Other than a window of a few hours on Saturday morning it was a pretty grey and rainy Memorial Day weekend. So, no camping, but lots of fun and lots of productivity around the house.
We went birding Saturday morning (during the sunshine) though I cannot locate the photos for that. Oh well, I will just summarize it by saying we saw lots of birds and were a tad awestruck by the flooding and high waters. We also watched Search-and-Rescue folks practicing in the very fast and full Yellowstone River. They jumped in, floated a while, and then swam back to shore. The last part looked like A LOT of work. It was pretty crazy and impressive to behold. We overheard the lead fellow telling the others that if they got near the log jam on the bridge pilings they were as good as dead and there wouldn't be anything any of them could do to save them. Makes one want to leap in, doesn't it? No, really, I am so glad they train in order to save the lives of others. Crazy, crazy stuff.
We went home and it had started to rain. We took that as the perfect opportunity to clean and organize about the house. When the basement flooded and we had to haul a bunch of junk upstairs we read it as a sign that we needed to pare down some items that hadn't seen use in years, but that were still kicking around down there. Like a bicycle that had been dissected for parts. Or a broken metal chair frame that we always hoped we'd find another use for, but didn't. Or three golf bags. Or boxes and manuals for electronics and kitchen gear that we don't even own any more. That sort of thing. After the basement it was craft supplies and kitchen cupboards and the back closet...and well, my house hasn't looked this tidy and organized in a while! I feel lighter. It makes me ever so happy. Possibly more than it should. Oh well, one should appreciate the simple pleasures. We also hauled off a carload of recycling.
Matt worked on tie-dye each day of the long weekend. We will be entering the craft vending season this very weekend and are still trying to get our inventory up. We have so much tie-dye it is almost madness. It started my day with a chuckle to come out of the bedroom and find Matt in the kitchen with his rubber gloves and giant headphones on listening to my new ipod which we was carrying around in a fanny pack since his sweatpants had no pockets. I had to laugh. It was QUITE the look. (and now I've posted it for all the world to see) Matt does amazing tie-dye work. I am pretty good, but he is the real master behind the business. He claims it is the only art form he has ever been good at.
no-knead bread dough, just rolled very thin and brushed with melted butter and cinnamon before rolling and cutting. I'd have never even though to try that. Sometimes he blows my mind with what he comes up with in the kitchen...
Pictograph Caves State Park, a favorite birding location as well as neat historical site. Lots of birds out in the rain, as we figured they would be. Surprisingly quite a few humans out in the rain too, as we did not figure there would be. Apparently we weren't the only ones to say "The heck with this rain, let's go!"
|These Northern Flickers were up to something. From what I can determine it is a mating ritual. They stood near each other lifting their bills like this and bobbing the head side to side.|
|Then they would cartwheel through the air with each other, land, and do the whole thing over again. I see flickers all the time, but I'd never seen them do this before.|
|Mountain Bluebird. They never cease to take my breath away with their loveliness.|
|I love the texture in this grass...|
|Yams, Potato, Tofu, Garlic, Onion, Mushroom marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and spices.|
|They turned out even more delicious and easy than I thought they would.|
Simply Lovely Carrot Soup, only with corn and potatoes added in. And of course, served with freshly baked bread. It was a good visit as it always in. I learn something new (Sharon can say the family prayer in German!) and laugh a lot. They are a good family and I am lucky to have hitched myself to them.
Then Matt and I finished off the weekend with a game of Scrabble (Matt won) and listening to 40's music at home.
While listening to the 40's channel they played a lovely version of The Star Spangled Banner and then asked for a moment of silence, something I'd been waiting for all day. It seemed to me that too many Americans were just excited for a long weekend and not much attention was being paid to the reason. Memorial Day. The day to pause and reflect on all the sacrifices and sorrows of war. A day to celebrate our patriotism and our soldiers. Matt and I reflected on the soldiers we know and the stories they had told us of war, which were fairly limited as we soon realized most of the soldiers we knew didn't like to talk about it. Who could blame them? Ah, war...it is a big complex thing to think about. However there is nothing complex about this: Heartfelt thanks to all those who have served and blessedly made it back to us alive: Terry, Uncle Steve, Uncle David, Cody, Jesse, Grandpa and all the others. I cannot imagine all you've seen and done and while I wish there was no need for soldiers I am so ever grateful for your commitment and love of country and freedom. And still more thanks to all those who paid the ultimate price and never made it back to their families. I uttered a silent little prayer, which I'll repeat now, for world peace and for the hope that our global leaders can find the wisdom to develop diplomatic ways to bridge cultures and resolve conflicts and bring greater love and harmony to this world. I can always hope. I WILL always hope.
Whew! And THAT was my long weekend.