Going back to Indiana this month I remembered that I never posted my last trip there, which was in 2009 to celebrate the life of my grandfather Hank. Going back just isn't the same without him there. It is far less delicious for one.
Here are some words from his kids that were read at the service:
As far back as we can remember our dad (my grandpa) was a hard worker. But when not working he enjoyed having fun with his family and friends. He definitely believed in giving 100% or more to whatever he was doing. In fact, his work ethic has probably been our curse in that we have trouble relaxing or being idle. This is also a trait in our children and grandchildren. Of course, this shouldn’t be a surprise to any of the Lyons family since it has been recorded that our ancestors were also like this. A book on “early pioneers of Johnson County” stated that Robert Lyons, who settled near this cemetery in 1823, was hardy, industrious and friendly to a fault. We have seen this trait over and over in our family and definitely in our father.
Some of the early memories we have of dad was the thrill of sitting next to him on some of the heavy equipment he would operate. We can still remember the awe we felt as he could move those giant machines around so easily. Even today we still marvel at how smoothly and efficiently he could operate any machine. It was so easy for dad that Mark thought he could do it (Mark was a teenager who thought he could do anything). So, Dad gave him the chance to operate a bulldozer to level some ground. When Mark was done the ground was as flat as an old washboard. Mark remembered another worker on the project asking dad if Mark was his kid. In spite of the obvious lack of coordination dad said yes.
When dad wasn’t working there were many fun times. And what was unique about these times was that whatever we were doing almost always involved many other family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins) and friends. We thought that was pretty normal, but as we got older we realized that being together as an extended family, as we were, was not that common. There were family gatherings, picnics, camping, boating, fishing and hunting. Each “get-together” almost always turned into a memorable event. There was just something about the mixture of those family members and friends that could turn your average gathering into a story that would be told a hundred times. We are sure this is a genetic trait.
We learned many things from Hank but three things stand out and have become kind of our motto for living. This is “work hard, have fun and be kind”. We loved our dad and will miss him. We are proud to be part of his heritage – the Lyons family.
The Lyons Farm.
My dad and his sister.
What I am guessing to be my first trip to Indiana.
Avery's first visit (second if you count in utero)
Avery's second visit.
If you don't come back from a trip to Indiana 5 lbs heavier than something is wrong.
My step-grandma Faye.
My paternal grandparents. A mismatch if there ever was one :)
I was gonna say look for the ears to find our family members but there are quite a few good sets here (#10).
Me and my dad in Indy, 2009.
This is what happens when you eat too many White Castles...
Headstones from the Lyons cemetery.