Friday, October 24, 2014

Fun Fotos on a Rainy Day

Twas wet yesterday, and there’s just so much one can do around the place when it’s pouring rain.  I’m good for a while with housework, but then I need to go see some different scenery.

So, when Bill came home, from his morning spent at Box Canyon, grabbed a container of homemade potato soup and headed back to work in town, I left shortly thereafter.

I had not been up Baldy Road for quite some time, so that was my destination, after picking up a cup of convenience store French roast coffee and a candy bar (my afternoon staples).

I decided to go through the old neighborhood and briefly entertained the notion to park in one of the roads leading into our childhood woods off from North Boyer.
“Maybe another day,” I thought, figuring the walk through places, where we romped while reining our stick horses or where one of us (name withheld)  sorted through stolen mail, might be just a little wet.

So, I moved on, driving through the Upper Place, which is now a subdivision with just a few homes,  overlooking Metal Buildingville and the airport.  

It always makes me feel good to know that some of those trees I transplanted, when Bill and I were first married 40 years ago and living in the little rental house, are still there.

I hope they stay for a long time.  After all, they’re pretty much the sole reminder of our existence there in the 1970s.

After turning on to what we neighborhood locals always called Robinson Road, I took a side trip down Crooked Lane, a lovely rural subdivision formed from the farm where Lloyd and Betty Robinson lived.

Later, while driving down the hill toward Gooby Road, I took another side trip and caught some deer feeling very at home in someone’s yard.  They hung around long enough for me to take their pictures.

Then, on to Baldy, which has certainly added to its residential areas over the years.  Used to be just a few families we knew lived up there, but now, all sorts of side roads and houses of all ilks.

After leaving the pavement, I couldn’t help but notice all the signs, reminding of “private property,” “no hunting,” “road closed,” “parked vehicles will be impounded,” along with the usual real estate offerings.

The rain intensified as I drove further, suggesting to me that my chances of finding any more good photos were diminishing with the increasing droplets on the wind shield and blustery wind, blowing leaves all over the place.

Then, suddenly, I came upon a wonderful possibility---almost driving past but quickly realizing that this scene was worth backing up on that mountain road.

A big, shiny red logging truck with nose pointed toward the road sat parked.  My eye caught the owner’s name:  CLIFF IRISH.

Cliff Irish is one of my favorite all-time characters and a longtime friend.  Cliff’s son Rusty and my son Willie spent their early formative years as buddies at Patty’s Day Care.  They graduated together and remain good friends.

Ahhh, to catch Cliff without his knowing I’m here, the imp within was working feverishly to outwit the imp behind the truck dragging a chain toward another piece of heavy equipment.

I succeeded.
Cliff had no idea I was there as I continued to snap photos of him working in the drenching rain and walking through the mud and, no doubt, silently cussing this day when he had to move equipment from a job up Baldy to a job near Usk, WA.

Cliff dragged the chain to the big logging rig, which I’m guessing is called a skidder.  Once he was out of sight behind the rig, I moved closer, praying he would not see me.

Good fortune allowed me to snap a couple more shots before he looked over, smiled and asked what I was doing there.

We visited briefly as it sure was wet and Cliff was predicting that he probably would not get home for dinner until at least 6:30 p.m.

What a find that was for a lady out driving around looking for some good photos on a rainy day!  

It’s always great to see Cliff, and I especially enjoyed seeing him out in his element-----a reminder that while most of us are enjoying our creature comforts, hard-working folks like Cliff are dealing with the not-so-rosy elements.

Later, I took some more photos on a walk through the neighborhood.  The rain did not let up, but it created some different perspectives on rose hips and pastures. 

My outings, despite the rain, were productive yesterday, reminding me that if we go looking, we can always find something positive to brighten those dark and gloomy days.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Journalism Giants: RIP

Call this a "cut and paste" day for Slight Detour.

Yesterday, when my friend Helen sent me the second "paste" below, it dawned on me that two journalistic giants had passed on this week. 

Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post and Dorothy Rochon Powers of the Spokesman-Review each carved out their unique niches in the world of reporting the facts.  

They used their beloved craft to make a significant difference within the environment where they practiced exemplary journalism.  

Bradlee's almost epic journalistic accomplishments occurred on a national stage, while Powers' incredibly written stories brought alive human stories or dramatic adventures of a more local nature.

Throughout their careers, both Bradlee and Powers served as inspiring beacons for other aspiring journalists hoping to find their own niche in chronicling compelling and truthful accounts of current events or situations. 

Dorothy Powers was definitely one of my heroes. I had the good fortune of meeting her several times.  With each encounter, the initial feeling of total awe was soon replaced by the feeling that I'd just spent some valuable time with an old friend.

That's how this sophisticated and brilliant lady conducted herself.  She had the aura of a star, but she also possessed a sense of down-to-earth, sincere respect for others. In one-on-one encounters, she came across to me as a "regular gal." 

I always felt like a million bucks after a visit with Dorothy and came away even more inspired to emulate her in my own story telling.

After reading the piece below in Sunday's Spokesman, which ran side by side with a wonderfully written public notice of her passing, I realized that emulating this truly gifted reporter still remains a distant and ambitious goal. 

Still, that's okay.  We need stars like Dorothy to remind us that the bar is very high and that the ongoing hunger to reach that bar will only make us better at our craft.  

My friend Helen's contribution to my in-box yesterday paints a wonderful picture of Ben Bradlee.  I think Dorothy's story and the New York Times reporter's portrayal of Bradley are both masterfully written.

So, I'll leave you with my "cut and paste" post.  Enjoy. 

‘The Row’ belongs to broken men, shattered dreams – tomorrow

Dorothy R. Powers The Spokesman-Review

Photo archives photo
Dorothy Rochon Powers interviews a man for a story on train hobos in November 1955.

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in The Spokesman-Review on Nov. 21, 1955. It was topped with the following: “Who and what make up the legendary words ‘Skid Row,’ or Road? To find out, a Spokesman-Review reporter went “inside” the Row – into dreary 50-cent hotel rooms, taverns and back alleys. Here is the answer.”

In the dank twilight that fills the place, the man shoves a trembling hand deep into ragged, filthy pockets.

He pulls it out again – empty.

“Ain’t got it tonight, I guess, Mac,” he mumbles to the “hotel” keeper, and stumbles back down the stairway – back into the slashing wind.

The stairways are all alike down here – long and black and stale – and, for the men who climb them, stairways to nothing.

This is “heartbreak strip;” this is Skid Row. Down on the street, it’s the dusk-to-dark hour when each man must decide how he’ll handle an old enemy, the night. His choices are few. He can mooch it through, “mission it” if he’s lucky – or hope for enough free drinks to keep him warm as he slumps in a doorway.

Each man makes his own decision. There’s little camaraderie down here.

“They’re hard to figure,” a bartender explains. “If they’ve got money, they’ll share it with somebody they know is broke. But that’s about it. They don’t want any buddies; they don’t want any questions.”

Only one thing is certain, and it’s an old, old saying along the Row: “For every guy down here, there’s a reason. He don’t ask you yours; don’t ask him his.”

Nobody does, in the crowd that hovers around the fat-bellied iron stove in a tavern. They turn slowly, warming every portion of themselves before making their stand against the cold.

A man carrying a pin-striped, shabby suit rushes into their midst.

“Two bucks,” he urges, patting the fabric. “Two bucks, anybody. Take it or leave it.”
Nobody takes.

“He gets ’em at the rummage sales, for 80 cents,” somebody says wearily after the vendor leaves.

“I’m goin’,” volunteers a graying man on the far side of the stove. “I know where I can get me a room for 52 cents. At the Logan, you can – if you go early.”

Out in the alley, arms flail greedily as three men split a pint of “Apple Andy” (wine). The bottle emptied, they walk in three separate directions – strangers again.

The man in the clean overcoat waits a long while before he gathers courage to pluck at your sleeve. Then, “Do me a favor, lady? Don’t write that everybody down here is a bum.

“I had a home – I won’t say where – but it was as good as most. I’m just tryin’ to say, well, there are guys down here that could have been somebody else – but something went wrong.

“Something’s got to happen, before a man ends up here.

“Ever get off the Row?” he replies to your question. “No, not now. I’m all through, and I know it. I’m absolutely alone.”

Down the block, there’s more evidence that the Row has strange tenants.

“See that fellow that just left?” a bar-keep asks. “Ex-chairman of one of the biggest banks in the country. He’s been down here years now; he’ll never go back. We used to have an ex-attorney general from out-of-state, and a former deputy sheriff.

“Lots of them have college educations. Some of them are so smart you just can’t carry on a conversation with them.”

It’s getting later now, and the street’s filled with the shuffling feet of men looking for one small cranny in a world that finds no place for them. They turn into any doorway they see, if only for a moment’s warmth.

Up in the Lea hotel, an 82-year-old “sidewalk preacher” rocks by the stove in a narrow hallway.

“It’s too cold now,” he says, in a voice raw from shouting against the wind. “Nobody will stand and listen. But ordinarily, I preach every night from 6 to 7. I been a-doin’ that for 14 years.”

Out of a grimy pocket he pulls a license to hold street meetings, exhibits it proudly. He hurries to his room, shows you his Bible.

Every corner is filled with junk, collected on the street. His bedding is as dirty as his clothes. The window is broken. A soiled wash cloth hangs above the rickety dresser.

In the midst of this, he begins an impromptu testimonial. Tears stream down his face.

“I love the Lord, Sister. God saved my soul on October 8, 1932, and I haven’t had a drink since. Lots of times, down on the street, they shout all kinds of things at me. I just answer ‘Dear ones, you wouldn’t do that if you’d been saved as I have.’ ”

“Hey Pop,” comes a gruff voice from one of the rooms, “knock it off!”

The night won’t be a kind one for Bill and Joe. They’re shipping out – heading for one more Row, in one more town, somewhere.

“Gotta get where the climate suits our clothes. One blanket between us. We get enough brown wrapping paper, though, we’ll be all right – if the bulls don’t roll us out of the boxcar.”

A cup of hot coffee loosens his thoughts. “I never saw a Skid Row,” he muses, “till me and my wife split up. A guy gets disgusted with things, see? Once you get down and out, you don’t come back easy. There don’t seem no way to it.”

Despair is a climate here.

A freezing wind sweeps the street almost clear now. The men huddle inside, wherever they can find shelter. They slip out only to check the alley garbage cans full of empty wine bottles – hoping for a few dregs.

The best explanation you hear comes from a regular. “I can handle the days all right. It’s usually night when I need it, when I start remembering. …”

“Rockin’ chair” is every man’s passport. On this railroad unemployment insurance, the gandy dancers exist from one job to the next. They talk about it like a kid does Santa Claus – “good ole rockin’ chair.”

Some men “choose” the Row.

“Listen, I’m living how I want to live. When I need to, I work. Maybe I pick apples and maybe I work in a coal shed. And maybe I don’t work at all. But nobody butts in – because nobody cares.”

Tomorrow is the biggest word they know.

For 35 years, it’s been coming for Jack.

“Thirty-five years.” He wonders aloud at it himself, rubbing his stubbled chin. “I’m 58 now. I used to drive a cab. Had a good job driving for a big highway bus company, too. I was married then, and working steady all the time.

“Well, I started drinking. Now I do just whatever comes up – pick apples, gandy dance, anything. I wonder where my family is.

“Lonesome? Sure, I’m lonesome. Nights are the worst. There’s no place to go but some hotel room. I keep changing hotels, just so I’ll have something different to look at.

“Mornings you feel terrible. You wake up sick and you need a drink. Usually, I’m in a four-bit hotel room. That means it’s an inside room, no windows – and no heat.

“I still think I’ll get off the Row. I can quit; I know I can. Yessir, one of these days – real soon now – I’m goin’ home. …”

The Row’s entirely in darkness now. Far down the block, a bottle tinkles against the pavement.

NY Time - The Opinion Pages| Op-Ed Contributor
The Ben Bradlee Who Hired Me — Finally
By TED GUPOCT. 22, 2014

I first met Ben Bradlee in the winter of 1969. I was a 19-year-old kid from Canton, Ohio, who had never taken a course in journalism, never published an article, rarely read the newspaper and had little notion of what I would do with my life. Yet somehow as a Brandeis sophomore I had made my way to be a finalist for the Washington Post internship. 

It must have been my essay. And there I was sitting at Ben Bradlee’s right hand in a Boston restaurant surrounded by other finalists, all of whom went to Harvard, were working on The Crimson, and had dazzling credentials. By the time lunch was over, I was sure I was no longer in the running.

But as I got up to leave, Ben placed his hand on my arm and asked me if I had a few minutes to talk. A half-hour passed. He asked me what I thought of the Vietnam War. I remember telling him I was torn. He seemed pleased by my confusion. We talked about writing. I honestly don’t remember what else we talked about except that when we parted I knew what I wanted to do — I wanted to work for him. (Mind you, that was two years before Watergate.)

A couple of months later, I received a letter from Ben dated March 6, 1970. It began: “Dear Ted: You got nosed out in the finals of the toughest competition we have ever had... You are really a year premature and your lack of previous experience in journalism was a tough hurdle for us to overcome. I was particularly sorry about you, because I was attracted by your love of writing, and your attitude generally. I hunch that you have a hell of a future in this business, and I hereby urge you to reapply again and again. I enjoyed my time with you enormously. Keep up your interest in this business. You will make it. Sincerely, Ben Bradlee”

That was all the encouragement I needed. Four years later my father died and I went to Ben and asked him if he had any advice for me. He first told me that I made him uncomfortable — I was wearing a three-piece suit. Take off your vest, he said in that gravelly voice. “You make me nervous.” He asked me where I might want to work. Somewhere near my family, I said. He got on the phone and called the editor of The Akron Beacon Journal and said he had someone sitting across from him who he thought might make a good reporter. And so I got my foot in the door of journalism.

For several years thereafter I would send him my better stories and he would send back comments — just a line or two of encouragement, always signed “Ben Bradlee.”
“Ted, Keep going; you’re doing fine, Best, Ben Bradlee,” read one of his notes.
On Feb. 10, 1976, he wrote “I’ll reactive your name and if this bloody strike ever ends, maybe things will change. All the best, Ben Bradlee.” (The contentious strike pitted pressmen against management and was then already in its fifth month and far from resolved.) That summer he made a call on my behalf to The Virginian-Pilot and helped me get an internship there. By now I had come to look upon him as a kind of gruff guardian angel.

Finally in the summer of 1977, between my second and third years of law school, I was given my shot at The Post as an intern — more than seven years after my initial try. I guess Ben figured anyone this relentless might make a persistent reporter. A year later I joined The Post as a staffer. I had my moments and my stories, but was never one of The Post’s true heavyweights. But Ben never stopped watching over me — or the rest of us.
I remember one afternoon I was called into his office along with another reporter and two senior editors. A Republican senator had gone to Ben’s house in the middle of the night, 

Ben said, alleging that the candidate Ronald Reagan had a number of gay staffers. The question was raised whether we should pursue it as a story. A senior editor weighed in, referring to “queers.” Ben interrupted him. “We do not use that term,” he scolded. In 1980 there were not so many in the newsroom who would have objected. We pursued the story, confirmed the obvious — that there were gays on the candidate’s staff (as there are doubtless on most staffs) but with Ben’s support, chose not to run it, concluding that it was a nonstory.

I also remember another senior editor disparaging a story I had worked on for months. Ben knew I was upset about the editor’s comments and even considering resigning. Ben never mentioned the editor or his comments; he just came over to me at the end of the day, put his arm around my shoulder and asked me if I needed a lift home. I (foolishly) declined, but the gesture was enough to restore my confidence that I was at the right place.

In 1980 a series I co-authored was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. I remember going into Ben’s office and giving him a copy of the rejection letter he had sent me a decade earlier with a note appended, saying thanks for giving me a shot. I think we all felt that way about Ben. It was personal. Sure, we were ambitious. Sure, we owed it to the paper and the country and all those other grand principles. But honestly, I think a lot of us felt like we owed it to Ben. His faith in us was a debt we did not take lightly.

I remember writing a story about President Jimmy Carter that a Times reporter took issue with and called Ben for comment. I was on the line as well. The reporter told Ben The Times would blow a hole through The Post’s story. Ben’s response: Sounds like a great story, can’t wait to read it. (A part of me feels guilty even writing this for The Times — do forgive me, Ben.) I remember only too well the Janet Cooke episode in which The Post was forced to return a Pulitzer Prize after it was learned the story had been a fabrication. It anguished us all, but none more than Ben. I also remember that a series I co-authored that same year drew tremendous fire and that though The Post’s defensive shield was weakened, Ben did not flinch.

I left The Post in 1987, but continued to write for it nearly every year thereafter. In 2011, I sent Ben a copy of a book I had written and wrote an inscription to him that said how much I admired him, that he had changed the course of my life, and that there was no man, save my own father, whom I respected more. A few months later I was visiting The Post and found myself alone with Ben in the elevator. He told me he had received my book and had read the inscription.

 “You know,” he said, “After I read it, I walked around all day with my chest puffed out.” You think Ben Bradlee needed Ted Gup? And yet, there it was. He knew the power of a few right words, a gesture, a smile. I remember after a story I did I felt his hand patting my back. Didn’t say a word. I also remember thinking I wouldn’t have traded that for any kind of raise.

I saw him only twice after that, once in 2012 on the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, and once at a 2013 tribute for a departing Donald Graham. But by then, the Ben I knew — that we knew — was largely gone, a victim of dementia.

Last night, reading of his death, I called a friend from The Post and we comforted each other, and shared our memories of Ben, profane and inspired, steely-edged and sweet-centered. For us, working for Ben had been the privilege of a lifetime. I for one often imagined Ben as a kind of journalistic King Arthur and we, his Knights of the Round Table. He was not only my gruff guardian angel, but the nation’s as well. He will be missed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Swooshin' Wednesday

When Mike Hart says, "Get your SWOOSH on," hearts inside little old ladies like mine go pitter patter, and we smile really big and get a wee bit giddy. 

Actually, I maintained a lot more composure than usual yesterday when I spotted one of the ZAGS nicest and hardest working players ever----much more, in fact, than the day I met Viggo Mortensen at his brother's home in Sandpoint. 

Downright goofy, brainless and speechless----that and several other star-crazed adjectives would be needed to describe that day.

In contrast, when I saw big, tall, very good looking Mike Hart walking through the hallway at MacArthey Athletic Center yesterday, I blurted what most self-respecting ZAG-crazed fans would say.

Don't yell it!  Don't scream it! Simply blurt it----my uncharacteristically disciplined brain instructed me as to precisely how to approach this golden ZAGS moment. 

"There's Mike Hart," I blurted calmly, while Abby, the receptionist, former ZAGS volleyball player and coach, lamented that the men's basketball posters were not yet available.

I can't really remember if I suddenly and rudely blew off Abby's news in mid-sentence the second I saw Mike Hart, but she seemed to handle my behavior just fine.

Surprisingly, I'd uttered the announcement of Mike Hart's presence loudly enough that he heard me AND he turned around AND he came back my way.

He had a friend with him AND the friend seemed to know exactly what to do when the old lady at the counter pulled out her cell phone camera.

I did not even need to tell either of them that I wanted a picture with Mike Hart.  As the friend turned on the cell phone, Mike stood beside me, put his arm around me and smiled. 

"I'll take two," the friend said. 

In seconds the Mike Hart sighting and photo op ended.  Aware of my purpose for being there in the first place, I turned back to sweet Abby and our conversation about those posters. 

I have a feeling Abby sees a lot of crazy old ladies like me transform into giddy school girls the minute one of the beloved ZAGS players walks by. 

Oh, I did learn during that brief encounter that Mike, who graduated year before last, does a lot of stuff in his present employment with the ZAGS, and some of that includes "basketball technology."

"It's has a lot to it," he explained, almost apologizing because some people may be thinking "underwater basket weaving" whenever he says he's in to basketball technology.

Not this old lady.  Not this ZAGS fan.  We've all studied our college basketball enough over the years to know that the business of successful college basketball involves a lot more than good athletes. 

If Mike Hart's in to basketball technology, I'm figuring the ZAGS have a good man on board to ensure that their program continues to keep all the crazed fans as crazed and inspired as ever. 

Granted, I'm disappointed that I did not come home with my annual pile of posters to distribute to friends and family, but Abby assured me that she'd do her best to get them to me as soon as possible.

I also learned later, after posting the photo on Facebook, that one of the outlaws in the extended family knows Mike Hart from his days in Portland.  Kirsten posted that he played rec. basketball with her son Tyler.

"What a nice young man," she added. 

Agreed, Kirsten. 

Just in case you can't tell, yesterday's Mike Hart sighting made my day as did the trip to Trader Joe's afterward.  

For dinner last night, Bill and I enjoyed some noodles Alfredo yesterday and those caramel nut cookies and an Angus beef burger, which I picked up cuz I thought it was a frozen burger and bun.  

Silly me.  I had to cook the frozen patty. 

And, finally for my friend Helen.  She likes my maple tree, so I keep taking pictures.  The leaves are falling quickly, but it has definitely put on a phenomenal show this year (as seen below). 

We were supposed to have a yucky, rainy day today, but so far morning skies were filled with stars and no clouds.  It's beautious, to say the least.

Hope it lasts.  Happy Wednesday.  And, ladies, GET Yer SWOOSH On.  Ya never know who you'll meet up with when you do!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Ride

Janice Schoonover Photo

Danielle and her son Gabe, 2.  He did ride with Mom. 

My longtime friend Janice and her pretty, spotted boy. 

Incomparable and always photogenic Selkirks

Emily preferred to add a pretty skirt to her riding attire. 

Janice Schoonover Photo

Kim enjoying a brief rest

Libby and I shared a few childhood horse tales. 

Photo, courtesy of Janice Schoonover

Barb at one of our stops. 

Photo, courtesy of Janice Schoonover:  a perfect mix:  riding a pretty horse in drop-dead beautiful scenery and Kiwi's brother Roper keeping track of us.   

I rode with a 2-year-old yesterday.  His name is Gabe.
His big sister Emily rode her own horse.  She’s 4.

I was the oldest among our group of trail riders.  I’m 67.

We talked about when people are old enough to be scared of horses.  Obviously, Gabe and Emily are not scared.  In fact, Emily fell asleep during our ride and had to be transferred to another horse.

Talk about laid back.

I’ll be the first to tell you that when you’re 67 you’re old enough to be scared, and let me add that I would hardly use the term “laid-back” to describe my demeanor----or my horse’s.

There’s an well-defined segment in side of me that knows fear.  It’s the same segment that creates images of Marianne lying in a heap after being dumped from Lily.

Lily’s got the power and the occasional ornery nature to do bad things to me. Part of comes from her own anxiety.

Lily did a bad thing one day on a trail.  I’m not quite sure what she did, but I do know I was suddenly lying on the ground with my left arm fully implanted in a stump.  Lily’s hooves were mere inches away, firmly planted in the soil on that wet slope.

There was a crowd.  They saw what happened.  They asked if I was okay.  I asked them to give me a moment so I could make sure all the parts still worked.

They did.

I climbed back onto my tall horse, and we rode on.

Another time---in front of a crowd---Lily reared on a downhill, rock-filled trail----just like Silver did for the Lone Ranger.
Only difference:  we weren’t being filmed for a cowboy show, and I was mighty happy that my camera stay intact, stayed strapped to my body and simply left a dent in my back during that surreal moment.
I think about these two events quite often when I climb aboard Lily.  She’s got the power to do really bad things to me.

Yesterday could have been a toss-up for who was packing the most fear when we set out on a trail ride with my friend Janice, her family and a couple of wranglers from Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.

I first thought that just Janice and I were headed off to enjoy the splendor of the beautiful fall day.  Later I learned that someone else was coming.  When I saw that several someone else’s, including a 2-year-old, were coming, my fear factor gage went off the scale.

Again, that segment within conjured up even worse images of Marianne in a pile on the ground with a crowd watching, including a 2-year-old and his big 4-year-old sister riding her own horse.

To say that my fellow riders extended extreme patience in my behalf would be an understatement, especially Janice who seemed to know all along the ride what Lily and I needed to do to stay alive and safe.

We rode for 3.5 hours surrounded by stunning scenery, and during that time, Lily experienced the lesson of her life.  She learned to calm down while going down hills, she learned to step carefully through the wet rocks in stream crossings.  She also learned that the bogeymen in her life were not gonna get her.

While all this was happening, I was learning that my mare listens to me and that she trusts my word when I tell her it’s okay.

In short, I settled down and eventually derived total enjoyment from all aspects of the experience----the beautiful Border Collies and Aussies  flanking our every move or running ahead only to stop to make sure we were still coming, the pure joy of visiting with old friends, seasoned at this trail ride stuff and having the times of their lives, the delicious eye candy of Gold Creek in the fall and finally my own joy of knowing that both Lily and I had overcome fear and had become strong.

What doesn’t kill you makes you strong.

I’ve heard that one a time or two, and it’s nice to be alive and thrilled to repeat it.

I don’t know if Gabe Otis is gonna remember the day we went trail riding together, but I can sure tell you that I shall.

It was a memorable and meaningful day, and I am so thankful to have had the experience.
We did have one incident along the trail when Janice wanted us to pose together with our spotted horses.  Lily took one look at her gelding, and, as the crowd watched, once again put on a performance.

I’m not really sure what she did, but it was noisy and it was quick.

Happily, when it was over, I was still sitting on her----to ride another day.

Thank you, Janice and gang, for a treasured experience. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mother Nature Speaks

Mother Nature handed us a beauty yesterday.  

My sisters, their pups, Willie and I took advantage and took our cameras to the aspen grove up Rapid Lightning Creek Road. 

At long last, the color has come, and it IS indescribably beautiful.