Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘travel’

Our Trip to Switzerland -Part One


My husband of 51 years is my best friend and a great travel partner. Even though we love the place we live (beautiful Ennis, Montana) and there’s no place like home, it is imperative that we leave it occasionally and visit our children and grandchildren. Feel sorry for me, friends. We HAVE to go to Switzerland at least every other year! What a terrible place to HAVE to go!

Image

Every other year, we draw some money out of our savings, get our round trip tickets, pack our bags, and head off for Geneva to spend quality time with our daughter and her family. Trying to keep our suitcases under the 50 pound weight limit is a challenge as we stuff them full of bottles of honey (Bob’s a retired beekeeper), California wine, new clothes for our three grandsons, and special treats – like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Would you believe – with all that delicious, creamy Swiss chocolate – you can’t find Reese’s in Switzerland? We had to transfer a few things from our large suitcase to the smaller one in order to make the weight limit. Other than that, we checked in at Gallatin Field in Bozeman without incident and with plenty of time to spare for our 5:56 AM flight.

It’s a good thing we had a long layover planned for Denver, because we sat until 7:30 AM before boarding and then sat on the runway until 8:30 before finally getting clearance to fly. “Mechanical glitches,” we were told. Better to get them taken care of now… safety first… we can wait! Wait we did! Again in Denver – a cockpit warning light that wouldn’t go off. We waited for clearance, and eventually embarked for the east coast. We sat on the plane nearly two hours in Newark waiting for a mechanic to sign-off on the safety of that plane before we could take off for Geneva. Eight hours later, with sleep escaping me on that long, overnight flight, we landed smoothly. I had finished reading Kahled Houseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed.” It was gripping, causing the hours to fly with me! We were only an hour late – after all those delays!

Image

Our daughter, DeAna, and her middle son, Nick, were there to meet us in their “White Willy,” a Volkswagen mini-van that became our reliable friend during the next three weeks. In it we zipped down the freeway from Geneva, past the immense and impressive Lake, through the Rhone River Valley with its sheer, terraced, vineyard-covered Alpine walls, to Sierre, Switzerland’s “Sun City.” We arrived at our daughter and her husband, Andre’s restaurant, Le Rothorn, in time to join his parents for an aperitif. Andre’ treated us to lunch, a delicious chicken breast with rice and zucchini. Our oldest grandson, Mike, joined us.

Image

Mike was grinning ear to ear as he approached our table.  Carrying a certificate, he presented us with evidence that –  just this morning – he passed his driver’s license exam and behind-the-wheel test. What a thrill! At 21, he finally can drive on his own! After lunch, he took his girlfriend, Sophie, to Crans-Montana to buy his dad a present for his 50th birthday tomorrow. It’s a 10 to 20 mile trip, up switchback turns to the resort city high in the Alps above Sierre. A first for Mike. Oh Lordy – let the fun begin!

Image

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our other two grandsons – and Night Number One of our Swiss Adventure. Stay tuned!

Watching the Wind


We returned to Montana from California yesterday. It was a whirlwind trip. We dashed there to celebrate family events (birthdays, graduation, acceptance into the Navy). While there, we arranged also to spend time with friends and to attend my husband’s high school reunion. All the way from Ennis, MT to Elko, NV we watched the wind part the storm clouds before us as we drove in the sunshine. The roadsides were sparkling with new fallen rain, but the sun and wind dried the roads. We had smooth sailing! Reaching the central valley of California, we were told it had experienced a heatwave the week before… unseasonably hot – in the 90s. But as we sat with old high school chums on the patio midst the almond orchards, the cool breeze kept the temperatures in the mid-70s for us. Watching the wind rustle the new leaves on the recently blossomed branches was delightful. Not too strong… no paper plates were blown away… just right! Ah, thank You, God!

At our son’s in east-central California, again there had been storms just before we arrived. The wind parted the clouds, gave us perfect temperatures, created glorious sunsets and sunrises, and made our stay picture perfect!  Days in the mid-70s allowed us to take drives in his little convertible sports car with the top down, casually walk around the shopping malls with our granddaughters comfortably attired in shorts or sundresses, and leisurely lounge on their patio for barbecues and blab sessions. What a life!

Back in Ennis, watching the wind takes on a whole new dimension! The sky was gray and threatening as we drove into the Madison Valley. Deer, antelope, elk and eagles, usually plentiful and visible in the late-afternoon, were hunkered down out of sight for the night. Angry wind blew in heavier clouds which dropped their contents as we slept – happy to be back in our comfy bed with our own pillows and our snoring pup between us! Whistling wind continued in the mistiness of morning. It blew the storm clouds to the Madison Range east of us. Blue sky and sunshine emerged again. Watch the wind. It’s strong. It has a mission. Welcome home!

La Dolce Far Niente


I have a new internet friend! I discovered her blog today… and fell in love with her and Italy in one reading! You can find her and travel  with her through the magical land of “La Dolce Far Niente” at  http://afriendoftheking.blogspot.com     Her name is Leslie Suzanne.  Her subtitle is Unlocking barriers and opening doors…  She and her daughter are living for a few months on a horse farm in Italy – immersed in the language and the culture. As bloggers you will appreciate the way she began her entry last Sunday:

“Language is a key that unlocks barriers…
such simple, yet powerful things…
words…”
As a second generation American whose paternal grandparents immigrated from Italy, and as a retired educator who spent many years jumping up at the crack of dawn and running from one deadline to the next, I appreciate her love of the Italian culture. She wrote, “The Italians have a saying:  La dolce far niente… The sweetness of doing nothing.” Then she challenged us to try it. She postured, ” It is almost impossible.  At least at first. For an American.”
My guess is that it’s not IMPOSSIBLE – not even at first – to “do nothing” – but the hard part is to “enJOY the sweetness” of it. We learn that BUSY is BETTER. Productivity is what life is all about. “What did you DO today?” my husband asks when he comes back from a day of fishing (that’s where he is with three of his buddies today). Even if it is recreational, it is DOING. And, by the looks of it, and the words that come out of his mouth when he is trying to tie flies or clean and prepare his fishing lines, it certainly is not relaxing! It’s all “catch and release” around here, so he never brings fish home. But, he certainly finds sweetness in the catching, the fight, the beauty, the release so he can come back and hook that same fish tomorrow – or leave him for the next fisherman to marvel!
Image
Leslie, my new Friend of the King wrote, “Living here in Italy, I have been practicing.  I mean really Practicing.  It’s an art… To stop being preoccupied. To not be driven by the tyranny of the next thing.  To actually be in the moment…..”
My fisherman husband knows about the moment. You only have a moment to enjoy that beautiful fish – and then you better get him back in the water! Be in the moment! Snap a picture, kiss the fish good-bye, and slip him back into the water. The moment is gone. Now, live in the next one! Yes, be present.
Moments in time. Precious presents! Don’t crowd them.  La Dolce Far Niente!!
Image

Three Forks, Montana


We went to Manhattan, MT today to read to the folks at Parkhaven Retirement Home. Then we (our Writers of Madison County) went to one of our members’ homes in Three Forks for a barbecue. What fun! Now we’re headed for home – and here’s the scene we just passed. Oh, my friends, this is truly God’s Country!!

20120505-134529.jpg

20120615-142056.jpg

Tag Cloud