Monthly Archives: February 2014


Linda asked me to post a few additional details:

She says:

We have one more place that out-of-town guests could stay:

-Apple Country Bed and Breakfast: ( Phone: 509-972-3409. They are holding the whole house for us until mid-March at which time they will accept reservations from others as well.

-Located about 1 mile west of our house on the Old Naches Hwy (about 7 miles from the church)
-They have 4 rooms in their house: 2 upstairs (these have a shared bath – if you don’t want to share then they will rent just one room upstairs) and 2 downstairs as well as a 2-person separate cottage.
-When you make reservations let them know you are here for Jay Sloop’s service since they are taking reservations only for us until mid-March

If possible, we also want to plan for meals for out-of-town guests and thus we need to know how many would like to eat with us.

-Friday Supper: For those coming in on Friday I am planning a simple soup/fruit/bread supper at my house
-Sabbath Breakfast: Most of the hotels will provide breakfast, but let me know if you need something – we would be happy to have you here for breakfast as well
-Sabbath Lunch: Visitors potluck at our church (you won’t need to bring food – but I do need an approximate number of people coming for those preparing the food
-Please don’t feel that you are inconveniencing us at all. I have friends from church that will be doing most of the cooking and while the occasion is difficult – time with family and friends is treasured.

Please email me at: as soon as you know your plans and let me know which meals you will be here for and how many will be coming with you. Then I will be able to contact you with further details as we have them.

Thank you for coming and sharing your memories of Dad and for your love and support to all of us.



You've all seen this picture before, but it's a really neat picture, so we get to enjoy it again.

We need to get a post up so you can make your plans.

We would like to invite you to a celebration of Jay Sloop’s life.

We don’t know Dad’s status at this point, and we are not asking that you see Dad’s status in any particular way either.
-Some people we know, are quite certain that Dad must not still be alive.
-Others feel that he must still be alive, and that we’ll get some answer soon.

But no matter what you might believe, we are left without him in our lives right now. We’d like to take time to remember who he is and was, what things were important to him, and reminisce on the time he spent with us.

So, we invite you to celebrate with us, the memory of Jay Sloop, as bittersweet as that may seem in the moment.

When: April 26, 2014, at 3:00 PM
Where: Yakima SDA Church
507 N 35th Ave
Yakima, WA 98902

There may be some changes to the details, though we have set the date definitively. For those of you coming from out of town, here are some details that may make life easier.

Getting to Yakima:
-There are 3 flights into Yakima with Horizon Airlines (Alaska Airlines). If you are flying to Seattle on Alaska you can add the flight to Yakima for about $40 more each way. If you are flying on another airline it is usually quite a bit more to fly into Yakima.
-There is also a shuttle from the Seattle airport to Yakima. Check for information on schedules and prices (~$40 each way)

Some options on lodging:
-Comfort Suites: 3702 Fruitvale Blvd, Yakima, WA 98902 – phone: (509) 249-1900
[This is the closest hotel to the church (about 1 ½ miles). They only have “suites” available.]
-The Oxford Inn (
-Oxford Suites (
These are both near the Yakima River and Greenway (a walking path along the river) and only about 5 miles further away. [Rooms at the Oxford Inn start around $89]

Reserving rooms for group rates is difficult when we have no idea how many people might come into town and need a place to stay. We suggest that you use discounts available to you, such as AAA senior discounts etc. These are often lower than group rates anyway.

If you’re planning on coming with an RV or 5th wheel trailer, there are numerous places for hookups and places to stay.
-Suntides Golf course RV park is probably the closest.

Finally, since we have absolutely no idea how many local and out-of-town people to expect at the service, could you please take a moment to let us know your name and how many people in your party to expect. This will help us plan for the facility and all the related details!

Please email/text:, 503.515.7379.
Thanks again.


A belated post from November

This post has been lingering in my documents folder since mid November. I’ve gone back to edit it multiple times since then, and I’ve never been able to get it done and ready to post.

Shortly after I wrote this, Mom started having some serious issues with her hearing, and with the holidays and helping Mom, I’ve not had time to return to it.

So, it’s really, really late, but I’ll post it anyway.

Nov 17, 2013

A few days ago, we passed one of those “milestones” – though not one of the better variety – the 14th was the six month point since Dad disappeared. As if the milestone of “six months” isn’t enough, it will also be Dad’s birthday in just a few days.

It’s not a happy occasion – it brings up a lot of issues one ponders:
-Will we ever see Dad again?
-Is Dad still alive? How likely is it, that he is alive?
-What should we continue to do to look for him?
-Is there more we should do, or were there things we didn’t do that we should have done?
-What would Dad want us to do, in looking for him, and in living our lives without him?

If you were expecting answers to those questions, you’re probably going to be disappointed. I simply don’t have any.

I have some ideas for myself, but each of us reach our views independently and, at least for me, it’s important to allow others to have their own process and honor that as much as I can. We each grieve and feel in unique ways – and we probably cause ourselves a lot of unnecessary angst by expecting others to do things “our way.”

So, I simply feel my way forward each day. Every day brings new challenges and new obstacles to get over. So, we take each one as it comes – and do our best to be true to our ideals, honor Dad, and take care of each other.

I’m sure there are a million questions you have. The one I hear most is: “Is there any word.”

I just read a card my Mom got, saying that they check nearly every day, hoping there would be some miracle and that Dad would be coming home.

Earlier this week, I had a dream of Dad coming back – and it’s a little disorienting waking up and knowing it’s not really true.

So, let me take a few minutes and tell you what kinds of things we’re working on, and have heard.
-As you might imagine – the active phase of searching is really over. While we’re told the authorities went out and re-searched the park mid September, we’re not organizing any searches ourselves. We don’t have many resources in the Ukraine and unless we get some specific information pointing to some specific thing that could be useful, we’re mainly in a “wait-and-see” mode.

-I follow up with our contacts in the Ukraine regularly – and we still have the hotline active where people can call with information.

-Yet with all that – we essentially have no better information as to what happened than we did within hours of Dad’s initial disappearance. Thus, we really have precious little to share – there just isn’t much new to tell you about.

One other thing that happens regularly is that people discuss what might have possibly happened.

I can assure you that we, as well as all the experts, have pondered very long and hard what could have happened, and there’s just no easy explanation. Each theory we’ve pondered has serious issues that make it seem less than totally plausible.

So, while I wish we had some idea what happened, and why – we just don’t. For now, at least, we’ll have to be content with having little insight because there simply isn’t any to be had.

It continues to be tough for Mom. She feels lonely, anxious and worried. As in any relationship, there are things that your partner always does – and when they’re gone you get to learn how to handle all those things on your own.

But learning how to handle all those things that simply got done before, while also processing your grief and sorrow make it all that much harder. Despite that, however Mom is doing incredibly well, all things considered. She’s growing in so many ways – and it’s delightful seeing her blossom in new ways.

I’m sure she doesn’t see it much – she’s still reeling from the difficult events, hoping for a better resolution, and simply making it through each day – but we see it, and we couldn’t be more proud.

I was talking with her yesterday, and she was remarking on all the wonderful cards and notes you’ve sent her. There were a couple on the table in the kitchen and I read them – the thoughts were very kind.

Mom wanted me to be sure to say that she’s been so cared-for and thankful for the notes you’ve written. She wanted to be sure we took the time to give special thanks and recognition for all you have done and continue to do. [You each know who you are!]

So, while it doesn’t feel like nearly enough: Thanks!

[And if I could ask, please continue to give her your love and care. Some of you can give her a hug and let her know you care. Others can call and have a nice visit with her. I know life does go on, and it’s easy to have our lives return to normal – I get that – but her life is still in tatters. She still needs your care and love. So, do try to keep her in your thoughts, and do remember that she would so appreciate your love and care.

A few tips for interacting with her; I know that Dad’s situation is what first comes to mind when you see Mom – but it isn’t the only thing you can talk about. You can tell her, what you’ve been up to, and ask her what she is working on, or what plans she has.

Questions are good like that: You can ask what she’s working on, or other thing about her life and let her lead the conversation where she wants it to go.

The last tip I’d give is this: Please don’t re-hash what you think happened to Dad. Believe me, we’ve discussed nearly every possible variation of what could have happened – and, as I have already said, there are problems with all of them. And there have been several conversations about this specific topic the last few weeks that I know about. One specifically speculated about how Dad might have been abducted and why.

That left Mom with ugly images and thoughts in her head for days. As you can imagine – that’s not the most fun way to spend a week. But I also don’t want to worry you excessively with a bunch of “do’s and don’ts” We all make mistakes and everyone is doing their best. Do your best. Remember how you’d like to be treated, and go forth with good will in your heart. [I’m sure you’ll do fine!]

Finally… I’ve had many comments about the “stories” I’ve told in the past – so I’ve been thinking about what story I might tell next.

For some reason, this one is one that seems appropriate. It’s not really about Dad – but more about the brothers. Well, the _dog_ and the brothers.

“The dog” was “Tessa” – she came to live with us when I was still quite young. I’d guess I was somewhere between six and eight. That would mean that Rick and Randy would have been in their early teens.

Tessa was a short-hair red dachshund, and she was a coveted companion. I was, I’m sure, less than kind to her at times. But I always wanted her to love me and I wanted her to be glad to be with me.

Yet that didn’t always happen, and as siblings do, Tessa often became a focal point of tension. She seemed to prefer Randy especially, and one of the brothers would often come, get her excited and then she’d run away from me and stay with them.

Yet Tessa was a good thing too. I remember going into Ricks room one morning and seeing he’d gotten some snack – it was a handful of some precious sugary breakfast cereal [which we only rarely got] – and was eating it one piece at a time. Yet, every other piece went to Tessa. One for Rick – one for Tessa – one for Rick – one for Tessa…

There is one other mission that Tessa came by that was rather interesting too.

As you can imagine – accidents and no-so-accidents happen often in a family of three boys. And Tessa often came into her own as a healer.

The unwritten rule was: Once you laugh you can’t be injured all that badly and so continuing to sulk and claim injury to the adults was nearly equivalent to fraud.

So, some trick or conflict would end with someone [usually me] getting some injury. Since I was much younger, the chance of my getting, what I felt, was “just” retribution was pretty unlikely.

So, my weapon [at least according to my brothers] was to milk injury as far as possible – because if I could involve the adults – I might get some measure of “justice.”

So it was always a battle of PR.
Me: Attempt to play up injury and injustice.
My brother(s): Attempt to play down injuries and to keep wails of outrage and injury to a minimum.

Enter Tessa.

I think it was Randy who came up with the idea. He seemed to have the dog with him everywhere, and used the dog with the most effectiveness – but Tessa became “Emergency Doctor”!”

When I was injured in some battle, and wails were likely she would come into play.

I can imagine my brothers casting about, trying to figure out the way to escape that first predicament. What could cause their little brother to forget his injuries, or failing that, at least laugh; because once the victim laughs, the crisis is averted!

Then, I’m sure the first time, the light dawns. Tessa! “What a brilliant idea!” I’m sure they were thinking.

We’ll bring out Tessa as the wonderful heal-all dog and all will be well.

So, the routine was: Someone would rush off to grab Tessa and with the usual older-brother generated sirens and other sound-effects and cries of “Emergency Doctor, Emergency Doctor, Emergency Doctor” – Tessa would be rushed to the scene of the injury to offer “treatment.”

Inevitably, Tessa would provoke some laugh or chuckle from me and, crisis averted, life would return to normal once again.

Even today, the mention of “Emergency Doctor” comes up and we all remember those days from long ago.