Tuesday, June 19, 2007



The Gatewood reunion. Fifty or sixty adults and children gathered to celebrate their ancestory. All descended from Joel and Almina Gatewood; most were descendents of Thornton W. Gatewood. Grace Smith, the elder is 92 (93 in September). She really keeps going and going. She is my role model and I hope I got a lot of the same genes she did. There were about five babies born since we last met two years ago. Their names and birthdates will appear on the Gatewood family news--soon. Shae Rachel Gustafson Johnston, 3 and a half received M&Ms for the youngest attending.

The feast began at noon; followed by a brief talk by Paul D. Smith about our ancestors. Everyone scattered after that. Some had a second dessert. Swimming, hiking and paddle boats were available at the park. In the air conditioned lodge Joe and Connie Herman led a BINGO game. Visiting and sharing of photos and stories continued throughout the afternoon.

At five PM the food returned to the tables. Hikers, swimmers, paddlers and wandering relatives returned to the lodge to eat again. Clean-up,loading of mini vans and a few cars, and prolonged good-byes and the Mallett Lodge was quiet again.

Myrna, Bob, Shirley, David, Cassie, Skyler, Alex and Shae
The clouds hovered in the sky and the weather station predicted 75% chance of rain and that reduced to 30% by the time we left for lunch at Burger King. Five adults and three kids invaded the noon hour rush and we got our lunch. A stop for minnows and a short drive to Weirspan lake where Shae caught the first fish and after holding it for release declared, "Something stinks." while waving her fishy hands in front of her face. Skyler and Alex each reeled in a fish and we moved on to the Fremont lakes. (Cassie left us briefly for an appointment) Bob, David, Skyler and Alex fished while Myrna, Shirley and Shae walked to the little store for ice cream and Jelly Bellys. On their return to the dock, Alex and Skyler excitedly led them to the "little" fish David had caught. They said it measured 19 inches.

We loaded back in the red van and drove to Blair to Pizza Hut where our own Emily Carson served us pizza and drinks. Cassie had rejoined us and ordered our pizza in advance.

We left hurridly to make it to Bob Gatewood's baseball game in Uhling. The ball field was deserted. Randy and Janell caught up with us and through cell phone calls we found out we were suppose to be in Hooper. SOooooo off we went to Hooper thinking we could see some of the family at the end of the game. We did get to see Bob make a base hit that brought in one run. He had the largest cheering section. Skyler and Alex got to run around the bases before playing in the park.

Home to bed.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Today is catch-up day.


Paulette, David, Bob and Skyler went to the College World Series game. Rice won. By all reports they had a good time and had good seats secured via internet about three hours before the game.

Shae, Shirley and Myrna had a girls day. First we went to lunch at the Farmhouse. Shae declared it a barn as we parked in front of it. Then we took a little trip to Iowa to buy Uncle Bob a father's day gift at The Bass Store. Shae loved the aquarium with the various fish that can be caught in Nebraska waters. Many wild animals on display on ledges and the bears on the floor were touched by Shae.

Back home, Shirley gave Shae a manicure and pedicure while Shae kept up a steady stream of questions and comments about anything that popped into her head.

We had dinner for ten around Shirley's long table. After dinner we sat outside and waited for the fireflies to appear. Fireflies are more exciting that fireworks when you are under ten years old.

David washed clothes and spent time with his children alone at home for a couple of hours while Bob, Shirley, Paulette and Myrna went to two estate sales.

Janell invited everyone who could make it to the farm for a picnic dinner. Preceded by horseback riding on Bubba. The day was restful and successful.

No one can show the joy and excitement of riding on a trotting horse like a three-year-old on her first "big" horse experience. Shae showed no fear about being lifted onto a 1200 pound horse and showed great confidence when Janell put the reins in her hands. Skyler of course learned quickly how to guide Bubba into a walk and then a trot.

Jacob, Kendra and Skyler attempted to clean all the dust out of the hay loft. David checked their work and declared it the cleanest hay loft in Washington County. There will be pictures of Shae, Skyler and Myrna in the door of the loft on the website in about a week.

After dinner the kids rode again and Jonathan's wife April had her first riding lesson wearing stylish green rubber boots since she had no fancy cowgirl boots. As an adult she was allowed to ride out of the pen. Lucy, the horse not yet ready for a rider, put on a great show. Angry at being left in the pen she ran circles around it and whinnied for Bubba to return or at least to be let out to join him.

Shae made sure everyone had a tiny rock to take home as a souviner. Jonathan got two because he was bleeding from a scratch on his arm.

The grand finale was a firefly hunt and the capture of ten fireflies in bottles. Skyler thought one of his was injured and set them free and replaced them with two more.