I dug out an old photo album last night.  I was in search of a specific picture, and prayed  it was there.  When I finally laid eyes on it, I cried.

sammie and vi

It was taken on February 14, 1995.  I didn’t remember it was Valentine’s Day, but I did remember it snowed that day!  Snow is a bit of a rarity around here, and it was an epic snowfall.

But, aside from the weather, that day was memorable for another reason.

My Uncle Sammie and Aunt Violet arrived from Montana for a visit.

For any of us who’ve made that journey, we know it’s quite the trek.  To say I don’t get many visitors from my hometown is an understatement.  My brother commented that he was quite sure it was easier ~ and probably cheaper ~ to get to Timbuktu!!  🙂

But, they and some friends of theirs got in their car and toodled down the road and across the ferries to see us.  For a few days, they visited with us in our cozy little camp apartment.

We talked and laughed.  They played with our boys and told us how cute they were.  (They really were, weren’t they?).  They helped with dishes and took us out for supper to Banners Restaurant.


My sister called last night to tell me Aunt Violet had passed away.  Although I knew she was failing health-wise, the news was still a bit shocking.  My heart started to squeeze as it does with painful news, and immediately, I remembered.

My mind flitted through so many scenes ~ Sunday afternoons at her farmhouse,  New Year’s Eve in their family room addition,  lunches at the Tastee Hut,  her impeccably decorated Christmas trees, and those precious few days in our own home.

Sweet Rememberings.

It’s the rememberings, I find, that makes saying good-bye for the last time so painful.  It’s in those rememberings that we mourn the loss of being able to make more memories.  It’s a hard thing to let go of.

But, it’s also in the rememberings that I also realize how richly blessed I am to have the memories in the first place.

vi and sammie

Aunt Violet, thank you for blessing my heart and enriching my life.

Uncle Sammie, thank you for being an incredible role model of long lasting love and commitment.

And to the rest of my family in Montana today, know you are in my thoughts and prayers.  I so wish that road between us were shorter and easier to travel.  If it was, I’d be on it…

Big hugs around your neck to you all.

And, hallelujah, for the hope of Heaven.

Because of it, this good-bye isn’t forever.

{That family reunion up there must be pretty amazing!!}


I know this doesn’t really fit with the 31 Days of Projects theme, but thank you for your understanding in today’s diversion from homey projects.  My pre-scheduled posts ended yesterday, and I currently have a big ol’ project on the go…so hopefully I can get a little more blogging done before tomorrow!

Blessings to you all.

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  1. Oh Rita, now I sit here at school with tears running down my cheeks. This is beautifully written and it helps me remember the beautiful family that I have!❤️

  2. I’m having a hard time turning off the tears today too! Have looked to Sammie as the patriarch of the family since our parents are gone. Hard to be so far away. They visited us in Des Moines the first year we were married. Remember baking a chocolate cake for them. Hope the rest of your day brings something good!

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