Sunday, April 4, 2010

The return to Boise!!!!

After 2 weekend trips and several weeks of packing, the final move back to Boise was completed on March 26. I owe a ton of thanx to my wife, family, friends and their families. Without all of them working so hard this would have been a nightmare. I had help from folks from the Salt Lake valley, Boise, Chicago, Portland and Rwanda. That's right! The country in Africa. Three young refugee girls from Rwanda came to help us unload in Boise. They probably did not come to America for that specific purpose, but they were there. They assisted in the unloading and then braided anything that didn't move fast enough, including my beard!
With all the helpers and the 2 pre-move trips we were able to load and unload in under 2 hours on each end of the trip. I played a key role by pointing, directing and encouraging those actually doing the work. My sisters took turns telling me to "put that down!!". I also had to keep track of Steve during the melee. The 5.5 hour drive in the middle went smoothly and we found out that Budget rental trucks have a governor at 90mph (oops).
It has been a week now and we are pretty well settled in, all due to Kitty's tireless work. Friday nite we continued our traditional Good Friday practice. Corn fritters and salmon patties for dinner and egg coloring for desert. We had 13 for dinner including us, and it went very well. I made 40 patties and countless fritters and as usual I put people to work as soon as they arrived. That was the only way to get it all cooked and served in a reasonable amount of time. By the end of the meal I had a very sore back and was pooped but it was well worth it to share this tradition with others. Part of the group was the Rwandan family including Mom and brother with the three girls. They had never had anything like this meal nor colored eggs. It made me think of how different the world is and how common we can make it. Just sharing a meal and some fun activities allowed us to cut through the cultural and language (French & Swahili) barriers.
Happy Easter to all!!!
Be good to each other,
Tin Man
Here is a link to pics from the move and Good Friday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why NOT me?!?!?!?

A little background first. I grew up in the Midwest in a pleasant suburb with everything I could want. Great parents, great sibs and most importantly, as a boy, great friends. We did everything together. We played football in the snow and had the Turkey bowl into our late 20s. We played golf, baseball, hockey, basketball and volleyball together. We fished and skied, snowmobiled and traveled. We went through growing pains together and bonded as brothers. The fellas, as we call ourselves, are still in touch with each other, into our 40s, that's not that amazing for a couple-three friends but there are 10 of us. I still look forward to seeing them, now that I can travel again it will be very soon.
Of all of the group, Kevin was the one that we were all drawn to. He had an easy way about him and caused you to smile by infection. He could make losing his wallet, his car conking out and losing a girlfriend, all in the same weekend, look like a fun time. He lived by the mantra I used to say to my staff. "if you're not having fun, it's your own fault". Kevin is loved by all of us, our parents, our families and our kids. He married a great girl he met at college and they have had a great life raising a couple kids, being great friends and spreading that infectious smile around.
While the majority of the group is still in the Midwest, I have travelled west. I started in Illinois with the fellas, moved to Utah, Arizona, Idaho and back to Utah and finally will return to Idaho later this year. The fellas have been able to track me as I moved and we have seen each other at least once a year until I was listed with UNOS 4 years ago. I have done everything to shorten my life and then I go and survive, getting my heart transplant at the last minute. Kevin, on the other hand never gained an ounce and with the exception of thinning hair, looked like he always did. January 5th he was playing video games with the kids, then retires upstairs to his office to work for a little while. A massive heart attack takes him in minutes, he was gone before the EMTs even arrived. The next morning the information starts to spread to the fellas. The afternoon of the 6th, the clouds took over the sky as I was notified of Kevin's passing. The irony played well in my ears for weeks. Why not me, I was always supposed to be the one to go. Kevin had everything to live for and lived his life. We are all alive but Kevin LIVED!!! He did not waste 1 minute of his 44 years on this planet. We will all miss him but we each have wonderful memories to bring us solice. RIP Kevin.
Be good to each other,
Tin Man