"The gloom of the world is but a shadow;
behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.”
Fra Giovanni Giocondo
On January 1, 2013, I had the pleasure of of visiting my childhood home in Illinois. The new owner welcomed Barry and I warmly, sharing how she has updated the property to fit her needs; a great new kitchen, revived hardwood floors, lovely new colors for the walls, and lots of work in the yard. But out back my family's favorite tree, a stalwart old ash, still stands. My parents would be happy, pleased by the great love and care that has been lavished on the house they built in 1958. My father loved landscaping the large yard, my mother loved the privacy the trees and sloped setting cocooned her with.
I speak of them both in the past tense now: my mother passed away four years ago; my father, just two weeks ago on the first day of winter.
His passing prompted a 3,681 mile winter road trip to to central Illinois and back again during the holidays. Trust me, we hadn't planned to spend a snowy New Year's Eve in Peoria. But 2013 dawned shiny and bright. The visit to the old house and meeting its vivacious new owner reassured me that all is well and as it should be.
Offering a belated toast to friends and family
and warm wishes for your health and happiness
~ Lynn and Barry