Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Am I ready?

I have spent most of the day preparing for our family camp out.  I did enjoy lunch with Ernie R which was a welcome break from work.  I think I am getting things in order!!!!  I am browning the sausage and the pork chops so I do not have to do that this weekend.  Cynthia said that was a good idea so I believe.
Another perfect day weather.  I could have these 80 degree days without wind every day of the summer.
I did get an 11 mile ride in this morning and am hoping to get in a long ride tomorrow late morning and most of the afternoon.  That is if I get ready!
No mens group is coming in 45 min so better do some pick up and clean up!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Dave

Today is brother Dave's birthday.  He sure has proven that he is one of the shining stars of the class of 1962.  Have a great day Dave.
I continue to get my daily bike rides in.  I am finally learning how to ride a bike I think in the correct way.  Today I rode up to Summit, headed east and rode to the golden horses on the capital.  When I got home it showed I had ridden almost 13 miles but my legs felt like it had been 50 miles.  Oh my so far to go before I am in a little bit of biking shape.
I need to sit down this morning and start a list of things to do before we leave Friday.  It seems like it should be an easy task but it kind of scares me.
I would like to get things done so that I could take half a day or so and go on a longer bike ride before the camping trip but do not know if that will happen.
I think my vacuum died yesterday.  I thought I knew what was wrong but I played the vacuum doctor for about an hour and no luck.  I tried mouth to brush resuscitation but even that did not help.  I know for some who read this blog you just wiped your mouth as if it was full of dust!!
I am thinking I may get a lighter one for less money than my old one as I don't really have that much to vacuum.
Last night was great.  I left all the 6 windows open in the sun room and this morning the outside temp was 56 so the upstairs was so cool and comfortable.  In the past I could not have gotten to the windows as there was stuff all over the floor but now no problem and that is nice.
I can not find my book for my dutch oven so am not sure what I am going to do.  I did go on line to look for some recipes but not too much there unless I want to buy a book which I do not.
I think my french press coffee is almost gone so will close, get downstairs and see if I can genrat

Monday, June 28, 2010

Closer to the 4th

One day gone in the week and a day closer to our family camp out and the 4th weekend.  I am excited about the camp out and also a bit apprehensive.  Gail always did ll the packing of camping things so the question is how much will I forget??  It should be a grand time yet I know it will challenge my emotions in many ways.  I remember when we decided to go on our 7 week camping trip in 07 Gail was planning and packing forever!!  Then when it happened she just loved every minute of it. 
I finished the sun room today and even took out the rubber back carpet.  Most of the rubber on the back had become dust.  What a mess but now it is cleaner and even if the red tile floor leaves much to be desired it is BETTER than the yellow carpet.I even did some work in the north bedroom so that is fairly clean.  It sure felt good to get those things somewhat done. 
Not a lot more to say today.  There is much to do this week and I still want to get my daily bike rides in.  For the first time today I rode across the Mendota Bridge and went to the cemetery for a bit.  On the bike it is only about 5 miles so not too bad. 
I am tired tonight.  I think I will rel

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A new day brings new things

After many down down days I had an up day and it was so good for a change.  Actually the day started yesterday as I was out looking at bike carriers the local grocery store called to say that my calendar which was lost for 2 weeks was in their lost and found.  It was great to get it back.  I actually do not use it all the time but of course if you don't have it you miss it.  Also it had a credit card in it and and large donation check which was nice to get back. 
Today was a good day.  I did an 18 mile bike ride which was hot but nice but the really big thing was only by the grace of God was I able to work in the sun room all afternoon and now it is clear!!  It almost seems like a heavenly place.  It is so nice to have it clear.  The difficult part was much was in the room and many many many memories were in boxes, bags etc.  I lost it when a picture of Gail and I showed up with our grand children in June of 08.  At that time it was grandma, grandpa, Henry, Liam, Leo and Faustina was just a month old.  I compared that with last Sunday it was only grandpa with Henry, Liam, Leo, Faustina, Audrey, Jude and Ruby Gail.  Time certainly has a way of changing family.  I am thankful for what God has given me in those wonderful grand children but I do so so miss Gail in that.  She loved each one of them more than anything and they in turn loved grandma.
I am hopeful of getting a ride in tomorrow, getting many bags out for the recycle and getting some work done at John/Mary's.  I hope and pray that the upper of today will carry over into tomorrow, the week and for a long time. 
I do have to prepare for our family camping trip which will be Friday-

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Just a quick note.  The day has been so muggy a person sweats just going outside.  It was a slow day for me.  I went and looked different bike carriers, I saw John/Jeanette Krause, Cynthia/Mike were here to see the USA go down to a 2-1 defeat in soccer, I went to Menards to look at some lumber for a project and I got the lawn mowed.  With all the rain we have been getting I have mowed the lawn at least twice a week and it does look pretty nice.  I need to get cages around the tomatoes soon as they are starting to grow.
I need class 101 in bed making.  I washed the bedding on the 2 beds, hung things out on the line and then took it in so that I could make the beds.  I finished and they look OK but my I do not think I know how to do it correctly.  Another example of a guy not really knowing how wonderful, skilled and hard working his spouse is until he is forced to do many of the things he never did, never wanted to do and now of course he is pretty bad at doing some of those things!!
I said a quick note and true to my word that is it.

A slow day so far

Here are pictures of the kids on father's day.  Sorry about John's eyes being closed but I didn't notice that and I only took 1 picture.  I would say they are 4 good looking adults!!!!
I continue to really struggle with the "one" concept!!  I miss Gail so much but now as we are getting close to 10 months I am really big time struggling with being alone and dealing with all that life has.  I feel like life has swallowed me up into a big big whirlwind and I am in the air looking down at so so so much to do, so much I want to do and really just thinking that there is no end in sight.  I am guessing this is part of losing a spouse and learning to live life in a different mode but for now it is really difficult.  My energy seems to have left, my desire seems to have taken a nap and my dreams seems to be so far away.  I would like this to pass quickly but don't really know how or when that might happen.  I need to not focus so much into the future I think.  In times like these I tend to look a year or two or more down the road and then I see myself standing in my yard and still seeing all that I have done or need to do and it has been me, myself and I.  I tell myself I need to look at my situation and enjoy things and seek out the good in where I am and some of the time I can do that but the last few days it has been so hard to not focus on long term whatever.  I have been pretty good about seeing a couple my age and saying I am so happy for them but lately I find myself in that same situation and saying why could that not be Gail and I. 
I just put a load of bedding in the washer and intend to hang them out to dry.  I don't even know if they will dry as it is so humid today.  We received 3" of rain last night so things are very very wet and damp.  Will see what happens to the bedding when I can get it on the line. 
No I usually have not blogged in the middle of the day and I really should get some work done if I can get this body of mine to move.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big Dog Little Dog

Allen, Gail brother, stopped over a few days ago and brought his new dog Milo.  A bit smaller than Wallace I would say!!!!
I have not much at all to say today.  I have been in a funk for a few days.  When this happens my energy is low, my appetite is big, my dreams are nightmares, my motivation is awol and life seems so difficult.  I would imagine that many things contribute to these funky times but it sure is no fun and this one seems kind of more difficult than some in the past. 
So there is my life right now, kind of on hold in many respects and not much joy.  This too shall pass.
Today would have been my parents 76th wedding anniversary.


Here is a flower from the clematis flower that came up this spring.  Gail loved these.  They are beautiful. 
A bit more rain today and that is always welcome. 
Watched the US in the World Cup this morning and it was a great game with the US winning 1-0 on a goal in overtime minutes. 
I got my ride in this afternoon after things dried a bit.  I have been able to ride everyday for several days.  I have enjoyed it so much I am thinking that maybe I will take some mini car trips with my bike and not go on a road trip.  I would really like to take in some of the bike trails in MN as we have so many.  I will see.  I may look into a hitch for the car this week or next week.
I had a bit of a melt down today.  I had to find something for my car and it took me a while.  I just became so tired and frustrated and the many many things that stare me in the face each day just seemed like mountains today.  I just thought I don't really know if I can do this "single" thing and then after things settled down of course I know God is with me and things will be fine.  The ups and downs of life are difficult sometimes. It is perhaps some after effects of Father's Day.
These little rains we have been getting are so good for the flowers and grass it is wonderful.
Bed time is now here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Big Difference

You certainly can tell the difference in six months.  Snow/green grass and a new Ruby Gail.  The current picture was taken Father's Day with everyone there.
Wow today is hot.  I wanted to get some things done so worked outside some of the time. I mowed the lawn, watered flowers, dug up some weeds, fixed a hose and then started to move some dirt that must be moved.  I got so hot sweaty and tired I decided to take a break and then found out that it was 94!!  I decided it was time for a lone break
I looked back at my blog 1 year ago today and I said, "Our Gail almost looks like our Gail of old minus 35 pounds". 
I recieved a call for the monument company and they said one piece of granite was not what they liked so they sent it back.  They were promiesed the new piece would come in about 2 weeks.  So a bit longer we must wait.
Camp is creeping up quite fast so got to get some work done on a daily bases. 
I got my bike ride in early this morning when it was cool. I did not drive but rather today just biked from home. 
I think I am thinking a lot of John/Mary moving and the fact that they will be 500 miles away is slowly becoming more and more real.  Don't like to think of that but I guess life does go on no matter what happens.
There is a People of Praise meeting tonight so best close things up outside in the hot sun, relax a bit and wash some or rather all of the sweat off before I leave.

The days fly by

Here it is already late June.  It seems one blinks their eyes and another week or month is gone. 
Monday was a day of little work and much rest.  I could not believe it but early afternoon I thought I would close my eyes and 4 hours later I got up.  I have been biking every day but not that much. 
Actually the biking has been great.  Monday I was able to get on the bike path by 6:15 AM and in those hours it is cool, quiet and so peaceful.  For sure that is a great time to ride.

I am thinking the monument will be up this week.  Of course there are no promises but it should happen.
I realized yesterday that I have not faced up to John/Mary leaving.  I drove past their house and their big van was in front.  I think they are getting ready to go to SB for meetings etc.  BIG time downer!!!  It was then that it came to me they are really going, when I pass the house in 6 weeks no Henry, no Liam and no Audrey.  Of course I knew that a couple of weeks ago but for some reason yesterday it stared me in the face.  I suppose I needed to have that happen sometime so better now than later.  I have to remind myself, God is good.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Caught by surprise

As we celebrated Father's Day today I was caught by surprise.  I just could not get myself to be happy.  I tried, I worked so hard at it but the entire day, from 7:00 AM church to bedtime has been just a hard day.  We had a great picnic at Wabun Park with EVERYONE and it was fun but I could not engage in a good way.  My afternoon bike ride was hard, my dinner went down hard and this evening has been empty.  I did not see this coming nor have I seen it leave yet so will have to work at it tomorrow. 
Not any big plans for this week.  The normal stuff and camp things need to be done but nothing else.  I need to get an e-mail out to the kids about our camp out and will do that tomorrow.  July 4th is coming up very fast.
I thought a long time about the picture I put up tonight.  I did not want to take the picture down of Gail and I but I just knew I needed to and now was the time.  To put up a picture of the grand kids and me almost seemed to be not fair, not good, not right but yet I knew it was OK.  I knew that Gail would have been in her glory today as we made tonka toasts until they almost came out of our ears.  She loved them, she was perhaps smiling at all of us and saying have a wonderful time and eat up. 
I intend to be on the bike path by 7:00 tomorrow, I need to see if I can make it by that time.

How about a nose kiss??

Here is Jude who is about the happiest guy in town.  It looks like he and Wallace have a special affection for each other.
Here is another special day and it seems it may be the same as so many in this first year without Gail.  Some fun with family, some tears of loneliness and some alone time to reflect, cry and gather myself for the coming days, weeks and months ahead.
Gail and I really did not make Father's day a big big deal but there was usually a picnic, potato salad and burgers.  I think 2 years ago it was a Wabaun Park picnic with tonka toasts and homemade ice cream. 
Well it will be Wabaun again today with the tonka toast but not the homemade ice cream.  All of the kids and grand kids will be there except Mike who is flying in tonight from a conference.  Lizzia and Betina will also be there.  It should be a fun time with good food, lotz of kids, lotz of energy and some sadness and emptiness without our beloved Gail. 
My day is all planned which is unusual.  I will go to 7:00 AM church and for today I better bring tissue, then it will be home to make sure everything is ready for the picnic, all of us (Aaron/Amy/L/RG are in town) will be at Wabaun from 10-12 to enjoy, eat, laugh, talk about J/M move and I know some tears will be shed as well, then for me there will be a long bike ride to enjoy God's beauty and to exercise.  I have been biking everyday for a little while and it has been fun.  Alone---well there is no choice but it is OK and as time goes on maybe it will even be very good.  I may have to break down this evening and have some potato salad (I will doctor it up and pretend Gail made it) and a burger.  At my age it has to be early enough so I can sleep!!!!
What may I think about as I ride along the Mississippi River this afternoon?
  • Gail and I always wanted to ride bike a lot and really never did ride that much
  • Life without Gail is like riding bike with only one leg, difficult but it can be done
  • I love my kids and I love my grand kids
  • I don't want J/M to move away but when you commit yourself to follow God all is good in the end
  • I am thankful for good health
  • I cherish so many wonderful memories of Gail
  • I wish Gail were here today
  • The bike I am riding was purchased with a gift from Grandma Saunders and Gail had a matching one
  • Life is so fleeting and so short and so precious that it is difficult to comprehend all
  • The story will end with all together once again and God is good
It has been some time since I last sat here and wiped away tears from the keyboard.  I am so sad today, I am so happy today and I am thankful today.  Gail will never grace this earth again so my life must go forward with dreams, with memories and with thankfulness towards family and friends.
It seems a short time ago that I was grinding wheat grass and then holding my nose as I drank it and chased it down with tomato juice.  Gail would drink her juice down and not chase it because she wanted to get every last drop of healing power out of it.  Today she is completely healed in heaven and she is so glad, so happy and so far removed from those days of earthly struggles.  For that, for her, I am happy but on days like today I have to admit I feel lonely and to be honest I feel sorry for myself!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

God, Your will not mine

The news in family is not colorful but rather black and white for me.  John has worked at Trinity School in the Twin Cities for maybe 15 years or so.  During that time he has made the school much better by his service and by using his many talents and gifts to teach, coach and mentor many young people.  In fact he has done such a wonderful job that other places want and need him.  Trinity has 3 campuses: Twin Cities, Washington DC and South Bend IN.  Last week he was offered the position of "head of school" in South Bend.  He and Mary did such a wonderful job of praying, seeking advice, talking to many people but really mostly asking our Lord if he needed them to serve him in South Bend and the answer was YES.  In the next six weeks or so they will plan, pack, and then travel to South Bend where they will be members of People of Praise there and John will serve at Trinity there. 
Thirty three years ago Gail and I went through the same kind of process and that led us to St. Paul.  We did not move for job but rather for Christian Community but the process was the same.  With that in mind I could only say to them well done and good work but my heart is so heavy as John, Mary, Henry, Liam and Audrey are so a part of my everyday life that I can not really imagine life without them near BUT God will lead, he will make all things for the good and some how, some way I will be OK. 
Perhaps enough said for one day. 

June 6

Here is a picture of Aaron/Amy and family as they had  Ruby Gail baptismed June 6th.
We had a picture perfect weather day today.  The grass, trees and everything are so green, so lush for this time of year.  It as been so nice yesterday afternoon and today to have sunshine.
Not much today.  Some camp work done, men's group here and a short phone call to Aaron. 
I am not sure what is happening this weekend.  I think I am scheduled to work at the fair grounds but have not heard so must call tomorrow. 
I am kind of out of words tonight.  I did drive out to Resurrection today for a short time.  I think I will call tomorrow to see if they are working on the monument.  I felt it may be in by this time so I am hoping any day.  I am thinking I should bring out some weed killer etc to the grave site to make it look nicer.  I am finding more all the time that Resurrection is a peaceful place to sit, think and pray. 
I can not believe it is so late. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This will be short. 
I did some camp work today and will work on it tomorrow again.  Also stopped at Larry/Jeri B as they treated me to lunch and then Larry and I talked for some time. 
The Winds came over for dinner and grilled kabobs (sp).  Cynthia did a great job in getting them ready and I thought they were very good. 
As I came home this afternoon Faustina had been here and when I walked upstairs there was a car on each step all the way to the top, how funny is that,
It is so late as I took Cynthia's turn at prayer in the church from midnight to 1:00 AM.  I did get tired at the end and thought what happens if the 1-2 AM person doesn't come.  I then read if someone doesn't show you should call the next person after that but stay until someone comes!!!!  At 1:01 the next person came, whew
I need to get some sleep as I have some routine lab work scheduled at the clinic at 7:30 AM so no go to sleep--no get up so best give sleep a try.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another 14th

No picture and perhaps not much in words either.  Another 14, this means that our Gail has been gone 9 months.  I drove to the cementry for a short time.  I think we should be close to monument time but not sure about that.  Today was another rainy day with clouds all day and a bit dreary.  There has been very very little sun in the last week and with all the rain many lawns are getting a good crop of mushrumes.  It could be tempting to complain but we have been fairly dry for some time so the rain is welcome.
Kind of a quiet day.  Cynthia and kids came for a bit, camp meeting tonight and some work in the garage. 
I have miss placed my calendar and have spent many hours looking in nooks and behind things.  I know if I go out and buy a new one it will show up but don't know how long I can wait.  very frustrating.
I intended to get to bed early but could not stop looking but think I am too tired to write, think or stay awake.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A disconnect

Sorry, not a great picture but wanted to show ONE rose bush and how it is compared to Liam.  I would say that bush has more than it's share of flowers.
The disconnect is the picture and what I will write tonight.  As I looked at the calendar I made for myself today I noticed I had written on it that three years ago today was my last day of teaching.  As I walked out of Highland alone that day little did I know the many many changes I would experience in the next three years.  Here are some and in the order they occurred
  • July 1st, 2007 we deliver our last paper after 18 years of Gail and I doing it and 28 years in the family
  • August/September Gail and I work at the state fair for the first time and have a ball
  • September-October of 2007 we roam all over the Maritime proviences and the New England states cooking over an open fire and sleeping in the back of our Hilton Plugger Pickup and we actually think we have discovered heaven on earth.
  • January of 2008 we spend 3 weeks in Hawaii and have a wonderful time
  • May 20, 2008 we welcome Faustina Adkins into our family as our first grand daughter.
  • August/September of 2008 we work our second year of the fair and do a 6:00 PM-6:00 AM shift and say this is great fun
  • Things are good, Gail feels the best in many years and we look forward to growing old together and doing some of the many projects that have waited for YEARS
  • October 13 2008 Audrey Lee, a second grand daughter and makes the score males 3 , females 2
  • October of 2008 we put the finishing touches of 1100 shakes on the house and we say "well done"
  • November of 2008 we embark on an exercise and eating plan that is meant to make us slim, trim, attractive and able to do more work!!!   Through January of 2009 we are so proud and excited that we are finally doing something for our health and the weight, especially Gail, seems to be coming off so easily.
  • End of January 2009 our world comes tumbling down.  Gail's cancer is back in several places and the outlook is grim at best.  We involve all our energy, all our resolve, all our resources into Gail regaining her health.  
  • February-April of 2009.  Gail feels well, we are doing everything from wheat grass juice to green smoothies and things look good.
  • May 20 of 2009--Gail gets an unexpected cold and her strength and energy slip dramatically.  
  • May  20-August 31 of 2009 Gail's health is down, then almost up to normal, down and not quite up again, down again and up some but you get the picture.  We and 100's storm the heavens for healing but we always say, "Lord your plan not ours"
  • Jude Adkins arrives and ups the score males 4  females 2
  • September 1-September 13 2009 Gail's strength and resolve weaken and God's beckoning seems to be at hand.  At this time Gail continues to look at life through bright, steady eyes that are full of love and life but her actions tell us in quiet ways that the Lord is calling her home soon. 
  • September 8 2009 hurried calls are made to Hospice and their services are so welcome, so needed and Gail feels their nurse is an angel.
  • September 14 2009  The heavenly gates are opened wide, Gail is ushered in to God's great heaven and my life, the children's life and many others are changed forever.  Our Gail is gone to be with her father, never to grace us with her laughter, her smile or her selfless demeanor.
  • February 1  2010 Ruby Gail arrives and now the score females 3 males 4 (that means they are even)
That was 9 months ago.  I could perhaps write a book on these last months.  There have been ups (a few), downs (a lot) and changes that seem to never end in their breathe, their scope and their effect on me.  I know that the children have experienced in their own way much of the same.  We are so happy for the memories, so sad for her physical absence and so uncertain of what lies ahead.  All I know at this time is that God is in charge, he leads the way and I will try to follow where ever that may lead.
The moral of my sharing is what lies ahead is never certain.  The journey of life may take many and sudden turns and we should always be thankful, love others and serve our God with all we have.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Look a busy

Here it is Saturday night and the time has just gone by so so fast.  Here are two roses from my rose bushes.  With the rain drops they are so beautiful.  They will be put on Gail's grave tomorrow.
I stayed over night at John/Mary's with Audrey, Henry and Liam last night.  Mom and Dad are away for the weekend.  I found out that Audrey is the most stubborn, according to the boys, and Liam wanted to know why mice can run so fast and they have such short legs??  Of course this was a question asked about 30 minutes after he was in bed!!
Much happened today with niece Rocky and husband in town, Liam with grandpa, folks over to watch the World Cup and the list goes on and on. 
We continue to get rainy weather.  Not too much today but a drizzle most of the day.  Everything looks like a painting out of a book with the greenery, the flowers and trees.  For sure God has a green thumb. 
I have only taken in 1 HS open house and I don't know about tomorrow.  The weather has not been great, I have been busy and it just seems that time is short.
Liam will be here until about 5 tomorrow and then mom and dad will be home.  Hope they have a great time.
Sleep is beckoning so will sign off.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Three cheers

Liam, Audrey and Faustina seem to be cheering for something.  They sure like the tramp and those little girls like their big cousins
Today was busy.  We had meditations at 6:00, then Jerry W and I went out for breakfast.  As that was happening John called and asked if I wanted to drive with him to Mahnomen for a funeral of a co-worker.  I said I was free so I picked him up at 9:00 from school and we drove the 275 miles and arrived by 1:45.  We got back at about 8:00.
Funerals continue to be not the best event for me to go to.  Today 2 grandsons, about ages 8 and 10 gave a really cute honoring of their grandma.  I could not help but wish Gail could have lived long enough for some of her grand children to say how much they loved her.  It was one of those moments that flood your memory, test your faith and show your emotions. 
It was a good time with John as we drove and visited for about 9 hours.  At one time John asked me if I thought of Gail less now.  As I reflected I had to say I maybe miss her more often but not for the long long periods of time.  The more time passes the more I realize that it is not much fun traveling alone, it is not so great doing yard work alone, eating alone is for the birds, sleeping alone is boring, making decision alone is hard, and I guess to sum it up being alone in a world where one used to be "two" is just a big big adjustment that is not fun to make.  There, I have stated my pity party items and will attempt to move on!
Actually that is perhaps enough for tonight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Another Ruby Gail

Here is Ruby Gail again.  I don't know where these little chairs came from but they sure are cute.  Jude has one too and they just kind of form fit their little body. 
Did not do a lot today.  I have many many thoughts going through my mind right now.  None of which are earth shattering but non the less important.  And for the sake of clarity and understanding they do not involve me but other people I know!!! 
Life just seems to continue, with no regard for any one person's happiness, difficulties, struggles or anything else.  I am seeing a whole side of humanity that I have never thought about or seen when I go out to Gail's grave site.  I go there once or twice a week.  I am amazed at that place, the people who visit often, the spirit of sadness, contentment, commitment, love, joy and peace.  There are old people, young people, rich people, poor people and any other kind of person you could think of.  It makes one think that death strikes families regardless of social status, material possessions or anything else.  When I stop to think of things like that of course you know it is true but yet I have never thought about it and it amazes me.  I have become attached to the place for many many reasons, none of which I ever thought about in the past.  I do think that through this whole experience of losing Gail I have become more compassionate, more understanding, more giving and yet I have so far to go it hurts.  When I see a person drive up, stop, get out and stand by a grave site I silently cry with them and for them.  Their sorrow cuts my being as if a knife had pieced my side and I think of their sorrow, their journey, their grief and I cry with them.  It is not so much a cry of sorrow but of compassion, of sadness and of a togetherness with them even though I do not know them.  If one wanted to analyze it you could say go figure!!!!  So there I sometimes sit, eyes wet with tears, my heart feeling as if it can not absorb anything else and my mind numb with the feeling that God is good yet life is difficult and oh how much we need our heavenly Father to love us, console us and protect us.
Here it is almost 10:30 and I have meditations at 6 AM so best get some sleep.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A success

I spent about 8 hours at River Ridge today preparing for and doing our annual fund raiser taco dinner for camp.  It was a rousing success.  We served 24 pounds of tomatoes, 20 pounds of cheese, 15 pounds of lettuce, about 70 pounds of taco meat on 650 taco shells. We ran out of shells and there was enough meat but not 1 spoonful was left over.   In all we took in over $4000 for the night which included 2 checks that came in the mail.  Our kids at camp will benefit so much and it will be great.  A huge huge thank you to all the friends of camp who are so generous with their money.  To top it off it seemed that everyone just had a wonderful time while they donated their money and ate food.  Of course there were our faithful servants who help each year and make me believe that they have a great time cooking, preparing, dicing, and putting items in 1500 2 oz cups so that people can go through the line very fast.  I was too emotionally exhausted and too physically tired to take in the praise, worship and program at 7:15 but it looked like everyone was enjoying that too.
So that is finished and now I need to look at the number of campers and hope that they are not down too much.  That will happen shortly.  Also much work to be done with camp but when one is doing God's work and building his kingdom and serving our younger brothers and sisters how much more could one ask.  Bring it on Lord and use me and everyone more and more to build your heaven here on earth.
The day was very good but I would have to say that the tears came, the absence of Gail was felt so much and these times are perhaps healing but in the process it is difficult, painful and something I wish I need not go through but what can I say, it is and it will be for some time. I am thankful for God who still seems to want to use me at camp, I am thankful for the business that camp creates in my life and I am so so thankful for the sisters and brothers in Christ and family who love me and support me in spite of my many faults.  Many times I ask God if he could just make me perfect for one day, I don't think that is asking too much.  Well maybe I would settle for being near perfect for one day or maybe I should just settle for God's continuing love and forgiveness.
I took 2 Advil PM and am thinking I will try to sleep past 6:00 tomorrow.

A Fresh start

I will make this quick as I need to get something on this blog that is cute, wonderful and important. 
Here is Ruby Gail last Sunday.  She has blue blue eyes that sparkle in the light.  She loves to smile and is such a precious bundle of love.  The tiny little spot you see on the left of her chin is a little beauty mark that most likely will go away as she gets older. 
She seems to be such a good baby but then what would one expect from great parents!!!
Got to meet someone for breakfast so will add more later but really needed to got off of the crushing defeat I suffered at the hands, I mean paws of Wallace.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I lost!!

It was a bummer to end all bummers.  When all the votes were counted Wallace won in a landslide.  Good to my word I purchased him a first class bone as you can see and I indulged in a Nathan hot dog with ketchup on a dry bun.  I was not happy.  I felt from the start that any time--man should win over dog.  I mean even if the voting is tainted should not man vote for man instead of dog??  I don't understand but I am feeling really low, really unhappy and for sure like I have gone to the dogs.  I almost was wishing I would have asked people to vote for the best looking but I may have lost that too and then I would perhaps have done something desperate..
The blog has been down for almost 24 hours so I have not been able to post anything.  For the next couple of days or so we will see Ruby Gail as it was her weekend.  Will add some pictures of Leo and mom and dad as well.
Tomorrow is our annual fund rasier for camp, our taco meal at River Ridge.  I am so excited to see how much money we can take in for the Gail Lee Servant Camp Fund.  I hope a lot.  By the way ALL are invited.  Serving is from 6:00-7:00 with the meal free but you are encouraged to make a HUGE donation to camp!!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A day of memories

I arrived in Madison about 5:30 this afternoon.  I decided to take the I90 way as Gail just loved that drive.  It turned out to be OK but perhaps not a good decision.  Way too many memories and of course the tears to go along with them. 
I was able to get myself distracted to some degree with dreams of future road trips, bike trips and some mind games of what should I do.  I actually got a bit excited when I thought about going on some road trip with my bike on the back.  However when I looked at today and the time it took to drive to Madison and then thought about driving a long way alone I thought I had better think and pray this through before I would go on a long trip by myself. 
It is so much fun to see Aaron, Amy, Leo and Ruby Gail.  Tomorrow we will go to the capital and they will have cows on the lawn.  That should be fun.  Wouldn't it be fun if grandpa got to show Leo how to milk a cow.  Don't think that will happen but who knows. 
This is of course a guy thing but I wanted to see what kind of mileage I would get with my car on the highway so filled it up on the way out, used the cruise mostly on 67-69 MPH and when I got close to Madison I filled up and got 36 MPG.  I was very happy with that.  Much better than 24 or 25 so will see what happens on the way back on Sunday.  I am guessing it will be somewhat less. 
The next 2 days should be fun.  I am sure anyone would know that my heart is so empty without my Gail here to enjoy and love those grandkids but I will do OK and I know I will be able to enjoy the time.
I am going to try to get to bed early tonight and see if I can go to sleep. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Please vote!!!!!!!


This is big time here.  I need you to vote by commenting on these 2 pictures.  Here is the deal.
Wallace just got a hair cut.  It cost $95 but it did include a special shampo, a nail job and a scarf around his neck.  I got a hair cut for $12 but I did get a senior $2 discount but I left a $2 tip so the total was $14.  If I had not gotten the senior discount it would have cost me $16.  Please vote who got the best deal, dog or man?   If Wallace wins he gets a big bone with meat on it,  If I win I will buy steaks for me, myself and I.  This is really important so think, look and analyze the entire situation before you vote for dog or man.  The voting ends at midnight, Friday June 4.  I will be gone from Friday noon to Sunday evening so the prize will be purchased Monday, June 7.  May the best deal win!!!!!!!  REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT VOTING FOR THE BEST LOOKING,(I can't stand to lose:(   )JUST THE BEST DEAL AND DO NOT VOTE TWICE.  If you prefer to vote by e-mail it is
I will be leaving for Madison tomorrow around noon to take in Ruby Gail's baptism on Sunday June 6.  I will return Sunday afternoon.  I may or may not blog during that time.  I am excited to be with Aaron/Amy and Leo and Ruby Gail.  It also is kind of fun to travel now with the new car and as a man I like to see what the gas mileage is.  I am going to see if I can do real well so will put the cruise on 45 when I get to the interstate. (just kidding).
Spent most of the day doing work for the taco meal next Tuesday.  I am hopin g that we can get many donations for the Gail Lee Servant Camp Fund.  I thought about asking for donations on my blog but thought that may be a bit tacky so I will not mention it!!!!!!!!!!
A nice cool day with clouds so that is good for my sod.
Camp plans are going, perhaps a bit slow but they are going.  I am 100% sure that when Al/Deb started camp way back in 1978 they did not have any idea it would be going strong still in 2010.  God has worked so mightly through camp it is awsome and humbling to be part of his work year after year.  Molly, Ginny, Jeanne, Mike and myself so so so miss Gail but I know her prayers for camp will help it be a big success once again.
I do need to think about what I will bring to Madison.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

not much today

As I type this we are almost into June 3rd!!  Not much today.  I did have a wonderful dinner time with John B this afternoon and hosted men's group at my house tonight.  Got some work done, not much and did get the lawn mowed.  My sod, so far so good and it has been mowed twice.
I am looking forward to leaving Friday around noon to arrive in Madison by 5:00 or so.  It will be great to see the whole family and for sure little Ruby Gail.  My goodness she is over 4 months now.  I just do not get to see her enough but it will be twice this month so that will be great.
I need to get some sleep as meditations come early in the morning. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Death can not separate the hearts

Did you ever feel that life over whelms you?  I do.  These last 8 1/2 months I have felt that I am not big enough, I am not smart enough, I am not strong enough, I don't know God well enought nor am I able to cope with the loss of my one and only Gail.  Today would have been our 42nd anniversary.  I can remember almost every detail of our wedding day.  I slept little the night before, I took one last ride on my motorcycle at 9:00 am before I handed the keys to my dad, I was so nervous my mouth was dry, I was so excited that I almost was shaking, the kiss I gave Gail at the end of the ceremony remains the kiss I remember the most, I was embarrassed to no end when I called a relative by the wrong name in the reception line, I actually was excited to dance that night, I remember Gail as being the most beautiful bride ever (as she stood at the back of the church with her dad she was simply stunning) , I remember the drive (I liked to sing to Gail and one time on a date I had my arm around her and was singing the song let's go all the way and she later said she was so nervous but I did not realize what I was doing)  after the dance as we drove to our motel in a nearby town, and ,I will not give the details but,  the minutes after we arrived at the motel seemed like hours.  There we were, looking at each other and really not knowing for sure what to do or how to do what couples do on their wedding night??  That's it, no more details but it was an exciting, scary, memorable time in our lives that will remain with me forever.  As the days turned into weeks and into months and into years we could look back and laugh and be thankful for the memory but at the moment it was unreal.
So today, 42 years later, I am sitting in a green chair that is too big, I am living in a house that is too large, I am living in a world that is new, different and awkward.  I have more questions than answers, more memories than dreams and a heart that is healed over oh so tenderly that the slightest memory, the smallest mistake opens wide the wound that is so fragile.  I can see progress, I can feel a newness, I can see some future but yet most is still veiled as if there is a morning fog.  I know there is a song that says the sun is just behind the clouds and I know that is true but to live it and experience it is a daily challenge that sometimes I am up to and sometimes I fail in the most miserable way. 
I am going to pretend that today is another anniversary.  As Gail and I so often jumped in the car and spent the day driving, talking, even napping at times, I too will today drive, think, listen to music, read a book and remember Gail at her bestest (I know that is not a word) times.  Yes, there were times that were not the best as our marriage was like so many---a relationship that endured difficulties, misunderstandings, great conversations, wonderful God times, much sickness, times of laughter, times of love and a family that was and still is so supportive and so good to us and now me. 
It seems that my times of despair are less often now, my times of tears are infrequent, my mind sometimes dares dream and my life seems to be moving forward much much more than it goes backward.
I am actually looking forward to today because when these "firsts" come they can give me glimpses of what may be in the future and that is what makes dreams.  And we all know that dreams make the world go around.