Tuesday, August 23, 2016

See You In The Morning, Joe

I don't even know where to begin to explain this post.  There is a lot of emotion here...happy tears and sad tears combined.  So you can only imagine the kind of weekend it was.

A dear friend of our, Pastor Joe, passed away last week after a long illness in WI.  I had always said it would be a long time, if at all, that I would ever go back to WI.  But after receiving the news I knew I had to go.  The Medina family is very special to us and a lot of other people.  He always has a smile on his face and was so positive.  He never met a stranger!  And always wanted to know what he could do for you.  He was a blessing.

Michael was born in WI and we moved back to OH when he was three years old.  I was hoping that he would remember some places or people.  I thought it would be a good idea to take him and show him around.  He really didn't remember much...Ms. Yvonne's blue house and 'Robert's mountain'.  I guess he would because that is where we spent most of our time.

We got to hug on and cry with good friends.  Didn't seem like we had been gone for 10 years.  While waiting for the doors to open for the funeral we got to FaceTime with Kerri Robert's in Nicaragua.  That was really special.  Ms. Yvonne came to support us too, even not feeling well she put other before herself.  That's  true friend.  There were so many other people that we would have loved to have talked with but we had to hurry back to OH to drop Michael off and head to Wabash, IN.

Going back felt good.  I didn't think it would.  Guess I need to go back when I can stay longer.

Ready to go with Mark, our trusted driver, Michael the backseat driver, and me the keeper of the snacks and book on tape.

Things sure have changed in ten years.  There were literally hundreds upon hundreds of these.

And look what came on!  I was missing my boys but I knew Ms Renee and Luke had it all covered.

I always did like the Chicago skyline!  Chrissy, I'm waving at you!

We hit our usual exit and headed straight for downtown Waterford.

Michael attended preschool here when he was three.

Uncle Harry's...best ice cream in town.  Well, the only ice cream in town.  And it is the best around!!!

Waterford Junior High where Sarah went to school.  The night she 'graduated' was the night we moved back to OH.

One of the places that Michael remembered....Robert's Mountain.  When our small group went out to dinner all the kids stayed here with Amanda and maybe a brother or two of hers.  Lots of fun times here!  Lots of good people.

 Now, really don't blink or you will miss it!  Tichigan...home sweet home for 6 years.  I always say long years because the winters are so long.  I love the winter but Oct to April is just a little long.  It snowed 52 inches the first December we were there.

Serendipity...Tom and Sharon's place where I could spend hours picking through his barns and buildings.

The Cruise Inn didn't look like this when we left.  It must be three or four times bigger than it was before.  And has a huge paved parking lot now.

Heading into the subdivision.  We lived on a big circle...great for walks and bike riding.  And Halloween was the best!  Hundreds of kids would come from miles and miles to gather candy here.

 Ms Yvonne's blue house.  Played for hours in the backyard.  Was invited to all the family celebrations...they were my family away from home family.  Always treated all of us like we were special.  Best part, we gardened together and cared for kids together because our backyards were side by side.  I watched Kyle, Hannah and DJ grow up.  You know what they say, it takes a village.  We felt like a village most days.

I remember when Dale planted those trees.  They weren't very big at all.

The front of the house looks the same.  Same colors.  Most of the flower beds are still there.  Those arborvitae trees were only about three feet tall when we left.

I went to the backyard neighbors, Jim and Leila Pals, to see what the backyard looked like.  Some of the flower beds are missing but the outhouse still stands.  I am still kicking myself for not taking that with us.

The old black compost bin still stands.

And the willows that we plants are huge.

This is funny.  When they built the subdivision and the park they decided to build a sledding hill.  WI where we lived, was as flat as a pancake.

Just happened to find my life long friend Paulette pulling into her driveway after cutting grass.  She's a keeper for sure.  I met her when she was trying to find someone to give a pick-up truck full of kids outdoor play things away.  Yes, I'll take them...have you seen how many kids are in the yard?

Washington-Caldwell Elementary School...Sarah started here in third grade.  I did some subbing there also.

I couldn't help myself.

Grebe's on the corner.

When we were there this was the Tichigan Diner.

Tichigan Lake.  I went ice fishing here once.  Didn't catch a thing but had a great time.

Fox River Christian Church in Waukesha, WI.  Our church, filled with the most talented and amazing people.  

The first Sunday we attended one of the girls from Sarah's class at school, Hannah, saw Sarah and the rest is history,  We became fast friends.  And to this day we can start off just where we left off...as long as there is some pie involved.  Dan and Joy are the best!  And the rest of their family is pretty cool too.

Mark teasing with one of Joe's brothers at the visitation.

While we were waiting for the doors to open for the memorial service, we got to FaceTime with Kerri Roberts in Nicaragua!  Now that was special.  She is such a sweetheart.

We were sitting in our regular seats when someone handed me a new box of tissues.  I guess they know me pretty well.

I wish I could have remembered to take pictures of all our special friends that we goet to see.  Next time I promise I'll get some shots.

I wish you could have been able to know Joe.  He was a gentle giant among men.  Never met a stranger.  Loved his family (he had 8 granddaughters), loved his heritage the Marines, the USA, and loved his Lord.  He was always asking how he could be a blessing to others.  Opened his home to anyone that needed help.  He knew everyone and everyone knew him.  He made you feel like you were his best friend.  He had a lot of 'best friends'.  He will be missed but his ripples will go on forever and ever and ever.

See you in the morning, Pastor Joe, Vaya con Dios.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Almost A Full House Today

I think I am ready!  Praying the weather is pretty and dry.

 The breakfast line-up.

New names.

 Oops!  I chalked on Pappy's new blacktopped driveway.

"Play stations" ready.

Wammyville version of the beach.

Practiced for farm work later.

 The oldest yahoo and the youngest yahoo.

In just a few days this little lady will officially become the big sister.  A little pushing practice today.

Look at the sky in the bubble.

Popsicle break.

Drawing 'gingerbread' people.

Oh no!

Water balloon target practice.

Learning to stand in line and wait for your turn.

Catching bubbles.

Coolest bubble river.  The bubbles floated down the driveway in a 'river'.

A little cookie decorating...

...for the birthday girl's birthday snack.

We even had a little time at the end of the day to feed the goats and look for eggs.

Great day and looking forward to a year of fun, smiles, and and a little learning on the side..

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