Happy cyber-versary!

September 7, 1999

It's hard to believe that we have been online for over a year now. Although far from being the most popular site on the Internet, the Gehlke Family Home Page has allowed us to keep in touch with many of our family and friends, and if it has accomplished that then we consider it a success. Our home page received more than 325 hits in just over a year. That's just a bit less than one per day. Several of our individual sections have also perfomed well, including our railfan pages at Milepost 1147.2 where we have had more than 2200 visits since the site was started. Thank you to all who have helped make producing and maintaining these pages a worthwhile endeavor.

September is typically a busy time around the Gehlke home, as vacations approach and Roni's involvement with the Oakley Almond Festival hits its peak. The festival, now celebrating its 10th year, takes place Sept. 18-19, and as the big weekend draws closer Roni finds herself spending more and more time settling the nitpicky but necessary details that come with trying to coordinate the festival's program guide, advertising and T-shirt designs. We'll all be happy when the planning is over and the festival arrives so that we can have Roni back!

The arrival of the Almond Festival also means the beginning of Glenn's fall vacation, which has been a longstanding tradition for us. In years past we have used this time to take longer trips, free from the crowds that usually accompany the summer months. But seeing as how we did the Disneyland trip in June, it is unlikely that we will be doing anything beyond simple day trips, relaxing at home and trying to conquer the myriad home improvement projects that are forever piling up.

Speaking of home improvement, the retaining wall project continues to be a major question mark. After much research and examination of the situation, we remain undecided as to whether to build a traditional cinder block and stucco garden wall, purchase Keystone blocks, or simply rebuild the wood fence that is currently there. One thing that will likely influence our decision (beside cost, of course) are plans for future expansion of our garden railway. We would eventually like to bring the tracks around the back of the property and must give some consideration as to how that will be accomplished. Needless to say, it will likely be some time before either the wall or the railway issues are resolved.

Benji has completed the first quarter of kindergarten and is off track through the month of September. It is one of three long breaks he will receive during the course of the school year, in lieu of the three-month summer vacation most of us remember from our childhood. Ben has had his ups and downs adjusting to the social aspects of kindergarten, but academically he seems to be doing quite well. He received an award on Sept. 2 for outstanding work on his reading and letter-recognition skills. He seems to enjoy school and is always eager to share his latest art projects and the books he creates on the classroom computer. If you would like to see some of his creations, you can find them on the bulletin board of his newly updated Web pages. We have renamed his section Ben's Place.

All of our work and school activities have left little time for much else, and the last six weeks have been particularly tough to get away. We did manage to visit Santa Rosa in early August for a tour of the Celebrate the Century Express postal history train, but plans to get together with family and friends wound up on the backburner on a couple of occasions. We spent Labor Day at home doing work around the yard and savoring a few hours of time to relax together, a pause in our recently hectic schedules.

Well, we're about to jump into the new NFL season, so all this craziness is bound to just get crazier. If you follow the Gehlke Bros. Football page then you will know why. Enjoy your final days of summer and here's hoping your fall gets off to a fantastic start.

Glenn, Roni and Benji

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