Saturday, May 23, 2009

Michigan 2009

A beautiful cluster of four morels

Grandpa, Brent and I took a quick mushroom-hunting trip to Wolverine, Michigan. We left our house at 2:55AM last Tuesday. We were in the woods at 9:08AM. Sixty seconds later, we had our first morel mushroom. After a day and a half of hunting, we finished with 180.
Dad started this madness in 1958 when he took the family north to find sponge mushrooms for the first time. Fifty-one years later, I got to take him to the very same woods to which he took us many years earlier. We still find them in almost exactly the same areas.
In 1960 - give or take a year or two - Dad took his mother and father to Michigan. Grandma Lavy, Dad's mother, found a patch of mushrooms in an area near Old 27. For many years after, we hunted that same spot and found mushrooms nearly every year. In recent years, we have not found them there. However, this year Brent and I searched that spot. We were about ready to give up when BJ spotted two small ones on the edge of a dirt bike trail. That caused us to look more closely, and we found sixteen in that patch. That was very near Grandma's spot. That was amazing to me.
If Grandpa (who will be 89 next September) is able, we may try it again in 2010. As he said, "I'm making no promises." None of us are, but what a treat for the three of us this year! Dad and I at the roadside park where he stopped in 1958 What a smile! Dad in the woods that he loves. That's a start Grandma was happy to see Grandpa come back. No, seriously, she was!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


OK, here's the little kid that I helped raise for quite a few years. We played one-on-one basketball in his bedroom for hours. Keep in mind, this room was 8'6"x11'. Almost every game, played with a rim hung on the closet door and a nerf ball, came down to a last-second shot or free throws. Mom wasn't thrilled when we took out the light. Eventually, we took the rivalry outside.
He moved onto the court at Ansonia and had some success against Covington, Twin Valley South and a few other schools. Mom and I got to see him light up the scoreboard with threes. Then, he was outta here.
Off to Cincinnati where he has worked his way through four gruelling years of college. A little basketball, a little soccer and a lot of work has been the norm for the past few years.
There, he found this young lady to spend some time with. She has been to visit us a few times. She has toured the site of our in-room basketball games. I think she thinks BJ is as goofy as his dad.
Pride is not really a great attribute. However, this father is VERY proud of his son, Brent. Four years of college and many hours of work takes a lot of discipline. He'll make a great teacher, husband, man and whatever else it is that he decides to do.
I'm proud to call you my son, BJ. Go get 'em.
You might ask him about the door in the background
Kid's Klub
That's the lady to whom I was referring

Friday, May 1, 2009


Farewell, my friend
Cancer has consumed your body.
Soon you'll be only a memory here,
But you will live forever - somewhere.
Be faithful to the end, dear friend,
Lavished in God's grace.
I stoop to kiss you one last time,
Your weakened lips whisper - Goodbye!
I'm looking forward to the Eternal Day
When we can share and enjoy more fully
With none of earth to hinder us.
Yes, rooted in the Timeless One,
Our friendship will not die and wither,
But blossom fuller, sweeter,
"Over There."
"See you in the morning,
My precious friend."
("Tea Leaves" adapted from Jo Weaver & Joanna Birky)
This was sent to Rena from our pastor's wife following the death of Rena's best friend. Rena sang to Bobbi and held her until she left this world last Saturday night. I believe her last words were, "Look up." Not sure what she saw, but it must have been worth looking at.