Big Brother Rip

Uncle Joe created and sent out a great slideshow and we wanted to share it with you.

Thank you to everyone for your continued love and support.

Much Love, Christie


Bertram John Ripple


Dave #3 here,

This blog was started by my mom when she was diagnosed with cancer to keep all posted on her battle. When she ultimately lost her battle, we decided to keep this blog going as a tribute to her spirit. It was a great way to keep all those close to us up to date on various Ripple family happenings. We have shared great memories, family vacations and even challenging times.

Unfortunately, this is one of those challenging times. It is with very heavy hearts that we have to announce the sudden passing of our beloved father a few days ago.

We are very blessed that we had all recently been with him through various family events. Little did we know those treasured times would be our last with him. We believe he simply missed mom so much these past years, he was ready to join her again. We know he is smiling today and happy to be in a better place and at mom’s side.

A Rosary will be held Friday, October 18th at 7pm and a Funeral Mass to celebrate Bert’s life will be held Saturday, October 19th at 11:00am. Both events will be at St. Apollinaris Catholic Church, 3700 Lassen Street, Napa, CA. 94558.

Love to all,

Dave and family

Wow – the people you meet

#3 Dave, 

So today I was on a 7:20 AM flight from Ft. Meyers, FL. to Dallas.  I was upgraded to first class (which happens a lot when you fly as much as I do).  When I took my seat, the gentleman next to me began to speak right away.  He was on his way to LA with his wife of 44 years for the wedding of their daughter.  Frankly, I just wanted to rest and do some work –  which quickly became apparent was not going to happen. What an amazing person, broken family and created his own company from scratch and turned it into a multi-million dollar company that he sold.  Trust me , he has no financial issues and the most beautiful watch I have ever seen.    

Sooo……one hour from landing,, he tells me he has inoperable cancer and  a year to live (at best).  I didn’t have any idea what to say, I just sat there for a moment and looked at him.  And then I said, “Life isn”t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning how to dance in the rain.”

I told him about mom and the entire ordeal.   I don’t know how to explain this……but he looked me in the eye and said, ” that is the most amazing thing I have heard, you have changed my life”.   I am going to my daughter’s wedding this weekend and going to dance in the rain.  Wow, I had no idea what to say, and we both actually had tears in our eyes.   

What I did feel was Mom.  I swear she was right there with me.  I have no way of describing Dave’s  ( his name)  look when I shared the phrase with him,.  He was so moved…I can’t describe it.  

If you ever doubt mom is still with us, you are wrong.  She is with us every day, in everything we do.  We are the most amazing family.  I called Linda as soon as I got off the plane this morning to share this story.  I was so moved, and had to speak with someone (awake).  Mom, not me, touched a person today who needed to be touched, and I know his outlook on his last days has changed.  How wonderfully amazing is that?

Love you all,


Summertime fun – part 1

Hello all – Michelle (#6) here. This is the 1st of our summer updates. It’s been a busy month, but I hope to post a few more recaps soon.

A few weeks ago, with the exception of the Kropf’s (too many conflicts this summer), we were all able to get together at the Ranch. It was such a fun-filled week and I’m not sure where to start. There was horseback riding, fishing, tubing on the Little Snake River, walks around the Ranch, doctoring of cattle, singing AND dancing (by some), and a lot of good conversation and laughs.

I for one, LOVED riding and moving cattle (for any amount of time less than 4 hours). I was so good that sometimes the cattle followed me! On one occasion Christie and I were out on a short ride with the two wranglers. We had the simple assignment to bring in 4 cows and their calf’s. EASY. Well, I don’t know what happened but it turned into the biggest fiasco ever. No one mentioned that these weren’t ordinary ho-hum cows. These gals had spunk! We got 3 of the 4 which I thought was great, but Terry didn’t seem too pleased when he arrived on the 4-wheeler to help us with the 4th one. That 4th one got past both me and Christie twice which, I think, is when Terry realized it was a SUPER smart cow. Terry complimented our skills by saying “we’re not great, but we’re not chopped liver”!! Best. Compliment. EVER!! Never did get that cow…I’m sure it’s still out there plotting a takeover.

Doctoring the cattle was another treat. I mostly photographed this activity and it was fun to watch the AZ Ripple boys wrestle little calves to the ground. I also think Christopher, who had the glammer job of pushing the cattle into the shoot from the rear, is rethinking his calling in life.

Let’s see…There was a fence repaired somewhere, but I was very busy that day and couldn’t make the trip. The folks that did were gone for hours!!! Caitlin, Clara, and Thomas had their first horse rides…Usually as the adults kicked off happy hour the kids would kick off a baseball or football game on the front lawn…the steak fry was done at the side of the house in a newly built fire pit. I didn’t dig it, but Dad & I helped Reen place the big rocks around it. So, from here forth I think it should be called Mitch’s Fire Pit.

The one activity we hadn’t done before was the Singing Game brought to us by the TX Ripple’s! I’m not going to give away the plot of the game, but I will say that it was HILARIOUS and really fun! We wound down the evening listening and “dancing” to “Take Me Home Country Roads” just as it started to rain. We knew for sure that Mom was with us. I shed a few tears, but…there we were…waiting for a storm to pass, dancing in the Rain.

Here are a few pics from one of the best places on earth. A great, great week…

I hope everyone is having a great summer! xoxo!

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Plum Delicious!

Happy Summer! It’s Michelle (#6) –

I went up to Napa yesterday for a little R&R and to hang out with Dad. I had SO MUCH fun. I really do appreciate the summer days in Napa and enjoy them much more than the hot SF days. I think having outdoor space to lounge, the garden, the flowers, and the pool make Napa more inviting. And, of course, the host with most!

I did my share of lounging. I was supposed to use the pool for cross-training for the CF Hike, but I’m not sure if floating with two noodles is considered cross-training. I’m 99% sure reading magazines and napping on the lounge chair also isn’t part of the training regimen, however; I’m going to check before giving it up.

What did I accomplish? Well, this was a team effort by me and Dad and I had a blast. The plum trees are dripping with “cooking” plums. I couldn’t stand to let another year go by without them being put to good use. Mom used to make jars and jars of jam with the plums as well as cobblers and probably other yummy things too. Dad has done a good job of sharing with friends, but there are SO many plums! This is not a one man job so after dinner Dad and I went out and picked one bucket and the plan was to wash em, cut em, and freeze em. (I had to head out early this morning for a pilates class in SF so didn’t have time to execute any lofty plum plans). During the washing phase I can’t remember who thought of it, but the idea of drying them came up. Dad dries figs every year, but he’d never done plums.  Huh, let’s give it a go! So we packed 3 bags to freeze and use later (about 10lbs) and dried 2 racks as a test (probably 3-4 dozen plums). The dried plums were ready this morning and we did a taste test. DELICIOUS. Perfect to chop and add to Jill’s homemade granola (hint, hint Jill) or even eat on their own! Or add to breads or muffins, or…who knows??? Woohooo!


I was so delighted with our success of freezing and drying that while Dad was at church I picked him another bucket and left it on the counter! Teehee.

Vacation Memories

It all started with a text from Dave (#3) last week. He sent a text to all of us kids that included a picture of a city skyline and asked “Any guesses where I am?” Paul (#5) was the first to respond with the correct answer – SEATTLE. Dave then replied back “Space Needle for first time – pretty cool.”

What ensued was a flurry of texts and memories because we’d actually been to Seattle (and the Space Needle) on our way to Vancouver when we were kids. Dave remembered fireworks and sleeping in the van at the Ferry dock. Steve (#2) recalled it being 1976 and the Captain Cook Bicentennial in Victoria Harbor. He also remembered sleeping in the van in the Ferry parking lot and it being our first trip in the Dodge Sportsman Maxi van! Steve went on about how we drove up the Oregon Coast on our way and that while fishing off the rocks in Oregon Paul fell in! He remembered that Mom made us go to the Buchart Gardens (located on Victoria Island which is why we have all of the Ferry memories). I fondly recall the Ferry ride because I bought black licorice out of the vending machine for 25 cents and it gave me my quarter back! (I don’t recall how many packs of licorice I bought). Christie kept mentioning that she remembered a bunch of sheep in the road, but that didn’t ring any bells for the rest of us.

We recalled the extremely long Capilano suspension bridge which I still can’t believe we walked over. Or rather, I can’t believe Mom & Dad let 7 kids walk across that thing!!! Paul is convinced it was 1978 because we were excited the van was Cowboy colors and they had won the Superbowl in ’78.

This is when Dave pipes in that he just talked to Dad and “confirmed” it was ’76. I knew this wasn’t right because Christie (#7) was older than 1 and I was older than 4. I decided I’d confirm when I went to Napa over the weekend. Confirm I did! The year was 1978! Confirmed by the postmark on a postcard my Mom had sent to Grandma & Grandpa.

It was such a kick exchanging all those memories! We are the best, most blessed family.  


The proof!!!



Christie & Linda


Paul, Michelle, & Linda




Spring Break Fun

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Dave (#3 here),

Well, it has been awhile, but I wanted to update everyone on a most wonderful “find” – only 4 hours from home!!  World Class fly fishing – in Oklahoma???  For years a friend has been telling us about a beautiful spot in Southeastern Oklahoma – Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow Lake.  He told me they have year round fly fishing, a beautiful state park (camping and cabin rentals) and the Broken Bow Lake is set in gorgeous mountains and all an easy drive from Ft. Worth.

We had plans to head to Phoenix over spring break – but the flu did in the family – and we had to cancel.  So, once we started feeling better – I mentioned to Karen that I wanted to take Christopher (my only “fishing” child) to Beaver’s Bend and finally check it out.  We packed up the camping gear and hit the road – and what a great trip. We got a site right by the river and set-up.  We spent two nights and I couldn’t believe the place – actually a “trout fishing preserve” designed for fly fishing.  We have a new favorite place and plan to head back often.

The camping brought back many memories (like it always does) and I shared with Christopher the stories of the trips we used to take.  How mom and dad camped with 7 kids on all those trips – the meal preparation, packing, set-up and tear down (often in threatening weather) – absolutuely astounds me – and we even had a “sun shower”.  I did provide Christopher with a breakfast meal “ode to dad and mom” – bacon, eggs and toast off the Coleman stove.  He only ate 9 pieces of bacon, 4 eggs, toast and had some fruit loops to top it all off (catching 10 trout the night before will create quite an appetite).

I can’t end without mentioning that Christopher’s high school soccer team won the Texas State Championship (3-peat) as well.  Christopher was unable to play the last 3 games – the flu knocked out him and 4 other players – but we did get to the final in Houston that was won on a “golden goal” – scored in the 2nd overtime for a 2-1 victory.  It was quite a game and a very dramatic end. 

Attached are some pictures from our trip and the team photo – hope everyone is doing well.