Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day weekend

This past weekend Amy, Hannah and I celebrated the high school graduation of Joey Henning, our nephew. Many of Amy’s family came to celebrate with Joey. He graduated from Ellsworth High School in Wisconsin and is going to attend St. Thomas University this fall.

Friday night was the actual graduation. I was very impressed that the planners of the ceremony were able to fit in two student speeches, an award to a teacher, music, and the distribution of diplomas in less than a hour. I wrote on my Facebook page that attending a small town, graduation is extra special. In a small town almost everyone knows almost everyone. The students who graduated were not just numbers or names to the adults present. Many present knew the stories of each of the students.

My wife, Amy, was thrilled that her high school English teacher received the teacher of the year award at the graduation ceremony. Her teacher is retiring this year after 40 years of teaching. She was influential in Amy deciding to go to college.

It’s been a blast getting to know Joey over the past twelve years. The first time I met him was the summer of 1998. I was dating Amy. She took me to Ellsworth to meet her parents and sister’s family. Joey was only six at the time. He was swimming at Amy’s parents’ pool when I first met him. That night he teased Amy & I about dating each other—in a way that was endearing coming from a six year old. I knew at that moment that I liked that kid.

Now Joey is well over six foot tall and has muscles that make me wonder if I should give him a guy slug. He’s become an accomplished golfer. Today he’s representing his school at a sectional golf tournament. If he makes it in the top ten he will go to state. I’ve already asked him if he’ll give me golf lessons this summer.

Yesterday I was able to participate in the yearly ritual of Amy’s family putting flowers on the graves of Amy’s relatives. We drove to the cemeteries in Eau Galle, Durand, rural Tell, and Mondovi. We ended the day by visiting Amy’s aunt Ginny, who recently suffered a fall. Ginny’s attitude amidst adversity is an example to all of us.

Last weekend was the first time I’ve been away from Chain of Lakes Church on a Sunday since the first Sunday of the year. It was wonderful celebrating the weekend with family.

Check out some of the pictures I took at: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1804020379442&set=a.1804017139361.2099886.1207857227&type=1&theater

No comments: