Jan 192010

The bad weather that had been predicted rolled into central Arizona right on schedule, with cold, a gloomy sky, and rain. Monday was a gray day in more ways than one for me.

I got an e-mail first thing in the morning that one of my oldest and dearest childhood friends, Dan Connell, had passed away Friday in our old hometown of Toledo, Ohio. I’ve known Dan since I was thirteen, and could not begin to count all of the adventures and misadventures we had together. The news took me by surprise and really broke my heart. Dan went through a bout of colon cancer a few years ago, and seemed to come through it okay. But a few weeks ago his cancer came back, and he went fast.

Terry and I stopped to visit Dan and his special lady, Patty, while we were in Ohio for the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) rally in Bowling Green, in July At that time he said the doctors had told him he was completely cancer free, and he felt great. We had a good time sitting on his back porch swapping stories of all the silliness we got into as youngsters, and reliving those carefree days from so long ago, when we were ten feet tall and bulletproof.

I’ve lost a lot of friends in my life, and it always hurts, but Dan’s passing has really hit me hard. When you lose friends that you meet as adults, you miss them, but you don’t have that long history of growing up together that you do with childhood friends. And it reminds you that you, too, have to make that final last journey someday. It also reaffirmed for me that life holds no guarantees, and if you love somebody, you should not allow one day to go by without telling them so. Don’t let petty spats, words said in anger, or just the everyday pace of life keep you from doing that. Tomorrow may be too late.

About mid-day yesterday, longtime readers John and Karen Knoll stopped by to visit, and to pay for their registration to our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally in Yuma. John and Karen are spending the winter at Meridian RV Resort, and they keep telling us how nice it is. We’ll have to stop in and check it out one of these days.

All afternoon the sky got darker, and the temperature continued to drop. It sprinkled off and on, and during the evening it started to rain steadily. It looks like we’re in store for the same all week long. Like I said, a gray start to a gray week.

Thought For The Day – Do it now, there might not be a later.

Register Now For Our Arizona Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  11 Responses to “A Gray Start To A Gray Week”

  1. So sorry for your loss Nick. Yes, it is important to express your love to those important you every chance you get. I have tried to make that a habit this past year and people do appreciate it. I lost my father quickly and instantly one day. Not very many days pass that I don’t wish I could talk with him again, just for a few minutes.

    On a brighter note, I am excited you are getting involved in researching your genealogy. Since you are close by, you should take the opportunity to visit one of the best Family History Centers in the nation. It’s right there in Mesa. It is operated by the LDS Church but open and available to anyone interested, not just church members. Most of their resources are free and they have great well-trained people to assist you and give you some direction. In my many years of research, I have learned one important lesson – not all information can be found on the internet! Good luck in your search. It is an exciting hobby:)

    Hope you and Terry are staying warm and enjoying some relaxation.

  2. Nick,
    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I know how you feel as the same thing happened to me several years ago. I had gone to a class reunion (also in Ohio – Port Clinton) and met up with one of my best friends from high school and we also had a great time sitting and reminiscing about old times and all the mischief we’ve gotten in to. A month later he had a heart attack in his living and fell dead on the floor. It does make you stop and think about your age and life.

  3. 3 years ago i went back to my hometown for the 4th of July and ran into a high school classmate that i hadn’t seen for several years. We talked for awhile and then he left. 2 hours later he died in a motorcycle accident. I didn’t find out about it until 2 weeks later as we had left the area.

  4. I also realize what you are talking about as 15 years ago I was helping two friends to put up a tower and I was the tower man. On the last way down a temperary rope came undone and the whole thing came with me on it. I could have been killed but I wasn’t and I thank the Lord for that. Life is too short and precious to play with it and ignore it.
    I have said my peace. Have an enjoyable life and times.
    Wilf Blakey

  5. Hey Nick,
    Sorry for your loss and it may not comfort you to know that we call that a graduation day and it is a joy for the person graduating ,it is us that are left behind that mourn as we should, as we remember & celebrate their life here ,God Bless and God speed to your friend.
    As for the rain most Arizonians have been praying for rain as we had so little all last year so we are actually celebrating the moisture to replenish the aquafer as well as wash the faces of all the plants here in our beautiful state .
    Before we can think the days will be hot & dry way to soon.
    The wild flowers will raise their beautiful faces to testifiy of the creator & we can bask in their beauty.
    Mother-in-law Bess

  6. Nick, as you mourn the loss of your friend, find comfort in the treasured memories you so recently had the chance to remember with him. Our condolences to you. The sun will shine again.

    Claire and Chuck

  7. Nick,
    Sorry about your lost friend.
    Heard this in a movie and it stuck.

    Yesterday is history,
    Tomorrow is a mystery,
    Today is a gift,
    That’s why they call it the present.

  8. Nick,

    I am very sorry about the loss of a good friend. This is a horrible and sad event, that leaves so many thoughts and memories. I can relate to your feelings as I did not get over losses of good friends for the longest time… Being in the Israeli army, I lost some of my best friends at a very young age, and just lost a childhood friend coiuple weeks ago myself.
    Let’s hope for better days.

  9. So sorry for your loss Nick. Rocky said you called last night. My heart and thoughts are with you and Terry both. I love you both very much and thank God every night for bring us back together after such a long time apart. I miss you very much and looking forward to when we can get together again.
    Love you guys

  10. Nick
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Indeed, life is way too short! I enjoyed your thought for the day. It is so similar to the saying that I have on our blog and on our business cards we hand out: Carpe Diem – Seize the Day! Go for it now! The future is promised to no one! The words are so true! Enjoy your memories and it will get better with time.
    Bobbie & Sal

  11. Hi Nick and Terry, I was sorry to hear about the loss of your good friend. The dearest friend of my childhood developed very serious cancer a year ago. Altho she is keeping it at bay, I find myself picking up the phone or e-mailing her to find out about her world and making sure she is o.k. I always say, “I love you” when I end phone calls to my kids and to other special people in my life. So I love you both!

    I am in the process of revising or doing a new Full-time RVing book (Haven’t decided which yet) and I would like permission to use the story of your breakin in one of the chapters. Breaking into an RV doesn’t happen all that often but think it is scarey (as you can attest to) and people need to be aware that it can happen and they need to always be aware of their surroundings. Yes??? Love and Hugs, Charlie (Minshall)

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