Friday, July 29, 2011

A Huckleberry Hike for Parker

Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.
       ~Emily Dickinson

Sundance ski resort shimmers with immortality as the morning sun climbs its way up the rugged mountain walls.
Their stories are as varied as the homelands they hail from, but the astounding loss is the same and pulsates through each of our hearts.

A daughter, a sister,

a brother, a friend,
all gone too soon.

We assemble in honor of Parker

and we hike for every other immortalized loved one.

Sweet new friendships have blossomed from this annual gathering.

Familiar faces...thrilled to be together again.

And there is fun and joy...
in every...

on this day.

It's difficult to explain the bond we all feel

as we hike at high altitude through intense rays of sun.

Boys stepping into manhood feel the same bond.

The journey is steep,

but the view from the top is incredible.

and worth every single stride.

My mind and camera capture moments of bliss, like this amazing big brother carrying his baby sister up the very steepest part of the hike.

And giggles,

and antics,

and the face of a refreshing lollipop licker fill my reservoir with happiness.

Parker's family continues to heal amidst unspeakable tragedy; not only surviving but thriving for each other and for Parker's legacy.

A special Jiggy Stick production was made in honor of the day for each of us... to keep our lips smooth and hydrated while hiking. Dean named this flavor "Huckleberry Hike". And I think it's my new favorite!

It was impossible to keep pace with these teenage boys as we wound our way through the trail

through a swift water crossing of still melting snow...

to this waterfall.

And if I've learned anything about this group...where there is water, there are shenanigans.
Yes, it's my friend Michelle running through the waterfall with all the rest of the kids. 

I absolutely adore her passion for life and commitment to family.

Ninja boys pose following their running of the falls.

And as usual...we place a little token of Jocie hanging in a tree.

Tired and yet invigorated we hike our descent from a glorious mountain day spent with the most amazing people. A quick look behind us reveals where we've been

and provides hope and inspiration for the road ahead.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bye Bye Birdie

"Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr!"

The hens all flocked together in the coop this week and came to a decision. He...who we once thought was a she...had to go. Penguin had been voted off the island! And Dean and I agreed! Over the past couple of weeks Penguin had been developing a Cock-a-doodle-doo-ish noise. Which sounded more like..."Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr!"
Oh, don't you dare sympathize with that cute rooster Penguin and let him deceive you too... "Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr" gets very annoying at 5:30 EVERY SINGLE MORNING!

Just ask the neighbors...

I'm surprised that the neighbors haven't made Penguin into chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, or "Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr" chicken nuggets.

 "Watch who you're calling annoying...Errr, errr, Errr, err're taking me where?"

From one male to another, some parting words of advice for Penguin.  And one last photo, "Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr" as Dean imitates Penguin...or is it Penguin imitating Dean?

Loaded up in a dog kennel and it's off to a farm in Thatcher Idaho for you my dear Penguin.

Imagine if you will, driving for an hour with a rooster "Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr" in the back seat of your car for over an hour.
After what seemed like a day and a half "Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrr" we arrived in Thatcher just as the sun was setting on this handsome little farming community.

All it took was a single phone call to one of Dean's favorite childhood friends. "I already have 24 chickens Dean, sure I'll take Penguin then I'll have 25." JanaLe is truly as kind and genuinely happy as she always appears. Within minutes of our arrival she had invited us in to her sweet home which smelled deliciously of love and baking bread. We indulged ourselves on warm fresh homemade rolls.  

Dean and JanaLe reminisced about old times growing up, laughed and caught up on the years of details they had missed of one other's lives. She threw her arms in the air with delight after learning the charming story of Olivia and Henry. And then it was time to visit the coop. JanaLe lives on a real working farm. Along with cattle and alfalfa, they grow over 10,000 bushels of wheat every year. And of course there are the 24 chickens...make that 25.
JanaLe's youngest son Craig gave us a tour of his chicken coop and they laughed hilariously when we showed them a photo of ours. City folk...raising chickens...good grief!

 Peacefully settled in for the night...we were disturbing the chicken's evening.

 Well hello there Mister beautiful rooster on the left...what gorgeous hens you are roosting with tonight.

We gathered a few fresh eggs from the nesting boxes; naturally JanaLe sent them home with us.

Fresh omelets would definitely be on the menu following tomorrow's planned hike into the mountains.

Finding a nearby cage used on the farm to train dogs to track raccoons, we settled Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr Penguin in for the evening in his new home. After a night to acclimate, JanaLe would release Penguin in the morning to become part of the flock.

Good night fair Thatcher chickens, take good care of my Penguin will you? And I'm sorry about all the Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr that you'll hear in the morning.
If you are ever passing through Thatcher, stop in and tell Janalee hello. She will most likely make you lunch, send you home with farm fresh eggs, homemade rolls, and generally make your day a bit brighter just by being there.

"Errr, errr, Errr, err Errrrrrr"...oh and say hi to Penguin too!