Ron Kangas, a Finnish friend from Lake Norden South Dakota USA sent me this book. He was one of the first Stihl chainsaw dealers in this area. He started his first Stihl shop on his farm west of town and later built a store in Watertown South Dakota USA. I want to share some of the pictures from his book with the rest of the world. I’m sure many people will recognize him and his family, especially those living in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon and Washington. Ron and his wife also made trips to Europe to the home of Stihl chainsaws. Ron mentioned having one customer from Australia.
I have had to use CPAP and finally, BiPAP machines for 20 years. The oxygen level in my blood gets low while I sleep. I usually have dreams that wake me up. I have concluded the subconscious mind creates those dreams to wake me up to start breathing again. The alternative would be to sleep until the oxygen to my brain got depleted, and I would simply die sleeping. The more I think about it, that would be a way to check out. My dreams are mostly about falling, so before landing, I automatically wake up and start breathing, this has worked well.
Recently my thoughts have been tainted or infiltrated by news flashes, shocking events of suffocating, suffering and dying people, also mass graves. Family members trying to cope with the situations get told to stay home and not touch each other. Touching and togetherness are what they need the most.
A shroud of hopelessness has fallen over the whole world. We must regain and cling to hope. My entire life, I have remembered and cherished my grandmother’s loving hugs; it was a safe, secure feeling that is indescribable. I also got blessed with a loving godmother who people hugged on site. She prayed for me regularly, giving me an armor shield of unseen hope in my life.
The corona virus appears to be changing everything in this world for future generations. The eternal hope that comes from close family units with loving hugs is getting destroyed. We have orders to remain apart, no socializing, so the virus doesn’t spread. Satan seeks to separate people. We must all seek the creator to solve this problem and turn it around for good. The alternatives paint a very bleak picture of future societies. The masses connected by electronic wizardry and gaggles of gadgets. Social media and other space-age communications have no familiar, loving human touch, feeling, or emotions. We can see each other talk to each other as if we are already robots living in a cyber world. We could quickly become a plethora of pixels with no hope of ever having human personalities .
There is no way tiny little hearing aid batteries are a spin-off from space-age Technology, or they would certainly last more than two days. They would not get very far on a trip to Mars. I usually change batteries at the kitchen table, when I drop one, there is not much chance it will land on edge and roll off the table, but that has happened also.
I usually change those wee little batteries while sitting in my recliner after putting on my shoes. That is a poor location to work with batteries when I drop them. They go down into the carpet, a magnet on the end of a stick is needed to find and pick them up. I can usually fish them out but must find the right spot to start fishing.
I was going to get one of these little Robo vacuum cleaners. But I’m afraid of what would happen? It would suck up all the dropped batteries out of the carpet. There would probably be such a mass of negative and positive charges clashing inside of the cleaner. The little robot would crash into a corner somewhere and go tilt. I will continue to use the Shark to eat them up.
My fingers have become crooked and deranged, plus I lost so much feeling. It is almost impossible to do anything with those wee, tiny batteries. The finger dexterity has been gone for a long time now. I recall visions of the cowboy, riding at full speed across the plains, rolling a cigarette with one hand.
It is easy to understand why they got so crippled and deformed. Those early days of milking cows by hand got them off to a good. I could, even tear a deck of cards in two. There is a trick to it, you must hold them real tight and squeeze while your twist. The later years are the ones that took their toll on the hands and fingers
I think back, my fingers have been through a lot. It is easy to understand why they got so crippled and deformed. It could have something to do with Ice fishing while cleaning the ice out of the holes with bare hands instead of a dipper and reaching in the icy minnow bucket to get a minnow with bare hands. We certainly abuse our fingers and hands.
In a lifetime of trapping your hands go bad. I’ve had chapped Muskrat hands clear up to the elbows. Talk about chapped skin! A trapper cousin once told me, “If you feel like a muskrat is going to get loose from the trap, just let it bite down on your finger, then slowly pull it from the house, only tried that once.
I was taking what I thought was a dead weasel from my trap one time. The sneaky little bugger bit right down on my trigger finger. It wouldn’t let go. I shook my hand up and down with that cute, tiny white weasel on the end of my finger. I finally squeezed it real tight with the freehand, and it looked me in the eye and decided to spit my finger out.
My wife always got mad when I dropped batteries and started to cuss at myself. I have almost stopped doing that. I feel one of these days her spirit will be standing by my recliner saying, “Could you please give me a break, let me have some rest?”
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will soon have hearing aids that are rechargeable. Then I might not have to say “MITA” all the time.
We got to continue using our hands in these Golden years if we want to do anything. Occupational therapy every day helps, putting square pegs in round holes, squeezing play dough, things like that, keep using the old fingers to get some life back into them. When the feeling is gone, hope tries to follow soon.
I have started to consider a cooking program. It will cost some serious cash to get cameras installed in my kitchen. I think it will pay off in the end. For a successful television show, there is nothing better than a captive audience. I’m sure the elderly folks starting to develop the constant, uncontrolled, dropping syndrome will relate to it well. My left arm and hand are nearly useless, hence the name; “The One-Armed Gourmet.” My soulmate has gone home. She left early for that big family reunion where the streets got made of gold. She could be waiting for me just beyond the moon. I feel sure her spirit still walks about in our kitchen, from time to time.
I believe we still bump into each other on occasion. Rose always made the best food on this side of the Pecos. This morning I was craving a cheese omelet. I thought, well, I’ll make myself one. I diced up some ham. I found out I had no onions, then thought to myself, self, that could be a blessing in disguise. I got the diced ham pieces browned, then started cracking eggs into a small bowl to mix them. I remember she always cracked an egg with one hand. So, trying to be cute and look like I knew what I was doing that’s what I did. I did the first two like an old chef right into the bowl where I wanted them, without many small shell fragments. I cracked the third one and it went on the countertop. My next move was to grab a paper plate. I would slide that egg off the countertop onto the plate. That part went well, but then the cheap plate bent in the middle and the egg splattered on the floor right next to my foot. Tight as I am, I saw no salvage possible for that egg. So, I ended up with a two-egg omelet. The way I drop things, our kitchen gets scrubbed often. After dropping that egg. I said something like, Oh, my! maybe that wasn’t what I said because my wife’s presence got felt. She is determined to break my old habit of cursing at me. I have dropped so many food items. I got a dust-pan with a long handle. I keep it clean; many dinners got back on a plate that way.
I have a picture of the stone house in my book that was just published. My great-great-uncle Simon Hoel built the house with help from his brothers, Ole and Eston. Part of this house remains on a little Hill just East of the State Park at Lake Poinsett South Dakota. Simon came to homestead there with his cousin Torsten Estensen in the 1880s. They worked at the copper mines near Hancock, Michigan, and started families there before coming West to Dakota territory to homestead land and begin farming. They were both lay preachers in the old Apostolic Church. Church services were held at the Estensen homestead until a church got built near Lake Norden. Torsten became a minister in the Apostolic Church West of Lake Norden. Simon had all daughters, so my grand-father Andrew Olson gave up work at the iron mines in northern Minnesota to help his Uncle Simon on the farm. Andrew and Minnie rented the old Kurkela farm for over 40 years. It was initially a sod house that got enclosed with wood in later years. The walls were about three feet thick on the east side of the house.
Simon’s brother Ole lost his wife during childbirth shortly before they left Norway. He also had a son Olaf who died at about three years of age. His sons, Andrew and Gideon and daughter Etta came with him. Eston was married in Michigan and had two or three children, several more later. He started farming near Lake Norden and was the Mail carrier from Nitterberg South Dakota to Estelline. They lost everything in a Prairie fire. Eston and family along with Ole moved to Ryder North Dakota and farmed near Rice Lake for a few years. Drought drove them out of North Dakota. They ended up finally settling in Alberta, Canada near Rocky Mountain House Where they remained for the rest of their lives. There were about 13 children in Eston’s family. A lot of them came back to the United States and worked in the lumber industry on the West Coast. A few finally ended up working for Weyerhaeuser In North Carolina.