My Northern adventures continued after Michigan. I flew out of the little town of Muskegon, MI, on the coast of Lake Michigan. When I landed in Duluth, Minnesota, there to greet me were Dene and Sally Halvorson, my official hosts for the long weekend, as well as other Minnesota friends, Bob and Gale Herr. Bob and Gale have become Stillwell regulars along with Dene and Sally.
I spent all my time with the four of them as they entertained me in the wilds of northern Minnesota. Dene and Sally have a lovely home out in the woods about 45 minutes from Lake Superior. We enjoyed several meals on their screened-in porch. The food and the company was great!
What a gorgeous area they live in! One day we went out on a pontoon boat owned by their friends, Steve and Linda Hadley. We had a lovely time out on the lake behind the Hadley’s home. We were joined that day by Dan Lewis and Kim Hambrick, and Kim’s daughter, Nicole.
Another day we took a boat ride out on Lake Superior. It was a real treat to be surrounded by so much water! They told me you can take a glass and drink right out of Lake Superior, it’s so pure. I didn’t test that theory, though, and I don’t know if I ever will. But it sure is beautiful!
Dene and Sally had a party on Saturday night to celebrate the completion of their new barn. The party included lots of good food, good people, good music, and dancing. Dene and Sally taught everyone how to do the Texas Two-Step.
I enjoyed a few days with Sally’s parents, Charlotte and Bob Barina. I worked with Charlotte splitting the homemade hot dog buns for the party. I met Dene’s mother, Dorothy Halvorson. Marty, Dene and Sally’s son, was also there, home for a visit after finishing college last spring. He’s headed for grad school this fall.
One special guest at the party was Princess Pearl-E-Gates. (The Princess’s real name is Patti Anderson.) She was dressed in a hula skirt and carried her magic wand (which on Earth would be known as a sprinkler wand). As part of the festivities, many of us paid for the privilege of dancing with the Princess, with our donations going to a fund to create a Memory Garden at their church.
Patty’s husband, Dean, was at the party, too. He was gracious enough to help with the hay ride by driving one of the wagons for us to ride on. The kids really enjoyed the hay ride…and the adults did too!
I met so many wonderful people while I was in Minnesota, I can’t remember all their names!
I headed back for Texas with new understanding of the places my Midwest/Northern friends call home when they are not here at Stillwell’s.