"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance."
I love that saying. It tells about the people down here in the canyon. They dance very well. One of the dances could be called 'talking'. There is always time to talk. Eye-to-eye contact is never underestimated. If you want to ask about something, you go to that person. You don't call. Could be an old harrow that you think you need more than they do. Maybe they will barter. Maybe you can buy it. But 'in person' is the way it is done.
I saw the dance in full swing at the store last Thursday. Sally cooked fried oysters and the word had spread. Everyone came early to obtain a seat. Lots of gas used between Joseph and here. There were over 90 attendees. It was wonderful to see faces that we know but don't see often. Such warmth and caring. When someone would ask "how are you doing," they really wanted to know. Quite a few faces belonging to folk who had made their mark down here then moved to a bit easier living. But they belonged. You could feel it.
Last weekend, the Stein family had their reunion. My Hero and I were invited and honored to go. Nose count was over a hundred. Noise level from visiting was high and laughter ruled. Ruth Stein Makin, Myron and Margaret, Keith and Barbara, Dale and Jean, Don and Erika, John, Gail and Veronica were there along with all ages of kids and grandkids. Gail and Veronica live in Chili so they get the prize for coming the furthest. Ken and Pat had fishing, hiking, four wheelers and cave trips all happening at the same time. Lot of card playing went on also.
Fred Talbot got up at 3:30 a.m., fed the livestock, then awakened his wife, Saonni, and said he'd take her to breakfast. She is Myron Stein's daughter and lives in Union. She was to just get dressed. It was now 5:30 a.m. and she wondered what restaurant would be open. It didn't dawn on her that it was the reunion until they got to the turn off in Joseph.
One time Ken went to Fred's' place and didn't see him right off. Then he spotted Fred as he sailed through the air and over the corral fence. He got up, brushed himself off, crawled through the rails and climbed back up on the horse. Same thing happened ... up over the fence ... flat on the ground. Ken called as he got closer, "are you all right, Fred?" Fred said he was OK but thought he'd give the horse a chance to rest a bit.
Bonnie and Donnie Marks had her brother-in-law and sister from Hermiston, Dick and Hazel Bondurant, visiting last week. Also nephew Joe Justice from La Grande came and helped brand then fished a bit.
Rita Snyder,Weldon Witherrite's sister from Wallowa was down and also visited Jerry and Mern Witherrite.
Barbara and Paul Kriley were here from Grand View Idaho for awhile. You remember Barbara, she wrote the news from Imnaha a few years ago.
Vadna Norton is back from visiting her daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Ron Cate, in Federal Way, Wash., Jeanne Yerkes and I drove up river to their place earlier this month and Don gave me two rhubarb plants. These are so old that the roots look like they should belong to a tree. And I'm happy to report they don't even know they have been moved. The raspberry starts are smiling also.
Charley Young is home from the hospital and Jeannie Botts is also recuperating from a stay. Genie Chupp had heart surgery in Walla Walla and is recuperating.
Lana Arnold came back from a whirlwind trip with her daughter and granddaughter. It was the granddaughters class trip to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York.
My Hero now owns a BIG tractor. It's official. Our neighbor used to have the biggest in the neighborhood. He likes to have the biggest and best of all farm equipment etc. Well, when he saw Jim, he said he'd heard Jim had a new tractor and wondered just how BIG the new tractor was. They talked tractor talk for awhile.
Time passed ... saw the neighbor again when he opined that maybe Jim would like to drive the tractor down to his ranch so he could see it. When that didn't happen, he waited for us to return one day and raced over to view the new tractor for himself. They went in the nursery to view the new baby. There it stood ... proud ... all green and yellow, a John Deere 709. The neighbor took out his tape measure. Measured the loader ... oh, he said 62 inches ... mine is 54. Then measured the tires and said ...oh 62 inches, mine aren't that big. Well ... how big's the motor? A 20 hp? Nope, Jim said, it's a 30 hp Diesel. The neighbor snapped his tape measure shut and made the judgment. "It's too BIG!"
The Imnaha Grange along with other Granges put on the Grain Growers annual stockholders dinner meeting. It is amazing the wonderful meal that can be cooked by just a few people. We had pork roast and chicken.
First fire of the season burned up by River Woods. A careless camper left his campfire. But it didn't burn too much before it was put out. Hope we get more rain.
Set aside April 17 for the big canyon long garage sale. You better come or everyone down here is really going to be mad at me. I promised them you would. And you should see the stuff I have for sale from combining two households. Scary. And one of the neighbors sold and will have some really nice things for sale.
I wouldn't have you spend the gas money if it weren't going to be worth it. (You know where I live.)