Dogwood Ramblings

What a weekend!  Randy called me last Thursday to say he and Kim would be here for breakfast Friday morning, plus two others, whom I assumed were Ivan and Dena Lawson.  Friday morning I had breakfast just about ready when Randy and Kim showed up – bringing in my son Ryan and his wife Debbie from San Antonio, Texas.  What a wonderful, wonderful surprise and yes, the tears flowed.  Ryan and Debbie had come for my 80th birthday on Saturday.

Friday night we enjoyed grilled steak, twice baked potatoes and trimmings.  Even though I had said I wasn’t going to cook on my birthday, here I was again in the kitchen Saturday morning preparing breakfast for all of us.  We were just finishing up breakfast when a van arrived, filled with family members from California and Minnesota.  Overwhelmed?  Yes, I was very much overwhelmed – and they brought many cherished memories.  Randy refused to tell me how all of this was arranged and said straight-faced that he had no idea what I was talking about.  We visited all day Saturday and dear neighbors Bob and Dana Wagner joined us.  My nephew Chad had flown from CA to MN and then drove down here with his mother Marilyn, Willie’s sister, Marie, Marie’s daughter Susan and her hubby Dean.  They all stayed at the Fox Trot Inn bed and breakfast in Ava and say it is wonderful.  Apparently there were others from up north who wanted to be here but the timing didn’t work out for them.

So, Saturday evening they told me we were heading to Ava for Chinese buffet but a stop had to be made at St. Leo’s Church to pick up someone.  As soon as we walked into the social hall, on went the lights and there were many, many folk singing Happy Birthday to me.  Now, I’m not saying there are any liars among my family and friends, perhaps just some tall story tellers!!!  My brother-in-law, Henry “Swede” Boeddeker apparently got this surprise gala started last April.  Our dear Swede passed away in September but his family and my sons carried on with Swede’s plans with help from Tina Chriss, Rosie Harris, Kim, Arlene Boeddeker,  Debbie Boeddeker, and friends. Hope I am not overlooking anyone!  I didn’t have a clue!!  And, no one will tell me all of the details….they just grin.  The first person I was able to focus on in the crowd in the social hall was my granddaughter, Lindsay, who had flown in from California, second person was my son Rory with his wife Debbie, and Rory was supposed to be “out in the deer woods” (and Rory had no idea his daughter Lindsay was to be there).  Then I was really confused when a young man walked in, all 6’5” of him and he looked so familiar but it took me a few moments to realize he was my nephew from Virginia Beach, VA, Erik Lillefloren, my dear brother’s youngest son.  Erik had lost so much weight he looked half of what he was in 2006, last time I saw him.  So much to absorb it will take me many days to reflect on everything that has happened….and I shall cherish all of it.

Sunday we all met at Ron & Arlene’s where Ron grilled caribou, halibut and salmon he brought home from Alaska.  Everything was absolutely yummy.  Before this delicious treat, many of us went with Randy and Kim to set up some catch pens and to take Randy’s horses to a different pasture.  Erik and Ryan especially liked this treat as they are city folk and seeing all the heifers with their babies was special, and they now can take home memories of helping with farm work.

What a privilege, what a blessing it is to have such loving, caring family and friends.  They all seem to accept and care for me, warts and all (yes, I have lots of “warts”).  The only thing I had requested for my 80th was to have all four of our sons here, and I received so much more, so very much more.


My mind is still in a whirl but I’ll sign off here now this Monday morning – looking forward to some visits today before those still here head for home, as Ryan, Debbie, Erik and Chad are already well on their way.

God is good and I offer Him many, many prayers of thanks for His kindness.

PLEASANT RIDGE BAPTIST from the desk of Jamey Herd: I’ve been short on news lately so will try to make up for it. Pleasant Ridge had a wonderful four day Revival. We all need our spirits lifted and revived every so often. It has been a busy month with the children having a bake sale one Saturday, going to the Pumpkin Patch and walking through the maze and picking out pumpkins on another weekend. This past weekend was the Truck of Sweets on the parking lot with a wiener roast and marshmallow Smores. I understand there was a large gathering of children and adults. I didn’t attend due to having a lung infection and not wanting to be in the night air. Billy Joe went for a short while.

We’ve been praying for several in our community that have not been well. Pat Williams was in urgent care Sunday, Frank Sinclair is home and doing better, Earnie Sthal is back home from Bentonville, Arkansas hospital but having to do dialysis, Willie and Charlie Jones are having health issues. There were others but I can’t recall names at the moment.

Condolences go out to Bob Huskey in the passing of his sister.

Billy Joe and I traveled to Ava on Saturday to attend the get-together of Jim Cudney and Vernice Berry at the Lions Club. Jim and Vernice are planning a wedding in December. Congratulations to the young at heart couple. They wanted their mutual friends and families to meet each other.

Sara Paul had a visit by phone with Joanne Lupton this past week. She reports Kenneth and Joanne are doing well.

I attended the Rogersville Quiltin Timers last Thursday and enjoyed showing some of the ladies the construction of a Star Spin table topper. We all enjoyed a good lunch of soups and bread provided by two ladies in the group. At the meeting October 10th, donated quilts were gotten together to donate to the families that lost family in the fertilizer plant explosion in West,Texas.

That’s all the news for this time. Till next time, God Bless.