This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Taking Dale home

11/02/08 at 11:46 PM

I’ve written twice here before about my journey with my friend Dale through his stroke and recovery. This weekend I, along with three of his other friends, accompanied him back to his home town of Hillsboro, Kansas, where his brothers and sister live. Dale was leaving Chicago, his home for over 30 years. I took my camera along to document this transition in his life.

We left Chicago in a rented RV around noon on Friday after packing up some boxes from his house and checking him out of The Imperials, where he’s been living for 5 months.

 

Supper on the Road

 



We stopped for supper outside St. Louis at a Ruby Tuesdays. Dale was in fine spirits as we had a relaxing meal together.

 

Arriving at Elva's

 



At 6 am the next morning we arrived at Dale’s sister Elva’s house.

 

The Sun rises on Hilllsborough

 



I took this photo of Dale on the sidewalk outside Elva’s house as the sun came up. This is my favorite photo from the day.

 

Tree and RV

 



This is the RV that we drove out to Kansas along with the tree that scraped off a vent cap as we pulled into our parking space.

 

Waving at friends

 



As soon as we started walking down the street with Dale, someone drove by and waved out the window at him. Dale waved back.

 

Sun through trees

 



The sun comes through the trees.

 

Doug, Dale, Dan and Ben

 



Before heading to the retirement home, we took a tour of Tabor college where Dale went to school. Here Doug, Dan, Dale and Ben survey the administration building.

 

Group photo

 



Group photo with the new Tabor statue.

 

Eating lunch at Parkside Homes

 



We took Dale to his new place at Parkside Homes. We were really impressed with how friendly and accessible the staff were in comparison with the Imperial. They were very helpful as we decordate Dale’s room with a few pieces of art from his apartment in Chicago. I think Dale will be happy there, especially with all the family living within just a few blocks.

 

Coming into Hillsboro

 



We got a tour of Hillsboro from Elva. This is the windmill that greets people from the Mennonite Museum as you come in 13 mile road.

 

Dale's family farm

 



We also got to visit the family farm. This is the house that Dale grew up in. Next to it you can see two oak trees. According to family lore the two oak trees growing right next to each other were planted by Dale’s great grandmother in 1880 when she was a child. Three oaks grew from the three acorns she planted next to each other. The third one in the middle was cut down a few years ago.

 

Tractor under the oak

 



The view from the back yard of the Suderman homestead.

 

Behind the grain bins

 



One of the farm dogs followed me around in a remarkably friendly way.

 

The fuel tank

 



The farm was full of pleasantly rustic buildings glowing in the Kansas as it dipped below the horizon.

 

The equipment shed

 



Doug checks out the equipment shed. He was very impressed with the curved wooded rafters.

 

walking on the Farm

 



Ben and Ron, Dale’s brother walk together through the farm.

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