Thursday, March 31, 2011


 This is not just another post.  This is about my family that I love, and I have been blessed immeasurably by God for allowing me to share this life with such wonderful people.  And, do you realize how difficult it is to condense these beautiful lives into a few sentences each? 

Clark with Asher

My husband Clark:  We've been married for 40 years.  He's a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather with numerous exemplary traits:  for instance, he can fix just about anything.  You wouldn't believe me, anyway, if I listed them all!  He's just that kind of person, and I cannot imagine my life without his presence.

Daughters Holly and Bethany:  These fantastic young women have enriched our lives far more than I could ever describe here.  Both are talented, beautiful inside and out, and are two of my very best friends.  Holly is a dedicated mother who sings beautifully; Bethany is a trained chef who cooks deliciously.  We three share a zany side to our personalities, making us prone to laughing fits.
Kurt and Bethany

Holly and Philip

Our sons-in-law, Philip and Kurt:  Total opposites in personality, these two young men are wonderful husbands, and we consider them sons. Philip is also a loving father, a scholar, and a pastor. He's quiet, but beneath that calm exterior lies an extreme sports fanatic! Kurt is a computer genius who can do anything with any item of technology (he would dispute that statement, but it's true). When we first met, I realized I had another early-morning talker with whom I could converse before 6:00 a.m.

Our three grandchildren:
Well, what grandparent does not love his/her grandchildren?? I see some of us in each of them, and it is delightful to "go down memory lane" when they say or do something revelatory of ourselves. Annika, Alexa, and Asher are beautiful, sweet, loving, and God-given enrichment to our family!

My mom, "Grandma Duke":  At age 83 and with multiple health issues, her mind is sharp. Although in a skilled nursing facility, she lives close by and I visit her a couple of times a week. We have fabulous conversations, and she loves to tell me about the latest book she's read. I cannot begin to list all the things she has done for me and my family through the years.

My late father, Robert "Papa" Duke:  My dad influenced my life more than I realized until he passed away in 2000.  A great storyteller and career military man, he enthralled everyone with his experiences in World War II, his youth, and his exceptional ability to see humor in everyday occurrences.  He was a chef ( where Bethany got her joy of cooking), played the guitar by ear, loved gardening, and entertained our daughters with his antics.  He also loved dachshunds.  We all miss him.

My brother Steve, and wife Dorothy
Steve is my younger but taller brother. I am seven years older, but he's almost a foot taller. He's also slim. A diehard UNC fan along with Holly and Philip, he loves just about all sports. He can quote all kinds of stats, and has a zany side to his personality as well, keeping us all in stitches without batting an eye. Dorothy is a cook extraordinaire, and we all look forward to her wonderful dishes, and on top of that, she's also low carb. She won't ever mention it, but she helps others regularly.

Our dachshund Duke:
Why would I list a dog along with family members, you ask? Well, if you are a dog lover, you aren't the one asking. But for the uninitiated, Duke IS family. Oh, his loud bark is annoying at times, but he's a fun-loving, loyal, and playful pet. He's all dachshund. He's a bed hog, a warm pillow, and a guard. He's a stay-by-your-side companion when anyone in the family does not feel well.

My family is made up of all kinds of personalities, likes and dislikes, and talents--just like yours. I am so very thankful that we share this journey of life together. Thank you, Lord, for blessing me far more than I deserve.   

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