This camping trip was a very good one, the best yet. In spite of rain, snow while picking huckleberries and tears on the mountainside while I thought of my parents.
I miss my folks a great deal.
My daughter, Michelle, and her friend Jenn made my mom's favorite camp dish, Noodle Medley. It made me think of my mom more than ususal. She was a trooper, always willing to go camping with my dad, crammed in a tiny trailer with her six children and at least two of their friends. She was a great cook in the trailer or over a camp fire. She dug clams, fished, hiked and kept a very tidy camp. One favorite memory was when we hiked up out of Salmon La Sac and she read "How Green Was My Valley" at each rest spot. I love that novel which caused the movie to become one of my favorites and a large piece of Dirt's and my parenting choices.
My mom was very pretty and always well dressed and made up, but she was willing to get grungy (in a very tidy way, like she was a movie star) and work hard. She helped my dad do much of the physical work around the house that they built together and I grew up in. She was my dad's bookkeeper for his business and that was hard on them both. She was a saver, she even saved leftovers that we so small that they went in with other leftovers to make it worth it to keep. A hold over from her childhood spent in the depression, I am sure but it was also an admirable trait for a wife of a self employed man. Along with her willingness to turn her husbands collars around to extend the life of his shirts, split sheets down the middle and sew them up when they were worn in some places but not in others, all those things she would do to stretch those dollars. Even when they could begin to afford not to.
She is a hard act to follow in many respects and I cherish the things she taught me. I tease about her lack of color in her decorating but her life was certainly colorful, and yes, there were plenty of things we didn't see eye to eye on but man I wish I had some more of that time back that we had. But God had other plans and I trust Him.