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In loving memory...


My sister, cousins, and I always said that our grandfather was the perfect, classic Grandpa. He always had a smile ready for us, never imposed rules or views on us, and even had the pipe to smoke while standing on the porch of his cabin. I remember the twinkle in his eye when he’d give us a cookie before sending us home to our parents. We couldn’t believe how picturesque he was and determined he must have been cute in his youth.

The day that Grandpa passed away, my dad was wishing he’d had time to hear more of his stories, because he had so many that gave perspective of the war and times past. This made me realize how little I knew of Grandpa’s life. I’d known he’d been in the Navy and the story of his first date with Grammy, but I hadn’t heard enough of his stories either. I knew he raised some of the strongest people that I know and, in turn, they passed that strength on to their children, but this doesn’t tell me his stories.

Then, thinking back on my own memories of him, I realized that I may not know his stories, but I did know the man he grew into. I’ve been alive only a third of his life, but that means I got to see where his actions, choices, and stories took him and, more importantly, what he had learned in that time. Thinking back on my memories of Grandpa, I can see better where, in his own way, he passed on some of these lessons to me.

Every birthday I had, he’d ask me how old I was, and no matter which year it was, he’d reply, “Oh! That was my favorite!” I learned to look forward to the future and to have hope that I would be happy with what it would bring.

I remember countless times of helping to load his truck with the wood he and Dad would cut on the hill to help heat our homes in the winter. This helped me learn that hard work and saving now helps you get through hard times later, to get that happy future you were hoping for.

Grandpa was always the guardian at the lake. There was a day that our family dog had decided to jump off the dock onto the frozen lake, having remembered how fun that was the year before. This time, however, she fell right through the ice. Grandpa came running down to help me fish her out of the frozen water, showing me that working together, we could manage to prevail in what had seemed a hopeless situation when I was alone.

There was a time in high school, when he stopped me on my way home from the bus stop and asked me into his cabin to help him with something. My parents had bought him WebTV for Christmas and he had a couple questions. When I got into his cabin, he walked me over to the keyboard, and asked me what certain keys were for. Before that, he’d only been used to a typewriter, so a “Control” key was a foreign thing to him! After this point, he moved from the basic e-mail and internet into an actual computer. He had a laptop before anybody else I knew, and has since had a larger monitor spliced in. He showed me to not be afraid of technology and the changes that it brings, because there are wonderful things to discover through it.

I know that his main goal in learning the internet was to keep in contact with his family. Probably the biggest thing I learned from Grandpa was the importance of keeping family together. I believe this is something he learned through his experiences over time, and he felt it necessary to pass this on to us so we could learn sooner and not miss out on time together.

All of his things, from the property at the lake to his cars, were always available to the family if they needed them. He had boats for us all to come and enjoy at the lake together. But these possessions weren’t what showed us how important family was to him. Only by seeing his eyes light up when we each came in the door can we know that nothing made him happier than having us all gathered together. I believe this service today would make him happy, seeing us all here.

I have spent more time in this past week thinking about Grandpa than I had ever before in my life, because he was always there - a constant, dependable guardian in our lives. I found that while I didn’t agree with all of his opinions about things, I do know that some of the most important things I believe can be traced back to him.


Long days

We've been too busy lately to get anything done, if that makes any sense.  I made the first mortgage payment today, online, and sent off the first PUD payment, which was tiny because it was only for 2 weeks and the house was unoccupied the rest of the billing period.  We also just spent a ton of money on groceries because we managed to run out of everything at the same time.  We're still good though, just seeing the avalanche of bills finally start!
Peter's truck has developed a terrible new problem - the drive line broke in the parking lot at work yesterday!  Somebody suggested he pull it out and drive it home in 4 wheel drive, so he at least got it home, but it'll be a trip to Pull a Part, or he will have to decide now is the time to try to fuse both trucks together.
Work has been stressful, and the drive is getting to the carpool people.  I didn't get home until six tonight - I leave at 4:30 - which has been happening more and more lately, even though I live closer.  The rain makes people drive like idiots.  The sun makes people drive like idiots.  Mondays make people drive like idiots.  Fridays make people drive like idiots.

We have been doing a lot of work yard lately, but it still has a long way to go.  I bought the oven/range wire, but we still have to get a braker and put it all in, so we can still only use the oven or the range.  We still have to put baseboard mouldin in a few rooms.  Still have to do a lot of stuff.  But on the other hand, we get to do a lot of stuff.  I go out and admire my herb/flower garden every day, even when it doesn't need water.  Peter made bonzais today out of the junipers he bought for the front yard.  We've had a few get togethers here so far, and even had people around our dining room table. 

Time for sleep, so I'll be signing off.


We can has house?

We were approved over the phone, which isn't as good as anything in writing, but still good news!  Peter and I are starting the house tours this weekend! 


Feb. 21st, 2010

 I asked for http://s4.hubimg.com/u/1635931_f520.jpg, got a bad version of http://www.prohaircut.com/Do_you_think__920.html, but with more bangs, and Nina fixed it into this: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_30PRmkOl4ro/Sn7IQE1ztcI/AAAAAAAAUZ8/NlSk-KAlsSk/s1600-h/New+short+trendy+pixie+hairstyles+20091.jpg.
I am happy enough with what i have now, but I was embarrassed to be out in public with the first cut.  What a waste of money.  The girl who did the first one actually turned to the stylist behind her and asked her how to do the cut.


The dress!


Chicago 2009

I visited Majel and her husband Oren in Chicago a couple weeks ago.  Here are the pictures I took (don't miss the 'next page' option near the top right of the page).

And a brief bit about my visit:

First, after I made it over the air, under the ground, and across the surface of the earth, I met Majel where she works and she cut and dyed my hair.  We kept it long and more conservative this time so I will have an easier time doing it for the wedding, and I am really happy with how it turned out!  I will have to cut it again though, because I really do miss having the shorter hair.  Afterwards, we went to a mexican place and had more authentic mexican food than we can get around here, then we went back to her place to relax for a bit.  Later that night, in our first cab ride of my visit, we had the singing cab driver!  After a bit of time at a couple bars with Majel and some of her coworkers, we played a bowling video game and later I got to try a Chicago style hot dog.  The next day, Majel and I went shopping for her to find a dress to wear to the wedding and we stopped for pizza (not Chicago style) and later we visited a club, Plan B, to listen to her and Oren's friend.  On Monday, we had Majel's friend Erin with us.  We had fun going to the Billy Goat, on an architectural boat tour, looked at the bean, went to the Chicago Art Institute, had sushi, and went to Cafe Fresco.  On my last full day there, we went shopping again and visited Oren where he was working before going for a relaxing drink at the Violet Hour, the one bar that I wouldn't miss if given the chance.

We had a lot of fun and I just packed it all into a paragraph, but there really was a lot going on.  Way too much to write, so I'll let the links and the pictures do the work.  There is more description on the photo album than I put here.

Thank you Majel and Oren for having me!  I really did have a good time!


Peter got laid off today...  He seems to be handling it fairly well.  Hopefully things will look up from here... 


Biggest snow angel ever!

I know it's hard to tell, but that snow is a snow angel, so big that I needed help getting up out of it!
  <----- click it for more!  - The good ones are courtesy of Peter.

I know I still haven't really mentioned much about Christmas itself, except that it really was white!  Now we are just waiting to see if there is any of this snow left in another six days - if so, it will have been a month since it started!

Snowed in Christmas gift

I was snowed in for at least a week before Christmas, so I ended up making what I couldn't get out to buy!
Garmin case...Collapse )

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!