Stories to hear, stories to tell....it's family reunion time!!

For this week's sibling assignment Raymond Pert asked Inland Empire Girl and myself what we are looking forward to when we have our reunion in Orofino.

Here is what RP is looking forward to, and IEG will write about hers after she returns home from the Twin Cities.

Growing up, Orofino was our vacation spot. Every summer we would load up the car, and drive to my mother's home town to visit Grandma West and Auntie Lila and Uncle Ted, Uncle Bob and Auntie Ronnie, Cousin Lura and Lyle, and her boys, Derrick and Mark, and Cousin John and his kids Paul, Matt and Summer.

Sometimes the Coomer cousins from Boise would be in Orofino as well. This was always fun, because they were around my age and it was fun having cousins to be with that were close to the same age.

Here are the Coomer cousins and myself.

Often the week in Orofino included playing the piano at Grandma West's house, going swimming at Zan's Beach, on the Clearwater River, enjoying lots of good food from the many gardens my relatives grew in the dark, rich volcanic soil, and one summer highlight was working at my Aunt and Uncles business, "West's Gun and Tackle Shop" for a few days.

The last time the cousins were all together.

I am looking forward to being with my West family as we gather in Orofino in a few weeks. It will be a joy to sit and visit with cousins face to face I haven't seen in decades, but have seen their face on Facebook. It will be nice to reminisce about Grandma West, and Uncle Ted, and Cousin John and Auntie Ronnie, and all the other people who have left us, and fondly remember, through our stories, the stories that will bring them to life during out brief time together, and realize once again that they were all a part in shaping who I am today.

Yes, it is the story telling I am most anticipating. Learning things I never knew. Hearing things again to remind me of memories long gone.

I also look forward to watching my mom return to her roots, and be surrounded by the family she loves, and the people who have always adored her. I look forward to her beaming all weekend long as she shares and listens to stories being told.

Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact. ---Robert McKee

This quote sums up what I am thinking about for this reunion weekend. I want to gather as much currency as I can during this time. No, RP, not from the casinos, but from the interaction with my family, and the treasures I will gain by listening to their stories.

Okay, gaining some currency at the casinos wouldn't be that bad!!


Getting Lost in the Garden

What a joy to finally get out in my yard yesterday and work in the garden.  Because of the abundance of rain over the past month, the grass in my flower beds, as well as other various weeds, had taken over.  Yesterday was my chance to tackle the grass.

I feel like I get involved in a task such as weed pulling, and time stands still.  I get lost in my task, take time to let my mind wander, and it is such a wonderful experience.  Not to mention the benefits of just being outside and watching life go on around me.

We have had some cowbirds chirping around the yard for a few weeks, and taunting the cats.  I believe they have nest around here, and, on Friday, PKR saw a baby bird in one of the trees that the other birds were protecting.  Unfortunately, they didn't protect the baby enough from Toby, the mighty three-legged hunter.  Yes, our cat Toby (who is missing one of his front legs) hunted down and captured the poor baby bird in our backyard.  It felt as if I was watching an episode of Wild Kingdom.  Of course, he felt so proud.  Poor bird.

My veggies are coming up, and I love to watch their progress.  The tomatoes are looking much better, now that they are in soil.  The radishes are bursting forth, and I see signs of peas and carrots.  Various types of lettuce are also emerging.  I'm waiting to see signs of beets, zucchini, and cilantro.

I finally got my pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds planted yesterday.  I got one little pumpkin last year, so we'll see how they do this year.

Later today I have some roses I need to plant.  I've been scouting out my yard, trying to find the best location to grow them.  I think I have found the place, but I need to get the ground ready for planting.

As I look out at the yard this morning, Toby is again being taunted by the cowbirds.  I think he is also digging up some flower seeds I planted yesterday out by the raspberries.  That cat can be so destructive in my yard.  That is why my raised beds have fencing on top of them, so he doesn't use them as one big little box.

T.C., one of our other cats, just came up to say good morning, rubbing her head on the side of the laptop. 

Off to make breakfast before we go to church this morning.  It is amazing how sunshine boosts the spirits, and energizes me for the day.

"This is the day that the Lord hath made.   I will rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24


Schools Out For Summer!!!

School is out for the year, and I'm so glad.  Z2 is going to be a junior next year, and was elected Junior Class president.

Kiki Aru completed 8th grade at KMS, and now will be a freshman at Kellogg High School. 

I head off to KHS myself.  I will no longer work at KMS, and will be at KHS all the time now.  So PKR, Z2, Kiki Aru and myself will all be at KHS next  year. 

Soon PKR and I will be immersing ourselves in the history of the 1910 fire.  We are involved in many projects this summer helping to tell the story of the very prominent event in Silver Valley history.  We are going to be doing some historical tours in Wallace, directing a melodrama, and writing and performing an historical production called "Voice of the Big Burn".  We are also going to work with some kids on some street theater stuff.  I'm really looking forward to this summer.

If you are in the Wallace area, come and see a show.  More information can be found at www.sixthstreetmelodrama.com.