Thursday, December 20, 2001

The familial celebrations chez Washburn were gentle and warm, the turnout for Lorey's final celebration included the current crew from the fire truck unit he served on, singing and bridge-playing friends with stories of the weekly orchids and drawing lots to see who'd take it home. The church organist turned over the piano bench to show us the risers Lorey'd added on request - sawn from wood left over from the previous altar - and the church decorations committee pointed out that all the plant stands holding the baskets and arrangements of flowers had been made by Lorey.
The neighbor-ocer-the-fence for 35+ years came, shocking himself by stepping into a church, but added to the appreciations and also mentioned that Lorey had his human side as well - "for instance, he didn't like beer."

It was a good visit.

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

--- Ruth Temple wrote:
> Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 11:13:52 -0800 (PST)
> From: Ruth Temple
> Received the newws from Loren, and wrote this to my family-
> Dorothy and Lorey Washburn are another set of parents in a grand- sense of
> the term. His folks were enough older that when they married, Dorothy had
> the delight of being welcomed as a daughter who was like a grand-daughter,
> and they were tickled to welcome me in the same warm spirit.
> They were very welcoming not only to me, but made overtures to the rest of
> our family, writing the folks and welcoming Tamara for Thanksgiving holidays
> a few years. The first time I visited them with Loren, Lorey made a point of
> drawing me aside and saying, as we were all retiring for the evening, that
> they liked me very much, and that I was welcome to the family.
> When I took a week-long violin construction workshop, they opened their home
> for me to stay and commute over to Thousand Oaks to my classes, and we talked
> into the wee hours every night, about art & life & families, and wood-working
> (Lorey made grandfather clocks and had a splendid woodshop out behind the
> orchid greenhouse).
> As and after Loren and I changed our relationship from householding partners
> to dear friends, the Folks Washburn and I have chosen to "keep one another"
> as Family, and have kept in touch.
> Lorey had a tremendous, if quiet & subtle, sense of humor. Dorothy has a
> thicket of black bamboo in the side yard; once after thinning the canes,
> Lorey put some of the green-cut bamboo in the fireplace ... after about
> 30 minutes, he remarked casually how well that bamboo was burning...(it
> was charcoal in the gas flame by that time, mind you!).
> He worked as a fireman, and sang in the Methodist church choir most of his
> life. The first Washburn family home was built in the walnut orchards of the
> San Fernando Valley on their folks' land.
> After more than 65 years of marriage, Dorothy and Lorey were lovebirds, as
> sweet on each other as when they were newlyweds, and it was a delight of an
> example to see!
> What great last words - from someone who found all of his life to be
> delicious:
> --- Loren Washburn wrote:
> > Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 11:22:45 -0800
> > From: Loren Washburn
> > Subject: passing of a good man
> >
> > My father, Smith Lorenzo Washburn passed away this weekend
> > after a long and wonderful lifeand after a lingering and
> > dibilitaing form of blood cancer, myelodysplasia. He was
> > 89. He asked my mom for a drink of water, being too weak to
> > do anything but sip through a staw by now. He drank and
> > said 'My that tasted wonderful' and closed his eyes. Iin a
> > few minutes they realized that he had left them.
> > 'Share water share life', and what a wonderful comment on
> > his life!
> >
> > - Loren
> Love,
> Ruth

So, I'm off to hug the living family-of-choice and tell the stories
and sing the songs and Remember - full of love.