In the past month we’ve had several big and new events in our family.
First. On August 14 we had a baby shower in anticipation of the arrival of our newest member, my niece. Notice the 3-D image, it is truly amazing what technology has made available to us.
Second. We bought a Chevy Silverado HD2500 on Saturday September 3 based on what we were told its towing capacity was. Later that day we learned its towing capacity was 9400, much lower than we were informed. So Monday, September 5 we we went back, returned the Chevy and then bought a F250 white diesel with the towing capacity of 15,100. The dealership was good about working with us. So, I guess you can say that we bought 2 trucks that weekend. This purchase means we are ready to trade up for a different RV.
Third. On September 7 my brother and sister-in-law welcomed into the world a healthy 6 pound 13 ounce daughter named Madison. Big brother pictured below quickly stepped into his new role. This was a truly joyous occasion with everyone healthy and at the same time I felt an emptiness without Mom here to see and hold her granddaughter. I wore the “All is Well” necklace and Mom’s rings so that parts of her were present with us.
Fourth. We traded our 2013 Keystone Cougar Xlite 25′ RET travel trailer on September 16 for a fifth wheel.
Fifth. September 17 I got to hold my 10 day old niece for the first time. I was an only child for the first 16 years of my life so for many years I thought I’d never get to be an aunt but that all changed several years ago. (I’m wearing a pearl ring that Mom received on her 16th birthday and always wore.)
Sixth. We picked up our new 2016 Forest River Wildcat 28SGX with our F250 fully adapted to pull a fifth wheel with an Andersen hitch on September 20.
The last day of July I headed to Kalispell, Montana to join my daughter, her boyfriend and his parents for a vacation. I was super excited and looked forward to using my new full frame camera.
My flight was delayed resulting in my missing my connecting flight in Denver so I spent the night there and completed my journey to Kalispell the next morning.
After unpacking, we hiked the Avalanche Trail the afternoon I arrived.
The next day, Tuesday, we hiked Piegan Pass.
Surprisingly after 2 days of hiking only my feet were sore.
Wednesday it was 60 degrees and raining so we changed plans and toured the Conrad Mansion Museum. Charles E. Conrad and his brother William established a shipping and freighting empire in Fort Benton, Montana Territory that eventually became the most important transportation center in Montana. When Charles moved to Kalispell he had an impressive 13,000 square foot home built.
Thursday we drove around Flathead Lake admiring all the beauty. Then I headed back home.
July 23. Our day took a different and sad turn this morning when my father-in-law, Don Bauman, passed away. His thoughtful, steady, loyal, quiet personality will be lovingly remembered. We’ve spent the afternoon sharing our memories of this deeply loved man.
Keith’s eulogy he gave at his father’s graveside service entitled “My Fathers Hands”
One of my earliest memories is being closely held by my father as we were preparing to board the ship USS Gaffey that was to transport us from the Philippians to the United States. As a small child I marveled at the sights I was seeing and felt safe in my father’s hands. I knew no harm could befall me as long as my father was holding me.
As I think about it, my father’s hands were frequently a fixture or prop in my memories of him. I remember my father’s hands:
- Slicing an orange with a new electric knife creating slices so thin the sun would shine through them as if they were miniature stained glass windows.
- Honing his knives on a steel with speed and skill that he learned at his father’s side.
- Washing my hair as I lay on the kitchen counter with my head in the sink, his hands strong and gentle as he cleansed me.
- Holding mine as I woke from surgery. With my eyes closed I knew those were my father’s hands as they were large and callused from working in his garden.
- Teaching me the proper way to grip a baseball bat and to throw a ball.
- Reaching up to me, encouraging me to jump from the roof of our house into his arms, and though the distance seemed as great as a canyon, I jumped with faith.
- Driving nails into a backyard fort for his sons in Las Vegas.
- Whipping eggs and sugar together rapidly to make ice cream and later his hands turning the crank without pause.
- Loading his pipe and cupping the flame around the bowl.
- Building a push car for his sons though, at the time, his marriage to our mother was failing he still made time for us.
- Providing humor when he put a wind up key on our small family car and pulled over on the side of a busy road to wind it up as a joke.
- Cradling my children.
It was when I observed my father’s hands as he cradled my children that I realized the absolute love I have for my children is merely a reflection of my father’s love for his children.
There were many family and friends present and it was an unusually cool July morning. After the service a large group of the Bauman’s spent time together as we ate lunch.
After lunch each of Don’s sons and families along with Don’s siblings’ families stood together for family photos. Don was the last of his parents children to be called home.
July 26 we laid a wonderful man to rest. I am incredibly thankful for the memories I have with my Papaw and he will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to everyone who offered kind words and kept my family in their thoughts and prayers. — granddaughter, Kelsey
Celebrating Independence Day this year including two full meals one with friends and another with family.
The one with friends also included lots of fireworks and oohs and aaas.
A few days later we got together with family and enjoyed a great meal, homemade ice cream and swimming.
There was also the newest member of the family present…a puppy (not ours).
We enjoyed an extended weekend of camping in Red Rock Canyon. This is the area where Keith’s great grandfather C.E. Garee found the Caddo Maple tree as he explained in his account:
History of Caddo Maple (Acer saccharum – Sugar Maple) Hard Maple About the late twenties I found in some canyons in Caddo County, some acer saccharum (sugar maple) that did not turn brown in August, but held the sap in the leaves so they could turn brilliant red and yellow at the approach of frost. I soon began selling a few of them, but cannot trace any of them now, except one. About the mid-thirties, Howard Jenson and I spent a Saturday in one of the canyons. Howard was head of the O.U. Landscape Dept. While I was getting small seedlings to plant in the nursery for later sale, he spent the day searching out and digging larger trees to plant on the campus. If you want to see any of the 16 trees resulting from that day’s work, drive over the campus on the approach of frost. You will not need to have them pointed out. Every one will show itself.
Recently, Robert Rucker, head of the Landscape Dept. and his foreman, Joe Peters (now deceased) have planted a lot of them and have grown a small nursery of them near the south edge of the grounds.
I have dubbed it “Caddo Maple” to distinguish it from hard maple from any other source, which up to now, have never failed to brown and lose their beauty in August. — C.E. Garee, Ed Garee’s Stories, page 13
Interestingly, the canyon is the only remaining site of native Caddo maple trees. I think it’s fascinating to retrace the steps of our ancestors.
This canyon area was a stop on the California Road and there are wagon wheel ruts still visible.
We enjoyed visiting a local museum, walking around the canyon, a relaxing campsite and hotdogs cooked on the outdoor grill.
The entrance/exit is quite steep and winding road and our truck did a great job pulling our trailer.
Many years ago our neighbor planted a mulberry tree and it has grown to partially hang over our yard. Keith has wanted that tree removed from the beginning and his wish finally came true Saturday when the neighbors were ready for it to be gone. Of course, Keith was eager to help them cut it down and carry it away. The birds are not nearly as pleased as Keith is about the tree’s removal.
Sunday was a beautiful Oklahoma day with a gentle breeze. Those who fished in the pond caught catfish & perch with little waiting time.
After fishing we found some kittens ready for attention.
The landowner has chickens, guinea hens, cattle, cats, a dog and a lovely pond with fish.
We’re starting to organize our garage and create a space for Keith to work on various projects. Keith had created enough space so we borrowed my Dad’s flatbed trailer and moved from our lake place to our home the huge worktable that my Dad built earlier. The next day when I returned the trailer to my Dad, he and Camellia gave me a guided tour around town, which included seeing some elk.
On my way home I stopped by the IOOF Noble Cemetery and noticed others bringing flowers this Memorial Day. I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my back and pondered the symbolism of my shadow on Mom’s headstone along with all the new growth of grass. Standing there I felt both sadness in her absence and strength of her love as I affirmed the epitaph that my brother and I wrote about Mom.
Simple, natural beauty surrounded us at the private pond where my Dad, step mother and our families spent the afternoon together.
As the afternoon was ending this eastern meadowlark (I think it is) sang to us.
Noble, Oklahoma has a restaurant that is known for its great chicken fried steak and that is where my brother and I took our Dad for lunch the day before Father’s Day. Afterwards we visited the Noble cemetery and paid our respects to Mom and others. It was the first time that David got to see our Mom’s headstone since it was set; it now has lots of grass growing all around it. Mom’s 75th birthday was Monday; our first without her.
The next day was Father’s day and was a trip to visit my daughter and have lunch. It was a perfect opportunity for a family photo using my remote control. Here’s a selfie making sure the focus was set.
My Mom’s headstone was set earlier this week and I finally had the opportunity to visit the cemetery April 11.
In one of her speeches and in a letter for her grandchildren (my kids) on their 18th birthday she said “In this river of life, your mission is to uncover your song (not just discover it, because it’s been there all along) and once you uncover it, sing it for all you’re worth. When the river of life joins with the sea of eternity – the sea will not be complete without my melody and yours.” She hunted, collected, assimilated and wrote words to uncover and share her melody and it remains alive.
My brother bought some chickens and now he and our Dad are building them a chicken coop. The fun part of my day was watching my brother and our Dad work together while I played with my Dad’s new full frame camera.