The second best Christmas present ever, a wedding anniversary, and a house problem.

1. I received my drivers license back on December 23rd, 2009!  This day will forever be etched in my brain and heart.   Without a doubt this is the second best Christmas present ever!  For the first time in 14 months, except for a brief two month stint in August and September, I am legally able to operate a motor vehicle.  Wow…unless you have found yourself unable to drive for a time you probably cannot understand how frustrating it is not being able to drive.    This means as long as I remain seizure-free I will no longer have to depend upon others to take me wherever I go.  This makes everyone happier!  This should be a huge load off Karla’s shoulders.

Just so you all know I had to take both the written and driving test in order to receive my driver’s license back.  I passed the written part with 0 wrong answers to spare…but flunked the driving exam the first time due to an overzealous D.O.T. worker who takes his job a bit too seriously.  

2. Karla and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary on Sunday December 27th, 2009.  Some of you were present at our wedding!  This Sunday was nothing like the Sunday we were married.  This Sunday there was plenty of snow cover and cold temperatures.   Twenty-three years ago was a balmy mid-fifties kind of day, with no snow on the ground at all!  As we stood before Pastor Richard Rehfeldt that Saturday evening and recited our vows little did we know what we were getting ourselves into. 

In a smiling turn of Providence Pastor Rehfeldt resigned a few years ago from the Lutheran church he had faithfully served for many years in Windsor Heights  (he and his wife were also close family friends to Karla’s family), and moved to Rochester, MN., so he could be nearer to family and continue to serve the church in a variety of different venues.  That’s what he thought anyway.  From my end of things I see things differently. 

He now serves as a volunteer chaplain at the hospitals associated with Mayo Clinic and has taught me much (just by doing them!) about how to do hospital visits for people in various stages of health and strength.   He visited me many times and was quietly present for hours on the day of the emergency open heart surgery.  He has a calming presence about him and a command of the Scriptures that could elicit faith in God from a rock if that were possible.  I have always had great deal of respect for this man.  Even more now. 

3. Ice dams.  Ever heard of them?   They can create huge problems.  As we were preparing to go to church with Karla’s family this past Sunday (I always take vacation after Christmas) I was preparing to tie my tie when all of the sudden someone came running up the stairs informing me that there was water all over the bathroom and kitchen floor. 

I went down and assessed the situation and I noticed a steady drip of water coming from the top of the door frame of the bathroom door that is just off the kitchen.   I placed three buckets on the floor next to each other.  Well, we decided to go to church anyway…about 25 miles away… reasoning that I would come back later and deal with it. Just how every man dreams of spending his anniversary.

After lunch I welcomed the two family volunteers who offered to come with me to further assess the problem.  My father-in-law and a brother-in-law proved to be very helpful!  We went to Menards and picked up a 16 foot roof rake.  My guess is that many other folks are experiencing similar problems. 

After setting up the ladder I immediately recognized the problem…ice build up along the edge of the roof…but not just an inch or two…This was seriously thick stuff more than half a foot thick!  I was up there chopping with the axe side of a dry-wall hammer, pounding with a full sized sledge hammer, and pulling snow off with my new roof rake.  I solved the problem… for now anyway. 

As I was up on that ladder chopping away at the ice that was now spraying into my face and eyes I looked down at Dick and Brandon and said with a big smile on my snow covered face “It’s just great to be alive to have a problem like this to deal with!”  And I meant it!


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