Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Look Back at 2010

We enjoyed a quiet Christmas at home this year; our first as empty-nesters. We found that by keeping holiday plans simple, and sticking to routine as much as possible helped David stay calm and enjoy the season. I was excited and touched when he surprised me with an early Christmas gift—refinishing my mother's old maple drop-leaf table. It had been one of her prized possessions, and several years after her passing, I got it. Over time it became worn out so we retired it and bought a new table. I'm so happy to have it looking good again and being able to use it. 
My new/old table
Looking back at the last year, I realize that we had a lot of good things happen during 2010. The best part was watching David get progressively better at managing his moods. It's true that there were some bumps in the road, but for the most part he can sense when his moods are changing and knows how to better control them so they don't take over. I am really proud of him. I also became more involved in an online support group for spouses with bipolar. I enjoy the friendships and appreciate the insights found there.

There were a number of exciting events with our children, including two new grandbabies; Jeffrey finishing up his Navy contract, coming home, starting a new job, and buying a house; Brian and Wes moving forward in their military careers; Ben finishing up his degree, starting his new career, and moving his family into their new home.

We went on a road trip, had several fishing expeditions, and had a camping trip with the family. I went to McCall for a visit with my dad and siblings. And in May I went to Seattle with Ben and his wife to visit Brian's family.
An Indian ruin in southeastern Utah
Near Boise Idaho, from the air
Buckeye Lake in the Uintah Mountains
At the cemetery
Spokane Falls
Monroe Bridge, where Dad hung out as a boy
One of the highlights of the year for me was the trip to Spokane, Washington, for the magazine. My dad grew up in the Spokane area, so after I finished up working he joined me for a few days. I always love being with and talking to him, but those were an especially sweet two days. He showed me the important places of his childhood, including his parents' and grandparents' graves, the homes they lived in during the Depression, and the schools he attended. I took pictures and recorded the stories he told about each site we visited.

We also drove to an area two hours north, along the Columbia River, where he grandparents settled, and where his parents grew up. It is beautiful, sparsely populated country, and I understood why they were drawn there around the turn of the century.
The Columbia River near the Canadian Border

His grandparents were prominent citizens of one of the towns, which at one time had a population of nearly 5,000 people. They also planted a large orchard; unfortunately, fumes from an ore smelter upriver eventually killed the trees, the Depression hit, and the creation of Lake Roosevelt behind the Grand Coulee Dam destroyed the town. There are a few homes remaining in the area, but all that is left of the town are a pile of rotting wood from my great-grandfather's store, and one remaining apple tree loaded with ripening fruit. It was a stark reminder that nothing stays the same.
The last apple tree at Bossburg, Washington
Last remnants of Bossburg
My great-grandparents moved to the city and he became a groundskeeper for the railroad station (where my grandfather also worked), and did other gardening job that gave him satisfaction and an income. Dad says, "Grandpa chose not to dwell on the past and his difficulties. He understood that changes are a part of life and that it is important to move on to the next phase." Dad also commented that we are in constant motion between the past, present and future. The important thing is to learn from the past, enjoy the present, teach and train the next generation for the future, and then step aside for them.
At 85-years-old, he was in a philosophical frame of mind, and I loved being there with him for that glimpse into the past.

Spokane Railroad Station Tower
I appreciate their legacy of making the best of a situation, and hope to follow their example more often during this coming year.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Sally!
    I really enjoyed hearing about your family history--I especially liked the quotes by your dad and his grandpa! What good insight:)
    Glad you are doing well--loved the photos!
    Blessings in the New Year,


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