Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Goodbye, Mom - part 4 The joy of family

Our final days in Sisters ended with a fun celebration of Mother's life in this little town.

During our luncheon at the church, after mother's service, the sky filled with snow. The children danced in the parking lot...

With their mouths wide open to catch every flake.

Little Californians aren't use to the snow.

When we returned to mother's house the children shoveled the snow,

Played in it for hours,

Made snow balls,

and made tracks along the slippery roads.

It was a cold day but no one seemed to mind.
Everyone welcomed a taste of winter.
Jonah made dozens of snowballs and Sasha did not complain.

Margaret and Kevin brought Marina and Nicole to Mom's place this week...Here they are gathered around the computer to sing crazy songs with our children. It was so good to be with them and to spend long night hours talking to Glen.

Early Saturday morning, our last full day together, we decided to go on one of mother's favorite annual shopping sprees - The Stitchin' Post Early Morning Pajama Sale. We got up early, with
Bob, Doretta, Carl and Nick, and all the girls and went to mom's favorite quilt shop in our pajamas. The shoppers came in the snow, with warm slippers, curlers in their hair, and lots of flannel robes. We all got a coupon at the door that gave us 30% off every item that we purchased in the store. It was a perfect way to end the week.

Nick, Carl and Bob went to a near by diner for a hearty breakfast, while the rest of us began to shop. Nan found fabric for her first homemade quilt- Mom would have been so proud of that choice. I bought a green table runner for my Christmas table, and some unusual felted Christmas balls (you will see them in my Christmas post)...and of course, we bought Quilt books (you never leave the Sitchin Post without a quilt book). The author of our books was there in her pajamas too- Jean Wells (a very famous quilter and owner of the store). Some of her little quilt boxes are in this picture with Nick. What a colorful designer (both Nick and Jean).

Tina and Carl are browsing in the "Fat quarter" section of the store. I don't think that Carl has any idea what a "fat quarter" is.

It was such a pleasure to be shopping with our dear friends, Doretta and Bob. Here is Doretta in her pajamas with all the other brave, cold shoppers of Sisters. She fits right in..a part of this fun community.

It was a fine way to spend our last days together. We won't see each other until next July. What a memorable week in the middle of our mission... It has been a gift to return to be with family and friends at this time. Thank you for coming.

What a group ! You are the best of the best. (after four posts, I have run out of superlatives).

When we finished our successful shopping spree, all the girls went to The Gallery for breakfast in our pajamas. People were walking all over town in their pajamas.
We were too hungry to get pictures. This is a picture the second time we went to The Gallery with all the little kids.

Later, we dined at an old "gourmet" restaurant called the "Snow Cap Drive-In". It is not a Drive-In or a gourmet restaurant, but is a great place for big hamburgers, corn dogs, and greasy onion we have not eaten since we left for Denmark. I think that this place
is the oldest eating place in town. It is about the size of our living room in Denmark.

We decided to take a family photo. Maybe we'll use it for our Christmas Picture.

Vaughn, Stepi's husband, is not in a lot of these pictures. He has been on "Simon watch", and caring for two new little puppies that the Hormikos have adopted into their family. This is a picture of the very first walk that they have taken on a leash. I think that they are wrapped around Vaughn's leg. It was a very short walk.
Thank you, Vaughn, for being such a kind, patient father of one sassy little boy, two busy little girls with many bright ideas, and a great big boy who is growing up too fast. (he has lots of bright ideas too) We love having you all. I am so glad that you were willing to come to be with this crazy family of ours.

During this week we had some surprise visitors. Gretta came running up to mother's house to tell me that there were over twenty wild turkeys next door. They are the same color as the dirt so they are hard to photograph. But after this picture was taken, Gretta turned around and scared the poor gobblers by chasing them all through the woods. All I could see was a little red coat running through the trees.

There were lots of hungry deer in mother's backyard. They often came right up to the deck.
Carl is standing on a snowy road near her house. Sisters is located in what is called a "high desert." It has a mixture of sage brush, and tall evergreen trees. It is nature's paradise.
I grew up on the other side of these Oregon mountains down in the Willamette Valley. I love the lush green Oregon foliage and the dark brown soil of that valley. But there is magnificent beauty here with the Three Sisters snow capped mountains, and the clear lakes and rivers near mother's Sister's home.
During this week I was able to read (in person) the spooky Halloween stories that I wrote for this blog to Sasha, Gretta and Jonah. I got to play with little Simon and enjoy some of the best people in the world. I will long remember these days.

I have been accused by some of our family- of writing the longest blogs in "blogland." Consider the last four blogs as a place where you can come when you want to read about your grandma. Use it as a little album of her life. Read it on her birthday, or when you are thinking about her and wishing that she were here.
Use her life to lift you up and be grateful for the heritage that you have. Live a full life like she did...use all of your talents, work hard, and then take time to smell lots of roses, dahlias, and fresh green beans picked from your garden. Remember to plant daffodils in the fall so that you can enjoy them in the spring.. and hang gingerbread boys on your Christmas tree.

Thank you, Mom, for leaving us with these sweet memories. We love you, Belva

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