Dateline August 13, 2021: Raleigh and Family

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Arriving at Kieran’s

We planned a trip north to spend time with the family in Raleigh, then spend a week in Pinehurst playing in the Pinehurst North-South Senior Tournament, north to Cape Cod to visit Janice’s Aunt Margaret and Uncle Bill, then to New Hampshire to see Janice’s sister Connie and her husband Lee.

Parker and Donna

We arrived and were greeted by Kieran and her dog Rocky. We have always considered Rocky our family pet since she has had him since her college days at Florida State. He has slowed down a little over the years, but must admit, so have we! John’s brother-in-law, Parker, John’s late sister Carol’s husband, and his close friend Donna had arrived the night before with Cooper, their 16 years old golden retriever.

Needless to say, it was time to start celebrating a family “get together”. John’s son Courtney, his wife Amanda, and the two daughters Izzy and Finley came over for dinner along with Kieran and Amanda’s good friend Liz and her husband Tim.

The next evening Courtney and Amanda had the whole crew over for dinner and drinks, lots of wine was consumed!

Aunt Kieran and our super swimmer granddaughter Finley with her collection of ribbons

Willie’s Memorial

John’s brother Will, unfortunately passed away earlier in July. Our reason for traveling earlier to Raleigh was to have a family celebration of life to Willie. There were a lot of stories told by those in attendance. A lot of love, sorrow, and tears along with great laughs and humor. There was no one that could throw a party as well as Willie. They were legendary!

As part of Celebration, Kieran read some passages from the Bible, we asked James, Mary, Courtney, and Amanda if the grandchildren could participate and say a prayer. Collin and Liza, James, and Mary’s children are in a total immersion Mandarin language program in school and spoke in Mandarin a “sendoff” for Willie. Courtney and Amanda’s Izzy and Finley performed the Kiddush -Blessing Over Wine. Amanda then said Kaddish, the Jewish prayer recited in memory of the dead. It was all so well done and Willie would have been thrilled!

After the short memorial, we finished with Frank Sinatra singing “I Did it My Way”. Everyone then told stories about Will. Parker and John had a lot of good ones! Drink and food were enjoyed by all.

Beaver’s Dam at Fall’s Lake

Fall’s lake is just outside Raleigh and is a wonderful location for picnicking, swimming, or floating and using kayaks and paddle boards. Kieran, James, and Courtney’s family and friends enjoy their Sunday trips out there to partake in the activities, enjoy gabbing, food, and drink!

History of Falls Lake

Prior to 1978, flooding of the Neuse River caused extensive damage to public and private properties including roadways, railroads, industrial sites, and farmlands.  The Falls Lake Project was developed by the US Army Corps of Engineers to control damaging floods.  Construction of the dam began in 1978 and was completed in 1981.  In addition to recreation opportunities, Falls Lake now provides flood and water-quality control, water supply, and fish and wildlife conservation.

Practice for USGA Qualification

Janice has gone to qualifying for the USGA Senior Amateur for many years, sometimes qualifying sometimes not. This year there was a qualification site in Chapel Hill, next door to Raleigh. Since we were going to Pinehurst the following week, North Carolina was a great place to qualify. This year she did not qualify, there will be another opportunity next year.

With the extra time we had, we played golf at Wildwood Green Golf Club in northern Raleigh. The course was challenging and it had a lot of hilly lies, not often found in Florida, where 18 feet of elevation is considered a mountain! The course was very picturesque with beautiful homes surrounding it.

James Friends From High School

The whole group tried to smile at the same time!

This was a fun week of family get together and Friday night was no exception. James and Mary were going down to the North Carolina shore for a week with Liza and Collin. Two of his closest friends from Seaford High School on Long Island were joining them. Will was down from Beacon, NY. Kevin was down from Farmingdale, Long Island. Kevin had Abigail and Travis, his two children with him.  

We all laugh about Jame’s future plans after high school was to go to England and open a pub near where Will’s father lived. Life changes, James is a software development Manager and Will does documentaries. Kevin teaches Math.

We had a wonderful time in Raleigh and our final night Amanda and Courtney had us over for Friday night dinner and Shabbat. It was a wonderful evening and we all said our goodbyes as we were leaving for Pinehurst first thing in the morning.


  1. Donna

    Would love to play golf with you next time you’re in Raleigh I will be retiring at the end of October so I’ll have more time to do things. You look great.

  2. Kathy

    What a wonderful celebration you had for John’s brother Will…. And a beautiful family reunion. What beautiful memories to take away and treasure as time marches on (…seems faster and faster the older we get 🥰 …
    We love reading your blog and following you both wherever you go!
    Lots of love & hugs…
    miss you both….Kathy & Paul

  3. Kathy OBrien

    So glad you and John are having great time. As you should 👍🙏.
    Enjoy your family and friends while you can. Safe travels and come to south Florida before we move to god knows where 🥴
    Live you guys 😍😍

    1. John and Janice

      Absolutely! Looking forward to getting down! Best to both of you.

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