We all slept until 9 this morning and then took our time getting ready to drive the 17 miles to Park River from Grafton on Highway 17. It was 11:30 when we got on the road. David drove and took us on a tour of the houses we used to live in: The three-story Kotaska house next to what used to be called St. Ansgar's Hospital is gone, as is the Episcopal parsonage although the church is still there. The house in Dillonville, however, is very much intact and well cared for.
We also visited the Little Park and made a short foray down the hill from what used to be Gene and Milly Kelners' house to see the Big Park along the banks of the river where we used to go swimming. I remember getting a leech between my toes when I was a girl.
We also went by "Grandma's" creamery (now the Bowling Cafe) where Grandma used to work. She and Grandpa lived in the house next door, and we kids used to play in the coulee that ran between the creamery and the house.
NOTE: Gayle emailed me to let me know that "The creamery was not where the bowling alley stands but on the vacnat lot right next to it. Also, your grandparents didn't live in the first house to the north--they were in the second house to the north. Picky, huh?" Thanks for setting us straight, Gayle.
After our little tour, we drove to Aunt Phyllis', who lives in an apartment just south of the old Park River Elementary School. Aunt Shirley and Susan (Aunt Phyllis' daughter) and her husband Jim Moon were there as well. We immediately set to visiting and reminiscing and trying to remember the name of this person and that. We ate, of course: Aunt Shirley had brought fresh lefse she'd bought in Grand Forks hot off the griddle, and Aunt Phyllis had made a lemon jello vegetable salad--Mom's recipe originally--and we had wonderful buns from the local bakery with deli ham and chicken. There were angel food cupcakes decorated for the 4th of July, too.
Before we left, Charles and Shirley (nee MacPherson) Lindell stopped by to pick up Shirley for the Park River High School Reunion. They live in Mesa, AZ, now.