For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Jul 25, 2011

You are Forever Young, but the Orange Juice Lasts Twice as Long

Harris Beach Oregon
I like to think of you wandering around, with Lizzie, in all the places you loved.
Grand Coulee
Steamboat Springs State Park
At Home-Remember How the Pups Would Wait for You?
Lizzie - Washington State
Stanley Idaho After Her Swim

Out in back of Silverton
Grand Canyon

Herb and me at Bonanza up by Tahoe

Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Leavenworth, WA
A Man and His Dog in Durango
Tillamook - Revisiting the Past
Timpanagos Caves, Utah
Hebo Where You Were Stationed
Meeting Susan at Mt. Ranier
Before We Almost Lost the Truck (Toad) on the way down. By the look on my face, I must have had a premonition!
Too many places and too many pictures--I can hear you saying, "Enough, already!" But, I want our kids to see how happy we were so you'll have to be patient with me.

As each year passes, I wonder what our lives would have been like if you were still here. I know the orange juice wouldn't have lasted twice as long no matter where we were, but I wonder where we would have been and where we would be thinking of going. I wish you were here to see your kids--you'd be so proud of each of them, and so amazed by our grandkids, too. Can you believe Amanda is a nurse and reaching for further degrees. Missy (your office manager) is in college and deep into calculus and things I will never understand--she'd like to go into cancer research. And, Kellie is graduating from high school-still the animal lover! Keely is allowed to drive a golf cart, now, and is enjoying summer with her friends, and our baby, Peyton, is about to be in high school! Hard to believe, huh?

There's never a time that I reach for the orange juice in the morning that I'm not saddened because I know it's going to last twice as long. I remember the first time thinking that after you were gone, and it broke me into tiny pieces like humpty dumpty who took a great fall and couldn't be put back together, again. That probably sounds crazy, but it represented reality and finality-that life had changed forever in a split second. Our morning talks before going to the office (solving the problems of the world) are over--at least your side of the conversation, but I pretty much know what you would be saying. Memories of all the years we spent together fill my days and nights. Jack is my constant companion--he's still the kind dog you knew. I bake him sweet potato chips for treats as he can't have any fat--sometimes reminds me how I used to surprise you with Apple Sauce Cake because it was a healthy snack. I miss you. I still haven't found my way, and probably never will. Did I tell you I miss you? Well, I could get good and soppy about, now, but that belongs in my private diary. It's the birthday you should have had this week that stirs me to write. I love you.

Remember when the kids were little and we dumped the big canvas tent ("Don't Touch the Sides!") and we went to our luxurious pop-up?
Cherokee NC - Scanning is not my forte', but I'm trying to learn.

The kids grew up in a blink of our eyes. I need to find pictures of when they were little and I'll fill in.

And before we knew it, along came the grandkids

...and they grew up. Then it was our time, but it wasn't meant to be.

Your birthday reminds me that you'll be forever young and forever missed. You were a wonderful Man, a wonderful Husband, and a wonderful Father. You have always been my hero and you are still my hero. I wrote a little poem to you many years ago. Remember? We put it on the Christmas tree each year. How corny it seems, now, but so true after all these years.

I thrive on the LOVER in you--
The private moments of our lives.
I joy at the FATHER in you
With trust and pride.
I need the MAN in you
To arouse the woman in me.
And the BOY in you
To delight the girl in me.
But it's the FRIEND who makes the bond grow strong,
And he's the one I've loved all along.
~ Nancy ~

We made the best of the time we had, and though you left us far too early, you left us with the memory of a man who always provided for his family, and kept us safe, whose children respected him, always, and with a hole in our hearts that no one can ever fill. Retirement, together, was never meant to be, but we had fun and laughed not only at the antics of the kids, but at the pups we both so loved. Here's a few more scanned photos that bring a smile to my face. I send memories to you on the wind, my sweet man.
The Princess

The Prince

How He Loved Her!

How I Loved to Dance with You
I'll Be Seeing You (Link)