Christmas letter 1998

Merry Christmas 1998,
I hope the season finds everyone well. We went on a camping vacation this summer. I like to call it the JURRENS FAMILY ’98 WEST ROCK TOUR, because a lot of what we did was look at rocks. We started out in the Black Hills (rocks). We saw Mount Rushmore (another rock) and the faces of Rushmore (more rocks).
We went to Storybook Island and Dinosaur Park, which is nice if you like John Deere green, cement dinosaurs. We stayed at the Flintstone Campground that night. By the time we got the tent setup and had eaten, it was late. If Fred did any yabba-dabba–doing that night we didn’t hear him. The next day we moved on to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Devil’s Tower is a rock several hundred feet high with grooves running up and down its sides. Indian legend says that a bear made the grooves trying to get on top of the rock. We never saw the bear. There were signs all over warning about rattlesnakes, but we didn’t see any. I figure the bear ate them all.
In the afternoon we went to the site of Custer’s Last Stand in Montana. It is a little cemetery on top of a hill. I don’t know why Custer decided to make his last stand at a cemetery? Personally I would have picked the visitors center. It’s only about a hundred yards away. It’s made of brick and has windows to shoot out of, vending machines and indoor restrooms–which would be mighty handy when all the Indians in the world are attacking you.
The next morning we drove to Yellowstone and spent three days there. We saw Old Faithful, Mammoth Springs and a lot of other things filled with hot water. We wanted to see a bear, but we smeared ourselves with bacon grease and ran around in the woods for a couple of hours and didn’t see anything but a couple of raccoons. It snowed while we were in Yellowstone. The sharp contrast between the soft white snowflakes falling down on the rugged dark mountains is a truly beautiful thing, unless you happen to be staying in a tent.
It was late when we left Yellowstone, and we drove through the Grand Tetons in the dark. Everyone talks about how beautiful the Grand Tetons are, but I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I think we have scenery here in Iowa that is just as pretty in the dark as the Grand Tetons are in the dark.
We stayed the night in Colorado Springs with a friend, and the next day we spent a week driving through Nebraska on our way home.
Our Airedale Terrier, Meggan, had to be put to sleep. At thirteen she had a lot of health problems. It’s funny how the things that annoy you are the things you miss the most. I miss tripping over her in the dark when I came home from work late at night. I miss her lying under the table at mealtime waiting for us to drop a piece of food. She was a good dog. I hope there is a doggie heaven. She deserves it for having to put up with me for all those years.
That’s about it for this year. Until next year, you take care of yours and I’ll take care of mine.
Merry Christmas


About thewritingdeputy

Joel Jurrens was a deputy sheriff for 26 years until he retired in 2013. He has published three novels: In The Sticks, Graves of His Personal Liking and County Ops: The Vengeance of Gable Fitzgerald. He tries to keep his blog light and humorous and sometimes downright silly.
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