Friday, December 5, 2008

The Circle Gets Smaller

As my usual readers know, I love my northern castle. It gives me and my wife to renew ourselves and our relationship with each other. We are more relaxed. We are able to talk in a way that we don't often get, what with the usual grind of the work-a-day world. It is good for my soul. Usually.

Sometimes, life has a way of intruding, even up there.

Three years ago tomorrow, on December 6th, or next door neighbors, Richard and Geraldine, were involved in a head on collision. Geri died instantly. Richard hung on for seven weeks before succumbing to his injuries.

I took their deaths pretty hard. Not only did they take care of Grandpa when he lived up there, but they helped us out. A lot. Richard was a regular Bob Vila and any project that he turned his hand to would come out as good as any professional could have done.

But what hurt most was that they were our friends. Whenever we were up there, we would usually spend our evenings together, playing table games or just visiting. We became so close that my wife and I would semi-jokingly refer to them as Mom and Pops. We didn't know how much our friendship meant to them until after they had passed. His brothers and sisters told us with pride of our nicknames for them, and how glad that they were that we took over the land from Grandpa.

Well, after they died, there was a long probate battle, and when the dust, and the case, settled, the land went to Richard's brother, Dave. Dave was more than a bit reserved at first. I don't know if it was just in his nature, or part of his long history with the military, or something else. But, as most people do, he eventually warmed up to us, and while not as close as it was with Richard, we developed a friendly relationship. He was kind enough to let me store some of our bigger stuff in his garage, when ours collapsed.

But this friendship was destined to become even more short lived. David died on Tuesday after a short battle with cancer. Given the proximity of dates, it made both losses all the greater.

And to make matters worse, Dave and Richard's sister, Diane, and her husband, have decided that they are going to stay in Appleton permanently.

My wife and I are going up there this evening. The weather forecast calls for snow and bitter cold. I have a feeling that the cold will be sticking around for a while, in more ways than one.

Good bye, David. Say "Hi" to Richard and Geri for us, would you?


  1. Sorry, Caps. I know well what it's like to lose friends unexpectedly.

  2. Shoot, c, I'm very sorry to read this. Sorry. :-\

  3. In the past nine years, I have yet to make it a whole calendar year without losing a friend or family member. I really am starting to feel like the Angel of Death.