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Taking leave

14 May

14 May 2012. The past few days we visited Minnesota and Nebraska to see family before we take off for Rome this week. Funny how when we go back in the lovely spring or fall weather you forget how brutal the weather can be in this part of the country. We always manage to get to the Midwest when it isn’t 10 below zero or 98 with matching humidity. Good planning on our part.

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Honor guard at Mom’s interment. Veterans and active service-persons participate.

Held an interment service for our Mom, who passed away last fall. These days you cannot always bury someone right after they die. Mom was a veteran and wanted to be buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. It takes a couple of weeks to get an appointment for a service because of the high demand for military burials right now, so her cremated remains were held by the funeral home until we could reconvene for the interment (notice we waited for good spring weather). The ceremony was quite touching. It is conducted by a group of retired veterans and they do an impressive job of honoring the deceased veteran. I suspect some of them were nearly as old as Mom would have been. There was a 21-gun salute, presentation of the flag, and lovely sentiments expressed. Very fitting, very honorable, very moving

Graduate Zachery with Grandpa and me.

Our Nebraska stop was motivated by the graduation of our oldest grandson. Both of Ric’s kids and their families were present for the festivities, so a terrific chance to see everyone in one place. Graduating senior Zachery is the second-highest rated batter in the high school league in Nebraska, and we were able to see game one of the tournaments Saturday night. Zachery had 4 hits and the Skyhawks shut-out the opponents 6 to 0. Somehow fitting to spend an evening at an all-American type of sporting event just days before we leave the U.S. It was a lovely spring evening, surrounded by family, a hawk circling the sky over the diamond.

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My little spruce became a giant in 28 years.

Of course visiting places one has lived before leads to reminiscing. We drove by our old house in Omaha, which I purchased as a single mom in 1984, a year before Ric and I married. I had a little Colorado blue spruce planted in my yard that spring. It was so small – maybe 3 feet tall – that I, at 5’2”, towered over it. The first Christmas I was able to decorate it with a string of only 25 lights. Now look at it! Nice to see that tree has endured.

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