Last week I traveled to my hometown for a memorial dedication ceremony.
My father worked for a Rural Electrical Coop for 27 years. He began his career there as an appliance technician but due to his hard work and dedication he became an irreplaceable part of the organization. From managing systems that monitored the power grid to overseeing the installation of two wind turbines, his passion for work is being honored. The organization chose to renamed that second wind turbine he oversaw the Randy D. Rigg Memorial Wind Turbine.
This tower of steel and technology is located at the edge of town, it overlooks a community he loved. It has become a part of the landscape. His legacy and dedication will live on not just from the work he did but the lives he touched.
Seven years ago he was seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident, it changed parts of him. Not just the things that could be seen as he lived in pain for much of those seven years but in how he saw others. He had an acute way of sensing when someone else was suffering, be it physically or emotionally. In the time after his passing countless stories were shared about kind words or concerns expressed by him to others. Some of those coming at a moment when they had thought the pain would swallow them. He wanted others to know that someone understood and was there listening.
You know how special a family member is but to see in others how much they meant is touching. It has been hard to talk about my father, but what his work family has done for all of us has given me some words. They needed this, a way to honor him and to show how much he affected their lives. One finally Thank You.
He is missed by many. As I write this I am fighting back tears. I miss you Paw.
It is inscribed as follows: ” Randy D. Rigg Memorial Wind Turbine named in loving memory of our dear friend and trusted co-worker. This wind turbine stands in tribute to Randy Rigg and his 27 years of dedicated service to Adams Electric Cooperative. As we look heavenward and see the blades spinning on this incredible machine, we are mindful of Randy’s hard work, high standards, and perseverance that helped make this dream a reality. Randy’s legacy will live on as long as the wind blows. Presented by the employees and directors of Adams Electric Cooperative. October 20, 2017.”
Josh and I were fortunate enough to travel home this past weekend to see out families. Once reaching Illinois we parted ways, he north and I south. Both enjoying a blissful time with relatives and home cooking. While driving between the airport and home I was hit with a deep sense of nostalgia and change. I have driven this particular route more times than I can count; parts of which I used to think had so many hills. Now I have seen real hills, I’ve driven through mountains. It got me thinking about how dramatically different I see the world now. I grew up in a very small farming community in Central Illinois, a very very flat and corn rich part of the country. Now I see that small town as something much different, not that I ever had much affection for it. I don’t harbor dreams of retiring there someday, I guess that being on the road for so long has gifted me with a true sense of what I find beautiful. I do still love a good cornfield but those “hills” in Illinois are nothing compared to the mountains I love in Wyoming.
Leaving my hometown after college was always a must but I had no idea I would have the privilege to experience all this.
*The shots included here are of my father and his amazing 64 Fairlane hot rod. I wrote the post before editing these shots. These mean a great deal to me; a fathers hands hold many stories. For those of you who know my dad I’m sure you can see it too.*
***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***
After leaving the Maryland and DC area we headed for Kansas City, the barbeque capital. It just so happens that my hometown is not too far out of the way and not only was it Rugby Alumni weekend at WIU but one of Josh’s closest friends was turning 30. So how could we pass up a trip to Illinois.
I spend most of the weekend with my mom, shopping, cooking and just hanging out. We had some grill experiments. Did you know that you can make Pizza on the grill!! I’ll tell you how if you want. We even hit a my favorite kitchen and cooking store, found poaching cups to take my quest to make Eggs Benedict to the next level.
We also got to visit with Aunt Vicki and my grandma, just all around the perfect weekend. That is because it was also a Rugby weekend. Josh has not really played in two years, after his wrist was injured. Every spring the WIU Rugby team hosts a game where there Alumni play the current teams. It is usually tons of fun and great to see everyone. We have not been in a few years and with this being the addition of a birthday celebration it was sure to be a good time.
We were not disappointed, so many of the old boys and girls showed up. I can’t believe how many folks we caught up with. Mom and I drove over to see Josh play, I have to say he looked good out there. But I always think he is good.
I have to say that I did feel a little old but still it’s so much fun to relive glory days.
We were home last week but it felt like it was just a dream. I went to bed at our house and work up in a hotel. It was a very productive visit home, closets were cleaned, two loads to Goodwill and a load to take on the road for eBaying. Mailed packages to friends and family. We even had time to meet with a carpet guy, he will be able to install it while we are gone and then we can list the house asap.
There was of course the usual Happy Hour at Billy’s, so many people showed up. It was wonderful to connect with everyone and have some beers together.
Josh’s friend Grant enjoying our Happy Hour Giveaways
After wrapping our show in Massachusetts we pushed hard to get to Detroit and then to Mt. Sterling to be with my family. We got to spend four days there and I got plenty of snuggle time with my nieces and nephews! The highlight was Aunt Vickie’s noodles! Every family has their tradition this is ours. We also got to see Josh’s family on Saturday in Minnesota.
Having fun with Grandma
Derrick and I ham for the camera
Josh and Jacob
Sweet baby Jacob
Love this one!
We are going to be home this week. We will be heading out on Saturday so lets make this week count. Here is the plan for seeing everyone.
Monday – Feel free to stop by the house all day and night. We will be around doing a few things. (call me 612.240.7642 if you need directions)
Tuesday – Shopping during the day and grilling out (call me 612.240.7641 if you want a burger on the grill)
Friday – Happy Hour in Eagan
Please feel free to call and stop by to see us. We will be home for the holidays but those will be mostly spent in Illinois.