Living - and already savoring - the Adventures across the backroads of western Idaho and eastern Oregon!

16 May 2013

Canoeing through Springtime in the Mid-Atlantic States

I wish I'd have known about this lil' baby a few years back.  You best hurry on out there and grab one - what better way to avoid Beltway traffic than cruising through a thunderstorm/hurricane up the Potomac river:


11 May 2013

Simplicity -- for Michele Denise and Ellen Marie

Now, what's up with that subject line?  Well, it's too long a story but I'm inspired to share its highlights.

A college friendship among two girls that soon included Ellen's fiancee and Michele's boyfriend.  Then afternoons at Henry's family's dairy farm that involved actually milking cows, followed by nights of nice wine, cheese, cards and laughter.  Life went on, and reality intruded, with them staying on the farm (wow!!), and  Jose and Michele joining the Air Force and literally flying to Germany for Assignment #1.  Ellen beat us to the punch with Cody Parker, a kid whose grown into just an amazing young man.  Then we got Christophr Shane.  So it goes, and we all got some of what we wanted!

Screech-scream-zoom ahead twenty-nine years (aka, a million lifetimes) and I'm calling Ellen with my traditional 'Call before Mother's Day' because she has four biological and two adopted-from-Urals of Russia children.  No need to bother her on Mother's Day when six others have first dibs.

Go figure.  After the chat is hilariously done, Ellen is on the phone with Michele.  For the first time perhaps since we boogied out to Idaho.  And the laughter about life, love, children, cows and gardens went on and on, not to mention mimosas as a reason to get out of bed.

What's my point here?  I guess it's that I'm just a simple man, living on the land and in the moment.  I look up, decades have passed spendiferously by, and here are two simply charming women catching up and reminding me why life is worth living.

Take the moment, take a hold of the simplicity of love, and love your mother.  Or, her memory.  Pick up that phone, my friends, and call/chat/visit with mom, even one who may not even have biological kids.  (Yeah, Katie G, just because you're in Italy, you're not exempt!)  I know a few women out there -- you know I'm talking about you -- that have innate mothering and mentoring stuff that bubbles up, no matter that you don't have biological kids.  You are true mothers of the earth in my mind, so don't forget your role in our world.

So, Henry Lyle has Ellen Marie covered - and Ellen is blessed that he's one of the finest men ever to walk this planet.  Me?  I work daily to deserve Michele Denise.  Hell, some stranger stepped on her foot when she was 16, and still needs to prove that her second glance that day, and her 30+ year gaze, is worth her while.

To her and all of you other mothers, daughters and sisters, I send my best wishes...

09 May 2013

Plz opt-in or opt-out for 2013 ... and a Brushstroke of our Lives

It’s way past that time of the year when I ask folks to opt-in or opt-out of my infrequent blog post emails.  So, two questions:
  • Do you want to stay on the email distribution this year?
  • Would you like an occasional postcard from the Northwest?  If so, please send me your address.  They'll come from places like Craters of the Moon NP, Bend OR, Yellowstone NP and who-knows-Nowhereville ID.

Now on to the fun part – a quick recap of where we’re at in life and on the land…
·         The Maryland house deal closed as hoped and prayed for.  As much as I liked that house, it’s someone else’s joy now.  My mind is mostly in Idaho day-to-day, so I don’t want ever again to think about moving!
·         Life:  our older son is nearly done with his US Navy enlistment and plans on attending the Univ. of Montana (in Missoula) in the fall.  He even may spend a couple months with us.  As for here, my daughter and I have a week-long campout upcoming in mid-May to eastern Oregon and west-central Idaho, to places with good museums (Oregon Trail, regional and Native American), great vistas and hiking choices.  Sometimes, though, we’ll just sit back, burn some wood and play a game.
·         Property:  our 5 undeveloped acres means we’ll never run out of things to do.  We’ll soon begin putting up back yard pasture fencing, along with front yard rail fencing for our dogs.  This project will continue into next year.  Michele continues the charge of building-out the basement rooms, and that’s going well and we hope to get our daughter into her new bedroom later this year.
·         Work:  Ooops,  I put it last.  Wonder why?!  I really do enjoy my job and its potential to let me lead and contribute so much more than back in DC.  I’m teleworking four days a week, and can change my hours on-they-fly between 6-6, so also will start working just a half-Friday this summer.  As an IT project manager, I get immersed in techie gobbledy-gook as well as learning about wildland fires’ lines of business.  No sequester effects out here, so our staff prepares our applications for fire season as usual, though without fun money to expand capabilities.  Meaningful work near the front lines of helping others ... perfect.

Time “to get my shine on!” (a new country song), and head over to a volunteer leaders’ planning session for an annual community cleanup day.  Mixing up work and play … just another interesting day in our Ag (Agricultural) Land!