Sunday, September 28, 2008

last weekend's camping trip

Last weekend was marvelous! Camped with two great women up at White Pine Lake. That's up Logan canyon just about 4 miles from Tony Grove lake. As you can see, it was beautiful. It rained most of the second day we were there, but it was so beautiful we really didn't mind. The only other little glitch was an errant herd of cows that was there. Apparently we set up camp right in the middle of their pathway out of the canyon and were quite upset with us come nightfall. Another sign of this had been the "gifts" they had previously left all over the campsite. Luckily Cinda grew up with cows and knew how to drive them down to the next campground:)

It didn't seem like the pack was trying to kill me this time which made a big difference. And I felt like I'd packed better and knew more of what I was doing. I was able to carry more weight more comfortably. Also, we weren't climbing up and down gigantic boulders and rock walls. That probably had something to do with it too.

This is my first attempt at fly fishing in several years. Lisa was kind enough to let me have a go. And . . .

A little brook trout I think. We let him go.

We ended the trip by attending a sacrament meeting in Logan. It was the primary program. As singles we don't get to see those much. The highlight was the impromptu interpretive dance by a three yr old on the front row to Called to Serve with imaginary pistols in his hands. Awesome!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

9/11 memories—days in september

I wasn't able to make time to do this on Thurs, but that day I was reminded of the events in my life of that week in the fall of 2001 and realized that I don't think I've written them down anywhere and they should be.

My sister was in North Carolina that weekend prior helping a Pakistani friend of hers who was going through a divorce from her very abusive husband. They had come to the states because of the persecution they suffered as Christians in Pakistan. How that husband could claim to be a Christian after how he treated his wife and turned her children against her I don't know. My sister was staying in the house with her and somehow the husband ended up being there and getting in the house. The situation was volatile and my sister knew he had kept a gun in the house. Even after being on the phone with the police she ended up calling her husband from a closet of the house afraid for her safety. My dad and I heard this side of the story when her husband showed up at our door ( I was living with my parents at the time) late that night and asked us to kneel in prayer with him for the safety of my sister. He felt totally helpless and that was all he knew he could do. At that point I seriously can't remember how that situation resolved, but it did. She was scheduled to fly home on Tues the 11th, but got an overwhelming feeling that she should change her flight to Mon, which she did.

When my brother-in-law came over for the prayer, my dad and I had just gotten home from the hospital where my mother had just had a cancerous kidney removed. She'd had a more invasive surgery two years before to remove a tumor from her lung. She came home the next day, but on that Tues morning we were having trouble controlling the pain. I was supposed to be at a photo shoot for work, but didn't feel like I could leave. It wasn't usual for the tv to be on in the morning, but I think Mom had been up in the night and it on as a distraction. That's when we saw the first reports on the first building and that's when we saw the second plane as it hit the second tower. It wasn't long after that that my sister walked in the door. I'll never forget the overwhelming feelings of love and gratitude I had for her and to God as I threw my arms around her. I'd never feared for someone's safety like that before and with Mom the way she was it was like danger was all around us. We were able to get on the phone with a pharmacist and I finally got to my photo shoot at about noon. Everything seemed so surreal. It was a photo shoot for some pens and desk accessories. The whole thing seemed so incredibly stupid in comparison to the other events of the day. They had the radio on at the photo studio to keep up with what was going on. I remember just so wanting to go home and starting to get that feeling that nothing would be the same again.

Two years later, in another September, my mother passed away. Even with all I knew of the gospel and the plan of salvation and all, I felt like the bottom dropped out of my life. I remember telling a friend that I sincerely hoped that, after all we'd been through and all she'd suffered, I would be changed somehow. Five years out from that now I think I can say that I'm not the same person. That through my own "crucible of experience" I've changed for the better—that because of my mother's life she lived and the death she died nothing will be the same for me. The beauty of it is that hopefully everyone who lost someone on 9/11 or who ever lost someone can say the same about them and that hopefully the same will be said of me by someone when my time comes.

Monday, September 8, 2008

highlights of san francisco labor day trip

Besides not having been there in several years, the main attraction that got me on the plane for this Labor Day getaway was the Chihuly exhibit at the deYoung Museum in Golden Gate park. I'll go almost anywhere to see his work. It just makes me so happy. Here are some of the
better shots.

Here are some of the gorgeous jelly fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They had a hard time holding still for the camera, but they were amazingly beautiful. I'd always wanted to go there and it's an amazing place. It was a beautiful drive down, but on the way back in the dark and in the fog on highway 1, we thought we just might die.

We also stayed in a fabulous hotel. The Orchard Garden. Just up from Union Square and a couple of doors down from the entrance gate to Chinatown on Bush St. They had valet parking and turned down our beds at night! I about cried!

We also went over to Sausalito to their arts festival. Gorgeous day! (I'd forgotten how beautiful northern California is.) Lots of cool stuff. Went to a great Sacrament Meeting at the Bay ward where the San Fran mission Pres and his wife spoke. They're cattle ranchers from Sugar City, Idaho. Awesome! They were really great. Found some great bargains at the Ross in
Union Square and got some great samples of Jo Malone perfume and body cream at the Saks Fith Ave. We were also offered a bag of rocks by a homeless man in return for all our cash. He had a hammer and everything, but we decided not to take him up on it. Saw him later that evening—still had the bag of rocks.

And here is the place to go

for these incredible silver dollar pancakes.

They give you 18 so we thought we would just split an order. Uh uh. You need your own. And get them with the lingonberry relish. Divine! They're on Powell across from the Sir Francis Drake hotel.