Friday, December 30, 2011

A Slight Detour

 

Well, during all of the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, I, Jan, ended up taking a very unexpected trip back to Kansas. I was blessed with the undeserved privilege of accompanying my  uncle and aunt to the funeral of my dad’s sister, who passed away at the age of 86 on December 13. My family sent me off with their blessings and Emily took on a huge load while still trying to get her own things done as well. Poor thing . . . she  ended up getting sick in the midst of it all, however.

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My dad had an older brother and an older sister who lived in Kansas. I got to see my “Kansas Aunt” during our summer vacations while growing up and when she and her husband came to CA for visits. (In the photo above, is my aunt in the middle holding my sister, Gail. Uncle Cliff is on the right behind me, and my grandmother is on the left. My aunt cared for my grandmother for many years since she suffered from Alzheimer’s.)

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The flight back to Kansas by myself was very “weird”. I’m so not used to being alone. I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t trying so hard to keep myself from “getting sick” on the plane –forgot my motion sickness medicine.

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And then I had the luxury of having a wonderful room all to myself. It was quiet and wonderful . . . and quiet.

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When I got to my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Newton, KS, their flag was flying at half-mast. Sigh . . I had been so busy getting ready to leave and for covering for my responsibilities at home, that I hadn’t had any real time to soak in the reality that she was really gone.

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(The above photo is of Uncle Cliff and his 4 surviving sons.)

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(This is of my Uncle Cliff, Dixie’s husband, and my Uncle Jack, my dad’s brother.)

The service on Saturday was beautiful and it was fun to be with so many of the family again.

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There were lots of memories shared. Lots of laughing and  looking at photos and enjoying one another, just like Aunt Dixie loved to do.

Some of MY favorite photos of her . . .

In 2009, we stopped in Newton for a few days’ visit:

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We went shopping in a nearby Amish town. These two were real characters! (Hmmm . . . see any resemblance??)

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We also toured the underground salt mines.

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Uncle Cliff and Aunt Dixie wanted to take us for frozen custard at Freddy’s. They didn’t have to twist OUR arms.

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In February of this past year, they called one morning to tell us they were in town and ended up stopping by for a visit. So wonderful to see them!!

We were able to offer them bananas for lunch (it’s all they wanted) and let them fight over the knife and peanut butter jar. They cracked us all up!

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It was wonderful having this woman in my life.

I will miss her greatly and hope that much of her spunk and character have made its way down to me.

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