I used my traditional greeting from our daily e-mail exchange. I wrote you an email in the morning, you wrote back at whatever time your goofy sleep-wake cycle permitted, often late nights, and then I got your reply the next morning. All this past summer I found myself eagerly going to the computer each morning, firing it up and checking my email in-box. It took many weeks before I realized I was still looking for your replies. Those exchanges were far more meaningful for me than I realized. Thanks for them…wish like crazy I was still getting ’em.
I was going through some of the photo shoots we’d done together and found a couple I’d managed to sneak in of you taken while you weren’t looking. I never could understand why you were so phobic about not having your photo taken, but I must have respected it. Of the thousands of photos we took together, I only have four of you. I wish now I’d have taken more photos and just let you holler afterward. This one is a scene many will remember, you introducing a child to the mill pond waterfowl.
I sneaked this one in on you while you were watching the swan intently, not sure if he’d bite, never having tried to hand feed him. I don’t know if he ever got around to eating from your hand, but he didn’t want anything to do with poking his bill into the plastic feed container, at least not that day. As I recall, you never did quite make friends with him.
This one came from Kensington. I wish we’d thought to bring along a couple of apples. The horse probably does too.
I was saddened to have missed the gathering at the mill pond. I was down in Indiana helping Bryan and his family move into their new home. We were against a couple of tight deadlines for closing and the arrival of their household goods before school started. School starts during the third week of August in Indiana. It wasn’t reasonable to break away and leave everyone else working hard those long, long days to get the house ready for his family. I stayed and lent a hand. We made it, by-the-way, but normally sure-footed Corrie was exhausted one evening while moving household goods, tripped, fell and broke her hand in the effort. It’s still troublesome for her.
We have to say our good-byes in our own way when the time is right for each of us. I have the advantage of knowing what your recovery would have been like had you survived the surgery. I said my good-bye June 24th. Don’t, however, think for a second the hole left behind by your passing is filled. It’s not.
There has been discussion regarding the future of this blog. Many of your readers expressed a desire to see it continue. I’d like to see that too…you updating the blog in your unique style. Nobody else could possibly do what you did. I can only imagine the concentration it must have required to photograph and track generations of waterfowl, and then write about them in first and second person.
Chuck offered to turn this blog over to me. It would seem logical, but I remember speaking with you about doing posts on your behalf during your long absence while recovering from the heart attack. It was clear to me you preferred to have me let it be until you could do it yourself. I respected that then. Still do.
I’ve been serving as the site’s administrator since about the first of July. One of my tasks has been to approve comments. I discovered this morning I’ve been remiss. A number of them were waiting my attention when I logged in today. I hope those posters, including Chuck, will accept my apology. I’ll continue to serve in the capacity until the site naturally goes dark about the end of the year. If Chuck wants administration signed over to someone so the blog continues, I can do that too. Otherwise, this will be my last post out of respect for you. I know you understand.
I sure do miss you Doug.