Prospect Avenue had a great gargoyle statue that I passed daily on my drive to work. He was very interesting as he was alone , sat on a rock pedestal, was not a water spout. He guarded the yard. His wings where spread and he had a firece look on his face. Amazing the gargoyles that surround the city. Building tops had medieval peering gargoyles, acting as rain water spouts but also making you aware they where there to protect. The most terrifying ones look as though they might break from their stone moorings and take flight. But gargoyles, it turns out, are full of surprises.
Our two bedroom apartment was over flowing with antiques and collectables. We would visit a antique store on the river. One day a sign in the window at 600 Water Street said “For Rent” and after a quick trip to Pioneer Park for a business license, “Somewhere in Time” was born. Store was filled from Lamps to Howdy Doody puppets, glassware and 1950’s kitchen items. Open Friday 11am , Saturday 11am to 9am and by chance all other times.
On A Friday morning, Sandy came in the shop, very friendly and looking talking all the time. I had copies of Country Living magazines, she was looking through for ideas. Enter Chuck who was looking for her, we struck up a conversation. This was a great day. They started coming to auctions with us, learning the art of buying and resale. They opened a shop across the river in the Pleasant Hill Antique Mall in Morton.
We are still friends, and talk at least once a week. And the gargoyle in Prospect Avenue, he must have flown away as all good dragons do, he no longer parched in the side yard of his domain.
Gargoyles break their concrete holds and spread their wings to fly
Taking back the night before the dawn of a new day
Evil hides in alleyways in costumes we all know
While the devil dances with the shadows on the moon
The sun will rise as it always does with the night before laid waste
As the gargoyles settle in as guardians for the year
One night is all the devil has to gather up his treats
and wait again in darkness to dance with the shadows on the moon
This past week my blog came to a halt, due to Lee’s Celebration of Life. Children, family members and old friends from the Illinois, Missouri, Texas and New York treked to Las Vegas, time had come to pay tribute.
In October 2017 on the 21st, Lee died of complications of C.O.P.D. that he bravely fought for 8 years. He died on a Saturday morning. Part of my life died also.
Until this past week, I have been missing my soulmate of 20 years. But his family, his children, prior wife’s and lovers, my family and friends who now are family, have elevated me back to as normal as I ever was.
Seeing his family reminded me of him and the legacy he gave them. Talking to the children’s mothers and sharing ‘Life with Lee’ was aromatic. Healing and moving forward for all of us.
On January 17, 2018 an honor guard from the U.S. Air-force presented the service. As cold as ice, taps from the trumpet filled the room. Tears, sobs and joy. The FLAG was opened and folded. Presentation was to me from the U.S. Air Force and the President of the United States of America. What an honor for Lee. For his children. For everyone on the room.
Tribute speeches started with Lindi, Lee’s first wife. Very moving, she referenced ‘It was the best of times and the worst of times’ and highlighed their ‘love story’ together. Next Kathy, Lee’s second wife payed tribute to Lee and their life and family love story. Children came next- Bill, Paula, Rachel, Leslie- them we had to move to the cemetery for burial as our time in the chapel was up. Tribute speeches would continue at the Celebration that would follow. Lee was carried by children and driven in golf cart. Family and friends followed in cars. Section B. Lee was hugged by all, kisses on the cold metal urn, warm sun beat down. Letters, pictures, last treasures where placed in the concrete vault. His son Bill, also a Veteran. placed Lee inside the vault. Flowers followed and layered inside around Lee. The door was attached to the Front, only temporary until the embossed permanent one arrives. People dissipated.
“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected.
Maybe they always have been and will be.
Maybe we’ve lived a thousand lives before this one
and in each of them ( the lives) we’ve found each other.
And maybe each time, we’ve been forced apart for the same reasons.
That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years
and a prelude to what will come.”
Thank you George Lee Hall for the great ride, miss you already. Love you baby, Jane
February brought Valentines Day. Working at OSF was great and there where volunteers who would deliver items to patients. and nurse managers offices. I recieved a flower arrangement delivered to my office that my employees found interesting. Up until then no mention of a ‘boyfriend’ had ever entered any conversations, but now flowers. We also had a ‘pot luck’ on all 3 shifts for the day of hearts and cupids. Approaching my car to go home, I noticed somethine different inside the car.The car was full of mylar balloons with hearts, I love yous and Valentines Day love sayings. My St Valentine had left me another expression of love with a card ‘Love you, Lee’. When I got home, Lee was there, and wearing my gift to him, that I left for him-Nike shorts and Budweiser tee shirt… Doc John came over with his bosses puppy that he was baby sitting. Barkley was so cute and like all puppies hugable. We all sat down for HOMEMADE dinner by Jane and had a great evening…..full of love and friendship…
A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.
January brought ice to the shores of the Illinois River. Living about one mile from the River, our daily drive to work was on Galena Road which ran along the River. The barges moved through the icy water and the birds walked on the snow covered shores. Moving from Central New York the winters in comparison where mild. Snow fall was measured in inches compared to Syracuse’s measurment of snowfall in feet.
Leslie Marie Hall is Lee’s oldest daughter. She drove up from Springfield, Illinois to spend the day with her Dad. Arriving home after work, Lee was over the top and talked about Leslie’s visit with him. Leslie’s visit meant so much to Lee, he had taken pictures , talked on ‘what’s new. and shared hugs and kisses. Great day for Lee……..
“I’m much more me when I’m with you.”
December brings a birthday to Lee. 53. His pony tail is 8 months old. Beard is 7 months old. He has a new Sweatshirt from Budweiser.com that he picked out for a birthday present. Thursday is the day this year. We went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant on the Riverfront. Great food and the music sure gave us ‘happy feet’. Upbeat and Mexican. And I made sure the singing roaming Mariachi Band stopped by the table to sing ‘Happy Birthday to Lee’. The restaurant was rocking and the la cerveza was flowing. Great night for birthday boys……Doc John delived a birthday card…….super birthday celebration…
Hear ’em singing ‘Happy Birthday’
Better think about the wish I make
This year gone by
Ain’t no piece of cake
Every day’s a revolution
Put ’em together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and
A trip around the sun
I’m just hanging on while this old world keeps spinning
And it’s good to know it’s out of my control
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from all this living
It’s that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go
Though you never see it coming
Always wind up wondering where it went
Only time will tell
If it was time well spent
It’s another revelation
Celebrating what I should have done
With these souvenirs from my trip around the sun
Yes, I’ll make a resolution
That I’ll never make another one
Just enjoy this ride on my trip around the sun….