My sister’s husband died in February. He was cremated and she has been waiting to have a memorial for him until one of his relatives was well enough to travel. Luckily for us, we were able to be free of commitments and attend.
We left Cedar Hills, Utah on Thursday morning and drove all day and arrived in Placerville, California about 7 PM California time. I had forgotten how large the Sierra Nevada Mountains were. Very wide mountain range. It was fun to drive through the Donner Lake area – these are our old stomping grounds as youth. Ron and I spent many hours in this and the Lake Tahoe areas during our courting years – camping with his family and fishing and hiking. As we left I-80 and drove through Auburn, Cool, Coloma, and Lotus towards Diamond Springs, the landscape changed to what I would describe as the typical foothills of California scenery – golden-brown grass-covered hills with sage-colored oak trees here and there. Coloma was the site of the first gold discovered in 1848! And these towns all feature buildings that imitate the style of the 1850s buildings. El Dorado County has so many little towns from that era and is quite a destination tourist area these days.
My sister, Christina, had planned a very nice memorial for Fred on July 20, 2012. It was held at her local Catholic Church, St. Patrick’s Church, in Placerville. Her pastor did an excellent job. The church had a nice luncheon after the service for us. There were about 30 who attended, many friends and relatives from the bay area where Chris and Fred lived for most of their married lives. Their daughter, Anna and two of her children came from Antioch. John, their son, lives in Diamond Springs. Michael, our brother, came from San Luis Obispo. Fred had one sibling attend – Jerry and his wife. Fred’s twin sister died the day after he did in Utah. Another sister lives in Utah and was unable to attend. Also, our brother, Patrick, who lives in Florida, was unable to attend.
It was a good time to become reacquainted with Ramona, Michael’s daughter, and her new-to-us husband, Martin. Martin and I discovered that we share a love of family history and we did some Ancestry.com-talk! Martin and Ron had some commonality with art. Martin is a fabulous pencil portrait sketch artist. Also, it was good to catch up with the doings of our my brother, Michael. He and Christina were adopted and raised by another family than Patrick and I, so we spent some time trying to fill in the gaps of knowledge about what happened and when. Our father, Edward Patrick Kemmerling, died in 1972 before Christina found me in 1980, so they never had the opportunity to meet him. Chris and I are so much alike – both raised as the oldest child – so it was like we were never apart. Michael is more reserved, like our brother Patrick.
I am typing this on our way back home, Saturday, July 21. Our daughter, Rachael, and her children left Laguna Niguel, California this same morning and are traveling to our house and will arrive tonight. Since they are dropping their boat off at Lake Mead for a family vacation next week, I assume we will arrive home before they do.
Next week’s activities: Thursday – Saturday – Cousin Camp, annual get-together with fun activities for the children and parents. Saturday evening our children have planned a 50th Wedding Anniversary Party in our local Cove Ward Cultural Hall. We have planned a Family Picture. Sunday will be our missionary farewell address to our family and friends and our Cove Ward family.