Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Life is Precious, and fragile

I was planning to write today about what we did on Saturday, and include lots of pictures, but first I need to honor a dear friend of ours.  Yesterday I received a call telling me that Irene Krainik had passed away last Thursday after suffering a massive heart attack.  Irene was originally from Australia.  We met Irene and her wonderful husband, John back in about 2003 at the Garden Grove Elks lodge.  He was probably about 85 then, and she didn't like to tell, but I think she was about 83.  They met on Valentine's day at a dance in Anaheim.  When he first saw her, he told the friends he was with that he was going to marry her, and they were married two months later!  They both LOVED to swing dance, and went dancing at least five nights  week,  They went on swing dance cruises, and out-danced couples 30 or more years younger than they were.  Irene suffered a heart attack when they were out dancing in Anaheim.  Luckily, there were two paramedics there who resuscitated her, and she made an amazing recovery.  This was all before we met them.  We used to have a standing reservation for a table at the lodge on Friday nights, and one night the lodge was crowded and they couldn't find any place to sit.  We invited them to join us at our table.  It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship!  They were delightful and witty people.  She worked part time as a beautician until 2010.  They were a lively couple, and everyone at the lodge loved to watch them dance together.  What many people didn't know was that after the lodge closed at 11 pm, they drove to another club in Anaheim and danced until 2 am!  John passed away on his birthday in March of 2010.  I was honored to be asked by Irene to deliver his eulogy.  His funeral was attended by many, and he received full military honors as a veteran.
John's daughter and her husband continued to look after Irene and found her a wonderful place to move to after John's death.  She had an independent living apartment in a senior living home in Anaheim.  At this place she later met Don, who was a few years older than Irene.  They became very close friends, and until his health made it impossible, they used to come to dance at the Elks again.  This is the last picture I took of Irene, with her dear friend Don Rush.  
Like almost everyone, Don loved her, and would have married her, but as much as she cared for Don, her heart belonged to only John.  She was a lovely, vivacious, delightful lady, and will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.  We were among those fortunate people.

On Saturday Pastor Ric took us to the Trinity Site.  It is the location where the first atomic bomb was tested, before the ones used on Iwo Jima and Nagasaki.  It was quite thought provoking to see.  This is only open to the public twice a year.
  This was Jim & Willie inside Jumbo.  Below is a write up about this structure.  I couldn't get close enough to read it, so I shot this picture, so we could read about it later.
We took a shuttle out to the monument near ground zero.  There are pictures taken during and after the explosion.
There is also a mostly underground bunker still there.
 I was taking a picture of the monument when Ric walked into the frame.  He didn't realize I was taking the picture.

 Ric told us that about a dozen or more oryx were released near the White Sands Military base, but they have since taken over the area.  However, with the crowds there that day we didn't see any except for this sign.  
Unfortunately, this was a chilly, windy, rainy day when we drove up there (north on I-25 south of Socorro).  On the return trip we were very surprised to see SNOW on the mountain tops and near the highway in places.
We definitely did not expect that.  
On Sunday, after church, Jim and I drove to Las Cruces to pick up something.  It was a beautiful day and the drive was delightful.  He took many pictures of the wonderful scenery.
 It was wonderful to see how green everything was along the roadside.  Jim liked this unusual cloud formation in the picture on the right.

Another awe inspiring view we were lucky enough to see.                                

This amused me.  This is a "border control inspection site"  but it is over 30 miles from the Mexican border!!!!!

Here is an interesting shot of what we think was a homemade RV.
The picture is not really good because it was shot through the front window of Ric's car......and he does NOT believe in cleaning car windows....or cars for that matter.  

Today we are taking it easy.  The sad news yesterday hit me very hard as it was so unexpected.  Yes, Irene was in her 90's, but she was so full of life that it was easy to forget how old she was.  We will miss her terribly, but are happy to KNOW that she is in heaven, and reunited with her one true love, John.  I am also happy to know that when we leave this earth, our lives will NOT be over.  We are assured of God's love for us because we have truly accepted that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.  Easter is coming and we will again celebrate His victory over sin and death.  If you have not yet come to know Jesus and have that personal relationship with Him, this is a wonderful time for you to do so.  I wish you peace and joy and a loving relationship with our heavenly Father.  Blessings to all of you.  Bye until next time.

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