Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Holy Saturday

I attended all the Holy Week services this week.  Probably my favorite is the Holy Thursday celebration, especially the washing of the feet, remembering the words of Jesus, "As I have done for you, you must also do...."  The choir at St. Stan's sang this beautiful song during the ceremony.
The words of the song give me cause for reflection on this Saturday and I think of all the ways people wash my feet and love me as Jesus taught.  I've been invited to Connie and Garry's for Easter dinner and decided to make Mom's orange rolls.  All the rolls she made during her life surely was one way she  washed other's feet with this great gift.  The process takes awhile and you really can't hurry it.

So these rolls will nourish a bunch of Kopczynski relatives on Easter and the little pan goes to O'Shaughnessy's who can't join us because Karen is on call at St. Joe's.

Last week, when I was in Moscow for Duane's birthday celebration Colin showed me an Easter card that he received in the mail from my sister, Joan.  I didn't take the time to send him a card and I'm the Grandma!   She also sent one to me and I appreciate the thoughtful gesture - the card fit perfectly with my Easter decor.

I fuss a lot about all the time we spend on the computer, searching, playing games, being distracted from spending quality time with our families, but one thing I love about about this technology is the ability to share pictures!  It's a washing of feet in a way when Jeremy sends a picture of Carter to Marilyn and then she shares it with me!  I hope these young families never forget how much we love to get pictures via the internet, IPhone, or other amazing technical devices.

My friend, Shelley, works so hard as the Religious Education Director for our large parish.  She leads the RCIA program all year and this week culminates nine months of intense labor.  Yet, she found time to write a special note to me, and all her 4th Day Sisters, during the busiest of her weeks.  I'm so touched by her gesture and marvel at how she washes my feet with her kind words.  
I don't think I'm very good at washing other's feet, but today I remembered that John and Karen and Jacob had to travel to Spokane for Jake's first soccer game and I was pretty sure they hadn't taken time to get ready for Easter.  So I colored a few eggs and made a little Easter basket for them.

"The symbolic image of washing feet refers to the ministry that flows out of love," Macrina Wiederkehr says in her book, Seasons of Your Heart.  I've learned that the ministry of love doesn't have to be something spectacular, only thoughtful.  Today I bless the God who so often shows His love to me in
the gorgeous Magnolia Tree in full bloom!
the happy faces of spring pansies
the joy seeing Grace Gaeke chasing bubbles

I agree with Macrina when she says, "we are fragile vessels whose love often gets tired."  We need to be loved over and over again in the beauty of nature, the generous gifts of friends and family so we can "be converted and the healing act of our growth continues."  

Happy Easter - let the washing of feet continue to bless us!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Duane

Imagine, 1967 - gosh I was 20 young years when I delivered you on Holy Saturday.  Your Aunt Maureen was born on Ash Wednesday.  When the nurse brought you to me on Easter Sunday, she'd taped bunny ears to your head.  That was back in the days before we had cameras attached to our phone and took pictures of everything - no picture only a memory.

Imagine - you and me, snuggled in the hospital bed - so happy together!  Happy Together by the Turtles was the most popular song when you were born!  What did I know about being a Mom?  Not much - although I did know a little about babies and how to take care of them.  But I was so happy Mom agreed to stay after Easter, with Maureen, and take the night shift.  We took lots of pictures of you and Maureen together in those early years....

I love telling the story about being pregnant at the same time my mom was with her last child!

We did our best to keep you safe, but one unlucky day the coffee table won and you suffered a horrible black eye.  Gratefully we did not have to take you to the E.R. and subject ourselves to an investigation from Child Protective Services.  I don't remember people taking about CPS back then.  Happily you recovered from this and other childhood accidents.
We also tried to ensure that you had opportunity to love various pets over the years.  Our first family pet, a parakeet named Zeke, was given to us by your Dad's school principal.   Zeke could say "Pretty Bird Zeke," when prompted.  You opened the cage door one spring day and he flew out into our yard.  We put an ad in the local paper and miraculously someone found him and returned him to us.
We had our share of hampsters, cats, and dogs after Zeke went to bird heaven.  You developed a love for Snoopy, the Peanuts dog, and faithfully read all Charles Schultz books ever published by the time you were in the 6th Grade.
We also tried to teach you the value of work outside, which became more miserable for you as you developed an allergy to grass when you were in high school.

Karen begged us for her own dog after we took Kasha, our Norwegian Elkhound to a farm where she could run.  We all fell in love with Barney, our beloved cocker spaniel!  He came to live with us in 1980 and went to doggie heaven in 1989.  See the red Datsun truck in the picture?  Don't tell anyone, but we let you drive it before you even had a license because you had some lawn mowing jobs and that cash was important to feed your computer habit!

I tried to find a picture of you with the Apple Computer surprise at Christmas time, 198l, but could only find a picture of your room at Stimson Hall, probably taken in 1987 or 1988.  

 Imagine your joy on your 13th birthday when your Dad gave you your very own special cereal bowl!

Imagine our joy watching you in the Civic Theatre production of Oliver and watching you become a great trombone player in the CHS marching band!

Lots of things have changed since 1981....

You've taken a bride and started a family
You've become a father
You like to wear hats
And make Grandma's Christmas Cookies
And search for just the right picture

And dress up in funny costumes!

And be a kid again with the Simpsons!

And teach Colin about the magic of electricity!

And spend hours making a Minecraft Cake for Colin's 8th birthday

Your life became so much more than I imagined that Easter day 46 years ago.    You are a successful computer scientist, an attentive son, and a devoted family man.  You are kind and sensitive to children and your elders.  You are patient with the technically challenged.  You appreciate God's creation and wait for the just right picture to express what you see.  I never imagined that you would be interested in family history or would try so many family recipes.  I'm grateful you invite me on your family trips, hikes, and birthday celebrations.  You've expressed your delight over the years when you've discovered I've saved legos, books, toys, and newspaper articles.  You may have inherited some of my "saving" genes because you've saved old radios and computer equipment.  Did you ever imagine you'd be teaching your son how to write code and program the Apple IIe that's now 30 years old?
It's a wonderful gift you have - the ability to teach others what you know with incredible patience!

Happy Birthday Duane

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mt. St. Helen's Vacation

Duane and Anne invited me to join them for a little spring break get-away. I debated because my calendar was full of all sorts of volunteer obligations. But after making soup for my friend, Jean, who had bunion surgery, soup for the Wednesday Family Promise Dinner, soup for the Normal Hill Churches Lenten Luncheons, and dinner for Fred and Karen, I decided I was entitled to a some time away from the kitchen. Besides I did five loads of laundry for a sweet young family with a two-week old baby. I didn't sleep much last night, just fussing about disappointing Betty who'd asked me to serve soup today and typing up minutes from the BOG meeting. I kept saying to myself, "you'll be able to sleep in the car." And I did today, with a little sunshine streaming through the window. Duane chose a route he'd never driven before. We had lunch in Othello and then headed toward Yakima. We enjoyed driving through the agriculture areas, watching workers apple prune trees, and checking wires for hops. I appreciated the farmers who identified the kind of apple trees. Each variety grows differently and Duane and I notice how short the trees were - maybe to making picking that much easier. Some tree branches are trellised on wires. The trip over White Pass delighted us with views of snow capped mountains and eventually Mt. Rainier - the top buried in soft clouds. We got out for pictures and it was so warm. Anne thought it was more difficult to breathe, but I think it's only about 1,000' higher than Moscow's elevation.

 We have a great room at the Best Western - really comfy beds and lots of space for computers and TV watching. Even the remote control is stored in a little bag with wipes to get rid of any germs.

Colin and I got quite comfortable with our electronic devices.....

Friday we drove to Mount St. Helens Volcanic Monument via Toledo, WA. Anne grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and got really excited when she saw the signs for Toledo. The small town seemed delightful, painted walls and all.
 The trip to Mount St. Helens was beautiful. We'd hoped the clouds would totally disappear, but they never did. However, we were able to walk outdoors and enjoy the 50 degree weather without our umbrellas. The small hikes provided lots of time to enjoy the wetlands, be awed by the new landscape and all the loving attempts to preserve the land around the volcano. As devastating as the volcano was, the gift of nature is that it rebuilds itself. Out of chaos comes order and new beauty.

 Colin loved walking in the snow at one of the  viewpoints that had not been plowed.

Throughout the Monument we saw evidence of the $9 Million Reforestation Project by Weyerhauser.  Looking at these trees made us feel a little dizzy - like our eyes were not quite in focus.  
 The clouds are beautiful, but prevented us from seeing the top of Mount St. Helens
 We were disappointed because the Forest Learning Center was closed near Coldwater Lake

I found the frog sounds fascinating.

 Lots of maps and displays throughout  the Mount St. Helens Monument

Duane appeared disappointed that he could not get the great pictures he'd hoped to see around the mountain. But we enjoyed just being in nature and learning about the historic events of May, 1980. Colin carefully chose his souvenirs with the $8.00 Dad gave him - a bag of beautiful rocks, a medallion for his walking stick, and a coffee mug with pictures of the volcano.
 Nice use of our taxpayer's money - the boardwalks!

I really liked the hike around the visitor's center - lots of ducks and new life - are these lily pads springing up?

We had hoped to check out early and stay in the Tri Cities Saturday night, but we could not cancel our reservations at this lovely Best Western Hotel, so we tried to figure out what was close by that might be fun. We found some hiking ideas in Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. It was a little chilly Saturday morning, but we managed to hike around this great refuge and see lots of ducks and a bald eagle.

Anne and Colin ran into someone with great binoculars and they were able to see a great horned owl. he also finished a little workbook so he got a badge and proudly wore it all day.

A highlight of the day was our lunch at MAC 'N MORE in Lacey. Anne loved the Potato Chip Nachos so much she wrote a review for the restaurant on the YELP website!

The rainy weather lent itself to staying in for the afternoon, watching Harry Potter movies non-stop on the ABC family channel, swimming, working out in the gym, and lots of napping, which I really enjoyed. Duane and I walked to Denny's and picked up salads for our dinner and yummy chocolate milk shakes. Colin spent lots of time playing Pokemon on his Ninentendo DS.

We left Chehalis early Sunday morning,  found winter weather over Snowqualmie Pass, but made it home in time for Colin to enjoy a play date with his friend, Zachary.  And I got to enjoy Bradleigh and Jacob's piano recital and John's birthday celebration!