There’s always a new day, RIP Jim VanWinkle: Sundial Bridge, Redding

No matter what happens, a new day always dawns. That’s what friends and relatives of Jim VanWinkle are living through right now. Jim and Shellie have been friends of ours for about 37 years. Even though we moved away from Los Angeles, we kept in touch.

In retrospect, we should have kept in touch more frequently, but life always interferes. We went down for every life cycle event; they came up for ours. When our family’s needs brought us to L.A., they always made time to see us. In fact, some times they invited us to stay with them. And they were always welcome to stay with us.

They visited us last September with Ron and Lois. But, we didn’t expect to be going to L.A. for Jim’s funeral this past weekend. He died suddenly from a blood clot. I have so many memories of when we lived in the San Fernando Valley. Two stand outs:

When personal computers came on the scene, Jim decided that the ladies should learn how to program and use them. So he taught or tried to teach us Basic Language. We were fairly successful and Jim managed to keep his sanity.

We also went on many camping trips with the VanWinkles when our kids were young. We introduced the pie iron to Jim who immediately saw beyond its use for apple or cherry pie, in the campfire, and started making s’more pies. We enjoyed several before the handle came out and the pie maker stayed in the fire.

There’s so much I could tell you about Jim, but the fact that people were standing in the back of the chapel, no seats available, at his funeral is a testament as to how well he was liked and loved. ┬áHe will especially be missed by his four children and nine grandchildren.

Yes, there’s always a new day and a sunrise. This post and images of the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California at sunrise is dedicated in Jim’s memory.

For the birds–Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

Birds are pretty and tweet; but, they take on a new dimension when you go birding with Laura Munro and Diane Richards. Laura knows birds. I found it amazing that she was able to spot them in trees as she was driving! Yesterday, we left at 5 a.m. to catch the sunrise at Gray Lodge Wildlife Area and spent the entire day shooting from sunrise to sunset.

What an amazing day! Let’s begin with sunrise, snow geese and turkey vultures. Actually those are the names I can remember. In later posts, there will be some small birds, but my senior brain can’t remember their names! We arrived at Gray Lodge as the sun began to rise. My experience at Maui taught me that the real color doesn’t come out until the sun is above the horizon. So we waited. The results were worth it! More tomorrow….