Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Safe, Triply Made

We made the trip to East Tennessee to honor and bury our brother, Jim. This was the second trip to Tennessee in October. The first was to see Jim alive; a trip that I knew was to see Jim alive for the last time. The trip down was long and hard due to a never-ending rain, a rain that finally ceased as I pulled into the driveway at Jim’s home in Elizabethton. The rain was unfortunate since it partially obscured the magnificent fall colors we saw throughout the trip through the Shawnee, Hoosier, Daniel Boone, and Cherokee national forests. The heavy rains in October did not lessen the brilliance of the colors since the reduced sunlight (due to cloudy days) contributes to the signal for the colors to begin emerging. The heavy rains also contributed to a major earth slide that closed the interstate from N. Carolina to Tennessee. We had a good visit with Aunt Wanda and Uncle Albert. Albert is not real good. He takes dialysis three times a week. We saw a lot of first cousins. I especially enjoyed talking with Janice and Brenda, my dad’s sisters’ daughters. Brenda is on chemo due to breast cancer, a cancer that appears to be controlled. We went to the funeral home early Wednesday to have a private viewing. The funeral director, a young woman originally From Jacksonville, IL, is Catholic and knows Donna, Jimmy, and knew Jim. She was very kind and professional while frequently lightening the mood. The Knights of Columbus, of which Jim was a fourth order member, provided honor sentry duty over the casket. Jim had a military ceremony at gravesite. He served in both the army and the navy. They even had a real bugler playing taps. The day was cool but brilliantly sunny. The service was long. The Ladies Guild at the church provided lunch. Most of the food was homemade with great variety. Someone provided a sweet potato casserole that was so good I had seconds. We left for home after the dinner and after saying many goodbyes. We once again encountered rain during about half the trip. We got home about 10:30 and went right to bed. I checked the rain gauge and it showed over four inches of rain. We are getting flooding on the rivers in the area. Must have been weird for you not having to move the clock back one hour. The extra sleep here was nice. That’s all from home alone. dad

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