Monday, September 22, 2014

Family and FUN!

We have always enjoyed watching movies together, but we were more of a "let's enjoy the great outdoors" kind of family.  In the Winter, as our kids reached their teen years, you would find us in Colorado skiing. Dan was an avid skier, and I usually ended up back at the condo with kid's who had altitude sickness!  In the Summer, you would find us at Clinton Lake in Lawrence, KS with our boat in the water!  We loved skiing, teaching other's to ski, tubing, knee boarding, swimming, and fishing.

For many years, Dan played softball on church leagues.  He was pretty good at it, too!  Dan also took up the hobby of weightlifting in his 40's.  He got up at 4 in the morning to go to the gym, and ended up a bodybuilder!  Even after passing through the weightlifting phase he remained very strong, and had good biceps, which he liked showing off!

At home, Dan was always tinkering with something.  He enjoyed mowing the grass, and outdoor chores.  He had a nice chainsaw and liked cutting firewood, and burning bonfires.  He liked to stay busy!

If Dan wasn't on his four wheeler in the woods, he was in his Jeep, truck, or riding his motorcycle.  He liked his "toys!"  He always took great care of anything he owned. His Jeep was his pride and joy!   When he lost his ability to drive, our son would come in town and take him for rides in his Jeep.

We also liked to travel.  We made a grand trip to Washington, DC several years ago with all four kids and saw many sights along the way.  When our two youngest girls were teenagers we got an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii.  There wasn't a lot of beach time, much to Dana's and Kerry's dismay, because Dan wanted to see all of the sights!  Being a Navy man, Pearl Harbor was the most important destination to Dan.  We made a trip to San Antonio with the girls when they were in their late teen years, and this was our last family vacation.

Dan and I still enjoyed traveling together, so as empty-nesters we weren't going to sit around and do nothing! For our 25th Anniversary we went on a cruise in Hawaii.  We enjoyed short weekend trips to Branson, MO often.  At one point, we bought a fifth-wheel to pull behind our truck and enjoyed traveling with it, and visiting Kerry when she lived in Florida.  Just before our 40th Anniversary, we took a scenic motorcycle trip with our good friends, Ray and Yvonne Schwart, traveling to Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Hole, WY, Idaho, and all over Arkansas.  Things were beginning to change for Dan at this time, and we cut our trip short by a few days.

Dan was athletic, hard working, busy, and healthy.  I think that's what makes the change in him even more difficult to see.

Ginger ~ loving wife to Dan

Friday, September 19, 2014

Faith and Family

While dating, Dan and I attended Hope Baptist Church, where we had many great friends.  We still stay in touch with some of these friends today!  Don and Sue Howlett were two of our closest friends in the dating years, and continue to be close friends, and wonderful supporters for both, Dan and me.

We purchased our first house in June of 1969 for a mere $9000.  Prices sure have increased, haven't they?! It was a large house, just down the road from Dan's mom, in Kansas City, KS.  There was a sweet lady, Mary Supica, who lived next door, and treated our family as her own.  We continued visiting her throughout the years after we moved.

In 1976, we began attending Elm Grove Baptist Church in Bonner Springs, KS.  At the time, it was a wonderful little country church, and continued to grow during the thirteen years we attended.  The pastor, Sandy Seaba, was one of Dan's very best friends.  They could do a double-play in the church's softball league like no other!  They always enjoyed their memories of softball together.  Up until a few years ago, we enjoyed celebrating at the Outback Steakhouse with Sandy, and his wife, Debbie, every year for our anniversary.  They were married just one week before us!

In 1977, we purchased 3 wooded acres in the country in DeSoto, KS.  Two of Dan's brothers, Jimmy and Larry, helped build our new house.  This is the house we lived in together for 36 years, and raised our family. There are so many special memories!  While building our new house we lived in a small, old farmhouse in another part of DeSoto, and at the edge of a cornfield.  It was an adventure of chickens, dogs, cats, baths in washtubs because of frozen pipes, clothes lines, and raising our children.  It was a lot of fun!

For a few years, after leaving Elm Grove Baptist Church, we helped a friend, Don Call, begin a church in Eudora, KS.  It was a growing experience, and one we are grateful to have.

For the past 22 years we have attended Overland Park Baptist Temple in Overland Park, KS.  This church is our home, and we are blessed with a wonderful pastor, staff, and friends.

As you can see, throughout our years together, our faith in God has been very important.  We have relied on Him heavily throughout the years, but maybe not so much as we are now...especially me.  People often remark on the strength they have seen in me throughout Dan's illness, but I know that strength doesn't come from comes from God.  He is carrying me through.  He is carrying Dan through...even on his most difficult, agitated, confused days.  We rest in Him.

Ginger ~ loving wife to Dan

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beginning civilian life...and a family!

In October of 1968 we became civilians!  We had been married for almost 2 and a half years, and it was time for us to spend time together.  We were looking forward to beginning a family!

After leaving the military we moved back to Kansas City, KS.  We moved into "The Little House," behind Dan's mom's house, off of 15th and Pacific.  It was small, but it had what we needed with a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and one bathroom.

Back in those days we had job security.  I was able to resume my job at Mobil Oil, and Dan went back to work at Southwestern Bell.

First came love...then came marriage...then came the baby in the baby carriage...

On November 25, 1969, I gave birth to our 8lb, 5 oz baby boy!  He looked just like his dad, so we named him Danny Leroy Gulley, Jr.  It's a good thing we named him a "Jr" because he was our one, and only boy!  I was grateful to have him, and chose to quit my job and become a stay-at-home mom, which I really enjoyed.

On January 9, 1972 we were blessed with Dana Ann, and then February 13, 1974, Kerry Lorene joined our family.  Being our last, we typically referred to her as "Baby Girl," and still do today!  I was the baby girl of my family, also.  Dan was next to last in his family.

And now, more than 48 years later...
Our children have blessed us with 15 grandchildren!  What a heritage!  
Sherry has two boys and a girl.  
Danny has two girls.  
Dana has two boys and a girl.  
Kerry has two girls and five boys.

Ginger ~ Loving wife to Dan