Travis and I returned a day early. In Devils Lake it started snowing this morning at about 9:00. By 10:30 the streets were slippery and the forecast was for 2-4 inches with winds up to 40 MPH. We knew that if we stayed we would probably hit the hotel mid afternoon and stay there until we dared venture out on the roads tomorrow morning so we hit the road. Actually we had seen all of what we wanted. On Monday afternoon we toured the school and talked with Connie, Carol and Lilia. They are the educators that are still there from when I worked there. They were so nice to greet me and talk of old times. Gail and I were terrible at keeping up to date with old friends but yesterday that did not seem to matter. The school does not in any way resemble what it was 32 years ago. When I left in 1977 we had 130 students, now they have 23. The girls dorm is now used for classrooms and the school building is used by Head Start. Some buildings are empty etc. Time certainly changes much. We also stopped and talked to Rev Roger and his wife Sonja, that was fun.
The lake now covers 1000's of acres that it did not way back. The country side is so changed that it looks like a different place. We also stopped at Lake Ready Mix where I drove cement truck during the summer. Joe, the owner, is still there but there is no cement but instead they sell 4X4's.
The time was good. It was fun being with Travis and it was nice to see old friends but my or my the memories were so THERE. Some of the points:
*Those 8 years at the school for the deaf were the most fun, challenging and the adm job I had was for me a dream job---so many things there. I was never able to put the same stamp of excitement on my work in St. Paul as I did in Devils Lake.
*While we were in Devils Lake John, Travis and Aaron were born
*It was in Devils Lake that we had our most difficult marriage times. Gail was very seriously ill and for a long period of time life was difficult. Yes, our marriage was like perhaps all others there were rocky times but in the end love won out. I wonder if that is true for Tiger Woods! During that time I actually thought about making a pass at a single gal at school. I never did but even to have the thought--not good. Of course those difficult times make a marriage better but when one goes through them it is not fun. I remember one time Gail said she did not love me any more. Wow, that will get a man's attention.
*I did my first home plumbing job. When Gail turned the water on in the basement we thought we were watching old Faithful!!!!
*It was in Devils Lake that we came to know the Lord in a personal way. We asked God if we should get up really early in the morning to pray and the next morning at 4:30 AM our bed broke as we were sleeping!!!!
*It was also there that we had the most free time. I am guessing that we went to Sully's Hill or the city park 100's of times on picnics, mostly when I would call from school and ask Gail if it was OK to buy some hot dogs on the way home so we could go to Sully's Hill. (Travis and I drove to Sully's Hill. It it changed a bit but still there. The swings are gone.)
*Of course I think that those early years of marriage are so filled with memories no matter where you live and now seems a time for me to look back. I certainly don't live for the past nor do I wish I could go back there but as I process in my mind the fact that Gail is gone forever memories play an important role.
*We bought our first house there, our first dog and the number of firsts probably could not be counted.
What did I bring back. I came back knowing that for us the move to St. Paul was so important and so good. I am so thankful for our life here. I also came back having answered my own question. I asked Travis if mother's death was any easier now than 11 weeks ago. He answered that he did not know. I then went on to answer it for me. It is hardier now than in the past. I do have a few less tears but as the weeks go by the reality that Gail is gone becomes more and more and more real and more and more difficult. I know it will turn around and get somewhat easier but for now it is getting harder. How in the world can I live and be happy without my Gail?? At this time I do not know. I am sure time will let me know.
I am going to walk around Niles Ave tonight and put flyers for my open house in mailboxes. Keeping busy is good for me.