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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Remembering Wayne Johnson

My brother-in-law died in Minneapolis today. Exactly two weeks ago we received news that he had a massive brain tumor; then he had surgery; then he developed a fever and now he is gone. He stopped speaking a few days ago, but he did reach for a piece of fudge offered to him. I smiled when I heard that. In honor of his passing I'd like to record my best memories of our ten year friendship as the spouses of a brother and sister.
--canoeing the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota (and talking forever afterwards about the size of the insects!)
--camping on Lake Superior
--hiking all day near Lutsen Ski Resort, Minnesota
--biking 40 miles along an old railway track to Red Wing, Minnesota
--chomping on huge grilled turkey legs at a Renaissance Fair near Minneapolis
--Thanksgiving feasts
--eating decadent caramel cashew sundaes at ButterBurgers MULTIPLE days in a row!!
--shopping doorbuster sales at Kohl's!
--receiving Wayne's homemade caramels without fail at Christmas
--big friendly bear hugs and a kiss on the cheek every time we met
--feeding the missionaries during the Christmas holidays
--meatballs at IKEA
--watching the slide show of Diane and Wayne's marvelous adventure in Alaska
--teaching me how to rollerblade around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis
--strolling through Boys' Town in Omaha on a beautiful autumn day
--taking a day to explore the Bridges of Madison County in Iowa (Mugsy insisted on sitting on Wayne's lap the whole time!)
--taking pictures of each other in front of John Wayne's birthhome also in Iowa
--bar-b-ques at Carefree (summer home of our parents-in-law)
--meeting for the first time and cutting up vegetables for Don and Mitzi's 50th wedding anniversary together at the sink as we got acquainted
--eating those gigantic hamburgers and taking a boat trip around Duluth, Minnesota
--exchanging gifts
--giving Wayne and Diane the two bit tour of Bear Lake and Montpelier a year ago
--a taco party when I came for Charlie's birth in February--the last visit with Wayne
--lively conversations about Mormonism and Lutheranism
I have only good good memories which I shall recall always with fondness. Good bye dear friend.


Laura said...

I'm so sorry for you loss. He sounds like a great guy.

I smiled at all the references to Minnesota--just because I lived there for a time, and I recognize those names if not the actual places. You are right. The insects are HUGE!! Ewww Gross!

Shelly said...


Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley