Apologies for the lack of content the past few days.
Last Monday, July 3, my mother called to inform me that her brother, my uncle, Phil passed away in his sleep.
Phil made 81 trips around the sun. He was born during the Dust Bowl years in rural Nebraska, and would be one of 9 children. Leaving formal school in the 9th grade, as was not uncommon back then, he worked his family's farm until he had saved enough to buy acreage of his own and start farming his own land. He later went into long haul trucking when the farming economy crashed hard in the 1980s, and in the meantime raised 4 daughters. His generosity, patriotism, and kindness were and still are unmatched. If I lived such a life, I would be a fortunate man indeed.
Friday I drove to Omaha for the services. The viewing was Friday evening, and several of my cousins (I have 30 first cousins) were there. As Phil would have wanted us to do, we popped a couple beers in the parking lot before the formal service began. After the viewing, a large group of us went to the hotel and sat in the lobby area, catching up, and playing cards (and drinking more beers, because that's what Phil would have wanted us to do as well).
Funeral was Saturday, and then it was off to my cousin Connie's house for food, telling of stories, some tears, some laughter, and -- quell surprise -- more beers. My cousin Terry and I stole away and ducked into Lazlo's Brewery for a beer. They have pretty decent craft beer, and I can only handle so much Bud Light before I start twitching for a real beer.
Sunday morning I got up, checked out of the hotel, and pointed the Tacoma westward. Nebraska is one long damn state east-to-west, and I had to cover 432 miles of it before I crossed into Wyoming, after which it was a short hop to Cheyenne, then a final 40 miles to home. Got back to FoCo around 3pm. Unpacked, picked up the dogs from the kennel, and called it a night soon thereafter.
Other than that, it's been pretty uneventful around here. Temps have been pretty warm, and it's drier than a popcorn fart, so the fire risk is high. I'm contemplating buying a kayak so I can head out on the lake in the afternoons/weekends. I've got my Colorado CCW class coming up this Sunday, I'll be headed BACK to Omaha on the 28th for a family reunion that has been planned for a few months (I'm considering starting the drive on the 27th after work, maybe get 3 hours or so of driving done, and finding a place to camp), and other than this past weekend, everything has been status quo.
I'll try to get back to more regular content.