Friday, October 3, 2014

September 28~Our CHOP Walk, Philadelphia~

After Dad's funeral on Friday we spent the day with family just reminiscing about years gone by.  We had dinner at the Red Brick Tavern, food was good but the service, mainly the wait time for the food to arrive at our table, was not so good.  However, the extra time just gave us more time to enjoy each others company.
Saturday morning I flew back to Dover with Trish.  I had decided that I wanted to participate with Lily in her 4th Cancer Walk and I invited Sharon to join us as our original trip had finished in Philadelphia for the walk.  Trish's car was still at the airport so we flew out at 6:45 and by 10 we were at her home in Dover.  In the afternoon, we drove up to Philly and checked in at the Windsor Suites on Ben Franklin Parkway.  We were looking for a place that carried the Big 10 network so we could watch the Ohio State vs Cincinnati game and decided on The Field House near the Philadelphia Convention Center. It turned out to be the perfect venue as we had a large table right in front of the big screen and there were a few arcade games nearby for the kids to play at while we watched the game and took turns playing games with Luke and Lily. The Buckeyes pulled off a win, Luke beat Gram at hockey and Chad made it up from the farm in time for dinner so there were multiple happy individuals in our group as we all packed into Chad's truck and rode back to the hotel.

Stopped for a photo at Love Park on the way to dinner, Peg started yelling, "Jesus, Jesus!", and low and behold behind us was a Jesus look alike walking in the fountain!
I think he may have been John the Baptist as he was actually convincing people to walk into the fountain to get baptized
The next morning we were up and ready for our walk.  This is our 4th year in the Four Seasons Parkway Run/Family Walk that supports pediatric cancer research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP for short).  Lily did her first walk at 16 months.  This year in April she got a great report after her scans, she is now considered a survivor!  The walk is a celebration of sorts for our family but it is also a very sobering experience as you see many that are walking in the memory of loved ones or those who have children undergoing chemo, some of which are being pushed along Ben Franklin Parkway in wheelchairs and hooked up to IV bags.  At the top of the Art Museum steps red heart balloons were released, and I can only guess, for a loved one.  But the walk also has an air of hope that someday there will be a cure for all pediatric cancers.  I am always so humbled to participate in the CHOP Walk and I thank those who supported me by their thoughts, prayers and donations.
Luke was not happy about wearing a shirt with a pink unicorn on it. And if Luke isn't happy, Lily isn't happy!

And Lily takes the lead!!

My favorite pic of Lily this year, she's on Carlo's shoulders!!

Team Lily 2014

Luke gets his second wind

Crossing the finish line

Sharon on her first CHOP walk

What a perfect day

Team Lily, minus Carlo and CJ, they were getting Dunkin' Donuts
After the walk we went back to our rooms and checked out and stored our luggage before hopping on the PHlash bus to head down to Independence Square.  We opted to eat at a different steak sandwich place and we all agreed that Jim's was better. Had a great afternoon seeing the sights before heading back to Dover in the evening.
Independence Hall

This year's Philly Cheese Steak (not as good as Jim's!)

But it was next door to a great little sweet shop. Luke got a FroYo with lots of toppings

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 26~ A Celebration of Life~ Happy Birthday, Dad

I know that I wrote a post a while back about my dad and how his Alzheimer's disease had progressed to the point that he no longer recognized us and how difficult it was for Mom to accept.  Dad now is no longer suffering from that debilitating disease but it did not make it any easier for us to accept the reality of his death.  As it would work out, we buried Dad on what would have been his 89th birthday.  I have thought that perhaps he was not too happy about me saying goodbye when I left on my trip and mentioned that I would miss his birthday. I guess he actually did get me back for his birthday after all.
I felt a little guilty as I was driving home from Nova Scotia, knowing that my brother and sister had to make the majority of decisions for the funeral arrangements.  I will say that the viewing was well attended by friends and family paying their respects to Dad and the service was a wonderful celebratory service.  My sincere thanks to all who came and shared with our family.  The flowers were absolutely beautiful.  The VFW and the American Legion provided a moving graveside military service that was very much appreciated by our family.  Following the service we met back at the church where we were provided with a lunch by one of the bereavement teams from our church.  We watched a slide show that tried to capture the life of Bob Wilson, our father and we shared stories with our cousins and friends.  Sadly, Dad was the last of his siblings to die, the end of a generation.  I guess it is time for us to step up now.  Happy Birthday, Dad!!
Our annual hayride for the Community Presbyterian Church in Columbus

Me and Dad

Me and Dad

Mom, Dad, Judy & Me and our Studebaker 

Dad, fishing in Lake Erie

Dad also liked to camp, Mom, not so much!

I think I was taking this photo, Bob & Judy in the front

Dad with his Indian motorcycle, after HS

Dad's brothers, Richard, Walter, sister Kate and his mom.

Our family and Grandpa Wilson

Dad's HS graduation picture

Dad and Luke, reading a farm book.

Merchant Marines

Sunday & Monday, September 21, 22

The farthest north that we traveled in Nova Scotia was to Bay St. Lawrence where we stayed at Burton's Sunset Oasis.  The motel efficiency was perched high overlooking the bay and Cape North.  The owner was, as he explained, a lighthouse brat and had grown up at the lighthouse on Money Point.  He also said that the lighthouse had been dismantled and moved to Ottawa and his family home had been burned down by the Coast Guard.  The land where the hotel stood had belonged to his grandparents, Scottish immigrants that had farmed the land and raised sheep and cattle.
The view from Burton's Sunset Oasis

Looking towards Cape North

The valley below, dotted with farm homes

When we left, we headed southeast to finish the Cabot Trail.  Our plan was to do several of the smaller hikes so that we could see more variety rather than to do a longer hike that would only let us view a limited habitat.  We started with a waterfall hike, followed by a bog or fen trail, then a lake and lastly a coastline trail.  They were all beautiful in their own ways and we enjoyed them all.

A whale watching overlook, or Look Off, as the Canadians call it

An insect eating Pitcher Plant

This was the view as we drove along the coastline

After this beautiful day we continued our drive to Charlos Cove and the Sea Wind Motel. We were running late and we drove the last 2 hours in the dark and it began raining.  Sorry to say we didn't get pictures of  the 100 year old cottage, the Liza Jane, that we stayed in. It was basic, no TV or internet and we had no phone service.  Breakfast at the hotel the next morning was stellar, Blueberry stuffed French toast.  AWESOME!!
After our filling breakfast we continued south towards Halifax.  It was still extremely windy from the storm the night before but the sun was trying to come out as we wound our way down the coastline.  At one point we seemed to be on the wrong road as we came to a dead end with a river at the end of the road.  Sharon thinking we had taken a wrong road immediately said that we needed to turn around.  As we looked closer at the map we realized that we were on the correct road, we just didn't see the small print that said "ferry".  It ran every 30 minutes so we figured that we would save time and money if we took the ferry.  Even our navigation instructed us to drive onto the ferry. I'm so glad we did because our other option would not have allowed us to stop at the Bickerton Lighthouse.  It wasn't that the lighthouse was anything spectacular but because of the storm and the wind, the waves were crashing along the shore which exhibited the enormous power of the ocean.  Unfortunately, the fog and mist in the air made it difficult to see how beautiful it was.

My navigation telling us to board the ferry, even had a little ferry icon in the upper left corner!

These were the last photos that I took on this trip.  When we arrived in Halifax at the Best Western, I had a message to call Trish.  The news that I had hoped would not come until I arrived back home found me mid way through our trip.  My dad had taken an abrupt turn for the worse and would die later this evening.  Sharon and I slept until 4 a.m. and then began our 24 hour drive back home.  I had said my good-byes to Dad before I left and although his death was expected, it was unexpected.  I thank God that I had my very good friend to share the arduous drive back to Ohio. We will be back to finish this trip.