Tuesday, August 28, 2007

'67 - Summer of Love (2)

Something happened the year I turned 13. I got a crush on an older kid. He rode his bicycle past my house everyday that summer of '67, and I was smitten. I sat out on the front porch in the evenings and listened to the radio play the latest rock tunes. Early one evening, he rode his bike past the house and stopped across the street at the street corner. He called to me to come over to talk with him. I was so excited, and so scared. (What if he tried to kiss me?)

I left the security of the porch and strode across the lawn and the street to the corner, by the stop sign, where he stood with his bike, under the branches of the neighbor's tree. He had leaned his bicycle against their fence, and was waiting for me. His eyes were blue and his hair blonde, and I thought he was the best looking guy I had seen in a long time. I was nervous to be standing near him.

We made small talk, then he asked me what I was going to be doing the next few days. "We are leaving on vacation in the morning," I confessed, wondering if he would try to kiss me good-bye.
He didn't move closer, but wanted to know where I was going and how long I would be gone. (He must really like me, I thought.) Soon the conversation ended. I don't remember if I was called into the house, or if he had to go, but he took off on his bike, and I sauntered home -glowing, I think.

I finished packing and went to bed early, because we were leaving the next morning. I remember getting in the car, and wishing I didn't have to go. I wanted to stay. Just when things were getting interesting - I was off for Utah for three weeks. I laid in the backseat and stared up at the telephone poles outside the car window. The telephone lines went up one pole and swooped down to the next. Up and down, up and down, just like the emotions in my heart. I had been so encouraged, so excited, and now I was down, down, down.

I probably cried off and on, but disguising my sadness from the family. We were not the kind of family that showed our emotions. . .especially sorrow and disappointment. How could I stand the wait - 3 whole weeks - before I would see him again. It just wasn't fair!

I don't remember any of the particulars about that vacation, except that my cousins were out pacing me in their experiences. My cousin, LD, who was two years younger, told me about kissing boys behind some curtains at her school. Good grief! She just finished the 5th grade! Another cousin who lived in Las Vegas, and was a few months older than I was going to parties where there was a lot of drinking and older guys. I felt inexperienced, but safe. I was glad I didn't have to deal with such pressure.

I probably had a lot of fun on vacation despite my sorrow. LD and I usually went swimming at the public pool in Provo, shopping, and to the 4th of July parade and carnival. We were old enough now that we didn't need to stay with the family all the time, and were venturing out on our own more. At the swimming pool, there were always guys who like to show off for us, and that was a distraction from my beau back home.

Finally, the day came for us to load up and drive home. I couldn't wait to get there. I was excited to find out what the future would hold for this "biker-guy" and I. We arrived home, and as always, I sat out on the front porch in the evening. I waited, and waited for him to drive by on his bike. . .but he did not. The next day, or two or three, I rode my bike to the store, past his house, just for a glimpse of him. . .

For some reason, only known to young almost women, I thought I could impress him by making him think I could eat anything I wanted, and never gain weight. I would walk past his house eating ice cream from the Tall Pine, and then refuse to eat sweets at any other time. I made at least one trip past his house everyday. I was sure as soon as he saw I was back from vacation, that he would ride his bike past my house around sunset, and stop to talk - or call me over to the corner. . .but it was not to be. I don't think I saw him again that summer. And while I was entering 8th grade at Pinehurst in the fall, he would be going to High School in Kellogg.

Looking back, he may have obtained his driver's license while I was gone or found someone else older and more interesting, who wasn't going on vacation. Maybe he realized I was just a kid, and he was a young man. Regardless, our "love" was a short-lived. For several years, I blamed the end of it on an ill timed vacation.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

College, fatigue, adventure


Last week, S, our youngest started classes at UI, and tomorrow V begins her semester at Idaho State. M, our oldest, will be taking night classes again through the ISU campus here in Idaho Falls. Tomorrow is also V's 22nd birthday, and my sister and her husband's 30th Wedding Anniversary. Whew! I have a morning appt, then I work tomorrow night.


Today, Sunday, was a short day - 6 hours. . .but it seemed long, because I was really tired. The store manager came in for a while and showed me how to do some of the weekly reports since the district manager needed them to be done today instead of tomorrow. I took notes to help me remember and to give me something to follow next time I need to do them. She began to show me some more stuff, but I think she noticed my eyes were glazing over. . .so she stopped there.

I am hoping to rest up between now and Wed, when I work the morning shift and we do the "mailer." (The mailer entails taking down signs from the last sale, and putting up the new signs for the "mailer" that will start on Thurs.) It seems like an easy task, but it takes several hours because of the size of our store, and the number of items we have on sale. (Sometimes we have to re-locate a particular kind of fabric that is sorted by color to an a new location for the sale.)

Tomorrow night, I need to inventory the fleece and mark the kinds we will need to order this week. Sorry, this sounds like my "to do" list, and not a regular post. These are the things that are on my mind tonight.


The Hunk took his 750 Honda for a ride into Wyoming today. Its the furthest he has ridden since his brother gave him the bike some years ago. I guess he had a great time enjoying his weekend and the nice weather. He also went boating Saturday evening, but I stayed home and tried to relax. He's been skiing on one ski this year, and has been getting in as much practice as he can. Early in the season, he biffed it really bad, and pulled some muscles and bruised his ribs, but he said they didn't bother him at all last evening (nor today).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Supervising & Quilting


I have been replete with my blogging duties. I hit the ground running when I came home, doubling my hours at work and learning my new Supervisory Duties. It is so much fun, but it is taking a while for my body to get used to standing/running 32 hours a week. Ah, sometimes I pine for the young body I used to have, but I am thankful for Ibuprofen - that keeps the pain at bay. . .

Of course, when I was younger, we couldn't afford for me to work for such small pay. . .

For those who care. . .I have been learning how to "open," "close," stock, display, supervise, make deposits and do special orders. I have been put in charge of ordering "fleece" for the time being - which is no small job, since we sell numerous bolts of it every week. We have the largest and best selection in this area.

Yesterday, I listed the tasks I thought that needed to be done around the store as well as a few the store manager and other supervisor listed and assigned them to the day workers in addition to the regular tasks of cutting fabric and running the register. It was fun. I got to pitch in and help where I wanted, pulled some bolts of fleece off the storage wall shelves and put them out. We rearranged some Home Decor, put out new bolts of fabric, and moved around displays. We got a lot done the past 2 days.

Tonight I work the evening shift, which is usually less demanding - except when customers come in right before closing and are looking to outfit their new homes with curtains for various rooms. . . I am planning to take a quilting class in the morning to learn some of the new quilting techniques so I can better assist customers in that area.


Most of my quilting expertise was learned growing up. During the summers, I would quilt with my mom, her sisters and their mother out in the shade next to Grandma's house. Most of the cutting, piecing (putting the smaller pieces of cloth together), and or embroidery (for quilts that had embroidered blocks) were already done. So I didn't do those things until later. I have made several quilts through the years of different kinds, but I want to learn more about cutting the fabric with the use of the cutting mat and various plastic guides that make the piecing quicker and the quilts more exact. (Growing up, we used cardboard for "patterns." My Grandma Smith made star quilts for each of her 40 something grandchildren, and traced her pattern over and over. Since there were several cousins between the ages of my sister and I, by the time she made my sister's quilt, the diamond pieces used to make the star had grown in size by nearly a third, making her star and her quilt much larger than mine.

When I was in my early 20s. I cut my "patterns" from clear lids to avoid the distortion one gets from using a cardboard pattern over and over. I would place the lid over the pattern and trace it with a permanent marker, then cut it out using industrial scissors. I was proud of my ingenuity, but my crude "patterns" are nothing compared to the precise pattern one can get from the factories these days. Additionally, I had to trace and cut each piece out individually, which was very time consuming (but I found rather relaxing.) With cutting mats, rotary cutters, and the plastic guides, one can cut several layers of fabric with one "swoosh" of the cutter, and cut 10s and 20s of a piece in the same time it used to take me to cut one - all without tracing anything.

But for now, I will go. Many things to do before work tonight. I have found it easier to catch up on reading blogs than writing - but I will try to do better on my day's off. . .

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Picture Post: To Victoria

Driving to the coast

Riding the ferry to Victoria

Coming into Orchas, San Juan Islands

Friday Harbor

Friday, August 10, 2007

Victoria, BC: Tea & Gardens

High Tea at the Empress Hotel

The Hunk and I beginning our tea time. I love tea parties, and this was a great experience. The setting was English, the tea was a mild to medium blend, the fruit, sandwiches, scones, cakes, cookies and candies were delicious! Best of all, I got to share it with the love of my life, and he enjoyed it also.

We had a male waiter, who served our tea with sugar (and cream for the Hunk). We drank out of special tea cups and saucers created by Royal Doulton for the Empress Hotel. The colors were my favorite: blues, purples and fuchsias. There was a crown on the inside of the cups on both the front and back. I thought about purchasing a cup and saucer as memento of the occasion, but changed my mind when they gave each of us a tin of The Empress Tea to bring home. (I will likely look online and see if I can still purchase a set, as I wish I had one now to drink from and show to my friends.)

The hunk likes to tell the story, but he embellishes it by telling the amount he paid for the experience. It was a lot, but I am just glad he did it for and with me.

Butchart Gardens

Oh, my goodness. . .55 acres of flowers, trees, shrubs, fountains, and ponds. Don't I wish I could get the weeds out of my wee "Victorian garden." I was inspired by the beauty of the gardens. My favorite part was the Sunken Garden. Mrs. Butchart - with the help of her head gardener and others - transformed an old quarry into an amazing land of ivy, flowers, trees, paths, benches, stairs, etc. I hope you can get a small idea of it's size from the picture. (Just look past the large lady and find the little people on the ground below. . .) There is a large rock formation in the center of the old quarry above my arm. It was covered by Mrs. Butchart hand planting ivy between the rocks. We were able to walk upon it, via a staircase, and over look the entire sunken garden 360 degrees around us. Below the dangling hand, you can see the heads of a couple who are part way down the stairs to the garden below. This shot was taken prior to entering the garden. I wish the Hunk would have taken a shot of just the garden, but he thought I should be in it. : (

Here's a few shots of the Fountain near the exit to the Sunken Garden. It was in a deep pool and kept changing "shape" as we watched it.

Can you believe this hedge? I love the way it is cut around the wooden arch. . .Can I have one???

One more picture to give you an idea of how beautiful Victoria was. This time it's a pic of the Hunk by the harbor. We were very fortunate to have clear skies and warm weather while we were there. I imagine that being on the tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria probably gets a lot of rain, like Seattle.

All in all - we had an amazing time. Please don't think I'm bragging - it took 24 years of marriage before we took our first "real" vacation, and this is only our third.

I have a few more pictures of the area, architecture, and our trip back on the ferry - but I will spare those who dislike travelogues from further angst. (Please don't offer to show me your pics of grand kids to pay me back!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Reunion Reprise

Thank you to all who planned and hosted the reunion this year. I wasn't able to attend all of the events, but I sure enjoyed the time I had with everyone at the park.

Steve Roth took some amazing photos. My favorite was the one of (right to left) Pert, the Deke, MW, and myself laughing our heads off. Wish I could show you the picture, but you'll have to go here: '71-'72-'73 Multi-Class Reunion and look at picture # 17. I'm not sure what we were discussing at that time, but we had some great conversations.

I really enjoyed talking with numerous classmates. It was great to hear where they were living, working, and how their lives have grown since we were kids. We reminisced a lot, and told (or heard) some stories about those times that some of us never knew before. It was a great time, and I wished I could have stuck around for more.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I'm Home

Just got back this evening. Will begin posting again soon.