Mom took us on an incredible ski trip for Spring Break again. Here’s a highlght video with a slide show at the end.
My grandma died last year at the age of 97 and she never snow skiied. She traveled all over the country and did all kinds of things, but she never went on a ski trip. Well…….. maybe she did……. just last week. She was there. I saw her almost everywhere I looked. When I broke open mom’s haystack candy, I saw grandma nibbling on one of her own. When the kids had a snowball fight, I saw grandma throwing one off the deck at me accompanied by her laugh and smile which both hit me harder than her snowball. When we played board games at the table, I watched her nimble hands slide the exact card into place to win the game. One morning
we had cinnamon rolls and they got burned because ovens cook differently in high altitudes, but I couldn’t help but see grandma’s cinnamon rolls sitting on that countertop. When I looked around the room at all my family, grandma’s influence was evident. She didn’t put up with arguing, and you know what? I don’t think we had any. We learned that from her. She loved spending time with family and so do all of us. She laughed often and it just hung in the room there like it was a permanent fixture.
When grandma’s estate was divided, my mom used some of her portion to take us on this trip. There were 17 of us: Mom, Me, Miranda, Kasen, Kesleigh, Roger, Kathy, Tyler, Betsy, Tucker, Tanner, Brenda, Schonn, Brianna, Ethan, Jaycee, and Tristian.
Grandma took all of us skiing…………. but we also took her. And we will take her everywhere we go.
Grandma left some things behind for us, but the most important things aren’t things at all. She left her mark on us. We have her in us. We became at least partly who she influenced us to become. Influence – that’s grandma’s greatest gift and the greatest inheritance anyone can leave for their loved ones. Love you Grandma! Miss you!
Thank you Mom for passing this precious gift along to us. Love you.
Here are a few pics. If you want more, check out facebook, shutterfly, or google+
King of the Hill & Dad
Miranda, Kasen, and I went camping this past weekend with my family. All the Corns and Underwoods met together at Possum Kingdom Lake. It was great! Here’s a link for some of the pics. Memorial Day Pics. The downside is that a bunch of the pics aren’t here ’cause the camera flew into the lake. The little tether cord broke and . . .well, it went into the lake.
Anyway, one of the moments that stuck out to me happened while we were on the lake after the camera went overboard. My brother bought a tube to pull behind the boat that was over 8 feet in diameter. It was huge. Anyway, at one point the kids just wanted to let it float in the middle of the lake and play King of the Hill. It was like having our own little American-Gladiators-style sumo-wrestling match. When all his kids were on the tube, Roger, (my brother) dove off the boat right into the middle of them. Instead of being the parent who forbid his kids to wrestle, he jumped into the middle of it and played right alongside them. In that moment, I saw my brother transform into the image of my dad 25 years earlier, and I dreamed of the day that I’d do that same sort of thing with Kasen. It was a beautiful moment.
By the way, I also saw my brother-in-law, Schonn, bantering back and forth with the kids – threatening to make them fall off the tube just like my dad would have done too. It was great fun!
My dad has been dead for years, but he went with us to Possum Kingdom Lake this past weekend. My dad is alive and well inside each of us. I could almost hear his voice as we sat around in our chairs under the clear night sky. I saw him on the lake and in the boat.
I love you dad. Thanks for playing such a big role in our lives – even now. You have certainly left a legacy to be proud of.
Brenda’s Wedding and My Dad
My sister just got married this past weekend. I must admit (something you will rarely hear me say) that she was beautiful.
The wedding was at Chain of Lakes near Livingston, Texas. It was nice, but not quite what she had hoped for. The original plan was to be married on a a beach in Cozumel, but Hurricane Wilma destroyed both the resort and her plans. It was pretty funny to see my sister in a wedding dress designed for the beach and Schonn wearing a Hawaiian shirt in the middle of winter. It was about 40 degrees outside too.
Brenda and Schonn have been together for a long time, but finally made it official. It was a small little service (family and close friends) and Mike (my Father-in-Law) and I kinda tag-teamed in leading the whole thing. Brenda wanted a personal, informal service and she hads given me permission to tell a few stories on her. I was able to say a few things that only a brother could say, and we all laughed, but I tried to be quick to point out the beautiful things about their relationship and the commitment they were making. In addition to asking them about their commitment to each other, I also thought it was important to have the “family and friends” make some promises. We promised together to encourage them in their relationship and even told them collectively that we believed in them.
Anyway, I guess right now as I reflect on the whole thing – I’m hit by the feelings that come when you watch your little baby sister making a truly adult decision. I’m proud of her, excited about her future, and yet I will be sad to never know her as a little girl again. I don’t think I’ll ever see her cry over an Ewok (Star Wars) stuffed animal again. I might never double bounce her on a trampoline again. And calling her “baglady”. . . . – well, that’ll probably never change.
Another thing that hits me is the thought of my dad. Brenda stressed over this day for years ’cause he wouldn’t be there to walk her down the aisle, but you know, I never felt like he wasn’t a part of it.
Dad, you are still very much a part of who we are as a family. Schonn may have never known you, but then again, he knows us and we are just an expression of you. If we laughed, (and we did) it was because you taught us to share the joy we have. When we hiked with the boys, it was with your example before us. When we cried, it’s cause you showed us that men could hurt too. Even the simple fact that we wanted to be together for such an occasion, is a testimony to the love that you had for us and that you taught us to have for one another. The older I get, the more I see you when I look in the mirror. I love you Dad!