Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Full Day Celebrating Dad, Pool Time, Fields Get Stirred Up

           (My pictures today are mostly of the family fun after the sad part)
On Monday, May 29th, we woke up at 6 and Bill hopped in the shower. I think he slept surprisingly well and I know I certainly did. Bill has had a few restless nights, understandably so. Today, we want to be in top form so neither of us took a Benadryl for the itches, just added some cream to our few persistent bites.

A Mennonite farmer works the field
No a/c in this setup
We each had our morning brew and a bowl of cereal.  Bill took Clemson out for a little jaunt around the Suite to empty his bladder and other things. He packed our little cooler with drinks and I packed a bag with a change of clothes and swimsuits. I’d had my shower last night so only needed a quick wash and fussed with my hair and makeup. Things that men don’t need to worry about.

Gathering at Carol and Brians' for some pool fun
We were dressed, had the living room a/c turned on to 75C/24C for Clemson, and on the road by 10 to 8. It was a pleasant drive and I managed to snap only one picture of an early morning farmer working his fields the pioneer way. It still awes me that the Amish and Mennonite families can stick to their family traditions/cultures with so much modern techniques going on around them.

It didn't take long at all for the great grandchildren to get in the pool
Arriving at the W.G. Young's Funeral Home in Stratford in record time, we met with Bill’s immediate family and discussed seating, speech order and the follow up procedure. Everyone looked refreshed and ready for this difficult day. In the reception line, we greeted many that I didn’t know but surprisingly, many more that I did. Bill, his 2 sisters and step-sister all recited beautiful words at the service. They did very well, better than they probably expected to.

An extra canopy tent went up for shade
Granddaughters Shelley and Yvonne relax together
Words can’t express how wonderful it was to see 5 of my immediate family and 7 of Bill and my close friends travel from a distance to support us in our loss. Thank you! You know who you are! A beautiful reception followed our trip to the cemetery with lots of food and relaxing with friends and family. Dad was well loved by all who knew him and that was obvious by the 120+ in attendance today.

A nice 'paparazzi' picture of Bill and his girls
And then one without the sunglasses
From left: Krystal, Jess, Bill, Charlotte, Yvonne
Bill’s sister, Carol and her husband, Brian, has opened up her house to Marilynne, children, grand and great grandchildren after departing from the Funeral home. It was a perfect way and time to shed the dress attire and relax for an afternoon of swimming, toasting and barbecuing. Thankfully, Pat and Rob had offered to take Clemson under their wing on their way home from Stratford allowing Bill and I the relaxing time we needed too. We are so grateful to their friendship.

Matt and Jess
The engaged couple
I got in the pool a couple of times, the day was hot and humid and the water was deliciously refreshing! With my floppy hat and pool noodle, I reminisced of Arizona and tried to block out the excited banter of the great-grandchildren around me. 😊 We had burgers, dogs and bbq’d chicken legs for supper with salad and veggies and Bill and I said our goodbyes around 6:30.

Brother-in-law, Bruce, with his grandson, Johnny

Bill's 2 granddaughters and 2 grandson in this picture, on deck

Brother-in-law, Brian and his daughter, Danielle, pass out a rum
but I didn't get the picture for that group toast to Dad

5 of our grandchildren here playing ball in the pool
So many rules!

Johnny got passed around in the pool, he loved the water
Here with Bill's nephew, Cory
Johnny stole my camera, here with his Mom, Victoria

Another grouping over here
Marilynne, Caroline, Bill, Matt and Jess

Beautiful sky tonight

And the full moon in the eastern sky
When we reached Durham, Rob and Pat, Clemson’s second family, were outside on the deck with the little bum. We sat with them for a while and chatted about the day and upcoming days before heading off home. The smell of fresh turned earth reached me as we pulled into the Ridge area. Yes, the farmer was disking/cultivating the fields behind us. I tried to capture the machinery on the move but the pictures are not very clear.

Working at night when it is cooler

I hope you have had a good day. As Bill has said, after 4 days of mourning an awesome man, today was a wonderful day for Celebrating him. Rest in Peace, Dad, we love you.
Modern techniques here, more than just a reflective sign
lights are helpful for night time work
Goodnight from the Ridge
Thank you for reading today. Your comments are always welcome.


  1. It's always so hard to lose loved ones even if it's expected. He sounds like a wonderful man, loved by many. Hugs Bill..Nice that you spent your afternoon with loved ones enjoying the pool and warm temps. Looked like a nice day. Hopefully Marilynne will do ok, I'm sure this is a tough one for her. Nice that Rob and Pat picked up Clemson for a little spoiling :) Very nice that you have friends like those and many others. You both take care!!

    1. It is hard, we've all experienced it and age has no bearing on how we feel about it. Bill thanks you for the hugs. :)
      Marilynne is doing fine and we believe will continue to do so. The relief from knowing her husband is no longer in pain, is one that gives her peace.
      Rob and Pat are a blessing and the fact that they are so close is a gift for sure. Thank you Shirley and Ken.

  2. It's so hard to let go, but it looks like you had a great family celebration, which is what Dad probably would have wanted. I bet he's up there smiling down on you all.
    Your last image is a GREAT one!!

    1. It is hard but it was the exact way he would want us all to celebrate. He is most definitely up there watching. :)
      Thank you Nancy, coming from you means a lot. For some reason, i thought you would appreciate that picture. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures. The occasion was sad but a nice family reunion nether the less. Time will ease the pain.

    1. Thank you for your words Marlene. Turning a sad day into a fun celebration made it easier for everyone to deal with. :)

  4. This sounds like a beautiful service....reminds me of my dad's....The love was so thick you could taste it. A sign of a wonderful person. It is true that we reap what we sow....

    1. Thank you it was very very thick, the love. :)
      Dad was a wonderful person and even though the children didn't cry while speaking, some of us listening did.

  5. It was a great day and a great service and weather couldn’t be any better . So happy you guys had family time after . It was beautiful to hear all the kind words and special memories each and everyone of his sisters and Bill had
    And it is a pleasure as always to look after Clemson . Such a precious little dog .

    1. thank you Pat. We were so grateful that you and Rob were able to attend the funeral and then retrieve our prized possession for us. Clemson loves his 2nd home! :)

  6. It was was great to see you guys for this sad occasion. But looks like you celebrated his life very well with a wonderful family gathering afterwards .

    1. Thank you George, it was wonderful to see you and Suzie as well. Thank you so much for attending the visitation, it means a lot.
      We had a great afternoon with fun times and reminiscences.