Finally settled in to Rumson NJ

April Showers…

We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately, but it’s better than snow. I’m sure 8 months from now I’ll be wishing the rain was snow, but I guess that’s what happens when you live somewhere that actually has all 4 seasons.

Quite a bit has happened since my last post.

My Great Aunt Trudy died. She was 91 and had been in poor health for some time, so it was not unexpected. But she was the last of that generation of Warks, and it was sad nonetheless. She was the reason I became so enamored with genealogy. At some point, Aunt Trudy put together a little document on what she knew about the family and the history of the Warks. That document — along with a family tree of the Homer side that my grandmother created — sparked an insatiable curiosity in me. Researching my family tree, and the family tree of others, is one of my favorite past times. May you rest in peace, Aunt Trudy.

My dad’s best friend, Brian Snyder, also died recently. He had been battling cancer for years, but he lasted much longer than anyone had expected — a testament to the fighter within. Brian and his family moved from Minnesota to Florida and lived a few doors down from us when my brother and I were still in grade school. He and my father were both bikers (the former of the Harley kind, the latter of the 10-speed kind) and they bonded instantly. My father once recounted that when he learned Brian was a biker, he reprimanded him about bikers hogging the road, saying, “I used to carry rocks for people like you.” Brian quipped back, “I used to carry guns for people like you.” And thus a great friendship was born.

Brian served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam war. He was a gunner on a medical helicopter and, if memory serves, he was shot down. Twice. I remember him showing me with pride his purple heart. I wish I understood better at the time everything he had gone through to earn that metal. In Vietnam, he was also sprayed down with Agent Orange. I can’t say for certain that was a cause of the multiple cancers that ultimately took his life, but it is suspected. He really did pay the ultimate price.

Another cool thing about Brian was that he was born on October 13 — and we all know that only really special people are born on that day :). To this day, he remains the only other person I’ve ever met who shared my birthday. Sharing his birthday did not entitle me to any special treatment, however. I quickly learned the 11th commandment (“Thou shalt not sit in King Brian’s chair!”).

He was a strong man with bright blue eyes and an infectious laugh, and he will definitely be missed. Rest in peace, Brian.

The Marshall cousins have finally settled into their new house and we’ve been over a few times to visit with them and their new dog, George. They have a cool basement complete with a stage. Being the creative kids that they are, the cousins all put on a show recently. It’s a long one, and somewhat dark…but I am pretty sure this is the first time that all 8 cousins “played” together.

Erin’s big-girl bedroom set arrived a bit quicker than expected, so she was treated to an early birthday present this week. A princess bed for my little princess.
photo 1(1)photo 2(1)

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