Gathering Graces 10/30/2018

*It was back to teaching this morning after a f0ur day break.  It was great seeing some of my regular students again today.
*I worked on some things throughout the morning and early afternoon.  I got a little nap in before I headed up to KHS to work on some ceramic pieces.
*My projects had dried for a week, and now it was time to make them look a little better.  There was a lot of scraping involved, but they are coming along.  I can’t wait to start figuring out what glazes I want to put on them.
*I came home and made dinner.  Then got ready for tomorrow’s classes and headed off to bed.

Sibling Assignment 2018:11 Three Unexpected Surprises on My Trip To Seattle

Bill gave us this Sibling Assignment: 

I’m thinking about Christy’s recent trip to Priest Lake, Carol’s recent trip to Seattle, and my recent trip to Eugene. Let’s all describe and write about an unexpected pleasure each of us experienced on these trips. 

Bill's post about his trip to Eugene is here, and Christy's post is here.

Recently I took a trip over to Seattle.  My friend Tina had moved there last fall, and I had been wanting to take some time to visit her.  I had asked my friend Kellee to go over with me, but she was unable to go the weekend I could go.  But another friend Brenda was able to go, and we had the bonus of not only visiting Tina, but another of our KHS Class of 1981 classmates as well, Karla.

Myself, Brenda, Karla and Tina

After living all over the world as a military wife, Brenda and her husband now live in the Spokane Valley.  I drove over Friday morning and picked her up, and we drove all across the state of Washington, and reconnected.  That was the first unexpected pleasure about my trip.

Brenda and I were friends in high school, but didn’t do a whole lot of things together.  We have seen each other very sporadically over the last 37 years since we graduated from high school.  But on this trip, we spend about 10 hours with each other driving to and from Seattle, and we got to catch up.

What a fascinating life Brenda has led, living all over the United States and in Germany.  Her husband was in the Air Force, and they lived in Alaska, Mississippi, Illinois, Washington D.C., Colorado and Germany.  I am sure there were other places, but these are the ones that I remember.  The raised three daughters during this time, and now her daughters are all grown up and married, and living in different parts of the country.

Brenda is a great story teller, and she had stories from every one of the places they lived and the one thing I loved hearing, as she told her stories, was that she stayed true to who she was.  She didn’t try to be someone she wasn’t. I so appreciated that about her.

The second unexpected surprise was the beautiful area in Seattle where Tina lives, and what a wonderful life she is making for herself in Seattle.  She is a social worker and works all over the area.  She lives in the Magnolia district which is a wonderful part of Seattle.  I loved how she walked us around her new neighborhood, and that this is what she now gets to experience.  And that she gets to spend time with her oldest daughter Abby, who also lives in Seattle.  I like the changes that have happened for Tina, and I like how she is embracing her life in Seattle.

The third unexpected surprise was going the next day and spending the night with my friend Karla at her home in Lake Stevens, and meeting some of her friends.  What a beautiful home her and her husband Terry have in Lake Stevens.  And they live very close to their daughter and grandchildren, and are very active grandparents.  They seem to have a really wonderful life and I loved to hear stories of them leaving the Silver Valley, and starting their life in the Seattle area and the different places and things they did, and where they are now.

My unexpected surprised all centered around reconnections with people, and hearing their stories.  I loved hearing each and every story Brenda, Tina and Karla had to share about their lives they live now, and the lives they lived that brought them to this point in their life.  Stories are so wonderful. I feel like I draw closer to people when they share with me their stories.  It helps me understand them.  It adds to the person I am becoming as well.

And the four of us were able to create our own story and memory that weekend, and I hope we have more stories and memories together in the future.

SIbling Assignment 2018.10: Getting To Know Mom Through Another Lens

Christy gave us this sibling assignment:  " We are approaching the one year anniversary of Mom's Celebration of Life. Reflect on life with our mother."
You can find Christy’s tribute here, and Bill’s tribute here.

Getting To Know Mom Through Another Lens
I feel like I really didn’t see Mom for who she really was until I was an adult.
Is this typical?
Mom was mom.  It was almost as if I didn’t notice her personal qualities.  Her characteristics.  Her passions.  Her personality.
I think the first time I was surprised by Mom doing something was after my first daughter Molly was born.  All of a sudden, Mom is being playful and rolling around on the floor, trying to get Molly to roll over.  I don’t think I had ever noticed this playful side of Mom before.
When we moved back to Kellogg 18 years ago, I feel like I learned a lot about Mom through other people’s eyes.  When I would be out and about in the community, people would always ask about Mom, and how she was doing.  She had just finished up chemotherapy for breast cancer, and was also doing radiation at the time we moved back here, so people were concerned about her.
People would share with me stories about Mom.  They shared how they loved her sense of humor.  They shared how she was one of their favorite teachers.  They shared about the fun they had with her when they attended an event together.
The stories went on and on.  And I started seeing Mom in a different light.  I started seeing these qualities in Mom for myself.  I started enjoying her sense of humor.  I started enjoying going to events with her.  I learned all kinds of things from my mom.
I am fortunate to have lived in the same town as Mom for the last 17 years of her life.  I am glad my daughters were able to spend time with her as well.  They all hold special memories they spent with Grandma Mary.
This experience has made me more conscious of sharing my love of people with their family members.  Often we see people through a different lens than family members do, and sharing our love and joy of their loved one may help them see them in a different light, and strengthen that bond.
Because that is what happened to me….over and over and over again.


Sibling Assignment 2018.9 I Spent Homecoming at Home....Throwing Up

Bill gave us this Sibling Assignment:  When we were in high school, we had Homecoming every fall. Write about something you recall about one of your three high school homecomings whether it’s a football game, a dance, a pep rally/bonfire, or anything else.

You can find Christy's post here and Bill's post is here.

This is the KHS Pep Band my senior year in high school.  I should have played in the pep band during the Homecoming Game, and marched in the Marching Band during the Homecoming Game my senior year in high school.  But I didn't, because I was home sick....throwing up.

The Homecoming I remember most is the one I didn’t attend.  It was the homecoming game my senior year.  I didn’t attend because I was sick.

I was a busy girl my senior year.  I was Pep Club President, which meant I was in charge of a lot of activities during homecoming week.  I was in Pep Band.  I was a student council officer.  I was a National Honor Society officer.  I was working on a piece or two for Drama competition, and was probably in the fall play as well. 

I was not getting along with the boy who I had been dating since spring of our sophomore year , and that relationship would soon come to an end.

And the day of homecoming, I had to stay home from school.  Because I had started throwing up.

This wasn’t the first time.  The first time was during my junior year in high school.  It wouldn’t happen a lot, but every so often I would have about a 24 hour period where I would throw up.  The only relief I would get from it was sitting in a warm bath with a washcloth on my stomach.

I remember the summer between my junior and senior year, I think I went to the doctor.  There was nothing conclusive determined about my symptoms.

At one point, I thought I was having an adverse reaction to pork, because this happened one time after having a meal of pork chops.  But I don’t think that was the cause.

Looking back now on my junior and senior year in high school, I believe I was dealing with anxiety, and this was the way my body was reacting to the anxiety in my life.

I didn’t have panic attacks.  I don’t remember feeling anxious necessarily.  Instead, my body’s reaction to the multiple things going on in my life was throwing up.

And that is how I spent my day and night when the Kellogg Wildcats played their homecoming football game in the fall of 1980.  I was home in a nice warm bathtub, trying to relax and keep myself from throwing up.

We didn’t talk as much about anxiety and depression back when I was in high school.  I am sure many of us were dealing with things, but I don’t think we knew what it was.  I remember one of my friends sharing how every day after school she would go home and need to nap.  She believes this was a result of a type of depression she was experiencing.

I am not sure I ever had another bout of anxiety induced vomiting after homecoming night.  But I think some of the things causing my anxiety went away that fall.  But it wasn’t until later in life that I realized what may have been the actual cause of those bouts of throwing up during my years in high school.

Gathering Graces 10/29/2018

*Stephanie and I woke up in Havre and were on our way home by about 8:30 a.m.  This route was a bit more scenic than our drive the night before.  I loved capturing some of the beautiful cloud formations on our way home. As we left Havre, we traveled through Box Elder, Big Sandy, Loma, Fort Benton (the beginning of the Mullan Road), Carter, Floweree, Great Falls, Vaughn, Sun River, Simms, Lincoln, Ovando, and on into Missoula.  We had a quick stop in Missoula, then we drove through more familiar towns, including Frenchtown, Alberton, Superior, St. Regis, De Borgia, Haugen, Saltese, then on into Idaho, through Mullan, Wallace, Silverton, Osburn then home to Kellogg.

*The weather was pretty good the whole trip home.  We did hit a little bit of snow on top of Lookout Pass.

Snow on Lookout Pass
*The last five days proved to be a wonderful adventure, spending time with my dear friend Stephanie, and loving the beauty of the great state of Montana. 

Homeward Bound!!
*Stephanie dropped me off at home around 3 p.m. This gave me about 45 minutes or so to see Zoe and visit with her before Christy picked her up to take her to the airport to fly back to Boise.  I am glad I got to see her a bit before she left.
*Paul arrived home in time for me to say hello, have a quick dinner together, then he was off to play practice.
*Later, Cosette and Taylor arrived, reading to tackle their big painting job in Coeur d’Alene again this week.  It was nice to see them, and visit with Cosette.
*I have loved all my adventures this fall, but it is really good to be home!! 


Gathering Graces 10/28/2018

*When I arrived in Glendive in 1985 I started attending the Glendive Evangelical Church.  My first year there I started helping out with the high school and middle school youth group.  After Paul and I were married in the summer of 1986 we both continued working with the youth.  As the church grew, there was a need for a Associate Pastor, and Paul was hired to be the associate pastor at the church, and held that position until we left in the spring of 1991.  Part of his role as associate pastor was youth pastor as well.
*Stephanie and I attended church service this morning at Glendive Evangelical Church.  The last time I was in this building was wither 1998 or 1999 (I still can’t remember what summer that was we took that trip.)  The outside of the building looks very much the same, as does the inside.  But the thing I found the most amazing and comforting were all the familiar faces and names.  As I walked into the sanctuary, started seeing people who attended that church almost 30 years ago.  When I looked at the bulletin, I saw people who attended this church 30 years ago.  Once I remembered who a person was, I would go up to them and say, “You may not remember but....” and then their was recognition.  It was great seeing you and your mom Heather Eaton McIntyre!!  With all the changes that happen in life over almost 30 years, it is comforting to know that many of the congregation remains the same. 
*When I worked at DCC, I helped hire the secretary for the Financial Aid/Admission’s office.  Her name was Jolene Myers.  Jolene and I have stayed in contact through Christmas cards and letters throughout the years.  I found her phone number and gave her a call, and we got together for lunch today.  What a wonderful time of catching up, and it was as if no time had passed since the last time I saw her.  I loved hearing about her family and what her and her husband Dean are doing, and it was a wonderful time.
*She dropped me off at Jamie and Liz’s house, and Stephanie and I got ready to hit the road.  We hugged and said our goodbyes to the girls, and headed out.  We thought we would take an alternate route and drive the Montana Hi-Line on the way home.  Stephanie drove north on Highway 200 through Circle, then north to Highway 2 and made our way through Wolf Point, Frazer, Nashua, Glasgow, Saco and Malta.  (When I was recruiting for DCC, Malta was usually the end of the line for high schools I would visit for recruiting students on Highway 2).  Once through Malta, we made it Dodson, Fort Belknap Agency, Harlem, Zurich, Chinook, then on into Havre, where we would be spending the night. The scenery stays pretty much the same throughout the whole drive....miles and miles of fields.  Here is a snapshot of what we say most of the trip.

Montana State Highway 2...the Hi-Line.


Gathering Graces 10/27/2018

*Another fun-filled day in Glendive.  Stephanie and I met Jamie and Liz at the Bloom Coffee Shop this morning for coffee and tea.  If I still lived here, I think I could see myself spending a lot of time at this spot.
*At noon I met three wonderful women for lunch, Paula Schlepp Frank, Jen Hawkinson and Kerry O'Connor Burman.  These three women were part of the youth group Paul and I were leaders of when we lived here at the Glendive Evangelical Church.  All three live here in Glendive, and we have kept touch over the years here on Facebook, so it was wonderful to see them and find out what is going on in their lives.  What a wonderful little reunion with these beautiful women.  Each makes a positive impact on their families and their community in their own special way.  Thanks for a great lunch girls!!!
*After lunch Stephanie, Jamie, Liz and I headed east to North Dakota to drive through the Teddy Roosevelt National Park.  We had the pleasure of seeing prairie dogs in their little prairie dogs towns, some buffalo and some deer.  We also saw a group of feral horses in a grove of trees that run wild in the park.

Prairie Dogs in Prairie Dog Town
"Prairie-dogs are abundant...; they are in shape like little woodchucks, and are the most noisy and inquisitive animals imaginable. They are never found singly, but always in towns of several hundred inhabitants; and these towns are found in all kinds of places where the country is flat and treeless."   ~Theodore Roosevelt
Where the Buffalo Roam
"The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world."   ~Theodore Roosevelt
Mule Deer
"...lands, where the ground is roughest, and where there is some cover, even though scattered and scanty, are the best places to find the black-tail [mule deer]." ~Theodore Roosevelt
*We were in the park as the sun was setting, and I can’t even begin to describe the light covering the badlands.  And the photos, unfortunately, do not do the beauty justice.  But here are a few shots.

Sunlight on the badlands.
"There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm."   ~Theodore Roosevelt
Badlands at sunset.
"Nothing could be more lonely and nothing more beautiful than the view at nightfall across the prairies to these huge hill masses, when the lengthening shadows had at last merged into one and the faint after-glow of the red sunset filled the west." ~Theodore Roosevelt
Badlands Overlook.
"While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life."  ~Theodore Roosevelt

Group photo overlooking the beautiful badlands.
"It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one's sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature."  ~Theodore Roosevelt


Gathering Graces 10/26/2018

*It was a very slow morning, sleeping in, having some coffee and eventually getting going our of our hotel room.  But was a nice feeling to have such a slow-paced morning.
*We drove up to my first place of employment after college, Dawson Community College.  I was hired there as the Director of Admissions and Public Relations.  We met Jamie and Liz and their friend Janelle Olberding.  Liz works at DCC as an coding instructor.  Janelle is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations, part of the job I used to do.  Janelle’s maiden name is Scheffelmaier, and her parents own Scheffelmaier Meats in the Rose Lake area.  She also did her student teaching at Kellogg High School.  Jamie and Liz have become very good friends with Janelle, and she was a delight to meet.

Janelle and I

*We ate lunch in the Student Center, and then met one of the Enrollment Specialists, and she introduced us to the college’s president, Scott Mickelson.  I shared with him about my time at DCC, and he was very complimentary to Stephanie about the work Jamie does with the seniors at the high school.  He also has Idaho roots.  He grew up in Southeastern Idaho.
*Then Janelle gave us a tour of the campus.  Some things looked the same.  Some things looked different.  It was fun seeing my former office, and walk around and talk about my job, and what the school was like when I was there.  It was a wonderful trip down memory lane.
*Jamie joined us for the afternoon, and we went to the cutest coffee shop in Glendive called Bloom.  It is connected to the greenhouse in town, and was just delightful.  And it had really good coffee, too!!
*Then I had a list of places I wanted to go to take pictures of, that were places I had spent time at, or had special meaning.  Here I am in front of the two places we lived while in Glendive.  If you have ever heard out “bat stories”, these are the two locations where we had issues with bats.

My very first apartment.  I lived on the second floor.  Paul and I lived here when we first got married.

Our first home.  We lived here when Molly was born.

*Later in the afternoon we drove out to Makoshika State Park.  We walked around a bit, and went through the Visitor’s Center.  As we were leaving Glendive in the early 1990’s, they were just discovering dinosaur bones in Makoshika State Park.  So now there is a lot of information about Dinosaurs and the digs they have been doing near Glendive.  It is really fascinating.  We also drove out to KGLE, my second job in Glendive, when I worked as a radio announcer.

Replica of a dinosaur skull found in Mikoshika State Park.

My second job in Glendive was as a Radio Announcer at KGLE Radio Station.

*Jamie and Liz took us to the Gust Hauf for dinner, then we went back to DCC and joined Janelle and her husband and daughter to participate in the DCC Haunted Trail, a fund-raiser for the softball and baseball teams at the college.  It actually was very well done and pretty fun!!

Before walking the DCC Haunted Trail.  Will we survive???

We survived the Haunted Trail....Whew!!