Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

Marilyn came to Lewiston with the intention of helping to decorate the family graves at the Cottonwood Cemetery.  It became a family reunion weekend of sorts.  But not before we spent three hours at St. Vincent dePaul sorting through hundred of VHS tapes.  Boxes and boxes of tapes!  An employee told us, "they just fly out of the store."  So we found a dozen Titanic and half a dozen Forest Gump.  I doubt they just fly out of there - who has VHS tape players anymore?  I think the people that pay a quarter for the VHS tapes at St. Vincent bring them back to us when they've watched them, so there's always going to be more tapes.  IT is a Huge problem!!!There were way too many to display on the stores shelves or the backup shelves so we devised another plan.  I offered to take several boxes to the Adult Family Homes I visit because the residents need something wholesome to watch.
 Anyone need any VHS Tapes???
 Larry came after a breakfast meeting on Friday morning and brought a treasure that he'd been storing from Mom and Dad's house.  He thought it would be perfect for Marilyn's home.
 Larry believes in taking "selfies." 
 It was a beautiful morning out on the patio.  
 Thursday evening we travelled to Moscow to enjoy Moscow Charter School's "Give My Rewards to "Vaudeville" performance.  Colin delighted us with several marimba numbers.  MCS presents an original play every year and the student often write their own lines.  I loved the kindergarten class, dressed as housekeepers, who mopped and dusted the theatre.  Colin spent most of his time in the music pit, only briefly getting on stage, out of breath and late because of the marimba commitment(which got written into the script).  After the performance we drove out to see Karen and Dale and enjoy a meal with them.  Dale hauled our Lake Havasu creations back to Moscow.
I made a little tray and the lovely planter for my special geraniums.  We hope to do more mosaic work and paint rocks during our family reunion vacation in McCall in July.  
Karen gifted me with two lovely painted rock creations.  She finds great joy in painting rocks with hundreds of small circles.  She painted the rocks in the accent colors of my newly remodeled bathroom and they look so happy on my new granite counter top.   

Marilyn and I drove to Cottonwood and decorated about a dozen graves, mostly Kopczynski relatives.  I visited briefly with Mitzi Imhoff at the cemetery and she joked, "I think I know more people here than I do in town these days."  We could certainly relate to that comment during our lunch at the Country Haus, where we recognized no one except Sally Nuxoll.  Years ago we knew the owners, the waiters, and all the diners!  Gone too long I guess.  

 Visiting the cemetery is more than just putting flowers on the grave.  It's saying prayers of gratitude that I grew up in a safe, loving community.  That my ancestors had the courage to leave Kansas and come to Idaho for a better life.  I love remembering each aunt and uncle and how their lives made an impression on me.  My Dad's siblings are all gone now except Aunt Doriene and we are fast becoming the older generation.  Marilyn and I ponder whether or not our children will ever visit our graves....or if we'll even be buried in a cemetery.  We might choose cremation and columbariums instead....

  There's a whole row of Kopczynskis, including Aunt Mary Reed and Uncle John's grandson, Patrick.  Gus and Celestine, Jake and Gertie, George and Ruth.  I'm proud to be a direct descendant of the Seubert's who donated the land  over a century ago.

 Marilyn noticed the gorgeous clouds, ever changing because of the wind.  We, who live in developed cities and towns, never see the big picture of the sky like one can see on the Camas Prairie.  It was an awesome sight!
 We also drove to Greencreek to remember my in-laws 
and to Ferdinand to remember our nephews dad, Steve Johnson
I always enjoy driving the long way back to Highway 95.  We get to see all the old homesteads.  The Wessels house and barn still stands!  We found some of our classmates homes..the Arnzens, Rieners, Baerlochers, Schmidts.  How did those people provide for all those large Catholic families years ago with just 160 acres of farm ground?  Faith and hard work, no doubt.  
This morning Connie drove to Lewiston just because "I never see you guys."  Marilyn and I were quick to point out all the joys of retirement.  She can't imagine not being on a schedule day after day, but we'll soon show her how much fun it is to be spontaneous and be available!  Next year she can go with us to Cottonwood and we'll once again drive by Mom's house and feel the loss of our parents and life in Cottonwood as we remember it!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Annual Visit with the Gaeke's

Anne likes the idea of hand me downs and sent these great shirts that don't fit Colin anymore and the boys were happy because they both love Minecraft!

It definitely was a different visit this year because Aunt Marilyn did not come along.  I don't consider myself the "fun" auntie, but the kids welcomed me anyway.  I picked a great week to visit, one filled with school activities and events.

This is a picture of Paul's class spring program
And then Grace's class
Grace with one of her best friends!
Some of Maureen's friends think I'm her mother!!!  I always tell them, "No, but I could be."  This picture was taken after the First Grade Mother's Tea!

Grandma and Grandpa Gaeke gave the kids their very own IPAD for Christmas and they all love it and share it well.  Ryan gets some special time when the older kids are still at school.  When they are all at home, one gets to push the buttons when it's his or her turn, but the others watch whatever they are doing.
Marilyn sent this fabric "fairy" panel to Grace for her birthday and I sewed it into a little wallhanging, but she much preferred to use it as a blanket.  It did not end up on her wall.
We had a few scraps left over and Grace wanted little pillows and blankies for her dolls so I taught her how to use Maureen's sewing machine.
She made all kinds of sleeping bags and little pillows
She learned quickly and worked patiently to finish each project.  
One final group picture!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bloomsday - we did it!

Anne and Duane surprised me with a great Christmas gift- a ticket to see Cirque du Soleil Varekai in Spokane on May 2nd.  So I countered with, "let's walk Bloomsday the next day.  It will be a great goal for me as my ankle continues to heal."  I've been trying to walk at least an hour every day to train for the 7.46 mile run/walk through the streets of Spokane.  And we did it!!!!
On Saturday afternoon we parked at the Arena and walked to the Convention Center through Riverfront Park.  Duane and I reminisced a bit about the l974 World's Fair held on this site.  The bridges over the river were walkways during the World's Fair. 
The Spokane River rushing over the falls.
We rushed over to this booth once we picked up our packets.  Anne intended to purchase a "see through" backpack, but they'd just sold out.  I recognized Danette Driscoll, now the Executive Director of HOPE - a school for hearing impaired.  She told Anne that she once babysat for Duane and Karen.  Our families lived in the same neighborhood in Clarkston.  What a joy to connect with her and learn that her daughter, Brooklyn, works at WSU and lives in Pullman.  
  We wasted some time in the Convention Center so rode a school bus back to the Arena just in time for the beginning of the show!
Sunday morning, my sister, Marilyn, delivered us to the beginning of the Lilac wave, near Riverside and Bernard.  Runners and Walkers are assigned "waves" depending on their predicted finishing time.  The lilac wave, 2nd to last, started in front of families with small children and strollers.  We waited almost an hour before our wave started to move.  

Anne borrowed this clear backpack for Colin, but we noticed other people with big backpacks, not following the rules.  We needed those energy bites and extra water.  It was a warm day.
Once the race began people shed their sweatshirts and pants.  The trees along Riverside were loaded with clothing that would be collected and donated to local thrift stores.

Duane told Colin that we would stop at every milepost for a picture.  
I noticed my 92-year old Aunt Maxine cheering runners near Government Way.  I had time for a brief visit and hug from them as we made our way to the cemetery and first water station.  
Top of Doomsday Hill

Colin's starting to get a little tired, but soon we saw signs for Ice Cream.
We appreciated the water, it helped cool us off!
Colin's way to showing the world that he was tired!
The joy of finishing, the time misleading because it took us an hour just to get to the starting line!
Duane's results, posted almost immediately on the Bloomsday website because of the chip imbedded in the race number bibs.  We did not get depressed about the results because we enjoyed the journey and the goal was not about finishing quickly, just finishing.  Colin delighted me with his energy and ability to keep going.  I actually fared a little better in my age group - most people my age walked/ran 17 minute miles----there's always next year, right?
And the joy of finishing!  Thank you family for helping me reach my goal.  And thank you, Marilyn, for the epsom salt foot soak after the race!