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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer

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While I’m working on photos from the past month, I want to say a current ‘hello.’ [grin] The weather has been gorgeous here in our piece of God’s green earth. I just noticed yesterday that our blackberries have begun to ripen. We had our first hot, fresh-picked, juicy berries for an afternoon snack. Like manna is this free gift…

My grandparents are visiting from California for this month. Do you remember our road trip last summer to visit them for their anniversary? Since then my grandmother has battled cancer with both chemo and radiation while grandpa slowly regained strength after his cancer and other health battles. Grandma is just now recovering her strength. We are so happy to have them with us for a whole month, and we had the privilege of celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary with them!

Grandma and Grandpa's 66th

I have a bunch more photos to share (of course). We are enjoying dinners in the garden. Knitting lessons with grandma. Star-gazing with grandpa. Concerts in the park. Oh, just lovely.

I pray that your summer is just as lovely, whether sprinkled with little gifts such as blackberries, family, and free concerts in the park, or loaded with big adventures!

Edited to add:

Some of you may enjoy this note my grandpa wrote after being knighted! by the French government (just the day before travelling to see us in Oregon) for his service in WWII:

“A few lines to keep our relatives and friends up to date with our comings and goings.  Both Helen and I are gaining strength after this past couple years battling with health problems. How we thank the Lord for sustaining strength. Right now we are visiting with our daughter Cheri in Oregon and having a delightful time with her and her three daughters and eight of our great grandchildren. 

The day before flying up here our son John drove us to the Los Angeles area where at the Trinity Lutheran church in Hawthorn, CA, June 27, 2013 the Consul General of France pinned the elegant French Legion of Honor pin on the lapel of Paul (Jim) Pietsch making me a ‘knight’ among the prestigious group of people like Generals Eisenhower and Patton who had helped to liberate France during WWII.

I easily qualified for the award as I had landed with the 80th Infantry Division on Aug. 6, 1944 at Utah Beach as the Division entered combat in the Hedge Row area of France.  With the “St. Lo Break Through” we were a part  of Patton’s 3rd Army which crossed France in record time and then met severe resistance at the Moselle River with many casualties.  It was then east through France to the German border preparing to cross the Rhine River when on Dec. 16 the Battle of the Bulge diverted us to Luxembourg.  After crossing the Saur River into Germany we returned to France near Strasbourg, crossed the Rhine and helped take numerous German cities.

During nine months of combat with the 80th without becoming a casualty (or with hardly a scratch) I became more and more conscious that there was someone higher than I who was watching after me.  This consciousness led to Helen and I spending 40 years of our lives as overseas missionaries.  After retirement we have lived in California on property with our oldest son and had frequent visits with our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

So, it is with pride that I wear the French Legion of Honor pin for helping to liberate France from Nazi aggression and tyranny including its spread throughout the world.”

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heidi,
I was moved to tears as I read your grandfather's letter, and took time to read it to my 11 year old son, who loves history. What a humble man. I am so glad he was recognized for his service and standing up for righteousness.

Julie in St. Louis

Kellie said...

What a treasure for your children to hear those stories firsthand. I love how beautifully he wrote about God's protection and how it lead to his life as a missionary.

Barb said...

what a heritage. Thanks for sharing.

Kara said...

How wonderful that they still look as happy as they did on their wedding day!

April said...

I have never commented here before, but I would love to hear more of your grandparents' story, especially their missionary work. Thanks for sharing this :)

Heidi said...

April, my grandfather has written his life story, including their years in ministry. I'll check with him to see if I can share some of it here and figure out how to do that!