With Dad and Ev both gone, their apartment had to be emptied. A job like that is not easy and of course, it comes with a deadline so as to avoid paying rent for 'the stuff' to sit there.
The O'Toole kids really worked hard and all of the housewares found new homes, either with family or local charity thrift store.
I knew I would have to go and sort through Dad's things and haul back to Wisconsin all that we wanted to keep. My Grandfather's rocker was something we want to keep of course and then who knows what else Dad had saved over the years.
Much to my surprise, my best friends, Rochelle & LeAnna told me that they wanted to fly back here and help me with this process. They felt that they could help me do this and it would be more important than having them attend the Memorial Service in December. I still can't believe that they did it, but it was a special gift to me.
I picked 'the girls' up at the airport in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon and we headed South. We stopped and ate lunch and took our time, which in hindsight, maybe wasn't the best plan. All was going fine until about Albert Lea, when the snow started, the wind was blowing and the sun was setting. Once it was dark, driving was pretty difficult. We were very relieved to reach Clear Lake safe and sound. The motel was full that night as many travelers had abandoned the interstate in favor of safety and warmth.
Tuesday we woke to better weather, although it was cold and windy. We headed to Belmond to start on the work at the apartment. I was really impressed with how much had been done by the O'Toole kids. After making a quick plan, we got to work. Jeff, Ev's son, came down and we did a few errands...bank, post office, etc, then headed back to work. By day's end, we were sure we could finish on Wednesday, so we loaded the car and headed to the drop off at a thrift store in Clear Lake. We made a donation of sizable quantity there.
We met Jim and Janette for dinner that evening. Dad even bought (with Glenn's blessing)! The 5 of us spent the evening reminiscing about Dad & Ev, laughing and crying and toasting our good fortune to have had Dad and Ev for so long. We enjoyed our time together and made plans for future visits, but very sadly we were NOT smart enough to have the waitress take our photo!
Wednesday morning, we were back in Belmond and finished up the packing up of Dad's items. The residents of the apartment complex were all so kind and spoke so highly of the folks. By about noon, we packed up the car with as much as would fit and headed back to Clear Lake. Glenn will return to Belmond to get the remaining items.
The motel was quiet on Wednesday afternoon, so we sat in the lobby and played 3 handed Bridge until supper time. LeAnna is just learning and Rochelle & I have played but are also still learning. It was a nice afternoon with friends. We decided on Cancun for Mexican food that evening, it was just ok, as we 3 all like our food with more spice. That evening we relaxed in our rooms with our iPads and visited as we played our silly games. We experimented with an on line bridge game site and hope to have an online game one of these days.
Thursday morning, we packed up and headed for Minneapolis. The flight was later in the day, but the plan was for me to be heading East by 2pm so I could make it home in the daylight.
We took a pit stop at Cabela's in Owatonna. Neither Roche, nor LeAnna, had ever been inside a Cabela's. (Something the Johansen family finds to be almost unbelievable.)
I persuaded a shopper to take a photo of us in front of the exhibit of taxidermy.
|Cabela's - Owatonna, MN|
I arrived home just as the sun was going behind the trees.
Today I hauled everything in from Dad's van and tomorrow I'll start sorting out Dad's affairs.
I'm thinking my tear ducts will get yet another good washing.
I'm so thankful for Roche & LeAnna's visit and all their help, it was good medicine on top of the work we got done!