old hug, you look great, you died in 1914. I started banging a glass with my spoon. Can I have everyone’s attention, “This is great-grandpa Ole Hoel, he came all the way from Canada to have dinner with us.” Sit down and join us. So, “how have things been going with you grandpa, what would you like to eat?” Salted herring and lutefisk are out of season right now. They have excellent walleye fillets, I heard you always liked fish, we all did. Grandpa said, “That will be just fine, “but I don’t seem to have the appetite I had working in the woods all day.”

I asked, “How long can you stay,” They said, ‘until dinner is over’ “I thought maybe you could come out to the house and stay awhile.” ‘Well, that is not part of the deal.’ I’m here to just have dinner with you and your family, to see what you all look and act like.’ “Frankly, I am shocked, It looks like you all have a lot of confusion and bad manners.” “You should all be eating at one table at your home.” ‘Grandpa things change.’ He says, “Don’t know why things got to change that much, only been a little over a 100 years or so since I left here.”

So I asked him, “If you’re leaving after dinner, I hope you’re not walking all the way back to Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.” No way, “Walk that far, you nuts? I did it once in 1905! “I will be returned to Canada the same way I got here. Something beamed me up, I didn’t have my Derby hat so they beamed me back down, got my hat, they beamed me up again and it brought me here. I hope they get it right going back.”

Thanks for supper, it was nice to meet your family. Leland, What did you say you do? Blogging? Never heard of it, “Now logging, I know a lot about log………

Bye, bye, great-grandpa, I love you.

Lake Poinsett, South Dakota, USA

















Fishing was usually good.


Our old cabin

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Amber fish

Amber’s alligator !







24 lb. Northern Pike


36.5 lb. Carp


The Olson boys L/R Leland, Karlton, Harlan


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2011 was another year of high water level, wind damage.






I thought I would write a blog post about Syringomyelia as there are still very few people in the world who actually know what it is. At one time it was considered a very rare disorder. Since the invention of the MRI machine they are finding many more people who have this condition in their spinal cords. I went over 15 years after my symptoms first started. I was finally diagnosed in 1985, that was purely by accident. A student doctor visiting with my puzzled neurologist just read about it in class that week. I was in the VA Hospital a week later having a drain placed in my spinal cord to drain out the excessive fluid. Today my spinal cord resembles this picture but the Syringomyelia cavity extends the full length of the spinal cord.

Barbara White a young woman living in Texas was diagnosed at about the same time as me. The National Organization for rare disorders Nord wanted someone to start a support group for people Contracting Syringomyelia. Barbara White and her husband Don decided to do that job and they founded ASAP which is still operating and growing today as the main support group for people with this disorder, it also includes those with Chiari Syndrome a disease where the brain stem protrudes down into the spinal column. I have enclosed a link to ASAP’s website.

Dark Dwindling Days

You might still be in that bed that is becoming so hard to crawl out of,  your eyes half closed. It is tempting to stay there in peace with low pain.  Your morning bathroom stop gets longer, sitting on the toilet for half an hour hoping for the prune/bran/apple cocktail to work. You might be reclined in your easy chair or reading a book or a newspaper, it suddenly dawns on you. Your days on this earth are “dwindling down to a precious few.” The life that you happily led is slowing down at what seems like a blurringly fast pace.

Medical costs from you’re wasting body is taxing your financial health. Your guarantees and safety nets are tattered and torn. You try to remain positive but how can that be done? You cautiously and quietly realize in the back of your mind  that  everything you ever loved and lived for will soon be left behind.

Our goal has always been since birth to master life on this Earth. We were always taught to live a life of HOPE. Now as that earthly hope seems gone, we are offered a brand new hope and a new life and a peace that is beyond what we can comprehend. We have that hope to leave this earth and spend eternity in a new body, at a homecoming with no cares or woes.

Otto Warmbier Suffered Extensive Brain Damage, Coroner Confirms

My idea of how this young man died from lack of oxygen to the brain is possibly way out in left field. I thought I would share it anyhow. I have sleep apnea and when I fall asleep in my recliner chair my head automatically hangs forward because I do not lay my chair back.

This cuts off the air flow through the trachea. I will wake up as if I’ve been in REM sleep after just a few minutes. I can tell my body is lacking oxygen and it’s affecting my brain. It makes my limbs quit working sometimes.

I do believe this young man could have been forced into a position for long periods of time with his head bent forward so his trachea prevented air from reaching his lungs. That is possibly why he died from anoxic brain damage.


twisted hay


This week, show us something that doesn’t maintain a straight line.

Twisted Hay

My great-grandfather came to the United States from Norway in the 1880s. He and his family settled in Dakota Territory, it is now called South Dakota. They lived in a hillside dugout and later a sod house near a small town that became known as Hayti.

The name of the town originated from the tall hay that grew around a lake near that town. It was much longer than the prairie grass. The grass or hay  was tightly twisted together to use for fuel in their stoves.

There was no roads or railroads at that time so there was no way to get coal for burning. The only fuel for their stoves was cow chips, buffalo chips, or Twisted hay or grass.

Great-grandfather lost his first wood frame home to a wind driven prairie fire.