Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Monday, February 17, 2014

What we do for our friends

My friend, Marcia, is facing a double hip replacement on March 4th.  Regina planned a day of sending her forth (March 4th is her surgery) by cleaning and organizing Marcia's kitchen.

Sometimes one just has to take everything out of the drawers, refold the towels and the drawer looks more organized.  Regina tackled Marcia's upper cupboards and put all the cookbooks standing up and the loose recipes in file folders.
Marcia  loves tablecloths and napkins.  Reginia organized both the cloth and paper napkins and now there's room for more!  I worked on the spice cupboards and teased Marcia about having 4 boxes of food coloring!

One final picture of the immaculate kitchen and the worker bees!
Marcia spent a week at the Monastery of St. Gertrude learning all about icons.  She and 13 other participants painted icons of St. Gertrude.  Marcia learned about the history of icons, the deep meaning behind the natural materials that are used to paint the wood board, and then she shared this knowledge with us.  Father Brad, our current pastor, really likes icons and hopes to decorate our new church with '"all saints."  Marcia learned that Father Damien could come to Lewiston and hold several workshops and supervise the painting of icons right on our walls.  This icon held a place of honor on the newly polished countertop!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter in Lewiston

I returned home and found lots of winter all around my house.  I think it snowed more the past few days than I ever remember - over 6 inches!  The snow was so light and fluffy - I didn't even need a shovel - a broom worked just fine. 
The Christmas window boxes looked so fine dressed in the white snow!
The statue of Mary looks like she's wearing a ski hat with white ties and a scarf.
Is spring far behind???
Being a little homebound, I finished these knitted socks!  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hiking in Lake Havasu

Karen and Dale have sent pictures over the years about all their great hikes near their winter vacation home.  I packed some gear including my hiking poles!  They stuck out of my backpack in the airport and I prayed I would not hit someone with them.    Their tales of SARA's Crack piqued my interest and I couldn't wait to hike in this beautiful canyon.

One of the more famous of the lower Colorado River slot canyons – one that offers an engaging three-mile one-way hike – is the SARA (Special Activities Recreation Area) Park Wash Crack in the Wall just south of Lake Havasu City.  Called simply “The Crack,” this slot canyon is formed by a drainage that has carved its way through mountains then snaked around ridges, emptying into Lake Havasu. 

The canyon narrows to an arm’s-width.  It opens into a small amphitheater, then narrows again, tumbling down a series of dry falls into The Crack.  Except for a seven-foot dry fall, you can, with care, readily negotiate most of the drops.  If the seven-footer causes a problem, you can get around The Crack on an upper route, but you will have to return to the large cairn and take the path that ascends the ridge. 

 Hiking on rocks presented challenges not found in the forest.  So glad I'd packed my hiking poles!  The ladder surprised Karen because she's had to slide down this rock in the past!  I appreciated the ladder although not sure how stable it was.  We both made it down just fine.

I didn't get a picture of the 80' Lizard, formed by rocks, but here's a great little video of this entire hike and what you can see from the top!   

Yeah!  Time to rest!
 My own picture of the picnic table!
We met up with Dale near the top and thank God he showed up because I never would've made it down without his help, encouragement, and advice.  Today I read that this hike is strenuous - no wonder my muscles ached for days!!!
Our victory photo!!!

The exhilaration I feel after a strenuous hike make me determined to do a little training and get my body in better condition.  I've walked in the morning for almost 30 years, but admitted to myself and my walking friends I did not like hills.  I'm now convinced climbing hills increases my heart rate and provides a little aerobic exercise.  Since being back home I've walked up 14th Street a couple of times and found out the reward of a gorgeous view of our valley from the top of that hill.  Who knew?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Peggy's birthday surprise

My cousin Judy invited me to a belated birthday celebration for her sister, Peggy.  Judy's pursued this surprise event for three months, trying to honor the various schedules of her brothers and sisters.  Peggy complicated the date by continually changing her mind about coming to their winter home in Earp, California, just across the river from Parker, Arizona.  I didn't have to ponder the invitation more than just a few minutes because of the sunny, warm days and opportunity to have an extended visit with my sister, Karen,  in Lake Havasu.

I flew into Phoenix, getting up at 3:45 AM, and got the reward of a fairly clear day to see the Grand Canyon.  I've added several visits to our National Parks to my bucket list.  The views are breathtaking, even from the small window of the airplane.  I can't even imagine the view from the rim of the canyon.

I met up with my cousins and we rented a van for the 3 hour ride to Parker.  Kudos to Miriam who reserved the van and drove all the way.  We visited about our grandchildren, the organizational Catholic Church, and our childhood memories.  I appreciated hearing Miriam say she loved coming to our house to play - I think we made up our fun - playing house, school, or getting dressed up for parades and hiding in the orchard.  We really were blessed to grow up in Cottonwood and enjoy the gift of a large extended family.

There was a lot of hugging going on when Peggy realized her family showed up for this surprise party.  She walked into the Pirates Den and wasn't too surprised to see her local friends gathered there, but became a little un-nerved when the hostess told her she was the Peggy mentioned in the sign.  Peggy's real birthday is November 1st so we need to give her a break if she seemed a little unnerved.  Notice that Spike is wearing his Vincentian (St. Vincent DePaul) shirt.  He told Peggy they would go to Mass after they helped Judy with her car stuck at the Pirates Den (the sneaky way to get her there).   Peg & Spike volunteer their time to help the poor through the local St. Vincent De Paul Society.  
 This lovely couple live next to Jim and Carol in Portland and encouraged Jim, Judy, and Peggy to purchase small vacation trailers near his vacation home in Earp. 
 Jim and Karen catching up on family news
 Diane Wimer and Carol Reed sharing enjoying some warm sunshine
 Carol, Miriam, and Peggy

A member of the band came over to our table and encouraged us all to sing happy birthday!
I don't know if this little video will play - blogger is fussy about the size!
We extended our celebration at Karen and Dale's lovely home in Havasu on Sunday.  We shared a little soup, bread, fruit and cheese, enjoying some warm sunshine and great stories.
The girls - Carol, Karen, Theresa, Judy, Peggy, Miriam, and Diane
The boys - Dale, Wayne, Jim, and Spike
My favorite cousins - the Reed kids, even though Dave and Jim teased me about having chicken pox in the little suitcase I brought to their house when my sister Carole had one of her eye surgeries.  

A few excerpts from Emails sent after the party:

Well, we did it, we surprised Peg!!  Thank you all for coming and making this a fantastic success!!  Hope this finds those of you who traveled safely home without any undo delays.  Love you all so much and it was sooooo fantastic getting to be around all of you again!!  Thank you, Peg, for having a 70th, and to Jim & Carol for moving down here!!

You done good Judy!  What a great weekend and surprise for Peggy.  Karen, the visit to your house and the lunch was extra special.  It was so good to connect with family again.  Loved, loved, loved it!  I also enjoyed the warmer weather.  Right now it is about 21 degrees here in Seattle.  BRRRRRRRR.   Love you all.  Miriam

Thank you for visiting our home and sharing Peggy's celebration!   Aunt Mary was my favorite Aunt because she was always so genuinely joyful, and you all remind me of her so much!   Theresa and I had a great week....a rigorous hike in Sara park, ATV ride in the desert, "aqua sing" class at the aquatic center, a movie, (Philomena) and some great cooking and of course eating!!!   We hope to connect with you all here again soon!   Love having 3 of the Reeds living so nearby....we need to plan another gathering!  Karen Stubbs

What a great weekend.  Judy, thanks for taking the lead on the surprise party for Peg; Jim and Carol, thanks so much for the invite to (as Carol put it "my husband's trailer")--always rewarding to spend time with you two; Theresa, great seeing you and getting to visit with you. We do need to do this more often.  Karen, thanks for sharing your beautiful home away from home with us.  The food was good, the wine was too, and the companionship was fantastic.  Thanks also to the "great bow-hunter" for his hospitality. Peg and Spike, what can I say. You two are treasures.  It was the highlight of the weekend to see the tears well up in Peg's eyes when she discovered all of us hidden in the Pirates Den.  Dave and Miggie--thanks for going out of your way to meet up with us before we left for home.  Miggie, I really enjoyed our chat concerning law and lawyers. Miriam, thanks for being the chauffeur--hope I didn't offend you with my diatribes on the way back to Phoenix.  Mike?  We missed you, and in retrospect, I am sure you would have enjoyed the weekend with us in spite of all the family chit chat from days long gone by. Diane? You are special every day, so no kudos to you other than thanks for putting up with me.  Love to you all.  Wayne Wimer

Great spending time with all of you! Sorry to have missed Karen and Theresa!   

Judy,  many, many thanks for getting us all together! 

Love, Dave

And what can I say????  I think I'm still in shock!!!  I learned a lot about myself through all this - I REALLY AM NOSY; Into everything and change my mind mucho!!!  But all I can say is - I'm humbled beyond expression.  I don't even know if I said "Thank YOU"! to all of you!  I think I'm still upset that the hostess at the Pirates Den would think I was "that 70 yr old Peggy" and Why was Judy fiddling with her phone when we needed to fix her car????!!!!  I think I was TOO fixated on that fact (fixing her car) and couldn't quite grasp what was happening.  And, you're right Wayne - when I turned around and saw all my family it was unnerving!  Yes - the heart was tooooo full!!!!  And then when you had to endure another day of my craziness of mind - with Dave & Miggie coming in...  What can I say????  Wow!  I think maybe on a beach in Mexico it will finally hit me!  I am truly overwhelmed with all the planning this must have taken...  And it's been happening for the better part of a year!  I think that's where I've learned a lot of who I really am and what I need to work on - to be...

The Pirate's Den party was wonderful!  Karen's hospitality was wonderful!  Being with my family and friends - wonderful!  And the Pirate's Den again - wonderful!  Even the Super Bowl - wonderful!  You are ALL - truly wonderful!

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank YOU!

I gained a new appreciation for our family connection and the wisdom we’ve gained by being Kopczynski’s.  We joked about all our conversations about our health ailments, but what I heard between the lines is a desire to live life to the fullest, appreciating God’s creation and each other for many years to come. We are all still very young at heart and open to all kinds of new adventures. I really appreciated the opportunity to visit with Carol, Wayne, and Diane because we haven’t had such long conversations before.  Karen and I plan to spend some time in Hood River with Carol and Jim - maybe doing some hiking and biking.  Wind surfing anyone?  Wayne, get yourself retired and learn the glorious task of frittering the day away!  If you don't get it all done one day, you can work on the same thing tomorrow.  Thank you, Judy, for including some cousins in the celebration.  Gosh, it is challenging to get people together and to make time for family.  You did it!!!!  I loved the look on Peggy’s face when she saw all of you - priceless!!!!

Happy Birthday Peggy