Saturday, September 3, 2011

Climbing northward to a Copper Country reunion

August 31- Sept. 2, Houghton, Michigan

We arrived late in the day on a rainy afternoon to the Houghton/Hancock area. Wisely, my brother Mike recommended that we make reservations for a site the City of Houghton RV Park on the Portage canal as they only have 22 sites. What a beautiful spot we had with a concrete pad, and lovely picnic area with table, bbq, and fire ring overlooking the water.  I had visited the park years before but not as an owner of a motorhome, so I didn't fully appreciate its amenities and reasonable rates (about $30 a night). Another major bonus was the close proximity of my step-sister and brother-in-law's home less than a mile away. The park is also a great location for walking into town and visiting some of the pubs I used to frequent in the 70s! (especially The Library Bar which my brother-in-law used to manage--ahh the memories). I forgot to take a photo of this park, but am including one from their website.
City of Houghton RV Park--website photo
After getting settled in the park and visiting with my sister and brother-in-law, I spent the next three days finalizing preparation for the memorial and reconnecting with family and friends before the event on Sunday. The most challenging part of these three days (aside from the food preparations for 50 guests), was trying to finish the DVD of my mom’s life.  I left Oregon with a thumb drive filled with most of the photos scanned, thinking I would have time on the road to edit them and have them all ready to download into the ProShow Gold video making software I purchased for this purpose. Little did I know how challenging it would be to learn the software program (especially adding music clips that matched certain photos). I was definitely feeling the weight of making sure all the details of the event would honor my mother’s life—a daunting task as she was such an extraordinary and beloved woman. At the risk of getting too caught up in sentimentality, here is what one of her good friends, Sharon Leino, had to say about my mother:
My mom and me on my 50th birthday.
I'll aways look to your Mom as a model of never giving up, she was always so full of life and did not let the hardships she went through get her down. She was always thinking of ways to overcome not to give in. Not only did she strive ever forward but she had a great capacity for forgiveness, much larger than mine and I learned from her that forgiveness helps bitterness flow out of your own life. She loved to teach and what a great teacher as she lived what she believed in. I know she is in heaven and hopefully pursuing all the dreams she had on earth.

I was a lucky girl to have such a woman for my mother. . . .

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