Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Love Stories

A member of the Lovestead herd is gone.

Lily is beyond sad. 

She whinnied last night, and she was whinnying early this morning.  

When I went out to take her to pasture, she was still whinnying  while walking the barnyard and looking longingly every direction.

Maybe that next vehicle coming down the road will bring him back into the driveway.

Maybe he's still down in the pasture, and Mom forgot to lead him down the lane last night. 

Maybe . . . .

Who knows for sure Lily's specific thoughts, but it's very obvious she misses her beloved CB.

Happily, it's not a completely sad story, although there's no 'splaining that to heart-broken Lily. 

CB left in the horse trailer yesterday to spend some schooling time over at my sisters'.

When I saw him last night in the same stall where he first stayed after coming to his first quarters in Sandpoint as a weanling foal, CB seemed perfectly happy, 'cept maybe when Miss Maizie would reach over the stall wall and nip at him. 

With all those horses at Tibbs Arabians, I doubt he'll have time to miss his adopted mom, Lily, but over here, she's taking the separation pretty hard. 

It's always amazing to get a firsthand look into the genuine emotions of animals.  We often discount much of what's going on in their minds. 

Times like last night and this morning hearing the continual sad whinnies outside remind us that their hearts and souls are every bit as fragile as ours. 

With time, Lily will let it go that CB is gone, but for now, I feel heartbroken for her. And, when he returns, the emotions of pure equine will be supreme. 

I'll try to tell Lily she has happy times ahead.   

In other news here at the Lovestead, another lawm mowing is almost in the book.  

Just one patch remains to be cut this morning, and hopefully, the dry weather of August will keep the grass from growing too much and stretch the time between mowings. 

It's a dirty job from now on with late summer leaf drops from our deciduous trees.  Doesn't take much urging from slight breezes fro them to drop. 

Plus, with dryness comes dust, so I won't mind less time spent on the mower. 

While I finished up my mowing in the late afternoon and early evening, Bill and Annie headed to Upper Pack River with their fly rods. 

Annie reported catching and releasing her most fish ever during their outing (20-25).  

Twas a great night for Dad and daughter. 

Yesterday after dropping off some grain for CB at my sisters', I was driving south on our road when I spotted some peeps walking quite a ways down the road.

While approaching them, still from a distance, I could see a carriage so I thought it might be the couple from North Kootenai Road who often walk our road with their baby carriage. 

Even closer, I thought they had brought their dog with them. 

Suddenly, some recognition:  that dog and another which appeared were Border Collies. 

Twas Willie and Debbie, who had walked from their temporary home to our house----with the grandpuppies.

These days, Queen Brooke has some difficulties walking very far, so, now she can go with Mom and Dad and siblings IN STYLE and COMFORT. 

What a wonderful sight!  What a wonderful option for Brooke to not miss out on family activities. 

What love for their pups!

And, each other!

Nineteen years ago today, an old Ford tractor pulling a trailer filled with a wedding party rolled past Arby's Restaurant on Fifth Avenue in Sandpoint where the Marquee read Arby Melt Boy Marries Polar Swirl Girl

Well, let's just say that it's obvious their hearts still melt when they are together, as do those of all the rest of us in the family and the community who so love Willie and Debbie.  

Happy Anniversary, Young Loves.  

Guess that's enough love stories for one day. 

Happy Tuesday.  

Monday, August 10, 2020

Recovery . . .

A couple of 90-year-olds hung around our house most of the day yesterday. 

They did not wear masks. 

Furthermore, they didn't worry much about social distancing. 

After all, they took turns moving slowly around the house, and when both would actually discover that they were in close proximity, they couldn't move fast enough to get away from one another. 

Both did, however, take afternoon naps outside in their chairs while soft and comfortable breezes blew through the deck and front-yard area.

Ninety-year-olds really like those snoozes, I'm told. 

These two golden oldies also spent parts of the day continuing to move slowly and deliberately while reminiscing nostalgically of past times when they had experienced similar aches and pains of old age. 

One of the old geezers could have actually out-talked the other with his multiple stories of "extreme pain associated with big gains" of elevation because he had taken many more trips to mountain tops than the other.  

The other, however, brought up and even ranked three significant times, other than Saturday, when her body had required extensive time to return to normal. 

The Scotchman ascent back in the early 1980s was noted as the worst.  

More than seven days unfolded after that grueling hike before this person no longer had to plan every tiny strategic move while getting in and out of the car without having to gasp in pain.

Ranking second among the worst----the Strawberry Mountain hike about five years ago where the last four miles back to the car from the mountain top somehow, miraculously happened, even with continuous cramped-up legs. 

The cramps came from total stupidity----not carrying enough water on a hot, hot August day and being out of shape in the first place.  

The 2003 Tongariro passage in New Zealand included more tales from ON the 12-mile trail than afterward----especially the desperate plea, while lying face down at the summit, with 40 mph winds blowing sand and snow, "Call the helicopters so they can take me off this mountain!" 

Immediately following this feeble utterance came "You can do it, Mom, you can do it," from a daughter who trekked twice the distance as her mother, always trotting back up the trail with that same "can do it" fight song. 

Well, I did do it. 

Thanks, Annie. 

Yup, Bill and I may be in our 70s, but we both felt the true experience of AND even looked like miserable 90-year-olds most of the day.  

By the time the two 40-somethings rolled into the driveway late yesterday afternoon, got out of the car and moving a bit like 60-year-olds, Bill and I had pretty much worked out our kinks in all the places from our waists down, allowing us to at least feign appearing like 70- and 70-plus-year-olds.  

In fact, we probably both silently relished the pained look as our niece Laura slowly and deliberately got out of the white pickup, wasting no time to let the vehicle prop herself up as she leaned against it for some welcome-back conversation. 

"And, you two had to walk all the way back," she said with obvious empathy, reflecting on how she and Annie at least got to hang around their campsite at Two Mouth Lakes Saturday night rather than almost immediately having to hoof it back off the mountain.  

It's not often I say to a 45-year-old to please call us and let us know you arrived home.  Laura had about 80-plus miles to drive to her home in Plummer before she could take her shower and collapse.

When we received the text notifying us that she had arrived, we knew exactly how relieved Laura felt to, at last, be home and to finally let down her guard. After all, we had lived that same scenario the night before.

We also know how she and Annie must feel this morning as they urge their bodies out of bed and and start the process of remobilizing themselves, possibly with a little adaptation to save themselves from writhing hip or leg pain. 

There IS a process, and it does take time, but I feel this morning that the 90-year-old syndrome thankfully is becoming yet another passing memory. 

I also believe that I've had enough experience as a temporary geriatric to plot just what kind of steps taken will yield the least pain so when I really am 90, I can confidently say, "I got this."

We'll just let that idea rest for a while, though, as I've got some 70s and 80s yet to experience. 

And, maybe I'll be smart enough when future up-and-down hiking experiences come along to avoid another 90-year-old experience until the calendar sez it's so. 

Happy Monday from a recovering adventurer who, in spite of the aftermath misery, does actually feel like the gain was worth the pain. 

Heck, I even made myself walk (with great care) around the entire Lovestead yesterday and took some photos.


Sunday, August 09, 2020

A Selkirk Adventure: Two Mouth Lakes

They may be cousins but both Laura and Annie took along their masks for riding in the pickup. 

Camping cousins:  Laura and Annie

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Our family members lived this mantra yesterday on a visit to Two Mouth Lakes in the Selkirk Mountains northwest of Bonners Ferry.

Two family members, Laura and Annie, may have much more data today to support the assertion after camping overnight near the shore of the lower Two-Mouth Lake.

Their supporting cast, Bill, Marianne, Willie and Debbie, and grandpuppy Joe arrived home with sufficient data that those muscles and bones and entire bodies hurt enough from the 8-mile (my Fitbit says a lot longer---recording 18 total miles walked yesterday) that no more proof was needed.

Annie had been planning for most of the summer to do an overnighter at a beautiful lake in the North Idaho mountains with her cousin Laura.

Finally deciding on Two Mouth Lakes, which can be reached on a trail off from Myrtle Creek Road, she assembled all the necessary gear, studied the maps and decided on other logistics.

For some of us, the decision to join her was last-minute.  In my case, I knew it would be difficult but envisioned it as both a family memory AND a personal achievement for a 73-year-old who doesn’t like up-and-down hikes.

All proved true.  There were moments----reminiscent of the good ol’ days when Marianne sputters and Bill just soldiers onward----before and after we reached the elusive "saddle" leading us down into the Priest Lake side of the Selkirks.

When I stopped briefly, with great relief, to take a picture of said saddle and then heard Bill ask Annie, a seasoned hiker who stayed in the lead the entire way, “Annie, do you see the saddle?” my momentary exhilaration instantly faded.

Twice, at certain points, I heard the same question from Bill to Annie, leading to a few unrepeatable questions aimed at Bill who exerts amazing patience when his wife hits one of her sinking spots.

It’s a grueling hike----well, maybe for old ladies----but the beauty along the way was unparalleled as brilliant, purple fireweed is blooming ubiquitously, along with a host of other wildflowers. 

Occasional views of Myrtle’s Turtle, a massive wall of granite, and of other Selkirk peaks are nothing less than breath-taking AND a good excuse to stop walking over those boulders, witches’ knots, mud and an occasional welcome board walk to take a picture.

We also saw several other hikers, some who had stayed for a few nights at the lake.  

In one case, we were alerted by some boys who had dropped their packs and were picking huckleberries (in abundance) that we would meet more family members on the trail.

Once at the lake and while some of us were relaxing on a big rock slab, Laura came back with a group of women and began introducing them.  

Turns out two of them have worked with her for the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe.  Small world.

Bill, Willie and Annie spent a few minutes fishing at the pristine lake surrounded by granite mountains.

Actually, there was something for everyone, making the sore muscles and the mosquitoes well worth the journey.  

And, yes, we’re alive and stronger, ready to recount the tales and happy we made it home with no incidents. 

Now, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Laura and Annie can do the same.