t plus 49 years: anniversary observed in absentia

The tenth of October rarely carried the import while the parties were both still around. Tom and Ann (John’s dad and mom) usually celebrated quietly their lengthening partnership. Today we salute them for their steadfastness through the years.

Because of their security in the love of Jesus, neither is finally lost to us, nor to each other. Their love for each other continues to inspire the next generation. – j


Summer holidays

Our house was just a bit too far from last night’s fireworks at the nearby park to make any money from allowing people to park in our driveway. Earlier in the day, A.J., Tee and I picked several cups of black raspberries at that park, after a tip from a friend who found them. Avoided poison ivy and enjoyed some of the fruits of our labor – that’s a good 4th!

A.J. admired the entrepreneurial initiative of those who allowed parking even in their yard for the much bigger celebration across the lake a few evenings ago. That – the biggest display in the Midwest with 15,000 shells – attracted about 50,000 people. Many of us participated in what could have been the world’s largest Pledge of Allegiance; could that be done outside the U.S.?

We decided that day, just in time to celebrate it, that a person’s silver birthday is the one where their age equals the hour of their birth (in military time, if past noon). A.J. enjoyed his, pretending the huge fireworks show was in his honor. Best moment: his gobstopped reaction to the volley synchronized with “the rocket’s red glare.” He’s been memorizing the additional verse to the anthem. And enjoying his flying birthday gifts almost as much as Dy; Arey was kind enough to fish a couple of the toys off the roof when my back kept me grounded.

I should post the poor verses Arey and I crafted as clues for A.J.’s party treasure hunt with a military theme. We won’t get any further use from them past the kids’ few minutes enjoyment, and as they refer to spots in our yard.

Heard recently in the household, when Tee was asked how many pancakes she’d eaten: “I only had one!…Okay, maybe four…”. Talk about instant repentance.

Travel plans for the summer are starting to fall into place, including a couple of solo trips – me to my Mom in FL and Dy to visit a friend in Texas. That’s after we envelope a week at Cedar with play, exploration and visits.

It was a relief to read of Alan Johnston’s release in Gaza, even if the context of Hamas’ struggle for control of the area and its clans gives it a bitter edge. Like him in his captivity, Dy just discovered the local BBC broadcast.

And at least one teenage member of the family has already gotten tired of grilling out – just when my skills are improving. – j

Fifty years and a week ago

Belated St. Valentine’s Day to everyone!

Last weekend we celebrated Dy’s parents’ 50th anniversary with many friends and family members in Central Illinois. Tee greeted and hauled coats between breaks with a cousin (right). That’s the bride’s dress on display behind Tee; Arey might have worn it to the gathering if it hadn’t been so extremely itchy.

A delightful time was had by all, for reasons besides the obvious fun. John appreciated the free Wi-Fi provided by the caterer. Dy introduced our household to the dozens of dinner guests.
After exploring the ancient bare brick walls a bit and enduring photo sessions, A.J. deployed a range of weaponry across the tabletop for mock battles between the protective stemware, silverware and napkins (left). His dad actually won one such engagement, before guests occupied the rest of our table. Don’t get A.J. started identifying the various nations’ vehicles involved, unless you’re ready to listen and play a while.
A.J. counted over 300 semis on the trip home. This weekend is much quieter with less travel. – j