Yesterday my family gathered to bury my dad at the Veterans’ Cemetery in Medical Lake, Washington. It was a beautiful day, the sky was large and blue. Just the kind of day my dad loved. My husband conducted the service and gave the homily, which I invite you to read here. Our son Nate delivered the eulogy, which you can read here. God gave us a sweet time of rejoicing together.
This morning I read Spurgeon’s entry for June 29 (from Morning and Evening) and the text was 1 Thess. 4:14. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” Spurgeon explains that though their bodies sleep, their souls are “before the throne of God, praising Him day and night in His temple, singing hallelujahs to Him who washed them from their sins in His blood.” And at the resurrection on that final day… “what an awaking shall be theirs!”
So, the Merkles attempted our first ever backpacking trip last week. I should mention that Ben is an old and seasoned backpacker/ climber/mountain biker/ skier/ camper. I, contrariwise, am nothing of the kind. Just driving past an REI makes me glaze over and drop into a state of boredom from which it is nearly impossible to extricate me. I should hasten to add that I don’t feel that way about the outdoors – just about stores for outdoor people. Weirdly enough, I could hang out all day in a hardware store. I love a good hardware store. But plunk me into an outdoor-outfitter-emporium and I instantly wilt. And then I find a nice quiet corner to sit and weep at the tedium of it all. Nalgene bottles – and even worse, Nalgene bottle sleeves – can’t get even a flicker of interest out of me. Everything in those stores costs the earth – and isn’t even a tiny bit stylish Read More
Yesterday my dad, whom the kids called Granddad, went to be with the Lord at age 95. He was vigorous, cheerful, fun-loving, and strong to the end. And though the end caught us by surprise, I don’t think it surprised him. He was ready. He leaves an older sister, a younger brother, four children, fourteen grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, and my dear mother. We will all catch up to him in due time, Lord willing.
My earliest memories of my dad involve play. He invented games for us and had no end of patience when it came to balancing us on his hands and playing silly games. Bedtime was always a party. He took trouble to see that we kids were having fun, and planning trips and explores were his specialty.
He was a pilot, and he loved to “bore holes.” I remember the thrill of getting to unpack his B4 bag when he got home from trips. It was full of zippers and pockets, and there was always something for us in those pockets. I couldn’t help but think of that old gospel hymn today: “When I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away!” Dad flew away yesterday.
He taught us kids to water ski when I was 9 or 10 years old. He got out in the water with us, and came up with his skis outside ours, holding on to the same rope. Then once he thought we had the hang of it, he would drop off and let us solo. That’s how he did things. Boating, snowmobiling, pulling a trailer around the country on camping trips. He loved it all. Especially the water. Read More
A big hello to all our Femina friends!
I would describe the past month around here as overflowing with activities. Though you might have thought we had checked out completely, that would not be the case. Blogging is a get-to, not a have-to, and we haven’t “gotten to” in a while. Not that we haven’t had some smashing ideas, but they usually occur to us while we are in the midst of demanding activities, like keeping these boats of ours afloat. And whenever we get a free minute, those smashing ideas evaporate into thin air. Some call it writers’ block; I call it a blog jam.
Tonight we are all getting back from a week-long vacation. We’ve flipped over the page on the calendar, and we are now looking at the long lovely months of June, July and August. Ahh. Summer.
Doug and I started off a week ago by heading to Lynnwood, Washington for a family conference, which felt a little like a family reunion. It was wonderful to reconnect with old friends and be encouraged by what God is doing over on the Eastside. Read More
My son is in World Magazine and I commend the article to you as well as his Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl.