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Happy Holidays 2001

Greetings One and All!

    This year I baked the Thanksgiving turkey and served the cranberries in my new home!  Just when you thought--I thought--I'd never settle down, I became a home owner.  (Same as settling down?)  Eight full moons have risen over Glencrest!  However, as the aborigines reminded Marlo Morgan, "Forever is a long time".  The only way I could do it was to remind myself, nothing is forever, even buying a house, even Idaho.


Jan.    Breitenbush, LEC for Christmas; taken home Cmas eve!  Bellingham.  Yoga master ill.  Body said dance.  Hospice: Lois and Ralph.  House
Feb.    Tucson!  House shopping--death and taxes.  Taught Char’s com ed class.
Mar.   Betty introduces me to Merritt’s Scones and Chef’s Hut!  Teachings with Robina.  Packing!  House!
April   Visits with Ina in Lewiston, Anne in Spokane.  Easter at Breitenbush and LEC.  April 26 homeowner; Geo to rescue.
May    May 1, full moon, first night in house!  Unpacking.  Learning to ask for Help and spend money wildly!!  Dalai Lama in SLC.  River low.  Char back.  Folklife.
June   Garden, sprinkler system, wasps, birds, HELP!  Sue moves.  Cool nights; no rain.  No camping with Oregon frogs; croaks in backyard.  Weiser Fiddle Fest.
July    New porches.  Rainbow Gathering.  Ken in Seattle.  Larry Norvell!  Anna and the King, West with the Night (BOT).  Weeds; rescue by sellers.
Aug.    My Grandfather’s Blessing.  Huckleberries.  Kayak wet.  Fav. campsites trashed.  Soul Explosion.
Sept.   Katydid!  Squash bugs.  Harikari and laughter.  Long time Bellingham mentor Barb dies; Lois recovers.
Oct.    Spuds closes.  Washer.  Praying mantis!  Yard rests; elm down.  Marcy visits.  3 weeks East Coast visit.
Nov.   Mild weather.  Documentary films in Boise!  Washer that works.  Hot tub!  Bozeman.  Up at dawn, cornbread stuffing in turkey, turkey in gas
oven!  Much to be grateful for!
Dec.   Snow, rain, sun, sleet, snow, rain, snow!

 (Photos Below)

December/January   Enjoyed winter Solstice at Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Christmas eve at Living Enrichment Center.  Oregon has become the epicenter of my New Thought spiritual inspiration and relaxation!  Like in the Christmas story, email pal Audrey and Ken took me home Christmas eve!  What a blessing!  Further north, good visits with Karen in Seattle, Katy, Carl and Barbara in Bellingham.
    Back in Boise yoga master Char taught only a few classes before she was too ill.  I'd been having my own ego drama with a fellow student.  Now, instead, a big hole in my life--no teacher!
    At the end of (one of my) yoga class at the fitness club my body said: "Dance or else you'll never make it through winter.  It's all you'll ever need."  Began staying after class, dancing, free style.  Ahh!
    New hospice family, Lois and Ralph, moved again.  They're quite a trip (see Hospice webpage).
    Week after week drove around, exploring neighborhoods, looking at houses; learned about loans, met realtors.  Almost paralyzed and sleepless at thought of buying.

February.   Drove down to Tucson to dig up cousins (and pen pal Jacquie and Kirk) not seen since kidhood.  Good for soul.  Didn't exactly bask in sun per fantasy (see photos below).  Read more on Travels webpage.
    House shopping and nightmares continued as I worked through fears into faith.  As though I was completing long overdue values clarification.
    From--What area of town do I want to live in? to, Is this where I want to die?  Do I believe I handle stairs in my old age?  How important, really, is my first priority--trees?  On and on.  A house is NOT the most important thing in my life, certainly not 100k worth!  Few of those I truly admire worry about mowing lawns and washing windows!  I don't do house cleaning, yards!  (Altho I do kinda like fixing stuff).  One of the most compelling reasons to buy was knowing I needed "to ground"; literally get my hands in the soil.  Time, in this unstable world, to do so.  Once I got myself going, enjoyed networking, meeting great folks.  Referred to loan wizard who gave no flak for being nontraditional/semi-retired/employed, unmarried etc.  Thank you, Kevin.
    Char not recovered from heart surgery; filled in for her winter community ed yoga class.  Big challenge, shoes to fill; low attendance; good support, steep learning curve, as Curt says.

March.   Food. Yoga buddy and savvy senior Betty introduced me to Merritt’s Scones ('round the corner) and Chef’s Hut ('cross town), classic Boise cafes I hadn't taken time to explore!  Thank you, Betty!
    Awesome Buddhist teacher Robina Courtin, Liberation Prison Project founder, taught in Boise, melted my heart.  As soon as I saw/felt the compassion she feels for humanity, especially prisoners, decided to attend every minute of her teachings.  Never met anyone who explained Buddhism
so clearly.  Still waiting to become correspondent/ support person through her prison ministry contacts.
    Beaucoups homes for sale, "unconscionable" prices, low interest rates.  Universe waiting for me to decide what I want.  Out wandering one morning, turned into a subdivision past SUVs and pickups, waved to gal from fitness club out with her young kids as I suddenly saw an especially appealing house for sale by owner!  Dashed home; dialed.  Things got scary as they fell into place.  Imagine, sellers who like their neighbors and want someone who'll fit in!
    By then, one of the values I'd clarified was how much I wanted a neighborhood where I'd feel comfortable and how I wanted to know and like the sellers.  Good to end up negotiating with a wonderful family, equally unsophisticated.  (In hindsight I realized Heather had more than a dash of salesperson in her!).  All in all, the purrfect match.  "You'll be sorry you don't use a realtor", we were warned.  Not yet!

April.   Coloradoan George Fredericks made timely visit to Idaho, helping move numerous 2 person items in his SUV.  Bless him.  Regretfully Idaho's weather was abysmal; afraid he'll never return.  Took break from packing and schlepping boxes to storage unit(s).  Enjoyed Easter services at Living Enrichment Center and another visit to Breitenbush. Signed house papers April 26.  (More home owning adventures on Glencrest webpage)
         Dashed up to Spokane one weekend to visit Anne, home after several years in Hawaii (blew chance to visit HI)!  She's remarkably the same; that thin line between taking care of one's self and not being able to, is no clearer to me.  The role of faith in mental health fascinates me.  Missed connecting with Sandy but saw Ina and Bill now in Lewiston.  Enjoyed Thai Taste again, still my favorite Thai restaurant.

May.   May 1, first night at the house.  Came in late, frazzled, after cleaning the apartment in dim light.  Instant home.  Had never seen/been in the house without 7 people and 4 animals living there!  Time to fetch boxes from storage.  Biggest, perhaps most painful lesson-- learning to ask for Help.
    Even bigger perhaps than learning to spend money freely.  Help came from unexpected sources, like yoga team, Julie, Glenn and Sue!  (photo below)  When I wasn't panicked, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness.  Realized with a start, like it or not, a house is about Relationship!  Issues in my face.  Grateful to have grown up in small town and time when neighbors were important.  Soon mornings started early with wasp hunts.  Sellers planted garden "for me", with the idea that they could use while renting nearby.  Water hemlock and more kept me busy.
    Dashed down to Salt Lake one weekend to see the 14th Dalai Lama; my seat was remote, sound poor.  All I can really say is I've "seen" the incomparable peace maker I so admire through binoculars.
    Boise River very low.
    Yoga teacher Char back for couple of weeks of classes.
    End of May returned to Seattle for Northwest Folklife after missing 2 years and two terrific T-shirts.  Wonderful, especially the anthropology documentary films, especially "The Laughter Club".

June.   Home, home, home, rooting, weeding, sprinkler heads and pumps; triage--what's first?!  Hiring and fixing; for this I studied meditation/ negotiation.  No jaunt to sleep with the Oregon frogs this year; croaks in the backyard.  Enjoyed cool nights!  Still no rain.
    Yoga buddy and special friend Sue and family moved to Las Vegas, leaving big hole in my life.  Inherited their extra gear--bench, porch table and chairs!
    Message/call from Michigan History magazine said grandfather Mann's manuscript (which I'd submitted summer 2000) would be cover story in June issue, sorry no time for corrections or adding his photos.  Project "began" about 1967 when I gave grandfather's glass slides about logging in MI(?) to U of Illinois folklorist/ Wobbly/teacher Archie Green to give to appropriate museum.  Suddenly ~1990, in mom's piles in Colorado, I found the transcript for the slides.  Eventually found Archie in San Francisco.  He referred me to his daughter who had the slides in storage in Iowa!  She left them for me at a hotel in Portland while she was at a conference and I was in the area!!!  After giving copies of the stories to each brother, still felt grandfather's story was worth telling.  Michigan History magazine is it!  See Logger webpage.

July.   Wayne and helper Don added backyard porches, painted house.  Enjoyed meeting this fundamentalist (Christian) whose church meets under a cottonwood and speaks in tongues.  We were mutually puzzled; Wayne, by why I helped my neighbor when there was nothing in it for me; me, by his big heart and curious Christianity!
    Weeds won garden; sellers came to rescue one weekend.  Bless them.  First woman I contracted to mow, mowed a couple of times, cut out with rest of money.  Neighbor Kyle took over--whew!
    Over 4th of July, couldn't resist chance to check out the Rainbow Gathering "in my Idaho backyard".  While my brothers gadded about Europe, I drove miles of dusty roads.  In a nut shell, I'm too old for such scenes; interesting though.  The experience came into focus a few weeks later when I found my favorite campsites around a meadow south of Cascade trashed beyond use.  Charges of damage by the Rainbow family pale compared to what local horse campers and cows regularly do.  I'll hear no more whining about hippies.
    Since I missed seeing qigong master Ken Cohen in Colorado this spring, dashed to Seattle one weekend for fine recharge.  Returned with "golden golden" bamboo plant--step one towards fantasy of backyard hot tub ringed with bamboo.  Little did I know cultivating bamboo species has become "in"; I'd be embarrassed to divulge its price.  After buying a house tho...
    Late summer, began writing and reading again, on back burner since house hunt and move.  Thanks to Pat Mudgett DeCaro and email, heard from our kindergarten buddy, Larry Norvell in Memphis, humor intact after all these years!  Hope he and Hattie visit Idaho!  Enjoyed books on tape: Anna and the King; West with the Night (again).

August..   Book of the year: Rachel Naomi Remen's My Grandfather’s Blessing.  Patty tipped me off to huckleberries near Cascade Lake.  Since favorite campsites now trashed, literally camped on logging roads several weekends, reading Blessing, picking berries in clear cuts, making pancakes.  Berries not abundant like Mt Baker's--just as tasty!  Kayak got wet a couple times.  Great camp out with Helen's friends, sharing our midwest stories around campfire.
    Jeannie's Ashram (brother Jamie used the term) opened: Thursday 6pm yoga classes began at Glencrest!
    Inspired by speakers at Soul Explosion in Oregon, especially Brother Tetteh from Ghana.  Long, sunny walk on Oregon beach.

September.    Beautiful katydid by front door!  Without resident cats and dogs, perhaps yard is recovering!  Alas, learned what squash bugs do--how would I know!  Colorado Evette helped educate me.  Lost quite a few of the delicious, round squash Heather and Dennis planted.  Tomatoes ripened.  The only thing I added to their setup was beets: yum.
     The week of the bombings, Thursday evening yoga class burst out laughing during relaxation, breaking the tension of the week.  (See yoga page)
    Visited mom's former Jacksonville neighbor Lois Hughes, military widow, who summers in Hailey ID, the weekend following the bombings; surreal visit with tv on, Lois and friend watching.  I'd never known Lois and what a huge role she played in helping mother through the 1970s, packing her up after dad died.  From Lois and her friend, also learned about toilet bowl pumice (don't know beans about serious house cleaning).
    Katy emailed that our long time birdwatcher friend Barbara, after slowing down considerably on morning outings,died in Bellingham hospital.  How I would like to have been to the memorial for this one of a kind, world class story teller, birdwatcher and friend since 1977!  I'll really miss her.  Ironically Lois F., my hospice assignment since December 2000, recovered to the point where I was requested to take another volunteer.  Bizarre as the family is, no can do!  Decided to just be hospice in my own neighborhood.

October..   Favorite Boise drive in, Spuds, closed; black day for huckleberry shakes.  Leaves Arctic Circle (photo below) my distant (~15 miles) favorite, in Nampa.
    Thrilled to find large praying mantis in yard!  Ever since reading Lauren van der Post's Mantis Carol, I've adopted the Bushman's respect for this wesome critter I loved as a child.
    Marcy visited from Seattle--first to stay in house.  Great to have visitor!
    Continuing the search for family and reconnecting, spent 3 weeks visiting the East Coast.  Looked up Hemphill cousins, enjoyed yoga/qigong workshop, visited high school friend Brenda Mallicoat, camped with Nancy Wolmuth in ME, hung out with extra special mediator buddy Curt Brettin in Gloucester MA, and landed on brother Jamie and family's Columbus doorstep late one dark and stormy night.  (See travels webpage)  Photos below.

November.   Documentary films in Boise--Les Blanc's "Always for Pleasure"; "Keep the River on Your Right" about amazing artist/anthropologist Tobias Schneebaum; and "Go Moan for Man" about Jack Kerouac!  Great!
    Five Boise friends-of-Buddha in 4 rigs dashed up to Bozeman one weekend to hear San Francisco zen priest Reb Anderson teach.  Wonderful.  Big Sky country!  Perfect for watching the Leonids meteor shower!  Skunked!  Valley socked in!  Later turned green with envy at old high school buddy Rick Brune's Denver report.
    Thanksgiving at Home!  After putting stuffed turkey in oven, attended lovely 10am Christian Science Thanksgiving service, per recommendation of (now) Las Vegas friend, Sue.  Karen Richman and her family were perfect guests and wonderful, complementary cooks.  So much to be grateful for!
    In spite of my (talk's cheap) resolve to keep down dependents, continue laundromating, etc. now have washer that works and, at last, hot tub, my own personal backyard hot springs.  Nightly I soak, blissfully listening to night snorts and quacks (see Glencrest Home page), pretending they're deer and coyote.

December.    Kerouac documentary (above) inspired listening to On the Road. Thank goodness for editors and books on tape (bailed out of Visions of Cody). Related to Kerouac's restlessness, touched by his compassion, intrigued by his wildness; no wonder he's American legend.  High time I checked out the creator of Dharma Bums, the name adopted for "our" small, twice a month Buddhist meditation aka coffee klatch where I sip green tea.  It's my second year of enjoying the camaraderie of Saturday morning meditation sits and chats over muffins, to date, my most comfortable ocial experience in Boise.
    Snow, rain, snow, rain, sun, more rain, snow--real winter at last!  Added more and more blankets, until I tried out the heavy denim covered feather quilt from Montana Sue and Jeff left.  Ahh, the perfect winter burrow!  Its weight reminds me of the unforgettable experience of sleeping under a real bear skin on a couch at the Johnny Holzwarth cabin in Rocky Mountain National Park, summer 1974.

    How to make sense of a year that began with home/neighborhood shopping and ended with Trade Center bombings?  I'm drawn deeper and deeper into spiritual teachings to understand life, people and change; and to yoga, to stay flexible, balanced and breathing all the while.
    Another good year of learning and teaching yoga at the Mormon fitness club, the only club open to non athletic yoga, thanks to far seeing, earthy coordinator Mary Kay.  (Plus class at home, and one 'cross town makes about 5/wk.)  Wonderful "students" continue to teach, challenge and support me.  Together we learn to listen, laugh, and let go.  What a blessing.  My shoulders and hips continue to slowly let go and feeling return.  I'm at last ble to lay comfortably on stomach a while!  As my Boise yoga master Char wrestles with heart surgery, roles and teachings change.
    Another year at the "coffee drinking, come as you are" Vineyard (church) exploring Christianity (plus visits to a number of other churches).  Many eeks, find me at 2 services.  Still, promise myself holidays at "my true spiritual home" church in Oregon, Living Enrichment Center, which honors all faiths.  (One Vineyard leader cut off contact after I mentioned seeing the Dalai Lama.  New Vineyard pastor Mike however (only women allowed to pastor!) is unphased by anything, lets love lead.  Yeah!)
    Until more tolerance/ diversity and New Thought come to Boise, Vineyard pastors (and others) have helped me make peace with mainstream Christianity--which needed doing and feels good.  Vineyard music and singing continue to feed and delight my soul (as do Hindu chants, Gregorian chants, African drums, Sufi prayers, Taoist poems...).  I remain puzzled by old thought Christianity's relationship between Jesus and God.  Apparently this intellectual mystery fascinates me no end.  So much simpler to just practice love, as Mary Manin Morrissey says.  (Than pick at the Bible, amazing as I'm learning it is).  Once one believes the assignment is: Love Thy Neighbor, what more is there??
    Another year of enjoying Boise's Greenbelt--not as often as when I lived 2 blocks away! (see Greenbelt page)
    First layer of Boise friends seem to have sloughed off.  Always starting over, searching... community...
    I'm still a world class dreamer and restless mind, despite hot tub soaks and sleepy time teas.  My mantra remains "Peace".  This year home owning/moving is/was my practice path.
     Thank you all for another year of love and friendship!

Love, Peace and Blessings,

with mom's sister, first cousins Craig and Pete 
Tucson, AZ.  February 2001
So much for sun bathing in AZ in February
with storage emptying team Sue and Julie (R), June 2001
Rainbow over Arctic Circle--fine milk shakes
Awesome pie maker and buddy, Jane,
Glenwood Farmer's Mkt, fall 2001
Summer evening hangout, new back porch,
August 2001
First visit w Laura & cousin Jim, October 2
near Lenox, MA
Kathy, Lyndsay w Sasha, brother Jamie
October 2001, Columbus OH

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