It's been a great day. We had some wonderful visitors to the Divide Camp Open House. I have ornaments and a pen for veterans to write their names and branch of service to help decorate the Christmas Tree. Steve and Angie Rubin skied over. I was glad to have Steve put up an ornament. I didn't have NAVY represented until then.
Bill and Michelle Davore brought Van Blaricom over. He enjoyed some coffee and a cookie, and we laughed at his hunting stories, especially the one about a "sorehead owl," as he put it. Van's seen some amazing things from his lifetime outdoors.
Joe Lewellyn scooted over to DC Headquarters. He's the Intrepid One, finding a way to get out and come over, even in a foot of snow! Then Lynn Wolfe walked in. Lynn and I have become good friends in sharing the common ground of loving our Vietnam husbands. We have our own "war stories" to tell that mostly leave us in a fit of giggles.
I told her this morning that I was thinking of Hal (he passed away August 2015), and that I thought he would have enjoyed this Open House idea and would have been a regular visitor. She agreed. Widows of veterans can put their spouses names on an ornament to help make the tree festive. And children can remember their veteran parents with a personalized ornament on the tree. We'll do this through December 21.
Regular hours are Mon.- Wed., 1- 3 p.m; Thursday- Sat., 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
A couple of days ago, veteran Jeff Dawson delivered a Douglas Fir Christmas tree to Divide Camp Headquarters. It is HUGE, so I knew I had some work ahead of me to get it decorated. Petey said, "It's all good, Mom," so I went with that. Thanks Jeff for your generosity- the tree is beautiful.
So yesterday I come to the building and did some cleaning before I tackled the tree, and my friend, Lynn Long, appeared. As many of us know, she's a wonderful interior decorator. She looked at the tree and told me, "You know, I love to decorate Christmas trees. It's my thing." She had extra lights and together we strung the tree with white pine cones and other lights that were just right. I'm so glad that I don't have to know how to do everything- that there are others more skilled than I. God sure does know a lot of people!
After she left, I did some more cleaning and was really, really tired. But the ornaments remained to be hung. "That will have to wait until tomorrow," as I turned off the lights and exited the building. I was asleep by 7:30 last night.
First thing this morning, veteran Joe Lewellyn came over with his son, Troy, to shovel the walkways. Troy was a BIG help to me. Joe enjoyed a cup of coffee, wrote his name and branch of service (USMC) on an ornament and hung it on the tree. He and Troy went home, then Joe returned after a while.
Two more of my favorite vets came by: Roger McGee brought Serge Morgan. Here they are hanging their own personalized ornaments:
I find myself in the oddest circumstances sometimes...so odd that I take photos of them to remind myself. When I came across these pictures this morning, I laughed out loud. Here's the story:
A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak to Soroptomists about a fundraiser I was involved with. They meet at a classroom at Wallowa Memorial Hospital. I had practiced my speech and hoped I could pull it off with aplomb.
When I took my place at the podium, in spite of the faces of the lovely women in the audience, this is what my eyes rested upon during the whole speech:
As best I could, I followed my notes and stayed on topic, but in the back of my mind was a running commentary on this skeleton, and "Why was he laughing?" I became more self-conscious about my presentation and realized that at this time, I would not be the next orator of female fame like Margaret Thatcher or Hillary Clinton. No, maybe my talk would inspire like Winston Churchill or Ronald Reagan's speeches.
But with an amused skeleton in the background, I found it difficult to mentally grasp for some value in the words I was speaking. With the eyes of the audience locked on me, at least it seemed like I was connecting to some degree.
At the end of the talk, my listeners applauded and asked questions, a sure sign that I had communicated well. I then turned around to leave and found this right behind me:
I mean right behind me. I started laughing and then the ladies started laughing, confessing they had been staring at it during my talk.
I have friends who say, "Katherine, you're too modest." But I'm really not. Because anytime I start thinking too highly of myself, things like this happen.
Cracks me up. (Did I just say "crack?")
A 50-something woman comes home to a place she's never been before.