This is part of a monthly blog circle where we feature ten of our favorite photos from either one day or simply ten recent images we have taken. Find the link to the next person in the circle at the bottom of this post.
Well, winter continues in Pennsylvania. The cold. The snow. The slush. The cold. Did I mention the cold?
Yeah, so it’s been cold and this week we were hit with a “snow storm” that actually turned out to be only about 5 inches of snow.
Well, combined with the two inches we got a couple days before it was about 7 inches total this week.
My family and I are definitely looking forward to warmer weather, but the kids had some fun in the snow while we wait.
The line to the funeral home stretched down a long sidewalk to the driveway and inside there were more lines, weaving through rooms, people waiting to tell his family what he had meant to them.
We only have one life to live and he’d lived his well.
Was he perfect?
No human is.
But he was loved and loved back.
He smiled and laughed and made days better.
He made my days better when I saw him at council meetings or fire department events.
He made my dad laugh and shake his head often when they were in school together and afterwards.
Sometimes when you read someone has died you feel a twinge of sadness and you mourn briefly and gently because you knew of them but didn’t know them. Other times you read someone has died and you look down to see who just kicked you in the chest. You realize that ache right there in the center of your heart is your spirit cringing in shock and grief.
Tears rising from somewhere deep in your soul and they come suddenly, without warning.
That’s how I’ve felt before and how I felt last week when I read about the sudden passing of Wayne Felter, a friend of my dad’s and the cornerstone of the community I used to work in.
We’d stand outside council meetings during executive sessions, him and I, and Dave, the publisher of the weekly newspaper, the man who later became my boss. Wayne would tell stories about pretty much everything and Dave would often stop him and remind him I was there, young and a female. I guess Dave was trying to protect me from Wayne’s more salty tales, but few of them were inappropriate.
Many times the story would end with “you ask your dad about that. That’s a true story.”
And I would ask Dad and he would say “it’s true … for the most part” and wink at me.
I never made it to talk to his family that day, due to a hot and tired toddler squirming in my arms and the long, winding lines.
I’m not sure what I would have said if I had reached them. I didn’t know them well enough to offer much more than a brief condolence and to be honest I was feeling selfish.
I glanced only once at the casket, only briefly from a distance and saw him motionless there. In those few seconds I knew that wasn’t how I wanted to remember him. I wanted to remember his smile, the twinkle in his eye when he was about to say something inappropriate for the moment or tease me, and his laugh when he’d succeeded in making someone else laugh.
As my dad said, Wayne made people who met him feel like they were worth talking to. He would seek people out simply to say “hello” and that made them feel special. There aren’t many people who do that anymore.
Today many people are distracted, uninterested and thinking about what they’re going to say next when someone is talking to them.
They listen to speak but don’t listen to really hear.
Wayne listened and heard and usually found a way to laugh at what he’d heard.
I will have to remind myself now when I visit Wyalusing that he’s not around anymore.
At least not physically.
The people of his tiny community will still see him, though.
Anyone who knew him, even only a little, will still see him.
They’ll see him when someone is sliding down frozen streets when they were supposed to be cindering or when someone is making a joke although others think the moment calls for seriousness.
They’ll see him when someone is laughing with a waitress or joking with the customers at the local diner.
They’ll see him in his children and his grandchildren.
And they will see him when someone stops and listens – really listens – making a person feel they are worth being listened to.
This is part of the 10 on 10 post I do each month with a group of ladies from The Bloom Forum. Find the link to the next blog at the end of the post!
After a couple weeks of bitter cold, spring came this week. My kids and I had such severe cabin fever we spent most of our time outside as soon as my son was off of school. We didn’t do anything very exciting during our outdoor adventures, we simply enjoyed the warmth and sun. We went from colder temperatures on Saturday, where my son and his friend were wearing winter coats on the empty playground, to temperatures in the mid 60s and then 70s for the rest of the week. Shedding our winter coats felt so amazing that even when the sun set in the evening and it was a little cooler we still kept our coats off and sat in the yard, afraid if we went inside Spring would disappear again.
I expected my son to want to visit a playground on one of the warmer days but instead he wanted to spend time in our backyard. I soon learned it was because he wanted to be a daredevil by running up a board and jumping over our fence and by finding ways to prop the board up to make it even more dangerous to play on. I remember writing not too long ago about how my children are competing to see who can give me gray hair first and the competition still seems to be on.
The board eventually broke and luckily my son wasn’t hurt when he fell. Before the board broke a tall chair my 17-month old had climbed up in fell over with her on it. Most days I seem to be looking from side to side and in front of and behind me to see which child is leaping off which dangerous thing and which one I have to tell to stop before they get hurt and their mother ends up in the ER with stress induced panic attacks. But at least it will be nice out while I have the attack!
December 10 on 10: Winter Woes
10 on 10 for July and all that jazz
10 on 10 for May