Sitting here in the early light of another Montana day. The intensity of the morning sun on this deck overlooking Whitefish Lake drives us inside by mid-morning. I’m longingly awaiting its appearance on this chilly morning. Yesterday the air was filled with a hazy veil of smoke from the wildfires that are scorching Montana. Over some of the same roads and through some of the same mountain passes where we have driven the fires are eating away at the tree lines that our eyes feasted on. At least one fire fighter has lost his life in the fires here. The fires that plague the west always seem so far away when experienced from NC; but last year as the southern mountains experienced wildfires I remember feeling helpless against their power. Passing through huge acreage of burned forests in Glacier National Park on Wednesday it was so encouraging to see the way the forest is resilient. Wild flowers grew in between the grey skeleton trees and everywhere the forest floor was green with new growth. I’m hopeful today will bring some slowing and resolution of these already devastating fires.
Yesterday we had a chance to rest and relax here at this beautiful house. It was good just to take some time to reorganize our “stuff”, read, write postcards and visit with each other. It’s been fun to have Karin, Fred’s niece here from California. We have joked about how the two nieces, Debbie (Pat’s niece) and Karin have been “playing nicely together”. Imagine one of those big family reunions where all the cousins “by blood” and “by marriage” are supposed to get along even though they are not sure who’s who. But this has been a wonderful chance for all of us to be with Karin and get to know her. She leaves today to go home and we will miss her.
Pat found out during the afternoon that Jill, Jeremy and Aida (Pat and Fred’s daughter, husband and granddaughter) were having to put their wonderful beloved dog Moochie to sleep. Hearing that brought up, for all of us, our own grief at loving and losing our pets. Moochie has been their house dog for all of Aida’s life and he has been her friend, cushion, playmate, dress up doll, and constant companion all of these 4 years of her life. Fred, Pat and Debbie have known Moochie much longer as he has protected them when they visit, herded them on hikes, and stood by them and the family they love in Alaska. I was so looking forward to meeting this amazing dog when I got to Alaska, but it will have to wait for that time beyond time now. As Jill took Moochie to the vet for this last loving act, we gathered in the living room and held hands putting Jill, and Moochie in the middle of our circle; telling both of them how much we love them. We stayed that way for 10 minutes or so saying our good byes to Moochie and imagining St. Francis greeting him on the other side. The unconditional love our furry companions give us make it so hard to say good bye; rending our hearts with sorrow. Each time I say I won’t get another pet, but that resolve goes quickly as I realize how much better a person I am when I have that source of love in my life.
Moochie dressed by Aida
\Yesterday I made a blueberry pie for dinner. It tasted good but because I didn’t have any flour or cornstarch, it was kind of runny. Somehow we managed to eat it:) Huckleberries are in season here but because they are a wild berry, the grocery store doesn’t sell them. We will have to find a roadside stand to buy some. It seems like every gift store has huckleberry jam, syrup, candy and even huckleberry lip gloss to sell! It’s a flavor not unlike blueberries but quite different at the same time. We have huckleberries in our mountains but not in the plentiful quantities found here.
Para- sailors over the lake
Have a good and gentle day friends!