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.