A Jar of Sweet Pickle Relish...

What better food to have on the 4th of July than hot dogs.    I started the dogs, Dave got the fixin's out.  He likes dill relish on his hot dogs, I, however like sweet pickle relish on mine.  While I'm chopping an onion and fixing some chili, Dave mentions that I'm just about out of my relish.  I looked at the jar and a flood of memories came rushing back of one year previous today. 

I was at my daughters house in Texas when I received a phone call from the wife of the former Director of our division informing me that my former boss and friend had drowned the day before in a rafting accident.  Needless to say I was shocked and numb at the same time. 

Joan is the the lady in Pink
Joan had been a lifesaver in so many ways for me when I started back to work full-time 12 years ago.  She and I were very much alike.  We both had children who were athletes and knew the rigors of traveling all over the country for tournaments.  She would let me work four 10 hour days so I could have the 5th day off for tournament travel.

Every Christmas gift that she would give to each of the people in her division was always related to full time travel.  I was the only person who recognized it.  I still have each and every one of the gifts she gave me and I intend to take them on the road with us when we start our full timing adventure. 

She saw to it that my kids had jobs to earn extra money.  When she and Alan sold their home she invited me and my daughter to come and look at some very nice blouses and coats she was going to give the the women's shelter, as she and I were the same size.  I found some terrific work blouses and a nice coat. She also had canned food in her pantry and asked us to see if there was anything we wanted before she carted it off to the food bank.  We found a lot of great canned items to stock our pantry with, one of them being three or four jars of Sweet Pickle Relish.  Keep in mind this was in 2005, the expiration date on the jar was 2009, I just finished using the last one in 2012! 
  Apparently Sweet Pickle Relish lasts forever!!!

Joan was a very giving person, in so many but quiet ways, always thinking of others.  I only saw her a few more times after she and Alan hit the road.  It always happened at the Sam's Club in Norman when she and Alan would be in town visiting friends, either she was leaving the store or we were heading into the store, always in the parking lot.  She always had that wonderful smile on her face and a I'm retired, when are you going to, twinkle in her eyes.

I will always remember that very kind and dear lady and all the small but great things she did for me and my family. 

I lift a jar to you, Joan!

Happy trails...  


  1. What a wonderful tribute to Joan....I'm sure Alan will love reading it. I never met Joan but have grown fond of her myself through reading about her in your's and Alan's blogs.

    1. You would have liked her. Joan collected anything with Eagles. When they went on the road she got rid of almost all of them, there were so many. But I know in my heart, her spirit is up there soaring among the skies with them.

    2. She loved John Wayne movies as well. Was always looking for the High and Mighty.


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