Sunday, January 30, 2011

Island Park lost an earthbound angel to the heavens yesterday. Kari Dalton lost her fight with cancer. She will be greatly missed by the entire community.

I was privileged to work with her for a few months in the Young Women's organization. She taught me so much. She established the after school program to give the children in this community opportunities that they would never have enjoyed if not for her unfailing determination.

The greatest thing she taught me was to look for the promise that God gives to us for each of His laws we obey. Every day as I read my scriptures, I look for His promises. Thank you Kari for giving me that insight.

I took this family portrait (with the two children still living at home) just over a year ago, near the end of Kari's first round of chemo. During her entire battle, she always showed us a positive outlook and absolutely glowed with the spirit of God that dwelt within her.

Although I am glad she will no longer suffer the pains of this world, I sorrow for those she left behind. May her memory always be in our hearts.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Learn to Snowshoe, Thanks to Blew

I thought I had before and after pictures of the house. Before the roof got shoveled, and after. Evidently I have managed to lose them somewhere on my computer. I took this picture yesterday after my adventure with Blew.
We started out the day with nary a care in the world. When I opened up the garage door I knew that I would have to snow blow the driveway, but decided to take Blew on her walk first. She was excited because I didn't put the leash on her. I noticed some moose tracks as we went by Bart's house, but she didn't even take an interest in them. Too glad to be running free and bouncing all over the place, I guess. We went around the sheds and she obeyed me every time I told her to come,
amazing in itself. Don't let that innocent look she is giving the camera fool you. Notice she is on her chain....

I began to snow blow the driveway and Blew took off again around the neighborhood. I wasn't worried, because she always runs around while I am cleaning the driveway. I finished, and turned the snow blower over to my next door neighbor. I started my usual walk to pick up the kid (she usually comes running to go on another walk). No Blew. As I circle around to Bart's house I hear barking off in the distance. I know what that means. Blew is trying to play with a moose. I can tell she is over near the bone yard (description given by the forest service employees to the place where they keep stuff that can be used somewhere, sometime). It is only about 1/4 of a mile away across the impossible distance because I have no snowshoes and I really can't cross country ski worth beans. I call, knowing that she will NOT obey me this time, her adrenaline is up and running. While I'm calling, I'm wondering if there is any possibility that I can get to her by following the trail the guys have made with their sleds out to the groomed trail. I head over to the sheds, calling off and on, hoping she might listen...but she is too excited to have a playmate. I start up the trail from the sheds and make it past the first two fire crew cabins. Then I have to venture off into the snow to get to the bone yard. The snow is only five feet deep on the level, but it is way too warm of a day. I call some more, then head back...trying to figure out how I am going to get the silly dog before she gets stomped.

I went home and drank my vitamins and minerals because I knew I was going to need something to fortify me as I tromped through all that snow. I walked back over to Bart's and climbed this mountain of snow on the east side of his garage--following the tracks of Blew and the moose. They went into his backyard, and I looked over to the bone yard and could make out Blew running around in the trees. I climbed back down, wondering what I was going to do. As luck would have it, Jim had decided to plow the roads. As I came down the mountain of snow, he was stopped on the other side of the duplex. So I asked him what he would suggest. He said to climb in the truck and we could go over to the warehouse and get the extra snowshoes that were hanging on a wall that he knew about. We went and got the snowshoes (he had to show me how to lace them up), then I went home and got my cross country ski poles to help with my balance. These shoes were a cross between the old wide type and the newer, skinnier snow shoes.
As you can see from the picture above (all of these pictures were taken after the fact), I managed to traipse across the pasture, following the moose and Blew's tracks. That little greenish oblong in the left of the picture is part of the weather station. Blew finally came when I called her, she just had to tell me all about her fun playmate. Simple enough to catch her in that deep snow.
Instead of following our trail back to Bart's house, I headed over to the warehouse. That showed me what snowshoeing across an untracked area is like. Even with the shoes on, I would sink clear up to my knees.

It doesn't look very far, when looking at this picture. But, the distance from that trailer up to where I am standing took three stops to catch my breath. It didn't help that I only had a four foot leash for Blew. When she followed behind me, she would step on the shoes and when she tried to break trail in front of me, she couldn't get very far ahead. When we got to the warehouse, I took off the snowshoes and walked them out to Jim (who was plowing the front parking lot). Then we continued on home, where I hooked Blew up to her chain and went inside to get my camera. By this time it was only 9:45 a.m. I was exhausted, but, needless to say, I had a blast! Snowshoes are now on my wish list...along with that kayak. Sigh.

Thanks, Blew Girl, for giving me a fun new experience!