September Coffee

Hello and welcome to the September edition of The Ultimate Coffee Date with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner, where we dish over coffee (or tea, if that is your preference) about all things running (and some non-running topics too).

Meditations in Motion

Once again, I have a very sad story to tell you over our coffee cups.

I have not been writing blog posts this week due to the recent death of my father-in-law.

It was sudden, unexpected, and on his 89th birthday.

He and my mother-in-law, who still lived in their own house, cut their own grass, and had to be scolded recently for getting up on a ladder, were fiercely independent. Before the virus hit, their favorite pastime was to go out dancing.

They had been very cautious during the pandemic, as might be expected by a couple well into their ninth decade of life. I had not seen them since March. Before COVID, it was our habit to get together often.

They had planned to come to our house for dinner that night for a careful outdoor birthday celebration with my sister-and-brother-in-law.

The celebration never happened and we spent his birthday in quite a different way than we expected.

It was a brutal reminder (as if we needed another one these days) to tell those you hold dear “I love youtoday.

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee on our deck, I would show you the fennel plant a good friend gave me earlier this summer.

She told me the leaves are wonderful to use to flavor fish and other dishes, but I just liked the wispy, fern-y, asparagus look of the plant and the wonderful licorice smell it released whenever I brushed against it.

Several weeks ago, we saw a black swallowtail butterfly hovering around the fennel flowers and I wondered if she was laying eggs.

Sure enough, two weeks ago, the plant was covered in caterpillars that a Google search revealed to be of the black swallowtail variety.

I must do some research about the black swallowtail life cycle. I am not sure if they overwinter as pupae or if I can expect to watch them emerge as adults before fall. Either way, it’s like a nature show right outside the patio door.

My grandson is entranced.

Meditations in MOtion

Finally, if we were having coffee, I would show you this photo from 42 years ago of a young couple on their wedding day.

If they had known about all the joys and hardships ahead of them, I wonder if their smiles would have been as bright.

The couple, of course, is Bill and me.

After raising three children, welcoming three grandchildren, encountering thousands of bumps in the road along the way, and sharing many glorious adventures, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

And I think Bill could still rock the mint-green suit with wide lapels he wore on our wedding day.

Hey, it was the 70s.


You can find the places I link up here.










  1. I am so sorry to hear about Bill’s dad. My prayers are with you and the family.

    What a handsome couple on their wedding day! Your words show you know what true love is. God bless you and all those for whom you have modelled love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laurie, I am so saddened by your recent loss, and praying that God would surround you all with His comfort and peace at this time. Your father-in-law certainly looked like a man who loved life to the fullest.
    On a lighter note, your wedding photo is gorgeous! Happy Anniversary to you and Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, Janis, I think he really did live a great life. We were blessed to have him for a role model.

      Ha! We certainly were young and innocent in those days. Thank you!


  3. Sending you all the hugs for your FIL. My FIL passed away this spring and I am so grateful for the time that I had with him but I miss him terribly. Happy 42nd! Mint green suits are due for a comeback!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. I am grateful for the time I had with my FIL too. That’s a good way to look at it. I’m not sure about the mint green comeback, though! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. What an up and down month for you. So sorry to hear about the death of your father in law – my sympathies to your family. On the other hand, congratulations on your wedding anniversary – 42 years! You both look so joyful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so so sorry for your & Billโ€™s loss. I know how hard it is with a long drawn out death but sudden can sometimes be even harder. Hugs & prayers for peace.

    Mint green. Interesting choice.

    Even though they create butterflies, caterpillars freak me out โ€” ever since the gypsy moth invasion when I was a kid, where you could hear them eating the trees. Shuddering as I think about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your hugs and prayers, Judy.

      You don’t see too many mint green suits anymore. Thank goodness! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I can understand being freaked out by caterpillars but these are cool. Especially since they turn into such beautiful butterflies.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Always hard to lose the ones we love, but being healthy and independent until the end is a blessing! So mixed emotions for you with a celebration and a loss, but you are right we need to treasure the ones we love – thanks for your reflections enjoyed reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry for your loss, praying for comfort for you and your family at this time. Mint green eh? I think i can see some mint green in your flower bouquet as well, they look lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry about your father in law. Mine died 15 years ago. My Mil will be 96 soon.

    That is cool about the caterpillar. Iโ€™ve been sorta obsessed about monarchs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Really sorry to hear about your father-in-law, Laurie, and so sudden. RIP. That wedding pic, so sweet! Just shows, the cycles of life, the ups and the downs which you have encapsulated so nicely.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sorry for your loss. These are such odd and cruel times.

    We grow parsley so the caterpillars will feast here, then turn into black swallowtail butterflies. I don’t know what they do over the winter, but each year they return.

    Your wedding photo is wonderful. You looked so happy and am happy to know you still are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ally. I regret now not seeing my FIL just one more time. Odd and cruel are a good way to describe 2020.

      I have had parsley on my deck too but I always worried that the caterpillars would run out of food once the plant was stripped. This fennel plant is much bigger, so I don’t think they will run out.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m visiting from Grace & Truth. My deepest sympathies on the loss of your father-in-law. I can relate totally, as my FIL turned 89 in May. Although we talk regularly, he lives many states away and he isn’t comfortable with out-of-state, traveling guests. We haven’t seen him for 2 years—had planned to visit this year, but covid changed that. May your memories of him bring you comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 42 years, Laurie!
    Congratulations and happy wedding anniversary! I love seeing โ€then-and-nowโ€ photos of happily married couples. Over the years, the couples get older, but those happy smiles stay.

    So sorry about your father-in-law. How sad that he died before you got the chance to see each other. He must have been an amazing person.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh Laurie, sincere condolences (and plenty of virtual hugs) to you & your family. So sorry for your loss. But, huge congrats on your anniversary. The butterflies will be a welcome symbol of new life as you mourn the loss of your FIL. ((Hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Laurie, I am so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you all with His peace when the grief rolls in unexpectedly. We were married 41 years in May and there is something to be said about the ups and downs. They may not have been easy but they sure do glue us together. Praying for you and your family now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your prayers, Joanne. Happy May anniversary to you! I think travelling the ups and downs together has made our relationship stronger. We know we can endure.


  15. Laurie, I had noticed you were less visible this week than usual. I am so saddened by your post and so sorry for your family. To think you have not been able to enjoy your in-laws for 5 or more months now is heartbreaking…an ‘if we’d only known.’ And deepest sympathies to Bill’s mom–because it sounds to me like she lost a pretty fantastic husband and friend. Sending love. (And I took a third look when you said ‘mint green…’)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh Laurie I’m so sorry to hear about your FIL. Sounds like he was an amazing man. And to leave this earth on his birthday of all days.
    Love the swallowtail story and you’v gotta love a man who can rock a mint green suit. Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Marcia. I was so sad that we were going to see him on his birthday after not seeing him for 6 months, then he passed away earlier that day!

      I DO love a man who rocks a mint green suit! ๐Ÿ™‚


  17. So sorry to hear about your father in law ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    I recently ate fennel for the first time, I cooked it up in a skillet with olive oil and sea salt. Its texture reminded me of a onion but I liked the flavor more. I told Jason I think it would go well on white pizza.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m so sorry for your sudden and unexpected loss and on your father-in-law’s birthday yet … so sad. What a year 2020 has been. At least you are celebrating 42 years of wedded bliss and that is joyful. Of course you and Bill could both fit in your wedding outfits with all the running you two do. I’ve never had fennel before and I hope you are successful with your caterpillar-to-butterfly transition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Linda. It was an extremely sad day. Bill’s stepmom found his dad and she is still not sleeping or eating. I worry about her!

      Bill could fit in his wedding suit easily – he actually weighs less now than he did then! I, on the other hand, had trouble zipping up my dress. It was very tight around my ribs, of all things!

      I have had fennel bulb before in a salad I make, but I didn’t want to pull up the bulb. I like the plant. Now I’m glad I didn’t pull it up!


      • That is very sad – quite a shock I would imagine, especially if they both were so active. A day of celebration turned to a day of sadness. A friend of my mom’s had the same situation and though both were elderly, they were both in good health.

        Well, you have had kids so you had a reason for a little weight gain, but why was it tight in the rib area I wonder? You are so active and healthy!

        I thought of you today – Denver has it first snowfall. You got to Colorado and back in good weather at least … a joyous trip sandwiched between two sad events.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. sorry for the loss, and after being so independent like that!

    and really liking that mint green suit and the smiles –
    whew – thousands of bumps – can relate – and nice to have so much joy even amidst the ups and downs

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Aw, Laurie … Iโ€™m so sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. He sounds like a wonderful, vibrant person, and I know you and your husband will miss him terribly. Sending you long distance hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m so sorry to hear about Bill’s father. He clearly lived a full life, but I find it especially sad for the elders among us who are finishing out their days in the midst of the pandemic, when they don’t have the comfort of seeing their relatives in person nearly enough. It makes the story of the butterflies poignant. And, as others have said, GREAT wedding pic — as Isak Dinesen once said, “The world is made round so that we can’t see too far ahead.” But you and Bill have obviously more than lived up to that hopeful, lovely couple’s potential.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jan. You hit the nail on the head. Bill’s dad did live a full life, but it was sad that, after not seeing him for months, we were supposed to finally get together with him on the day he died. I grieve for all the togetherness this pandemic has taken from us. Thank you for the Dinesen quote!


  22. Please accept my condolences on the death, and the unexpected death of your father-in-law. I hope that memories and love bring your family comfort. Wonderfully written post, exciting about the butterflies. Best and blessings, Michele

    Liked by 1 person

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