Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More on my trip to visit my family in South Dakota

I don't know how to express how good this trip was for me....or how much I needed to go...which I did not realize until after I was on the road. I was so sad and blue, and I did not realize that it was because I had this need to go see my family. Words cannot express the graditude that I feel to a dear friend who would see what I needed and make it happen. They say that a friend is someone who knows all your faults and loves you anyway. I say, a true friend is someone who understands your need when you are too close to the situation to see it yourself, and then makes the solution a reality. Thank you, Linda.

While I was "home" my niece Nicki (who lost her 16 year old daughter to Cystic Fibrosis a year ago in January) said, "You don't know how much I have been needing a hug from my aunt Connie." What she didn't know was how much I needed that hug too. Family is so important to me...sometimes when you live far away you think you are OK with it ... until you get together, then you just know how much you need each other, and how much you miss that family support.

Today I was reading Keron's blog and she is doing Sarah's Journal Challenge. I want to do that. Let's be honest...I need to do that! I know I am starting way behind, but I think I will start today by putting together my own journal from some heavy paper I have here...it will work great and will hold up to the "abuse". So I am off to build a journal. Have a great day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Going Home

A week or so ago I had an email from my brother saying my Dad wanted all of us kids to come home for a special family meeting on Saturday. There are 6 of us - except for Jerry, who lives in Oklahoma, we all made it!
Ireland Siblings with Dad

It was short notice and 500 miles from me so (due to the price of fuel right now) I had decided that I would not go. Then on Friday I went to lunch with my friend Linda...as we were sitting chatting over our sandwiches she asked me how quick could I be ready to go. She helped me see that I should follow my heart...that at 85 my dad is not going to be with us that much longer...and the cost of the trip should not be the biggest consideration. Then she said, "You need to go, and I need an adventure so let's just do it!" I love her spontaneity!

We were on the road in about an hour! Since her vehicle gets much better gas mileage than mine, she drove. We went most of the way on Friday and spent the night with son Dan's family in Sundance WY, then went on to South Dakota in the morning. It was a wonderful day spent with my brothers and Dad. We accomplished most of the things Dad needed, and truly enjoyed being together. We were at my brother's Bed and Breakfast where we were treated like honored guests. Such fun and great hospitality...my sister-in-law is the most awesome, gracious hostess...and the most wonderful cook...our meals were so delicious! In the evening my niece Nicki and her hubby came and stayed the night too, so we had a lovely visit with them too.

It was a crazy wild trip but so much fun! Both coming and going we drove over the Bighorn Mountains on the Lovell route where we saw so many wildflowers, tons of snow up high, and lots of wildlife - deer and pronghorn antelope with their new babies (oh, so cute), four moose - one had a wonderful rack still in velvet...such a beautiful drive. Sunday morning before we headed home we went to my Dad's and spent an hour or so with him; then on the way back we made a quick side-trip over to Deadwood as Linda had never been there. We are thinking we want to plan a trip when we can stay longer and do the walking tours, go to boot hill and take tons of pictures of all the historic things there....I'm game!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Among the Wildflowers

Dan's family had to go home on Sunday, but Beckie stayed for another week. We had a lovely visit. While she was here we "played" with art, went to the movies, and went camping in the Beartooth Mountains which sit on the border of Wyoming and Montana just a short drive north of us here. We had a lot of fun taking pictures of the beautiful scenery and lots and lots of wildflowers. (see my flickr)

On Friday (July 11th) we went to Yellowstone National Park. Even though we didn't see any grizzlies we did see a black bear. Beckie was thrilled because she usually visits us in the winter when the park is closed (and the bears are asleep) so she seldom gets to see bears while she is here.

This first bear is the one we saw this week. The pictures below are of the one we saw about a month ago, also in Yellowstone National Park.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

We had a wonderful family get-together for Independence Day. All 4 of our children, along with their spouses & children, were here with us for the day. Beckie was here from Colorado Spring CO, Dan's family from Sundance WY, & Bethany's & Letha's families from here in Cody for a total of 14 of us. We went to the parade, then came back home for a barbeque & spent the afternoon together. In the evening we watched the fireworks together. It was fun to see Autumn so excited that. She just danced around & squealed. What a fun age 3 is!

Our Family - First is Letha & Mark with their children Quincy & Abby, then Dan & Melissa and their son Chancey - with Beckie standing behind him; next is me behind Sieg, and finally on the end Bethany & Bill with Simon & Autumn. As they say in our family...this is a real mouse-chaser!
More Fun Shots!

The kids all had lollipops...and Autumn was the helpful big sister - wiping up Simon's stickiness.

Our little cowpoke - he sure loves that horse!

Quincy and Autumn just enjoying the day with complete joy.
(This is my favorite photo of the 4th. Beckie actually took this shot but I absolutely love it.)