Our first dance.

Melinda’s school put on a father daughter dance – I was not overly happy about this at first as I saw this as one more money making ploy by the school. However I decided to trade out my ski school teaching day for another so that my lovely daughter and I could go to the dance. It was an incredibly “magical” night. Melinda seemed very pleased with the evening and I could not have been more proud to be their with my little (growing up to fast) girl. We do not know how to dance, so like most everyone else we faked it. I only stepped on her toes once or twice. I even bought her the wrist corsage that they were selling at the school. Before I bought it she asked me if those were keepsakes and followed up by saying that she didn’t really want one. So I knew she wanted one. She wore it to bed!!! So yes I am very happy to say we went and it was a great evening out with my sweet Melinda.

Day On the Lake

A day at the Lake

A very generous family invited us to spend the day with them at their house on the lake. Lakes are rare in Colorado and lake front property even more rare. Our kids have swam a lot over the years but only in pools, so this was a great opportunity for them to try something new. I took them up on the invite and it turned out to be one of the best days our family has had in a very long time.  

 Alex managed to get up on a wake board, and I got up on water-skis for the first time in about 20 years.



 We all got to be yanked around behind the boat while on tubes – this was a first for all of us.

Neither Alex nor Melinda can stop talking about it. Pattie and I are feeling some muscles that we have not felt for awhile. Definitely a fun day.



The prayers didn’t work!!

I have been almost avoiding writing in here.  Last week we were watching Joel Osteen and he was talking about living a blessed life and how we need to pray for a better life.  At one point he said to pray for your loved ones that are sick and they will get better.  Melinda very quickly said: “That is not true!! We prayed for grandpa to get better and he didn’t.”   She did not say this with any real anger but with more of a “matter of fact” attitude. I tried to tell her that we were blessed to have had him in our lives but she was not going to let go of the fact that she prayed for him to get better and he didn’t.  So I spent a little time trying to explain to her (and myself) that it is still better to keep in our hearts the wonderful times we had with grandpa and the great memories he gave us to keep forever.   Today is his birthday and Melinda wants to do something to honor grandpa and thought I am not exactly sure what we will do, we will find a way to offer thanks for those treasured (all too sort) moments spent with grandpa. 

We are slowly finding our way back to the business of day-to-day life, but maybe with a little more appreciation for the loved ones in our lives.  We try a little harder to get in that hug goodbye in the morning before everyone is off for the day.  We also remember to call other loved ones a little more frequently.  


IT’S Time ??

 We have time yet to do ……..??

Looking forward to skiing with the kids and grandpa.  He was excited about going skiing with the kids in a couple of weeks.  I have a coupon for a free lift ticket (he loved using coupons). On the phone He said: “not this weekend but the following will be perfect.” And the plans were made.  It was great that he was able to come up and ski, as I was looking forward to showing off how well the kids ski now.  We also talked about Pattie and the job situation.  Yes – Pattie has the new job and will be starting next Monday (today).  I could hear in his voice he was happy and how proud he was of Pattie for getting this job.  Pattie was looking forward to sharing her experiences at her new job with him.



A few hours later the call – Ambulance, Hospital, Dad.  That can’t be – he’s healthy and strong and has only been in the hospital to visit other people that were sick including myself. 

We have many rolls to play throughout our lives.  My father had a number of different rolls to play including husband, wood worker (he just bought a new table saw), father and many more. Years back when I was in the hospital he even played the role caregiver as he and others helped me through a long couple of months.  But the roll I most enjoyed watching him play was grandpa.  There are few things that could give me more pleasure than watching the excitement on Alex and Melinda’s faces while waiting to be dropped off at grandma and grandpa’s house – or to get picked up by them at our house. They could not wait for Pattie and I to leave so that grandma and grandpa could give them the full attention they deserve.  


time with grandma too fun
time with grandma too fun

Acute Pancreatitis – as if knowing the name for what was happening should help- he’s very sick and will be in the hospital for a long while. We won’t worry about the ski trip. So our plans change a little bit. We will get to it – we have time?   


More than once I would ask my father what the deal was?  When I was a kid I could not have gotten away with all that he lets my kids get away with!!!! He would make no apology but simply smile and say: “It’s dad’s job to make limits and be the disciplinarian –Its grandpa’s job to be the good guy and have fun with the kids,” a job he truly excelled at.


This last year I have visited people in the hospital more than a few times and after a couple of days and a few tests back home they went.  But not this time – There will be no more ski trips, no new stories of dad with the kids, no more calls about his latest project.

Knowing that there will be no new stories, the memories I have, have become ever more precious.  

At a Birthday party for Reed, the boys were off crawfish hunting and Melinda felt left out.  But a little special grandpa time and everything was better.  I look forward to being able to play the roll of grandpa one-day (not too soon) and I hope that I will be as good at it and enjoy it as much as he did. 

grandpa time for Melinda
grandpa time for Melinda
good cake
good cake


These days’ people compete with each other for the distinct honor of having the worst life.   I cannot remember the last time dad complained about his life.  Dad enjoyed his life, making him a joy to be around.    

A Little basket ball with Alex



I realize the emptiness I feel, is there because how full my heart felt when he was here.  We will truly miss him – and know he is still watching over us.

Mr. good skier. “I am very disappointed in you!!!!!”

I had another day of ski instructing for – Pattie and Melinda put in a couple of runs in while I worked. Both Alex and Melinda would like it if they could find friends that could ski with them.  One more project for me.  Alex and Melinda will get to rid the bus up to winter park next week and have a change to ski with some older kids that will most likely be good skiers as well.  

Today I had some upper level kids and it was warmer than normal so we had a good time while working on improving their turns.  As usual I had one in the class that was not terribly interested in control or turning.  When you have a skier in class that likes to just hang un for dear life you must try to plan turns so that he wont run over the other students. It was a great day and the kids had fun.   One of the fathers watched us for a run and at the end of the day told me how impressed he was with how we teach.   I was glad to hear that because Friday I had a 6 year old that was not impressed.   This young lady went up the lift with one instructor but could not keep up with the class so was brought back down to a lower level class (Panayota’s class) and could not do what they were doing so I was given the assignment to help her get up to speed and to hopefully enjoy her day.  This young lady was not happy about being dropped down to a lower class and had no problem expressing this. After about an hour of trying (with little success) to get her to do a few turns for me she told me she just wanted to take a nap.  This is not a good sign but I thought it would be worth trying a little more to get her skiing.  Having decided that she was not happy with this situation at all she, a determined 6 year old, looked up at me with her arms folded and announced with all the authority of the queen of England: “I am very disappointed in you!!!!!”  for a moment she reminded me of one of my grade school teaches and I felt like the 6 year oldShould I laugh – no that would not help.  She has now dug in her heals and decided that she would no longer do anything. Nothing, no turns, no walking, no sliding, no skiing of any kind.    Taking her into the office, she let it be known throughout the land that she has had enough and was not going to do anything ever again.  Later in the day I checked on her to find out that she had indeed fallen asleep.    Take my advice and avoid the wrath of tired 6-year-old girl’s, for you will pay dearly.  Melinda now 9 is not much different when she is tired for that matter nether is Panayota.


Alex spent the night (last night) at his friends so he did not come up to ski today.   He had a sleep over – more of a stay up all night – at the school Friday night.  All the kids stayed up all night playing dodge ball, hid and seek, computer games, and watching movies.  He was dead tired all day Saturday and had not caught up on his sleep Sunday but some how I gave in and let him have another sleepover. It will most likely take all week for him to get back to a normal sleep pattern.