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Monday, August 31, 2009


View from our beloved Grand Mesa, the largest flat top mountain in the world.

This is the last picture I took of Dad with Mom, a few months before he died on August 30, 2008.

This past weekend was the year anniversary of Dad's passing. Yes, it was very bittersweet. The "-sweet" was I spent most of the weekend on the Grand Mesa with my Dad's memories. This beautiful mountain is where we spent many wonderful happy days exploring the woods, jeeping rough roads, camping, fishing, and enjoying nature.. As Dan, our dog Marley and I sat around the campfire Saturday night, I recalled many sweet stories about my Dad. I cried, I smiled and I laughed. I wore one of Dad's old corduroy shirts. We went 4 wheelin' this weeekend on top of the Grand Mesa. We had a blast and I know Dad was smiling along the way with us. He loved the mountains. He also loved the flowers. If you asked him what "this" particular flower was,
he'd always answer. Either the real name or his favorite name for a flower that he didn't know..
"floraanonymous".. that was my Dad.

When I was walking with Marley I found these wonderful yellow rusty flowers. They start out yellow but in the fall, turn a lovely tinted burnt orange. I picked a small bouquet and later on Sunday afternoon, after we had a small family reunion lunch gathering, we stopped at the cemetery. I placed those mountain flowers on Dad's grave. I didn't know the name of them, I called them
floraanonymous and smiled. Later I researched them. Eriogonum Umbellatum. Suflar Flowers, a member of the Buckwheat family. And no, they do not smell of sulfur, but when yellow are the color of sulfar. Then the lovely tinting of burnt orange in the fall. Special.

Let me just say, I am not crazy for cemeteries, and I don't think Dad was either. Not because of the graves or the symbols of death, nothing creepy. Rather I personally don't quite feel the need for them because the souls are no longer there. To me a cemetary is just a sad bone garden for the living. And so for me, Dad has never really been there. I think we did the gravestone and plot for Mom, as it should be. So my time with Dad was up on the mountain. He sat at the fire with us Saturday night. He was grinning over my shoulder when I was bumping down the trail on my little 4 wheeler. That's where I know my Dad is. But I left the flowers and left knowing Dad was walking away beside me, beside all of us.
Happy. That's Dad now. Happy, listening to "Big Rock Candy Mountain".
And doodling along the road with me when I drive his Jimmy, now mine. That's where Dad is to me.

ta dad...... love you....miss you

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