Outdoors in Whitehall with Gene Terry: One last lovely day with Rita

I believe October with its bright red, yellow, brown, etc. colors is the best time of the year. The weather this year has been a little short of fantastic. It’s a good time to be out and ride and enjoy the falls and its colors. This is certainly a very good time to get a close friend, a person who is shut in, or a person who you would think would like to get out and enjoy the weather and the colors.

Such a person was my sister, Rita. Rita had a stroke the first part of the year and sometimes she would know what you were talking about and other times she was miles away. One thing she could always remember is when she and her late husband, Bill, their Labrador and I would go duck hunting down the lake. When you brought one of the occasions up, she would ramble on for hours on who shot what and how the dog worked.

Last Thursday, after a long night of ups and down I told her she was going to see the doctor and get up and let’s go. She didn’t want to, but with her son, Joe, and daughter, Fay, we got her in the truck and away Rita, Fay and I went.

Once we got going and started to look at the foliage and bright colors she forgot we even mentioned the doctor. We weren’t going there anyways but it was a good way to get her out.

We took two hours going to all sites where the fall colors were beautiful and we ended up down at Chubb’s Dock in Clemons overlooking the Ling Hole. It seemed as if everything was coming back to her as this was the place where she, Bill, and moose always went to go fishing and duck hunting.

We got her out and in her wheel chair, gave her a fish pole and she said she was in heaven. It was a beautiful day and we stayed there for a few hours hearing her tell stories of what happened to them when they put the boat in. It was a beautiful time for her.

We finally packed it in and on the way home, still looking at the beautiful scenery, she said, “this is my last ride, but what a day.” I said, “What do you mean? We’re going next week to Lake George.”

“Ok,” she said.

When we got her home she couldn’t wait to put on her Giants sweatshirt and she said, “The Giants are playing and I don’t want to miss the game.” She could tell you who played on the Giants team, but she couldn’t remember who lived in the apartment next door.

Rita went to bed that night with her Giants shirt on and a smile on her face, still talking about the day’s events.

Rita passed away that night. Joe tried to wake her up but couldn’t. She still had her Giants shirt on and still had a smile on her face.

What this has to do with Outdoors in Whitehall is nothing and everything. There’s a lot of people, not only here, but elsewhere who would love to get out for a few minutes and it wouldn’t hurt to spend a little time with them to give them a few minutes of pleasure. I sure as hell am glad I did. Take care!

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