Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

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

Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017 Kopczynski Reunion

Kyle Mills, a photographer for the local Lewiston Tribune, wrote an article about his impending move to Colorado in today's paper.  I really like the quote he used at the end of his story:
      "Birth certificates show that you were born, death certificates show that you died.
       Photographs show that you really lived."

And lived we did all week at Zeke and AnnMarie's lovely vacation home on Payette Lake in McCall. The Kopczynski's have always treasured pictures and their were guys with great cameras trying to capture all the precious moments of our week together.  I'm guessing Larry, Duane, and Don each took about 2,000 photos.  I uploaded many of Duane's photos for this blog post, and also some from my friends on Instagram.

Karen Stubbs made decorated personalized mugs for each of us, along with the welcome note.  Personal nameplates decorated every door in all three cabins and a laminated one for Larry's family tent.  The 90 degree days provided great opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming, and tubing!

The children impressed this grandma with their courage and skill as they maneuvered the paddle boards in the water, made rough by the number of boats enjoying the lake all week.  The children, 11 of them, always the center of attention, ranged in age from 3 - 12.  They enjoyed each other and Grandma Marilyn commented that she didn't hear any complaining or tattling all week.  Mom Jamie said her boys never once asked for screen time!  What a gift to be outdoors every day!
The kids loved face painting - themselves and others! 

 Time for Rock Painting

                                And blowing bubbles

Riding trikes and getting wet on the deck!

And swinging!!!
There was time for a kid hike to Josephine Lake

And a trip to Ice Cream Alley

Time for serious discussions - maybe about a wedding or the challenges of teaching school
Time for birthday celebrations
And touching toasts to Dena
And Bradleigh for her approaching 21st birthday
Time for the "middles" to celebrate Jeremy's birthday at the Shore Lodge
A time for cupcakes

Time for pinatas
And gathering the candy from the pinatas!
Even a little time to study for the next test to become a financial advisor!
Larry had time to make his famous jerky
And these guys had some special male bonding time around the Traeger!
A time to act silly
A time to watch the older kids, and to snuggle with Grandma!
And wear Grandpa out with all the practice walking!
A time for fireworks

There was lots of time for smiles and laughter!

A time to reflect at the end of the day!

And, now I reflect on the gift of this week.  And, what I want to say to all who might read this, "do you know how blessed we are to have enjoyed this special place and relaxed time that we had with each other?"  Again, made possible by Zeke and AnnMarie's generosity and vision.  You created, planned, and endured the chaos, so we could just be together!  Borrowing John O"Donohue's words I'd like to offer a big thanksgiving to Zeke and AnnMarie.  

"May the shelter and nourishment of all the good you have done, the love you have shown, the suffering you have carried, awaken around you to bless your life a thousand times."

All the photographs show how we lived the week.  Now it's time to reflect on all the treasures hidden in our hearts as we recall the tender moments of love and concern.  And to once again smile when we recall the funny and hilarious moments.  Perhaps John O'Donohue was spot on when he wrote:

May the angel of memory surprise you in bleak times with new gifts from the harvest of your vanished days.

None of us want to imagine the harvest of our vanished days, but it happens and I recall how our Dad used to sit for hours looking through the scrapbooks and photo albums that Mom put together.  Those books became angels of memory that brought surprise and joy to him.  Maybe that's why I write this blog - to one day give me the surprise of my life, lived with love, joy, and hope!