Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Since my last post was fully six months ago (!) it is high time to bring you up to speed on what has happened, and is happening, with our family and close friends.
The series of deaths in 2014 continued in 2015. Among the highlights: my wife, Wendi, lost her three oldest brothers, one on October 5, one on January 6, and the oldest on April 15 at our home (on hospice) after a bout with metastatic small cell lung cancer. In addition, the baby our son (Joe) and his wife (Elizabeth) were expecting in March, was tragically stillborn on February 20. Her name was Patricia Diane. This was our very first grandchild, and she is now in Heaven with Jesus. This death comes on the heels of their losing two cats last fall: Shadow (who used to live with us) and Crystal (Elizabeth’s cat). They now have two new kittens, Spock and Aurora.
My first marathon went off okay: I ran the Rockford Marathon (26.2 miles) on May 31 in Rockford, Illinois. I paced it slow but completed it in 4:58:20, finishing 7th of 8 in my age group and 248th of 300 overall (8 of whom did not finish). But being my first full marathon, of course it was a personal best, and merely finishing was a major accomplishment for me. I have a nice finisher’s medal to show for it, and what may prove to be an easy time to beat when I decide to run another one! I ran a 5K on March 28 and already have several other races lined up for the summer.
Among other things, I am an amateur musician: I write my own songs and play keyboard and ukulele. I am also learning the mandolin. For years I performed and recorded using my actual name (Charlie Petitt). On October 4, 2014, I took the stage name Kharlie M (with a silent h) and registered the domain kharlie.com for my official website. I was chosen to speak and also to play and sing at my brother-in-law’s memorial service on April 25; everyone said I did well. I play at open mics and hope to begin recording again soon.
Already this spring and summer, friends have given us plenty of fresh rhubarb. I have baked three rhubarb custard pies and one rhubarb cake, and have still more baking to do. The results are always yummy!
Two young couples who are close to us — Josh Jewell and Joy Blackford (pictured at right; Josh is a close friend of our son Joe), and Kayla Cleasby and Terry (Trey) Moore (Kayla is our neighbor and is like a daughter to us) — have both announced their engagements this month. Both couples have been together for years. Exciting times are ahead!
This website has been “in ruins” for quite some time. Design-wise, much of the site is still in an older version and also needs going over; some pages should be updated or rewritten entirely, while others serve no purpose anymore and should be removed. During the rest of 2015, I plan to fix up the site. Check the Home page every now and again for updates, changes, or more news.