I think this past weekend was one of the most delightful weekends I have had in ages.

FRIDAY

It was the last day of school, and I drove over to Kettering Middle School to see students for the last time, and spend time with Loretta Henderson, who has become a very dear friend.

That evening, Jose and I rode our bikes to Friendly’s restaurant for dinner to celebrate the end of school.

SATURDAY

After packing our bags, and dressing in our shirts, slacks, and ties, we loaded the car – Flyer included – and headed northeast to Springfield, Ohio for the wedding of Elaine Post to Ben.

Stacey & Elaine

In 1991, I began my position as director of worship and music at Faith In Christ Lutheran Church, and there I met many wonderful people, including the Post family: Cindy & Bill, and their three small children, Stacey, Elaine, and Simon. Now, Stacey is married with two darling little daughters, Simon has finished college and is working in North Carolina, and Elaine – Little Lanie – is now finished with college, and married. Since the early 1990’s, I have been “Uncle Darin” to the Post kids. I have returned for graduations, two weddings, two christenings, and anniversary celebrations.

Simon & Stacey

At the church, we met up with Cindy’s younger sister, Valerie Lockhart. Valerie and Mike, and their two children, Jackson and Sophie, live a few blocks away, and have become dear friends. I met Valerie and baby Jackson the summer of 1992, and little did I know then he, along with his younger sister (yet to arrive), Sophie, would become my students. As with their Post cousins, I am also “Uncle Darin” to the Jackson and Sophie – which really causes confusion at school with Jackson and Jose’s friends. Kids cannot imagine how red haired, blue eyed Jackson is related to Jose.

Cousins – Jackson & Stacey

Also at the church were Dixie & Paul Schmid, and Cathy & Jim Chamberlin. Cathy and Jim sat directly behind, with the Lockharts in front of us, and Simon right next to us – and yes, Simon and I did behave throughout the ceremony. 

The ceremony was explicitly Elaine’s! For those who know Elaine, they will understand.

The reception was wonderful. I sat at a table with Jim and Cathy Chamberlin, and just before dinner, Simon joined us. Cathy was born in my home town of Elwood, and her parents, Art & Dorothy Von Dielengin, were two of the most beautiful people I have known. The June of 1992, I lost my grandmother and Art & Dorothy drove over for the funeral. I was with Art during his last few days the following September just before he passed away. I felt as though I lost two grandparents the same year, and 1992 was very difficult.

Cathy was previously married, and had two children, Jeff and Stephanie. Now, these two former teens as I knew them, are married with children of their own. Jeff lives near Columbus, and Stephanie lives in San Antonio, Texas. Cathy is a doll. She is much like her mother, but then, she has a good deal of Art in her personality. After I left FIC Lutheran Church in 1993, Cathy eventually remarried a wonderful man, Jim. He is a retired teacher, and is an absolute delightful conversationalist. We had a great discussion on “angels” – one of my favorite topics.

After bidding farewell to the Posts, Lockharts, and Chamberlins – folks who as dear as family – we hopped in the car and headed west towards Indiana, arriving at Mother’s around 9:30pm. We spent an hour with Mother and then went to Dena’s to spend the night.

SUNDAY

7:15am, Jose and I were on the road towards Destin & Stacia’s home in Fowler, Indiana, just about twenty miles northwest of Lafayette. They recently moved into the farm house in which Stacia grew up, and for the time being, her mother, while things are completed on her new house, is staying with them. Norma, Stacia’s mother, is a teacher in the school system.

Destin & Stacia’s home

The farm is awesome! Rolling fields surround the house, with a number of farm buildings, and it is complete with a creek and a pond. What a delightful place for my nephew, and his future siblings, to grow up!

When we arrived at 9:30am, Stacia was at church, Parker was just ready to wake-up, and Destin had a long list of chores while Stacia was gone. Parker was up, and I sat with him at his breakfast spot as I shucked corn.

My nephew, Parker, age 2

Mother, Dena and the boys arrived, soon followed by Stacia and Norma. We had a wonderful lunch, and shortly thereafter, the guests began arriving – a group of fantastic friends of Destin & Stacia’s who are delightful company. The kids played in the water (with the water ball and water table) for a while, then it was time to open presents, eat cake and ice cream, and relax. I followed a group of the boys back to the pond, but was unwilling to climbed the fence, as there was an electric fence just on the other side. Flyer, however, found a spot through which to crawl, and she joined the boys in the creek, jumping and splashing.

Stacia & Parker

Uncle Darin & Parker

The Fishers: Henry, Ethan & Emma

Eventually, all the friends left, and it was just our family remaining. Jose and I played pitch & catch, and after more chat on the back deck, we left for the return trip to Ohio – which only took us 3.5 hours. It was a nice drive, and both Jose and Flyer slept most of it.

Flyer in the creek

Well, Jose slept when he was not watching his new love, JESUS CHRIST, SUPERSTAR. I think the DVD played a total of four times on the trip! Good stuff, and I am so glad my son has found something of great interest in this music.

We arrived home by 9:30pm, and though I was tired, I knew I needed to get some things at Kroger. Jose went with me, and on the return trip, I drove by the Administration Building for Kettering Schools to show Jose where he would go for summer PE class the following morning. As we drove by the library on Far Hills Avenue, something smacked the passenger window with great force. I saw water droplets and knew it was a water balloon. I turned the car around in the parking lot, and saw three teen boys take off running. Jose and I hopped out of the car and took after them, and were right on their heels, probably scaring them to death.

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