Tag Archives: Power Family

Melvin Robert Madel

Melvin Robert Madel, Trevor’s maternal grandfather, passed away two months ago, on Sunday, January 25, 2015.

Courtesy of Madel Family Photo Album

Courtesy of Madel Family Photo Album

I’m writing about Grandpa only now because this weekend we’re going up to Door County, where Grandma and Grandpa have lived for the past few decades, for his memorial service. And it’s taken me two months to write about Grandpa because, honestly, I’ve been avoiding it.

Losing someone is never easy, but losing Grandpa is…here it is: losing Grandpa sucks.

That’s not a pretty thing to say, but it is not a pretty feeling to lose Grandpa. It is an ugly, messy, tight-stomach kind of feeling. It’s not a pretty feeling, so I’m not giving it any poetry.

Grandpa, on the other hand, does inspire poetry, because he was a good man. He was a smart, funny, well-read, curious man. He liked to eat and drink, read, write, watch movies and television; he liked to chat with his children, his grand-children, and his great-grand-children.

Courtesy of Madel Family Photo Album

That’s a very young Neill (left) and Sean (right), Courtesy of Madel Family Photo Album

Grandpa taught Trevor the right way to make a martini. The night Trevor proposed to me, New Years Eve, 2006, we were sitting in Grandma and Grandpa’s driveway; they were the first people we celebrated with.

Grandpa was a collector. He collected comics, recordings, clippings, photos, stories, and books. His library is my heaven on earth. That’s not an exaggeration. It is a room on the second floor of their house; its windows face east and south, and all day the room is full of the sunlight that streams in from the giant porthole windows. When you sit in Grandpa’s library, your feet on the nubby carpet, you can hear Lake Michigan, only a few hundred feet away, the waves hitting the beach and slipping softly back over the sand. And the walls of the library are covered in shelves–rows and rows, stacks upon stacks–of books. When Grandpa learned what you liked to read, he’d send it to you (boxes full) and save it for your next visit (bags full).

Trevor's hardcover Vonnegut collection: 85% from Grandpa Madel

Trevor’s Vonnegut collection: 85% from Grandpa Madel

Here's some Wodehouse...

Here’s some Wodehouse…

...and more Wodehouse...

…and more Wodehouse…

...and in case that wasn't enough Wodehouse.

…and in case that wasn’t enough Wodehouse: 98% from Grandpa.

Trevor’s mom, Maureen, loved P.G. Wodehouse, and Grandpa used to send them to her. After she passed away in 2004, Grandpa discovered that I, too, was a fan, so he started sending them to me.

Grandpa loved to talk about his life and his interests, but he’d listen as well as you told him about your recent interest in Roald Dahl’s short fiction or your feelings about the newest Pride and Prejudice film adaptation (FYI: according to Mel, nothing compares to the ’95 PBS mini-series). He’d also sit with you in a comfortable, happy sort of quiet; and if this was happening, he might turn down his hearing aids.

Grandpa lived an exceptional life with an exceptional wife and an exceptional family. Here’s a glimpse:

Grandpa and Grandma were present in our life and we’re lucky for that.

And this post doesn’t do Grandpa justice, but it’s what I’ve got. He made us very happy.

Door County Road Trip

This week we kicked off the Annual Power Family Door County Road Trip.

We’re staying at the same place we stayed last year, Kinney Farm just outside of Fish Creek, which has been a good choice since we didn’t need to waste any time exploring or checking things out–we just tossed our bags into our rooms and got down to vacationing.

Vacationing includes playing bag toss…

Photo Courtesy of Rachel Power


…flying kites…


Photo Courtesy of Rachel Power


…and going to the beach:


Clark Lake


For some of the Power clan, it also included climbing Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park.

Eagle Tower

Um, this is tall.


What are you looking at?

What are you looking at?


Trevor on Eagle Tower


Eagle Tower, full of Power


But of course, a vacation in Door County isn’t all hard work. It also includes a lot of eating.

We went to a fish boil for dinner tonight and had our fill of Lake Michigan Whitefish, boiled potatoes and onions, coleslaw, and–the most important part of the meal–cherry pie. It took us five minutes just to stand up, and about another ten to waddle ourselves out of the restaurant. I couldn’t find the energy to take pictures during dinner, but we got some beforehand.

First, we waited for the fish boil spectacle:

Power Siblings with Pop Power

Three generations of Power people–the siblings, their Pop, and little Sadie


This is right before Sadie asked Uncle Trevor for a sip of his beer.

This is right before Sadie asked Uncle Trevor for a sip of his beer.


Angelique in the Door

You want to take my picture?


And then, finally, the boil:



We made our way home, and, as it happens on vacations, we were hungry a few hours later. So, while Rae and Trevor set up a puzzle…

Trevor and Rae Start a Puzzle


…Sadie and Auntie Fran made some cookies:



Hi. I'm making cookies.

Hi. I’m making cookies.




We used this recipe from the Savvy Saving Couple blog, but substituted maple syrup for sugar.

They turned out pretty well, and Fran, genius that she is, made the chocolatey addition.






And then comes the best part about baking cookies: the eating.


Did I get chocolate on my face?

Did I get chocolate on my face?


And it’s only Friday night! Tomorrow we will take more adventures up and down the Door County peninsula, eating and drinking along the way. There will, very likely, be ice cream. And hopefully there will be a stop at at least one book store (and this is one of my favorites, so I hope our “at least one” is there).

What are your favorite Door County spots to visit?