Treking in the woods.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 2 of a Blast into the past.

Here we are close to the end of the second day of our walk through our past. I am not sure how I want to start this story. Some of the things we used to do as kids all revolve around where we lived, who we visited, how we played and what our parents did. Our first trek of the day took us to find where Loren and Louise Partin lived. I was very hopeful when we started out that I could find the place where we turned off of Hwy. 30. To my surprise I found it we made our way south to the end of the road and turned west for a couple of miles. I had the uneasy feeling I was going the wrong way so a three point turn later sent us back to the nearest corner and off in the right direction again. About 5 miles later we found the long lane the house on. The wonderful right block wall the once bordered the house on three sides is crumbling. The huge row of lilac bushes was now only one. The grounds are run down and unkempt and much much smaller. Isn't it funny how things seem to shrink as we get older. Okay so we turned around from there and made our way back to Hwy. 30. We decided the house was located about 7 miles from the highway. Now that we were back on the Hwy 30 we turned west again to Hwy 93. Several miles down the road we turned east on the road that would take us to the Ralph Ward place and where many many early memories were formed. The house is gone but the garage is still barely standing. We all have some very warm memories of that place. Mom and Dad were happy and we all said we loved it out there. One of the things I remember was going with Mom to the burn barrel. As she was starting the fire and putting the trash in I stood leaning again the light pole bumping a brown purex bottle with my heel. Well as you can guess it broke and I cut my heel requiring seven stitches. Carol remembers the strawberry patch, when Red and his partner drilled a new well in our front yard, the old wooden hay wagon we all used to play on. Connie was still really little when we lived out there so she does not remember the place at all. We did a turn around the place and headed back down the lane and on to the next location. Back on the road and straight across the highway and further west to where Loren and Louise lived for the longest period of time. Connie remembers that place much better. We used to pick asparagus out there, made ice cream, played hide and seek with the Partin boys, Nick and Mike. I met Richard out there when he lived there helping haul hay and work the farm with Loren. Mom and Dad were still happy. By this time in our lives we had moved closer to town on the 4 lane highway.
From there we headed back north on a gravel road to go by the place that Jerry and Pauline Kruse lived as well as their 3 boys, Rick, Randy and Rex. Jerry farmed and raised Berkshire Pigs. They also had a couple of big dogs, St. Bernards one that I remember was named Pal. He was a big old lolly dog that would rather lick you to death than hurt anyone. We drove past the place then made our way back east to Hwy 94 and further south to Hollister. Carol, Teri and I went to the school there. We drove up there to the school and once again I remember it was much bigger. From the school we made our way east again to our old swimming hole, Nat Soo Pah. We all have very fond memories of the beautiful teal blue pool and it's total surrounded pool. There is still a large fence covered by ivy that surround the place and now it costs to even spend the day in the park. Mom would fix a meal of fried chicken, potato salad, and some sort of goody. They would turn us loose in the pool and check occasionally on us. There were always life guards on duty so we were very safe. From there we went further south to Rogerson and off the road to the east and the South Hills to the favorite haunts of many camping trips and wading in the creek. We drove on this long dirt road hoping I could bring from memory or just sheer luck how to hopefully get to where we used to camp. After a quick game of eneey meeny miney moe we took the road to the right. It did not take me to long to decide it just felt wrong. Okay so after a 5 point turn, afraid to go to close to the edge of the road and get into something soft I got turned around and headed back the way we had come. A couple of miles down the road on the left began to feel familiar. Soon I knew we were going in the right direction. I took my car into places I probably shouldn't have. Meaning I drug in a place or two. Probably put scratches in the finish but it was all worth it. The first place was not it, it was not where we camped. Okay onward we went. I am not sure what the direction was because I have this directional challenge. I can get lost walking through an airport. LOL! We found another spot after I had passed a bunch others and with some walking around and really looking we came to the conclusion that yes this was it. This was the place we camped once or twice in our childhood. One of the last times we went as a family Richard went with us. He made us a bed on the ground by cutting pine boughs and laying our sleeping bags on top of them. We had bacon, eggs and fried potatoes for breakfast, played for hours in the creek, roasted marshmallows over the fire at night and slept under the stars on a bed of pine boughs.
We headed back to the main road and began singing just like we used to when we drove the many miles we did as kids with our parents in the car. The songs we sang were from various aspects of our up bringing. Church songs, church camp songs, songs from school and wishing all the while Lucy was with us singing laughing teasing and helping us remember the words to the song about a Billabong. It took us clear the hotel and a nap to remember it was Waltzing Matilda.
Anyway back to our adventure, we got back to the main highway and went back into Rogerson and decided to have lunch at the little cafe. The gal who runs the place was not there but it was being manned by her Mom. A little old lady that could barely see over the counter. I was first to order and wanted a chicken club sandwich and was told she had none, okay so I will have a cheese burger with home cut fries, Carol was next and ordered the Tuesday special, tacos, well she did not make tacos so she ordered the cheese burger with tots, Connie ordered the cheese burger with tots. Teri was still feeling full from her breakfast so she was content with a glass of ice water. We finished our lunch and headed back into to town. Once we got there we drove by the house on Martin street and on Filer Ave. We attempted to go by the house where Stan and Joanne Owens lived. Unfortunately we could not get close due to the road construction in the area.
We dropped Teri off at her apartment and came back to the hotel. We have all had a long day and needed a nap. We decided to stay in the room and order something we could eat in our room.
Carol read the blog that Lucy had written and cried through it. I feel the same way. We all miss Lucy being with us and wished with all our hearts that it was different. Lucy was never afforded the memories that the rest of us were. She was so young when Mom and Dad spilt and she went to live on the Alsea River. I hope that in the years that she has had with us in and out of Oregon have afforded her many happy memories of us sisters. Losing a parent was hard on all of us in many different ways. I not only lost Dad in death but in life for over 20 years when he allowed Margaret, his wife, to keep us out of his life. I spent many years extremely mad at him for doing that and at Mom for leaving him in the first place. There is always that what if that comes when no answers present themselves. I have prayed, I have railed, I have cried rivers of tears and wished upon stars. I have even doubted that God loved me enough to make the pain go away. Remarkably with time with prayer and the love of my sisters and my mom I was able to come to grips with the way I felt about Dads leaving us. I hope that one day Lucy can find the peace of mind and heart that I have. Life is good and far to short to worry over. We love Lucy with all our hearts and miss her with every breath we take. We will all do this again before a whole lot of time passes. Until tomorrow I will say good night and on to day 3.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blast to the past!

Well, Teri, Carol, Connie and I are in Twin Falls going slowly through our years growing up here. It feels very strange to be here staying not just driving through. We miss our little Sis, Lucy, who is unable to join us due to a sudden illness. This has been of the smartest thing we have ever done. We have driven all over the valley remembering things like where we used to visit our Aunt Helen and Uncle John. Their old log home still stands. That is amazing in itself. The rock wall of the old nursing home where our Grandma Grape lived for a time and married her last husband Jim Lynch. The arch and rock wall around the whole of the property is very impressive. The home has long ago been torn down. We drove down to the Shoshone Falls which is an impressive site even though the water is not running very high. We strolled through the City Park and enjoyed the warm sun the monuments placed around the park and just being together and outside.
Tomorrow we plan to drive out to Nat Soo Pah our favorite swimming hole when we were young. We will continue to the South Hills and visit our favorite camping area. We spent many happy hours playing in the water, climbing the hills and eating wonderful food prepared outside. That seems to make it all taste better. Over the next few days we will make our way all over the town and see all the old familiar places.
Our favorite thing so far was having some time to visit with our cousin Doris Wise McCoy. Doris lives in Spring Creek and it had been a good number of years since we have had the opportunity to get reacquainted with each other. We did not spend nearly enough time together so hopefully we can make it again before the end of the week.
On to last for the day but certainly not least. We drove down a country road and spotted some growing asparagus. We got so into this special find we picked enough to make two meals with. It is hard to believe we spend almost $7 bucks a bundle for it. Connie did not remember hunting for the wonderful green veggie so it was a real treat for her.
Well it is time to put this away for the night and get some sleep. We will have a busy day tomorrow and I need some sleep. Good night all.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tickling ones funny bone!

Having Jason home is always a walk through funny bone land. He has some of the greatest stories and tells them with such relish it cracks me up.
We were talking about the various shooting that have happened around Boise over the years. This lead to our own various experiences with guns and ammo. Richard and I joined a shooting team some years ago. I was never very accurate but I did enjoy it. I think the most memorable thing that happened to me was when I shot a hole in the ceiling of the range building. Ya I know I am suppose to aim down range but I was being so careful bringing the gun slowly down that it took me a little to long and I squeezed one off into the ceiling. Richard laughed and gave me the lecture to not put my finger on the trigger until I was ready to pull it. Like I said I was never a very good shot.
Jason was telling us about the time when he and Christy were first dating and he decided to try out her Dad, Tom's, shot gun. He shot it off a couple of times but wanted to see the pattern it left. He saw an old parted out Suburban out on the side of a hill and decided to put it out of it misery. He pulled off a shot and was astounded to see no pattern so he shot again. When he went to see what was going with the ammo he discovered it was not shot that was loaded in the shot gun it was loaded with slugs. One of the shots went through the side, the frame, the wheel, and various other parts but probably the most impressive was the 1 inch hole he put through the side of an aluminium ladder her dad had stored in the back. Jason was very greatful to the fact that he was out on patrol with the Coast Gaurd when Tom got back to town. Tom kept the ladder and Jason had to use it last summer in Minnesota when he help roof the carriage house at the home of Tom.
Richard and I used to hunt when we were much younger. One of our last trips into the hills to the south of Twin Falls, Idaho I had my first experience with Richards Weatherby 270 rifle. We did not have a lot of luck early in the hunt but finally came upon a small herd. Richard got off a shot and one went down. We trappsed up the hill and started to take care of business. I got to hold binoculars, the rifle in addition to the equipment I already had with me. I did not want to stand and watch the gutting process so I made my way around the hill. Right around the small hill was the rest of the herd the one down came from. Okay I could either walk away or take a shot. I swung a rifle over my shoulder and looked through the scope. All I could see was hair so I took the shot. It was Richards rifle and I had never shot it before I was so surprised when it went off and bucked a bit more than the Remington 30 30 I was carrying. The noise surprised Richard and he came running. I gratefully did not hit anything and decided right then and there I did not want to shoot his rifle again. It is 30 years later and no I have never used it again.
When we were kids Dad used to go rabbit hunting with Loren and Louise Partin. I always wanted to be old enough to ride in the back of the old black pickup that they used to drive through the sage brush in the dark flushing out the multitude of jack rabbits that were abundant in those days. I loved the feeling of rushing through the dark in the warm air and watching the lights bounce across the sage brush coverd ground. I really don't remember the sound of the guns going off and I was never scared.
The year before Richard and I got married he asked me to go with him on a Saturday when he hunted for deer in the South Hills. We drove around much of the day with out seeing much. It was so cold and rainy I just could not get into being cold and wet. We came upon my parents and the Partin clan standing around a fire in the rain. I glanced to my right when I heard Loren hollar that he needed help. My Dad and Richard went up the hill to help him down. On the way down I noticed he had his artifical leg under his arm with the boot pointed out. Several other cars of people had to stop and look at this man with a boot encrusted leg pointing out toward them. Loren flopped that leg down across the hood of the pickup so he could fix the strap that had broken. The looks were priceless seeing a leg under an arm.
Life was fun, times were good, it moved way to fast but I would not change one thing about it. Thanks to all my sisters for who they are. To my big sis who seems to have a hard time reading what I write without getting emotional. Thank you for pulling the teeth of the big gray thing with green and orange strips and spider web design on it's back. I can always count on you!
To my littlest sis for writing things that are so much fun and can make me laugh and cry all at the same time.
To Connie the peace maker, chief cook and bottle washer. You are all my heros and I am the luckiest sister in the whole world. I have traveled many memories with all of you and I look forward to traveling even more. Thanks for the memories.

Monday, April 12, 2010

School! Who ever said you could always go to school?

I recently had the opportunity to go to a Coast Guard Auxiliary school in Joliet, Ill. It was a great class and I learned a lot about data entry into AUXDATA! I met lots of people from all over the country. I enjoyed all the conversation and hearing about other auxiliarists families and auxiliary lives. There are a lot of varied ages and personalities. I was really happy to see a very large group of younger people.
Jason and Samuel came to pick me up in Joliet, from their home in St. Charles, Minnesota. The trip thru the Chicago area was quite a trip. The traffic was what I would call thick for a Sunday and Ja was running low on gas. We finally got rid of the heavy traffic, got out of the construction and found a gas station. When we stopped for gas we all climbed out of the pickup. I went inside to use the restroom and Jason filled the gas tank. We all climbed back in and took off once again. Jason figured the gas milage and asked how much it cost. I told him "I don't know I thougt you used your card". He said "I don't have a card", "Didn't you pay for it?" We both said oh no we are a drive away. We turned around as quick as we could and went back. When I got up to the counter after a long line I told the gal what had happened and she was very grateful we were so honest. Honesty is the best policy after all. What kind of example would be set for a teenager if we just kept driving. We took we paid for it. The rest of the trip was very uneventful. It was nice to get to St. Charles.
I am now in Minnesota at my son's house and getting ready to go to Nebraska to finish up my Dads estate. I do not look forward to this chore as it makes it all to real. I pray it will all go easy and uneventful.
My husband has been mopping around about being alone. The other day he was asking me about a shrimp salad that I made last week. I told him to just throw it away but he thought he might try it out. I told him if he wanted me to find him on the floor dead when I get home to go ahead but Iwould not feel sorry for him. He is such a goof ball. He keeps texting me as he is spending so much time with just the cat and dog to talk to. Sadly to say the do not answer very well. By the time I get home I may need to peel him off the ceiling.
I am waiting anxiously for the weather to feel like it is spring time and warm enough and dry enough to dig the garden and plant some flowers. We are going to re do the front lawn. New grass, sprinkler system, new landscape. We are taking out the pine trees, the abrovita and who knows what else.
It is exciting to know that soon my front yard will look brand new and fresh and beautiful. I will have to get before and after pictures so I can post them.
Good night to all and smooth sailing to all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring! Who said it was sprin?

I think it should be illegal to predict snow in April. If I thought it would do any good I would string up the weather man and throw snow balls at him or her!
Things are good at this house. My annual cardiac visit was good. BP was right where it should be, my EKG was as normal as they get, and if all goes well my blood test will be a okay also.
I have to relay to you the most unique way I have ever seen to have a baby tooth pulled. Richard and I stopped over at Erin's to have coffee and say Hi! It was Wednesday morning and the girls were home on spring break. I had enjoyed my first cup of coffee and much laughter and conversation when the call of nature came in loud and clear. For any of you who are grandparents you know that when Grandkids are around you can not go to the bathroom by yourself. Lainey followed me in to the bathroom and I had just sat down when Isabelle joined us and was giving Lainey a bad time about her very loose front tooth. Izzy kept telling her just let Grandma pull it. Believe I had tried a few days before but Lainey was having no part of it. She finally said okay "Grandma you can feel it but don't pull on it", I took hold of this tooth between my left thumb and index finger and applied a small amount of preassure. I felt it give a bit, Lainey did to. She grabbed my hand with both of hers so I would not pull anymore, I kept hold of it and applied slight down ward pull with just my fingers, Isabelle who was standing there incouraging her all this time took matters into her own hands. She put the heal of her hand very quickly on Laniey's forhead and pushed her head back ward. Needless to say the tooth remained stationary in my fingers and the mouth left the tooth. Not the other way round. It was the funniest thing I have ever been apart of. And yes I was still sitting on the pot waiting to get a second or two to my self to complete my task. I thought Isabelle was going split her pants with laughter. She pulled her sister tooth and never touched the tooth. I little while ago Isabelle came to me and told me Lainey had another tooth that was really loose. Needless to say Lainey avoided opening her mouth any where near me for the time she was here. Too funny!!!!!!!
I am getting ready to head to Joilet Ill for a Coast Guard Auxiliary class for three days. After I get the class done my son Jason will pick me up and take me to his house for a day or two. We will meet Carol and Cecil at Dads house on Tuesday or so. Then comes the task of getting it cleaned out and divided up. I do not relish this task for several reasons. It feels like such an invasion of Dads life, and it makes it all to real that he is really gone just not being a part of our lives. I wonder how easy it would have been if he had never come back in our lives. I am so very glad for the past 10 years that we had with him, a few regrets in that I should have been more forceful about making him move out to Idaho, I knew he was not as strong in the last 4 years after his bile duct ailment got him down. He never really got back from it. I think if we had all ganged up on him he would of had to give in and come here. I was selfish not wanting him to live with me. I was thinking he would live for a long time more when in my heart I was really sure his years were very very short. He was worried about losing his independence but not considering what we could have given him instead. I suppose filling my heart with regret is counter productive so I will go to the positive in all of this and that is the family reunited and so much closer than once was. I am looking forward to spending a week with my Sisters in our home town. Walking down memory lane, laughing, eating, loving and sharing good times.
I am a lucky woman to have sisters that are such a joy in my life, to have a Mom that is still living but getting frailer as each day passes, a husband who loves me with no question, two wonderful children both of whom I am so very proud, 4 Grandkids that bring me more joy than I deserve to have in my life,nieces and nephews and their kids, 3 quilting friends that listen to me every week about life and its ups and downs, the friends a bowl with, the dear friends I boat with. Oh man my life is full of the love of family and friends. I am truly blessed.