Archive for May, 2011


6.45 @ Brisbane airport – plane got in not quite 30 minutes ago from L.A. I figure that for all but 2 hours, I have been awake for past 35 since waking up in Pittsburgh Friday.

Considering how my initial flight to Chicago from Cleveland was cancelled and then put on Continental flight to LA, arrangements worked well.

Managed to see the movie “Rabbit Hole” and a great Crowded House concert on the big flight, as well as reading some more of Brian McLaren’s “A New Kind of Christianity”

Joel is hopefully there beyond customs as my wheels back to the temporary digs at Greenslopes

Looking forward to getting into some ministry this week, spending time with the lads and experiencing the cosyness of the Greenslopes house

Thanks again to all who offered loving support and prayers n whatever way



homeward bound

no – not a exactly a case of “I’m sitting in a railway station, got a ticket for my destination” ( a nod to the S&G tragics) but in a way it is

I find myself sitting in a bar (Panini’s) at Cleveland Ohio airport killing time before flying out 2.5 hrs later than planned. you guessed it – Chicago weather reared its adorable head yet again and so my flight was cancelled. mmmm. somehow I’m supposed to get to LA via Chicago in time to catch my midnight flight home to Brisbane. All
sorts of scenarios went through my head – another airport Holiday Inn here we come?!

good news – the ticket to my destination is now via Continental direct to
LAX. phew! So it’s diet coke and bottomless coffee here at Panini’s while reading the latest “Rolling Stone” featuring Bob Dylan’s supposed 70 greatest songs.

we rendezvoused with Dale’s Dad half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland having had two really enjoyable days with Dale’s sister Diana, husband Tom and family. such distinctive architecture in their housing and such a hilly city – partly as a result of the 3 rivers that join at its centre. I know Dale enjoyed catching up with Diana. nice drive to airport – notable: the ever-increasing amount if greenery on the trees as we drove by. Beautiful! I love the greenery we have (in a minority of Oz back home) but we missed the colours. hey – we can’t have it all.

maybe I’ll reflect some more @ LA
Need to stay awake!

last full day in Ohio

just love this one!

Hi all

Today’s my last full day in Ohio. Tomorrow it’s off to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (about 2 hours away) to spend two days with Diana and Tom – Dale’s sister and brother-in-law. Come Friday, I head straight from there to Cleveland airport to begin the long journey back to Brisbane town.

Not wanting to be too pessimistic, but barring the odd hour or so sleep on planes (my track record is woeful – never easy if you’re 6′ 1.5 ” tall, it will be 33 hours from when I wake up Friday in Pittsburgh to when I arrive at Brisbane airport around breakfast time Sunday. Then – I need to rise above tiredness and jetlag to stay awake for the day, before finally having an early night. I’m up for a challenge!!!! Joel is picking me up @ the airport, so that’ll be good. Got a gym appointment with a personal trainer 9 am Monday, so no chance of sleeping in then!!!

Dale’s staying on a few days more (6 in fact) taking the same itinerary back as me, getting in breakfast time on Saturday 21st.

Been checking the Brisbane temperature. Seems like about the same as here in rural NE Ohio. Dale has been an absolute trouper here, working under the advice of her Dad and Diana, and has sorted through an incredible amount of her Mom’s clothing, as well as doing so much cleaning, vacuuming & tidying. Most days she has spent literally hours on this. Hopefully I’ve done my bit too. It will be great for her to have those 6 days together with Dad. No other family – just the two of them.

My only regret is that there hasn’t been a musical instrument (keyboard or guitar) at the house … maybe Pittsburgh. Had a few inklings.

homebase these past 2 weeks

I’ve been blessed to have been here at Fenstermaker Rd, Garrettsville, OH many times over the years. Such a beautiful spot, and the spring sunshine here at the moment really brings out best in the scenery.

Thought I’d post some photos taken at or nor far from the house this afternoon. You’ll see what I mean.




M.M. Day +1

Bud & Berrie Butrick ... 2010

M.M. = Memorial Mass

fishing in Florida - Feb 2011

Bernice (“Berrie”) Marie Butrick
18 June 1929 – 9 April 2011

I remember my ‘Merican Mom fondly.  Apart from supporting Dale, that’s why I’m here, and not back in Brisbane Australia, residing at temporary accommodation at Greenslopes, Brisbane while the Manse gets repaired downstairs post-flood.   I had to be here, and I’m so glad I did.

Mom (Berrie) had her fingers in so many pies, so it was fitting that at yesterday’s post-service reception and then family gathering back at 12308 Fenstermaker Road, pies were in abundance – cherry, apple, and yes, pumpkin.

I’ll remember Mom for a range of reasons:

  • she was a great lover of music. I recall a trip with Dale to the States about 27years ago (it seems).  Mom was heavily into singing a senior citizens’ type meetings, doing karaoke.   audio: Mom singing For the Good Times. She was so in her element – a bit of a ‘showman’ was Mom, never lost for a word.  I even wrote a song for her – I’d forgotten I’d even written it.  Found it while cleaning out her music room a few days back. It was a thrill to know she used it over here.  Mom was a great encourager of my own music, especially my songwriting.  Last year, when I unexpectedly found a small number of folk struggling with my music, especially my songwriting, I took great solace and strength from Mom’s musical encouragement.  Thanks Mom.   Mom chose all the music at yesterday’s Memorial Mass at St Ambrose Catholic Church at Garrettsville.  From On Eagles Wings at the Start, Amazing Grace in the middle and How Great Thou Art at the end, it was exactly Mom.  A person of faith and life in her own so-distinctive Berrie Butrick way.
  • as already noted, she was a person of so many interests, and she kept her self active for so long, not that many months

    Mom & Dad ... beading extraordinaires!

    prior to her sad passing.  I look around this house – no wonder she was known as the “beading lady”.  Beads and beading paranerphalia are everywhere.  (By beads, don’t think the circular thing – eg pearls – a lady would wear around their neck.  Think these oh-so-tiny beads from which all sorts of beautiful jewellery is made.  Dale lovingly wears much of her mom’s artwork – that’s what it us; often assisted by Dad Butrick.

  • But not just beads; tapes and CDs of music, rocks and geodes from her lapidary work, some beautiful pot-planted flowers.
  • Mom was also a member of the local ladies Red Hat Society, as well as being in the past a keen square-dancing instructor.

    flowers from Red Hat Society

  • She also had this wonderful zest for life, for doing the Star Trek thing and going boldly – despite the health setbacks which were with her for at least the past 35 years – trying new things and soaking up new life experiences, travel being one in a so-embracing way.
  • I fondly recall the number of trips to Australia Dad and Mom made over the years.  They truly loved Australia (a clear highlight being their 10 weeks in about 1990 travelling with our red Tarago … red bulldust and all through their much-loved outback).
  • 1991 ... Mom, Dad, our lads

    Mom … Dad too … truly loved being with our three lads: Joel, Jeremy and Nathan.   Joel remembers clearly a trip here in 1989 when mid-Winter he went tobogganing down some of the snow-covered 25 acre backyard of the property here.

Memorial Mass - urn & Easter lilies

It was wonderful at yesterday’s Mass to have people present from virtually all of these before-mentioned aspects of Mom’s life.Remember her husband Herbert (“Bud”) has been involved in a great many of these too.The service?  I found it a truly memorable time of worship – in which we celebrated the resurrection of Christ, and God’s resurrection hope and promise for Mom.  Yes – I’m still coming to grips with their being no eulogy nor other opportunities in the service to give thanks for aspects of Mom’s life; but “when in Rome … “.  Father Leo did a great job, clearly has a strong pastoral gifting and offered an excellent homily, which gave mention – thank God – to aspects of Mom’s journey.  As Dale and I greeted attendees at the church door, it was clear how much Mom was loved.
After the service – a reception/light lunch downstairs in the church “hall” – sloppy joes (mince on bread rolls), green beans (American style), pasta and a salad. Then back ‘home’ … where all the family gathered.

family photo

Must have been about 24 or so all up, much of the time on the wide front and back decks of the house here. The photo here shoes most of us present.  We were graced with good weather through the day, thankfully – for there’s no way we could have fit indoors, such is the extent of the beading and beading displays!

Exhausted, we staggered into bed just before 11 pm.  A great day of remembering, giving thanks, being extended family, good humour, even with brother-in-law Danny heading down to the local Home Depot (pronounce “dee-po”) – think Bunnings – to quite impromptu buy bags of gravel for Dad’s sodden water-logged driveway.
Today – it’s a quiet day.  Hopefully I’ll get to read a bit … and catch up on some sleep.
As I type Dale is cooking …  “food” (meaning pancakes, ham, and an onion-cheese scrambled eggs)!
Thanks for your love and prayers
David (& Dale)

M.M. -1

M.M. = Memorial Mass


After a quite busy but somewhat sedate few days, it’s been full-on the past 24 hours or so. Dale and Dad drove into Akron-Canton airport (ab0ut an hour away) late Thursday morning to pick up Donna (0ne of Dale’s two sisters) as well as Tina, her Mom’s half-sister.  Does this make Tina ‘half an aunt’ to Dale.  mmmmmmmmm.

some Butrick family arrivals

As it turned out, this became a marathon effort due to late plane arrivals on two separate flights.  They got home 8 hours later, by which time Danny and I together or separately had finished cleaning, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning patio furniture, hanging pot plants. I managed to cook a really tasty chicken thighs in capsicum/onion sauce, baked potato and tossed salad meal for our hungry returnees.

Dale and I have made so, so many trips to Goodwill or recycling with no-longer-needed clothing, books and other household items.  An emotional experience as you might expect.  I’ve scanned a several dozen photos both of Mom in her youthful days, Mom along with a very young Dale, Donna & Diana and some photos of our own boys with Mom & Dad in their earlier Australia visits.  All sorts of memories.

Today, more rellies have arrived, some whom I have never, ever met previously.  Arriving today were Danny, wife B.J. and daughter Dana (Dana is Nathan’s age) from West Virginia; Dale’s brother Jimmy and wife Karen from Florida and Dad’s brother Woody and wife Rose from Missouri. Donna and Tina who arrived yesterday are from Texas.

Dale (Schumaker) MacGregor rides on!

Dale even managed some rider-mowing.  This is such a huge property to maintain. Five acres?

Well – tomorrow is the biggie.  The Memorial Mass at St Ambrose Catholic Church at 10 am (Ohio time), followed by a reception/meal at the church.  After this, immediate family and a few others will continue the remembering and thanksgiving back here at 12308 Fenstermaker Road. Who knows whether we’ve bought or prepared enough food.  The local United Methodist Church had its annual Bake & Rummage Sale today so we bought up big on pies etc.  Meanwhile at base camp, about 8 pumpkin pies have been made.  OK – I understand if you don’t drool at the thought.  The best pumpkin pie for me is the sort that’s about 4 parts ice-cream, one part pie; but I’m getting closer to appreciating the stuff.

If you’re reading this prior to the 10 am service (about 1 am Sunday … Brisbane time), say a prayer please.  Emotions will be high.

Mom & Dad Butrick (Berrie & Bud)

Mom (Berrie) was the sort of person who was a real larger-than-life person. She had her fingers in so many pies – beading (especially), lapidary work, music, local church … I could go on for some time!  It’s going to be a service without any sort of eulogy but apparently that’s the way over here – at least at the local Catholic Church.

I have no doubt that Dale and I made the right decision to be over here for this — including me coming.  Thanks to all who have supported us in any way so far.



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