Sibling Assignment 2015.13: The Sunnyside Bike Gang #3Siblings

Since our sister Christy will be moving back to the old neighborhood soon here is the assignment:

"Share a memory of  hanging out with people from the 'hood during childhood .

Christy's story is here, and Bill's will soon be here.

My memory involves a certain summer I was in grade school.  It was upper grade school, but I can't remember what summer it was exactly, but if I was to venture a guess, it was 1974 or 1975.

Our "hood" encompassed a rather large area called "Sunnyside".  Our grade school was called Sunnyside and was on the east edge of our neighborhood.

One summer, my friend Kellee Crall and I decided to "hang out" with the Sunnyside Bike Gang.  This was a group of boys in close proximity to our age that would ride their bikes (I am talking Sting Rays, not motorcycles.)  Their hangout was the Mormon Church parking lot on Mission Avenue.

One of the endeavors this "gang" took on that summer was creating "rubber band guns" and
shooting one another with the rubber bands.
This  photo shows a gun similar to the rubber band guns that were used.  They were rather low tech.  A board, a clothes pin, and some rubber bands.  You loaded the rubber band into the clothes pin, pressed the clothes pin trigger, and off sailed the rubber band to the intended target.
I remember Kellee and I going and constructing our own rubber band guns.
I'm not sure we ever really were involved in an official rubber band gun war, but we had our weapon just in case.
If I remember correctly, some of the members of the bike gang included Richie Poulson, Mike Margason, Joe Margason, Larry Covey and Mouse Covey.  I think the Covey's were living there by this time.  There may have been others, but these are the ones I remember.
The bike gang would congregate in the church parking lot after dinner.  During the afternoon, we were all at the Kellogg City Pool spending time swimming.
Sounds like a pretty good summer to me.  Days spent swimming at the pool, stopping off at Wee Willie's store for some candy on the way home, or maybe Swansons Grocer, and then, after dinner, jumping on the bike and heading to the church parking lot for some rubber band gun action.
That is one of my fond memories of my time in the Sunnyside 'hood.


Sibling Assignment 2015.12: A Simple Presentation of Ugly-Beautiful #3Siblings

Brother Bill gave us this week's sibling assignment:
Since Carol is taking an online photography class, let's do an exercise together.  

1.  Read this article:  http://goo.gl/dGUfB0
2.  Make yourself pause, look, and see and create a well-composed picture following the instruction of Bobby Baker.  In other words, keep the picture simple.  
3.  Write a paragraph about your experience doing this. 
You can see Christy's blog post here, and Bill's is here.
I decided to combine two assignments into one, and not only tried to take a simple picture as described in the article, but I also tried to do the following:
In the spirit of elevating the ordinary, today's challenge is to find beauty in an unlikely place. Find the messy, the dirty, the discarded, the forgotten, and transform it with your lens. See it into beauty.
I enjoyed walking around my yard looking to capture "ugly-beautiful", while also making it simple by getting the things that may distract from the composition out of the frame.
Here is the photo I chose from the more than 160 photos I shot around my yard.

I took four photographs of these items, but the reason I chose this one is because I liked that the
focus was on the three upside down solar lights, and peeking from behind is the square vase with a pinecone peaking through.  There is a little bit in the background, but to me, the main focus of this photo are the three solar lights and the vase.

This photo captured the black pot with pinecones in it, and I believe this object became more if the focus.  And the object toward the back became too distracting.
 Even with just a little bit of the pinecones showing in the black pot in this shot, it was too distracting.
This shot showed a bit more of what was on the table to the left, plus the top pinecones, and it made the image too busy.
Here are more shots I took around my house to capture "ugly-beautiful".
You can find them here in my Flickr album.


Sibling Assignment 2015.11: Smoking, Fights and Grade School Memories #3Siblings

This week I gave the following assignment:

Think back to something that happened when you were a student at Sunnyside Elementary, and why you think that incident has stuck in your memory after all of these years.

Christy's will be here when she posts her assignment, and Bill will have his posted here.

All three of us attended Sunnyside Elementary for grade school.  I attended first through sixth grade there. 

I was actually talking about this particular memory with some friends a couple of weeks ago, and what an impact it made on, not only me, but our whole class at the time.

  Here is a photograph from when it was my grade school.

The incident I remember begins in fifth grade.  Toward the end of the fifth grade year, some fifth and sixth And grade students started going to the back of the playground, by the baseball backstop, and smoking cigarettes during recess.

Someone told on them, and it was rumored that it was my group of friends.

The accusers stuck up for the kids smoking, and my group of friends denied telling.  (To this day, we maintain our innocence in telling.  I'm not sure how the principal found out.  Maybe one day he looked across the playground and saw smoke billowing out of the group of students standing in a group by the baseball backstop.  I don't know!)

So a divide was made.  I remember a girl from my group of friends got in a fist fight with a girl from the "other" group.  Tensions were high, as least that is the way it seemed to my fifth grade memory.

When we returned to school the following fall, in sixth grade, more students joined us from Elk Creek School, but the lines between the two group remained the same.  We got a long better in sixth grade, but it was interesting how, as we grew older, the two groups remained separate, even on through junior high and high school.

I am not sure if the cigarette smoking had anything to do with it.  These lines may have been drawn anyway.  But I often look back at that time, and that incident, and thought it was interesting how that effected our friendships from that point on into junior high, high school, and beyond.

I think I remember this, because it created such a dynamic in our class at the time.  I think even the class above us was affected as well.

If any of you reading this were in school with me at Sunnyside during fifth or sixth grade, and remember this any differently let me know.  I would be curious to know how others looked at this incident.  One friend of mine remembers it the same way I did.  Another friend has no memory of it whatsoever.  So leave me a comment if you remember anything.


Sibling Assignment 2015.10: The Beauty of My Hometown #3Siblings

This week Christy gave us our Sibling Assignment.

When you want to surround  yourself with beauty, where do you go? Take five pictures of that place and share your thought on it's beauty.

Christy's post about "What I Will Leave Behind" is here, and Bill's post will be here soon.

I am going to share about the beauty that is right outside my front door, here in my hometown of Kellogg, Idaho.  I didn't take photos this week for the assignment, but rather I am using photos from last summer I took when I realized how much beauty was so close to my front door.

Last summer we didn't travel anywhere during the summer, so I did a series on "Vacation at Home", and took some little hikes around Kellogg that were all no more than 15 minutes from my house.

This photo was taken after walking up behind Kellogg High School.  I graduated from KHS, and now that is where I go to work each day.  It is a beautiful setting for a high school.

Down the road from KHS, by Shoshone Medical Center, there is a walking path that takes you up to the top of the hill where you get this magnificent view of Kellogg.
This is what it looks like walking up the trail from the hospital, before you get to the top.

If you walk down Bunker Avenue, past Kellogg Middle School, there is a trail along the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, to the west of the school.  This is a view of the river as you walk along the trail.

This is taken along a trail on the north side of the river.  There is a trail on both side of this river, and it is a nice walk to enjoy some beauty of the South Fork.

Kellogg is a beautiful place to live, surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes and streams.
I love the beauty of this area.

So for me, if I want to surround myself with beauty, I only have to walk out my front door.


Sibling Assignment 2015.9 The Important Thing That Has Slipped Away

After a bit of a hiatus with the sibling assignments, brother Bill assigned the following assignment:

Do you have anything in your life that you've not been doing that you used to a lot more of?  In other words, have you let something important in your life slip away -- maybe not completely, but more than you'd like in a perfect world.
Write about it -- why it matters to you, how you miss it, and how you think you'll go about getting back to it.

I am getting an early start on my blog post this week.  You will find Bill's post here, and Christy's blog post is here.
This was an easy one to pinpoint in my life.
Researching and writing a book.
That is that something in my life, something important in my life, that I have let slip away, definitely more than I would like.
I was reminded of this last Friday when I was at a Pampered Chef party.  I used to sell Pampered Chef, and one of the parties I was a consultant for was the friend who was having the party last Friday.  I met a woman at that party about 10 years ago, and she asked me if I was still working on my book.  She remembered.
I often run into people who ask me this question.  And it makes me feel like a failure. I hate that!!
The premise of my book, or actually books, is great.  It is a historical fiction novel series about the Silver Valley.  The first book has the three main characters, a mining lawyers daughter, an Italian immigrant, and a Coeur d'Alene tribal member all meeting on the lawn of the Cataldo Mission when they are all about 14 years old, in the year 1888.
The first book focuses on the girl, and her life moving from back east to Wallace, Idaho, and her life in this new mining town.  The Italian boy's family came this way, because the father was working on building the railroad.  After that job is done, his father gets a job in a local mine, as does the son, eventually. 
The book opens with the girl seeing a train full of local miners wearing hoods, and heading west toward Kellogg.  The year is 1899.  The girls sees a scar on the arm off one of the miners, and knows it is her Italian friend.  These men are heading west toward Kellogg to blow up the Bunker Hill mine mill.
This is a photograph taken of the men who were put in the "bull pen", a makeshift prison that men suspected of blowing up the Bunker Hill Mine Mill were put in to after the 1899 explosion.
Then the scene goes back to 1888, when the three friends meet on the lawn of the Cataldo Mission, and how there lives continue to intertwine, while telling the colored history of the beginning of the Coeur d'Alene Mining District, which is now known as the Silver Valley.
The second book begins with blowing up the mill, and the main character is the Italian Immigrant.  This covers the next ten years, from 1899 to 1910, the year of the largest forest fire in U.S. history, occurring right in and around Wallace, Idaho.
The final book focuses on the Coeur d'Alene tribal member, and begins with the aftermath of the fire, and goes until about 1920.
Personally, I think it is a great story, and I have done a lot of research.  But life got in the way.  I am not one of those people who are disciplined enough to write late into the night.  Especially when I was raising a family.
But, times are different now.  Paul and I are practically empty nesters.  So now, I am hoping I can take the time to get back into writing the first book.  To reacquaint myself with the girl from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the boy from Italy, and the Native American, who was born into a peaceful tribe who roamed the lands of what is now Washington, Idaho and Montana.
And, if you want to help me with this project, ask me about my book.  Talk to me about the story.  Encourage me to keep writing.  That is what will help me get this story down on paper, and one day, hopefully, get it published.



Sibling Assignment 2015.8: Martin Luther King Jr. and "Selma"

So, over a month ago, I gave the following sibling assignment:

 "Pick a movie you have watched recently, and talk about how that movie changed the way you look at the world".

The same week, my Mom fell and fractured her shoulder.  My life has been a little topsy-turvy since then.

But, today my pastor and church quoted Martin Luther King Jr., and my brother mention MLK in his daily Three Beautiful Things.

I took it as a sign to finally get this blog post written, so brother Bill can assign the next one.  Here is Bill's post about "The Last Metro" , and Christy's post about the movie "Into the Wild".

The first time I visited Washington D.C., we went on a tour of the memorials and monuments.  The last time I visited, there was an additional one added.  The memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr.

I loved reading the quotations he shared.  I think part of my fascination with MLK Jr. is the fact that many of his greatest achievements happened the year I was born, 1963.

Here are a few of the photographs I took when we visited the King's memorial.

I was moved by the words, and thought about all he did for civil rights.

A couple of months ago, I took my daughter and niece, who are both 20, to see the movie "Selma". I knew the movie was about King, but didn't know the circumstances surrounding the Selma march, and what the premise of the movie was.

All three of us were moved by the film, and what we saw. Especially the parts of violence that was released on the people who were marching by law enforcement officers.  It was so shocking.

But then I look at what is happening now in this country, and some of the same problems exists. 

This morning in church, our Pastor preached on the verses in James 2: 1-13 that say:

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,”[b] also said, “You shall not murder.”[c] If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

We are not to show favoritism toward anyone.  Jesus came to make us all equal.  To make us all of the same tribe.  As he says in Galatians 3 there is not Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free.  When we are in Christ, we are all equal.  That is one of the things Christ brought into the world.  A level playing field. 

But often, even we Christians don't get it.

MLK Jr. reminds us through his words from the past that we can be better.  We can strive to live the way Jesus died for, that we just celebrated last Easter Sunday.

We can focus more on the greatest commandment that says "Love Your Neighbor As Yourself" instead of living a life of fear of those who are not like us.  Not a part of our group.

King had a dream.  I dream, too, of a world where we live our lives guided by love, and how we can help others, instead of fear and looking out only for ourselves.

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Martin Luther King, Jr.


Sibling Assignment 2015.7: Capturing Moments #3Siblings

This week Christy gave us our Sibling Assignment for the week:

 " Write how photography has enriched your life".

Here is where my sister wrote about photography here, and my brother's post will be here.

As I look back through my life, I think photography has enriched my life by capturing moments in time that help preserve not only my history, but the history of what is going on around me.

It also helps me remember things I have done in my life.  People I have met.  Places I have visited.

I love looking at the first photograph ever taken of me.  I was five months old.  It was once explained to me that a photograph was not taken at an earlier age, because I almost died of pneumonia soon after I was born.

First photograph of me when I was five months old, being held by Mom.

I has been a record of my garden from year to year.

Healthy looking beans.


It has helped me chronicle the years of my children's lives and of our family.
Molly, Coco, and Zoe

As a reporter for our local newspaper for a few years, it helped me preserve historical images of the Silver Valley.

For me, photography isn't so much a creative medium, but a medium where I catalog memories of things that have happened to me over my life.

Sadie and Paul, Christmas 2008.

I like looking at photographs from my childhood that show what kind of things I did, and how goofy I looked at times.

I love finding photographs that I don't remember seeing before, and trying to figure out when they were taken.

I love remembering my time at the University of Idaho, my summer in San Bernardino, California, my time living in Glendive, Montana and our daughter Molly's birth.

University of Idaho graduation, May 1985.

I love looking at photographs of our time living in Meridian, Idaho, and the births of our daughters Zoe and Cosette.  The looking at photographs of their various birthday parties they had filled with the many cousins who lived close.

I love looking back at photographs of living in our first Kellogg house up on McKinley, the house that no longer exists.  Thank goodness we have photographs of that time.

I love looking at photographs of my dad with me, with my siblings, with my mom, and with my daughters.  Dad is longer here, either.  In June he will have been gone 19 years.  But the photographs help keep the memories alive.

Grandma Woolum and I.

Mrs. Price and I.  Mrs. Price came into our home and took care of me the first three years of my life.

Mom and Dad...aren't they cute?

I love looking at my wedding photographs.

I love looking at photographs of all the many pets we have owned.
Our Keeshond Peaches.

I love looking at photographs from different places we have visited, such as Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland.

Washington D.C.  This is from my second of three visits to our nation's capital.

I love looking at photographs taken at the Oregon Coast, Yellowstone Park, various places in Montana, Grand Coulee Dam, camping trips, visits to Christy and Everett's house.
Oregon Coast

I love looking at past Christmas photographs.  Some of this helps me remember the country we cooked food from.  Some of the photographs helps we remember warm, happy holiday moments.
Christmas 2008---Africa

This reminds me of the Kodak commercial from the late '70's that used the Paul Anka song "The Times of Your Life".