Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Vewy, Vewy Qwiet Around Here

Stephen's father, Bob, spent a few weeks every summer on the farm for years and everyone knew how much he loved it here. The family decided to spread some of his ashes at the pond where he and Leo spent hours. After saying a few words, Stephen opened the bag and started scattering the ashes.

The old outhouse makes an unusual backdrop but I'm sure Bob visited it a time or two.

Stephen encouraged Ian and Annie to join in....


and, of course, where they are, Mollie goes. "What ya doin', guys?"

Bruce took some of Bob's ashes out to the bean field, he said they spent many hours walking beans and solving world problems. Looking at the sky, he said, "I know you are watching, Bob."


Sprinkling some in the pond.....

Then it was getting time to go, one last family photo in front of the new, improved outhouse with the 'French' sign Leo made.

Take 2...

Back at the house the packing and loading was completed, Stephen and Kathy decided they had time to go to church with us before heading up the road to Sioux Falls. But first, one last goodbye to all the animals and stopping at the farm to bid Morris a fond farewell.

"Munch, snaarf, gobble, uhh, goodbye guys, come back soon with cat treats for me, I'm so underfed."

Someone sniffed and snuffled through church, okay, I admit it, it was me, but I was already missing them. Tears flowed freely at the last hugs as we pointed Stephen toward Sx Falls with the words, "Keep going North and WEST!" (He was a bit directionally challenged driving home from the reunion Sat night, he kept wanting to turn east.)
Bruce wanted to cheer me up so he took me out to eat in Cherokee, when we arrived home we found this surprise on the couch!
Flowers and a lovely card that each person expressed their appreciation for the farm experience and inside each bag, a Disneyland sweatshirt for each! (They live just 10 minutes away.) The tears flowed again, we love them!! Thank you so much!! Hope you had a good trip home.

After a week of non-stop, whirlwind activity, silence ensues and none of us quite know what to do. Our special needs cat, Clyde, followed the family around upstairs as they packed, getting in their way, ditto downstairs, managing to get stepped on twice. He was so distraught at their leaving, he hacked up a hairball in the laundry room and spent the rest of the day in the cat tree in their now empty room.

Mollie is very subdued, but then maybe she just needs the rest.

I wandered through the house, doing laundry and putting the bedrooms back to order, not near as much fun as getting ready for them.

Ghost is smiling.


  1. Ahhh Julie - what a wonderful, emotional post. I had no idea Cousin Bob was going to be at the pond and now he will always be a part of what he so loved - the pond, the farm, just plain old IOWA. What a great man he was, and a fine resting spot for some of his ashes!! I LOVED his fine son and family - it was lovely getting to know each and every one of them. I can only imagine how much every one on the farm misses them!! Thanks for this beautiful ya, kid CG

  2. This was wonderful to read. I wish I could have met Stephen's family and "re-met" Stephen, whom I haven't seen since he was a child, I'm sure. I have wonderful memories of Bob, from meeting him at the depot in Cherokee when he used to visit even before he was married, to when he came out to WI with Mom and Dad and helped build our garage extension. John took him and Dad to see Pheasants Forever, and he and Dad thought that was great. He and Mom and Dad used to have such fun together when he came out to visit on the farm. It's wonderful that he will forever be a part of what his grandfather and father also lived, and that he clearly had a life-long love for.

  3. I echo both my sister's comments... reading this, caught off guard, no idea that part of the visit was to bring Bob "back to the farm". How beautiful and what a great thing to do. I sit here emotionally crying for many things remembered of Bob and his family and all the extremely fond memories of having "Cousin Bob" visit for a few weeks every August as I was growing up! I hope Kathy, Stephen and family will come back every so often (more than not!) to revisit, and I hope that it will work out for me and my family to also meet their California Cousins!

  4. It was so nice to meet all of them, they are such wonderful people (and truly the most polite/sweet kids!!)! I didn't know you were spreading his ashes there either. Momma always says she wants to do that too. I think for all of us, that place has a special place in our hearts. So many amazing memories of pre/post wedding parties, celebrations and just family time are wrapped up there for all of us and for our extended families/friends who have also enjoyed the serenity it holds. Glad to know my tears are genetic and not just my own mushy-ness. Love you all!