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The other day, John & I jumped into the car and headed toward ‘The House of Myth Carving Shed’. It is located a few miles from where we are staying. In the “Shed”, artisans create totem poles and other artwork for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe of Northwestern Native Americans.

It is on Native American land located on the Olympic Peninsula, a few miles from Sequim on Highway 101. The Tribal Headquarters is located there. The 7 Cedars Casino is just down the street. We will hit that up one of these days also!

Anyways, back to the trip! Off we went, it was snowing very lightly, with a little wind. On the road, the wind had picked up and really began to howl, the snow came flying with the wind. The temperature dropped to 200 degrees below!

We first missed cruised the place, and made a repeat try for the entry way. We finally, got parked, but in the wrong lot. We didn’t know where the building was actually located!

Anyways, we climbed out of the car and leaning into the hurling wind and blowing snow, battled our way to the building, having to climb down a steep set of slippery stairs to get to it!

We made our way down to the building which was located in the bottom lot (on a hill). Did I tell you that it was bitterly cold, the wind harsh! I hate being cold! Got to the door, what! What do you mean its locked! Where is everyone? Back we go, up that awful flight of stairs. Approaching the door of the building we were passing, we noticed a sign posted on the door!  It stated: Closed for zxzzxz holiday! But we were here now! And we wanted in! Now! Out of the dam wind and freezing cold!  Off we go, returning home after our wonderful outing. Well! We did go for a ride, even if we were blown all over the road.  Well, we will make this trip another day. I am looking forward to it, kind of excited.  I enjoy anything Indian! After all, I am part Indian.

Last summer, John and I had the pleasure of spending several weeks in South Dakota. We saw and did many wonderful things in and around Rapid City. One of the things that we did was to take a self-guided tour of the Presidents’ Walk.

We had heard about the project from some locals and were fascinated by the bonze statues all around downtown.

With some investigation we learned that in the year 2000, Rapid City launched its Presidents’ Walk project. The plan was to install the statues of all 40 past presidents on downtown street corners over a 10-year period, at the speed of four statues per year, to promote pride in the heritage of our country. I imagine that this plan has been updated to include all past presidents’, then again, maybe not.

The project provided that four statues of past presidents per year be created and placed on the corners of the downtown area.

The first year, the project began with the first two and the last two presidents: George Washington, John Adams, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. (Clinton was still in office at the time). Every year after that, two presidents from the earlier years and two from the modern years were added.  There should be about 36+ installed by now.

Also, there are a few other statues of other times well worth looking at.

This self-guided tour is well worth taking the time and energy to take. I have included a few snaps to give you a idea of what you will be looking at.
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A fellow, Paul, here in the park was talking to John the other day about things to see and do around the area. Location: Back country dirt road 10-15 miles from Sequim, WA on the Olympic Peninsula. He mentioned that we should take a quiet drive down one of the country roads (the name of which I don’t remember right now).

Our friend told John to be very quiet and to drive slowly and if we are very lucky, we would get a chance to see a tribe of woodland trolls that live near that particular nameless? road.

Now, who did he think he was kidding! Come on everyone knows that there is no such thing as trolls! Right!!   Wrong!  Oh my, trolls sure are scary things!  What is a troll? Is it a person? a animal? a critter? I don’t know, but don’t get to close!

We were fortunate to see their house off in the woods; a great big thing, weird looking. It was dark and foreboding. I am sure glad it wasn’t Halloween when we took that ride!

Now I am going to show you some pictures, get the little ones out of the room! Sit back and enjoy!

trolls91

 

This is their house. They have trolls on guard duty, hiding.

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This one almost got me!   And this one was working really hard holding that fence up.

 

trolls51This one was trying to get me to come closer! The green one was trying to get his barbeque working! He wanted me to come to dinner. Hmm, I wonder if I was to be dinner.

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I could hear his stomach growling!

trolls161I heard this one say that he didn’t want to hear this bunch scream. I wonder if he was talking about us? 

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You are looking down the ‘Road of Trolls’. If you look closely you can see them standing along the fence where the fence posts are suppose to be! They are standing on both sides of the road.

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This is where the ‘Queen of the Trolls’ lives with Lord Troll. The story goes that a person who happens to see one of them never survives the gauntlet called the  ‘Road of  Trolls’!If you ever get up this way, just ask about the Trolls. The locals are more than happy to share their location with you. After all, a well fed Troll stays under the bridge! 

How time does fly. Its been awhile since I last posted. The snow has all gone. The flooding that you may have heard about has mostly receded. The rain comes and goes as is normal for this time of the year, and the dark cloudy days by far out number the clear blue ones. The temperature has warmed up, now hovering in the mid-forties to high forties during the day.

About a week ago, we moved further north.  Presently, we are in a park up by Sequim, WA. Which is located on the Olympic Peninsula.  It is really nice up here. The RV sites are located in a open area surrounded with large evergreen trees. The clearing makes it nice to set up the satellite dish. The signals don’t get blocked by all of the trees that usually cause problems in most of the RV parks in Washington.

This a pretty area, still filled with lots of green trees and the ocean is just a spit away; lots to see and do around here. Wild life is rampant. So far we have seen many, many deer, one raccoon, a large road sign warning of a cougar being in the area and one thousand large black birds, probably crows or maybe raven.

The day that we arrived we were greeted with this scene across from our RV. Our neighbor was feeding the critters. They appear to be what we would call Mule deer in California.   

Sequim, WA  Deer

Since then, we have seen them everyday wondering around the park, eating grass and getting handouts from the guests of the park. I just hope that I will not catch sight of that cougar!

I believe that we will have a wonderful time while we are here. Come on over and enjoy the great outdoors with us!  

 

 

 

 

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Friday, 12/19/08    This is a copy of the Alert Notice that was delivered by one of the RV Park staff members a few hours ago (Friday afternoon). A notice personally delivered by hand to everyone in the park has a way of getting one’s attention!  At the moment, I feel a sense of uneasiness at what the notice implies.

Now, what to do! What to do!  How do you protect a RV from winds like that?  John pulled the picnic table up next to the RV, trying to protect the two little five gallon propane tanks that we use to supply heat to our rig. We use them to supplement the big tank that is housed in a compartment on the underside of our rig. Can’t you just see those little guys hurling away, and on the way to who knows where, ripping the hose out, spraying propane all about. We are setting among some trees, on the top of a foothill in the Cascade Mountains. We are hunkered down in a field of snow, not deep only a inch or two. No telling what the night will bring.

John went down the hill to get some things from the store. I declined tagging along with him, as I am fully aware that to get back here,  he has to drive up the ice/snow crusted very steep road.  When he finally got back, he said that it took him three tries to get up the hill! I am so glad I stayed home.

It has been in the high teens today, so it more then likely will get very very cold tonight.  I am looking forward with a great deal of apprehension  to what the morrow will bring. I will let you all know, if I live through the next twenty-four hours, how this story plays out. I forecast gloom and doom!

Santa and Sarah

I received this “story” from a friend and found it so moving that I wanted to share it all with you.  Get out a tissue.

 

This one will bring a tear.  But it sure makes you appreciate life.

Santa and Sarah

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at the Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

“Who is this?” asked Santa, smiling.  “Your friend?  Your sister?'” 

“Yes, Santa,’ he replied.  “My sister, Sarah, who is very sick,” he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” the child exclaimed. “She misses you,” he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but..”  the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“The girl in the photograph… my granddaughter well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays,” she said through tear-filled eyes.  “Is there any way, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah?  That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do.  Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon.  He knew what he had to do.  “What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying,” he thought with a sinking heart, “This is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying.  He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day. 

“C’mon…..I’ll take you there.” Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa..

They found out which room Sarah was in.  A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day.  A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead.  And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face.  They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!” 

“Santa!” shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact. 

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy.  But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes.  His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears.  Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “Thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.  Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother.   She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.  Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels. 

“Oh, yes, Santa… I do!” she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you.” he said.  Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed.  He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease.  He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her.  And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, “Silent Night, Holy Night…. all is calm, all is bright…”

“The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.

When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.   “Now, Sarah,” he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well.  I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he “had” to.  He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!”  Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.  He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah,” he explained quietly.  “This is the least I could do.”  They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do.  Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa!  Remember me?!” 

“Of course, I do,” Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her.  After all, the secret to being a “good” Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the “only” child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!” 

Santa’s jaw dropped.   Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest. “Sarah!” he exclaimed.  He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.  He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed –and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope..  This precious little child was healed.  Cancer-free.  Alive and well.  He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”

If you believe in miracles you will pass this on…I did!

Bittersweet Thanksgivings

November 28,2008

 

This time of the year is always hard for me as I lost my mom shortly after Thanksgiving. Today marks the fifteenth year since her passing. Even though so many years have come and gone, I feel the lingering grief in my deepest soul. The week that she died, she spent in the hospital dying from a broken down system. She had been a smoker most of her life and it had taken a toll on her body. She was in renal failure when she left us on that day so long ago. Her lungs had just about given up, but her heart continued to keep her with us. She suffer with oxygen hunger, she could breathe, but wasn’t able to process the air that she took into her lungs. Night time was a nightmare for her, as it made her breathing worse, she struggled so. One night she was in such agony that she begged me to smother her with a pillow. How that hurt to hear her ask me to do that. I told her that I couldn’t do that, but I would try to help her. I found her nurse and requested a strong sleeping tablet, which being a nurse myself, I knew would most probably ease her into the peace that she craved. After the doctor ordered the medicine, I explained to her that she would probably go to sleep and not wake up. I wanted to make sure that this is what she really wanted to do. I loved her enough to grant her last wish. Even though I am glad that I did, I still feel the pain of her passing with my granting of her last request of me.

My brother,Jack and my sister,Alonea were at her bedside when she drifted away. Aleta and I were home staying with our father. When the expected call came, we took our father into see her. He had been there earlier in the day. He cried that he wasn’t there with her when she passed. He lived another few years in the home of my beloved Aleta. During those years not one of us told him of what had happened that night that she left us.

My mom always made pecan pies for Thanksgiving. That year she could not make them. My daddy, bless his heart, got out all of the ingredients with our help and made those pies. He wouldn’t let us help him and he insisted that he was doing it for our mother. That is the only time that I can remember him cooking anything.

How I miss my parents. For all of you out there with living parents, be grateful that you can still hug them and hold them tight for some day they too will be gone.