Thursday, July 13, 2017

Uncle Curtis

Our last night in Michigan, Aunt Melody called and told us some news that shattered our hearts. She told us Uncle Curtis and her had gone sailing that day and there had been an accident and Uncle Curtis had passed away. It was such a shock and knocked us all off our feet. We were thankful to be with Papa and Grandma while we grieved together, but also sad that Aunt Melody was in California and we couldn't be with her. 

Philip was asked to write a few words for the Ledbetter Memory board at the reunion this weekend in TN. Below is his tribute to one of his favorite people, Curtis O'Shock. 

"Many may ask who exactly was Curtis O’Shock.  That isboth a very difficult and very easy question to answer.  First, the easy part.  To my brother and I, he was the cool uncle who didn’t care what the adults thought and would play on our level from our toddler years, to adolescence and well through those awkward early teenage years.  In our eyes he was older but acted our age, regardless of what the adults thought.  Brian and I have always held him in high regard and always considered it a huge bonus when Uncle Curtis was going to be there during our visits.  To us,he was always a cool dude (dude always fit him because he lived in California).

That was the easy part, now here for the tougher stuff.  Curtis was a Renaissance Man.  He did everything, was curious about everything and seemed to try everything once.  He was a triathlete, fly fisher, unbelievable photographer, 4x4 off roader, sailor and outdoorsman, among countless other endeavors and dabbles.   What is amazing is that he left us while doing something that made him a Renaissance Man.  


Curtis had the biggest heart.  He was always interested in what you were talking to him about.  In my memory, it didn’t matter whether it was football, cars, kids, family, bikes, photography tips or simply how your day had gone.  He was always listening and caring.  I recently learned that he had a stash of Cliff Bars that he would hand out to homeless people on the street.  He did this without ever telling anyone until after his stash was discovered.  He did everything he could to help the patients where he worked feel special and loved.  He even braved the Michigan cold one Christmas Eve night to create the most perfect, footprint-free, sleigh tracks for my brother and I when we awoke on Christmas morning.  Curtis and my father apparently accomplished this with great planning, precision, lots of winter apparel, a pair of skis, rope and dedication.


The two things that I will remember most about Curtis will be his infectious giggle that still rings in my ears and his speedo-clad snow angels one Michigan winter.  Anyone who has heard his laugh will understand what I mean.  For those who don’t, you sure missed out.  His laugh would brighten a room and make everyone else giggle with joy.  The snow angel story is family legend.  After a stint in Papa Malpass’ sauna, Curtis broke from the sauna and ran through the snow down to the lake.  After trying in vain to break through the lake’s surface ice by jumping up and down on it, he ran back up the hill and dove into the deep Michigan winter snow wearing nothing but a Speedo and a smile.  His giggle could be heard inside over our ownlaughter.  After diving in the snow, he then starting doing snow angels.  I was fortunate enough to hear of his passing while in Michigan.  After hearing the news, I did my own snowless version of his snow angels right where he had done his.  Nothing like doing grass-angels alone in a front yard to celebrate a new angel of heaven.


Curtis will be certainly missed, but should be equally celebrated.  We are all better for his care-free influence.  May we all live life like kids and not care what the adults think."  

- Philip Overall 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Michigan Trip

We originally planned to go to Michigan in August. But when papa and grandma sold their lake house, we really wanted to go and stay there before they moved out. Papa had the lake house built 30 years ago, and it's full of lots of wonderful memories for Philip. We've been lucky to go there several times as a couple, as a family of 3 and now as a family of 4. It's one of those houses that always has open arms and wraps you in a hug as soon as you pull in the winding driveway. 

The drive wasn't bad- Parker spotted every single water tower and would exclaim "wa wa toow!". Kid has hawks eyes for these things. We got there Thursday evening and they had ham loaf waiting for us. (This is one of my favorite meals and I heard a rumor Joy has now learned how to make it. Hellloo birthday meal for me ;)) We ate dinner on the porch and let the kids burn off some energy. 

Friday we went to the Binder Park Zoo, since most people had to work that day. Taylor came with us and we had great weather and a really good time. The kids loved the animals and Parker loved the "train" to Africa. Ainsley said the cheetahs were her favorite. 

That night we got pizza and most everyone came over to eat and hang out. Ice cream for dessert, of course. 

The next day we went to South Haven to the beach. The beach at the lake was different; there were rocks instead of shells, and the sand was minimal. The water was really cold, and Parker stayed in until his lips were blue and he was uncontrollably shaking. It was a good day and we picnicked before we went home. Later that afternoon, Carol and I snuck away and got a very relaxing and much needed pedicure and coffees. 

Sunday we had a big brunch at Ted and Carols and then played in the pool and on the trampoline. The boys went shooting while we hung out and relaxed. That evening we took the kids down to the lake and let them play. Parker was in absolute heaven and had a blast. 

And a trip to Papa and Grandmas wouldn't be complete without a bath in their whirlpool tub! 

All weekend Philip would tell me stories from being at that house. Of when he was little, of time with his cousins, and just snippets he will always remember. We made many sweet memories while we were there. And driving away from that house was hard for Philip. I know it holds so many memories for him and I'm happy we are a part of several of those. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The 4th

We celebrated the 4th of July a little early due to Philips work schedule. We actually started celebrations on Friday night when we went out to dinner for Moms birthday. 

Then Saturday we went to Magnolia Springs, where GGs facility was having an early 4th of July party. They had pony rides, petting zoos, food and fun. GG even hopped (well was helped) onto the pony for a ride! 

That night we grilled out and did fireworks in our backyard. It was still light out. Our fireworks were from a tent in the WalMart parking lot. And Ainsley declared they were "the best fireworks she'd ever seen". Parker would run into my lap as soon as Philip went to light a fuse, but would say "wow" and clap when they were over. 

Sunday we spent the day (and night) at Matt and Rachels pool. We swam, grilled out for lunch, took naps then swam some more. It was the perfect day and my kids loved jumping off the diving board! 

It rained and rained on the actual 4th. We went to the Stearley's for brunch and then went to the Brownings that night for a cookout and play time with the kids (no pics bc that many kids without Philip to help means no free hands). 

Q: what does the Statue of Liberty stand for? 
A: because it can't sit down!