::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Farm life

It's been the busiest summer of my life.  We've been going and going non-stop.  I haven't blogged in months.  I will definitely be playing catch up in months to come... at least I hope I do.

On August 31 2011, we lost Ryan's Dad.  He's had Alzheimer's for about 9 years.  He just turned 66 years young on 8/14.  He was a cowboy.  Born, raised, and lived his entire life in Alpine, Utah.  There's a "P" on the mountain for Pack in Alpine.  He grew up and worked on a fruit farm there.  He had a handle bar mustache.  He sorta always had a growling/grunt in every sentence or word I ever heard him speak.  It was almost like a mumble but not.  I'm certain that nobody else could pull it off they way he could.

His death was unexpected to me, and I think Ryan also.  It's strange because after he died my brother-in law pointed out that he still knew who we all were.  I guess that's why it was unexpected to me.  I thought that although he was so sick, we still had a few more 'rest home' years where we would have to be saddened from that tragedy of him not knowing us anymore.  

He couldn't un-zip a zipper, change the channel, or basically speak at all... but, his face would light up when he saw my kids.  I can genuinely say that I loved that man.  I credit him for what I got [and of course his Mother too].  For such a fine boy he raised.

The funeral service was beautiful.  I loved hearing old tales about the old days.  Dale was an extremely hard worker.  Always worked his full-time job + the fruit farm + hay farms + other odd jobs.  I also learned that he was loud, tough, and cussed a lot [or loudly cussed a lot].  

I can't help but be plagued with the odd fantasy of farm-life.  If you would have asked me 5-25 years ago if I would ever feel drawn to live on a farm I would have given you a big fat hell no!  Over the past [almost] 10 years of marriage Ryan has become increasingly fond of gardening.  He wants to take out more grass to expand our vegetable garden and flower beds, and frequently talks about how he's gonna plant what/where next year.  He cans.  I've canned a little bit, but mostly, basically it's all him.  Every year he perfects his pickled jalepenos recipe.  I frequently find searches for acres for sale in towns I've never heard of left on the computer.  It occurred to me one day.  It's in his blood.  It literally runs through his veins.  he's a farmer. 

It's crazy but I know if he wanted to quit his job and buy some land I'd go in a heartbeat, no questions asked.  The fantasy of non-processed foods that we grew with our own 2 hands and home-made cheese, jams, bread, and butter sounds appetizing.  Seeing what I look like with my natural hair color again [minus the gray].  Teaching my boys what hard work really is....  A world without high fructose corn syrup, Tylenol PM, and caring about carbs is really appealing to me.  Maybe, that could be us perhaps?  Who knows... A farmer's wife perhaps.  It sounds romantic.  i am after all a sheep-herders daughter so it would seem fit that i'd marry a farmer.  we would for sure have to find a way to incorporate A/C though and spiders would be an issue :)

Dale holding baby Finn with Joann [his sweetheart]

Finn watching a cartoon with Grandpa in the 5th wheel in Torrey.

Baby Colum with Grandma and Grandpa.  This pic makes me both happy and sad.  Happy that Grandpa got to meet my baby and sad because you can see his illness in his eyes.  He died much too young.
funny how death always makes you think about life.  funny how all we do is work so we can live our life.  or sometimes it seems we live to work.  maybe we will find our balance. or maybe we will learn to work and live on a farm and be forced to really know what's actually important besides what Us Weekly tells us is.


  1. That was such a sweet tribute, cuz. Thanks for sharing a little bit of his life with us. I saw on FB that he had passed away - at least I think. But I didn't really know what happened. Hugs your way. And PS, I am anxiously awaiting the pics of your kids. ;0)

  2. Gosh Kelly, I wish I new you guys had a blog a long time ago, especially when Dale passed. I have been meaning to tell you guys how grateful I am that you guys got married in Hawaii while I was living out there, because you gave me the chance to spend some special time with my Aunt JoAnn and Uncle Dale that I never would have had otherwise. When I was little Dale intimidated me with his grunt and loud cussing. I was very quiet and shy. But during their visit to Hawaii I saw a whole new side of Dale and truly felt his love and kindness. I have an experience I treasured ALWAYS, especially as I watched him over the past 9 years. I will FOREVER treasure that time I had with him. Thank you! Please know you are in our prayers during this new difficult time. I LOVED seeing you and Ryan together at the reunion this summer while we were visiting (I am still pretty shy) and was intimidated to introduce myself, but I LOVE seeing how happy Ryan is and knowing that he married the most AWESOME girl for him. You guys seem so GREAT together and Finn all decked out in his superman shirt was just AWESOME to say the least. We LOVE you all and are praying constantly for your recovery and for Angels to hold you guys up during such a difficult time you are facing now and the road ahead. -Brady and Rachel (Pack) Whetten-

  3. Kelly, I hope you don't mind that this blog has been made public and that I have enjoyed getting to know you and your family a little better by reading it. I wish with all my heart that I could donate a few acres of beautiful farmland with a moderate-sized mid-century home on it for you and Ryan and your family to live out your dreams. I am praying for a speedy recovery for both of you. I know you'll be motivated by wanting to be well for Finn. May you be comforted emotionally, spiritually and physically. We all love you so much!
    Nadine & the Pinkertons