Writing My Life

Now and Then


Memorial Day – aka “Decoration Day” – 2012

This is actually one of my favorite holidays, and I am touched when we make the cemetery rounds and find hundreds of families and folks still paying homage to their loved ones.

Today, we left mums, small versions of Old Glory, and lots of love at the grave sites of our fathers and mother. We have not forgotten you, Daddy, Chuck, and Pat. AND we miss you oh so very much.

Love Renae and Gary

Our traditional, yearly photo op: Connie B, Cute Mama, and me.

The “past-its-prime” flower and note are from a Cub Scout den, and they are saying thanks for Dad’s service to his country. Sweet, huh?

This man was a great son to his parents, and he’s a wonderful husband to me!

It’s wonderful to see that their 5 children honor Charles Harold and Jenny (Pat) with flowers and loves!

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… a day to honor Dad and the Grad …

On the 28th day of May and of posting, G.E. and I enjoyed memories PAST and PRESENT. We visited the cemetery this morning to decorate the grave and honor my sweet father who has been gone from us for nearly 4 years. Seems impossible.

Mom, Sis, and 2 helpful husbands reminisced for a few moments as we set 3 pots of colorful mums around the site. We admired the headstone with its etched flag on Daddy’s side and carved flowers on Mom’s. Then we recalled once more how much my father loved Old Glory. Mom reminded us how he had to hang a flag at every house they ever owned – and there were several over the years. Connie talked about the time they first moved to Oregon, and she and Daddy drove all over Gresham to find a store that sold flags.

“That’s when we discovered Fred Meyers,” she said. “And it soon became Dad’s favorite shopping place.”

Mom had been tearful when we first arrived, but remembering and chatting and laughing soon brightened us all up.

A short time later, G.E. and I watched our Joe cross the stage at the Maverick Center to OFFICIALLY receive his MBA diploma from Westminster College. Yup, he was CAPPED, GOWNED, and HOODED, and I didn’t snap his picture fast enough before he shed the heavy and HOT regalia!!!

It was a joyous and lengthy occasion highlighted by that 15 seconds when the announcer called out our son’s name, and our small contingency of his supporters – Kara and the two little girls, Cindy – Mom-in-law, Dad and Mom, and Uncle Carl – shouted HURRAHS and clapped, Clapped, CLAPPED!

The college was organized in 1875 by members of the Presbyterian Church, and one of the great delights is Westminster’s tradition of employing bagpipes and drums to introduce and dismiss the graduates.   The group was amazing, and the music brought chills and tears. What a great day. I LOVED it!


… Memorial Day ~ may be one of my favorite holidays …

Those who know me will say, “Of course, Memorial Day is your favorite! It’s your birthday!”

This year that is true, but since President Nixon relegated the day of memories to the last Monday of May, sometimes the holiday is and sometimes it isn’t on May 30th – the ORIGINAL Memorial Day AND my birthday. While I am THRILLED to celebrate another year here on earth, birthdays don’t quite offer the same delight they did when I was 6 or 10 or 16.

Memorial Day does bring me a HUGE dose of nostalgia, and for a person who is ALWAYS nostalgic, that is saying something. Tonight is a case in point. I decided to rummage through some boxes of old photos looking for who-knows-what, and I found all but 2 of our sort of “official” family pictures. For a long time I have wanted to post them, and decided that I’ll start off the Memorial weekend with these “happy family” photos. (Of course, we all know what goes into organizing a trip to the photographers – hence the sarcasm.)  So here we go down Memorial Day Lane.

We looked SO happy because we were!

I look at this picture and fall in love all over again.

The Bouffant and the Soldier Boy!

The beginning of the BOYS!

The boys have ALL ARRIVED including Teddy, the Cocker Spaniel.

TOTAL 80s look going on here!

We were all together for the first time in 2 years because Andy had just returned from his LDS mission.

We had gained AND lost some daughters-in-law about this time, so I'm just posting the ROOT of our family.

My niece took MANY photos of the fam, but I LOVE this CRAZY-FACES pose! AND we were happy to welcome the NEW daughter-in-law who married into the family that year!

This is a terrible PICTURE of the PICTURE 'cause I don't have one that does NOT hang on a wall. It's WAY out of date because 3 more little peeps have joined the family. Maybe we can just "photo-shop" the new additions!!!