Wednesday, April 30, 2014

For the beauty of the earth

Yesterday my aunt Cathy and I took a little journey down to the Columbia River.

The river is very low right now because of a crack in the dam a ways down.

This mean the bridge that goes over the Columbia River is more exposed and you can see the crossbeams underneath.

My aunt knew this from a friend and so she decided to drive over to see it. I also highly suspect it was to see her cute guy friend as well;)

But I got to go along for the ride. And she bought me McDonalds:)

As we stood looking out over the river, I was struck by how beautiful the state of Washington is. On the west coast you have rain forests and lush, green beauty everywhere you look.

Central Washington gives you rolling hills and checkerboard farmland.

And then Eastern Washington gives you vistas and dessert and the Columbia River.

I was so excited about my bursting love for the state of Washington that when I got home I wanted to tell Jeff all about how our state is the only one that has such diversity in it's type of beauty.


Until I started thinking about it. "Well, I guess Oregon has a great variety too. Oh, and I suppose people in California love the diversity of landscapes there as well. And I'm willing to bet that people in...."

You get the picture.

I love where I live. But really, this entire country is bursting with beauty, wonders and diverse climates and landscapes that bless the lives of those who live there. And I have seen it in the states we've actually lived in-Wisconsin, Utah, Washington and Rhode Island. And all the states we've traveled in between.

And I believe, fully, that all of this beauty was a gift from our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much that he thought of beautiful ways to enrich our lives. The beauty of the Earth is just one of them.

Have a blue sky, sunshine filled day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Puttin down roots.

I made bread yesterday. Which I do.

In order to try and get my loaves to be equal, I decided to weigh them. I have never done this before. I usually just eye it, and the results, admittedly, are mixed.

However, I don't own a kitchen scale.

Then I remembered that I have my great-grandmother's kitchen scales. I have just had them as precious, memory filled decor. But she actually used them.

So I grabbed one, and yes indeed, they still weigh stuff just fine.

My loaves turned out even and my heart and mind were turned to my great-grandma.

I imagined that she was very pleased to see her great-granddaughter using in her kitchen, something that she, Anna Mohar, used regularly.

Just as I use my grandma's butter dish, and store my own lovelies in her hutch, it seems to me more and more, that while antiques that we look at are neat and all, antiques that we still use is what our ancestors would have really wanted.

I imagine that my g-grandma would not understand the extraneous, decor only type things around my house.

If it was in her home, it was because she used it.

I had a unique experience with my g-grandma compared to most people.

My grandma and grandpa built their house across the field from her.

My mom worked, so every day in the summer until I was in middle school, and most saturdays we spent with my grandma.

This meant that in addition to seeing grandma, we would also walk across the field and play at my great grandma's house, visit her, walk through her flower garden, eat the raspberries growing and not have any clue how enchanted our life really was.

So I knew my Grandma Mohar. Really knew her. Besides the consistent summer visits, during school my mom would go and see her regularly and she always took us with her. My great grandma had an oil stove in her living room that was always soooo warm. My sister and I would lay down in front of it and the heat would make us sleepy and before long, we would be out.

Who knows, maybe my mom just took us their to get us to nap:)

All I know is that most children do not have the experience with great grandparents that I did. Of all her grandchildren and great grandchildren, we were the only ones who still lived in Cle Elum and so we were blessed to see her on a regular basis.

Its funny, I use to not be able to wait until I could grow up and move away. But looking back now, I am so grateful for the life I was blessed with. For the heritage and stories that were minutes away from me.

And I am grateful to have been given a few things from both my grandma and my great grandma that help me still feel connected to them even though they are both gone now.

Now that we are back in  the Kittitas Valley, I feel such a connection somewhere deep in  my soul. I don't know how to explain it other than it must be the generations of my family that have been here since the 1890's.

I drive on the freeway and see the remains of my great-great uncle Linn's homestead. ( My middle name is from him)

I drive on a back road and know that the little canyon was named after my family.

I drive by my great grandmother's house on the road that still bears the family name.

I look around and know that I am seeing the same mountains and hills that they saw. Albeit different now 120 years later.

I wonder about their journeys to settle here. About the hardships they endured to start somewhere new, to grow things, including their families, in this new and unsettled place. What amazingly strong people they must have been.

And I am still connected to them. Which makes me wonder, as much as we have moved around, how can I ever leave?

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