Happy 97th birthday Dad! We hope you have a great day there, and the whoopie pies Joyce sent arrive soon if they are not already there.
We have been blessed with a wonderful father and grandfather over all these years, and what an incredible life he has had. So many stories, such a rich and giving life. Here is dad, with a group of other friends and comrades-to-be, getting ready to ship out for basic training in the army in 1943.
Born in Junction City, Ohio, his family moved to nearby Zanesville on Central Ave when he was still very young. He grew up there, just down the street from where our Mom also lived at the time. They met when they were both very young, and have been an important part of each other’s lives since.
After training, Dad became an aircraft mechanic in the Army Air Corps, working on the planes and keeping them flying during the war. That is, he was a mechanic until the day when he walked up to one of the officers and said “I want to fly one of those.” So he was sent to pilot school for training, and became a B-17 pilot. After the war, he continued to fly cargo, VIP transports, up to and including the B-47, which was the first jet power bomber.
After Dad retired from the Air Force in 1963, he started a construction business in Zanesville with my uncle. After a short vacation trip to Florida with my mom (where Lori and I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Lemert), Dad announced we were moving to Florida. We moved to Winter Park, a small suburb of Orlando. One week after we moved there, the local papers announced the mysterious company buying up land south-west of Orlando was Disney.
Dad built a successful construction business in the Orlando area, mostly building homes, but also built a few warehouses, small office buildings, and even a steakhouse restaurant for a national chain. After retiring, Dad and Mom moved to the east coast of Florida, living in beach-front condos, managed communities, and independent suburban to rural homes were they were up until this March.
Dad has had a bit of a rough time lately. After a fall in a Winn-Dixie supermarket in late December, he developed an epidural hematoma. This was successfully drained at Holmes Medical Center in March, and Dad is currently recovering at a rehabilitation center.
Dad is expected to be released later this week, where he will join Mom at an assisted living center where he will continue his recovery. As soon as all these restrictions are lifted, I’ll be going down to seen them both, giving hugs and kisses from all of us up here.
Happy Birthday Dad!
Eighteen years ago today Jennifer Joye entered our lives. How short and fast it’s been watching Jennifer grow and mature. Just a few months left of high school, and then it’s off to school for our little pumpkin-bucket.
After the long Thanksgiving weekend here, winter arrived here late Sunday afternoon. Joyce had already taken George back to school, and the snow started falling at 3:40. Snowed heavy all night, and I got up at 4:30 to dig us out. Jenn’s school was closed, so she finished off the shoveling. After I got home from work, I grabbed the shovel and cleared out the Christmas floodlights she wasn’t able to see under the snow during the day.
Winter has arrived.
In just over two weeks, the bright colors in the trees have faded, and most of the leaves have either fallen, or been ripped out of the trees by the last few rain and windstorms.
Joyce and I spent most of Sunday mowing, grinding, and sweeping up the leaves from the yard, and Jennifer helped me the day before mounting the new door on the shed, and moving the summer porch furniture into storage.
We’ve gone from a comfortable isolation, to feeling exposed to our neighbors now clearly visible through the trees. Latest weather forecasts are now talking about the possibility of snow accumulation Thursday night into Friday morning. Snowsticks are now up along the driveway and road. Fall is just about over.
19 years ago today George entered our lives. How quickly those years passed. Here’s hoping that you will have a wonderful birthday there today, and you are able to enjoy it with your friends. We’re looking forward to seeing you this weekend.
Happy Birthday George!
Had what will most probably be my last open water morning swim earlier this week. Morning air temperature was 50, water temperature had dropped to 62. Thanks Marli and Scott for joining me one last time.
We’ve had a couple mornings of frost, and just had to turn the heat on. Trees are changing rapidly, so I grabbed a few pictures this morning. The weather this morning was overcast with light rain on and off, so the colors are a bit muted.
Most of the trees are still holding their leaves, but fall has started. The one tree next to our driveway has lost most of its leaves, but so far, the biggest drop has been the acorns. In some parts of our yard, the acorns are so thick on the ground it’s like walking on marbles.
Hope you are enjoying your fall as well.
While I sometimes wonder if we’re missing out on everything living in the city can offer, it’s mornings like this that remind me why we moved out here. Just back from my long morning run, I was having breakfast on the back porch when the neighborhood flock of wild turkeys wandered in.
While several would stop, stretch their necks to stare at me on the porch, as long as I just sat there eating breakfast, they didn’t pay much more attention to me. They seemed perfectly happy scratching at the dirt and leaves, pecking at whatever they found tasty, and enjoying a Sunday morning breakfast before laying down for a rest in the warm sun.
Hope your Sunday morning was as pleasant.
We took George down to Wentworth today for freshman check-in and move-in. Below are a few photographs we took about the day, about the area where George will be living for the next year, and about his room in general.