Lyle's Blog

Friends and Family

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I find myself without much sleep tonight. The coming day is a big one. It will start off with work, then I am heading down to Lapine. First, I will be going to a family reunion. The Day family. My father grew up on the Day ranch that still stands out on Day Road. I believe I have spoken of that before.

Then, I will be speaking at David Miltenberger's service. I agreed to do this when the man who they had expected to speak was not available. It is that which occupies my mind tonight as I want to do it right by his family. I am not worried of what to say per se but more how I am to say it. Especially in the pronunciation of names. I have been to other services where the person speaking has messed up the names and it almost seems disrespectful in a way. Like the night before Phil's service earlier this year, my head is filled with thoughts of David tonight. It would almost be easier as was the case in Gene's where I found out minutes before the service and did not have time to hash out things in my mind.

At the same time as the service, the Bend South Little Leaguers will be battling for the Northwest title against Montana. I am so grateful for the DVR and I will keep the radio off on my way home so that I can experience their fight just as it was live and with no commercials. It was fun watching them play Washington the other night. Jay was not able to watch that game as he was out with is youth group so we watched the highlights on the computer. He said it felt weird to see his friends and their families on ESPN.

Now, while thoughts of the full day waft through my head, my nose distracts me as I sit next to the open window of my room. Every night around this time, a wild animal roams close to the house probably foraging for food. By the rank smell, I would say it is either skunk or raccoon. I have looked around for it before but it keeps itself hidden pretty well. It just cannot hide it's smell.

Jay and I drove Judy's car down to the show at Erickson's last evening. I went up and signed in and as I turned around, I met up with a familiar face but behind sunglasses. He smiled and said, "You don't recognise me, do you?". As he took off his hat, I realized who he was by his distinguished head as he spoke the words, "Les Stiles". We talked but the speakers were in our ears drowning out the conversation. I did catch that he was there in his 1964 1/2 Mustang, however, so we walked over to take a look at it. It was truly a beauty and I could tell that Les was very proud of it. It had been well cared for and I told him that he should enter it in the show. He smiled and said that it was dirty. I laughed as it was much cleaner and brighter than many of the cars around it.

We stood and talked around his Mustang and he talked of possibly joining a club of some sort in his retirement, but was not sure what do join. I suggested he consider checking out the Band of Brothers which got us talking of our time in the service. Les shared with me of how he had started out enlisted and then went to OCS and finished as an officer. I told him that something similar had happened to me but when I was asked to go to OCS, I was already married to Judy. I remember well telling the Captain that I would rather be married to her than to the Navy. Les smiled and said, "You made the right decision. If not for that, you may have not known this fine young man next to you (referring to Jay).". That drew my mind in all sorts of twists. Would I have been there speaking to him? Would I even be living in Bend? It is funny how decision such as that can alter ones future.

The show was fun and I ran into quite a few old friends that I had not seen in a while. I stood talking to two of them, Art and Celia Sanchez, as the various awards were being passed out. Art was one of my instructors in college and ended up being a close friend. We even collaborated on a computer program way back then when I did such stuff. He now works for a large company as a computer analyst. We laughed and talked of how things change along the way. We left promising to get together in the future.

The smell is fading which tells me that my friend outside has probably moved on to the next house in his nightly foraging. My head is still filled with thoughts of yesterdays and more of tomorrows. What decision or event today may change the very course of tomorrow. I guess that it just a part of the excitement of the ride we call 'Life'.

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