Tuesday, August 23, 2011

lake trillium

Early Sunday morning, the day after Kevin's memorial service, we drove about an hour out of the Portland area to a favorite spot of Kevin's - Lake Trillium. I was walking and talking with my niece as we were walking the short distance from the parking lot down to the lake. It was a narrow pathway thick with trees, then all of a sudden it opened up to this breathtaking view. And I seriously mean "breathtaking". Allison and I both stopped in mid-sentence as we saw this beautiful scene - gorgeous green hills, Mount Hood in the background (still snow covered in August) and a lake that was so still it was a mirror. This was a favorite place that Kevin liked to come and sit and enjoy the scenery. I think we'd all like to come and sit here regularly.

We spent some time here remembering Kevin. We sent some flowers out in the water and took some time just enjoying the cool air and the beautiful scene. We were there fairly early in the morning. There were a couple fishermen far off, and we saw a lone jogger, but basically had the place to ourselves. Lovely!A little later, we found a picnic table and built a fire (yes, it was cool enough for a fire . . . a foreign concept for us in AZ in the summer) and sat to visit and enjoy each other's company for an hour or two. It was fun to swap stories and memories about Kevin and his many adventures. Some I had heard before, some were new stories, all were hilarious. Dave's cousin, Karen, lives up in that area. We have enjoyed her over the years. She attended college in Phoenix years ago and has always been a favorite cousin. And of course, it's nice to spend time with Grandpa.

Kevin, you will be missed.


Dave's older brother passed away a week ago. We spent a couple of days up in Oregon with our sister in law, nephew and nieces. Dave's family is spread out all over the country - this little group is from Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Illinois, Washington DC,. It was nice to have all the immediate family together. Dave's brother, Kevin, was only 56 years old. Much too young. Here is his beautiful family. They have a wonderful, loving, beautiful and smart family. I have always liked them and I wish we lived closer. I wish our kids knew their cousins better growing up, but in recent years they have all connected on Facebook and keep up on each others lives a little more now. Rachel traveled with us. She and Stephanie are the same age so it was especially nice for them to reconnect.
It's always nice for Dave and his brothers to be together. Our girls were commenting recently that Dave and his brothers don't look anything alike. The same is true for me and my siblings. Go figure. The family had a very nice, quiet, private service for Kevin at the local church. We shared stories, shared photos, sang together, prayed together and cried together.

Kevin is the first of our siblings to pass away. We never thought it would be this soon. We will miss him. Kevin was an adventurer - always moving to new locations (including back and forth to Korea on several occassions), always trying something new in his career, always traveling, and always had a great story to tell. There is something about being together with family to bring a warm and healing spirit. I was so glad we were able to be there. I love this family.

Before we left town, we drove by the new ice cream shop that this family is just getting ready to open. If you are in the Portland area, go enjoy some cool refreshment at Chill Ice Cream!

Friday, August 19, 2011

happy birthday

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. It's odd to think that he would have been 83 this year. I can't imagine that. It's too bad our younger kids don't remember him well. I think they would have been good friends.

Grandpa and Melanie

Grandpa and Roxanne
Happy Birthday Dad. I miss you!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

the last "first"

There are a lot of 'firsts' in life - first steps, first day of school, first date. But we don't always know or recognize when the 'lasts' are - when was the last time your son held your hand when you walked? When was the last time your daughter sat on your lap?
This week I definitely recognized one of the "lasts". Melanie's "last" first day of school. (I do recognize the kids continue on with college, but the first day of school pictures going off to college is kind of silly, although sometimes I still try).
Our orange tree is the required backdrop of most milestone pictures . . . first day of school, prom dates, graduation pictures. We used to be able to gather all 4 kids before school and generally they all started on the same day. Later on, they attended different schools, and for a while different school districts with different start times, different vacation schedules etc. Crazy.

(I loved Melanie's cowlick that she's hidden from the world now for years)

We're down to one child starting school this week.

I think she's excited!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

i can't believe this is arizona

I'm glad I have an adventurous nephew. Ben talked me into going to Fossil Springs this summer when he found out I'd never been. I am always surprised to find such luschious and beautiful spots in the middle of Arizona.

"Hey stop right there, let me take a picture of you before we get all wet and sweaty . . . wait, that picture was blurry. One more time, . . . wait , blurry again (this goes on for several pictures and cameral adjustments). Oh, never mind, it's my glasses that are blurry. I've got 5 great pictures of you now - carry on!"We got to Fossil Springs about 9 am on Friday. We had the place to ourselves - a beautiful clear lagoon, a waterfall, cool green surroundings. We swam, we explored, we went behind the waterfall, then Ben began coaxing us all up on top of the waterfall. I'm sorry, Debbie, if you're reading this. I should have been a better supervising adult. Yeah, that was scary to watch.Then he coaxed me and the girls off the waterfall, too.
The temperatures were perfect and the water was crystal clear.There were several swimming holes up and down the creek. As the day progressed, it began to be crowded at the waterfall, so we went back downstream a ways and swam in another spot.

"Rachel, let me take a picture of just you with the water behind you" (This went on for about 5 shots trying to get one without Melanie somehow in the background, subtly poking her foot into the picture then full out intruding!)

The girls had a fun day with their cousin. How can you not have fun when Ben's around?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I thought missionaries had bed-times

"As you know we have been working at the Nauvoo Pageant. Saturday was the last day that it was showing, so we were asked to help take everything down. 2 zones were asked to help, the Quincy zone and the Nauvoo zone. We all arrived around 8 Saturday night and started to take everything down while the pageant was going. We were stuffing semi trailers with picnic tables and benches while everything was going on. After the pageant we helped take down the chairs and load all of them into the trailers. We had to take some of them to the quarry and put into sheds and a barn. After the chairs we started to load parts of the stage into another trailer. We were in Nauvoo until 2 a.m. then a good hour drive home to Quincy. The whole zone stayed over at our apartment that night and slept for a couple of hours until they need to get up to drive back to their areas for church. I was poppin' mints all of church to stay awake. It was a crazy night. "