Wednesday, January 20, 2010

R.I.P. Shelborn W. 'John' Cale

On January 2, at the ripe old age of 92, my step-grandfather, John Cale passed away. His passing was a blessing in that he was having many health and dementia problems but he will be greatly missed as he was a spirited and loving man!

Presented here is the eulogy his daughter, my stepmother, gave at his funeral:

Today is also a welcomed day because it brings us together to acknowledge and pay tribute to a very fine man.

My dad enjoyed a long life and a long retirement. There were many things he enjoyed and loved.

His earliest love was undoubtedly for the state of West Virginia. He was always pulling for WV University’s Mountaineers, looked forward to and tremendously enjoyed participating in his home town reunions, and loved talking with strangers and friends alike about the history and political goings-on in the state. While in high school, he won the Golden Horseshoe Award, an honor that is still bestowed today on the top few students in the state based on their knowledge of the history and geography of West Virginia. Indeed, WV was one of the loves of his life. I can hear him now breaking into the opening strains of “The W.Va Hills—how majestic and how grand…” Oh, those beautiful hills.

My mother was another of his life loves—he relished telling how he spied her across a dance floor and fell in love at first sight. Their marriage has lasted 69 years—should we all be so fortunate.

My sister and I were also beneficiaries of his caring and his unwavering support. He always felt that we could do whatever we set our minds to. Over the years, he expressed great pride in our accomplishments.

Daddy loved to sing. As a young man, before the war, he sang on the radio. But for most of my life, I remember him singing around the house or while driving the car. In his last few years, he would tell us about the beautiful music being conducted inside his head. Any song he thought of would trigger an orchestra to tune up in his mind.

And then, there were the practical jokes and teasing that were always a part of his personality. He had a long record of planning and playing practical jokes on family and friends. One of these complicated shenanigans nearly got him shot when Uncle Jess Sharpe mistook him for a loose woman and threatened him with a loaded shotgun. Even in his waning years, he loved to tease—always with a twinkle in his aye and a wink to one of us.

I would be remiss not to mention my father’s sense of responsibility—bills were to be paid on time, and appointments were to be kept in a timely manner. He had an accountant’s attitude about doing things correctly the first time and keeping things in good order.

Robert Frost once wrote a poem entitled “Acquainted with the Night”. The speaker in the poem talks of wandering out at night, down deserted streets, dropping his head when someone approached so that he would not be required to acknowledge the other’s presence. Not a poem for my dad.

His would be more aptly entitled “Acquainted with the Day”. For he would go forth to embrace the event, to seek out people—strangers or friends—and he would extend a welcome, much in the same spirit as my great grandmother often did—to “come and sit a spell”.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Aunt Su-Su claims the prize...

...for best Christmas present ever! Matt is featured here with his new best friend, yellow puppy. Since he got this little fella at Christmas, the two have been inseparable. At first, we tried to keep puppy out of daycare but that failed miserably. So, now puppy is with him 24/7; gripped by his side much as you see him now.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Best Buds

Here is KK featured with her best bud Leila (on a playdate to James Island County Park).

Dance Lessons

We have been talking as a family about taking KK to dance lessons for months and on Monday, she finally had her first lesson! She was so excited and she had a great time. She is featured here in the new dance leotard that Grandmomma and Poppa gave her for Christmas (which she loves). The classes are ballet, tap, and acrobats for 3-5 year olds. We are hoping that Katharine's friend Leila will get to start next week.

Katharine has been told that her dance leotard is only for dance classes and not for play (good thing too or she would have worn it everyday this week). Katharine feels she needs to practice and has found her own way to feel like she is in dance clothes. I will describe what she was wearing yesterday when I got home from work as an example: a long sleeved white shirt, her polka-dotted bathing suit over the shirt, brown and white struped leggings on top of the bathing suit, and her pink play tutu on top of all that. It really was hysterical and it is just amazing the things Katharine comes up with to wear!

Friday, January 01, 2010

The holiday wrap up!

As I write this, the Roof family is wrapping up a two week Christmas hiatus with lots of quality time at home! It was such a nice and relaxing time. We started off the break with a quick overnight trip to see Grandmomma and Poppa Roof in Columbia. We went to the family service at church on Christmas Eve (where Matthew yelled out "yea" very gleefully at the end of each hymn). We threw out our reindeer food and left out cookies for Santa (of course!). And we had a really fun Christmas morning! Katharine opened every gift saying, "this is exactly what I wanted!". Big hits were a dollhouse for Katharine, a wagon for Matty, and so many other fun things! On Christmas night we began a fun weekend of quality time with Grandmama and Grandpa Willert. And we even had a visit from Grandmomma and Poppa and Morgan right before New Year's. Good times!