Graduation!

What a fun time. I went down a couple of days before graduation to spend time with Kate. One of the objectives was to write the final chapter on the Saab story. We did that on Thursday and started a new book called Toyota Corolla.

The car was a good deal, had a graduation discount and allowed us to leave the
Saab behind. From Kate’s perspective it was also red and had a sunroof. It was
great to be able to start a new book. Saturday was graduation. Bryan and Mary
flew down too. More than six hundred graduates matriculated. It was awesome
to be there.

My turn is coming….

Yessss!

Now, is it really in here? Yes it is. I did it.

Kate had quite a supporting cast. In order, clockwise from the far left: Bryan, Betty, Kate, Marla, Kirsten, Laurie, Grandma (Ellen), Bill, Mary, and Dad (behind the camera).

Congratulations Kate! You did a great job. You have become an amazing woman.
I am so proud of the job you did. I am excited to watch the next chapter of your life.
Papa

Pat and Dick turn 80!

This movie was created using the photo album we printed for Mom and Dad after celebrating both their 80th birthdays. Enjoy!

Dick and Pat

Eagles!!

We took a road trip to Wabasha, MN on Saturday in search of Baldy. Paydirt. We saw about 50 during the day. Here are a few examples.

This water is a little hard.

Baldy is checking us out.

Hmmm…I think I see lunch.

Focus…

Wheels down…

Laking the long view.

El Dorado Maroma – Part 1 – The Birds

We had another great getaway last month to the Playa del Carmon area in Mexico. I have been so buried that I haven’t had a chance to post anything about the trip and have not finished processing the pictures.

Here are a couple taken with a new camera lens. Lots of fun. Pelicans seem king of gawky almost prehistoric looking. At the same time, they make interesting subjects.

Here are a few.

These flew right past our third story balcony.
He is really using his feathers.

Cruisin’
Morning preening time.

Not very happy. He must have let the fish get away.
Like I said, gawky! I wish they were more colorful.

Panorama Part 2


I was really hoping for a shot with a fresh snowfall. This is a place filler which I may replace with what I am really hoping for. The list of requirements is growing; fresh snow (with the powdered sugar look on the trees), blue sky, and above zero temperature (for me!). We’ll see…

Attack of the Nutcrackers



Every year there are more!

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Run away!!!

Panorama of Downs Lake


This was fun. A nine image panorama. I wis I would have done it a couple of weeks earlier when the leaves were still on the trees. It is the start of a seasonal set of panoramas. Click on the image to see a larger view.

Digital Darkroom


I am having a lot of fun getting back into photography. My latest adventure is recreating my old wet darkroom experiences to digital. Here is an example using HDR (high dynamic range) processing.

Kate’s 21st Birthday

It is hard to believe but Kate is 21 later this month. We were so happy that she was able to join us in Lake Elmo for a couple of days this weekend. Kate is about to enter her senior year at Belmont University as a business major. She dropped in for a couple of days on her way to stay at her Moms in Mankato for a few more.

We decided to hold a small party in honor of her upcoming 21st birthday. Mom and Bill, Bryan and Jaden, Bill and Lynn, and Kate’s friend Leah were able to join us. A couple of candids (and the requisite Feikema candle picture) follow.

Uncle Abben

This post has been a long time coming.

Last November, Mary and I were fortunate to be able to take a trip to Anaheim to visit my uncle, Abben Feikema. It was a great treat. He and I had stayed in touch on the phone and with frequent emails (normally inspirational ones from Abben).

While we were chatting one day in September, I vowed that we would visit soon. It finally worked out in mid-November. It was great. It was also timely as his health was declining.

We had a great time, playing dominoes, cards, talking at length, connecting. It was great for me to be able to get to know him even better. My Dad died twelve years ago, and since that time Abben had became a bit of a surrogate. He was a great father figure. Here is a shot of us at the kitchen table playing dominoes.


We had a great time. Abben seemed to too. He seemed to have an extra spurt of energy that weekend.

We also had a chance to go out to eat. We met near Knotts Berry Farm. Here are a couple of shots of the crew (thanks to Eliot Hansen).

I took a couple of snapshots of the garden.

And notably the adopted cats. They were quite a hoot. I am an early riser (as was Abben) and when I popped my head out in the morning they stood at attention. I am assuming that they thought that I was Abben, getting ready to feed them. Unfortunately they were mistaken.

Our trip was very important to us. It was certainly a great opportunity to celebrate life with Abben, to spend quality time with wonderful Marlene, and also to reconnect with cousins and their families.

It was also a time for me of reflection on a life well lived, a family well loved, and Abben, a great standard bearer.

Unfortunately, it was a short three weeks later when received a call from Ann Lynn. Abben was dying. My heart sank. I am so grateful that we were able to visit. He passed away shortly thereafter, having lived a wonderful life, loved by many, respected by most, and most importantly in love with his creator.

My cousin Coby LaVenture and I were privileged to be able to represent the Minnesota Feikema’s and go to Abben’s funeral in December. We met so many folks, old family friends, relatives, and reconnected. I know I can speak for us both when I say that we left with renewed friendships with family members too distant, and I know that I came away with a better feeling for what it means to be a Feikema and more importantly a friend of God like Abben was.

I look forward to continued (and more frequent) connections with my family.

I still miss Abben but I am happy that we ALL know exactly where he is today.