December 28, 2013 – Historic Park Inn/Frank Lloyd Wright

Merry Christmas to us! Linda and I decided in lieu of Christmas presents, we’d do something together.

The lobby of the Historic Park Inn, the only remaining hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Now part of the complex is the Wright-designed City National Bank, attached to the hotel.

Some detail of the second story windows.

Typical hallway carpeting.

Our room, complete with square pillow, for what, I’m not sure!

Also connected to the hotel is the 1910 Grille, where I was bold enough to walk from my room to the restaurant in my slippers!

Linda peering out the windows in the Ladies Parlor. The hotel was rehabilitated only a couple of years ago. It would be a nice place to go for small conferences or get-aways when you wanted to focus on the people you were with in a tasteful atmosphere. Did I mention is was away from it all? No, it’s not in Oak Park, Illinois, but in Mason City Iowa. I hope all the hard work the local citizens did to renovate and re-open the hotel gets rewarded and that the hotel has a long future.

December 24, 2013 – Together on Christmas Eve

It’s getting to be rare when all five of us are at the same place at the same time.

Here we are after the Christmas Eve Service – a rare family photo.

The traditional shot of the kids in front of the Christmas tree.

With Linda in minister training and at two Christmas eve services, it is time for some new traditions mixerd with old. First out of the gate was the girls preparing the clam chowder and potato soup, along with goblets of beverage and yummy apple dumplings for a late Christmas eve dinner.

December 12, 2013 – I Didn’t Get a White House Greeting Card

I certainly didn’t get an official White House greeting card, but someone else in the family did!

And no, certainly not because we contributed any money, but as a reminder of when Linda was honored at the White House where she met with the Secretary of Agriculture and President as a “Champion of Change” for rural America last year.

December 8th, 2013 – Bellows We Have Heard on High

This weekend the Bluestem Bellows Band played a gig at Rieman Gardens in Ames.

Martin has inspired other young musically-inclined gentlemen to expand their repetoire and join the band.

They provided background music for the visitors on a lazy, snowy Sunday afternoon.

A chorus of Christmas tunes filled the hallways and conservatory.