West Des Moines, IA
Wife, Judy and I celebrated 43 years of marriage this past April and have been in West Des Moines for 34 years. We are happily retired, although Judy keeps finding things to do…at last count she’s retired 3 times. I retired and stayed retired. ?
Both our kids, Joel (age 36 and single) and Jennifer (age 33 married to Brian with 2 little ones) also live in WDM so we are lucky to see them frequently. It goes without saying that being “grandpa and grandma” brings us great joy and many laughs! Abby turned 3 in March, loves running, learning new things and talks non-stop about anything and everything. Elise turned 1 in July, loves “talking” as much as her big sister and pretty much wants to do anything big sister does
I am a collector at heart and have been doing it my entire life, both new things and old. Too many to list. Favorite vacations always involved the kids – trips to Disney in FL a few times and to Disneyland in CA to watch our daughter march in the Tournament of Roses parade with her high school band. My memories of school are generally positive, with friendships and of course, sports being at the top! All the teachers influenced in their own unique ways.
I’ve seen many changes in the past 5 years. Dad passed away in June 2016. Mom’s health declined and in 2017, we sold her home of 60 years, she moved in with us and I became her care provider for 3 ½ years. Jennifer married Brian in 2017 (and I ruptured a disc in my back the day of her wedding, still walked her down the aisle, had the father-daughter dance and most guests didn’t have a clue. I had back surgery a month later). Granddaughter Abby was born in 2018, followed by Elise in 2020. Mom’s health further declined and she moved to a care center mid-2020. She got Covid-19, was hospitalized and survived. She turned 88 this past January. She’s still as pleasant as always and is doing well.
The biggest impact from this pandemic for me is to appreciate all the things in life, no matter how insignificant they may seem. And appreciate the people in your life.