Inside the ‘Man Museum’ South Fargo Man Cave Taken to the Extreme
Do it Yourself
Build Your Own Fairy Garden
Bruce Asbury is on the Loose
PLUS! Meet the Winner of the Decorated Veterans Contest
Outdoor Design & Publishing, LLC
Content Manager Sarah McCurdy
Copy Editor Nancy Koetz
Lead Designer Dan Nisbet
Design & Layout
Mike Biewer Jamie Farmen
Bruce Asbury Janelle Brandon Brian Frank Amanda Junso Rat
Laura Caroon Frozen Music Studios Photography
Advertising Information Todd Fuchs Phone: 701.282.0619
Mail Correspondence Outdoor Design 301 Sheyenne St. West Fargo, ND 58078
firstname.lastname@example.org outdoordesignandliving.com Outdoor Design and Living Guide is published quarterly by Outdoor Design & Publishing, LLC. Total printing is 15,000 copies per issue, and the publication is distributed in two states. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission by Outdoor Design & Publishing, LLC. Outdoor Design & Publishing, LLC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Outdoor Design & Publishing, LLC does not necessarily agree with or endorse content of articles or advertising presented. For advertising information, contact Outdoor Design & Publishing, LLC.
Transitions and Milestones The seasons keep a changing… We took the RV out for one last (and first for this year) trip and our home landscaping project has been wrapped up for the year. When we started the landscaping we never dreamt we would need the long dry days of August and September just to finish it up, but it looks great for a homeowner job, and someday we will share it with you, but we need the grass to grow back before we can take pictures. This is an exciting time for Darcy and I as this will be our 1st anniversary issue. You can learn a lot about an industry just by purchasing the company and writing checks to cover each lesson. We have a great group that is finally running on all cylinders and I couldn’t be happier or more optimistic about the future of Outdoor Design & Living Guide. If the speed at which our last issue left the shelves is any indication, I get the feeling you folks like it too. In this issue we’ll introduce you to a South Fargo resident who uses the idea of a ‘man cave’ to remember the past. We’ll give you tips on how to cut your own holiday tree and some places around here where you can do that. You’ll meet the deserving veteran who won the ‘Decorated Veterans’ contest from us and Holiday Décor and you’ll have a chance to win some items for your newly built fairy garden (we’ll show you how to build on in this issue’s DIY). All of that plus our food and drink recipes. We also want to welcome Bruce Asbury aboard as a columnist. Bruce spent many years in the Valley as a local television celebrity. Now we’ll get to hear his special blend of humor inside the pages of each issue, in an exclusive column titled “Bruce on the Loose.” Here’s to another year! Cheers!
Todd and Darcy Fuchs Publishers, Outdoor Design & Living Guide
Suckow’s Garage is More History than Cave
6 Man Museum
14 Backyard Life A Snow Fort to Remember 16 A Journey of a Lifetime 18 Beyond the Backyard Deck the Halls... All Season Long 20 Inspiration Guide 22 Rat’s Recipes 23 Festive Spirits 24 Bruce on the Loose North Dakota in the Spotlight 26 Do It Yourself Build Your Own Fairy Garden 32 Holiday Homecoming 36 People & Community What is your favorite holiday or winter memory?
Winter 2011 5
Man Museum Suckow’s Garage is More History than Cave By Janelle Brandon
Growing up in Alexandria, Minn. in the 1960s and 1970s, Brian Suckow was a fan of the Minnesota Twins, A & W Root Beer floats and burgers, and going to the movie theater - pretty typical. What makes Suckow different is the role the nostalgic mementos from his childhood and adulthood manifest themselves in his life today… in his garage. Suckow, a welding instructor at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks, lives with his wife Shelly in South Fargo and has four kids: Josh, Ali, Lydia and Claire. A generous and thoughtful man, he has the memory of an elephant for events of the past. Suckow’s garage is
a homage to days gone by and in his words, “good and simple times.”
Tire Table A die-hard NASCAR fan, Suckow displays a tire he purchased from a NASCAR race. Back home in Fargo, Suckow welded a base for the hightop table and placed a glass top over the tire that holds NASCAR race tickets and memorabilia, including a special pass in which a police escort accompanied Suckow and his friends to the Brickyard 400. Three female mannequins dressed in sporty gear leaning on the tire table complete the look.
Winter 2011â€ƒ 7
“Sometimes our neighbors wave when they drive or walk by when our garage door is open,” adds Suckow’s wife Shelly. “They think the mannequins are Brian and I or the kids!” There is a story behind every item and display in Suckow’s garage and the space is designed for friends, family and neighbors to enjoy themselves
8 Outdoor Design
throughout all the seasons of the year.
“Fun”ctional “The most important aspect of my garage is that it is functional,” shares Suckow. “We park our cars in here every night and all the chairs and tables fold and stack to store easily and open up the space.”
Movie poster marquee signs are mounted on the north wall, and framed flattened popcorn boxes from 1919 to 1980 line the east wall heading down into the basement. Movie theatre stanchions with velvet ropes and a receptacle for ticket stubs make it feel like perpetual movie night. The Suckows have a fully stocked refrigerator and freezer, a pizza oven,
nacho maker, popcorn popper, several candy machines, a cappuccino and coffee maker, and two functional pop machines in their garage at the ready for entertaining. Bison, Twins, Vikings, and other big games are shown on their retractable, remote controlled screen that drops down from the ceiling. “Shelly once worked at the Fergus
Falls Theatre. She also worked at a drive-in movie theatre,” continues Suckow. “I have original window speakers from a drive-in theatre. You don’t see too many of those anymore. They’re relics.” “I remember kids sneaking into the drive-in movies in the trunks of cars,” Shelly says. “I’d catch them when they’d come to the concession stand
and I’d ask them if they could show their movie ticket,” she laughs.
25 Cents/Gallon An old Texaco pump procured from Archie Zeithhamer, who Suckow worked for as a farm hand while in high school, sits adjacent to a “jumpto-the-pump” boy (a male mannequin)
Winter 2011 9
dressed in a Texaco uniform in the back of Suckow’s garage. “My first memory of the price of gasoline was 25 cents a gallon,” reminisces Suckow. “When it went over a dollar a gallon you’d have to multiply the total by two because the pumps price digits only had two places instead of the three needed.” Securing nostalgic items to display
10 Outdoor Design
is an enjoyable hobby for Suckow. It is gratifying for him to spend time scouring eBay and trading welding services for souvenirs from yesteryear. He’s also able to get his hands on toys he didn’t have as a child. “My neighbor had a mini-bike when I was a kid,” Suckow says pointing to two small motorbikes in a lofted area in the back of the garage.
“I never dreamed of asking for one myself, but I have two now!”
Reminisce and Celebrate Suckow wakes early and often finds solace in arranging the items in his garage or pulling a collection out of storage and adding it to the mix.
Weekends allow Suckow the time to enjoy the fruits of his labor and relax in the garage with family, friends, and neighbors. “It’s not how much space you have, it’s how you arrange it,” shares Suckow. “I’d recommend starting in a small part of the garage and building an entertainment area based on your hobbies and interests.”
Suckow recommends investing in a glass display case to arrange mementos with special meaning for all to enjoy. His display case blends his and Shelly’s childhood keepsakes. Shelly’s elementary school rice, beans, and glue art project rests near Brian’s favorite childhood book, Cowboy Sam, and his porcelain piggy bank. Another glass display case holds
Suckow’s prized A & W Root Beer memorabilia collection. A mannequin poses next to the case in complete A & W waitress clothing holding a tray. The case holds A & W mugs dating back to 1919 along with a cash register, trays, menus and root beer containers. Suckow once entertained his father and the other residents at a nursing home with root beer floats
presented by his children and nieces and nephews dressed in vintage A & W clothing. It is a common misconception that a man cave is an exclusive dwelling for a man to escape from his family and work. Suckow has developed an impressive space that allows all who enter it an opportunity to reminisce
and relax. Theyâ€™ve hosted the Topperâ€™s Car Show Garage Tour with 270 people in attendance and welcomed the Valley Vintage group as well. The Suckows will continue to celebrate and make memories in their garage throughout the years. The space will change as their interests and hobbies evolve yet remain original and
unique because the design is authentic to the man who created it.
Writer Janelle Brandon lives in Moorhead, Minn. with her family. Learn more about her at www. janellebrandon.com.
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A Snow Fort to Remember Up here on the windy plains kids grow up in gloved hands, working through sniffles to build the best snow forts they know how to build. If you’re new to the area or if you’re trying to polish your skills, you might find yourself navigating Google to find some tips. Sure, you’ll find videos and information, but we brought in some 14 Outdoor Design
experts to remind us how to build the best snow fort possible – and they know from experience. One of the most critical tips, it seems, is having the correct consistency of the snow. It can’t be too wet or too dry or it won’t pack. When you can make a great snowball, you can build a great snow fort.
From lakes country, Beth Pridday recommends a simple list: water, snow and an empty coffee can. Many said using a coffee can to create snow bricks is the best way to go, and water from a spray bottle can help the snow stay in place.
Here are some of the snow fort memories we gathered: “After making a wall, you’ll need a bucket of water to throw on top for a strong, sturdy freeze. We also lined all of the tunnels with water so the path was slippery and awesome!” –Nicole Ashpole, Cavalier, N.D. “The best fort I ever built was near the dryer vent. The vent provided some heat to keep us warm and iced the walls. The fort had a room and several “battle” walls.” –David Klein of Jamestown, N.D. “As a kid I can remember if you had a storm when the snow was nice and compacted by the high winds, we used a yard stick and literally carved out blocks. We would then stack the blocks in whatever shape of fort we had and put loose snow in the cracks in between, just like mortar for brick buildings. We then would get water and sprinkle it over the fort so we didn’t let the water dissolve the snow away. Then over night, some punk would knock the walls down. But that’s how we did it in the ancient days.” –Bob Harris, Fargo, N.D. Post your photos! We want to see your snow forts this season and find out what techniques you used. Post the pics on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/outdoordesign.
Winter 2011 15
Gerard Schuchard is from New Rockford, N.D. He is 20 years old and has germ cell cancer. This hunt took place near Kildeer, N.D. with Kildeer Mountain Outfitters this fall.
A Journey of a Lifetime Outdoor Adventure Foundation Provides Lasting Memories By Amanda Junso
Some days don’t go as planned, others come and go without being missed. We map out the future to seek the best and look forward to what lies ahead, what is yet to come. But…What would happen if that day, the day that seemed so terrible, the day that was overlooked, were it? What would happen if the tomorrow that were so anxiously awaited for, the one that was so carefully planned out, wasn’t entirely realistic? For the volunteers and sponsors of The Outdoor Adventure Foundation, a better outlook for tomorrow is 16 Outdoor Design
key–it’s what they do. Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and continues to increasingly devastate more and more individuals every year. There is hardly a life that has not been influenced, affected by cancer and other life threatening illnesses. “We give families and individuals something to look forward to…Opportunity that’s not always there,” says Brian Solum, president of The Outdoor Adventure Foundation. “We keep them connected with the outdoors.” The Outdoor Adventure Foundation is an all volunteer-
based organization whose members create personalized hunting (bear, deer, elk, moose and small game) and fishing adventures (fresh and salt water) for children and young adults with cancer or life threatening illness. The non-profit organization also creates specialized adventures for combat disable veterans, those whom have endured injury or lost a limb during active combat. The volunteers at The Outdoor Adventure Foundation dedicate themselves to creating extraordinary trips, fantastic opportunities for their participants. “We take participants out for all kinds of hunting and fishing adventures,” Solum says. “We’re passionate about the outdoors, life and making dreams come true.” The Outdoor Adventure Foundation provides hunting and fishing adventures all throughout the region and the United States. Adventures include traveling to Kindred and the Kildeer Mountains of North Dakota to hunt for whitetail deer and elk. Other adventures include Devils Lake fishing trips, pheasant hunting in Napoleon and exclusive hunts to Montana for antelope and mule deer. Next year, The Outdoor Adventure Foundation will have the exciting opportunity of taking a participant on an African safari. Although each adventure is different, all of The Outdoor
Adventure Foundation quests do have one thing in common…Deserving participants. As long as cancer and life threatening illnesses continue to traumatize families, friends and individuals, The Outdoor Adventure Foundation will continue to create amazing opportunities to look forward to. The Outdoor Adventure Foundation is headquartered in Fargo, ND (415 38 Street South, Suite B) and has North Dakota committee members located in Wahpeton, Bismarck and Crosby. The organization also has chapters throughout the United States in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. For more information on how to help The Outdoor Adventure Foundation continue to grant adventures or to set up an adventure, call toll free 1-877-477-5911 or visit online at www.ndoaf.org. The Outdoor Adventure Foundation also welcomes the public to its annual fundraising banquet March 17, 2012 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo, N.D.
Amanda Junso currently lives in Fargo, ND. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, the outdoors and shopping.
It’s more than beautiful plants… It’s a store full of wonderful! 2733 S. University Dr. • Fargo 701.237.6255 | bakernursery.com Hours: M-F, 9–8pm
Beyond the Backyard
Deck the Halls… All Season Long Add warmth to a cold winter wonderland by spicing up your entryway using indoor and outdoor pieces, and create a unique display you can leave up all winter long. Styled by Leanne Sucrow Photography by Laura Caroon
Warm Welcome Typically when we think of winter, we think of decorating with red, green and white. The beauty of design is there are no rules and you can express yourself in any way you want. Explore colors like ice blue, bright yellow and subdued cranberry, then mix and match and find what combination you like best. A paper wreath made out of old book pages is safe under the overhang of this entryway, and the frame behind it adds interest and a nice pop of color. 18 Outdoor Design
Vintage Vibe The bling of the modern ornaments looks great against the rusted metal of vintage milk crates. This vintage chair needs some updating, but works great as a unique way to display a wreath. And an old children’s toy is given new life as winter décor with some artificial garland and flowers.
Cozy Corner This crib spring is the perfect fit for a corner display and helps add depth and texture. Combined with the vintage desk in a stunning blue that plays off the door decor, and the bicycle wheel, we’ve creating a fun display that doubles as a conversation piece. A vintage oar happens to be the perfect color green and an old tape measure has been shaped into a star.
Photo Submitted by Signature Landscapes
Photo Submitted by Signature Landscapes
Photo Submitted by Signature Landscapes
Want to be part of the Inspiration Guide? Send your photos to info@OutdoorDesignandLiving.com
Photo Submitted by Signature Landscapes
Photo Submitted by Kroshus Landscaping
ity on the Y94 Rat is a personal u use, 93.7FM. Yo Morning Playho ngs ni or m ay kd ee w can listen to him w fe a.m. In his from 5:45 a.m.-9 ys e time, Rat enjo ar sp of moments g on al , ts en em prov making home im . es cip d adapting re with cooking an
r e k o o Slow C
hili C n e Chick
It’s easy to spend hours outdoors during our interesting winter season. Maybe you enjoy cross-country skiing or sledding with the family on a mild snowy day, or maybe you’re out shoveling snow or snow blowing after a major blizzard. No matter what, it’s nice to come back home to a hearty, warm meal that’s ready to eat. I enjoy a good slow cooker meal because the work is done ahead of time, and often just involves combine the ingredients, choosing the correct setting and walking away until meal time. It’s the ease that’s appealing, and of course, the flavor of a good slow cooker meal. This is one that I’ve adapted from a few different recipes. Give it a try on one of our chilly winter days.
1 lb cubed chicken breast 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon cumin 2 teaspoons chili powder ½ cup onion 1 clove garlic
1 can navy beans (with liquid) 1 can chili beans (with liquid) 1 can crushed tomatoes (with liquid) 2 cups tomato juice 2 diced Serrano peppers (remove seeds to reduce spice level)
Cut up the chicken. Combine chicken, spices, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, tomato juice and Serrano peppers in a 3- to 6-quart slow cooker. (Use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup). Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or on HIGH for 3 ½ to 4 hours.
S e p v i i r t s i t e s F Cup of Good Cheer
1 ½ oz. SKYY Infusions Cherry Vodka ½ oz. Dekuyper White Crème de Cacao ½ oz. Half & Half 4 oz. Hot Chocolate Combine all of the ingredients into your favorite holiday mug. Top with whipped cream, red sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry.
¾ oz. Absolut Vanilla Vodka ¾ oz. Dekuyper Peppermint Schnapps ¾ oz. Dekuyper White Crème de Cacao ¼ oz. Grenadine ¼ oz. Half & Half Crush one full peppermint candy cane to garnish the rim of the martini glass. Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into the martini glass rimmed with peppermint candy. Top off with a splash of soda water and garnish with a small peppermint candy cane. To rim the martini glass moisten the edge of the glass with some white crème de cacao before dipping into the crushed candy cane.
Triple Chocolate Truffle
2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka ½ oz. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur ½ oz. Dekuyper White Crème de Cacao ½ oz. Half & Half Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a martini glass rimmed with cocoa powder. To rim the martini glass - moisten the edge of the glass with some white crème de cacao before dipping into the cocoa powder.
Recipes submitted by Brian Frank of Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops. Happy Harry’s has locations in Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D. For more ideas, visit www.Happy-Harrys.com.
Winter 2011 23
Bruce on the LOOSE
North Dakota in the Spotlight By Bruce Asbury
Bruce Asbury was born in Paris, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati and became a television news and weather reporter, adopting many hometowns, like Peoria, Dayton, Cincinnati, San Francisco and in 1994, Fargo. Bruce spent more than 40 years on television before retiring and moving to Sarasota, Florida with his wife Katherine. He created the popular “Trip on a Tankful” series, which ran on KXJB in Fargo.
24 Outdoor Design
here I was, curled up on the couch, ready to watch another episode of one of my favorite shows, “How the States Got Their Shapes.” I had been looking forward to this particular episode for a couple of weeks, ever since I heard it would feature North Dakota. I could only imagine some of the quirky details of North Dakota geography that would be brought to the forefront of this episode. I was certain the host would take us up the Red River, where the eastern boundary of the state meanders like a drunken snake northward toward Winnipeg. There are places on the river where one can stand in North Dakota and look WEST into Minnesota. Such a geographical oddity could make for fascinating television. There are the northern, southern, and western borders, which must have been drawn with a straight-edge. The western border is just beyond the Badlands, which means one of the nation’s most beautiful natural oddities is in North Dakota, rather than Montana. Just north of the Badlands on the Montana border, is the Fort Union Trading post on the Missouri River, where early trappers and traders from Montana, North Dakota, and Canada conducted business, shipping their furs down the river to southern and eastern markets. The northern border follows the 49th parallel and cuts through the middle of The Peace Garden, dedicated to the friendship between the United States and Canada. It is one of a few such attractions devoted to peace and goodwill between two countries in the entire world. The flora and fauna would have made for some beautiful photography. The southern border runs smack dab through the Sioux Indian reservation, where Sitting Bull once lived, and the place where he died. It is a location where dinosaurs once roamed free, and where you can still see evidence of them, if you know what to look for.
With my popcorn and Pepsi on the coffee table in front of me, I switched on the TV and awaited a video-journey back to the North Dakota that I grew so fond of during my ten years there as a television weather forecaster in Fargo. I suppose I was hoping for too much. Instead of giving viewers a tour around the edges of North Dakota, the host decided instead to concentrate on how cold it can be in the winter. Dressed in a hooded heavy coat, and with a snowscape for a background, we learned that North Dakota has a low unemployment rate and that temperatures are equally low! And almost always below freezing during Autumn, Winter, and Spring. What a surprise! To make matters even worse for the vast majority of North Dakotans, the program concentrated on Fargo. The jealousy and resentment the rest of the state has for Fargo must have been ratcheted-up a few notches. After all, just outside of Fargo lies the entire state of North Dakota! You really can’t miss it! But the producers of “How the States Got Their Shapes” did miss it, somehow. If I have learned one thing in my nearly 65 years on Earth it is that North Dakota is the most misunderstood of all the 50 states. Mention that you once lived in North Dakota, and the reaction is always, “Oh my! It’s so cold there. You must be glad you left!” So I guess it is not surprising that when a national television show visits the state, it is always in the Winter, and it always looks cold and dark. I can’t help but think that if the TV crew had come to the Frozen North in June, July or August, when warm days and cool, pleasant nights make North Dakota and Northern Minnesota such a delightful place to live and work, the focus of the show might actually have been how the state got its shape. But no! We are told instead that North Dakota is a cold and barren place, where people wear fur, and plug-in their cars at night. Oh well. At least it keeps the riff-raff out.
26 Outdoor Design
o u Y r e t Own a e r C
G a r y d r i e n a F H
ave you ever just wanted to escape to a world filled with lush forests, secret paths and a private lake? A trend that allows gardeners to build their dream oasis allows you to do just that. Fairy Gardening is a hobby that involves creating miniature landscapes complete with cottages, secret patios and romantic boroughs – it’s like regular outdoor gardening, but on a smaller scale. Fairy Gardening, sometimes called “miniature gardening,” is creative and personal, and allows the gardener to keep their hands dirty all winter long. Baker Garden & Gift in Fargo sells all the supplies and accessories needed for fairy gardening. Staff members love how Fairy Gardening allows people to express themselves creatively and simply by producing these types of creative lush landscapes. “More is more and more is better when it comes to the fairy gardens,” says Gina Gould, owner. “The landscapes we love are the ones we want to be living in.” Fairy Gardening is something anyone can do. They are no rules or a “right or wrong” way to construct one. Baker’s has Fairy Design Classes with children as young as 8-years-old making their own. The owner’s daughter, Eloise, who is nine, has her own Fairy Gardens on display in the store. Once someone creates a fairy garden, they can add and subtract details and greenery whenever they’d like. The garden can also change with the seasons by adding different accessories like pumpkins or snowmen. Think of it as a great way to garden in the winter, but know that you can keep it up year round, even displaying your fairy garden outdoors during our typical growing season.
Winter 2011 27
Step by Step
Fairy Garden Step 1: Pick a container.
(Baker Garden & Gift has a variety available for fairy gardens). You can also repurpose cool and interesting items you have around your home. Depending on what size you’d like your fairy garden to be, you can use funky old canisters, rusty pots, or any size or material of box. One of the fairy gardens currently on display at Baker is at home in a Retro turquoise refrigerator drawer.
Step 2: Add a plastic liner to your container so
when you water your plants the water doesn’t decay your container. It also helps so when watering the water doesn’t run out. Then add potting soil for your live plants. If you don’t want live plants add sand, or Styrofoam.
Step 3: Add greenery to create the effect of trees
and forests. Many types of live plants sold at Baker’s will work. Taller plants give the effect of a tree next to a house, or a palm tree on your private beach by the sea; just remember to keep green plants in scale. Look at the size of the buildings, furniture, arbors and gazing balls, pick accordingly for desired effect. This step may take some guessing and testing to create the desired effect. Add living moss to create more texture on the floor, or glass blue rocks to create a water feature. You can use pebbles, colored sand or spare change; think copper pennies, to create a walking path.
Step 4: Accessorize. Add whatever
miniature details you’d like: a house, bridge, table and chairs, or a patio– the creative possibilities are endless. Baker’s has everything you need for a garden fit for a Fairy! Then change it when the Fairies blow the winds of change in your ear!
28 Outdoor Design
Classes Available Want a little more direction? Contact Baker Garden & Gift for information about their Tuesday evening classes for constructing fairy gardens. 701.237.6255
Winter 2011â€ƒ 29
Fairy Garden Competition: Create a lush and imaginative fairy garden and get rewarded for it! The top three most creative fairy gardens will win Baker Garden & Gift certificates for $100, $50 and $25 for first, second and third places, respectively.
30â€ƒ Outdoor Designâ€‰
Entries will be accepted for the contest at Baker Garden & Gift, 2733 University Dr. S., Fargo, N.D. from Dec. 5-9. Drop your fairy garden off and it will be well taken care of – then send in your friends to check it out. The public and staff will vote to choose the top three spots from Dec. 10-15. The winner will be announced Dec. 16.
Create a place you see as a great escape and be as creative as possible. Entries may have real or artificial greenery.
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Winter 2011 31
Christmas Décor Adorns Lommen Home for Son’s Military Leave by Janelle Brandon
32 Outdoor Design
he Stephanie and Toby Lommen family has a rich military history. Stephanie’s dad was in the Air Force and she has five aunts and uncles that served in various divisions of the Army. Toby’s uncles were in the Army as well and one uncle was even a Marine. Stephanie and Toby reside in North Moorhead and have four children: Lindsey is 25 and lives in Grand Forks, Lacey is 23 and lives at home with her three-year-old Rylan along with the Lommen’s youngest son Aaron,15.
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Brooks: Kind-spirited and Patriotic The Lommen’s oldest son Brooks is 21 and is currently serving with the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard (NDANG). He left Fargo on February 1 of this year during a major snowstorm to attend basic training in San Antonio, Texas. He is now stationed in Florida and is currently being trained to be a weather forecaster, a 14-month training program. Brooks has a six-year minimum commitment to the NDANG on Active Order status. “Brooks told us he wanted to be a Marine back when he was in high school,” recalls Stephanie. “I told him, ‘No!’” After a year at UND in Grand Forks, Brooks again stated his intent to enter the military. This time, his parents gave him their blessing to pursue a military career. “It was a tough phone call to receive from him when he arrived at basic training,” remembers Stephanie when her cell phone rang at 4 a.m. on that cold February day. “He was reading off a script telling me he’d arrived safely and he told me his address. I would ask him questions but he couldn’t respond to me...he told me later how tough that was for him.”
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An Unexpected Gift Brooks and Toby have long been Christmas decorating buddies. The Lommens have lived in their home in North Moorhead since 2003 and Books has played an integral part in the holiday decorating process. “I’m not too fond of going up high on a ladder or getting on the roof,” admits Toby. “Brooks usually does all the Christmas lights outside...I hand them up to him!” “When I talked to Brooks last week, he asked me who would help with the lights outside this year,” adds Stephanie. Winter 2011 33
The Lommen Family
Submitted Photo: Front Row: Stephanie (Brooks’ Mom), Lacey (Brooks’ Big Sister) with her son Rylan (Brooks’ Nephew) Back Row: Aaron (Brooks’ Little Brother), Brooks, Toby (Brooks’ Dad) (Not pictured: Lindsey (Brooks’ Big Sister)
The Lommen Family home decorated by Christmas Décor
“Boy, did he get a surprise!” The Lommen family was nominated by a friend for Christmas Décor’s Fourth Annual Decorated Veterans Contest. The Lommen family won the contest and their home was fully decorated with Christmas lights in late October for free. Rod Glover, owner of Christmas Décor in Fargo, was a member of the military himself. “I’ve had a lot of of friends who have been deployed,” says Glover. “I know how the people left behind are shorthanded.” Stephanie and Toby were thrilled and honored to learn they’d been nominated and won the contest. Their son Brooks will take a 10-day leave from his military training in December.
“Christmas is Brooks’ favorite holiday,” says Stephanie. “He’s looking forward to taking his nephew Rylan ice skating and sledding. He loves my homemade Christmas cookies and I know we’ll host his friends here at the house while he’s on leave.” “We’re just so grateful not only to be nominated, but to have won, and have all the outdoor Christmas decorating done already,” adds Toby. “The house looks so amazing and Brooks is going to love that the community is supporting him and us while he’s away.”
Writer Janelle Brandon lives in Moorhead, Minn. with her family. Learn more about her at www.janellebrandon.com.
Winter 2011 35
People & Community
What is your favorite holiday or winter memory? e, sleigh re t s a m t is r h C n w o Cutting down our d listening to Hard Candy an rides, hot c hocolate ! - @c helseyln yllic Christmas. Very id
Driving around with my family on Christmas Eve to look at Christmas lights. - @krittabug
Decorating the tree, baking cookies with Mom. - @KimMGreene
de. My a r g h t 9 in I was n e er h d w n u m o e r s f u o s h l e l m o ory co ade d m m e m m o t e s u it r c o v a a plete m g o in c d My f in r f e H , r . e g t in is at th ade s then 3rd gr was so enchanted by th in my tracks. Suddenly, e p the tree. Sh t one gift made me sto jeans and earrings I a w wonder at th e Michael album, the ne next to the look on g rg the new Geo for myself meant nothin st way possibleg e was unwrappin akes me teary-in the b m her face. It - Laura Egland to this day. See your name in print and share a story in our Home Show issue! Like our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/OutdoorDesign and watch for the question to be posted. Then post your answer and watch for the issue to print in February! 36â€ƒ Outdoor Designâ€‰
r memories: One of the best winte with my playing outside in the snow urs outside sister. We would spend ho building snow in our matching snowsuits snowballs. g in w ro th d an g, in dd sle forts, of going s ie or m e m nd fo ve ha , Oddly my winter inside and realizing all of ith melted w t e w g in ak so re e w s clothe them off snow. It felt good to take e with my and be warm in the hous like snow family. I donâ€™t even really memories nd fo ve ha I t bu h uc m that because of it, for sure. - Jill Moes Helping dec orate the t ree with my mom. We always had a lot of ornaments and lights to put on the tre e!
et Winter 2011â€ƒ 37
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38 Outdoor Design
Winter 2011 issue of Outdoor Design & Living Guide