Herald-Journal Herald and Journal, June 15, 1998

Another memorable year


The recent thunderstorms and tornados in the area remind me of another year when we had terrible weather.

1965 was a memorable year for me for several reasons. It is the year I graduated from high school in Watertown., Minn. I really hate to date myself that way, but if I have six children and six grandchildren, you know I must have graduated at least a few years ago.

That winter of 1964-1965 we had one snow storm after another. That spring, in particular, it seemed like the snow would never end. As our class made preparations for the prom, we joked that it might even snow on prom night.

When the snow finally did melt, it caused massive flooding. We were let out of classes at Watertown High School to fill sandbags along the Crow River in Watertown. I remembering filling sandbags down where the Watertown NAPA store is now. I think it was Cully's Market at that time.

Then came May 6. I can still remember the color of the sky that afternoon as the thunderstorms and tornados approached. I had never seen such a strange color in the sky. It was an eerie green color. That was the day six tornados struck the area around Minneapolis.

I have always given my sister, Kyle, credit for the tornados tearing through the area, on May 6, 1965. It was her 13th birthday that day. I like to remind her that she must have been the cause of all that havoc. Great tragedies seem to happen on May 6, etc. What are older sisters for, after all?

Now we have another year of storms and memorable weather, caused by El Nino this time, no doubt. I have just watched the youngest of my six children get her diploma.

Sitting at the graduation ceremony was the only decent rest I have had in the last two weeks. I have to say, beyond a doubt, that graduating from high school is a lot easier than getting ready to have the graduation party.

We have thrown five previous graduation parties, so you would think I would have this down to a science. Not really. I am still the same procrastinating person who prepared for her first child to graduate in 1986. (I was going to join procrastinators anonymous, but I never got around to it.)

I have learned a few things, though. I know that you have to order the food in time for the party, and there better be plenty of it. I prefer to have left-overs, so I usually order too much.

This year, Tom ordered the meat because he was sure I was going to pay too much for it. I turned the job over to him and we had more meat left over than what we used at the party. Never let a major carnivore do the meat ordering.

Actually, I plan to freeze the leftovers, and thaw them a little at a time when I don't feel like cooking.

"How about a lovely ham sandwich for supper again tonight, Tom," I will say, and of course he will jump at the chance to have that instead of the boring old fried chicken I would have to make otherwise.

Who says I don't know how to plan ahead?

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