Thursday, December 22, 2016

This and That

Just think of this as seasonal  fun at the kitchen island.  One of my favorite Christmas cards came in yesterday's mail.  Bet ya can't guess why I like it so much. 

We went to Spokane yesterday to pick up my brother Jim who lives in Medford, Oregon. He'll be spending the next week at the Colburn farm.  

The day turned out to be a nice change of pace without a lot to do except wait at the airport for a while.  Bill and I walked the length of the facility twice while waiting for Jim's plane, which had gotten a late start to come in from Portland. 

Having just about completed our second round, I commented that we had not yet seen one person from Sandpoint, which is rather unusual at the airport. 
Anyone going to Spokane Airport will be
  treated to the sights of  these lovely trees. 

Then, they announced that the plane from Portland had landed.  So, I walked over to my customary spot at the Alaska terminal where I usual wait to greet whoever I've come to pick up.  

A couple of seconds later, I turned and saw one of my former students walking my way.  

Well, the day was complete.  We had finally seen someone from Sandpoint.  

I asked her if she was waiting for someone on the flight from Portland. Yes, she said, a friend from New Zealand.

Turns out the friend lives near Hamilton on the North Island, the same town where my daughter Annie had spent six months on a student exchange.  So, of course, the connection added an extra dose of fun to watching the passengers come from the plane. 

Jim still hadn't yet arrived when my student's friend came walking our way, so I had a chance to visit with her briefly.  Turned out to be a nice interlude to our airport visit. 

Then, we saw Jim, and soon we were headed on our way.  Bill suggested lunch and then asked where we'd like to go.  Figuring it was the kind of day for a new experience other than our usual stop at DICKS, I suggested Five Guys Burgers and Fries. 

I've heard of the chain and thought it would be fun to try for the first time ever.  The place was packed.  The helpings were plentiful and the peanuts unlimited as we enjoyed visiting with Jim who treated us.  I especially enjoyed the chocolate shake topped with whipped cream.

What I enjoyed more than just about anything, however, was my trip to the bathroom. Now, this would not be a surprise to most folks who know me well and know that I usually scout out the nearest restrooms to wherever I happen to be.

This was different, however.  I let someone behind me in line go before me into the room. While waiting, I enjoyed a pleasant and fun with that little Gemma Mae Cudmore's dad who had accompanied his 6-year-old daughter to the restroom area.  

Turns out Gemma Mae's grandfather Larry used to serve as a Lutheran minister here in the area.  With that revelation, I mentioned Dennis Hanson, whom I've often said was my favorite man of God.  Sure enough, Gemma Mae's dad remembered Dennis. 

Eventually, Gemma Mae came opened the bathroom door and struck up her own segment of the conversation.  What a delight, and what a wonderful interlude with a nice dad and his sweet daughter at Five Guys. 

Isolated moments such as that chance meeting often stay with us forever, and they make us wonder if life really is an unfolding of one grand design. 

The day ended triumphantly and humorously for all ZAGS fans.  Santa Shem and his helper Rem definitely put the frosting on the cake during the commercial break as the ZAGS ran their season record to 12-0, setting a school record. 

Shem and Rem, compliments of Twitter

Santa Shem Karnowski read a segment from "The Night before Christmas" while his sidekick Rem helped out.  We've been told the production will be run in its entirety on the next Mark Few Show.

Twas quite impressive and funny, to say the least.  

On another more sober note, this morning I am still stunned to have read in this morning's paper about the passing of a former colleague and lifelong friend, Ron Hagadone. 

This has already been a tough few weeks in this community, reading all too many familiar names who have passed on, and my heart goes out to all who are grieving these sad losses, especially during this season. 

Ron and I first met when we were little folks attending St. Joseph's Sister School, a two-week session early each summer taught by the nuns of IHM Academy from Coeur d'Alene. 
We also knew each other through Catechism, local schools and attending college through the University of Idaho. Later, we worked together as staff members at Sandpoint High. 

Seems like Ron did a little bit of everything----Boy Scouts, baseball coaching, counseling, fishing, you name it.  

His wide circle of friends truly appreciated the consummate, dedicated gentleman--- always the ultimate example of a caring soul and always, it seems, facilitating something for the good of those around him. 

I haven't quite come to grips with this news, but my first thought is that the world, the communities where he lived, a host of friends and a loving supporting family have all lost a good man. 

My condolences to the Hagadone family at this time.  

RIP, Ron. 

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