Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Happiness Attacks

I enjoyed a lovely vacation with my sisters and Marilyn's daughter, Karlee in Littleton and Westminster, Colorado last week. It's not always possible, but I try to read the daily scriptures and reflections from a Benedictine periodical called, "Give Us This Day."  The reflection on Sunday, titled "Happiness Attacks" caught my eye and I decided the title is appropriate for this blog post.  Melanie Svoboda's reflection focused on the scriptures, particularly the Transfiguration.  She describes the euphoria the apostles felt on the mountain top as happiness attacks.  She encourages the reader to recognize that "God's beauty or goodness or love breaks through the surface of our everyday....even though His presence is often hidden in the trials and ambiguities of daily living."  I didn't get pictures of every happiness attack, but here are a few....
Spending quality time with my sisters!
And Karlee, especially decorating her classroom.  Notice the lovely dress she's wearing - she and her friend, Nicole, took a sewing class and each made a dress.   Lots of happiness for me listening to those young women tracing the pattern pieces!

 We did a lot of work with and for Karlee in her third grade classroom.  We labeled cubbies and containers, put colored stickers on books, and made a tulle curtain to cover up the ugly blinds on her windows!

We were exhausted after two days of work, up and down ladders; on and off the floor.  Teaching is not for the older generation!  Karlee plans to teach cursive handwriting and lots of thinking strategies.  I found a set of posters describing the thinking strategies and Karlee had to teach me the meaning of such words as inference, schema, and synthesize.  Connie, a former teacher, totally bought into the words and reassured me that third graders would understand and be able to verbalize the strategies!  Gosh, that's not what I learned in third or any other grade for that matter!  


 Lots of Ryan's baseball games were cancelled due to rain this summer, so we got to watch a make up game tonight.
Grace posed with her "found" pink scarf.


The kids table and chairs from our family home often enable happiness attacks!  The table provides the platform for all the budding artists in this family.  Connie's working on Ryan's requested orange cat picture!

Happiness attacked me when we shopped at Joann's for fleece fabric to make four blankets.  Grace got really excited when I found this fishing fleece.  It was the first blanket she sewed for her Dad!
She chose the butterflies for her neighbor, Tammy, who suffers from MS.

Lots of happiness the day Grace made crepes for me.  She gets cookbooks from the local library and Maureen is teaching her to cook.  The crepes were perfect!




Connie and I had serious happiness attacks when we navigated the Denver Light Rail system, all the way from Mineral to Westminster, where Karlee lives.  And, the best it cost us $1.30 each one way because we are senior citizens!  The stations are just five minutes from Maureen's home and the same for Karlee's home in Westminster.

We Kop girls had a major happiness and laughter attack when we looked at the photos of our family home, which is currently for sale in Cottonwood.  The emotions of shock and disbelief overcame us...green kitchen cabinets and a purple wall in the living room!  Our only disappointment was that there were no pictures of the downstairs bathroom so we don't know if the multi colored tile disappeared or not!

I loved our Saturday morning visit to Hudson Gardens.  The Gaekes often ride their bikes to this lovely event center, but we just walked around and admired the gardens and walking trails.


This little bunny acted like someone's pet.  He/she didn't seem bothered as we got close.


Lovely Grace among the lily pads.
We enjoyed a lovely lunch at this unique restaurant in downtown Littleton.  Maureen told us the story of a woman who owns and operates the restaurant and customers pay whatever they want for their food.  Over 120 volunteers each month help serve the food.   We were happy to support this wonderful endeavor.  Their core values:

Our Core Values.  We will…

Invite, welcome and love all people
Show you the beauty in simplicity
Focus on food that is friendly to your own kitchen
Use what we have and limit the excess
Give back often and with joy


We are project crazy people so Karlee and Marilyn spray painted two benches!  Maureen loves the green color and the happy pillow Marilyn made for her.




God's beauty and love broke through many moments of this vacation and I experienced many happiness attacks.  I'm grateful that my sisters were willing to travel with me and grateful to Karlee and Maureen for the wonderful hospitality!




Thursday, July 20, 2017

Family Hiking and Biking in McCall

Duane plans to have a 50th birthday hike next year in Colorado.  He intends to take his family hiking to some of his favorite places near Boulder, Colorado, where he once lived.  We searched through  hiking book for a moderate hike that he could call "training for next year."

We settled on Snowslide Lake, a moderate 3.2 mile hike out and back with an elevation gain of 1300ft.  We drove over 12 miles of gravel road only to discover that the creek we needed to cross was a river with no bridge!

So, back to the book we went and settled on an easy hike to Duck Lake.


The views were beautiful and we did enjoy the hike and I encouraged the family to sit on a log that the LaTreks sat on when we hiked in McCall.




I enjoyed the day especially hiking with Colin and Bradleigh and my heart overflowed with joy because they were willing to experience the joy of hiking that I love!













We even found mounds of snow!













On Thursday we planned another hike - this time one we could drive to on the highway, rather than gravel roads.  We chose Hazard Creek Falls, north of New Meadows.  The hike sounded awesome and we hiked across a lovely bridge above Hazard Creek.  We had the hiking book with us and often got the feeling that we were not on the right trail.  Duane discovered at the end of our hike that we should never have crossed the bridge - the hike was directly in front of us.  Oh well, we walked for almost 6 miles on a road, probably used by ATV's or snowmobiles!  Great exercise, no matter what!





Duane, Anne, and Colin also did a little mountain biking, riding the lift chair to the top of Brundage.  They told me the views were spectacular.  Duane said it brought back lots of memories of our skiing days.

These great adventures with my family give me pause and reason to be grateful!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Joy of Make Believe

My Mom packed a huge trunk full of clothes and other treasures so it could be shipped to Idaho when she married my Dad in 1945.  The trunk made it's way into the attic of our family home and it became a treasure chest holding dozens of costumes that provided endless hours of entertainment for the Kop kids and our friends who came to visit.  We loved to get dressed up for parades, school programs, Halloween, and summer playtime.

We dressed up with our neighbors, the Dasenbrock's and Boyd's.
One parade Marilyn wore Mom's wedding dress and I borrowed a suit from Ralph Goeckner to be her groom.  Connie and Joan were flower girls!

Maureen and Paul married each other in 2000 and after their wedding I bought a wedding dress and other dress up clothes at St. Vincent dePaul, the best $15 purchase ever!  Bradleigh and I played wedding often when she came to visit.  It was her favorite play thing to do.  It took lots of safety pins to get the dress to fit her.
I found my First Communion veil which we used for a wedding veil.  She liked to look at the pictures in my wedding album.

She also liked to be the bridesmaid!

I passed the dress up clothes on to my sister, Karen, so she could create her own play time with her sweet grand girls, Kennedy and Taylor.
We put Taylor on a stool and created a little magi for these girls today.


Kennedy had her turn at being the bride and Taylor the flower girl.

A million dollar smile along with Grandma's scarves and a thrift store treasure!
Life is good at Grandma's house