Thursday, February 9, 2017

hey guys! i'd like to introduce you to my uncle, tom baldwin.
tom is the oldest from a family of 7 children and my mother's brother.

he's been the patriarch of our family for over 35 years and
he celebrated his 85th birthday this week.
(or should I say we celebrated him).
: )

uncle tom is as solid a man as there is.
he married the love of his life jean
right out of high school and then served in the korean war.

when tom was drafted someone in boot camp told him
that the best thing he could do was to sign up for any kind of schooling.
the first thing that came up was tank artillery so he and his best friend keith
signed up and that sent them straight to korea---
straight to the front line.
at the tender age of 19, tom became a tank commander supervising guys
much older than he was.

together tom and jean raised 4 children who are all
phenomenal human beings and they had 4 grandchildren.
they've had a good life and my uncle is always
positive and good natured, but can I tell you a few things
about what they've overcome?

they lost one of their children, one of a set of twins, at birth.
then they lost a beloved 19 yr. old granddaughter.
tom has had cancer and so have all
4 of their children.
jean has overcome some serious health issues too and we're
very blessed to still have her with us.

but you know what? see the face below~
this is a man that laughs easily and cries just as easily.
tom and his family have
been an unbelievable example to me of overcoming adversity and still
seeing all the grace and beauty left around you.

*I like to tell him that if every child on the planet had
a father like him, our world would be ok.
we'd all be so o.k.

*how cute is he??

tom's daughter kim planned a birthday party at the historic hubble house
in mantorville, mn.
they are famous for their garlic bread and i can see why- yum! below is the dessert they
brought the birthday boy.

after dining there, we carpooled back to Owatonna to tom and jeans house
to visit more (and so the rest of us could have dessert too. hehe)

roger, nick and dale

uncle tom with his two grandgirls. anna on left and maddy who's
expecting their first great grandchild in about 2 months.
umm, yeah- grampa is excited.

dale and son randy. (mike their other son and his wife were on vacation.)

daughter sue (showing us a vintage light fixture) and son in law rog.

photo sweatshirts are well worn and well loved by tom.

aunt jean, adjusting her glasses to read one of the funny cards tom got.

uncle tom got two tattoos while in the service and i hadn't seen them
for a long time. this one had jeans name through the middle until it faded and i
remember as a girl thinking it was soooo romantic. (that and the fact that he always called her "babe").  i'd never know anyone with tattoos before and i liked that they
were part of his experience being a soldier.

this one on his upper arm is his serial number. he and his buddy keith both
got serial number tattoos and tom could still tell me what keith's number was.
they were the best of friends, but sadly keith had a heart attack 
watching his son wrestle and passed away many years ago.

daughter kim and her hubbie saying goodbye to their daughter.

kim made a cheesecake dessert for us that was delicious.

it was a wonderful evening with family and so fun to be a part of it all.

happy, happy birthday to one of my favorite people.
my uncle tom.
(and uncle "ben", i love you & your big hugs).

have a great weekend guys, they're predicting unheard of temps
in the high 30's/low 40's for feb. in mn. woo hoooooo!!!
i'm starting to buy packs of flower seeds and
making a list of some new things i want to grow this summer.
one of them is hellebores. have any of you grown them?
if so leave me a comment,  i'd love some advice!

xo, beth

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