Friday, April 24, 2009

The Boise Stop

Papa and Katie sharing popcorn.

Joe headed for the train depot & keeping up with big sister.

Papa keeping track of everyone.

April 24, 2009

Next we spent some fun in the sun with the Niesen gang. It was a fast week. Fred and Misty put up a picket fence across the back of the yard. Really it was Fred that had his heart set on putting it up and Misty was a good sport about helping him see it to the finish. She was planting garden and flowers while we were there. Spring has sprung.

I felt like we watched spring come all across the country as we drove north. The oranges were blooming in AZ. The cherries orchards were blooming in Utah. In Idaho the trees were blooming too before we left.

The photos above are of us at the open house for the Old Boise Train Depot near their home. The Depot is rented out for wedding and other special events. It was a hot afternoon, but we all had fun.

We praise God that Fred is so much healthier than when we left Boise, the middle of December.

Twin Falls, Idaho

April 16, 2009

We hooked up the camper and headed north on April 14. We have enjoyed our time in AZ and look forward to spending some time there next winter.

The Grand Canyon was our next destination. We opted to bypass the South Rim and check out the North Rim instead. Well... the North Rim is closed until late May. Guess we will have to put that on our list for next year. As we came North most all the State and National Parks were closed. I guess we were too early in the spring for camping.

We stopped to see our daughter-in-law, Kristi's parents in Twin Falls, ID. They offered to take us sight seeing in the Twin Falls area. What a great idea! We lived in Idaho for 15 years before we moved to Alaska, but had never been sightseeing in the Twin Falls area. The Snake River is very high this spring so the falls in the area are quite dramatic. Some are higher than Niagara Falls.

We had a great couple of days with Wayne and Ann seeing the sights, playing some games and sharing some time. We also share 4 of our grandchildren with them.

Thank you for your generous hospitality. Hope we get to do that again.... Maybe in Alaska?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Heading North

April 15, 2009

Can it be that we have been away from Alaska for 6 months? It has been a wonderful time of healing and rest for both Fred and I. We have been so blessed all along the way.

Now we are heading north to spend time with our daughter, Misty and family in Boise and then on to Seattle to spend some time with our son Shane and his family. Shane and Kristi had a little new little son, Seth, while we were in Brazil in Feb. We look forward to meeting him.

On May 6th, Fred has an appointment with his Doc in Bethesda. We are expecting it to be just routine. We should be in and out in a couple of days and then home to Alaska. Not sure what day we will actually get home yet.
Norman & Connie
I just want to let everyone know how well my Uncle Norman and his wife, Connie, took care of us this winter. We parked our camper in their back yard for 4 months, then came and went from there on our other travels. We shared so many sunny days, beautiful evenings and wonderful memories with you this winter. Thank you for your care and generosity.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baby Calves & Blizzards

April 8, 2009

Note I said Blizzardsssss. My folks had a major blizzard for 2 days before we arrived in Rapid City on March 25th and 2 more while we were there. I think we had 4 days with some sunshine while we were at the ranch for 2 weeks. We originally planned to be in SD for 1 week, but I could see that the last thing my family needed to worry about was getting us 100 miles back to the airport that week. So we changed our ticket to the next Wednesday. Then I made sure we headed to town a day early so everyone would be less stressed about the whole thing.

One of the good things about the weather was that we got to see more of my relatives in town. Aunts, uncles and cousins shuttled from one person to the next trying to get us from the airport to the ranch, to and from town, and to and from the airport.

My sister, Beth, ended up being the one that drove us to and from town. I have never felt like I might get stuck in the mud and gravel in the middle of the road in 4 wheel drive before. We were glad that the road was still a little frozen the morning we headed back to Sturgis.

With so much snow and wind, the cattle were feeling the stress, especially the new baby calves. Day after day I saw the cattle with their tails to the wind, heads down and their black backs covered with a heavy white coat of snow. Not only was it hard on the cattle it was hard on the ranchers trying to keep them fed, watered and together. Plus trying to keep all the new babies alive. Dad and his hired men took turns every 3 hours all night keeping watch over the cattle ready to calve.

Fred and I helped trail mothers and calves in before the last 2 storms. The last day we were at the ranch we enjoyed helping trail them back out of the crowded corrals to the pasture. It was great to see the calves kicking up their heels in the sunshine. It is easy to forget how unforgiving those South Dakota winds can be.

It was great to spend so much time with you, Mom and Dad. We appreciate you. Mom thanks for letting us win a game or 2 of "Hand and Foot".