Along the Natchez Trace

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Celebration of Life...

and of family, of friends, and most of all, with love and laughter.  Often funeral announcements will give the time and place that family and friends will gather to celebrate the life of their departed loved one.  Bill and I got lucky...  we didn't have to die and we got to attend and enjoy the celebration that our kids put on for us.

As it happened, Bill's older daughter and my daughter graduated in the same high school class.  Their 35th class reunion was last weekend and both planned to attend...  Donna from New York and Michelle from Pennsylvania.  Bill and I are here (Athens, Ohio) for the summer, so Donna got the idea to have a party while they were here.

When we had the farm, Bill & I raised goats and for several summers we hosted a "goat roast", inviting friends and family over for a day of food, (BBQ goat etc), music, and fun.  Our farm was named "Bish Farm", and it was the Bish Farm Goat Roast.  

Donna called this the "15th Year of RVing Bish Farm Reunion"

This is the cake she had made...  (Bill had several bee hives and we're both birders...  very appropriate!)

Eclipse, where the party was held, was really nice.  While the table settings and some of the decorations were partly provided, Donna made colorful flags to decorate the room.

Alberta, Bill's sister, and I helped Donna and Glenn gather wildflowers for table bouquets.

Alberta flew in from New Mexico...  a real surprise for Bill....  and quite a prank in the process.  

But Donna really outdid herself!

She made displays of photos from past years...  everything from both Bill & my childhoods, to teens... and into adulthood...  our parents, our kids at all ages, our grandkids, and great-grandkids.  She also made up a "memory book", so that folks attending the party could write something about their relationship to us.  That will be a treasure I'll always keep!

The people started arriving...  
I've been friends with the couple on the left (sorry I cut Judy off) since I was 15 years old.  Those are Bill's two daughters... Michelle from PA and Celeste from TX heading in.  My brother and one of our sons-in-law in the background.

 Me, greeting my brother and his son and daughters and their families...

 Celeste and Michelle...  Bill's daughters.

 Family Photo...  Alberta, Victor and Celeste, Richard and Michelle, Bill and me, Glenn and Donna.
My son hadn't arrived yet, and we never did get a photo of all of us together.

 Glenn...  and John Clark and Pat Paterson.  John and Pat were (and still are) good friends of my son, Dan...  I've known them since they were teen-agers.

 We just met Deb for the first time.  She's Fish's friend and she's with Rhonda, who I used to work with.  I've known Rhonda almost 40 years!  (and, yes, she was just out of high school when we met)

Fish, Celeste, Wendy and Jackie

 My brother, Larry and his daughter Cindy

Here's Larry with Cindy's twin sister, Kim

 Donna, Dave and Theresa Smith and me.
While Dave is now our rental manager here in Athens, he used to be our neighbor and has always been our friend.  I babysat for him when he was about 5 years old...  we go way back ;-)

 Donna, me, and my son, Dan

Celeste and Michelle, with their Dad

 The annual "Rose between Two Thorns" photo...
Me, my brother, Larry and my sister, Cynthia

 There was an open bar...  it was Brew Week in town and they had all kinds of different beers available as well as wine and other drinks.

 My great-niece and her boyfriend....  groups of folks chatting...

Mary and Chris Hanning ...  John Clark

My son's girlfriend, Yvonne, Bill, our good friends (and geocaching buddies) Roger and Patty, and Glenn with his back to us.
In the background to the right is our friend, Joan Kraynanski and her grandson Ryan.

Dan and Yvonne

I worked at O'Bleness hospital for 20 years, beginning in 1977...  every one of these folks started there before me...  Rhonda, Mimi, Sandie and Skip.
Even though all of us have retired or moved on from there, we still remain friends today.
Mimi and Rhonda's husbands were here also.

Did I mention that the party was catered?
Donna had Kisor's BBQ set up their signature buffet.
Pulled pork, BBQ chicken, slaw, baked beans, pasta salad...  probably other stuff...
But all delicious and oh, so tasty!

And... for the grand finale..
A Group Photo!
I think a few folks had already slipped away, a a few slipped in late, but this is pretty much the whole group.  Some folks sent their regrets, and some of our good friends just live too far away.

Thank you Donna and the others who planned all this, and all who came to celebrate our friendship.
I was truly a wonderful day.

That's All For Today!


  1. What a wonderful celebration. Donna and the group did a fantastic job. Congratulations and wishing you many many more happy years of adventure.

  2. A great celebration to a very deserving couple. Glad you got to attend your celebration of life and enjoy it.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

  3. Wow, that is an extended group of family and friends. Looks like a good time! The picture display, wow, someone went to great work to put it together. A labor of love, no doubt. You two have so many loving friends and family---makes you very very wealthy!

  4. Such an amazing couple and an excellent celebration of life. Nice they all got together with y'all

  5. Wow, nothing like getting together with old friends and family. I bet you and Bill really did enjoy yourselves.

  6. How perfect. Wonderful memories. You are very fortunate to have so many friends and family.

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us. I feel like you gave us a bird's eye view of the whole event. I wish you many more years of happy travels, wherever they may take you.

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