Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Summer 2017

 Busy summer...tried to put this in order,  but I've lost my touch here.  But here goes anyway...

In May, Jeri, a grade school friend and my roommate for a couple of months before I got married, went to visit Jackie Russell, another friend from grade school.  She lives in Collinsville, IL - close to St. Louis.  Great weekend.

Had a visit from Elizabeth & Oliver, my good friend Jackie's (and sister from another mother) daughter & grandson.  Always great to have them visit!

Pamma & Oliver

Took Ollie for a walk, stopped to visit Bruce.

The Compassionate Friends summer picnic and Butterfly Release.

Animal Kingdom - the Tree of Life.  This should have been on the last post, but , oh well.
It's here.

This should have been on the last post too.  Didn't want to leave Chris out!

John & Diana (John's mom & dad) invited us to North Carolina for the Total Eclipse.  What a great visit.  J & D's Bed, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner AND Drinks!  They are wonderful.  Plus we got to meet (again) Diana's sister, her daughter and son-in-law.  It was a party.

This is "Johnny Mac's Corner" in their family room.  A lot of John's things that they NEVER in their wildest dreams thought they would ever get back.  Lots of photos of Melissa & John.  The butterflies were given to us by Linda, the mother of a co-worker of mine from MM.  Linda took our family picture our last Christmas.  You know, the one of us with the Santa hats on?  Last (complete) family photo.  I will be forever grateful to Linda.  Then, after John passed away, she had these butterflies made for us.  Two of them.  One says "Fort", one says "J Mac" and the one in the middle says "JP".  We kept one and gave the other to John & Diana.

This photo is on the wall in their family room. (among hundreds of other photos!)  Never saw this picture before.  Makes my heart happy...

Diana has a journal where she writes a description of the quilts she makes.  All of these quilts she made for Melissa.  No wonder Melissa loved her Mother-in-Law!  

This one Diana made for Melissa for her office.

This one she used the scarves Melissa wore.

This one was for their Dining Room.  Was still hanging when John passed away...

Driving into town for the eclipse.

Our captain on the pontoon boat - Captain John!

Fort always sends me hearts (butterflies too!)

The point next to where we docked.

Beautiful day for a swim AND an eclipse!

Renee, Johnny Macs cousin

Can be in the lake without a beverage...

Can you see the eclipse in the shadow?

Renee's husband Bill

The people on the point.

Starting to get dark...

Took my glasses off for about 10 seconds. Long enough to take the picture! 

You can see they have their glasses off - that's how dark it got.  Not pitch black, but dark enough to see a star!

Yep.  I was there too.

Captain John gets a look...

 This was dad with Matthew on his birthday (dad's birthday!)

Two favorite grandsons. 

 A hike at Aulwood

Rob Walter's bench at Aulwood.  The reason we went!

Some day I'll post on a regular basis.  The end of the summer got a little crazy.  Right before we left for Florida, I got a call from one of my former Principals.  The school she is at now needed a long term sub in the library.  Would I consider doing it this year?  

I have been retired for (hard to believe) five years now.  A little nervous about forgetting A LOT.
Talked to Donny about it, and after a lot of thoughtful consideration, decided I could do it part time.
A lifelong friend and high school classmate (Jody) agreed to share the job with me.

So here we are.  I'm surprised I'm awake right now to be posting!   Usually when I get home I'm so tired I fall asleep on the couch for a couple of hours.  

This building reminds me a lot of Moraine Meadows.  Staff is very friendly and kids are great.  It's just three times the size of MM.  I see as many students in half a day as I did full time at MM.  So far it has been good.  Hopefully the full time librarian will be back on her feet soon and she can breeze right back into it.  Until then...

So far Jody and I are working well together (well, apart, really).  We don't have any overlap time, so I stay an extra 15-30 min or more to update her.  

Didn't realize how much I loved retirement.   I was a lot busier than I thought!  Still keeping a busy calendar - I know Melissa would approve.  In fact, I had a reading, and the first thing she said was "whatever decision you are trying to make, Melissa says GO FOR IT."  Right decision for now.

Just a note - it's been a crazy weather month too.  August was a lot cooler than normal.  Almost like fall weather.  And Hurricane Harvey hit Texas a couple of days ago (Friday, August 25)   - devastating damage/flooding in Houston, Corpus Christi , Rockport, all of Southeast Texas.  50+ inches of rain in just a couple of days.  Thousands of people have lost their homes and businesses.  

And still taking care of dad.  Don't visit as much as I did when he first came back (that was every day for about a month!) Down to about 3 days a week, plus take care of his laundry and doctors appointments.  

Andrew & Max are both playing football (4th and 2nd grade).  Back to school.

And here we are, almost fall.  

Melissa's favorite season...pumpkin spice candles, fall decorations, football and rugby.  Bittersweet for me.  I miss her so much every day.  I wonder every day what she would be doing...and I know they would have at least 3 kids.  That would be 3 more grandchildren and cousins for Andrew & Max.  I miss her so much....

Holiday at Home this weekend for Labor Day.  Another tradition with the boys - they spend the night Sunday, we go to the Pancake Breakfast and parade, then the craft show at Fraze.  Melissa loved that too.

And last but not LEAST...

Fairmont FINALLY beat Alter in football.  It's been 15 years....

Melissa was definitely cheering from Heaven.  

Love you miss you pretty girl...