Friday, August 8, 2014

A Week Of Pondering and Memories

A week ago, we were in Sandpoint, pre and post storm.  The area was hit hard by a storm early evening, and the destruction was crazy.  Sandpoint, being Sandpoint, pitched in and got it cleaned up rather quickly.  I was up there a couple days later for my dad's birthday, and if I wouldn't have known what the area looked like on Sunday morning, I wouldn't even have known a storm went through except for a few homes that still had trees on them.

Before the storm, we took our nieces to a couple parks.  Both were in the neighborhood my hubby and I lived in for 17 years.  One park was a few feet away from our old place.  At both places, memories flooded my mind. I have been to both places several times since moving, but on Saturday my mind was playing a slide show of past memories. On our first stop, I walked by our old place, so many memories.  I also walked by my aunt's old place, now with a new house on what used to be here beautiful garden/flower area.  What once was her big covered patio, where we rode a big, old time tricycle until we were 10, played, and enjoyed swinging in a big wooden swing my uncle made and had amazing conversations, was now a scraggly lawn, no remnants of what was once my aunt's place left.  At Lakeview Park, I looked over at the pavilion and memories of a surprise party we had for my parents 19 years ago came back like it was yesterday. I remembered taking the kids we worked with in 5th and 6th grade youth group to that park, and playing games and laughing.  Those kids are now 28-30.  Now, I had my nieces there that were the same age those 'kids' were so many years ago.  Nostalgia.  Memories.  

After being at the park, we took a drive down Selle Road, over to the Grouse Creek area where again memories of my childhood swirled through my head.  I remembered riding snowmobiles and sledding with my friends, 4-H meetings, time at our adopted grandparents home, spending time with friends laughing and being kids, as we drove down the roads.  I remembered friends and loved ones who lived in homes we drove by that are not with us any longer, and I was thankful for the heart prints they left on my life.  

Our drive home was a whole different story, as it was like driving in a war zone, with trees coming down all around us, barn roofs lifting off the building, flying through the air, and exploding into a million pieces as they hit the ground.  There were trees falling on wires, sparking fires, and chaos everywhere as strong winds ripped through the valley.  When we arrived back at my parents house, there were trees down as well, and their horse/llama shed was smashed in.  Fortunately, the animals are smart and were at the back of the pen, away from the trees.  The storm lasted for what seemed days.  Total, it was about an hour and a half of some of the worst wind I have ever experienced. I was in a tornado as a kid in Iowa, but this storm at least compared to that one.  This sounded and acted like a tornado, but lasted a long time.  

On Sunday morning, we drove through town.  Tears ran down my face as we went through our old neighborhood.  Many homes had trees on them.  Old, giant pine trees uprooted entire lawns and were strewn across lawns like toothpicks.  The park we were at the afternoon before with my nieces had trees broken off and parts of those trees laying everywhere.  Some areas looked like someone threw a bomb in the middle of the trees, causing a mass explosion.  It was a mess.  When you grow up in a small town, and live there for the majority of your life, you know people, and we knew plenty of people who were facing some serious destruction.  I knew that Sandpoint people are resilient and would come through fine, as that is the way Sandpoint people are, but it was tough to see.  We helped do some clean up around the area, with many other people, but the shock continued, as did the memories.

Memories....they continue.  Tomorrow is the Celebrate Life walk/run which benefits the cancer center in Sandpoint.  My dear friend is the reason that walk/run started.  Tonight, I am thinking of her.  I went to her blog and read entries from  parts of late December 2007 and into 2008.  One entry was about how God needed to keep her around for 2008 because she had so many plans.  She made it part way through the year before she went home to be with Jesus.  I miss her.  I miss our emails.  I miss chats.  I miss her quiet strength.  I miss her outlook on life.  I miss her challenging me.  I miss her faith. I miss her smile.  I miss her writing, but I am glad her blog still exists so I can go read her words.   I miss her kind heart.

I am not sure why God is taking me down a road of vivid memories this week.  It almost makes me worry that my life is flashing before my eyes, but maybe I just need to remember.  Remember that life is short, that the people God puts in our lives our precious and we need to love with everything in us, and make a difference.  We need to forgive, laugh, have soft hearts, help others, and be kind. We need to live like today is our last day, because it could be.  What if it is? What difference did you make, did I make and what memories will others have as they think of each one of us?  Were we kind, filled with love, giving, or were we harsh, angry, self-centered?  Think about it and make course adjustments as you need to, TODAY.  



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lake Pend Oreille Sunset



Smoke is filling the skies from wild fires, again.  It did create a beautiful sunset over Lake Pend Oreille, however.  The only edits I made was adding my name to these photos.  











































Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Smoke-Filled Sunsets


Many wildfires in our region have been creating havoc, loss, and despair.  Through the tragedy, there is still hope.  






























Friday, July 4, 2014

Freedom









Our freedoms have come at a great price.  What are you willing to do to stand up and fight for your beliefs, morals, and freedoms you have held to during  your life time?  Don't let them pass by, while you sit quietly.  Be a voice.  

Thank a veteran, thank someone currently serving in our military.  They deserve our greatest gratitude.  They deserve that we stand up and fight for freedom alongside them.  


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