The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Remembrances’

R.I.P. Patches

We became parents to an adorable little girl on February 19, 2011.  Our little bundle of joy was a calico cat that we named Patches.  She was our first pet that Bob and I chose together. Patches readily became a member of our family and filled our hearts with joy and love.  Patches’ favorite past times included playing with her toy raccoon, running and lying in her tunnels, sleeping in bed with us (most often nestled beneath the covers), playtime with Daddy, lounging on her cat tree, watching the birds from various indoor perches, lying on our laps, and being with Bob and me both indoors and outside.  Patches really liked to sit on the front porch with us, watching the world go by.  Patches liked drinking from her water fountain.  She found our water cooler and sink and tub faucets equally suitable for drinking.  We fed Patches mainly dry food, but she enjoyed the occasional taste of canned tuna and chicken and turkey scraps.  Whenever we brought groceries and other purchases into the house, Patches checked everything out.  She would look up at us, as though to ask “anything for kitty?”, while peeking in the bags and rubbing against other purchases.  Another thing she seemed to say often, whenever food was present, is “kitty can have that”.  Patches loved vanilla ice cream.  She would wait patiently for her turn to lick the bowl.  Patches did NOT like to ride in the car.  She would show us her displeasure vocally!  I don’t think Patches knew what to make of our granddaughters.  She was curious about Harper and Juniper, but she mostly kept her distance from the girls.  We do have a few pictures, though, of Harper and Juniper with Patches.

This past Monday (January 2) Patches fell ill.  We took her to a veterinary hospital, where a blood test was performed.  The blood test indicated that Patches was in kidney failure.  Patches was admitted into the hospital and placed on liquid therapy via IV for 24 hours.  The next day a new blood test was done. Patches’ Creatinine value had come down from 14.5 to 10.3, but was still very high. A normal Creatinine value is 2.1. Another renal function value that is checked was so high it was off the chart. An additional 24 hours of liquid therapy might have helped, but the prognosis wasn’t good for the levels to come down to where needed. I asked what to expect if we brought Patches home, without continuing treatment. The veterinarian said Patches wasn’t going to get better, that she would continue to go downhill and quickly. It was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever had to make, but Bob and I decided it was in Patches’ best interest to have her put down.

We visited with Patches for a short time before she was put down. Patches didn’t seem to know we were even there; she paid no attention to us. Patches was alert to the new room we were in and noises from all over the hospital. I wish there had been a quiet place to go for our last minutes with her.  Bob stayed with Patches, holding her, as she was put to sleep. I left the room, as I could not bear to watch Patches die. I wanted only to remember her alive. We are having Patches cremated. She was an indoor cat. Patches enjoyed her time outside, but only in our presence. She would not have liked lying outside under ground.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize your own slideshow


Rest in Peace, Patches. You brought so much joy and love into our lives. We will miss you always.


R.I.P. Les

I met Les in 2012 on August 26, while photographing at the Kinzua Heritage Festival in Russell, PA. We had seen each others’ posts on Facebook, in the “You grew up in Warren PA if…” group but were not friends on Facebook. Les approached me at the festival and introduced Introduced himself to me, saying that we share the love of photography. After talking with Les for a few minutes, I took his picture.


We became friends on Facebook and developed a friendship, based mainly on our mutual love of photography. I will miss you, Les.

Obituary for
Charles L. “Les” Vanderhoof, Sr.
Warren, PA
(obtained from the Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home website)

Charles L. “Les” Vanderhoof, Sr., 66, of Warren, PA, died Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at his home following a brief illness.

Born on January 23, 1950, Les was the son of Gerald Miller and Barbara Ann Prather Vanderhoof. He was a graduate of Titusville High School. Les served with the U. S. Navy in 1969 and was formerly employed as a licensed practical nurse with the Bradford Regional Medical Center, the Warren State Hospital, and was last employed as a nursing supervisor at The Rouse Home. Les was an avid photographer and was a member of the Camera Club in Jamestown, NY. He was also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

R.I.P. Les.  I will miss you.

Feel the Magic?

Bob and I met on the Internet on Easter Sunday 1998. During the early days of Bob and my relationship, I made a remark about what was happening between us felt magical.

After many Internet connections and several telephone calls, we wanted to meet each other in person. That meeting happened  on May 1, 1998 when Bob drove from his home in Pennsylvania to where I lived in Maryland. On the day that we met in person, Bob had flowers delivered to me.

Photograph of Flowers and Accompanying Card
that I Received from Bob on the Day that we Met in Person

I saw a photograph today on Facebook that brought back to me the memories of Bob and my first meeting.

This beautiful photograph, which I obtained, with permission, from Open Your Heart Photography by Jessica Newman, appears magical to me.  Thank you, Jessica, for bringing back the memories from the early days of Bob and my relationship.

And, yes, in case anyone is wondering I do still feel the magic!

Remembering Dad

Dad passed away 9 years ago today, at the age of 74.  Dad was less than a month away from his 75th birthday.  This morning I pored through photographs from years past.  While looking through the photographs, I recaptured memories of days gone by.  I remembered Dad with smiles not tears.


Please click on photograph to enlarge.

2003 Photo0316

This photograph was taken in June 2003 at a family reunion. As Bob and I were getting ready to leave, I asked him to take a picture of my family. I am so thankful that I have this photograph. This is the last photograph I have of Dad, Mom, my brother, Jim, and I.

Don’t think of him as gone away
his journey’s just begun
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.

Just think of him as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how he must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of him as living
in the hearts of those he touched
for nothing loved is ever lost
and he was loved so much.

-Author Unknown

On the Anniversary of Mom’s Death

In ever loving memory of Mom


God made the perfect mother,
Compassionate and kind;
With more love and affection,
Than you could hope to find;
He gave this lovely lady,
A heart of solid gold,
And after God had finished,
He must have broken the mould.

Mom lost her fight to Alzheimer’s Disease the Monday after Thanksgiving five years ago.   The date of Mom’s death was the same day as today, November 26.  Five years ago Bob and I had spent the Thanksgiving Day holiday with Bob’s sister and our brother-in-law at their home in New Hampshire.   We returned home on Sunday, November 25.  I received the call early Monday morning that Mom had passed away.  I can still feel the anguish, today, that I felt on that day.

I’ve always heard that angels in Heaven can look down on people on Earth.  I hope that is true, Mom, so that you can see how much your family has grown since your death.

Mom, in August 2008, you were blessed with a second great grandchild.  Your great granddaughter’s name is Anna.  Your great grandson, Kaleb, is now 7 years old; Anna is 4 years old.  Kaleb is autistic. We are so proud of his achievements.  Kaleb interacts well among people and is doing very well in school.  I have photographs of you holding Kaleb, when he was a baby.  I am happy that you lived to see the birth of your first great grandson.  Anna is a lively girl.  Anna was diagnosed with Lyme’s Disease a couple years ago.  The disease reappeared in the form of Lyme’s Arthritis.  Please keep special watch over Kaleb and Anna, Mom.  I pray that Kaleb continues to do well in life and that Lyme’s Disease does not curtail Anna’s activities throughout her life.

Your grandson, Michael, recently celebrated his sixth wedding anniversary.   Michael, Kailey, Kaleb and Anna make such a lovely family don’t they Mom?

In October 2011 your youngest granddaughter got married, Mom.

Emily made such a lovely bride.
I wish you could have been there, Mom.

In December 2011 you were blessed with a second great granddaughter, Mom.  Her name is Elise.  Sometimes when I look into Elise’s eyes, I see your eyes.

Emily, Dan and Elise


Elise has grown so much since I took this photograph, Mom.  It is hard to believe that she will be a year old in one month+one day.  Your granddaughter, Emily, recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary.  Emily, Dan and Elise are a lovely family aren’t they Mom?  It is hard to believe, isn’t it Mom, that your youngest granddaughter is married and has a baby of her own.

Mom, you always wanted me to marry and have children.  Well I certainly did get married, Mom.  You would  say to me that you didn’t mean that I was to get married three times.  One time would have been enough.  You would tell me that I should have skipped marrying my first two husbands and just waited for Bob to come along.  I don’t know if fate would have led me to Bob, Mom, if I hadn’t followed my life’s path.   I believe you would agree with me.

So, Mom, I am married and I have a child just as you always wanted.  I am so very thankful that you lived to welcome Bob and Stacey into my life.  I am even more thankful that Bob and Stacey met you.  I know, Mom, that you loved Stacey as a granddaughter, not as a step-granddaughter.  In September 2011, Mom, your oldest granddaughter got married.

Stacey and Michael

I wish you could have been there, Mom.  Stacey’s wedding was held, outdoors, in the most beautiful setting.  Your granddaughter, my daughter, was the loveliest of brides.  Standing proudly at her side, Mike made a very handsome groom.

In May 2012, Mom, I became a grandma.  You never thought it would happen, did you?  You have two more great-granddaughters, Mom…TWIN granddaughters.  Oh boy, just now, your face appeared before me.  I saw the look of delight in your eyes, a look that just lit up your face at the mention of twin great granddaughters.  Oh, how happy you would have been.  I wish you could have been here when Harper and June were born.  Those two girls complete my life, Mom.  You will know what I mean.  Harper and June have brought so much joy and happiness to my life.  Sometimes the love I feel for those two little girls makes my heart feel as though it is breaking.

Stacey, Michael, Harper and Juniper

Your granddaughter, Stacey, recently celebrated her first wedding anniversary.  I took this family portrait a few days ago.  The twins were 6 months old.  Both Stacey and Mike are wonderful parents.   The four of them make a lovely family, and I am proud that they are my family!

Jared was the last of your grandchildren to get married, Mom.  Jared and Sara got married in July 2012.

Jared and Sara

If it is true, as I wrote earlier, that angels in Heaven can look down on people on Earth, you would have witnessed a wedding ceremony centered clearly around Jared and Sara’s belief in God.

It might be a while before Jared and Sara bless you with another great grandchild.  You might have heard that Jared and Sara plan to wait two years before having any children.

Mom, you would be so proud of the men and women that your grandchildren have become.  You would be proud of the lives that they lead and how well they care for and love your great grandchildren.  You have five great grandchildren, Mom.  Imagine that!  You would be so very happy of how well our entire family, both immediate and extended, get along with each other.  We have such a wonderful life, Mom.  My only heartache is that you and Dad are not here to share it with us.

R.I.P. Barb

R.I.P. Barb
Barb in June 2003

I just learned from my sister-in-law that my cousin, Barb Knight, passed away. This blog post is in memory of her. Barb left behind many family members and friends who loved her dearly. She will be missed. My thoughts are with Barb’s husband and children and her brother and sisters, as well as with my Aunt Betty and Uncle Roy. How hard it must be to bury your own child. How much harder still to have this be a third child that they have had to bury. Although I am sad, I am happy that Barb is no longer feeling any pain. Barb is with the Lord whom she served well throughout her life.

Obituary for

Barbara D. Knight


(obtained from the Kittanning Leader Times newspaper)

Barbara “Barb” Darlene Knight, 43, of Kittanning, went to be with her Lord and Savior Monday, June 6, 2011, at Good Samaritan Hospice in Cabot after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born July 25, 1967, in Kittanning, the daughter of Roy J. Heilman Sr. and Betty M. (Bowser) Heilman. Barb attended Elderton High School and graduated from Lenape AVTS. People in the community most likely saw her friendly face at Klingensmith Drug Store, where she worked as a clerk. She was very involved with North Buffalo Grace Brethren Church, where she was a member of the Awana Club. Barb taught Sunday School since she was 15 years old and on Sundays the congregation could hear her and her family singing specials, as well as in the choir. It was as a wife and mother that she found her true calling, devoting herself wholly to her family. Her generosity, selflessness and unflagging support will be missed. Her love, expressed in words, in food and in time, will be irreplaceable. Her family loved her cooking-especially her baking. Barb’s greatest achievements were raising her family and teaching her children to follow the Lord. She was a wonderful wife, mother and friend to many and her memory will live on in their hearts forever. Left to cherish her memory are her parents; her husband, George Knight, whom she married June 13, 1987; her sons, Christopher L. Knight and wife, Stephanie, of Listie, and Joshua D. Knight, of Kittanning; her daughter, Kelsey R. Knight, of Kittanning; a brother, William A. Heilman, of Kittanning; and sisters, Sherry L. Sharp, of Goheenville, Donna J. Garner, of Dayton, and Tammy M. Iseman, of Kittanning. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Roy J. Heilman Jr. and Randy L. Heilman. Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at BAUER FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATION SERVICES INC., 515 N. McKean St., Kittanning. An additional visitation will take place at 10 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m. Friday in North Buffalo Grace Brethren Church with her father-in-law, the Rev. George Knight and Rev. Robert Burns co-officiating. Burial will be in Lawn Haven Burial Estates, East Franklin Township, Armstrong County. Arrangements are being handled by Bauer Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc. Memorial contributions may be made in Barb’s honor to Good Samaritan Hospice, 134 Marwood Road, Cabot, PA 16023.

R.I.P. Jasper

Due to kidney failure my stepdaughter’s cat, Jasper, was put to sleep on 4/4/2011.

Stacey shared her feelings about Jasper on Facebook. I don’t believe Stacey will mind if I share her words with you. Stacey wrote that Jasper “was my buddy, always there wanting to rub his head on me, or following me around the house telling me stories. I’ll never find another cat like him. He was truly unique.”

Jasper, you were loved by many. All those who loved you will miss you. R.I.P. Jasper.

Chambers on the Road

RV, other Travels and Home Life in Retirement


Travel blog & Strasbourg city guide

Enjoying Life In New Ways

The Frog and PenguINN

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Bicycling the beauty around us

This is a bicycling journal.


Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Skid and Sandy On The Road

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

My Mommy's Place

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Viewing nature with Eileen

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Deep Thoughts

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Rambling On

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

The random musings of a fairly active Tennessee retiree

Pics & Pieces

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog



Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Linda's Peaceful Place

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Life's Funny Like That

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog


Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

I'll give you a piece of my mind

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Hospitality Lane

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Gretchen's Traveling

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

An English Girl Rambles from 2016 to ....

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog