Saturday, July 10, 2010

Security Risk

Yesterday I lied about my age. I surely didn't intend to. I honestly forgot how old I am. So when the doctor asked, I just immediately said, "43," and we continued our conversation. On the way home I realized that I am actually 44. I must have been 43 the last time I thought about it. Which would have been sometime before last November. I thought about calling the doctor back to confess, but I decided that my actual birthdate on my chart was probably sufficient in the way of restitution.

Not only am I a liar, though, it seems I'm a shoplifting suspect at Wal-Mart as well. Last Saturday evening Lyle and I made a quick Wal-Mart run. The little slidey-thing on the side of the memory card for the camera had broken off, so we needed to get a new one before our 4th of July adventure, as well as picnic supplies. As we went in the store I said, "Now don't let me forget to pay for ice when we check out." Naturally we both forgot, but I did remember just as we finished paying, so I just paid in a separate transaction. Lyle went ahead and pushed the cart on out of the aisle and waited for me by the ice box. Then we took our 2 bags of ice and other shopping bags and headed out of the store.

We didn't get very far because the security buzzers went off as we went through, and the friendly greeter person asked to see our receipts. That's when I remembered that I hadn't bothered to wait for my receipt on the ice. I asked if ice would set of the buzzers. She said, "It might!" so I went back to the cashier and asked for my receipt. Told her I got stopped at the door. She laughed and gave me the receipt. And so we got the go-ahead to legitimately leave the store. I'm sure the greeter person thought we were trying to get by without paying for the ice, and that I just paid for it when I went back to ask for my receipt.

After I thought about it, I was pretty sure it couldn't have been the ice that set off the security buzzers. You always just grab the ice out of the ice box on your way out the door. There's nothing that deactivates a security device. Then I remembered the memory card. Sure enough, there was one of those tiny little whatchamacallits that the cashier is supposed swipe over the clunker thingy when you check out. That had to be it.

I think.

I'm not really sure.

Because yesterday the same thing happened to me. I ran in Wal-Mart to pick up a DVD set we had ordered through their website. Went to the back counter to pick up my order. Then picked up some other merchandise, and this time I remembered before I paid that we needed ice again. I checked out, picked up my ice, and got stopped by the rude buzzer at the door again! The greeter lady recognized the Site-to-Store wrapper and asked if it was a DVD. Then she just made a note on her clipboard and sent me on my way.

Apparently they don't deactivate the security gizmo at the Site-to-Store counter.

Unless it really was the ice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Early Summer Wildflowers

I love the wildflowers of early summer... especially the cheerful daisies that flourish in the mountain meadows. I've enjoyed snapping pictures of a wide variety of wildflowers on our hikes recently, and trying to identify them with my wildflower book. It's not as easy as one might think because of the wide range of colors and sizes. What I call purple, the book may identify as blue or pink. Here are some that I captured, along with the names of the ones I could identify:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday!

This is a four-generation portrait taken not long after my sisters were born on July 7, 1967. I was 19 months old when they were born. That's me standing in the middle with my mother. I can usually tell the twins apart in their baby pictures, but this one's a little harder since their faces are turned to the side. I think Grandmother (on the right) is holding Dori, and Mother Shumaker (our great-grandmother, on the left) is holding Naomi. I'm sure Mother will correct me if I'm wrong.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday Excursion

My family celebrated the Fourth of July with a scenic day trip up in the very tip-top of the Idaho panhandle. At one point, we were so close to the Canadian border that the girls worried that we might "get in trouble" for not having passports! For Father's Day we had given Lyle a copy of Backcountry Roads Idaho which maps out detailed "expeditions," complete with GPS coordinates, on some of the very scenic backroads all over the state. For this holiday weekend, Lyle decided on "Expedition 2" to Moyie River, Copper Falls, and Purcell Mountains. He also planned in a few Geocaches along the way.

It was a cool day (temps in the 60s) with clouds threatening rain most of the day. Sunshine would have made better pictures, but memories aren't dependent on weather! Care to go along?
The official starting point of the expedition was at the overlook of the Moyie River Canyon Bridge. This is about an hour-and-a-half from where we live.
We immediately took a little side-trip to get a closer look at the dam spillway further up the river. I mean, what's the point in an "adventure" if you stick to the guidebook all the time, huh?
The next little side-trip was listed in the book as "optional." It was a 4WD-only spur road, leading to a "great view of the river." River view aside, I think the Man enjoyed bucking his big truck up over the rocks more than anything. I can't say for sure, though, as I had my eyes squeezed tightly closed for this portion of the expedition.
We had hopes of exploring a "real live" ghost town at Meadow Creek, but since the last building came down 35 years ago, there really wasn't much to see...
 ...with the exception of a dirt road and grassy meadows filled with wildflowers.
We ate lunch at the Moyie Crossing Picnic Area (and hunted for a Geocache there for awhile that we never did find). Then it was on to Copper Falls, the climax of the day.
We hiked about a mile to get to the falls. That's when we were glad the day was cool. Most of the hike was through a heavy forest, so it probably would have been pleasant enough even on a warmer day. In any case, the spectacular falls was well worth the effort.
We chose another "nearby excursion" from the book as our route home through the Kootenai Valley. Other times we've been in this area we had wondered what the bright yellow fields were. We learned from the book that they are hops fields, and that Kootenai Valley contains the largest contiguous hops fields in the world. We still weren't sure what hops were, but Lyle speculated that he thought hops were used to make beer. When we saw a sign stating that this farm belonged to Anheuser-Busch, we decided that he must be right!

It was a wonderful day for memories!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Burdens

Last weekend on our hike I took along a tote bag with "necessities" in it, such as snacks, water bottles, and the camera. Lyle offered to carry it for me, but he teased me about having to carry a "purse." I tried to argue that it was a tote bag, not a purse, and that there is a difference-- but he didn't see it that way. Bless his heart, he carried it anyway.

It occurs to me that "bearing one another's burden" involves actually carrying a burden. I'm not sure why I never realized that before. Maybe I thought it was more an expression of concern, a willingness to help out if convenient, or caring enough to pray... but now I can see that it's more than that.

Today I am shouldering several burdens that don't belong to me. They directly affect me, but the true burdens in these situations belong to someone else. My prayer is that the portion I choose to take will somehow lessen the heavy loads that others are carrying, and that it can all be used ultimately for His glory.