Grateful

Today I’m grateful for time to be quiet.

In the bustle of the season, I have some time to just “be”.

What are you grateful for today?

Too Distracted

From Stephenministries.com

Stephenministries.com. Fog of Grief

When I read about D’s husband passing this morning, I lost it. Her blog post was just overwhelming, I can’t imagine what she is going through. https://ladieswholunchreviews.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/monday-musings-25/

I’ve been to three funerals in the last two weeks, and I know I’m a little worn out from grieving my friends, coworkers, and family. I’m in my own fog, and trying to find practical ways to offer support.

D’s blog was full of her family things, her delightful grandson, and her recent fight with cancer. This latest loss, has me in prayer, and wishing I lived closer to offer some kind of support. If you know Diane, please keep her and her family lifted up.

Grief is an odd thing, and it sneaks up, especially when there is so much loss going on right now.

Hug up your families.

Me, A Mountain Lion, magic, and Tall Tales of Proposals

Funerals are funny things. The Loved Ones we buried this week have been part of the ENTIRE history of my husband and me.

If it hadn’t been for Carruth Gerault, I wouldn’t have met my husband. If it hadn’t been for Jack Klesel, I might not have married him.

If they had Camera Phones back then…..we would both be in big trouble! If only I had the shot of Carruth, Jimmy, and David in their black Resistol hats and Red foam Antlers the night I met them, red suspenders with every naughty Christmas button ever known to man…..The image is burned on my brain. But I regress.

Having been to the funerals of both Carruth and Jack…what story did my husband choose to tell at BOTH? The story of our engagement! What a Tall Tale did he come up with? He might as well been talking about Pecos Bill lassoing a Tornado.

In December 1993, David planned a ski trip to Lake Tahoe with some friends and asked if I would come along. It was an odd trip. I was the second girl, amongst 6 of my husband’s friends. Our host, had his girlfriend there too, but only a couple of our days total. Knowing that these were life-long friends of my husband, I made sure not to importune on their good times. They had 2 days to ski just guys, and 2 nights to hang out and tell their manly stories. I had fun going about the casinos, I took the Tahoe Tessie tour on the paddle boat, and did some site seeing.

We were there over New Year’s Eve, David wanted to get things prepared for the Celebration, and we took off to get the Black Eye’d Peas, and Cornbread fixings that Texans do, and take a little time to explore S. Lake Tahoe before we went to Midnight Rodeo, a Country Western Club our host managed.

David loves to tell how he wanted to propose, and drove me to a vista over the Heavenly Ski resort at Lake Tahoe to propose, and how I got back into the car before he could get the ring out. That he had to tap on the window to get to to come back out for the Big question. Oh how he plays it up. How he found the mountain lion, and that we had to take pictures. Blah, Blah, Blah.

After Carruth passed, we started going through pictures to offer up for the funeral home, and the photographic evidence of a different story started to appear.

The Mountain Lion.

We were doodling about Tahoe, grocery shopping etc, and passing one of the casinos there was a mountain lion on a leash and a guy offering pictures. I had to stop.

David took a picture too.

The mountain lion had a schnauzer in his sites, and was put up after his pic. 😂

He was whining so badly about not being able to hang out with his buddies for the 3rd of our 4 days, I threatened to punish him for the rest of his life and taking him to one of the local Wedding Chapels and marrying him on the spot. I really did! We drove up the mountain to get some photos of Lake Tahoe, and Heavenly. We stopped at one of the scenic overlooks to take some shots. I was so irritated with him for complaining, I really just wanted to go home.

I got out of the car, took pictures of him, two of the vista, and tapped my size 7 boot on the asphalt till I got soooo chilled I had to get back in the car. I was still wearing the jogging suit from the Mountain Lion Shot, I was cold on the mountain…Just saying. He wasn’t wearing a coat either, but he never does.

Next thing I know, he’s dragging me out of the car, a bit peeved at me and demanding that I marry him. He was waving the ring around…I couldn’t see it, let alone put it on my finger. He was on one knee on ice, and sliding down the mountain. It was really funny, and we both ended up laughing like crazy. I’m not sure why I said yes, but in hind site…..he looked really tense putting that lense on his camera. He must have been working up his nerve, and I ruined his moment…..or the moment he had in his mind that he struggled to make happen, in a really cool spot. I kinda love him for that. 😊

We will celebrate 25 years of Marriage in March. We brought Zach home with us from that trip. There was real magic at Lake Tahoe for us that year.

That’s my tall tale, with photographic evidence, of the vista of my proposal.

Thanks Carruth. Thanks Uncle Jack. You still inspire the romantic in my husband. I can’t believe he wanted to continue to tell the story that you helped him to create for us.

Polkas, Shiner, and a party to send off Papa Jack

My husband on the right, and his brother Tom on the left. My husband definitely looks like his Uncle Jack.

The third funeral this month. Uncle Jack, Papa Jack, Alvin Jack Klesel, of Schulenberg, TX.

Uncle Jack was my favorite of my husband’s family. Since I started dating my husband in 1991, Jack was always kind to me.

Jack was just one of those souls that connected with everyone immediately. He didn’t know a stranger. He was fun, interesting, loving, kind, funny, smart, and just always engaged in what was going on.

He served in WWII, in the Army Air-corps in the Burma/China Theatre. As a clerk in the intelligence wing, he debriefed the Doolittle Raiders upon their return from Tokyo.

When he returned from the war, he had a Grocery Store, the Shiner Beer Distributorship, a Truck Repair shop, and an Insurance Agency.

He had great stories, a great family, he was always involved in his community and church. It was a great honor that one of the Bishops from the Galveston-Houston Diocese came to give the Funeral Mass for Papa Jack.

After leaving St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, we took the short walk to the cemetery for the graveside service. The VFW officers, and the Knights of Columbus in Full Uniform with swords were on guard. It was a full military service with a 21 gun salute, Taps, the flag folding and presentation. I lost it when they started playing Taps. It was a two hanky cry, for sure.

There was more though! Chris Rybak, “The Accordion Cowboy” played As The Saints Go Marching In as things were wrapping up. We went from crying to singing along, just like Papa Jack would have wanted.

We walked from the Grave site to the Knights of Columbus Hall across the street for the Reception. Everyone who attended the funeral was invited, and encouraged to come. This was a big thing, especially since the Bishop showed up to give Mass. The church was full.

There was beer, a big fried chicken lunch, lots of Kolaches, German Chocolate Cake, Strudel, pies, and Iced Tea.

Chris Rybak, one of Jack’s favorite Polka guys, played all through the reception, and of course, several got up to dance. Just like Papa Jack would have wanted.

I sincerely hope I don’t have to go to a funeral for a while. But this one, for a 96 year old man, who served his country, his community, his church, and his family, is something I will think about for a very long time.

Which Way Photo Challenge

Son of a Beach has a great Which Way Photo Challenge. Check out his blog for some really fun photos.

Here’s my take on it this week:

From California last year:

The staircase is from the Hiram Chase mansion, the home of Stag’s Leap Winery when we took their tour a few years ago.

Laughing and Crying

I mentioned the loss of our dear friend Carruth.  

Carruth was always the life of any party.  A big cowboy, 6’plus, always had his hat with him, a really big truck, a big dog, sometimes a pot belly pig.

He loved to dance, and when I was dating David, we all went out dancing every weekend.  He was a big personality, that was often irreverent, but always loving.  He loved to golf.  He dressed up with a priest collar in one event, and invited the ladies to come ‘bless his balls’.  Always had a cigar, and always had his scotch.  Always good to everyone.  Carruth is the tall one in the red shirt and aviators.  My boys are in the yellow and green, laughing cause they got Cigars, and mom would be mad about it.

David needed a new shirt for the funerals this week. As we pulled into the parking lot to look for shirts, this song came on the radio.  I got all teary, then I started laughing.  I was laughing because, this is just soooo Carruth, and crying because I’m really going to miss him.

If you ever knew Carruth, he’d be the guy driving the get away car, breaking into the funeral home, and putting all the quarters in the juke box.

Save a dance for me, I can’t wait to see you again, you big Cowboy.  Love you.