The Sailor Sons Smiled

In recent weeks, Mother Goose requested a GIGANTIC favor of her readers and fans: to flood the mailbox of her sailor sons with Christmas cards from around the nation and around the globe.

We are happy to report that “Operation: Christmas Card” was an ENORMOUS success! My sons only check their mailbox a couple times a week because usually there’s nothing in there — there’s nothing more depressing than an echoing mailbox at Christmas.

But when they checked it, they found ten cards! They were happily surprised, and didn’t know a single person who sent them!

The next time they checked their mail there were twenty cards all stuffed inside!

On Christmas Day, they reported to me that they had fifty more cards in their mailbox! They laughed and smiled at the wonder of it all!

Just a few of the cards they received...

Just a few of the cards they received…

There were cards from school children with the kindest sentiments of encouragement and Christmas love. There were cards from retired Navy officers. There were gift cards and goodie boxes. There were handmade ornaments — those sweet popsicle stick creations that always bring joy on the tree.

Wherever you are, dear readers, Mother Goose is honking a delightful “thank you” in your general direction. If a goose flies over your house honking today, it’s me. If a goose is near your pond flapping her wings and honking for joy, it’s me. If you see goose tracks in the snow, that was me dancing a jig of great happiness.

With all my heart, I thank you for making a difference. My sons will never forget Christmas 2012 because of your gracious thoughtfulness and consideration to them. My sailor sons smiled on Christmas Day.

“Honey, Please Take Me to the Meatball Dinner at the Church…”

Where can you go to get a good meatball these days? Mother Goose searched high and low for the perfect meatball dinner, and finally found it. Just thirty-six miles northwest of Bemidji, Minnesota near the village of Debs, we just happened to run into this quaint sign by the side of the country road:

Well, heck yeah, we followed the arrow!

And the arrow led us right up to the Trinity Lutheran Church where they were in the midst of their 31st Annual Meatball Dinner. Imagine our great delight to just run across this sweet little church in the middle of the northern Minnesota woods.

The steeple is brand new at Trinity Lutheran Church — the meatball recipe is old, tried and true.

Oh Mother Goose is just kidding, again. We knew when we left home that we’d eventually end up here at the meatball dinner. It was part of our grand scheme to surprise as many family members as possible. We walked surreptitiously up to the church looking for Dad.

He looked right at me; he looked right through me; he looked somewhere else. We were absolutely the last people on the planet that he expected to see at his church that day.

Finally, Mother Goose got right in his face and said “Hi, Dad!” (What else could I possibly say?) Then he realized that his daughters, his son and all their families were actually right there in front of him. Unlike my sister at her emotional surprise event, he kept his composure. Nate is known far and wide for his stoical nature. Ever nonplussed, his reaction was a simple, “Well, hi there. What are you doing here?”

Here’s the father of Mother Goose posing with three of his grand-goose-children. [He’s the one with the great hair…]

Dad took a break from his job as parking lot attendant. Earlier in the morning, he helped to peel three hundred pounds of potatoes.

It’s a wonderful community event, attracting meatball lovers from all around the region — Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike enjoy meatballs and gravy on mashed taters with a plethora of salad and veggie side dishes including beets…

And then a sweet young lady came around to the tables with her dessert tray laden with strawberry shortcake, apple pie slices, rhubarb upside-down cake and various cookies and bars. Believe it or not, Mother Goose does not have one picture of the food. She was too busy stuffing it into her mouth.

Here’s a candid picture of Brother Goose and Loon Goose enjoying their meatball dinner with side dishes. By the way, they drove two and one-half hours on their Harley-Davidson motorcycle to get to this amazingly delicious church dinner. Along the way, Loon peeked over Dana’s shoulder to look at the truck in front of them and promptly received a stone smashing into her nose and mouth. That just shows you what my family will go through to have a good time together…

Even bikers were allowed at the Meatball Dinner. Even bikers with stone-smashed noses and puffy lips…

And there was even live music! Mother Goose surely does not know the name of this country bluegrass band, but her rubbery and webbed foot was tapping. I thought somebody might ask me to dance, but then I realized they were mostly playing sad old country funeral songs…

Will The Circle Be Unbroken, In the Sweet By and By, Amazing Grace and I’ll Fly Away…

At long last, with our gullets full and the parking responsibilities passed along to another fine young Lutheran man, we could all pose together for a family portrait. Here’s a handsome picture of a pretty large flock of gooses (my husband goose and some of my goslings are missing, of course, as they had to hike in Wisconsin, work at vegan restaurants and/or serve our country in the U.S. Navy):

Even the little hero dog was there for the Trinity Lutheran Church Meatball Dinner!

After the dinner and the family photo session, we all went back to Dad’s house for some visiting time and a garden tour. It was a very special and happy time. But as we drove back to Keewatin that evening, we had some very surprising photo ops! You’ll laugh like a crazy loon tomorrow when this northern Minnesota adventure story continues…

Love, Mother Goose

Important Stats for a Goose

  • 79,312 honks to date

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March 2023