Saturday, August 30, 2008

The rest of our Olympia Visit

On Tuesday we joined Debbie in her office at the capitol. Nice view from her office, huh? She took us on a short tour, then we walked downtown and had lunch at the 5th Avenue Sandwich Shop.

Later that day we wen to Brett and Katie's for dinner (Jackie's younger brother). We shared a great meal and lots of good conversation.
On Thursday we decided to spend the day inside at the Seattle RV Show as it was expected to be another rainy day. The new Outback, by Keystone, with a pop-up room in the back was very interesting.
The 2009 Big Sky front cap: (We prefer our 2007!) We spent several hours touring the show. Nothing jumped out at us as a "had to have", but we did get some ideas for possible upgrades. The show was half the size of the same show several years ago, attesting to the problems of the RV industry.
Friday morning we had a bike ride with Debbie, along the bike trail in Lacey/Olympia. It was a beautiful, easy ride, about 6+ miles. CC stayed in the pickup in the parking lot, so Jackie took her for a walk as soon as we got back. (Dick and Debbie thought it was funny--her walking the dog in her bike helmet.)
Debbie took off her helmet before taking the leash from Jackie!
Later that day, Deanna and Daisy joined us at the campground. Daisy had fun with the golf balls Dick put together for ladder golf.

Debbie was checking out Deanna's camera, which is for sale because they have purchased a new digital with interchangeable lenses.
While Deb was playing with her camera, Deanna was playing with Dad's. Here is a picture of Dick relaxing at the campground. Sorry about the lack of a smile.

Then Deanna, Daisy and Gram (Jackie) went to the pool. Deb and Dad went too, but didn't get close to the water! Daisy is our little water baby, loving the water.

And bouncing off Gram's leg.
Although her head is cut off, this was a great shot of our two "girls" in the water. Later that day, Brett and Katie and Nancy Lamb Judge (Jackie's classmate) joined us at the RV to see Deanna and Daisy. It was so fun having a houseful!
The weekend was pretty wet in Olympia (all across Western WA, I understand), so we didn't do much outside. We enjoyed the service at the Tumwater United Methodist Church, then had lunch at Deb's on Sunday. Monday morning we pulled out and headed back to Miracle Ranch to help Deanna and Darin (see Deanna's blog).
We are sorry and feel bad that we never got the chance to visit Michelle, Jason and the grand kids as Michelle was working and then trying to get ready for a vacation.

We are now back on the travel road again and will try and keep you updated with our travels.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jackie's High School Reunion

The first four days in Olympia were spent with Jackie's high school reunion, first getting ready, then the actual reunion. Jackie graduated from Pullman High School, but this reunion was held in Olympia because many of our classmates have settled on the west side of the state. The mansion pictured below was one of the venues for the reunion. The Friday night get-together was held there, and several classmates stayed there.

This is the view of the water from the mansion.
Chatting at the get-together were Ron and Barbara Hansen, Linda Spencer Hunter and Owen Johnson. Owen came from Indiana and Ron and Barb from California.
Sitting in front of the mansion were the Hansens, Dave Burgess and Jeff Rundell.
John Maynard Hicks ('63) and Lynette Howard Carothers were reminiscing (sp?).
Saturday morning several of us gathered at the Heritage Hall at the Fairgrounds to set up tables and decorate. Here are Linda Spencer Hunter and Nancy Lamb Judge, the two fantastic organizers of the reunion.
And here is the decorating crew, minus Dick, the photographer. Laird Hastay joined us to decorate, and what a helper!

Cocktail hour at the dinner/dance. You can see some of the great decorations in the background. This reunion was a "sandwich" reunion of classes '63, '64, '65 and a couple from '66. It was so fun reconnecting with friends we hadn't seen in years!

All of the PHS graduates at the Saturday party. John Maynard Hicks has been a radio personality in Seattle for years, and he was our DJ. He did a great job, interspersing comments throughout and playing the wonderful sounds of the '50s and '60s. The weather was quite warm, with no air conditioning, but it didn't stop anyone from dancing up a storm. And here are my classmates from '64. Quite a nice-looking group, don't you think?

Gretchen Christopher, from the Fleetwoods ("Come Softly to Me") came and entertained us. Here are some folks lined up to get a CD signed by Gretchen.

Anyone remember the "Stroll"? Well a few did, and it was such fun!
The other wonderful venue was the Lighthouse Bungalow, across the street from the mansion, and right on the water. The patio seen from above, while the band was setting up on Sunday afternoon.
Oh, yes, we had a live band to entertain us on Sunday afternoon. It was so great. Bob Hunter (Linda's husband) is pictured on bass and Bob Hausenbueller ('63) on keyboards. The drummer played with the Wailers and all the band members played with big name groups. Again, dancing and enjoying conversation with classmates.

Linda, Lynette, Melinda Daughterty Beasley and Kathleen Cosgriffe Mohn are being entertained by Vince Dayot ('63) while enjoying the Sunday festivities.

Pictured in the center right of this picture is Wilma Peterson, mother of Allen ('63) who is 94 years old and a wonder. She remembered all of us and our families, and even danced. She is an inspiration to all of us.
Linda and Nancy, the two organizers extraordinaire, still working on making everything "just right".

The whole weekend was absolutely fantastic. The best part was lots of time to just chat and catch up. A really big thank-you to Dick for all his hard work -- he was there whenever we needed something moved, put up, carried, etc. And then with the camera, of course.
More later about the rest of our time in Olympia.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Horsing around...

Got to see all our girls this week; Debbie came out to visit Friday and we were able to spend some time together before she had to get home. She is spending most of her weekends with her husband traveling around the state and racing bicycles so had to get up early on Saturday.

Then this Sunday Michelle, Jason Picinich and grandkids came for a visit. How exciting to spend some time with them all. Darin got out the barbecue and cooked lunch for all of us. We got a picture of us with all the grandkids in the barn sitting on a old wagon. The kids got to check out all the animals including the new kittens.

I think Michelle got this picture of Dick and Jacob sitting on the bench watching the older kids playing ladder golf. Not sure who was the big winner but had fun.
Get ready to duck as the golf balls head toward the game frame. I think Jason won this one.
I was able to finally get a new picture of Jason and Michelle before the day was over. Thanks Jason, you are a good sport.

I think the only reason that the grandkids came along was to ride the horses here at camp. Sorry to say that all the horses except 2 were out in the pasture so had to hike down there and turn the kids loose with them in the field. This is Molly who I think spent an hour just petting this horse.
Macey was peaking through the gate with her big smile.
Do you think Maya was excited to be out in the pasture with close to 50 horses? All the horses wanted to check us all out so they kept sneaking up behind us. We took our dog with us and the horses were curious to check her out also. CC was a little skitish as she only weights 12 pounds and didn't want to get stepped on. (can't really blame her!)

Michelle found her favourite horse and I think she followed it all around the pasture.
One last picture in the field before we had to hike back to the camp. Had a hard time convincing everyone that we had to leave the horses. Even Jacob had a good time being able to be with all the horses. I think this is something that most kids would never have a chance to do, so thanks Darin and Deanna for making it possible.
Molly has it all figured out how she can get to camp here next year and I think she would spend all her time with the horses if they would only let her.

Such a fun day, sorry it had to end!

Still at Miracle Ranch

We are still visiting with our daughter Deanna and her family at Miracle Ranch near Purdy Washington. We finally finished painting the inside of the house and other projects so now have more time to play. Two of the rooms went from dark to bright yellow so took 3 coats of paint. "Never again". Have I said this before?

It is great to see over 200 excited kids all over the place, sharing a meal with them and at night they have a "fire side" with skits, singing and Bible lessons. This picture was taken late in the evening but with the flash it looks like day.

Our granddaughter just loves the water so she has her own pool, but has to share it with Mom. You will have to check out Deanna's Blog to see some videos of Daisy.
We took a short walk down to the lakefront for a family swim on a hot day last week. Had to share the lake with the camp kids but everyone had a great time and cooled down. Here is Darin, Deanna, Daisy and Jackie in the water. Dick is the "official photographer".
Last Thursday we took a trip to Tacoma to visit Point Defiance park and got some great pictures of the Gemmer family. We walked around the pond and the gardens.
This is one of the shots that Darin took with my camera but had to post it as it's such a cute shot. Everyone has to use Dick's camera -- it's so fun!
Checking out the ducks and the pond at the park.
I never miss finding some flowers to take a picture and there were some beautiful ones around the park. They have a large rose garden with a 8' fence all around it to keep from feeding the deer. What a beautiful sight, and we did stop to smell the roses!

Got several close up shots of several roses and this is one that I liked.
We will be leaving next Wednesday for Olympia and Jackie's High School reunion so will get one more Blog out before then. Stay tuned for more family and a lot of horses.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ephrata to Miracle Ranch Camp...

Before we left Ephrata we had time to spend with lots of friends, including several that spend every summer at Oasis RV park. They always have some thing going on to keep busy with. The table in front is full of all kinds of trinkets, beads and necklace parts that they can make "whirley gigs" out of. They have a ball and what better to do during cocktail time than to be productive.
Here are a few of the "whirley gigs" that are finished and on display for purchase. So if you are out in the park stop and see Walt and Annette. Annette is also a great artist; if you look around the park, pool area, laundry room, drain covers, you can see some her beautiful work. Give them a big hello from us.
One of the reasons to get back to Ephrata when we did was the see the 5th annual Basin Summer Sounds concert. It went on Friday evening and then all day on Saturday. We stayed until 11:00 pm both nights and had a great time. Good sounds, good food and most important good friends. It is located in front of Grant County Court house and is complete with a beer garden, food and 3 on 3 basketball tournament at the same time.
Just some of the people trying to find shade and enjoying the great sounds. Did I mention it's all free.
After the Rotary meeting on Tuesday we headed out to visit our daughter Deanna and her family, husband Darin and daughter Daisy at Miracle Ranch near Purdy Washington. Darin is the new Program Director at the camp and except for the long hours is having a ball at his new job. The morning after we arrived we got to sit on the fence and enjoy a rodeo that the camp kids put on. Lots of kids having lots of fun.
Toward the back of the camp is the new Gemmer home, complete with room for our 5th wheel. It is on a long slope but we found an area next to the house to park. We have water and an extension cord from the house so have a limited amount of electricity, but it's working just fine.
Deanna and Daisy came to visit the other day, I closed the bedroom door so Daisy would stay out of the bedroom as she has not mastered going down the stairs yet. As you can see from the next 3 pictures nothing was going to stop her from obtaining her goal of getting up the stairs and under the door.
I see you!

I did it!
At lunch yesterday CC sat attentively waiting for the next morsel of food to drop. You can see the new "Blue Boy" paint in the kitchen.
We are having a great time and Deanna is keeping us working, painting the inside of the new house. The camp is furnishing the material and they also painted 3 bedrooms before they ran out of time. We have finished the front room, play room, kitchen and 80% of the dining room. All we have remaining is two bathrooms. Not sure what other projects she has up her sleeve for us.
Some of our meals are eaten in the dining hall with 200 or more kids so it gets a little crazy and noisy but it sure is great seeing them all having a ball.