Paul Robert Van Sickle 11/23/1938 – 10/25/2021

Remembering Paul Robert Van Sickle.

A loving husband, father of three, and a proud grandfather. A brother, a teacher, a gifted musician, gardener, and woodworker.

And our beloved cousin.

Cousin Paul R. Van Sickle, photographed June 2017

We’ve just returned home after celebrating Paul’s life during a Memorial Service at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, Massachusetts last Saturday the 20th. Paul would have loved all the music- the singing, the playing of the organ. It was beautiful. Poignant.

The cousins drove in from Vermont, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. After the service we gathered together at his home to share stories and memories.

Paul built his workshop

I felt moved as I entered Paul’s workshop, behind his home, and inhaled the scent of wood. He could repair things, too. See his tools all lined up? His grandfather’s toolbox on the bench. There’s a wooden toy box in my home that Paul crafted for my son, Mark.

A panorama of his workshop

Paul was a master musician, organist and vocalist. He had a beautiful singing voice. I remember his playing our family piano when he’d visit our home. J.S.Bach was a favorite composer.

Paul’s favorite cookies were my mom’s recipe for Sour Cream Cookies. His wife Susan baked them for the family gathering after the service. My mother baked them for a Paul in the sixties when he’d visit our home. That kitchen was in Morris Plains, New Jersey and he’d visit when he was on leave from the US Army -Ft. Dix, New Jersey.

A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top, a pinch of nutmeg in the dough. A soft sugar cookie, moist from the addition of sour cream.
Here’s a photo from June 1974.
Paul and his daughter Amy at my wedding.

It’s hard to sum up a life in a few words. Paul was a blog follower and told me one time I was a little heavy on the photos showing decay. You know those abandoned buildings and discarded furniture pieces, the garbage I post? 😂 We’re going to miss his laughter, his kindness, his generous heart- full of love for all of us.

Here’s a link to his obituary in the Berkshire Edge.

Hymn of Promise Author: Natalie Sleeth (1986). pianist Evan Alperone sung by Tim Silva

Hydrangeas in Shade and Sun

This hydrangea bush was in Joan’s garden when she moved into her home in 1973. She’s done nothing to feed it.

In shade
In sun snd shade

“The name hydrangea comes from the Greek words “hydor” meaning water and “angos” meaning vessel. Which together roughly translate to “water barrel”. This is because of the fact that hydrangeas are notorious for needing lots of water and the cup shaped flowers. The name, Hortensia, is a Latin version of the French word Hortense.” From Plant Addicts website

In sun