Sunday, September 14, 2008
To Mark and Norin, my favorite and most dear brothers.
Mark---Thank God, I figured out years ago that I was never going to come out on top if I was in a competition with you. That gave me permission to quit trying and to find other things I could do well. I still remember the only time I ever won the Ransom County Spelling Championship when we lived in Lisbon, was after you had moved on to Junior High and couldn't compete against me! Since Erik left Drake I miss your Fall visits to IA. I know that it has to consume a lot of your time and energy keeping up with all the young adults you and Jana have between the two of you. We have had many fun family times together over the years. I hope that we can keep finding ways to get together at least once a year and include as many kids in that gathering as possible. I have really enjoyed getting to know your kids as young adults----they are interesting, intelligent, socially conscious people who are a pleasure to be around.
Norin----First of all, I'm glad that you and Robin and the dogs survived Ike. It was very reassuring to talk to you this morning and to hear it from you that you really are OK. Norin, you were the first little kid that I ever really liked and enjoyed. I would get as excited when you learned to do something new as Mom did. I loved teaching you the words to identify flora and fauna when I took you to the park to swing. I'm sure you were a quick learner, but I was pretty positive I was a good teacher back then, too! So the next time you identify and tree or weed in the wild, think of me! Thank you for checking up on me this past year, all of the family support was really vital when trying to stay positive and hopeful. You have been a great little bro and it's hard to believe my little bro is now 50 like the rest of us. I enjoyed our time together in ND this summer, even though it was sad about Uncle Don's passing.