Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Father - Ernest Ha'akua Chung-Hoon

My father, Ernest Ha'akua Chung-Hoon was born on April 21, 1900 in Honolulu, HI. He died on May 31, 1981 in Honolulu, HI. He was born to William and Alo Chung-Hoon. He attended the University of Southern California (USC) and graduated from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (now known as BIOLA). Upon his return to Honolulu, he was ordained in the Congregational Church. He was given a small church to pastor, however he was not happy with the assignment and walked away from the Lord.

He was married to Kaui Kanakaole, who preceeded him in death in 1940. There were 6 children of this marriage - 2 sons and 4 daughters - Ernest Ha'akua, Jr. who preceeded him in death, Marie Piilani Chung-Hoon Kaualoku Cardena, Viola Kaui Chung-Hoon Chaffin, Harriet Haleaka Chung-Hoon Mayoga who died in 2005, Ethelwynne Alo Chung-Hoon Rycroft Rogers who died in February 2010 and Edmund-Paul Kaleopaa Chung-Hoon.

He married Bernice Kealoha Hulihe'e Chung-Hoon in 1940 (my mother). She was born on August 8, 1914 in Eleele, Kaua'i, HI and died on April 20, 2002. There are 6 children of this marriage - 2 sons and 4 daughters - Edwin Ernest, Puanani Rowena Chung-Hoon, Violet-Elizabeth (Betty) Chung-Hoon Townsend, Ernestine Kealoha Chung-Hoon Kenny, Agnes Naomi Pi'ilani Chung-Hoon Campbell and Samuel.

It is quite unique that there were 6 children in each family, 2 sons and 4 daughters with the sons being the oldest and youngest and the girls in the middle.

There are numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren along with nieces and nephews that survive him.

My daddy was my hero. I wanted to be with him every moment of every day whenever possible. My dad played musical instruments - the u'kulele, guitar and steel guitar. He also sang. When I was a little girl I loved to sit on the floor in front of him as he played and sang. Daddy re-dedicated his life to the Lord in 1948-49. We started attending the Church of the Nazarene which had recently begun to organize Nazarene churches in the islands. It wasn't too long after that daddy was given a local preachers license with the Nazarene church and he began to do evangelistic preaching and supplied pulpits. Daddy always would sing and play his u'kulele when he was going to preach. He would let me sing with him sometimes. When I was 9 years old, he was holding a service on the Big Island of Hawaii where we had gone to help start a Nazarene church. He let me sing before he preached - it was the first time I sang by myself. He participated in Youth for Christ services in Honolulu and I would sing with him there during a service.

He was also a great cook. Two things that I remember he fixed was rabbit on the grill and turtle meat when we lived on the Big Island. These were some of the unusual meals he prepared. :) Mom would always say he had a heavy hand with the salt and other seasonings.

During my first marriage, I wanted to know how to fix certain dishes so I wrote home to my dad to see how to fix them - sweet and sour spareribs, chicken hecka and chicken long rice. He hand wrote all these recipes for me besides beef tomato and several recipes to make teriyaki sauce and other marinades. I treasured those hand written recipes, unfortunately somehow they all were lost. I have no idea what happened to them. I was heartbroken when I discovered that.

I only have one memory of him spanking me, really it was hitting me. He always took my side when my mother would discipline me. However the one and only time I remember his disciplining me --we were living on the Big Island in Hilo. The house we lived in was huge with a veranda that ran across the back of the house. Our backyard had a lot of trees and at the other end of the trees lived some cousins. I think they were related to daddy's first wife. All of us kids were playing marbles in the dirt and I was arguing with my cousin Marian (we called her Butchie). Butchie and I were about the same age. Daddy yelled at me several times to stop arguing and I didn't listen. So he came outside, picked up a broom and whacked me across the back of my legs, breaking the broom handle. I was really stunned that he would do that and didn't really cry at first. Today something like that would be called child abuse.

I didn't like to eat breakfast in the morning before going to school. I hated milk and wouldn't drink it. It was powdered milk, we seldom had fresh milk. Daddy would fix me something special so I would eat breakfast. One of the things I remember he fixed for me was scrambled eggs with chopped green onions in it. He and mom would fuss at each other because he was spoiling me.

He also got quite upset at me because I was going to marry my first husband. Daddy didn't like him, he was a haole, in the service and from the south. All major strikes against him. Daddy told me he wasn't going to give me away. And then the night I was getting married, we were going out the door to the church and daddy came out of his bedroom all dressed up and wanted to know what he was suppose to do. He had decided he would give me away. During the years I was married to John, the two of them became good friends.

The last time I saw my dad alive was when I picked him from my sister Vi's house in Vista, CA to take him to the San Diego airport to catch a plane back to Honolulu. Daddy had a stroke in 1967. When he was able to travel he went to El Paso, TX to live with Marie, his oldest daughter. After a couple of years there, he flew out to California and stayed with Vi. He wanted to come live with me however John said no. I had just had Denise. She was 6 weeks ago, that was the only time he ever saw her and the last time I saw him alive. This was December of 1969.

After his return to Honolulu, he stayed in several rooming houses and met and married his third wife, Grace. My mother divorced him soon after his return to Honolulu. His health declined rapidly and he was placed in Hale Nani Nursing Facility. I would call periodically to see how he was. Sometimes I would get to talk to him and then towards the end of his life, the nurses would tell me he was more or less a vegetable and wasn't aware of what was going on around him. I believe my older sister, Puanani would visit him.

It was a Sunday when my mother called to tell me that Daddy had passed away. I was absolutely heart broken and had to give the phone to Gerry. We had been married six months, the next day would be 7 months. Denise, Gerry and I traveled home for Daddy's graveside services. My younger sister, Ernestine and her family lived in Sacramento at the time and they also flew home. One of the things Dad and I always talked about was that when he died I would sing at his service and the song would be "Beyond the Sunset". I reminded my mother of that and at his service, I did in fact sing that song. There was a friend of Mom's at the service and she played her u'kulele and sang with me. It was a promise fulfilled.

My daddy has been gone for 29 years, yet it seems like yesterday. I miss him terribly. In spite of all his short comings and there were many, my daddy was my hero!! I loved him so very much!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Updates

As I knew I would, I have a nice bruise on my backside from my fall the other day and the area around it is pretty tender. Most of the stiffness is gone except I have noticed that if I sit too long then it takes me a little bit to stand up and walk. I have some bruising on my right leg too.

The last couple of days it has been cooler than its been. I haven't been turning on the AC until the afternoon and then about 7pm turning it off. It gets too warm in my craft room with the afternoon sun shining right into my room. Gerry teases me that anything over 75 degrees I'm miserable. He was talking to his sister this afternoon making some unkind comment about the little "Hawaiian" and the heat. I poked my head around the corner into his office, had my atomic clock in my hand and informed him that it was 82 degrees in my room. If there had been a breeze, it wouldn't have been too bad. However, there was no breeze.

I got real lazy with dinner tonight. Gerry didn't have lunch until 3pm so it was about 7pm when I finally went into the kitchen. He was outside moving some red rock from a neighbor's yard over to an area of ground along side our carport. The neighbor wants all the red rock removed from in front of her mobile so Gerry's been getting some of it. I had taken some pork chops out so I pan fried them, we had those and some salad. It was good and filling.

I've been very busy at my craft table working on more card swaps from Splitcoast Stampers. I will post pictures of the cards I've made yesterday and today on my card blog.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Fell Today

Before I tell you about my fall this morning, when I signed on to my blog, there was a comment that needed to be published. When I clicked on to it, I discovered that the mother of the young marine whose funeral was a couple of weeks ago, left a comment. I asked Gerry to read it and he wanted to know how she would have found my blog. Well, she probably googled her son or the Patriot Guard Riders and my blog popped up. I wrote a response to her comment. I feel very honored.

As I mentioned earlier on Facebook, I fell this morning. I had gone out to put the trash bag from our bathroom in the trash bin. A few weeks ago, Gerry put some clay pots out along the side of the carport. So when I walked back I noticed that some of the blooms on the marigolds needed to be plucked off. So I bent over to do that. They hadn't been watered for a couple of days so I got the hose to water. Gerry had put a wand like sprinker on the end of the hose and when I turned it on, it started leaking.

Anyway, I got the watering down and was going to water the shrubs out in front of the mobile. I had taken the hose between our two vans. That's the only way to get to the pots. I could have gone behind the Nissan van, however the hose won't reach and going in front of the Plymouth van is not possible either. So I was walking back between the vans and the next thing I know I am falling towards the siding. I put my right arm out so I wouldn't fall into the siding. My right hand hit the siding and then the next thing I know my body is twisted around and I am falling on my back.

At the bottom of the back steps there is a small section of concrete that is raised. I fell back on that. Thankfully I did not hit my head. I laid there for a minute and then turned over on my left side. I managed to grab hold of the left side rear quarter panel (Gerry told me that's what it is called) on the Plymouth van to sit up and then managed to stand up.

I really don't know what happened to cause me to fall. The hose was leaking so there was water on the ground. There is an on/off switch on the wand so I had turned the water off. So I might have slipped on the water or tripped on the hose or it got wrapped around my ankles when I turned around to come back in to the carport. I also have vertigo and bending over the clay pots might have made me lightheaded although I didn't feel like I was. I don't really know.

I left the hose where it fell and slowly walked up the stairs into the house. My right hip and my back were already hurting. I got a small scrap on my right leg. I don't have a bruise yet on my hip, however I won't be surprised if there's one tomorrow. I thought Gerry would get the hose out of the way when he went for his walk after dinner. He didn't so I went out and got it up against the mobile. I don't want the Sacramento Bee carrier tripping over it.

I already have back pain with a bulging disc and arthritis in the same spot. I deal with a lot of pain from that situation so now I've got this to contend with.

I have fallen many times and so have a real fear of falling. Some of my falls have been really bad ones.

In spite of the trauma of this fall, I am just thankful it wasn't worse and I didn't break my hip or anything else. Gerry was at his one day a week job at Carmichael Cycles so I was by myself. I could have been laying there not able to get any help unless someone passed by and I could call out. God did protect me from a more serious fall and I am grateful.

I'm off to bed and hopefully I can sleep.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New Hot Water Heater Installed

Hallelujah!!! The new hot water heater is installed. Gerry made 3 trips up to Home Depot only to return from the 3rd trip with the heater that he purchased on the first trip. He discovered with the first one that it couldn't be installed in a mobile home because the warranty would be invalid. This was after calling Home Depot and then the company that made the heater. So he went back to Home Depot and got another one. The heaters for mobile homes were on a top shelf and he had to get someone to get it down. So he gets that one home, opens it up and discovers its been converted to liquid gas. I think there's a kit to convert it back to natural gas. He decides that is not something for him to do and calls Home Depot again. So on his 3rd trip there and after talking to a few people, he comes home with the first heater. If something goes wrong with the heater within the period it is under warranty, Home Depot will take care of it not the company who made the heater.

He called Jason earlier in the day and Jason came over after he got off work to help install it. It had to be lifted up to the place where it goes and Gerry needed some help to that. So, finally after 6 pm this evening, there is hot water again. We had to run the water for a little bit to get the air out of the tank and the water was brown when it first came out.

I fixed fried rice for dinner and Jason stayed to eat with us and visited for a while. I always enjoy him being over which he doesn't do very often. Usually when Gerry needs some help with something.

I worked at my craft table finishing up a swap which helped to keep my sanity and stay out of the way. I took another one of those "portagee baths" this morning so I am looking forward to a nice hot shower. In fact, I think that's what I am going to go do; I have no idea what I am still doing on the computer at 11:30 pm.

The Water Heater Died

I got a huge surprise last night when I went to take my shower. There was no HOT WATER. Gerry went outside to check and discovered water on the ground. The pilot light was off and he tried to light it, however couldn't. Thankfully the water heater is outside and not inside the mobile. That would have been a bigger nightmare.

So I took what my mother use to refer to as a "portagee bath". The water is now turned off and Gerry has gone to get a new water heater. I didn't know a person had to "take out a bank loan" to purchase a new one. They are quite expensive.

I managed to find a gallon of bottled water out on the screened porch so I could at least wash my hands after having my breakfast and reading the paper. I'm afraid it is going to be a very loooooong day! :)

It is also a very windy day with winds from the north. Also a high pressure is building up and the temperatures will climb into the 90's for the weekend. The weather service says the winds will die down by tonight.

Since I can't go anywhere until I can get cleaned up, I'll be at my craft table. I'm finishing up another card swap and wanted to get it in the mail today. Actually I have 2 other swaps that are ready and all going to the same hostess. So that's one more to cross off my list of swaps to do.

Oh, as a side note, today is the 200th anniversary of the unification of the Hawaiian Islands by Kamehameha I. It also coincides with the anniversary of his birth. There will be all kinds of celebrations going on back home, including the traditional laying of lei garlands at his statute which is located in front of the law building in downtown Honolulu. The only island he didn't conquer was Kaua'i. Here's a link to the story that appeared in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser this morning:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Susan's Pottery

I drove out to Lincoln today to have lunch with my friend, Susan. We met several years ago when she and her family started attending the church where I use to go. It wasn't long after she started coming to church that she and I became very close friends. I led a ministry there and Susan accepted my invitation to be a part of that ministry. Susan is very creative and I immediately asked her to be in charge of decorations for any of the large functions my particular ministry was involved in planning and putting on. She had a real knack in knowing how to do something without spending a lot of money.

Eventually she stopped attending and I also left the church. From time to time we'd get together and have lunch somewhere in Roseville, which is kind of half way between Lincoln and North Highlands.

She decided to go to college and has been attending Sierra Junior College in Rocklin. We've been saying we need to get together. Last week sometime she popped up in Facebook's chat room and asked if I still wanted to get together and we decided on doing it today. I drove out to her house in Lincoln and we had lunch and enjoyed catching up while sitting out on her patio.

Like I mentioned, Susan is very creative. She has taken ceramic classes at Sierra College and has all her own equipment at home to pursue making pottery. I love pottery and was very interested in looking at the pieces she has available. I took my camera specifically to take pictures and then forgot to do it. She's made two beautiful teapots. I have a collection of teapots and would have loved to add one of them to my collection. I also like different sizes and shapes of bowls. I decided on purchasing these that are pictured below. I apologize for the coloring in these pictures. I took the pictures on the breakfast bar which has awful, yucky yellow formica. Our mobile was built in 1971.

So the base of the bowls have a yellow tinge to them. They are actually off white with green. I loved how the color ran down the sides of these. This is the larger of the two in this set. I love how the inside looks. There are several colors going on here.
This is the smaller one.

This set is much smaller than the other set. I loved the shape of these. Again the base is an off white and the color is dripping down the sides.

Susan tells me that the bowls can be used in the microwave, can be put in the dishwasher and it is safe to serve food in them. I look forward to using these for an assortment of things. I've encouraged her to make a Facebook page of her pottery. She is very interested in selling her creations.
As I mentioned Susan is going to college. I believe she has another year or so to go before she receives her AA and then I think she plans to transfer to California University at Sacramento, better known as Sac State. She is pursuing an art major degree with a minor in sign language and someday teach art to handicapped/deaf students. She's also maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Not too shabby for someone who is the mother of 4 children and a grandmother. Her two youngest boys are in high school. I am so proud of her and her determination to get an education.
Well, hopefully the next time we get together, she'll come here to see my card creations. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Drive

After church this morning, we drove up to Old Town Auburn to have lunch. Gerry had mentioned driving up to Truckee, he pulled off in Auburn instead. We usually go to Awful Annie's in Old Town. There wasn't any parking close by so we turned around and came back down Lincoln Street. We drove down one of the side streets and Gerry saw a space and made a quick U-turn. We got the space in the nick of time, there were 2 other vehicles wanting the spot. We walked across the street to Mary Belle's. For as many times as we've gone up there to eat, we have never stopped at Mary Belle's. The restaurant has been open for 48 years and is housed in a building that is over 100 years old. It's pretty small inside with about 9 tables, a couple of them sat 6 people and the others 2 or 3 people each. The waitress who waited on us said that they have a back room that seats about 40 people or so.

Gerry saw that they had homemade corn beef on the menu and the waitress told him they cook the corn beef themselves. So he ordered it with eggs. The corn beef was mixed in with hash browns. He said it was good yet not like he's had at other places. I had diced ham with scrambled eggs, a fresh fruit cup that had strawberries, cantaloupe and grapes mixed together and toast.

We walked through a few shops before we got back in the van. We then drove down Hwy 49 along the American River into Cool, through Coloma, Lotus, Green Valley Road into Folsom and home. Coloma is where a lot of people rent rafts and float down the American River. It is really pretty through that area. The Tour of California Amgen riders went right through there last month. The climb from the American River up to Cool is pretty steep with a lot of switchbacks. I didn't have my camera with me although I think I've taken pictures through there and posted on the blog.

It was pretty warm today, it got up into the 90's. I closed up the house and turned the A/C on soon as we walked in the door. About 7:30 I turned it off and opened up the house. There was a nice Delta breeze coming through and it felt good.

Yesterday Gerry did the second part of Friday's mission. He said there weren't as many riders, however there were a whole lot more Marines that came up from Camp Pendleton where the Marine was stationed. I think he also said there was a group of Air Force guys there too. He took one of our coolers and stopped at WalMart to get some water and ice to share with the guys. It was very hot standing in the sun.

I'm including the email that Gerry received that the ride captain sent out to the riders. It is very well written. He mentions what an awesome mission it was and I have to agree with him. What I experienced on Friday was outstanding!! Am so glad I went with Gerry.

Here's the email:
SSgt. Adam Perkins Mission, Part One:

The Patriot Guard Riders gathered together at McClellan AFB in the early afternoon of Friday, June 4th to honor the arrival of SSgt. Adam Perkins, KIA May 17, 2010 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. SSgt. Perkins lost his life while defusing a roadside bomb. His partner lost both his legs.

SSgt. Perkins joined the Marine Corps one week after 9/11 because he wanted to do something about what he witnessed on television. He was on his second deployment to the region as a volunteer to take the place of a fellow Marine who was a new father. He'd been deployed about one month when he lost his life defusing that bomb. Perkins, 27, was deployed with the 1st Explosive Ordinance Disposal Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
SSgt. Perkins was well aware of the risks associated with his chosen job in the Marines, so he left behind video tapes of himself reading bedtime stories to his son, so that his son would remember him. His son is 9 months old.

The PGR staged 62 bikes and 4 cages. The riders entered the flight line just prior to the chartered jet carrying SSgt. Perkins touching down. Parking the bikes in a row on the tarmac, we dismounted and formed a flag line. Besides the riders, only two police bikes, the Marine Honor Guard, and family were permitted on the flight line. The media was present but were restricted as the family preferred.

Once the airplane stopped, Adam was transferred to the funeral coach by the Marine Honor Guard. We then formed two rows with flags in hand along the flight line. Moving out, the Marine Honor Guard marched ahead of the Adam's coach between our two flag lines, toward the exit gate. SSgt. Perkin's procession consisted of LEO's from many different agency's, including the Rancho Cordova Police, Sacramento Sheriff, Police, CHP, Metro Fire, CA Fish & Game, US Border Patrol, FBI Bomb Squad, and others I'm sure I missed. With twenty or so squad cars up front and countless motors to escort Adam's coach followed by his family members in three limos, the PGR fell in behind about nine FBI Bomb Squad trucks.
We eventually proceeded down Greenback Lane toward Price Funeral Home in Citrus Heights. Metro Fire had positioned a number of their trucks along the route and many firefighters stood at attention, saluting as we passed by. At one overpass, there were two large ladder trucks – one on each side of Greenback Lane with their ladders extending over this six-lane roadway, one reaching upward toward the other. Our day was completed when SSgt. Perkins arrived at the funeral home.

Of the many riders we had in attendance, eleven were on their first mission. Thank you for being a part of what we do: Paul DelRio, Rena Gibson, Henrik Poulsen, Al Kennedy, Deborah Kennedy, Doris Blatchford, Steve Booth, Temple Smite, Patrick Murphy, Donald Peterson and Terry Dickman. You have embarked upon a mysterious and wonderful journey now. Please come back soon.

I thank all of our riders from the NorCal Capitol Region. Additionally we had Patriot Guard Riders from Redding, Solano, Manteca, Stockton, Woodland, Colfax, Auburn, the Bay Area, and I'm sure some from parts unknown to me. In addition to the many PGR, Adam was honored by riders from the ALR, Old Guard, Viet Nam/Legacy Vets MC, Combat Veteran's MC Assoc., and again I'm sure I've missed mentioning some groups for which I apologize. Thanks to Chuck and the Bagpipers in attendance as well as the Soldiers Angels, Blue Star Moms president, Barbara, Police Chaplain's group, and any others possibly not mentioned here.

We are grateful to Officer Lane of RCPD and the CHP for including all of our riders in "the package", providing traffic control for us. I give a big shout out to SSgt DeWitt, CACO USMC for your kindness, cooperation and help. Your assistance is unsurpassed. The professionalism your team exhibited is beyond reproach. Thanks to Ben & Jody of Price Funeral Home for making us feel welcomed. By no less, we are extremely thankful to Adam's family for allowing us to be a part of this day of honor and respect for a true American Hero, SSgt. Adam Perkins. May he rest in peace and your sorrow healed.

Part Two:

Saturday, June 6th, The PGR on 25 bikes and 2 cages gathered, and scrambled for shade in the parking lot of the LDS church in Antelope just before noon. Again, we had many riders from afar, represented by different clubs and organizations. We also had a rider joining us on her first mission. Thank you Debbie Purrington.

We set our flag line in two rows on each side of the main entrance of the church. Soon, it was apparent the time we had scheduled for this mission went awry and we were winging it again. Nonetheless, we were holding the line when Adam Perkins arrived in the funeral coach led by a five-bike "missing man formation" from the Capitol Region PGR. This escort was provided by riders Mickey G., Carl with beads, Jon Cronk, Bill Palmer and JD.

Guests trickled in up to and after the service for SSgt. Perkins began inside the church. We stepped down for the next hour during the service. At the conclusion of the service and unbeknownst to us, a busload of Marines from Camp Pendleton had arrived, dressed in blues, to participate in the rendering of military honors. The PGR fell in, formed a semi-circle flag line around the family, Honor Guard and guests. The Capitol Region PGR looked like we always do, very well! The honors were provided in a sharp, precise fashion with a gun salute, presentation of three flags to the parents and wife of Adam, followed by the saddest 24 note song ever written, Taps.

The service concluded, and we were turned loose mid-afternoon. It was an extremely hot couple of days, but we were made comfortable with plenty of water provided by Gerry and John & Ardis Riley out of the back of their vans. The Rileys also provided extra flags, which were used on both parts of this mission. If there was any success on this mission it would not have happened without the help I received from Ride Captains Mickey G, John & Ardis. I appreciate your unwavering support.

In conclusion, I regard this as one the finest missions I've had the opportunity to be a part of during the past three years. The respect shown towards this Marine Hero, Adam Perkins was top-shelf. The interaction between the LEO's, Funeral Home personnel, the LDS Church, Marines, and the PGR was remarkably professional and cooperative among all. I am grateful to all my brothers and sisters standing together many hours under two tough day's hot sun.

As a Marine and neighbor of Adam Perkins, I am humbled by each one of you for your sincere heartfelt work and respect put forth for our Hero and his family. This was an exceptional opportunity to show our respect and honor to young Mr. Adam Perkins, his friends and family, and each one of you fulfilled this with my utmost admiration.

Again, I thank you all, and especially for allowing me to be a part of it with you. For the past two days, your light has shown bright.

Gerry told me that the parents of SSgt Perkins worked for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department. He wasn't sure if they were deputies or not.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today's Patriot Guard Riders Mission

Gerry had a Patriot Guard Riders mission this afternoon at McClellan Airfield. He went on his bike club ride first then came home to shower and change. I wasn't sure if I was going to go with him then decided that I would go. I am so glad I did.

This mission was to welcome a Marine home that was killed in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. It was a second tour for him and he actually volunteered to go back over to take the place of a Marine whose wife was expecting their first child. He left a wife and baby.

These are a few of the guys waiting for the ride captain to arrive. The man standing to the right of Gerry goes to Trinity Life Church. His wife sits a few rows in front of us. I sat in the van waiting. Gerry would walk over and let me know what was going on. When we first got there, there were just a few riders there. Then more arrived. Gerry walked over to the van and said the line of riders was across the intersection so I got out and took a picture. I couldn't even see the end of the riders. Gerry said there were probably over 100 riders there. I saw several women and at least 2 couples riding together.
The riders starting to go onto the tarmac to await the Marine's plane and form the flag line. We waited for the bikes to get past and then got in line. There was another van in front of us and it was stopped from driving onto the tarmac. They were allowed through and then the gentleman that was waving the riders through, came up to us and said we couldn't go onto the tarmac. They wanted just the bike riders. However, we would be part of the procession going to the funeral home. Gerry was talking to some of the guys there and evidently the Marines, who were coordinating everything, did not want 4 wheel vehicles out on the tarmac.
A group of assorted law enforcement, fire and civilians standing watching. Where we were parked waiting, a group of people who worked in a building next to us came outside to watch. Some were taking pictures with their phones.
The plane has landed, the casket has been transferred to the hearse and they are coming out. Here's the first law enforcement motor escort.
The hearse leaving the tarmac. I couldn't hold back my tears when I saw this coming.
A Marine detail. Behind the detail are a group of people standing with their hands over their hearts. The lady with the blond hair, 3rd person from the right is the Head Chaplain for all of the law enforcement and fire departments in the Sacramento and surrounding area. Her husband in the gray shirt is standing to her right. He is also a Chaplain.
There were Corporals, E-4 and Lance Corporals, E-3 who were in this detail. They looked so sharp in their dress blues. If you enlarge this picture, you should be able to see 2 green vans behind these cars. They transported the Marines. They left soon after this to pick up the Marines in the detail and transport them to the funeral home. Gerry said that there were 2 Lance Corporals standing at parade rest by the vans during the whole time the rest of the detail was out to receive the casket.
After the Marine detail passed, the family cars were next. There were 4 stretch limos with one of them being a SUV stretch limo. Then there were 2 more law enforcement motor escorts. Up ahead you may be able to see some white trucks. These were bomb squads from several locations including Sacramento, Roseville, Placer County, El Dorado County, Siskyou County and FBI. I know there were several others, just can't remember who they were. This Marine was a bomb specialist and he was killed when a bomb exploded near him. Actually I don't remember the particulars. After the bomb squads joined the lineup, the PGR fell in behind them.
Surface streets were taken to get to the funeral home and law enforcement motor cops were used to block the intersections. Someone pulled out onto one of the streets the procession was traveling on. A pickup truck or cage as 4 wheel vehicles are called was 2 vehicles in front of us. He pulled over to the right to block the car's path. A motor cop was right there to pull the car over to the side. As we traveled down Greenback Lane approaching the overpass for I-80, I noticed this up ahead of us. Enlarge the picture to see.
There were 2 Sacramento Metro Fire ladder trucks parked on the overpass with their ladders extended out across the street forming this arch.
As we passed by, the fire crew were on top of the fire truck on the right side standing at attention and saluting. That was so awesome.

At another fire station in North Highlands, the crew had pulled their trucks out to the intersection, had all the lights flashing on their trucks and were standing at attention saluting. It was the same story at another fire station in Citrus Heights. We saw people standing out in their front yards watching. I caught a glimpse of two young men (teenagers perhaps) standing on the corner of Dewey and Greenback with their hands and arms clasped behind them, watching.
I have seen this sort of reception on television and marveled at the sight. However, to see it in person and be a small part of it, was so awesome. Denise called me while we were driving and I was able to share with her what we were seeing. Denise's son and my grandson has been a part of a couple of funerals since he's been at his duty station, the most recent one being Memorial Day.
Since I was so teary eyed when I was taking these, I wasn't sure how well the pictures would turn out. Enlarge them to get a better view.
The second part of this mission will be tomorrow at the Mormon church in Antelope. Gerry will be participating. I will be staying home. I am so glad I decided to go today, this was something I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
We have so much to be thankful for because men such as this Marine are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have. Say thank you the next time you see someone who is serving in the military. Our family is blessed to have several who have either served or are serving...Gerry (Marines), Erik (Air Force), Keith (Air Force), Bryan (Marines) and Stephen (Army) who have served; Anthony (Air Force Reserve) and Nathan (Army) now serving. Denise's father is also a Marine. We spent the first year of our marriage with him completing his tour of active duty.

Playing Catch-Up...Again

It seems I'm always trying to play catch-up with my blogs! :) So here's what's been happening. Last Friday evening we went to a graduation dinner for Shane Anderson who graduated from Roseville High School. Here's Shane and his mom, Dawn, two very special people in our lives. We've "adopted" them into our family. Shane is headed to the University of Texas in Austin. They invited a few friends to join them at Lucille's BBQ in Roseville for a late dinner after graduation. And it was late, about 10ish before we were eating. Lucille's is new to the Roseville area and has some delicious BBQ. There were numerous platters of ribs, chicken, hot links, pulled pork, tri tip, brisket, cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, french fries, sweet potato fries, watermellon. Wow, I think that was all. The food was served buffet style for about 30 guests. All so GOOD!! Dawn got him an ice cream cake, chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Yummy!!
Then on Saturday I was up early to wait for my stamping friend Candice. We drove up to Oroville for the day. Another stamping friend of ours, Alex, was holding her very first Scrap and Stamp Fest. Everyone brought either scrapbooking or stamping projects to work on. There were a few make 'n takes and Alex taught some techniques to use in stamping. She also had some kits she put together available for purchase. I bought a card kit, I'll have pictures of that on my card blog. She also fed us well. There were muffins, juice and coffee in the morning, assorted fruits later in the morning, make-your-own sub sandwiches for lunch and then a tostada bar for dinner. Water, ice tea, lemonade, sodas and coffee available to drink. It went from 10 am to 8 pm. She had door prizes and a huge tote bag filled with over $150 worth of product for a raffle. Alex was donating the proceeds from the raffle to the Ronald McDonald House in Northern California. Candice got a door prize. It is an hour and a half drive to Oroville so Candice and I left before 8 pm and she dropped me off about 9:15. It was a fun day yet I was exhausted. Stayed home Sunday morning to rest. :)
Yesterday we went to Emily's 8th grade graduation. She is daughter Elizabeth's youngest. Elizabeth has home schooled her girls and they partner with P.A.C.T. (Pursuing Academic Choices Together), a division of Natomas Charter School. Emily will join her two older sisters at Horizon Charter School in Roseville next school year. Elizabeth and another parent organized the graduation, Elizabeth made up the program and the diplomas and made the cake that was served after graduation. She is the family cake maker.
This afternoon Gerry has a Patriot Guard mission at McClellan Air Field. They will be welcoming home a soldier that was killed in Afghanistan a couple of weeks ago. He is from the Sacramento area. Of all the missions I've been with Gerry, I haven't gone to a KIA welcome home. I haven't decided yet if I will go with him. The missions are always so emotional and this one, I'm sure, will likely be very emotional.
I've been working like crazy at my craft table. I joined several card swaps on Splitcoast Stampers so have been working on getting the cards done for them. I've mailed 4, have 2 ready to mail, I'm finishing up another one and still have 6 more to do. Also, on the 26th I'm hosting our next Shoebox Card Swap here at the clubhouse. The lady that was going to host had a conflict so we swapped months. She'll do August. So I've got card kits to make up for that and have to come up with an idea for favors. Its all fun and I thoroughly enjoy it!!
Happy Friday!! The sun just came out!!