Preparing to get on the road on Apr 9th with 1st stop in Mt. Home, ID. Mt. Home AFB was my last duty assignment from 1985 until I retired in 1990. Made some great friends and some still live in Mt. Home. I’ll visit others in different parts of the country as I travel.

On the road! First stop, Mountain Home, ID. Mt. Home AFB was my last active duty assignment from 1985 to 1990. A coworker and friend, Doris Earl, retired in Mt. Home and we have stayed connected. Doris and I first met in 1982 at Base Career Advisor school and she was at Mt. Home when I arrived in 1985. We have kept in contact and every time we travel through ID, we stop and visit her and Cathy. Due to COVID, we’ve not seen each other in over a year so it was great to re-connect and have a change to swap stories and get caught up on our lives and adventures. It was a short visit, but a great time of good food, good wine and fantastic company.

Next stop was with another Air Force friend, Scott and Cathy in Ogden, UT. Scott and I first met at Fairchild AFB, WA in 1973 and worked together until I left for Okinawa in 1975. We re-met at Hill AFT, UT in 1983. Debbie and I were at Scott and Cathy’s wedding. We have seen each other over the years and lost contact in the last few years. It was great to re-connect with them and get up to date on our families and learn about kids and grandkids.

To Greeley and connection with the Beard side of the family (Debbie’s maiden name) and visiting Carla, widow of John Beard (Debbie’s nephew) and a visit to the Linn Grove cemetery.

To Denver and and overnight with Karen & Avi, dinner with family. Headed out of Denver a trip interruption in the form of a dead battery. Arrived in Pueblo, where I’ll stay until next Monday with Sherry and Dennis. Visited Ascension Church to see the columbarium were we will bury Debbie on Saturday. We will video the service and a link will be posted in this journal. Sherry and Dennis arranged for a camper as my ‘home away from home’ in Pueblo – fantastic.

Saturday – April 17:  A difficult day.  Laid my dear Debbie to rest in the columbarium of Ascension Episcopal Church in Pueblo, CO.  Greatly missing my girls, yet surrounded by family and friends here and in spirit all over the world.  The Levinson family gathered around me for a short service of committal (I’ll post a video of the service when I have the opportunity).  I’ve experienced great hospitality, support and love here and have one more day and then on the road and on with my life to discover what’s next in my ‘new normal’.  I’m thankful for the Levinson family and for all of you who have offered prayers and support from all over the world.  Your love tempers the grief and encourages me to keep on discovering new adventures and challenges.  God Bless You! 

Thank you also to Roz, parish administrator at Ascension church, the parish sexton, and Rev Karen, rector, for their help and support to obtain the columbarium niches and have the service.

Sunday was family day with the Levinsons and packing up for the next leg of my trip.

Monday, on the road again down through Southern Colorado and into New Mexico to Gallup for an overnight in the El Rancho Hotel.  We’ve stayed at the El Rancho several times over the years and liked it for the 40s décor, good food in the dining room and a nice bar.  Overall the hotel has declined.  General maintenance and service seems to have deteriorated.  The heat was turned off (although the temperature was still in the 60s).  Probably lost its ‘romance’ for me.

Tuesday drive to Scottsdale was pleasant.  I took the ‘short cut’ off the interstates and saw some interesting scenery.  Coming in to Scottsdale there were lots of cacti along the highway.  Warm in AZ, in the low 90s on Tuesday night.  Nice visit with Brenda and Jeff.  They have a nice house with a large back yard full of all sorts of birds and critters.  It’s nice to catch up with Brenda as we’ve not seen each other except a couple of times since I retired from the AF.

Dinner with Jeff & Brenda, joined by Britany and her boyfriend and a MHAFB CBPO veteran, Rocky and his wife.  Great conversation about the ‘good ole’ days’ and catching up with the past 30+ years.