Friday, February 21, 2014

A Big Snow Storm

The latest snowfall started yesterday afternoon around 1 pm and continued 11 hours. Prior to the snow, we had rain, followed by sleet. So this morning was a mess—a big mess! The total snowfall in my neighborhood was about 7 inches. It was a heavy snow, so the branches of our big white pine in our front yard were bent to within 3 or 4 feet from the sidewalk. I had to bend quite low to clear them.

Our parking spots were plowed, but sidewalks were not. I managed the rough roads driving to the office. Thankfully, our office parking lot had been cleared.

I have never seen the snow this high in my backyard,

or this high on the air-conditioning units.

Others are handling this long, cold winter better than I. Oh, did I mention we're going below zero again next week? 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Good-bye, Uncle Allan

My Uncle Allan passed away early this morning. He was married to my Aunt Ginny who is my mother's younger sister.

Some really good photos of him can be seen here when we were down there to see them in 2010.

Uncle Allan was a man I admired for his kindness, commitment to his family and our Creator, and intelligence. Some years ago I particularly loved talking to him because we had big computers  in common (for me while I was working at the telephone company). My Uncle Allan served in the Navy and while there, he worked in electronics [He served from 1947 - 1950.]. When he got out, he went to the University of Minnesota. Following that, he worked for Univac, one of the first inventors of the computer. Soon after that, he was transferred to New York City. I'm not sure how long he worked there, but I know my cousins Diane and John were born when they lived there [Aunt Ginny said it was 4 LONG years.]. After that he took a job to be the manager of the computer department of the University of Chicago. He worked there 30 years. During this time he was also very active in their church – he was an elder and on the pulpit committee when they were searching for a new pastor. And that wasn't all. Following retirement, he and my Aunt Ginny sold their family home and bought a 5th wheeler (a large RV)  to travel about the country with a group that does volunteer work for Christian organizations such as Bible Colleges and camps—RVICS. In summer time, they would drive as far away as Prince Edward Island and he would work on computer systems at a college or camp while my Aunt Ginny would do clerical work, staying weeks at a time. When it turned cold, they would travel to the southern states to help out in the same capacity.

In June of 1958, the summer after my dad died, I was invited to come to stay with my Uncle Allan and Aunt Ginny for four weeks. They lived in Oak Park, Illinois, at the time, but were building a house in Dolton, a southern suburb of Chicago. Two or three nights a week, after Uncle Allan got home from work, we would drive to Dolton to see the progress on that new house. Taking the Congress Expressway to downtown Chicago, we would turn south at Buckingham Fountain. I thought it was a beautiful sight. They let me stay with them at a sad time in my life.

Near the end of his life, Uncle Allan had totally lost his hearing, and his diabetes had made him bed ridden. Quoting my cousin Linda today, she said, "Now he's hearing and walking again!" My prayers are with my Aunt Ginny and her kids, David, Linda, Diane and John and their families.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Gorgeous Sky!

This was the treat for my eyes on this very cold morning.