Minnesota March 2019:
Day 3 - White Bear Lake


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Minnesota March 2019: [Day 1 - Madison] [Day 2 - White Bear Lake] [Day 3 - White Bear Lake] [Day 4 - White Bear Lake] [Day 5 - Mississippi River] [Day 6 - Illinois]

Thursday, March 20, 2019: We gathered for breakfast in the AmericInn lobby. Debbie was impressed by the AmericInn logo on her waffle.
Here are Sara, Sharlot, Ron, Heather, Adam, ...
... Bob, Shirley, Ralph, and Bonnie.
Terry came down to get some food for his family, ...
... and we couldn't help but notice his awesome socks, which were a bright spot on the sad occasion of his mother's funeral.
Grandpa and Claire held hands for a bit.
Soon, it was time to head to ...
... St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi.
Two tables were set up with photos of Mary. We learned later that the blue vase of flowers in the middle of the table was from our friends.
Toward the left of this table was the 2000 family photo from Uncle Bob's retirement that we printed at Walgreen's the day before and gave to Melissa to frame.
Debbie had given a smaller selection of photos to the church to display on monitors before and after the service, and during lunch. This 2002 photo of Mary and her siblings at Foster Bar was a favorite each time it appeared.
It was a beautiful, sunny day so the sanctuary was filled with light.
Benny was holding up as well as can be expected. He also lost his first wife, Patsy, to lung cancer 10 years earlier.
Debbie was the self-appointed photographer of the day, so here are Sara and Adam, ...
... Laura with her kids, Lisa and Gavin, ...
... Terry's wife Dawn with her parents and kids, ...
... and Tom and Claire.
Debbie has seen her Uncle Bob's family at events several times over the many decades since Mary and Bob married. Here are Susan and Rick, Krista, and Doug and Ruth. Rick and Ruth are Bob's siblings.
Here's the crowd outside the sanctuary before the service.
Debbie got a photo of her dad with his cousin Paul and brother Mark.
Paul's partner Judi got a photo of Debbie taking the photo, ...
... then added her to the grouping.
Shortly before the service, Mary's immediate family joined the pastors in the small chapel. Benny invited Debbie to join them as well, since Mary was like a second mother to her. Tom snuck this photo from the doorway ...
... and Debbie snuck this photo on the way out.
Then, he and Claire took their place in the back row of the huge sanctuary.
Claire did very well through the whole service, so there was no need to make a quick escape out the back.
Partway through the service, Debbie gave the eulogy. She had given the eulogy for Uncle Bob's service, so it was a great honor to be asked to give Aunt Mary's eulogy as well. She made it without crying, but it was touch-and-go toward the end.
After the service, Debbie's dad joined us for a bit
Cousin Megan and Craig also enjoyed the service from the back of the church just in case Baby Emma decided to be loud, but she slept through it.
It was great to see Debbie's dad's cousins Paul (left) and Gary on his father's side, not to be confused with Debbie's dad's other cousin Paul (right) on his mother's side.
There were cameras and phones everywhere, ...
... so that every combination of people was captured.
There was a luncheon following the service, but it was held in a different building, so we hopped into our cars and drove down the hill. Here are sisters Sharlot, Shirley, and Sara, ...
... plus Sara's husband, Adam.
Here are Kelvin and Sarah, ...
... and Judi and Paul.
Lunch consisted of baked ziti and a meatless pasta dish, plus garlic bread, a couple of salads, ...
... and trays of desserts even though Mary had been concerned that desserts cost too much.
The pastor led the room in prayer as the meal started.
After lunch, there were many, many group photos. But first, a father-daughter selfie!
Here are Aunt Sandra with her family, including her four children.
Mark helped Debbie arrange people for the photos.
Cousin Heather with her family, including two of her three daughters.
Then we added Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Ralph, and Ralph's sons Andy and David.
Here's Uncle Herb, ...
... and Debbie behind the camera.
Judi's photo of Aunt Emmie and Uncle Mark was nicer than Debbie's, so here it is.
Here we are.
Cousin Laura and her family, ...
... and again with her husband Shawn's parents.
The biggest group shot included nearly everyone related to Mary and Bob's kids.
Next up, it was time for the traditional portrait of the Eights - the eight Schilling siblings.
With Aunt Mary gone and Uncle Jon unable to attend, there were only six.
So, we added their cousin Paul from their mother's side, ...
... then their cousins Paul and Gary from their father's side.
Cousin Melissa with her family.
Cousin Terry with his family.
Benny with his stepkids, Laura, Melissa, and Terry, ...
... and their families. Mary's grandkids always called him "Ben-Ben."
Here are Cousin James and his family.
Aunt Sandra and her girls.
Uncle Ed and Aunt Lani.
We headed back to the community room at the hotel. Someone brought these flowers from the service noting that Laura said they were for us. We didn't realize until then that our best friends, Audrey and Dean, had sent them to the service. They were with us the night we got the news of Mary's death so they knew how hard it was hitting Debbie.
Many of the cousins had to head home, so it was a smaller crowd in the community room. Aunt Carol brought shrimp cocktail, so we served that and opened one of the many bottles of wine that Paul and Judi brought.
Carol was one of many who helped keep Claire in the room when she was around.
By 4:00, we had five of the Eights gathered around (plus Honorary Eight Paul). Debbie's photos continued to play on the TV in the room, and we added some photos that Mark brought too. That photo in the background was taken on our 2017 visit to Minnesota.
... and shortly after, we were joined by Benny and Lani.
When Benny joined us, he shared Mary stories with us, including the story of how they met at Lake Louise. Coincidentally, that's where Debbie's brother and his wife had just started their vacation the night that Mary died.
Another one of Cousin Laura's neighbors made her a lasagna dinner with dessert, so she heated it up and brought it to the hotel for our second evening together.
After dinner, we had a scar competition. Not sure how that happened, but there were some strong contenders. The only photo we'll include here is of Mark's elbow.
Claire was noticeably calmer on her second day of being in the community room. Tom had been working on a work crisis, so he had spent a great deal of time in our suite with Claire, which was great for her to be able to run around freely. However, when she was in the community room, she handled it like a champ.
Later in the evening, we got out our Telestrations game and had some fun.
Bonnie and Heather were laughing as hard as the rest of us when "Lightbulb relaxing on beach" came along.
Obviously, this lightbulb is having a relaxing time at the beach.
Here are Lani and Ed looking at Lani's booklet.
Herb held up another masterpiece drawn by an unknown relative.
It was getting late and we needed to leave the room empty, so we got everything cleaned up by 10:00 PM. Then Debbie, Heather, Ron, Mark, and Herb spent a little bit longer talking before calling it a night.

Day 4 >


Minnesota March 2019: [Day 1 - Madison] [Day 2 - White Bear Lake] [Day 3 - White Bear Lake] [Day 4 - White Bear Lake] [Day 5 - Mississippi River] [Day 6 - Illinois]

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