Monday, August 31, 2015

Oh So Beautiful

 We recently had another camping trip...to Paulina Lake, about a 40 minute drive from us. We did quite a bit of hiking while there, and the photo above shows the very top of the peak you can drive/climb to. (By the way, all photos are much better enlarged by clicking on them.)
Paulina Lake, along with East Lake, is in the caldera of an old volcano. The whole area is designated the 'Newberry Volcanic National Monument'. We felt like we were right up on the top of the Cascade Mountain range, at the top of the world. So beautiful.
There are a lot of interesting volcanic features to explore there. It was fairly clear, but there was a lot of smoke on the horizon due to wildfires burning in Washington and Oregon. At dusk the smoke would settle in our campground causing a misty sort of mysteriousness. There is a statewide ban on campfires, so we missed that part of our normal camping and no s'mores : (
 
There are several large obsidian flows in the monument, and we climbed up through one. The volcanic glass that was created is fascinating.
Back down on lake level, looking up to where we had been. This lake is a deep one, and used mainly for fishing. My parents brought me here when I was a baby, and our family has been enjoying it ever since. To hike around the lake is about 7.5 miles, and we opted for a hike of 4.5 miles instead. We had heard of some hot springs part of the way around the lake, so decided to go on an adventure and find them.
There are bubbling hot springs at the edge of the lake on this pumice beach. So weird, right on the edge of a cold snow melt mountain lake. People have dug small pools, and they are at varying temps from luke-warm to steaming hot. The insurance man changed into swim trunks and enjoyed the warmth and lake views for about an hour. I laid out on the edge of the pumice in the sun and dozed. If you click on this photo you can see another couple with swim suits on, but eventually other people arrived and some thought it OK to just go natural with no clothes. WE decided it was time to leave! A fun adventure and camping trip!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

August Visitors

My dear friend from high school and college days came to visit Bend with her hubby and camper. What a treat to see them.
We snuck in an anniversary dinner together which was wonderful. We got married three weeks apart in 1971. She was in mine in July, and then three weeks later I was in hers in August. And now it's been 44 years ago....
And then daughter Joy, son-in-law Kirk and granddaughter Macy came to visit. The guys took off on a desert adventure, leaving us girls to have fun around Bend. And fun we did have.
We also met up that week-end with granddaughter Kory and several of her friends from Camp Tadmor for a fun lunch at Red Robin on the Deschutes River. August is turning out pretty good. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

It Is In The Valley...

                  VALLEY OF VISION

"Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,

Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee
in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin,
I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox:
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
                                                        that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
                                                       that to give is to receive,
                                                       that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine. Let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley."

Taken from 'The Valley of Vision' a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer days of July


As I have mentioned before, the deer roam loose in our neighborhood, and indeed in most of our small city...looking wonderful and causing much havoc with traffic and gardens. We have a nice tall fence to keep them out of our back yard, which does the trick so that I can garden to my heart's content back there. Last week, we had a contractor come by to give us a bid on refinishing our deck. We never saw him come or go, but he somehow left open the gate to our back yard. We found this out when the insurance man came home for lunch and called me down to witness three triplet fawns lying in the back yard grass. Mama had been feasting all morning to her great delight. It sure didn't take them long to find an open gate! I will skip the descriptions of the damage done, and just say how cute the three fawns were. I couldn't get a photo of all three, because as soon as I came out with my camera they scampered to follow mama back through the forbidden garden gate.
 
And on another note, the insurance man took a short trip down to visit his brother who is fighting forest fires down in the SE corner of Oregon. He is loading fire retardant into airplanes, about 8-10 loads per day when it's busy.
I think they had a good, but short, time together and the insurance man enjoyed watching and seeing what his older brother is up to.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Happy 16th Sam!

 Right from the beginning in Chicago, we knew we had something special...
Samuel Nils Jones.
 He started out liking balls of all sorts, but I have to admit that the sailboat was from Mom, and the stuffed rabbit from Grammie. It still made for one of my favorite photos.
 Samuel has always been a delight in our lives.
 I was hard put to find photos of Samuel that didn't include fishing.
 He always has a fishing pole at the ready...
 to catch a fish.
 
 As he grew, so did his patience, knowledge and expertise. I think he is now our unqualified family fisherman. You would think that fishing is all he does, but no, he is a man of varied talents. He likes to draw and paint, play the piano, hunt with bow and arrow, be outdoors building snow forts, hollowing out a tree for a canoe, hunting for bugs or toads or foxes, or babysitting a brother or sister. He is an avid Mountaineer fan and loves football. Sam has a tender heart for babies and you'll often find him minding one of the little ones.
 
 
He loves his extended family too, and here he is enjoying some time with Great Grandma and Grandpa.
 
Today we celebrate the young man he has become as he turns 16! Happy Birthday, and we are so proud of you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Anniversary Camping

This year the insurance man and I celebrated 44 years of being married to our best friend(s). We decided early in the year to go camping, and so reserved a campsite out along the Metolius River. That is Black Butte you can see at the far end of the river. This is the most beautiful river that I have ever seen. (Please do click on the photo above, it is so worth it!) The head of the river comes out from beneath the ground under Black Butte, and therefore is so pure and so clean.
 
I posted about camping here last year, and it is one of our favorites. We parked in a nice campsite and relaxed for a couple of days. (Look familiar William?) We read, played games, napped, ate and hiked.
Along both sides of the river are great hiking trails. There are always good wildflowers here, spring through fall, but this year all the wild sweet peas were out, blanketing the edges of the river.

At night we sat and listened to the river while watching the campfire and stars. Ah.....

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Willows That Weep


 
Willows, especially those that weep,
sing a tune that echoes through the years
of our lives.
Graceful beyond compare, bending,
touching the ground
with branches that run tears.
 
Hidden spaces, from rain, heat,
snow or unwanted faces.
Dappled shade with private peeping holes,
seen from the outside are
eyes among the leaves,
both human and avian.
 
Our vintage town had enormous willows
along the river bend.
Majestic, they trailed their tears,
mingling
into the rivers' water,
flowing from one into the other.
 
Lovely summer green, these giant beauties
reached high,
to the sun and to azure sky.
River banks are their haven of choice,
for there they soak up water for
 needs of their weeping.
 
As the wind blows
and weeping branches separate,
hidden spaces are revealed
although never fully.
Branches ripple, bending
to the summer winds,
alone, unique, different.
 
Mysterious summer friend to
all who seek shelter,
both large or small.
Companion to those who need solace,
who must needs find someone
to weep with them.
 
                                              By Jennie