Monday, June 29, 2009


First of all, we have never had a formal full-blown Berglund Family reunion. Sure, there have been multiple partial family gatherings for funerals and such but nothing designated as fun. My brother Richard first blogged about having a reunion earlier this year and proposed a get together next summer, 2010. After discussion he moved it up one year in consideration of those relatives aged 90, 87, 83 and 80. If your age was not mentioned, yer still a puppy.

Eventually it evolved that the meats and service items to be provided by the Letha Berglunds (GOOD JOB!!) who also organized the invitations, and a couple of special projects. There was music provided by my brother Phillip and my.. let me see, my California cousins granddaughter Eleni P. (Insert very long Greek name here) who sang the National Anthem and did an excellent raise-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-job. Everything else on the menu was potluck. There was a huge selection of food as well as the pulled pork and chicken, delish.

There were mementos, Richard and Cathy did quite a bit of research on line to try to get the facts straight about Grandpa and Grandma Berglund. He was born in Sweden ((Karl Mauritz Persson (pronounced Pierson)) and provided a very nice hand out giving names, dates, places of birth of Charlie and Nellie Berglund.

The event was held in the Emmett City Park near the band shell (which contained the public restrooms happily enough). The weather was gorgeous, there was just enough shade and no one was forced to use the Deep Woods Off to keep away mosquitoes.

Our largish family, about 60 or so attended, all who flew and drove in from California, Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon and from towns throughout Idaho.

I shall take a small aside to relate the Coquille Alden’s nee Berglund adventure drive to Emmett. It is normally about a 12-hour drive if there are no diversions.

We left Coquille at 5 am and headed for I-5. We stopped briefly in Albany to visit with Tim’s family. Then headed north to Portland.

About mile marker 140, a red car blasted past us going well over 65…ahem… We watched this doofus swerve left and hit the dirt and then swerve right and hit the dirt. Everyone on the road dropped back several hundred yards to keep an eye on him. Sure enough, there was a huge flash of dust, he had swerved to the center divider and did a couple 360 turns, raised more dust but did not flip the car. We drove by and the driver was sitting there still facing north with the traffic with one hand on the steering wheel. Hello 9-1-1? I would like to report an accident. Let me patch you through to the State Police. Thank you. Hi, about mile marker 146 on I-5 there is a red car…We already have that information, thank you for calling. Oh…. So many cell phones today.

We continued north stopping for gas here and there highest price was 2.99 and lowest price was 2.65 both in Oregon.

Drove the Columbia Gorge and enjoyed and scenery. Where it starts to get treeless and less um scenic, there are what look like hundreds of wind power generator towers along the Washington and Oregon sides of the river, merrily twirling away at several kilowatts per hour. We stopped in Biggs to meet another of Tim’s sister’s. We followed the couple to Wasco, about 9 miles south on highway 97. Wasco is the cutest little farm town sitting in a dainty little valley. The town consists of a school, a couple churches, a store or two, residences and trees. We visited for about an hour and then left to go back the way we came. There is not much scenery in Wasco until you get back to the intersection at Highway 97. We paused at the stop sign and looking both left and right was stunned to see on the left an absolutely gorgeous view of Mount Hood and on the right an equally stunning view of what I assumed was Mount St. Helens. WOW!

Resumed drive to Emmett by Interstate 84 and headed east. We passed the Potlach tree farm near Umatilla. That thing looks like a neatly trimmed hedge from a distance, up close are all these thousands of neatly planted trees that goes on for hundreds of acres. Just think of all that O2 they are producing. I googled for a picture but the one I would LOVE to have would be a panoramic view of the farm close up but about 3 feet long by one foot high. Very soothing. I would hang it in my living room. Would some artsy fartsy person please go take that picture for me? My picture turned out all jiggly and out of focus. Darn it.

Husband noticed that the car started shaking at 70mph. Should we turn back to Pendleton? Nah, lets try it at 60 and see how it feels. Felt okay, so continued driving. Lah, lah, lah, lah. Drove to pit stop near Baker and switched drivers, I drove to about halfway between Durkee and Huntington when BOOM, whappity, whappity,whap whap whap. That cain’t be good. Pulled over behind some highway construction cones and parked. Whew sure shredded that right rear tire. I called Mom to ask where the spare tire was. We pulled out the junk in the trunk and started reading the directions. Pulled out the jack and stuff from the little hidey hole over the right rear wheel space. We managed to figure out that the tire iron was to be used by putting the pointy end in the hole (unscrew plug) which when turned counter clockwise and lowered the spare from where it was stored under the carriage.
We couldn't’t figure out how to get the metal thing out of the hole in the rim. We were JUST about to jack up the tire to make more room to get the spare down when we heard. “You guys need help?” A very kind Good Samaritan stopped and looked the situation over, jacked up the wheel, cranked the spare down all the way to the ground which allowed enough room for the metal thingy to come out without too much effort. The spare was a little low but at least not flat after almost ten years. Ron got the tire changed in less than 15 minutes and got us back on the road. We thanked him and asked how we could pay him back, he just laughed and said, “Pay it forward when you get a chance”. Ron was on his way to Lewiston. Thanks, Ron!!

We then resumed travel to Emmett, we thumped our way to Farewell Bend to get more gas and the attendant did not have any air. So we then cautiously thumped to Emmett and arrived 9 pm Mountain Daylight Savings Time. I had asked Mom to call the Holiday Motel to warn them we would be a little late. She left the door unlocked and the key in room 6. Incredibly soft mattresses felt like sleeping on marshmallows, but okay for a couple of nights.

The next morning at 8 am, we drove to Les Schwab and the guy looked at the tires and said, “These are cracking out pretty badly”. So we are now the proud owners of four brand new guaranteed for 40,000 miles All Terrain Radial sumpin’ sumpin’ tires.

The reunion was a terrific success. My sister Ellen provided T-shirts “Berglund Family Reunion 2009”. She is starting a small fund for the next reunion, might have baseball caps next time.

Mitch Ecland took tons of pictures with his big old digital Hasselblad (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) they will be well worth the wait.

They grouped us into individual family groups; Mom had the most kids, the Boise Berglunds had the most grandchildren. Nice looking bunch!

The party was rolling along nicely, Melody Berglund Dunbar was Mistress of Ceremonies and we played Berglund Bingo and she handed out various prizes. Much fun.

About that time, my youngest brother Jim came up to the microphone and asked for everyone’s attention. The crowd finally got quiet and Jim said. “We have gotten together in the past for much unhappier reasons, today we are gathered for a very happy reason and in addition I would like to call up my Fiance’ Donna and ask that you all come with me and the pastor where we will be married today.” Well! We all cheered and teared up a little. We watched the pastor give a nice little service right there in the park and who then married Jim and Donna, to much approval and hugs. SAVINGS TIP: What a great way to avoid a ruinously expensive wedding, get your big brother to plan a family reunion and then quietly put your wedding day into play. Family is still buzzing about it.

Oh and my sister, Gale, showed me her new tummy after tuck, nice! I want one! And I met her gentleman friend, Rudy. He is the guy who put handsome in the tall, dark and….

The party went on for quite a while and started to break up later in the afternoon. I had a really good time visiting with every one. General consensus was that the reunion was a good thing and let’s do it again!

We left Emmett to drive back to Coquille Sunday morning about 7 am and the weather was perfect. I had wanted to return by way of John Day but after a while we agreed that going back by way of Portland would present more opportunities for rest stops and we stopped at a variety of quality challenged places but they served their purpose well.

Our last pit stop was because husband had fallen prey to cockleburs and while he was cursing the tenacious vegetation, I had a chance to “Pay it forward”. There was a guy standing there by the men’s bathroom holding a sign that said “ Disabled Navy Vet, need help keeping roof over daughter’s head”. I walked up to him and explained, “A Good Samaritan helped us earlier in our trip. He asked us to pay it forward”. I gave him a five-dollar bill. Probably not enough to cover an emergency tire change but I felt that I had partially fulfilled our promise.

We got home about 7:30 pm, not bad for a 12 hour day. See ya next time!!


I apologize in advance if I missed any names, choice bits or funny parts, this ain’t exactly Pulitzer Prize material. Hmmm, with the near death of paper news media I wonder if there will ever be a Pulitzer Prize for blogging…..something to think about.

PS; Remember you can click on any picture to make it very very large.
I didn't put names under the pictures, because you know who you are!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

C'mon Hollywood...Make This Movie and don't screw it up!

I don't want much from my entertainment. However in this recession my one wish would be that the powers that be or a smart indie producer jump all over Elizabeth Vaughn's Warprize trilogy.

Short version: Half sister to the king of soon to be conquered kingdom, is a healer and not into being a princess. Some of the enemy soldiers have been captured and she treats their wounds. Learns their language. Learns that their society does not recognize medicine, if the soldier asks one of their soldier priests will administer mercy (Axe to neck). Story advances, The Warleader conquers the city, makes deal with King to take his half-sister as his Warprize. King tells half-sister she is to be presented as the Warleaders slave. Story progresses from there.

Now let's cast this thing. Should probably go with a good looking unknown since it will most likely be an indie film. So, our Warprize should be tallish, arms like Michelle Obama, very pretty. Well an Angelina Jolie look a like would work. And admittedly Brad Pitt would make a terrific Warleader, And BranJolina deserve the Best Actress and Best Actor award after all. However, we should have an open cast call to check out full range of faces.

The King should be played by Kevin Pollock, he is talented and would lend a great deal to the persona of the King.

There is a black character portrayed in the book who is a general and grievously wounded and whom Warprize saves. I watched Alton Brown's show where they went eating in the tropics and on one island they visited we met the pastor of one of the churches. He was a very large very black man with very non negroid features. If we could cast the general in that fashion, it would be very striking cinematically.

There is also film location to consider. We need a small hilly kingdom with castles, Hmm, how about Scotland? And we need vast prairies for the huge armies to slog through, how about the Alto Plano or Wyoming, all those annoying brick oil pumping stations could be digitally erased.

Okay all you Indie producers and maverik Hollywood film makers get busy now. This story is begging to be told. And please for love of all things literary, stick to the damn story, do NOT throw in plot lines about Elvis's alien baby, or I won't spend ten dollars to go see this thing and neither will the rest of the 60 million movie goers. Ooh that is 600 MILLION buck not counting multiple viewing and product tie in's. Go get 'em!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet Flo and Stephanie

This is a picture of Flo from those ubiquitous Progressive Insurance advertisements. She has bright red lips, long eyelashes and really cranky hair that is under control with a headband, makes her head an odd shape, but that's television for you.
I became curious about her and hoped to see a "real" picture of Flo.

It turns out that Flo is really Stephanie Courtney, and who is MUCH prettier than Flo.
But that's google for you.
Who knows about the car insurance...I have low insurance premiums because I am old and have a home and car insurance that is combined. DISCOUNT!!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

NPR and Naturally 7

Every morning I wake up to NPR. On Saturday I listen to Scott Simons on Weekend Edition. This morning he introduced an unusual group called "Naturally 7". They each introduced themselves and their instrument, in this case their voices. They sang an old Phil Collins tune "In The Air Tonight". They were in Paris at a gig and the manager asked them to perform on the Paris Metro to see what would happen. They started singing (I highly recommend Googling "Paris Metro Naturally 7") and there was one stony faced man listening to his own music but gradually the entire car turned around to enjoy these men's superb vocalization. I immediately ordered a couple CD's from I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dreamed about buttons.....

I woke up from a dream that the most impressive image seemed to be three large buttons. For some weird reason these buttons represented computer updates that everyone in my class was doing. I remember that I had reviewed the icons on screen thinking that I would update later. Everyone else was very concerned about getting theirs done.

Dream site interprets buttons as follows:

To see a button in your dream, indicates wealth and security. Alternatively, the dream may also be a metaphor for being too "buttoned up" or refrained. You need to let loose and be yourself.

Hmmm, I would love to presume that THREE buttons indicates triple wealth and security, or that I really a triple shot next time I cut loose. Oh my head!