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Weathering the storm…

And I was wondering HOW the word WEATHER would work into my year a few short weeks back. (see THIS post).

I wrote that blog late on the 31st, and posted it before work on the 1st. And after work, I felt the need to go and take some photos, looking for some broken glass for a photo challenge. I found my way finally, at the foot of the hill in Ettrick, near the Appomattox River, and as I wandered, a decision to record this part of the river over the course of the year came to me. Huh. Weather, and changing seasons and this small bit of land.

I wrote, too, of the best resolution I had heard, that of my father, whose resolution was to stay out of the hospital this year. Didn’t know at that moment that he had basically been planning a sit-in (lay-in?) on the couch.

I got the call on Tuesday morning, the 4th, while I was back at the river, a frozen day that I figured I better record while I had the chance, as Virginia winters are not stable.  Dad passed away on the couch early that morning. Gotta give him props for sticking to a resolution. I’m glad he went that way, without bright lights and noise and people pushing, prodding and beating on him. In death, as in life, he ran things his way.

But, the weathering part—This January, all three and a half weeks, has been tough to weather for so many people I care about. A high school friend lost her mother. My oldest friend (from before I understood the word, FRIEND) lost her mother. A quilting friend lost her daughter. A writing friend lost two of her horses, just days apart. A work friend is on watch, her already weak and ill dad having just had a stroke.

And then Tucson; and so many cities around this country this month are suffering the loss of police officers—it seems so many were killed in the line of duty this month. Weathering the storm indeed. It’s not the snow or the wind or the rain that seems to be the thing right now.

Today would be Daddy’s 66th birthday. I have a box that Jan sent; I asked her for a few of his flannel shirts. The box sits, unopened. Maybe I will find the courage to open it today.

The long and winding post…

Lots to say, on a variety of topics.

First and foremost, a huge thank you to everyone who has called, emailed, or posted on Facebook since Tuesday. Your positive thoughts, and virtual hugs have made a terrible experience far less painful because of all the love you’ve shown my family and myself.

If you are interested in remembering Dad, donate to the American Cancer Society in my father’s name—Joseph Kevin Casey.  Or on February 16, join this auction, and purchase a unique piece of quilted fiber art and help raise $8000 in ONE day.

ONE – February 16 – Fundraiser for the American Cancer Society
http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/ONEFundraiserPreview.html

(and for goodness sake, please stop smoking!)

In case you missed it on Facebook, his obituary is here. I posted a blog the other day with a bunch of old family photos; you can scroll down to view them at the end of this post.

On to the rest of the world, which indeed keeps turning despite our personal tragedies.

I hope that the people of the United States sit back and reflect on their individual and collective behaviors, and realize how powerful words are. Reading about the lives snuffed out yesterday hurts. Let’s hope that the media will learn to ratchet back and realize that they have to be considered contributors to this tragedy. Rather than asking that people be tolerant of one another, and their ideas, they have implicitly condoned the madness, and added fuel to the fire. We are all Americans, and the freedom to disagree without fear for our lives is one of the greatest gifts our forefathers gave us. Yes, this guy may have mental issues, but the non-stop vitriol that masquerades as news these days lends substance and credibility to the basest and most vicious ideas, and in a deluded mind, it may almost seem like permission…

I began a “Photo A Day” for the entire year of 2011 back on January 1st. Kind of like the Christmas Photo A Day that so many of you received via email during December, on steroids.  Alas, I will NOT be able to send out an email each day of the year, so if you are interested in seeing the day’s new photo, you can do one of the following:

  • Become a fan’” on Facebook and you will automatically receive a link to the newest blog posting.
  • Subscribe to my photo blog (look in the box on the right when viewing that page) and you will receive a notification.
  • Or you will simply have to remember to check back often at one of these links:     Photo Blog Website The View From the Passenger Window

Additionally (maybe because I NEED to be forced) I have also committed myself to recording a small section of the Appomattox River during the course of the year.

We will see how it goes. I really do want to concentrate on getting my photography kicked a bit into higher gear than it is currently ( I need the $$ to pay for vet bills!)

This year I think I have a good excuse for the Christmas tree still being up. Guess I have to work on THAT, too…. (Where is that list of resolutions?)

Joseph Kevin Casey

1.27.1945—1.4.2011

Like most people, he had a variety of names.

Rest in peace, Joe. Kev. Country Joe. Daddy Kevin. Grandpa Beard. Dad.

2009_4Trish and Dad, 10-2008

kevin gael christmasGael and Dad 1949

DADJOcopyJoe and Dad 12-19674 of us

Joe, Anoki, Trish (bonus child Charlie) and Dad, 4-27-2002

trish dadTrish and Dad 1966scan0078Pokey, Arlie, Dad

dad 1984Dad 4-1984

kev communionFirst Communion, circa 1953

kevin zooMy favorite! At the Staten Island Zoo, circa 1947

kevin portrait

kevin gus zooDad and Daddy Gus, circa 1949

TRISHDADXMASTrish and Dad 12-1965

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