Friday, May 27, 2011

"Decoration Day"

When I was growing up, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day. We always went to the Davis Cemetery and "decorated" the graves. There was (and still is) a church service, big basket dinner afterwards, decorating graves and a time of visiting. It was a big event. Dwayne and I have tried to carry that tradition on through the years. We don't buy expensive flowers, sometimes only a dollar a piece, and decorate friends and family's graves. The kids have grown up doing this with us. Our neighbor, Virgil Jurgensmeyer, died when Chad was around four years old. Virgil always helped with molasses at Mom and Dad's. Chad idolized Virgil. He would follow Virgil everywhere. Virgil had a gruff voice and most kids were afraid of him. Not, Chaddy, him and Virgil "worked" at skimming molasses, feeding cane, etc. The year after he passed away and I was buying flowers to take to the cemetery, Chad said he needed to buy a flower for Virgil. Thus, his tradition of honoring friends started.
We lost a good friend, Bob Prigge, in 1979. We alway include a small flag with our flowers as he was in the military. We didn't get a picture of his grave. I may have to take one and add it later.
Our next friend to pass away was Marvin Southard in 1981. Dwayne and I always make an effort to clean around his grave. Last year the moss was very thick on the stone and a yucca plant was about to take over. I was so happy to see this year someone had cleaned the stone, removed the plant and planted a small plant in it's place. It looked so nice.
The weeds and small sprouts were crowding around Susan, Adrian and Kyle's stone. Dwayne and Todd trimmed them back and we did our weeding around the stone. I'm weird, but I always use my hand and clear the dried cut grass off, pull grass, etc. I don't take care of my flower beds at home, but I really clean off around our loved ones graves.
Our first great family loss was in 2003 when Grandma Dodie passed away. Grandpa Andy had noticed soon after that someone had been placing flowers on her grave and wanted to know if I had. I hadn't and come to find out, April had been going over and changing the flowers every once in awhile. She hadn't said anything about it. I (as her Dad and Grandpa) were very proud of her for doing that, especially as she was still a young girl and in high school.
When Grandpa Andy was alive, we would meet at the cemetery before Memorial Day and decorate the grave and then go out to eat at The Vichy Wye. April always went and most times the boys went, also.
This year, I was so proud that our adult kids went with us to all the gravesites to help clean and decorate. Afterward, we went to eat at Sput's. We had such a great visit with the kids. When they were younger, it was a treat to eat out without the kids. Now, it's a treat to eat out with the kids!! We've come full circle.
April was our photographer for the evening. (She did help with the cleaning and decorating)
Dodie and Andy's stone:
Our good friend, Marvin Southard:
Todd cutting back overgrown weeds:
Cleaning around the stone:

Pulling weeds:
Chad, quietly remembering friends:
After we cleaned:

The back view:
We didn't get to the Davis Cemetery yet to decorate my brother, Mark, my Grandma and Grandpa Feeler, Donnie Allen and Amy Jones.
April has always decorated for Amy Jones. Amy passed away from a car accident when April was in elementary. Amy used to fix April's hair in a pony tail on the bus. After she passed away, April drew a picture of Amy in her photo album. She did a pretty good job on it.

I am so grateful for my family and my children. I am so proud of them for remembering their loved ones.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grandpa Andy:

May 23, 1929 Today would have been Grandpa's 82nd Birthday. Not much to say but I (and each one of us) miss him so much. Recently, Chad talked about Grandpa being his best friend. How many young men refer to their Grandpa as a best friend? Our sons did.
A few weeks ago, out of the blue, April emailed me that she was thinking about Grandpa that day and was very sad. Yes, we miss him very much, but we also know how blessed we are that he was in our lives.
Love you Grandpa Andy!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Missouri Weather:

Spring greenery along with new life:

Along with the snow is a beautiful sunset:

February 1, 2011 Snow Storm:
Dwayne, April and I went to Rolla. There wasn't much open. It was my sister, Judy's birthday and I wanted to surprise her and buy supper and take to her. There was no fast foods open and the deli at Wal-Mart was closed. You know the weather is bad when there aren't any restaurants open.
Scenes in Rolla:

Tornados in December:

Horrible tragedy on December 31, 2010.
The scene below is where a good friend's trailer was. She died along with a friend of hers that was visiting. Her daughter's trailer was next door. Sadly, her daughter witnessed the tornado destroy their homes and life. Luckily, the grandson and his friend survived.

Mom and Dad's friends house place destroyed by the tornado:

Another house on the same road:

A group that came to help the tornado victims in Missoui:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Recap:

A good friend of the family and fellow pig roast buddy, Goldene Workman passed away on the 28th. Dwayne and I went to the visitation Friday evening. We visited with several friends we hadn't seen in quite awhile. After the visitation, we stopped by Maxine Workman's and visited with her and Pat for awhile.
Another day of attending a friend's visitation and services. A friend, Bobbi (Allen) Ragan's husband, Claude's service was at Union Hill Cemetery followed by a dinner at the church. Claude's funeral dinner had already been planned for noon and then when Dene passed away, the church did a combination dinner for both families. Dene and Claude were cousins so it worked out well. Dene's funeral service was then at two o'clock at the church.
I didn't stay for Dene's funeral but went on to Rolla to do a little shopping.
Dwayne called while I was in town and said Desmon was spending the night with us.
Blake and Nathan had spent the night with April and Mike on Friday and we were to go pick them up that evening. Desmon was pretty excited to see where April lived but thought we would never get there.
The boys had a good time playing in the front yard but it was hard to keep them out of April's flower bed. Too tempting for two active six year olds!! We loaded them up and headed for home. Not too far down the road, the boys were thirsty and just could not wait until we got home. They each wanted Mountain Dew but I didn't think the parents would like that (even though my kids grew up on Mountain Dew) so Dwayne got them Hog Wash instead. Who thinks of the names of kids drinks? Bug Juice, Hog Wash, sounds like great stuff, huh?
The kids ran off a lot of energy when we got home. Even little Nathan ran around on the porch and in the yard. The boys were climbing on the fence and he thought he was big enough, too. Couldn't quite reach the boards so I had to help him.
Blake and Desmon:
Dwayne and the boys went in the house to watch TV, so I took Nathan up to Mom and Dad's for them to see him. He wasn't too sure about us being there and hung on to my shirt the whole time. Dad couldn't even bribe him away with candy. When I mentioned we should go, Nathan started blowing kissed to them. He was ready to get out of there!! Back to people he's familiar with.
The boys were starving when I got back.(They had already ate supper earlier, must be the outdoor air and activity) Dwayne fixed them hot dogs.
Nathan, Blake and Desmon:
Finally, bedtime!!: lol

We had a good time with the boys.
Dwayne took Desmon home and then went on over to Vichy to his Uncle Leroy Lennaman's farm sale. I dropped Blake and Nathan off at their Grandma Pat's on my way to church. After church, I went to the auction for awhile.
Home to a much needed nap. Spent the rest of the evening relaxing and then went to visit with Kate and MacKensie. Overall, a good weekend of catching up with friends and relatives.