Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Looking Back

Exactly three years ago today we dedicated Jocie's Monument at the top of Beaver Mountain. As I had not yet fallen in love with photography...most of these photos were taken by friends...specifically the lovely Leisa of Deer Hollow. Since The Garlick Press is a record of this family and our steps through a life of joy and sorrow..I wanted the memories of this day preserved here.

It was a magical day.

The ski resort was painted in the freshest autumnal attire.

Chair after chair...

we shuttled approximately 400 people to the top of the ski resort

where we had a little help from "summer lifties" to unload into the most glorious setting.

In planning the memorial dedication date, we could only hope for good weather and guess...wish...pray that the leaves would be turning. Whether or not it snowed, rained, or froze, we were going to hold this event...there was no fall-back date. Turns out, we timed it perfectly...just simply couldn't have asked for anything better for this day.

The air was warm and dry, with a slight cool breeze unleashing the color from the trees. Or rather...maybe the golden, twirling Quaken Aspen leaves that floated down creating a carpet of gold beneath our feet, were a gift from Jocie and heaven.

Amazingly we served lunch to approximately 400 friends and family at the top of the mountain with no electricity and no kitchen. Overwhelming support from helpers surrounded our family.

We dined on fresh tortillas with slow roasted pork and beef, fresh salsa and chips...

and delicious deserts of every variety!

While guests arrived and enjoyed lunch, Libbie Linton's soothing melodies drifted across the high mountain peak...warming souls and calming sorrows.

Sporting their new Jiggy t-shirts, the brilliant faces of Jocie's friends dotted the mountain.

Aren't they something else? Brave, happy and resilient despite missing their red-headed girlfriend...

and yet there were moments for solemn reflection.

The boy drinking the Mountain Dew hardly resembles the one we presently call The Teenager.  Even now...though it is getting quite small, he still wears his Jiggy t-shirt about once a week.

Some of our most favorite people in the world came from near and distant places to commemorate this occasion and pay tribute to our girl! I continue to be appreciative for that level of support.

And finally the dedication...the reason we all had gathered. Numerous thank yous to all who helped in any way, from digging the hole, to making log benches, donating time and money, hauling a giant rock up the mountain, and chopping up enough salsa to feed an army.

Of course there were tears, but there were plenty of laughs and hugs to soothe the sorrows.

Mike and Brandon sang Mike's Jiggy song he wrote...which made us smile.

And sisters whisper and giggle together for a moment.

And finally, the unveiling of the monument...

Bathed in flowers, the rugged stone monument soaks up the afternoon sun of this most magnificent Fall day. 

Daddy Dean welcomed all... and took a few moments, albeit emotional...to explain why we picked this spot for the monument. The words written on the monument were read aloud.

This site is dedicated to the memory of Jocie "Jiggy" Garlick.  On a beautiful spring day, Jocie skied her last run at Beaver Mountain at the tender age of fifteen.  Jocie's long red hair and easy laugh were frequent sights on the runs at the Beav, which she considered her second home.  Skiing was her greatest passion and she was a beloved member of the Beaver Mountain family.  Her spirit will remain where she was the happiest, here on the mountain.  Her friends and family donate this monument to her memory and encourage all to live life to its fullest, as Jocie did.

"Go Big or Go Home"

As time has passed, I realize today the significance the making of this monument had in a mourning Father's journey through grief. Dean spent the entire summer designing, planning, physically working on this project. His daughter...who vanished from his embrace so quickly the mind can barely process it; he needed something physical to connect him to his baby girl.

Ted Seeholzer, owner of Beaver Mountain delivered a few beautiful words honoring the spirits of his father and our Jocie. 

99 Red Balloons...the theme for the dedication. The inspiration came to me one day as I was listening to Jocie's music.

I recalled Jocie's love for every variety of music. At the top of their lungs, she and girlfriends were singing "99 Red Balloons" that morning as they rode the ski lift for the last time.

"99 Red Balloon...I think of you and let them go..."

Cass and Diane sang to their baby sister...

as the balloons floated off to reach Jocie in heaven...

I had someone tell me later, that the Garlick family had certainly provided a little glimpse of heaven that September day on the mountain. We would be absolutely mistaken to take any accolades for the day...we created the logistics, but the heaven part came from Jocie!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cake Smash

Olivia's thoughts on her 1st Birthday Cake photo shoot...

Whose idea was this anyway?

Ah...pretty birthday bunting Nana...can I have it?

I'm outta here...

What...for me?

Watch out...I'm diving in!

Umm...is this a trick?

Should I be doing this...

Hey...this is really fun, and way better than taking a nap!

Chocolate cake is yummy...but can I have some meat to go with it?

Nana...don't tell my mommy, she never let's me get this messy.

Feet in the frosting...awesome!

Hey guys...can we do this again tomorrow?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quitting Time

Sometimes I wish I was a quitter...

unfortunately I don't know how.

Waking up early one Saturday morning a few weeks ago, Dean and I haphazardly decided to hike the Wellsville Mountain Range. These majestic often snow-packed peaks, while being moderately tall are exceptionally narrow which makes them one of the steepest mountain ranges in North America. The Wellsvilles stare at me every morning when I'm on the way to anywhere; I have always dreamed of hiking to the summit! Today would be that day.

Being the first time on this trail, we were surprised by the amount of foliage. And green is an understatement, this trail felt like a walk through the Amazon jungle. Huffing and puffing early on, we realized quickly this hike was straight up, hardly any switchbacks and steep all the way.

Wild berries springing from the carpet of green looked almost good enough to taste.

As the trail finally opened up to reveal a clearing, I realized quickly that we still had quite a lot of ground to cover before reaching the summit. Having spent a couple days during the week recouping from a minor health issue, I was feeling sub par in strength and stamina. Time to admit my weakness, quit, and turn around for home; something I'm not very good at admitting...weakness. There have been many times in the past three years I wished I had the quitting gene...you now that part of your DNA that allows you to give up, lay in bed and pull the covers over your head. Ya...I don't have that gene.

Dean, sensing my fatigue, queries if I would like to turn around. Of course I'd like to turn around and make the descent at that moment, but something won't let me. We agree to hike another 15 minutes and then reevaluate. The minutes pass by...15...and then more... as our steps bring us closer and closer to the summit.

Couldn't help myself taking a photo of this little guy...reminds me of our girls buzzing around at home!

And just like that, the trail opens up again, revealing we are minutes from the peak. Turning around to see where we've been, the view outlines the entire glorious valley I call home.

Just a few steps to the other side of the mountain...another valley! .The gorgeous vistas on both sides of this steep mountain range seem to cloud any remembrance of ever even considering quitting.

His majesty-king of the mountain...if but for just a moment.

A quick pose with Izzy, a bite of chocolate...and we begin our descent.

As is often the case when you hike, it is the descent that solidifies just how steep the trail really is...we both felt this hike in our knees.

With no time to rest, we quickly stop at a friends' orchard. Knowing how much we love home-made applesauce, she generously gave us 10 bushels of apples, if we would just pick them from her trees.

Many...many...hours later...I still wish I was a quitter!