Friday, July 24, 2009

Bike Test in today's Hometown Focus

The Bike Test was a right-of-passage for ten-year-olds in our family. Mom got me set up in her upstairs sewing room. I lined up three sharpened pencils and an eraser and she placed the test face-down on the table in front of me. I wasn’t allowed to flip it over until she left the room and I couldn’t leave the room until I finished the test. I waited while she fetched me a glass of water. I imagined flunking the exam and being forced to ride my old tricycle until I was 18. The trike was too small of course, it was a silly thought, but it had me terrified. Mom left, I took a deep breath and flipped over the exam.

“Here is your BIKE TEST. There are three (3) parts. Part One (1) has 20 questions. They are true and false. Each question counts for one (1) point. Part Two (2) has five (5) questions but one of these has two (2) parts. Therefore part two (2) will count for thirty (30) points altogether. Part Three (3) has five (5) questions. Here you will explain exactly what you would do. This part is worth ten (10) points for each question. You need a score of 75 to pass this test. You will not be allowed to talk while doing this test and no answers will be given so don’t ask. GOOD LUCK!”

Dad put the number in parentheses after the spelled-out number because that’s what attorneys do. This was that serious. We didn’t cheat. David took the test a full year and a half before me and while I was anxious for his test results, it didn’t occur to me at age 8 ½ to ask him the questions while they were still fresh in his mind. By the time it did occur to me to ask, he’d already been biking on the road for over a year and he wasn’t going to help me cheat my way to that privilege.

I picked up a pencil and worked my way through the True and False section. Pretty simple. You should not have more than one person on a bike. Nobody should ride on the handle bars. You must use hand signals. A bike should be checked to see if it needs fixing. Car drivers will not watch out for bikers. I guessed on only three of them. I didn’t know if state law said bikes could not drive on the sidewalk of a business district. I didn’t know what a business district was. I didn’t know if a bike driver had to give a spoken out loud signal before passing a person. And I wasn’t sure if a bike driver could “hitch” onto a truck if it is traveling under the speed limit.
I moved on to the next section.

“Q. My friend and I are riding our bikes. My friend is going all over the road. I see a car coming towards us. My friend goes on the left side of the road. What will I do? (Explain clearly.)”

I rubbed my sweaty palms on my pant legs, took a deep breath, and picked up the pencil again. This question was worth 5 points. What if I mixed up my lefts and rights?

I skipped ahead . “Q. I am going for a ride on my bike. I get close to the end of our driveway and look back. I see my little brother running after me. I tell him to go home but he doesn't listen or obey me. What will I do?” Clearly no matter how badly I wanted to leave, I'd need to take him back to the house, and have one of the bigger kids or Mom watch him. “Whew! I know I got this one right,” I thought to myself, confidence partially restored.

“Q. I am riding my bike and my pant leg gets stuck in the chain. I am just going over the bridge. What will I do?” These questions were hard.

We lived on a country road, between a bridge over a small creek on one side and railroad tracks not far on the other side of our driveway. Danger lurked everywhere and cars occasionally sped by with no concern for little children who might be playing on the road. We could only bike half-way down the driveway until we were in second grade, and then in fourth grade, if we passed the bike test, we'd be able to handle the responsibilities of biking on the road.

It made perfect sense to Dad that we were allowed and even required to drive the tractor through the woods, operate the chain saw, butcher chickens, and milk cows before we reached age 10. To his way of thinking, we'd appreciate the responsibility of adult tasks and would be careful and alert; whereas, we might not be as responsible on our bikes, especially with peer pressure from our school friends who might not follow safe biking procedures.

In the sewing room I took a quick look over my test to make sure I hadn’t skipped any questions, I gulped down the rest of the water, let out a nervous sigh, and brought the completed test downstairs to Mom. I spent the afternoon worrying about failing the test, hanging out with the dog, wishing I could take another try, and gazing longingly at the road and wondering if I’d ever get to feel it under my tires.

Dad delivered the news of my passing score at dinner: Ninety-three! Everyone dashed outside to watch me take my first proud ride down the road. The stress of the sewing room earlier in the day was already forgotten. I sat tall in the banana seat and the streamers flowed gracefully from either end of the handle bars as I pedaled away, a big girl.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Here are a few pics of Taryn at 4 and 5 days old...

I am loving having a newborn to cuddle forget how wonderful they are!  Yeah, they are a lot of work, and I feel like I am constantly nursing and changing poopy diapers, but the good outweighs the bad by far!  Now if we could just figure out a way to keep Trina from trying to pick her up every 5 minutes!  Grrrrr....what a battle!  She always wants to hold her, and she doesn't see any reason why now wouldn't be a good time!  


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Butch Baasi

SERVICE: A gathering of family and friends will be from noon until the 1 pm memorial service Thursday at the Clinton Town Hall in Iron with Pastor Arthur Dale officiating. Arrangements are with the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

Oliver W. "Butch" Baasi, 65, of Iron passed away Sunday, July 12, 2009, after a lengthy illness at his home with his family by his side. Butch was born at home on April 9, 1944, to Oliver and Ann (Sherock) Baasi and was a lifelong Iron resident.He was a graduate of the Cherry High School and the Duluth Vo-Tech. After serving in the Army National Guard, he worked for Malton Electric and General Electric before beginning his business in 1986. He owned and operated Midtown Machine and Mechanical in Iron, teaching his son Rob the trade and business. During his career he also worked repairing engines and generators on iron ore ships throughout the Great Lakes.

Butch was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association of Hibbing, and he loved politics, his Harley and his dogs. He traveled around the world looking for new adventures and liked to experience different cultures. His dream was to build and fly his own airplane, which was interrupted by his illness.

Butch is survived by his sons, Kenneth (Kim) Baasi of Iron and Robert (Amy) Baasi of Cherry; his sister, Mary Ann Vukich (Lauren Nelson), of Britt; grandchildren, Kory, Andrea, Tiffany, Olivia, and Isabelle; three great-grandchildren; a nephew, Michael Vukich, of Virginia; and his other "kids," dogs Bernice and Willie.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his dog Ernie.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Butch Baasi

Oliver W. “Butch” Baasi: IRON — Memorial service for Oliver W. “Butch” Baasi, 65, of Iron, is tentatively set for 1 p.m.Thursday at the Clinton Town Hall. He passed away Sunday, July 12, 2009, at his home following a lengthy illness. Arrangements are with the Landmark Funeral Home of Virginia.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Looking for a cooler place to live

I know.
This is Alaska.
Land of ice.
Land of icebergs.
Land of glaciers.

And today on my way home from Palmer after work the temp thing at the bank said ...

89 degrees.


This is Alaska!!

No air conditioning.
One ceiling fan.
Living area upstairs in the house.
That means it is only 84.4 degrees in the house.

Remind me that I complained when it hits -26 in January. :)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Congratulations to the Arizona Kuoppala family

This evening, Monday, they celebrated the birth of their 6th daughter. Taryn Elizabeth weighed in at 9 lb 10 oz, measured 21 3/4 inches long and was born at 6:51 pm. We all think she looks like Alanys ... Frans says she has Trina's mouth. Wishing all of you oodles of cuddle time and God's richest blessings with your new precious bundle.

Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July to everyone. We took a photo oppotunity.......Heidi went to her first parade in Eveleth. She got to meet Senator Al Franken and Rep. Oberstar. As Liz posted, she made the front page of the Star Tribune.
She likes her pacifier, but not to suck on, she plays with it more than anything, then throws it and sucks on her thumb :)

We started her on cereal and she sure can make a mess..... She's learning. Her Daddy listed all the foods she can begin to eat soon and is eager for her to be able to eat a PORK CHOP!

We went to firworks and she did very well. She wasn't scared of the sound and was very fascinated with the fireworks. She did very well during the parade too!!! It is so fun to take pictures of all of her "firsts".... Hope everyone elses 4th of July weekend was enoyable....
Jenny, we eagerly await to hear the birth of your baby. Wishing you and your family the best. Maybe the ultrasound will be wrong and we will hear about Frans Jr. :)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Our little Heidi is famous!

This link will hopefully take you to her photo on the Star Tribune's website. She got a senatorial kiss from Al Franken at the Eveleth parade this morning!


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Have been wanting to go down to Harmony to see the Niagra Cave! Decided to ask Alyx if she was interested in seeing it too! The drive down was absolutely beautiful! The cave was quite interesting! If my knees were struggling, I don't believe that it is something that Mom could do, but. . . They have a wedding chapel down there, in the cave, and have approxiamelty 400 weddings a year held there! A beautiful water fall and tonz of fossils were also seen. At the farthest end of the cave, the tour guide stated that we were one mile from the Iowa border. Wish there would have been better opportunities to snap pictures, so could have gotten some better ones, but guess these will have to do.

This is called "kissing rock". If you look up you can see where this big rock fell from!

The pictures are not the least bit in order, but. . .

When I was in Alaska for Christmas, Alyx asked me how she would be able to get to the range when she comes, and how she would be able to see Ivan and Missi, Charlie and his family and David and his family. I informed her that if she makes it to Minnesota, I will take her so she can see everyone. I almost held up to my promise. The only person she wasn't able to see was Cody.

I picked Alyx up from Tarja's on a Friday morning. After visiting with Tarja for a bit, we hit the road. Our first stop was in Burnsville to get stuff for the shop. Then off to Country Kitchen so Alyx could see Machelle. After eating a meal we were off to the shop to drop off the casters that we had picked up. And then headed south to Harmony.

On our way back from Harmony, called David and made plans to go there the following morning. We headed straight to Charlie's. Enjoyed our visit there!

Alyx has said that she would really like to spend some time with Amanda. Well, Amanda was working Friday evening. When she got off she went home and waited for us to get there. After visiting with them, I took Alyx and Amanda to Pizza Hut so they could have time together. Lots of visiting, lots of chuckles and full stomachs, we dropped Amanda off at her Mom's where Cody was at, and Alyx and I headed to my apartment.

After getting some much needed to sleep, we were off to Farmington! David said that he would try his hardest to make sure that everyone was home when we got there, and that they were! We stayed there through lunch and had some tastey barbequed hamburgers!
From there we headed to Ivan and Missi's. After visiting for a couple hours we hit the road. Dropping Alyx of at her friend's house in Buffalo, I continued north to the range. Was way to exhausted to make it the whole way so spent the night sleeping in the car.
After church Sunday morning, we headed off to the Land of the Loon. To think that it has been just Heather and I going for years, it was neat that Shawn and Heidi were there too! Paul and Kendra and family had gone on Saturday, but they were willing to go again! As soon as we got back to the house and Heather fed Heidi and then the three of us headed to the midsummer festivities at Kaleva Island. Most years it is rather boring, but with Casey Arrow there singing it was quite fun!
Back to the house we went, and Paul and Kendra and family came over to visit. Pretty late by the time I took off! Everyone placed there bet on how far I would get before pulling over to sleep. Shawn nailed it right on! Stopping at the Willow River Rest Stop, I slept through the night!
The last weekend of July, I am scheduled to work at the homeless shelter in Virginia. I will be bringing Alyx with me, so she can spend time with Heather, Gary and Elizabeth. Then my promise will be fulfilled (with the exception of Cody).
It was a wonderful couple days with Miss Alyx! And it was great being able to visit those who live near me, but I rarely see! The driving around made me realize how much I want to be making trips to Farmington more often!