There was a circle of chairs around a huge old pine tree, and everyone took their turn to tell their stories about Walter, as a beloved father, uncle, in-law, friend, and brother. The stories were amazing, everything from his time as a teenaged exchange student in Nazi Germany, to his time in the Army's Counter-Intelligence group during World War II. Then on to his time in college, as a professor and a mentor for his students. His daughter's memories and those of her family were really sweet, and the fact that Walter kept track of all of his sister's children and their families as well was remarkable.
It was really good. Jokes and stories, clippings and journals, readings and impromptu expositions were all offered freely and gladly.
And in the warm summer sun, it was all good, especially under the murmur of the wind in the trees. We ended with classical music that Walter loved and just sat and listened and enjoyed the experience.
Afterward, we all had a wonderful lunch together, of chicken salad, gaspatcho, breads, and shared even more memories and thoughts with each other, and as the day grew hotter and hotter, we all headed to the same swimming hole as yesterday. Walter had loved to swim, so it was a fitting addition to the day.
I actually went in, so didn't get any pictures. *laughs* The water was cold enough to cause yelps going in, but it was so wonderful once I was in. It smelled of forest and green, and was cool and clean and clear. I helped Jet up the climb to the jumps, but mostly just swam back and forth across the deep green depths, and enjoyed the feeling of live water. Swimming made it so that I didn't bang my toes and feet as much on the rocks, and it made getting across it much easier.
Jet ripped the heck out of his swim trunks, from waist to cheek, on the rocks of the "water slide". The rocks were a bit sharper than expected. *laughs* Luckily there was a mesh in there that kept him mostly decent even with the huge rip, and since then we've fixed it with duct tape.
When we got back to the Inn, Jet pointed at a sign that said, "Eat. Sleep. Ski" and said, "That's like us, but instead of skiing, we swim!" I agreed. Hee.
Before dinner, everyone stopped to watch the pop bloom of a particular flower in the garden. Dinner was out on the back porch, but it was so cool the bugs came out and tried to eat us as well, so most of us went into the house. Jet stubbornly stayed out trying to kill as many as he could. Then David went out and lit the bonfire.
He went out despite mosquitoes, rain, and the sheer heat of the fire itself, and had a blast helping with the bonfire and dancing about it to watch what the big people did. He really, really loved it.
Then there was a lightning storm, with huge bolts and lots of thunder, rain, and a little wind. The sound of the rain was so lovely to go to sleep to that I just relaxed and slept beautifully in the coolness. I really loved it.
It was a really big pond compared to what we see in Colorado. It was lovely to just swim and swim and swim and never touch bottom. The water was lovely after the sunshine, and we had a blast.
Back home to a lovely dinner of spinach and feta "burgers", pasta, and caprisi salad and I had fun doing clean up, mostly washing dishes so that everyone else could put them away as I had no idea where everything went in this lovely and huge kitchen. *grins* Jet finally got his game of Apples to Apples, and he was very happy with the crowd that played two whole games with him.
That was sweet. Everyone's leaving in the morning. So I've said a few good-byes and have an early morning alarm set. So I guess I'd best be off to bed. It's been an amazing weekend. And while I still have no idea which direction we're heading in the morning it'll be all right.