Monday, June 28, 2010

Farewell Journey

This weekend we said goodbye to Grandpa Mont. The funeral was in Salt Lake, after which we piled into cars and headed north to Heyburn, Idaho, his final earthly destination.
As we were driving along I found the journey to be beautiful, beginning with a cloudy sky and old red barn in Northern Utah. More pictures ensued, most of them taken out the window as we sped by, so be kind and forgive the blurry edges.

We were lucky to have my brother along for the ride. Dental students strapped for cash don't often fly home for visits. We loved seeing him. The kids fought over the prized seat beside him. We only wish his wife and sweet girls could have come with him.

My brother lives in Virginia where speed limits are not quite as generous.  He plans on sending the below image to his governor in hopes of inspiring speedy enlightenment.

The place from whence we all came (our little clan anyway).

For those who make this journey often and complain of lack of beauty, I beg to differ.  This shot was taken out my husband's window.  Leaning over someone while they are driving can be risky, but it was a risk worth taking. Undeniably beautiful.

When we would visit my grandparents when I was young, these giant rolling sprinklers were fascinating to me. We just don't see them in our neck of the suburbs.

Serene little river.

Mighty Snake river.
  Rivers of this proportion are not something we are used to. My daughter called it Snake Lake.

Cousins & brothers carrying our beloved grandfather, hero.

Full military funeral service was provided for his service in World War II. Shots were fired & the flag folded and presented to my father.  It was such a beautiful, profound moment.

After the graveside service my dad's generous cousin invited us (ALL of us) to his nearby home for root beer floats.  This was his back yard.

(& I thought I was immune to car envy)

Younger cousins played while older cousins visited.

My youngest losing her hair ribbons along the way.

Then we headed to a little park across from the cemetery on the banks of the Snake River.  We shed those restrictive dress clothes and shoes and put our tired feet in the cool waters.

Such a pretty, peaceful spot.

If sense of belonging is a genetic trait, then I must have inherited some sense of belonging here. A recessive gene shining forth. The green mountains,  fields & farmland, majestic river….it felt like home. Last night my dad shared stories of his time spent here in his youth and it only compounded that sense of belonging. This place is a part of us, of those who have gone before. I love knowing my grandparents' final resting place is in this beautiful spot where memories and pastoral tranquility collide.

We loaded back up for the return journey.

We passed fertile potato fields (lucky spuds).

Rolling green hills.

Scenic farms & pastures.

Back to the Wasatch Front.

To the mountains we know and our home beyond.

 Until we meet again.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Together Forever

Let me tell you about Mont.
He was the lucky sailor who married Grace, a brown eyed beauty (both my daughters have her brown eyes).

He was the father of 4 sons, including my own dad, beloved grandfather of 16, and great grandfather of 21 (at last count). The great majority of whom bear some resemblance to him. There are a lot of us cousins who look enough alike to be siblings. I inherited his (their) dark hair & skinny legs - those genes in particular are very dominant.

 (my dad & me - we both have chicken legs)

He had blue eyes that were often mischievous, and during his last few years often teary with emotion.  He loved his family, and was especially proud of his boys. He was a builder, sun worshipper, Speedo wearer, sports lover & horse shoe champion.  He was also a carpenter, fisherman, wonderful example & man of great faith.  He was a lot of fun. He was handsome, and well aware of it. The raspberry bushes in our yard are from starts he gave us - he liked knowing they were growing well & we were eating & loving our berries. He was an amazing caregiver for my sweet grandmother as she battled Alzheimer's.  It was a battle she lost 3 years ago.  He missed her so much.

My kids loved him.  When my 5 year old prayed for him he referred to him as our bestest, bestest, bestest grandpa.  He was in our prayers a lot recently.

Not last Sunday, but the Sunday before, our little family went and visited him.  The kids stuck to him like glue. He was taken with our youngest and tried to get her to laugh.

On Monday morning I visited with him again, my two youngest in tow. He was no longer able to play & joke or sit up and talk at all, so I sat by his side and held his hand & told him I loved him. He squeezed my hand back - I'd like to think it was his way of responding and not just an involuntary reflex. His medical aides told us the he had been conversing with unseen visitors recently -  when asked who he was talking to, he said it was his brother (who passed away not long ago) and "he was on the other side of the river".  Apparently my grandmother has been there a lot as well.

After sitting with him for a bit, we left to go meet my husband downtown for lunch (it was his birthday).  As I was driving home from lunch I received a phone call from my dad.  Grandpa had passed away.  Less than two hours after I left his side.

  I am so grateful I was able to say goodbye.  I am grateful that this lively and loving man was a part of my life and my children were able to know him.
 And I am grateful Mont and Grace, my grandparents, are now together again - I truly believe that they are.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vintage Sheet Quilt in Blues (greens & purples too)

I told myself I couldn't start a new quilt until I finished this one.  So, my cool toned vintage sheet quilt is finally done.

Here is the front...

And the back, which I have to say is my favorite side...

When I was growing up, we would often go visit my grandparents in Idaho.  Two of the guest bedrooms in their home were called the "Green Room" and & "Blue Room", and they were filled with the "retro" (although not so retro at the time) floral linens from the 70's. Those rooms looked the exact same my whole life - their generation was not obsessed with re-decorating the way ours seems to be. This quilt reminds me of those rooms & more particularly of my grandmother, Grace.

And, because I am entranced with the sky of late, I thought I would share a little piece of yesterday with you...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Things that make me Happy

Fabric on Sale (all on-line)

Last year I really fell for the Arcadia fabric line. But I wasn't on the ball, and by the time I wanted to purchase some, it was hard to find.  Recently I found some bargain honey-buns online. I was thinking the colors would make a great quilt for my oldest son, but he didn't like my selection - said it was "too girly." Seriously. Maybe his younger brother won't care? :)

Love - Not only how I feel about this Amy Butler fabric line, But the actual name of it.  Hancocks of Paducah had Love Jelly Rolls on sale a few weeks ago for 14.98 (now only 9.98 - I just checked).

These prints and colors are fun & bright..

This Nicey Jane was also on sale at Hancocks.  Such a pretty fabric line!

Vintage Sheets

Still crushing on linens from yester-year. 

A few weeks ago when Sew Mama Sew was having their big May Giveaway Day,  I was gearing up to give away 72 6" charms squares of my favorite vintage sheet finds - 2 each of 36 different prints.  There was just a lot going on that week and I wasn't able to get it all pulled together in time.

Now I have this stack of squares and I am kind of glad they're still hanging around.
 I am just itching to play with them.


I spotted these massive pink beauties in my neighbor's yard a few houses down. From a distance, I had no idea what they were, but I was coveting.  After closer inspection I realized they were peonies - but not your typical grandmother's (double flowered) peonies.  Or at least not my grandmother's.  I think they are my next garden must have.

And my absolute favorite flowering tree is in bloom...the Purple Robe Locust.  We have two, although if we had more land (like I dream of) I would plant more.  They grow fast, which in new-ish suburbia,  is a trait I appreciate.

 It's cousin, the Honey Locust, is also in bloom.  The flowers are not much to look at, but it smells heavenly.  We have one on the walk leading up to our front door. 

Lately, if mom has gone missing, they can find me sitting on the front porch just inhaling the fragrance. Especially at night - kind of therapeutic.

So many friends making their apperance.

I am having a hard time focusing on house work - I just want to be outside. 
Oh, how I want to be.