Thursday, August 29, 2013

Surprise! You have company...

About three weeks ago Andrea mentioned to me that Barry would be gone to Billings, MT and I wouldn't have to work because his Dad was coming to help out. Then she said, "you should go with him!" So it started the ball rolling on thinking about coming up to Bozeman and spending the week with Mom and Dad. So Barry checked into me riding with him and it turned out I could but it would be a lot of driving and when Bryan and I talked about it we decided to maximize my time here and I found a very reasonable ticket and flew up on Tuesday. Eric was the only one who knew and he met me at the airport Tuesday morning. We got to Mom and Dad's at about 10:15 a.m. Dad came to the door and I just asked if they wanted some company this week. Mom was at Bible study and when she came home Dad had her come out on the deck and we surprised her too. It was great.
We enjoyed the wonderful weather while we waited. Then we all ate some lunch.
We talked and talked. We all went to get groceries.
Mom took Pip for a walk after supper. Dad and I sat on the front porch and talked.
The weather was amazing and the views were spectacular.

Wednesday morning I took my coffee out on the deck and watched the sun come up. It was cool and clear and beautiful.
Later in the morning Dad and I went in and got groceries for the Pulgogi dinner that we were going to have on Thursday. He had to get a board to fix the bed I was sleeping in. Mission accomplished. I made a strawberry/rhubard pie dessert. Eric and Lisa called and said they were coming over for the evening to visit.
That afternoon a storm came howling in and it poured rain for about a half and hour. Then it blew away and the evening was amazing. It was so great to see Eric, Lisa and Evan. Kellen sent pictures of Oakley with her new little Nebraska jersey that I gave her.
Adorable. Unfortunately I didn't ger to meet her or see Kellen and Holly because Holly had started school and her mom was here for a visit to them in Billings. Andrew and Ali are in California, Jillian just moved to Redding, CA, Justin had just left for Africa, Lauren is in Portland and Evan is the only one left at home. It was good to see him.
Thursday morning Dad, Mom and I drank our coffee out on the deck. It again was amazing weather again. I did some chopping for mom for the Chop Cheh we were going to have for supper.
Dad and I went over to the college and he showed me around. We picked up some chopsticks for the evening then went home to help mom make the dinner. I fried up the veggies, mom got the meat ready while dad and I were gone, she made some noodles, and then we put it all together.
I had to take pictures of the recipes because mom has had this cook book for as long as I can remember. You can tell by the splatters on the pages which ones are the favorites.
Eric and Lisa had picked up some Iho's Kimchi to go with our supper. Mom made delicious cucumber kimchi. I went for a walk that afternoon on the path near their house. I was hoping to see wildlife but I only saw the wild flowers. It was a very nice walk.
When I got back from that and cleaned up it was time to fry the pulgogi.
The house smelled amazing. The the family began to arrive. Eric, Lisa, Bruce, Betha, Weston, Trent, Sydney and Camden. Evan came after his football practice and meeting. We ate a lot of food, did a lot of talking and just had a great time in general. My pictures of this are so-so but I really wasn't thinking about it too much.
Mom, Eric and Dad getting ready to eat.
Everyone talking and the noise levels go up.
Camden, Sydney, Betha and Bruce
Evan and Camden playing some beautiful music after supper.
Trent and Weston icing the areas of their bodies that hurt due to the fact that they are boys and they hit each other...
Dad and Evan icing his foot that he hurt in football. A lot of icing going on.
We, adults, all sat out on the front porch and enjoyed the amazing evening. We talked and laughed. It was really great to see everyone that was still around. We moved around to the back deck because Trent told us to come watch the amazing lightening. It was amazing.
On Friday we woke to the mountains covered in a haze of smoke. But almost before the sun was up Dad and I took Pip for an early morning walk.

Mom had some flowers that Betha brought to her so we went outside and talked while she planted those.
Dad was working on some college stuff.
Later in the morning I went in to town to have lunch with Eric and Lisa. We had a great time. I wandered around downtown for a few minutes then headed back for my last afternoon with mom and dad. Mom and I sat and worked out a quilt design and got quite a kick out of ourselves and our mistakes. But I think we got it done.
After supper it was a lazy evening of crossword puzzles and reading. Then I noticed the sunset in the smoke and had to take some pictures. The color was amazing.
And a picture of the signpost at Dad and Mom's.

Dad was reading about Will Rogers and that sparked a conversation about a hotel that he worked for in Durango, CO called the Strater Hotel. That name sounded familiar to me and then I remembered that is where Bryan and I are staying in October when we take a trip to the Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival. 
It was amazing to hear his stories from back then.
We got up early this morning and went to the airport. All my flights were on time and very easy. Then when I got to my car in the airport parking lot I saw this.
I know the basics so I began to get the stuff out. As I was doing this project many, many cars drove past me and stared. NO one even asked if I needed help. Now, admittedly, I got the tire changed by myself but it amazed me that no one even checked. 
I stopped at Sapp Bros. to get the tire fixed but of course the hole was in a spot that prevented it being fixed. Also the traffic on I-80 was insane because there is a game tonight so I turned off and went back roads to get home. I finally got home at about 3:30. 
Flat tire aside, it was a wonderful and worthwhile surprise trip. I am so glad I went. It had been far too long since I had been in Montana.
Thanks to eveyone up there for the great visit.

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