Early this month, Opa died, one week after having a major stroke (his second). He is survived by fifty-one direct descendants and their spouses, and most of them gathered here at our home to honor his memory. We have not had this many of us together in a long time.

As people began arriving in Minneapolis, temperatures dropped into their lowest for the winter. For more than sixty hours the air was not warmer than 0° Fahrenheit, and the day of the funeral the windchill was -40°.

Friday evening after the funeral, we gathered at the Mennonite church he built here in New Hope, and a lot of us had a hard time keeping it together as we shared stories of Opa and the wild wonderful life he had that left such a such an incredible huge stamp on our family.

It will not happen soon. But spring can come now.