16 August 2013

What’s Not To Love, Missoula, Montana

Dress For Success Missoula hosted their annual Bluegrass and BBQ Party in the gorgeous creekside back yard of Ruby's Inn and Conference Centre. Dinner was served up by Missoula’s very own The Wild Weenie - really, what’s not too love? (Hush - no comments needed from the ultra-healthy peanut gallery. And yes, we know how hot dogs are made.) Thanks to the Weenie, the Ruby Jewel Band, comediennes Theresa Waldorf and Rosie Ayers as The Home Shopping Girls, Michelle sharing her Success story, and dessert auctioneer extraordinaire J.R. Strand, a good time was had by all, and funds were raised for a great cause.

15 August 2013

Well-Watered Willow, Missoula, Montana

Sometimes circumstance reminds us of the truly important. 
We worry and fret about so much, blithely tossing about words like “need” and “have to”.  "I need some new clothes; I have to get..." the latest, greatest item paraded by marketing geniuses. And then, unexpectedly, we are drawn outside our self: we read of homes burned to the ground by wildfire; we write a sympathy note to a dear auntie who lost a daughter in a senseless accident; we laugh with a cousin wisecracking her way through cancer treatment.  
And so our perspective shifts. 
We re-orient: to thankfulness for who is dear to us, to contentment with where we are, and to renewed focus of our attention.
A willow seeks water to grow and flourish. 

What is the "water" you really require? 
For me, it's more quiet time in the cleft of the Rock.

14 August 2013

Unfurling Toward, Missoula, Montana

As a kid, walking the mile to town - with an older sibling, of course - was a big deal. Apparently, it was not a busy road several decades ago, as I remember dawdling along, skipping stones across lush spring ditches filled with idling water.
In winter, the snow plow threw a huge ridge of snow into the field, parallel to road. Someone invariably ran a skidoo along the top, leaving an elevated walkway perfect for small people bundled in snowsuits with only their eyes showing. (Winter walks were actually more of a waddle into town.) From our lofty height, we surveyed a rolling domain of diamond crusted fields, sparkling in the clear winter sunlight.
Memory images are not like a movie - there’s no plot, no distinct connection of why and where we were going, or how we got home. The actual journey toward is what made an impression - the discovery of along-the-way, the being in the present. And isn’t that what we need a little more of? Our lives get so busy, so scheduled and planned ahead with destinations mapped. Remember to take in the simple joys of the everyday journey - to stop and smell the roses, as it were.

13 August 2013

River Rafters, Brennan’s Wave, Missoula, Montana

Sultry summer evenings bring an interesting medley of floatation devices to Missoula’s Clark Fork River - tubes, rafts, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, surfboards, you name it. While calm stretches of water coddle most floaters, we watched the brave ones continue through Brennan’s Wave, created in 2006 in memory of Brennan Guth, a world-class kayaker from Missoula. Situated next to Caras Park, the Wave has been the host site for championship kayaking competitions, including the annual Best in the West event. Over the years, high and extended spring flows damaged the foundational structure of the Wave. A kayaking colleague explained to me that the structure now creates a green wave, which is better for surfers, instead of the original white wave coveted by kayakers. Long-range repairs are scheduled to continue this fall, and I‘m sure the Wave will again be busy the minute work is completed.

12 August 2013

Blue Bells, Missoula, Montana

It turns out that all the intermittent rain that cleared our vacation air wasn’t simultaneously gracing the  Missoula valley. So I was glad to see the garden flowers still thriving. Blue bells are a happy childhood reminder of the delicate wildflower bells found on walks in the forests around our summer campgrounds and at the wooded edges of our home pastures. This garden version is sturdier and a bit more prolific in its flowering.

11 August 2013

Little Box of Sunshine, Missoula, Montana

Holiday RePost: 21 December 2011
To tide you over as the daylight hours lessen, here's a little box of sunshine - just what the doctor ordered!
I captured it in my backyard this past summer & saved it for you.... kinda like Bill Cosby's snowball he saved in the freezer for Juniour Barnes... but nicer.