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3000 Mile Trip


srademacher

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We are back from our trip to Colorado to bury our son, Dan and on to N. Dakota to my 50th class reunion and to bury Mom. What a trip!!!

 

Gary didn't sleep much the whole trip, so really busted our backs getting him in and out the vehicle or in to bed or a shower or on a toilet. Hotel grab bars for the most part were in all the wrong places for him so we had to improvise, which meant more strain on mine and Kelly's backs when he didn't help because he was overtired all the time. The first day we drove from our home in Scottsdale, AZ to Trinidad, CO ...about a 13 hr. drive with a few stops. After trying to take the shortcut up through Payson, AZ and realizing that Kelly didn't do well riding in the back on twisting, turning roads, we moved her to the front and she drove most of the rest of the trip.

 

Our son and daughter-in-law in Colorado did a beautiful job of planning, organizing and executing the Celebration of Life at her parents church ....a small country church just outside of Longmont where Dan grew up. I even managed to stand in front of over a hundred people and read my two poems I had written without breaking down. Several of Dan's high school buddies told some funny stories and the minister had some lovely readings and the service was over before we knew it. We all went outside where our grandkids released four dozen orange and blue balloons (Bronco colors as Dan was a huge Broncos fan) into the sky while everyone watched. Then the church ladies held a light lunch reception in the hall of the church for over 100 people, and the majority of family and close friends headed over to Vince and Amy's house for more visiting and telling stories of growing up with Dan. All in all it was a tribute to Dan that would have made him proud. Some of Dan's buddies took a small box of ashes to take to their favorite fishing spot later this summer, I kept a few in some fish hook necklaces that I had ordered for his brothers, myself and a cousin, and we have a few in a picture frame with a picture of one of his fishing trips where he actually caught the "big one."

 

After five days in Colorado, we headed north to my 50th class reunion and arrived in N.Dakota a day earlier than planned, so booked an extra night in Mandan, the town where I went to school. We spent the next morning driving around the town showing Kelly all the places where I had lived (we moved a lot when I was a kid), the favorite hangouts and the junior high and high school that I had attended. We then checked into our 3 night hotel in Bismarck, ND where we stayed until after the reunion. My sister's flight from Dulles airport got delayed 6 or 7 times and she kept missing her connections in Minneapolis, but finally got the last one and arrived in Bismarck at 2:30 in the morning that Friday. Somehow she managed to drag her butt out of bed the next morning to meet with the youngest sister, a couple cousins and myself at Perkins for breakfast while Kelly and Gary slept in. We ate light meals as we also had a later lunch meeting with more cousins at a favorite spot in Mandan, where as kids we used to get five hamburgers for a dollar ...enough to feed the whole family. Not the case now, but still darn good hamburgers. We met with another cousin and her husband there for lunch, and she brought each of us sisters a couple of her homemade kuchens with peaches and cottage cheese (it's like a fruit coffee cake).

 

My sister from Maryland and I attended the social on Friday night for my 50th class reunion and got to visit with many old friends from high school. I took her to the reunion as my guest because we both had a lot of the same friends in high school and have always been close over the years. On Saturday night, they had the dinner and a lot of remembering the good ole days and even opened a 50 yr. time capsule, and we enjoyed the entertainment, as well as the visiting with friends again (some whom we hadn't seen in 50 years). We skipped the Sunday picnic to head west to bury Mom's ashes in the small town where she had grown up, and had a small gathering of cousins there and a nice lunch at a cousins farm. Then it was one more night in a hotel in N.Dakota before heading south on our way home again.

 

We drove from N. Dakota to Ft. Collins, CO the first night on our way home and it was about a 12-13 hr. day so we were all exhausted. We headed out by 8 the next morning and made a stop near Longmont at Dan's gravesite to bid him one last farewell, then another quick stop at the coffee house where our daughter-in-law works, to say goodbye to her on our way out of town. We got to Gallup, NM the next night and then home by Wednesday, the 10th. Two full weeks of staying in hotels, riding in the car over 3,000 miles and eating out has taken it's toll on my body. I have booked a 90 minute massage for Monday and Kelly will be here with Gary, so I can get out. She needs one also as she did a lot of the grunt work transferring him on the trip, which he didn't make easy for either of us by refusing to nap when he had the opportunity. We are glad to be home and hopefully when we get all Dan's affairs settled, things will calm down a bit.

 

 

Sarah

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I have had those kind of trips traveling on the Army Pistol team and you can really get tired out fast even in a motorhome which I had..... I even had one trip to Canada for the Olympics.... Of course your trip was all business and two family funerals but you all got it done so welcome back now try and get a little much needed rest.....

 

There is no telling where any of my class mates may be now since 1958 when I graduated and joined the Army..... Life goes on and there is no way to know since I was gone from Houston for so many years and never gone back after 22 years in the Army.....

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Sarah, you did a marathon trip but YOU DID IT!!!! Well done. I'm guessing those good memories, people, places, faces you love will stay with yo for a long, long time.

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Sarah :

 

I am so glad you did this long trip  I am glad you all had great funeral planned for Dan, I feel having these kind of sendoffs brings so much peace to people left behind. you gave him fitting sendoff. I m sure it was not easy feat to achieve. you are strong woman  I am glad you were able to meet all your high-school friends after 50 years, must be interesting to see how life has treated every one.

 

Asha

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Please that you made it and got back safe.  Get some  needed rest.

 

You have some sad memories, but also so  good ones.

 

Take care, God blessed

 

Yvonne

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Sarah both of these were nice memorials to your son and mother.  I'm sure you will carry those good memories of both of them forever.  It was good you had Kelly to help with Gary.  He probably did well considering all the traveling.  

That massage sounds well deserved for both of you.  Take care.

 

Julie

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