Friday, September 30, 2011

It has been a year

A little over a year ago our extended Rinaldi family began a roller coaster ride that reached the sudden climax while we were still driving to get to Colorado.  Just before we crossed from Iowa to Nebraska, we got the call we didn't want to receive, but one we thought would come.  The family that was present had a great gathering in Cathy's hospital room, and just after they were leaving to call it a late night, Ray stayed behind to spend the night with his beloved wife.  And, she was gone.  While we couldn't be with them, it was so good that most of the family was able to be together, celebrating Cathy's life before she took her final breath.

One of the legacies that Cathy left us with is a strong sense of what family means.  And in her final act on earth she, once again, brought the family together.  We came together to grieve, try to cope with a sudden sense of lost time, lost opportunities, and missing her famous hugs.  Oh, some of us (me included) felt more than a little guilty at also not missing her sharp criticism, and her raw sense of humor.  But, mostly, we wandered each home in Colorado, knowing she would just be around the corner.  Or she would be coming, but just a little late.  Your presence was palpable, and more than once I just knew if I walked in quick enough, I'd see you weren't really gone.

What I have come to realize was how she showed me the reward of being a feisty, opinionated, compassionate and hard work woman.  Her kids and their families often stood in awe when she turned into the mother tiger protecting her cubs.  We also celebrated so many joyous and other sad occasions under her direction.  The next wedding will be hard without her hovering, and making sure everyone is having a good time!  It can never be said that you could walk away hungry or thirsty when Cathy opened her door.  Plenty of grandchildren joined her and Nonno for games of Phase 10, Rummikub and Farkel.

Lynn Cathleen Rinaldi ... you welcomed me into the crazy Rinaldi clan in your own unique way.  Thank you for believing in us, for being our cheering squad, for offering opposite opinions, but allowing us to make our own way.  And thank for you for never once saying "I told you so" when our choices were not your wiser ones.

We pray for your soul every day, Cathy, and hope that God's mercy has been showering you with some of the love you missed when growing up.  We hope that you are side by side with all your dear friends and family who departed this world before you.  We hope you'll be there when we each come across the veil to join you, waiting with open arms for a much needed hug and gentle "I love you" whispered in our ears.

Any Rinaldi's reading this post, know what we are sending our love out to each one of you.  We'd be hugging and listening to you in person if we could.  Most of all, if you can, give Ray one huge, long hug from us!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


A story similar to this link appeared in this morning's London Free Press.  It really had me scratching my head, wondering how on earth a banana was a racial slur.

I finally made the lame connection about 2 hours later to why it could even be considered racial prejudice.

So, all you folks who really believe in the racial bias inherent with Darwin's theory (used loosely, I might add) here you go.

If you are reading this, know that the folks we rub elbows with here in London are not of this ilk.  Probably someone from out of town (!)

100 Days Later

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

We had to celebrate on Tuesday night, late (ballet until 8:30!), because Tom is playing golf in Vancouver today.  At least, we hope so.  Last night he called to tell me it was raining, but they were expecting sunshine today.

The 100?  Well it turns out that our birthdays are exactly 100 days apart, and now he is at the middle of 50, just like me.

Peter and Mary made the cake from scratch, iced and decorated it while I was busy with my ENDOW study group at the parish.  Here they are lighting the candles to surprise their Dad!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who Tom Works For

Each Monday the London Free Press has a full page featuring someone from the local business community.  Today it was Robin Goad, Tom's boss.


Sticky Fingers

Back in July when we were being "processed" through security at the Las Vegas, Nevada airport my son's passport came up missing.  My daughter demanded that the security staff find it.  My son was embarrassed, but she was right, and they did locate his passport and return it.

After reading this story in today's paper, I am wondering a lot about how innocent it really was.  Something similar happened to Tom's parents on one of their vacations to Mexico with the airline check-in counter, but they didn't realize the Phoenix airport employee had not returned their passports until they had to present them in Mexico!  Fortunately, that was before a passport was required, and they had enough other documents to continue their vacation.

Hmmm... makes we think that the passengers aren't the ones who need screening at the airport.  We are most likely the least of our worries!

Good Bye, Nonno!

Another quick trip across the border to take Ray to the Detroit airport.  Here are Mary, Peter and Ray after a quick breakfast.  (btw, do not recommend the Bob's Big Boy by the airport ... Mickey D's would have been a better choice)

Autumn Colors

In the backyard ...

Nice Visit

Labor Day weekend we had visitors.  Tom's Dad, Ray, flew to Detroit from Denver.  It was, unfortunately, quite a long ordeal for him at the Denver airport.  First his flight was delayed, then, while he was waiting at the gate, the gates were changed without anyone notifying him.  Ray wears hearing aids, and they are readily apparent.  But apparently United Airlines does not believe in taking care of their passengers.  He was left behind.  The gate personnel said they had paged him ... we all know how easy it is to understand everything over the PA system (except the inane "Security Alert Status" notifications.)

Finally he arrived in Detroit and we scooted back across the border and arrived in London well after 1 am!  His original arrival time was supposed to be 2:30 pm.

Late on Friday our oldest daughter and her husband, Lizzy and John Paul, arrived with Sally (their adorable, rambunctious four legged bundle of hair and energy). We had hoped to have a nice fishing expedition on Lake Huron for the guys.  Not to be.  High surf negated the wisdom of trying to go out so the charter was cancelled.

While we didn't get to do much sight seeing, we did get time to visit.  Pictures were not on my mind so none were taken!

I must be a real homebody because I did not realize how close it was to get to the beach.  Mary, Ray and I drove to Port Stanley on Tuesday, and it was apparent that the "season" was over.  The beach was deserted except for us and the seagulls.  Fortunately, they must have been well fed the previous day, and left us alone, much to Mary's relief.  She had a scary run in with some greedy sea gulls at the tender age of 2 while visiting Sea World San Diego!