Today we went to the funeral of our neighbor, Dave Skudder. After a battle with cancer and a brain tumor Dave's suffering was ended on June 4, 2010.
It is always sad to go to a funeral, always thought provoking. Even in this situation when you are glad that he is no longer suffering there is still sadness that you will not have the opportunity to see him or talk to him again. In the past couple of days Peter and I have reminisced a lot about Dave. I was trying to think of my "favorite memory" of Dave but couldn't decide. I'll just share a few here.
Dave used to come down here and help Peter work on projects a lot. He and Peter were probably just about opposites when it came to the way they worked. Dave tended to measure to the 32nd of an inch whereas Peter usually just says "it's close enough". That made for some interesting work experiences but some how they always worked it out. Sometimes Peter just had to put his foot down and say, "Dave, I appreciate what you are trying to do and I know you want to make this perfect. But the door frame isn't square so if we make the door square it will not fit in the door frame!"
Dave was a fantastic gardener, he always had a great big garden and got tons of vegetables from it. We would talk about gardening sometimes, he would give me pointers. One year it was nearing the end of April and I had been preparing the garden but wasn't ready to plant anything yet. Peter and I went away for the day and the next day or so we noticed that over half of the garden had been planted! The only problem was we didn't know what had been planted. Turns out, Dave had come down and planted potatoes for me, filling up most of my garden. At the time I was a little upset because I hadn't planned on planting potatoes and had all of these other plants to go in the ground. But Dave had such a good heart that you couldn't say anything but "thank you". In time it grew to be funny, especially as we continued to harvest potatoes!
As some of you know we used to have a huge, un-curtained window in our bathroom. It was very disconcerting to guests, we had many a guest try to drape bath towels over the shower enclosure in an attempt for some privacy. In fact, to be perfectly honest I did the same thing the first couple of times I came to this house! Well, one day I was in the shower, shampooing my hair when out of the window I see Dave driving through the back yard on his tractor! I immediately crouch down in the shower hiding below the window, occasionally peeking out to see if he is still there. Now, let me pause for a moment to describe our house and Dave's house. Our house is on a heavily wooded lot, we have lots of trees, we keep cutting down trees and still have lots of trees. In the fall we have leaves, lots and lots of leaves. Dave's house is situated in a cleared field. He has trees on his property but not like we do. So, as I'm peeking out the window it appears that he is unloading leaves out of a trailer into my garden area! Now, why would Dave be bringing us leaves?? We have thousands, perhaps millions of leaves. I hide in the shower till he leaves (no pun intended) and later tell Peter about the experience. Neither of us has any idea why Dave brought a trailer full of leaves to our garden. Fast forward to a few days later...I'm in the shower, shampooing my hair when....yep, you got it, here comes Dave, driving through the yard bringing us more leaves! This time Peter had to ask him why he was bringing the leaves, Dave says "well....leaves are good mulch for your garden." "But Dave, I'm drowning in leaves, I have more leaves than I can possibly deal with, why are you bringing me leaves from your house?" "Well..." Like I said before, Dave had a great heart, you had to love him!
One of my favorite memories of Dave is when he asked us to do him a favor. He called Peter and said, "Ethel and I are going out of town and I had ordered some fish from the fish truck. Can you go down to the co-op when the Fish Truck arrives and pick up the fish and then put them in my pond?" Peter said we would. So on the appointed day we show up at the co-op and meet the Fish Truck. First, the driver of the truck doesn't want to give us the quantities Dave ordered, supposedly certain fish you have to buy a large quantity at a time. It would seem that person that took his order had made a mistake, however since we had the paperwork we were able to get what he ordered. We knew Dave wanted us to make sure they gave him the right amounts of fish. Some were easy, 6 of one kind, 6 of another but some of the little ones were difficult. How do you really know if you are getting a pound of minnows? No, I didn't scoop them all out of the water to weigh them, we decided some things you just had to have faith about! So. we get the fish and drive to Dave's house, as we are pulling in the driveway I say to Peter is the pond in the front of the house? We just sit there looking at each other, we have no idea where this pond is. Not in the front of the house, not in the field, so it must be in the woods. Dave has about 20 acres of land, so looking for a small pond on 20 acres is daunting. Also, I forgot to mention that it was really cold that day, we were wondering if the fish would even make it. Peter starts scouring the woods and finds a small pond, then a 2nd small pond. Then we were really confused which pond did he want the fish in?? We were tempted to flip a coin but finally just chose the one that seemed most likely. Then we had to haul the bags of fish from the car, across the field and to the pond. We were really hoping that we hadn't gone to all this effort just to find out that we had released fish into the wrong pond! But fortunately we were right and Dave was happy to have his fish!
We will miss you Dave!
'til next time...