Tag Archives: Memories

Walking Elna Home

Last Saturday (4/30) my sister Elna slipped into heaven to meet her Savior whom she had loved since her early teens. As she left this life behind, she was surrounded by her two daughters and husband of 50 years. The room was filled with love. And tears.
Such sweet memories we have of those last weeks with Elna. Some of the sweetest center around her quick wit that continued to surface even as her body weakened.
One evening, before she moved to the hospital bed in the living room, we (Heather, Bethany, Chris, Joie & I (aka the Team)) were gathered around the bed peppering her with questions.
“Do you need another pillow?”
“Do you want to get up to use the bedside commode?”
“Do you want to put your brace on (per the previous question)?”
“Do you want another sip of juice?”
“Do you think you might want to poop?” (Yes, there were a fair number of body function questions being asked.)
Finally there was a pause. She looked at us and said – “I think I need to “Phone a Friend”! Call Dr. Mike – maybe he knows the answer!” Took us a while to stop giggling over that one.

When the day came to move her down the hall to her ‘new digs’ – the hospital bed in the back of the living room – she looked up at Beth (who was gently explaining the move as she pushed the wheelchair) and said with a straight face – “Does everyone have my forwarding address?”

UntitledEncouraging her to eat brought another slew of questions.
“How about a bagel this morning?”
“Maybe some chicken?”
“How about a bite of this brownie?”
“Lora brought some homemade tapioca? Does that sound good?”
When we finally got around to offering her a Pringle potato chip, her face would break into a grin- “I thought you’d never ask!” she’d say in her quiet sweet voice.  More chuckling ensued!

And just in those last quiet days while I was trying to entice her with one of her long-time favorites, a soft boiled egg with buttery toast, the questions came again –
“Are you ready for another bite?”
“Do you want a bite with toast?”
“This bite has lots of yolk. Does that sound good?”
Finally she looked at me – “Are you egging me on?”

Many more memories – and many more tears and smiles – will be recorded here in the coming days. But for now I just want to remember the sweetest sound of her joining us in our hymn sing each night.
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Precious Elna – you were the best of us! We’re so happy for your official New Address, but oh how our hearts are aching!

Backtracking Part II

It wasn’t all work, my friends. Not at all!  We filled these Florida months with lots of special people!
The first weekend we were in Lake Wales we took a mini road trip to see our friends Jim and Sue Taylor in Ft. Myers. We’d been friends with Jim and Sue BK (before kids) and kept loosely in touch with them over the years since Gary’s mom had also lived in Ft. Myers. It’s been so lovely these last three winters in Florida to reconnect and spend time with them!

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Yes, they are still trying to teach me the finer points of Pinochle!
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Sure do love these guys! Now we just have to get them to the cabin, right?
As we headed back to the rig that weekend, we made another stop to see a high school friend that I don’t believe I’ve seen probably since 1969. OK, maybe at a random reunion, but I can’t be sure. Any who, through the miracle of Facebook, we’d reconnected several years ago and it was great fun to see Gary and his wife at their new digs in Port Charlotte.
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Untitled(I actually grew up in the same neighborhood as Gary until halfway through third grade. He had this picture of he and his brother and dad- and my house in the one on the right behind them. (or the one next to it. It was very long ago, and they look pretty similar!))

What a fun weekend of connections!

We also connected with area SOWER friends during March too! Once for ice cream
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and once for a picnic at the park which included not only working SOWERS but also 3 Alumni couples and a single Alumni.
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Green Isle GroupFor Gary and I it was very special because one of those alumni couples was our group leader at our third project way back in January of 2006. What a blessing to reconnect with them again!

Connecting with friends – old and new! It’s one of the best parts of this crazy life of ours!

Stay tuned for the next installment of my backtracking tomorrow!

 

Mondays are for Memories – Critters 2

Last week when I did a post about the critters that we’d spotted while we were in Florida, I realized I had done another blog post using the same title. I checked back to see just what that post was about, and it turned out that it was written just about the same time of year, but all the way across the country in Arizona. So, since it’s about time I did one of those “Mondays are for Memories” posts, here you go!

April 19, 2010 – Prescott Pines Conference Center, Prescott, AZ

Critters

Being parked in the forest (more or less) has brought lots of opportunities to observe the local critters. 🙂
We’ve seen a lovely selection of birds –
Western Bluebird-1
Western Bluebird
acorn woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker (love his eyes!)
Redbacked Junco
Redbacked Junco
Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
And even though this wasn’t in our backyard (it was at one of those little lakes we visited over the weekend)-
Blue Heron at Granite Basin Lake
A Blue Heron in a tree!
But we also enjoyed the occasional mule deer wandering around –
Mule deer at Camp
And even though we see squirrels just about everywhere, we really had never seen any that looked like this –
Abert Squirrel
abert squirrel
Catch those ears! Turns out this is a Abert Squirrel. You wanted to know, right?
Just today I spotted this little guy –
Horned Lizard
A Greater Short Horned Lizard.
And trust me, if he hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have spotted him! He stayed pretty still and without hardly moving snagged an ant that walked just a little too close. Ah, nature in action!
We certainly have enjoyed our backyard this month!

Thanks for coming along for this little memory!
Steph

Mondays are for Memories – Thanksgiving, 1990

Today’s memory is from long before any of us had even heard of the word “Blogging” – probably before even the internet. It was the year that, unbeknownst to me, I was on the cutting edge of culinary deliciousness when I introduced a “new” vegetable to the Thanksgiving menu.

UntitledWhat Thanksgiving Means to Me
Abigail Fitzpatrick, age 10
Grade 5

To me, Thanksgiving is a really special day when we all thank God, the creator, for everything we have and all the blessings that he has given us.
One year I went to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving. My Gramma was there too. So was my other aunt and uncle. We could all smell the yummy food cooking and being made and taken out of the oven.
Then we saw it – the horror of our lifetimes! Brussels sprouts!
“Acckk!” we all thought to ourselves.
“Do we have to eat that?” asked my 9 year old cousin Jos.
“Yes, you must each have one,” said my Aunt Stephanie.
My cousin Tim, age 13, tried to give his to Cricket, my aunt’s dog, but the dog was smart too.
So we ate the rest of the yummy food and tried to bear the horrid taste of the Brussels sprouts.
In spite of the Brussels sprouts, Thanksgiving really means a lot to me.
Abigail Joie Fitzpatrick, 10

Abby is now the mom to five sweet kiddos, and while I cannot attest to whether or not Brussels sprouts are ever on her kids plates, I do know that kale makes regular appearances. I must not have done too much damage!

Happy Thanksgiving Week, everyone!

Steph

 

Up Next

 

Christmas Stockings made and delivered

 

Baby quilts finished and being loved

 

Monthly SOWER newsletter done and sent (you can see it HERE!)

 

Sewing projects organized and ready to begin quilting next week

Now to sort through, organize and choose a representative group of pictures from the 4187 pictures I took last year to make them into a “Year 16” Book.
Could be a while before that box is checked!!