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Thursday, October 09, 2008

A very Baptist affair

My mothers funeral was last Tuesday. It was held at the First Baptist Church in my home town. Both of my parents were very active in that church until they moved away many years ago. She was interred, after cremation, next to my father. A lot more people attended than I expected; not all of her peers had died, moved away, or were infirmed. I was really surprised when several people, I assumed had died, showed up alive and well!

It was a simple Baptist service. After an opening prayer and some singing the preacher read her obituary, then asked my brothers and sisters and I to come forward and recall a fond memory of our mother. One spoke about our parents involvement in building the new church, one spoke about her prom dress, another spoke about singing the special music in a church service. I spoke about a memory of mother playing the piano one afternoon, while my father and I napped, when she stopped playing (after an hour) we both got up to find out why she had stopped. After a long incoherent sermon the service concluded with the old Baptist standard hymn: "In The Garden".

We had a police escort to the cemetery. One good thing about my home town, they take really good care of the cemetery. At the grave site there was a prayer then we placed roses next to mom's Urn. The ladies of the church provided lunch after the service.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My mother died Thursday October 2, 2008 (updated)

My mother, Frances, died very early Thursday morning October 2, 2008. My sister and brother were both present when she died. Below is a draft (slightly edited) of the obituary my sister wrote (I am the only non-theist in the family; the rest of the family identifies as Christian.)

Frances R. H. peacefully returned to the loving arms of the Lord on Thursday October 2, 2008 where she joined her beloved husband, Doctor Joe.

Frances Ross H

She came into this World in on March 18, 1920, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the eldest daughter of Clyde and Alice R. She grew up in Cheyenne surrounded by music. Her parents were both professional musicians and music remained an important part of her life. She enjoyed playing in string quartets, and played First Violin with the Casper Symphony for many years. Occasionally she played with the Billings Symphony and later played several seasons with the St. George, Utah Symphony. She gave piano and violin lessons, and was organist and choir director at First Baptist Church for many years. She attended Park College in Parkville, Missouri from 1938 to 1941 and graduated from the University of Wyoming 1943 with a degree in Music

While attending Park College in 1938 she met the true love of her life. The first time she saw Joe H. she was attracted to the tall handsome curly haired gentleman. He was a Senior and she was a Freshman. When they discovered they were both from Wyoming, a romance which lasted a lifetime followed. They were married in Cheyenne, Wyoming August 30,1943. After Joe’s residency in St. Louis, and his stint with the military following World War II they made their home in Wyoming. Five children were born of this marriage.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Joe H., her parents, Clyde and Alice R., her only sister, Mae Fern Jay, and her infant daughter Alice.

She is survived by her sons, Frank, (wife Elizabeth) of Wisconsin, David (wife Kit) of Wyoming, and Clyde of Colorado; her daughter, Jeannette of Montana; four grandchildren, Marci, Jessica, Patrick, Robert (wife Pam) and one great grandson, Teague.

Cremation has taken place, burial will be at Mt. Pisgah in Wyoming.

A funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church (Wyo) at 2:00 PM Tuesday October 7, 2008; the service is open to the public.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mom has entered her "final days"

My sister telephoned; Mom has entered her "final days". Over the weekend Mom went into a deep sleep and could not be roused. The nursing staff predicts that she will pass within a week.

Mom has been on a long slow decline for ten years. She hasn't known my name for the last four years and she hasn't even recognized me the last two years.

I've already said my goodbyes and let go of her. That flesh is not my mother. I will feel relieved when it is all over.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I completed the Basic Motorcycle Rider Course

I successfully completed a 2 day Basic Motorcycle Rider Course over the weekend. The course was conducted by ABATE of Colorado Motorcycle Rider Education. Successfully completing the course makes me eligible for a motorcycle endorsement on my drivers license.

There were 12 students in the class; some had prior motorcycle experience but some did not. We spent most of the time on the motorcycles on a riding course set up in a parking lot. It was very hot both days. It reached 95F/35C degrees Saturday. Sunday hit 100F/37.8C degrees. I was too busy to take any pictures but did manage to squeeze off one snapshot.

The course assumed the students had never ridden a motorcycle before (but could ride a bicycle) so they went over all of the controls and how to shift gears. I use to ride motorcycles during the 70's but had forgotten which lever was the clutch and how the gear sequence worked. The field work was followed by a couple of hours of classroom time.

Saturday we learned to power walk the bike, how to start off and stop, how to shift gears, basic turns, and stop-and-go (commonly called a "California stop" in the USA.) Sunday we learned to fast-stop, take curves, swerve, and make U-turns.

The course concluded with us being scored on 4 riding exercises then a 50 question multiple choice test. All 12 of us passed the course. I scored a 100% on the written test but was marked off a few points on 2 of the riding exercises. In the fast-stop I should have stopped in 14' but took 15' to stop. In the taking curves exercise I rolled off power and was too slow going through the curve. But, I did well enough to pass.

While I was miserably hot and totally exhausted I still had a lot of fun and got a lot out of the course. I would recommend this course to anyone thinking of taking up motorcycle riding, or just for fun. There is a similar 1 day course designed for experienced riders.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Trip to Roxborough State Park

I went to Roxborough State Park just south of Denver Colorado Where I took a lot of pictures and some video.

Roxborough is a nature preserve with a lot history, plant and animal life, and is one of the most beautiful displays of the Fountain Formation which is a red colored sandstone that has been tilted 45 to 60 degrees. I arrived too late in the day to see much wildlife but I got a reasonably good picture of a Spotted Towhee.

The park offers many hiking trails to choose from; I chose the Fountain Valley trail. It was really hot that day and being an inexperienced hiker I didn't think to bring any water. Halfway around the loop I was getting dehydrated and starting to get dizzy but I made it back after much effort. Lesson learned.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A blast from the past

My 1973 bowling team (standing.)
Standing left to right: Ted, Jerry, Mike, Lance, Clyde.
Kneeling, singles and doubles events, left to right: Mark, Steve, Ken, George.

Unfortunately, I lost contact with all of these people not long after this picture was taken. I do know that Mike (standing center) and George (kneeling far right) are both dead now. I also know that Ted (standing far left) was alive and well 8 years ago, but I do not know the whereabouts or welfare of the others.