Rest in peace, Grandpa

My grandfather, Henry Hollis Bokelman, passed away last month following a couple years of poor health.  I lived with him and my grandmother for my last three years of high school, and it was difficult watching someone so robust slide into the infirmity of old age the last couple of years.

Here is his obituary:

Henry “Hank” Hollis Bokelman, 88 of Ventura, died Monday, June 8, 2015, at Oakwood Care Center in Clear Lake.

A funeral service will be 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, 2015, at Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, 101 N. 4th St., Clear Lake, with Pastor Scott Kozisek officiating. Burial will be in Clear Lake Cemetery, with military honors provided by the Clear Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4868. Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel.

Hank was born June 18, 1926, the son of Hollis and Vida (Rosenau) Bokelman, in Ventura. He grew up and attended school in Ventura, graduating from Ventura High School. He was united in marriage to Irma Schultz on June 22, 1946 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. He was a United States Army veteran, stationed at Camp Sykes in Kyongju, Korea. After serving his country, he returned home to Ventura, where he farmed all of his life.

Hank was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5515 in Garner. Besides spending time with his family, Hank enjoyed fishing and hunting. He took many trips to Montana to hunt elk, and a few years ago took a dream trip to Canada to catch the big ones.

Hank is survived by his wife, Irma Bokelman of Ventura; four children, Hank (Ann) Bokelman of Hanlontown, John Bokelman of Ventura, Ruth (James) Conn of Volin, S.D., and Jane (David) Easton of Cedar Falls; seven grandchildren, Seth (Holly) Bokelman, Jessica (Scott) Rosendaul, William Conn, Elizabeth (Mitch) Hessman, Ashley (Lee) Geisinger, Cole Easton, and Tess Easton; and five great-grandchildren, Lela Geisinger, Jax Geisinger, Ella Rosendaul, Ethan Rosendaul, and Dylan Rosendaul.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

More house shopping

We looked at several more houses this weekend:

  • 122 Damascus - This house is mechanically excellent, everything is in great shape, but it doesn't really excite us, there's no place for a big screen TV, unless we either do it in the "formal" living room area, or finish the basement, which may or may not stay dry...

  • 1458 Laurel Circle - This house is huge, but very dated inside, lots of space, which we love, but that kitchen has to go, and it's already so far up our price list that adding a kitchen remodel on top of it would probably be financially unwise...
  • 3414 Tucson - This house is just 2 blocks from our current home, and we really like the neighborhood, but suffers from being the most expensive house on the street, as it's a newer house in an older neighborhood. While it is very nice inside, it's also rather pricey for the square footage, as it's smaller than we would like. The yard is very nice, though.
  • 1122 Parkway - This house is across the street from a really dumpy duplex, though it is in a very quiet dead-end road area. This house is huge, but needs a lot of finish work redone, as it's either ugly, or poorly implemented. Also, all that "wood" flooring in the photos is really laminate.
  • 2608 Abraham - This house is interesting. It's only a three bedroom, and we'd really like four, but there is at least office space in the basement, and a room that could maybe be converted to a fourth bedroom if we ever needed one. There's a hot tub, but it's really old looking, and the master bathroom is the only one on the main level, and also opens to the rest of the house, so you can't leave it messy. Also, it has a walk-in tub for old people, and I hope to be at least 40 years away from needing that...
  • House Hunting

    We looked at three open houses in Waterloo yesterday, as we’re thinking about upgrading from our little ranch to something a bit more spacious.

    The first house we looked at had a lot of character, though it was really showing its age in places.  The somewhat-finished area in the basement had a sagging ceiling that was somewhat alarming, and the floors all squeaked loudly.  The upstairs bathroom and the kitchen had been remodeled, though, as the women said “by a man” as they’re somewhat ugly and don’t fit the house at all, so would need to be redone if you had taste…  The lot was small, so not a lot of grass to mow, and while it’s on perhaps the nicest street in town, the houses around it are very close and not anything grand…

    The second house we looked at is actually on the same street, though farther down where it loses its boulevard status.  It’s friggin’ huge, a great sprawling ranch house.  The basement, though very dated, has a big bar in it, as well as a bedroom with egress window.  Upstairs there’s a nice four-season room, family room, and a huge living room.  It had a great entryway, and a very spacious kitchen as well.  You can tell this was a very very nice home when it was built in the 1950s, but a lot of the home still feels like that era, and not in a good way.  The brick work is very dated, including the triangle-styled cement block that probably was very cool back then, but just sticks out now…

    The third house we looked at was also a monster, lots of space inside, with extremely high amounts of storage space.  Every single bedroom has a walk-in closet, some of them big enough to park a car inside.   Out back, there is a HUGE newish shed/workshop with almost 800 square feet of space alone, though it’s not currently heated or insulated.  There’s a big addition on the back with a long family room and a fireplace at the end, but it felt like it was sort of done cheaply, and you felt kind of isolated from the rest of the house while you were there.  There was a first-floor laundry, which was nice, but a lot of bathrooms in need of TLC, and basically every floor surface in the house needed to be redone.  The wood at the entry way was spongy underfoot, and what looks like tile in the photos actually seems to be the peel ‘n stick squares, used throughout the first floor…

    We haven’t found anything we love yet, so the hunt continues!

    Time to update your anti-virus definitions

    It's flu shot season, go get your shot! I received mine today at our Wellness Fair, and it was the least painful injection I've ever had. Since I started getting the flu shots about five years ago, I have yet to contract the flu. While I know it doesn't perfectly prevent it (and the plural of anecdote is not data) it only takes me five minutes, and my insurance covers the cost. Being able to get the shot done at work makes it especially easy.

    Not cool

    So, Friday night I went to grab myself an ice cream sandwich from the fridge (the Hy-Vee ones with Shawn Johnson's photo on the box) and the box went "squish" when I grabbed it. Unfortunately, everything else in our freezer was also squishy, and everything in our refrigerator was warmer than it should have been. We spent the next few minutes rapidly sorting what could be saved and what couldn't, and cramming as much as we could into the little dorm-fridge I use for pop & beer in the basement, and anything salvageable from the freezer (not much) into our deep freeze. Our refrigerator came with our house, and we've never been thrilled with it, as it sticks out a little too far into our galley kitchen, and it's too short for me to easily see/place things on the top shelf, and it's the wrong color for our appliances, so, we decided to buy a new one. After checking Sears, Lowe's, Home Depot, and Best Buy, we finally decided on this model. It's a bit pricey, and more than I was hoping to spend, but we space constraints due to our kitchen cabinets that ruled out about 95% of the refrigerators in the stores, leaving us with few actual choices. We found a cheaper side-by-side that would fit at Home Depot, but the construction of it was garbage. Holly removed one of the shelves in the door to try moving it up, and couldn't get it to go back in. The Home Depot guy helping us then spent about 3 minutes of grunting and straining to put the shelf back, and as this floor model was the only one they had left, we decided we'd opt for the nicer Kenmore model (though Lowe's has the whirlpool version of this refrigerator for the exact same price).

    So, now we get to eat out of my dorm fridge for the next week and a half, until our refrigerator arrives. There's not much room in there, so I see a lot of frozen pizzas and trips to the grocery store in our future. It's a good thing the store is only a mile away.