Wednesday, May 30, 2012

down into the deep south . . .

Late last week, Jocelyn, Ellie and I loaded up the PT Cruiser and headed into the deep south.  Waaaaay down south, to Pearl River, Louisiana!  We headed down for a memorial service for my Great Uncle Bill Fowler, who passed away earlier in the month.  And while we were certainly sad to be saying goodbye to my uncle, we were also excited to be seeing family--some whom Joc (and Ellie, of course) had never met!

We pulled in Thursday evening, went straight to the hotel, and then headed to my cousin's home.  My dad was already there (he flew in earlier in the day) and was happy to hold a Miss Ellie-bellie (who was happy to be out of the stinking car seat)!

Carol gave us a tour of the her home.  It was very lovely!  They'd had very little damage from Katrina -- a few lost trees, but that's it.  Joc and I were both surprised and delighted to be treated to a little sampling of Uncle Bill's owl collection . . . 
The owl is on the Fowler Family crest, which explains why so many of the Fowler family members collect them.

My Great Uncle Frank had also flown in that same day.  Frank was Bill's youngest sibling.  There were eight children, total, and the spread between Frank (#8) and Bill (#6), was ten years.  Hence the six year difference between Frank and my dad -- they grew up more like brothers than uncle and nephew (my dad's dad -- Earl Peabody Fowler - was #3)!  With the passing of Uncle Bill (who'd just celebrated his 90th birthday in September), Uncle Frank is now the patriarch of the Fowler clan -- the last living of his generation.
Whenever you get Fowlers together, you can count on there being some cribbage action!  We played at Carol's house and we played at the hotel.  And Joc and I both played on our phones, too (gotta stay sharp)!  Frank mostly schooled all of us.  I think Dad told me he finally got a win in!

On Friday, Jocelyn (and Ellie), Uncle Frank, Dad and I headed over to Precious Pearls, a tea cafe which happened to be Uncle Bill's favorite little spot to eat.  We even sat at "his" table!  We all had a cup of Crawfish and Corn Bisque, which was *wonderful*!  
The ladies in the cafe were very sweet and had known Uncle Bill well (and in fact were also at his memorial service).  He loved that little place so much, he even had his 90th birthday party there!

At his memorial service, we made it a point to capture five generations of Fowlers:
What a special picture -- treasure -- this will be for me, Jocelyn and Ellie!

This one as well . . . 
At the time, the oldest and the youngest Fowlers members!  How sweet is this picture?!?

A nice shot of dad and Uncle Frank . . . 


And a shot of the Bussell clan.  Carol was Uncle Bill's only child and Mel is her husband. 
Next to Mel is their daughter, Tracy, followed by their son, D.K. (who I served in the Navy with -- we were both stationed in San Diego at the same time), and his daughter Erin.  Sweet family ... this was Joc's first time to meet D.K., Tracy, and Erin.  And my first time meeting Erin, who's very sweet.

And one parting shot of Ellie and my dad.  He loved holding her!
I have to tell you, she was a terrific little girl for the whole trip.  She was a champ on both our drive down and home, and sat through almost the entire memorial service without a peep!  Such a sweet little baby.  :)

The service itself was truly a celebration of a well-lived life.  It was both fun and fascinating to hear my Uncle Frank share his memories of his brother and family.  Joc and I found ourselves really wanting to know more about our family history.  We both want to be able to share those stories with our children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren. 

William "Bill" Knowles Fowler
September 11, 1921 - April 30, 2012
Uncle Bill loved Jesus and loved to talk and especially *sing* about him.  I will much miss his letters and stories and poems.  He was quite a character!  His influence was far-reaching and he will be much missed by many.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things this week ... perhaps I'll even be successful.

Perhaps not.  LOL!

:)

11 left a comment . . .:

Teresa in Music City said...

What a wonderful trip and time with family! You got some amazing pictures that will help you remember it for a long time! Isn't it somehow great to celebrate the life of a true Christian who has passed on to be with his beloved Jesus? I get so excited thinking about it! What joy for him!!!

Janet O. said...

This month my father's only living sibling (his 92-year-old sister) passed away. We drove my Dad to that and your photos echo many of our experiences. She was my favorite Aunt and a very devoted follower of our Savior. My condolences to you and your family. It is an emotional time, but it is also so good to get the family together at times like this and strengthen bonds.

Jean said...

What a wonderful family trip! Sorry it has to be a funeral, but happy that your loved one lived a full life and was loved. Looks like Miss Ellie is meeting all sorts of people and enjoying her family.

Barbara said...

What precious pictures. You are a very photogenic family.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Miss Ellie seems content in anyone's arms. A wonderful sharing of family, thank you.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

What sweet memories!

Sarah said...

So glad to hear that you had a good trip with the family - the circumstances were sad but it's good to come together to remember and create new memories.

You were in the Navy? I learn something new every week...

Lee said...

Welcome back :) The joy of a life well-lived and loved shines through your post about your great-uncle. What a blessing, and to know that you'll one day see him again too! My mom also 'collected' owls...not intentionally but because everyone started giving them to her decades ago...she's now giving them back to those she got them from, lol. When you find yourself interested in those family stories, write them down and/or get the elder folks to write their memoirs. I just found a posting from a relative of my step-dad's on his g-g-grandfather's memoirs - 34 pages! He was a pioneer that traveled by wagon train from MI to Oregon in 1852...truly amazing.

Kate said...

What great memories. You should really consider doing a photobook with captions to document who is who. We are reaching the point in my parents family that they are the only ones who recognize anyone in any of the older pictures.

Barbara F. said...

Denise, thankfully the Shabby Blogs problem is fixed! I am sorry for your loss, but he did live a rich full life, and we know Uncle Bill is in a good place. I am glad Joc and Ellie met family members they did not know. xo

Mary said...

What a wonderful reunion trip. I always say that Funerals are the BEST reunions. Sad, but true. Love the Owl collection. An owl is a "FOWL" right?? It goes with your family name. Great generational pictures to treasure!