That went off pretty well.
My sister asked me to read the following tribute yesterday. It was well received:
In memory of Lyman
For many years, I was a stressed out single working mother, pinching pennies, and dealing with seemingly endless days of misbehaving children. When I could scrape up enough gas money, one of my favorite things to do was visit Lyman and Janis. I always relished these trips. For me, it was sort of like checking into a 4 star hotel with somebody else being responsible and in-charge of life, if only for a few days. Life always seems much simpler here – slower, kinder and more honest. Worries are about the weather, the latest crop of tomatoes, and the breakfast talk is about what’s for dinner.
While everybody was asleep, one of my favorite treats was getting up early and taking a walk on the Mississippi and watching the sun come up. There really isn’t anything to compare to that beauty. Then it was back to the house for a shower and hot coffee. Lyman’s dad, Travis aka Big Daddy, would start popping in and he too was always wondering what was for dinner. I began to think that dinner here was the only thing that really mattered.
And then I began to understand…It was all about Lyman’s cooking. Lyman had that easy breezy confident cooking style that only many years of passion, knowledge, and experience can bring. I think the key word here would be passion because that is the difference between a good cook and a great cook. Lyman was a great cook. He would entertain with a story or an observation about life while going about tending to the big simmering pots on the stove. Travis and Girl or various friends would join us and we would feast on that wonderful food until you just absolutely had no where else to put it.
When it was time to return home, it was with a bag of tomatoes, and a Styrofoam cooler filled with frozen zip lock bags of gumbo and other wonderful food prepared by Lyman. I knew that I would be eating well for the next week.
Life is better now. The kids are grown and I found new love. I’ll still make my trips to Louisiana and it will still make me happy. I’ll still have that wonderful food as Janis has become a wonderful cook under Lyman’s tutelage, but I will miss Lyman very much. He was always such a part of my trips to Louisiana.
Lyman loved his children, his wife, his family, his tomatoes and cooking. I’m not necessarily sure of that order because he really really loved his tomatoes. He was smart, kind, witty, and full of good humor. Lyman was a gentleman and a gentle man. Thank you for so many wonderful memories and adding just a bit more to my life. I will miss you.