Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Duke...not of Earl but, I'm his girl..

This is a picture that my friend Sandy sent me; it was taken in the John Wayne Saloon at the VeeBar Ranch west of Laramie earlier this month. He is the strong silent type and a little flat in personality.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Mark of the Meme...

I have been tagged by San of Santa Fe to list 6 random facts about myself. I do not know how to link back to her blog (sorry San).

It will be interesting to find out how many of these things are known by those who really know me.
The Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about you in your blog post.

4. Tag six people in your post.

5. Let each person know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Six Random things about me:

1. My favorite gum is:

2. I always count the number of steps when I go up or down them no matter how many times I have taken them:

3. I didn't start wearing toe rings until I was 53 years old:

4. I almost got my private pilot's license but didn't just to spite my abusive ex-husband:

5. I cry at parades or any other time when the American flag passes by:

6. I save boxes of all sorts:

How many of these random items did you know about?

Okay, I tag:
1. M&M Family
2. Lynetta
3. A. Bannana
4. Chewy
5. Angel
6. Don Coyote'

Be sure and let me know when your post is completed!

Monday, May 26, 2008

This weekend...intertwined lives

This weekend I put over 500 miles on my car, for pleasure; we had a long way to go and and short time to get there...

Gary and I took off for Utah because my son Bryan was there for Kaylee's graduation from kindegarten and to see his new niece, Brooklyn.

This is a picture of Bryan and Brooklyn.

Here is Kaylee at her graduation ceremony.

Bryan's girlfriend, Anzhela, cut Kaylee and Elizabeth's hair. Aren't their new do's cute?

Saturday, Gary and I drove to Star Valley, Wyoming to visit with my friend Tonie and her husband Ray who just had surgery three weeks ago. I am happy to report that Ray is recovering very well and will be getting his staples out this week. It rained on us almost all of the way to Star Valley and rained on us all the way home today, also.

This is a picture of Wyoming Rush Hour Traffic.

As most of you know, I love taking pictures of trees. These two trees were growing together and are intertwined.

Just as these two trees are intertwined, so are the lives of the people in my life with me. We are all so different and are growing in our own way, yet we are entertwined by sharing the same time and space on earth, nurturing each other and wrapping our arms and love around each other.

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What Do You Think About This?

You Are a Jigsaw Puzzle

You are a complex person, although at first glance you seem quite simple.

Your personality is comprised of many interesting and distinct pieces.

You are captivating and often visually interesting. You can be seen from many angles.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Traces of New Life, Renewing Hope....

Yesterday, was a beautiful blue sky day with the temprature up in the 70's. It was a great day for a motorcycle ride! Gary and I met up with some friends of his from Lyman then we took off for the Flaming Gorge. It has been a month since we were there last and oh my, what a difference a little time makes.

We didn't see any Big Horn Sheep or Elk or Deer this time and the snow was all melted. There were wild spring flowers blooming and the air was full of the chatter of little forest creatures and birds.

I know I have posted pictures of this cliff before showing how deep the Gorge is but this time I would like you to notice the little dead tree on the side of the cliff.

I was thinking about this tree wondering about its life cycle, how it managed to grow there in the first place, how long it lived and what it had to endure such as harsh winds, the blazing sun and frigid winters, just to be left as a skeleton of a life passed all alone on a cliff.

Then I caught a glimpse of this new pinecone on this Ponderosa Pine tree. I thought of all of the potential it had and for the new life it could produce to continue populating the forest.

I thought of my own life and how it changed so drastically and I didn't have a choice in the decisions that were made. I could either be a boney skeleton of my true self or I could begin a new life with the hope that something would grow and become mighty in its own right.

We may not always have a choice in what life hands us, but we do have a choice in either becoming an old weathered skeleton or taking what we have and becoming great!

This is Dave & Ruth, longtime friends of Gary's and new friends to me.

This is Gary and I enjoying an ice tea in the shade. Sorry about the 'helmet hair"! I took off my long sleeved shirt for only a short time but today I am redder than the shirt I was wearing!

Chuck and I will be gone ths week but I will have access to the internet so I hope that I get lots of comments while I am gone.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Taking a little break....

Hello blogger friends! I am feeling a little emotionaly drained these days so I am going to take a little break for awhile. I won't be gone long.
Enjoy these Maxine cartoons while I am gone; I can really relate to her!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Dearest Mother,

I hope you don't mind receiving this letter today, but it has been a hard day for me as this is the first Mother's Day since you have passed. I must start with saying how much I love you and I miss you.

As I write this, I can see your smile, feel your hand on mine and hear your kind words of encouragement. You were always there for me.

One of my fondest memories of you is when we were little and we had been out playing in the snow, when we came in, the house was filled with the aroma of homemade bread and homemade cocoa. When I got older you taught me how to make bread and gravy and all the good comfort foods I grew to love.

After Beckie died and I became active in Victims' Rights, you went with me as my support when I spoke to the Legislature about the Life Without Parole Bill. I was scared and shaking but you were there with words of encouragement. Even though I had my doubts, you told me that I did real well.

When Leo and I bought our house, you were there helping me unpack and line the shelves. You showed me how and where to plant flowers and tomatoes. The three of us had lots of good times camping and exploring the Big Horn Mountains.

"Think Pink" (because of your optimisim) was your motto and it is a legacy you have passed down to your children and grand children.

I will close this letter now with the words that seem too few but mean so much: I love you, Mom!

Forever, always and a day,

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May = Memories

As Mother's Day approaches I can't help but think about my own dear Mother who passed on last September. I miss her everyday but most of all I draw from her strength which she consistently displayed.

Mother did not have an easy life. She grew up on a farm in Nebraska. Her older brothers went off to war and she had to go out into the field and work as a man at a very young age. Mother never whined nor complained about hard work and did not tolerate it with her children. No matter how hard life became for me, Mother always had an encouraging word that would urge me to go on. I got my strength from Mother.

I can only imagine the pain of losing a child or a grandchild but Mother experienced both. To this day, I can remember the strength and compassion that Mother showed me when Leo died as she was about my age when Dad died. Sometimes when I am sad, I can still hear Mother's words of encouragement in my ear. Yes Mother, I am still listening.

Me, Rubye Jean, Ellie, Beckie, Mother

Our sister Beckie was born on Mother's Day. This picture was taken on Mother's Day, 1990 in Sheridan, Wyoming. Grandpa Harold had passed and we were all there for his funeral and for Ellie's graduation from college. We all went to the nearby park and just had a good time together. That was the last time I saw Beckie as she and her three boys were murdered that November.

This is the picture of Ellie, Rubye Jean and I after Mother's funeral. Birth made us sisters, life made us friends. I admire both of my sisters for they have been my strength in my hard times and my joy all of the time. Each have had their share of 'life problems' but they keep on going with excellent attitudes.

I only hope that I can be a pillar of strength for those who love me and the others that my life path comes in contact with.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

To a place I have never been before.....

So now that I am back I will tell you of my adventure this week.

The meeting/retreat was great at the Vee Bar Guest Ranch. The cabins were cozy and modern and very comfortable. The Ranch served delicious and nutritious food and the lodge pets (cats and dogs) greeted everyone and were very friendly. We had a campfire one night before it got cold and snowy and sang campfire songs and made smores. The 'John Wayne' Saloon lived up to its name. A productive and relaxing time was had by all.

On Friday, the meeting was over by noon and we thought we were all going to be going home. It wasn't until we got out on the highway about 5 miles we knew that a big snow storm had moved in when the wind was up to 50-60 mph. The 20 minute drive into town became an hour long. The ground blizzard was so bad that I could barely make out the car in front of me which also had its hazard blinkers on. It was comforting to know that we were all traveling together in a caravan and if one person had a problem then there were lots of people to help. Needless to say, once we got into Laramie all roads, highways and the interstate were closed. We all vaulted for motel rooms then met for dinner, one last time.

On Saturday, the sky was blue, little wind and you couldn't even tell there had been a snowstorm except for the 8" buildup of ice on the under carriage of our cars. The highway home was smooth sailing!

Last night I had a date with my new beau, Gary. We were supposed to go to Salt Lake City together so he could buy himself a new motorcycle. Because I was snowed in at Laramie he went by himself. This morning he came by for coffee and we went for a ride on his new Honda Goldwing.

I have never ridden on a motorcycle before so this was my first. Like I told Gary, "I come from a family of six girls and boys with motorcycles were not allowed."

So Gary gave me my first real motorcycle ride. He furnished me with a leather jacket and helmet and gave me instructions on how to get on and off the bike and how to ride. At first I was a little scared. But, since I always tell others to experience new things and to step out of their comfort zone now and then, I decided to do that myself.

We rode over to Green River, (15 miles) and he introduced me to his Dad and step-mother. Gary's dad, Glenn, is 86 years old and very sweet; Shirley, 83, is also very sweet and invited me back even if I didn't have Gary with me. Then we made a big loop stopping at different friends of Gary so he could show off his new bike and introduce me. We even went over to see my daughter and grand daughters at Brenda's house. We made several more stops after that then Gary brought me home, walked me to my door, kissed me goodbye then left.

Today with Gary was incredible and by stepping out of my comfort zone, I have been to a place I have never been before!

Have a great week everyone!