††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† December 2003

 

Hello to you from Herman the Canada Goose.

 

I ended up spending the last winter near Valhalla East, so I got to know the Kelsey family quite well.My mate was killed and I didnít have the heart to leave.Fortunately, I found plenty of food from the kind people around Lake Owasso, so I was able to survive the cold.

 

My purpose in telling this isnít so much to talk about my travels as a goose, but to tell you about some of what I have observed in the Kelsey family.Robert and Stephanie continued many of their activities from the past year.I think you might have received the report from Spunky the Squirrel last year Ė he told me about everything he said.

 

In January, even though it was cold, Stephanie and Robert drove down to the Chicago area.There, they had the pleasure of visiting with some of the Barber family.They also had a dinner with Kathleen.Here is a picture from that visit at Bethís houseÖ

 

Lynn, Mabel, Stephanie, Beth, and Tim

 

 

Even though I didnít take my regular winter trip, these Kelseyís took several winter trips, although not as far south as I like to fly.The next trip they took was to Orlando, Florida, in February, with Carolyn and Nikolas.There they visited Walt Disney World, as you can seeÖ

 

 

Nikolas, Mickey and Carolyn

 


This was a little closer to where I like to be, and all warm and nice for them.While they were gone on these trips, Mother Kelsey kept very busy.I have observed that there are few days when she stays home all day.She goes out frequently, visiting friends, meeting with Girl Scout friends, or with the Minnesota Medical Alliance, or any of a large number of friends, acquaintances or relatives.Plus, she goes to church every Sunday.She gets around pretty well on the Metro Mobility buses.

At Easter, they had the whole family over for a wonderful dinner and family time.The day was very pleasant, with a lot of food and fellowship, and time for everybody to enjoy themselves.

 

 

Howard, Kayla, Brandon, Laura, Kevin, Ricky, Gerry, Connie and Nikolas.

 

As a goose, I donít get to church very often, but my understanding was that Robert continued to sing with the Roseville Lutheran Church choir in the spring, and he enjoyed that immensely.In June, the choir was the only US choir invited to sing at the 850th anniversary of the church at Fana, Norway, near Bergen.From what I heard, this trip was the highlight of the year for Robert and Stephanie.

 

From the perspective of a goose, it must have been a great trip.They flew!All that driving in automobiles leaves me cold, but I can understand flying.First they went to someplace called Amsterdam, and then flew to Bergen, in Norway.They began the trip with a concert in the church at Fana.According to the reports, the weather there was delightful, as you can see from this picture in front of the church at Fana.Robert and Stephanie got to stay with a family in Norway, the Hatlevikís.

 

 

 

They sang in other concerts, at Ulvik, Skei, Saebo, Maihaugen, and Oslo.Here is a picture of the choir in Maihaugen, near Lillehammer.Their tour guide is sitting on the right, listening to their outdoor concert.Notice how beautiful the weather is.When they were done singing, the clouds came over and it rained the rest of the day.

 



 

To put 850 years in perspective, the church at Fana dates from 1153, which is over 150 years before the church of St. Peter was built in Rome.

 

Since returning from their trip, I have observed some changes in the Kelsey family routine.Of course, the summer is always a time for changes.Sometimes, they do things with their families Ė we geese donít do that, since our families just fly away when they get old enough.But Robertís children and grandchildren show up quite often around here.And some times they go to see the grandchildren participate in games, like watching Tyler play ball.

 

Paige, Tyler, Emma and Stephanie cooling off in the hot summer

Robert, Nikolas, Ricky, Kevin and Stephanie on the pontoon boat

 

This year, their boats were out on the lake, and several early mornings Stephanie and Robert were out with the paddleboat, getting their early morning exercise.Other mornings, they would go for a walk in the neighborhood.

 

We geese teamed up with the ducks to provide some entertainment from time to time.We like to come flying in fast, and then splash the water when we land.Another favorite we have is to swim all in a row, and sometimes we even get the ducks to join us.We swim into the bay from the lake, and it makes quite a sight for those watching us.

 

I did notice that Robertís sister Kathleen has moved back to the area from Chicago, and now is living near Lake Josephine.It is just a short flight for a goose from Lake Owasso to Lake Josephine.And, Kathleenís son Dan has married a wonderful lady named Marina, and she has a son named Ilya, who is about the same age as Nikolas and Tyler.

 

It is interesting for us geese, because (of course) we donít get older, we just get wiser, to observe that Robert is getting older.He now is working with some of his classmates to plan the 45-year anniversary of their graduation from high school.I donít think geese get that old.Wow, what an old fuddy-duddy he is!

 

In December, Carolyn had a special Christmas event in Stockholm.She had her new studio open, and there were a lot of Christmas related events.Davidís family went to thatÖ

 

 

Emma, Julianna, Paige, Tyler and David


Now it is coming to the end of another year, and Christmas.This fall and next spring, Robert is singing with the North High Alumni Choir, and they had a wonderful Christmas Concert.And now Robert is singing with the Corpus Christi choir for the Advent and Christmas season.

 

Tyler was in a Holiday Concert with his classmates.In case you donít know, Tyler is the handsome young man wearing a green shirt and a wonderful smile.

 

What more can a goose do?Get out of the way so I donít get to be someoneís Christmas Dinner, thatís what.

 

This year, all of us wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

 

Robert and Stephanie Kelsey, from Herman the Canada Goose.