It’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve had a lot going on in my life lately with little time to sit down and reflect on paper what’s been going on. This post will be kind of a hodgepodge and will definitely be all over the place.
I’ll begin with a question I received from someone in my past. The question……….He asked “Are you staying happy?” Interestingly enough, when this person was a part of my life, we were both struggling with similar issues although we were unaware of it at the time. It’s amazing how drugs can mask your true feelings. His question has haunted me and it has raised quite a stir with some of my friends here in Leavenworth, so much so that several of us are still pondering this very question. And I wonder how many of my followers will be thinking about this.
This past week has been one of the most fabulous weeks of my life. It’s hard to find words to describe it. Vacation Bible School (VBS) was held at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. 216 children were registered and I was blessed with the opportunity to be a rotation leader in the preschool imagination station. While the children were delighted with the activities in our craft and play area, their facial expressions and gleeful comments spoke so much more. Their excitement was contagious. For many, VBS is a regular summer adventure and church life is a constant. But then there are those who have never set foot in a church before and have never held a bible in their hands. This week was definitely an incredible experience for all the adult volunteers as well as all the children. VBS is definitely the highlight of the time I spend in Leavenworth during the summer.
The writing course I have been taking is drawing to a close….only two classes left. I have decided that the memoirs I am writing will be dedicated to my granddaughter Maddie. As the memories surface, they become more important than ever to be written down for posterity. There are so many things about my own parents that I wish I knew about. Unfortunately they are no longer here and neither are all the others who could provide me with some insight. I told my daughter that there will be stories included that she has never heard about before. Too often we wait too long in life to ask certain questions, By then it is too late to find the answers.
Last night I was at the senior center with some friends. Gary and Trish travel over an hour and a half to come to Leavenworth. Other local talent join them and it varies from time to time. Country music is the theme except for the first Saturday of the month when it’s Gospel. In another lifetime I used to go to Forbidden Flavors or Happy Mike’s back in Winnipeg for music on Saturday nights.
I’m still hyped from VBS. The songs are are still running through my head. I’ll end this post with some of the pics I took during the week.
These blog posts seem to be getting farther and farther apart. There is just so much happening here in Washington that I find myself out and about constantly and haven’t spent much time at home. This means I’ve been taking lots of photos and having interesting adventures but there has been no time for writing. We went to church this morning in Cashmere and then out for brunch to 59er Diner. I told my friend that I was determined to stay at home this afternoon and organize photos and do some writing.
Organizing photos has become quite the challenge as my phone and my laptop do not appear to be on speaking terms lately. This means I need to email photos and then download them and finally put them into albums. This is a very tedious process and today’s task is going through an entire month’s worth of photos.
Now down to what has kept me busy. Where to begin…………
I enjoy walking and I live in a delightful neighborhood close to the downtown area. Here are some of the sights I see along the way to the Senior Center:
In addition to my usual activities at the senior center as well as teaching fitness classes, I enrolled in a memoir writing class and joined the Bavarian Book Club at the Leavenworth Library. VBS (Vacation Bible School) at the Nazarene Church is only a week away. My friend Linda and I are rotation leaders for the craft and play in the preschool division. We’ve been decorating our classroom and perfecting crafts for the kids.
Other festivals and events make this a busy time of year. The Farmers Markets have begun. Founders Day in Cashmere and the Accordion Festival in Leavenworth were followed by July 4th. Although fireworks have been banned here due to the dry conditions and the high risk of forest fires, there was lots happening in Leavenworth.
The day began with a pancake breakfast at Lions Club Park served up by the 4H kids. Kinderfest followed with a bike parade and numerous activities for children of all ages.
I’ve enjoyed a variety of music this past week. Yesterday at the gazebo a talented accordionist and yodeler entertained us. Earlier in the week I attended a dress rehearsal for Sound of Music up at the amphitheater. Last night was Gospel night at the Senior Center.
On Friday we were in Wenatchee picking up our instructor t-shirts at Wellness Place and decided to go to a movie. Won’t You Be My Neighbor was our choice and it was a great tribute to Mr. Rogers. A word of caution…….remember to bring your tissues. It is a little tearful.
I somehow found some time to return to the Nutcracker Museum. Last summer I spent about three hours there but I was pressed for time and only had an hour this time.
Tomorrow is Monday and the roller-coaster starts up again.. The morning will be spent preparing for VBS. Then lunch at the Senior Center. Then writing group. Then book club. A day in the life………….
Is it really Friday again already? It was just Monday!
The Accordion Festival started yesterday here in Leavenworth. There will be music galore throughout the weekend at the gazebo and in the Festhall. Saturday will feature a parade throughout the town. I enjoyed all of this immensely last year.
But I have different plans for this weekend. I’m going to Cashmere with friends to take in Founders Day celebrations. A barbecue and time at the Pioneer Museum are on the list. Upper Valley Connection are performing The Little Mermaid again this year. One of my friends will also be on a float in the parade.
The real kick-start to the weekend happens tonight at Icicle Junction. The Nazarene Church is holding a mini-golf and pizza event for the kids and I am one of the many volunteers. Here’s a shot of us all at last year’s event.
Also on my to do list for the weekend are visiting a friend in hospital, buying tickets for summer theater performances and regular Sunday church services. My characters are talking up a storm today so I will dive into my current work in progress once I get this post up.
Wow! There is just so much to do around here! Choices, choices, choices……….
A priority was to explore The Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. This friendly statue greeted me near the entrance.
On the main floor I came upon this vintage auto, as well as a display indicating that in 1997 the museum made the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest apple pie weighing 34, 438 pounds. Volunteers put in almost 3000 hours creating this pie.
I headed up the stairs and found myself in a vintage train station. A display featured a model train that traversed through tunnels and over bridges for a full six minutes at a time.
I then wandered through an area depicting Native People of the Columbia Plateau. Another section featured Beringia Migration and an extensive array of items was found in the Fossil Collection. There was also a room dedicated to flight and an extremely interesting section which unfortunately prohibited photos and had a history of Pangborn as well as a variety of other vintage items on display.
The Museum hosts a number of children’s programs over the summer and also offers lectures and field trips for adults. The main floor also features a gift shop.
On Sunday afternoon we ventured up the hills in Peshastin into an orchard where Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene was holding a River Baptism. This was very different from the traditional hot tub found at Church of the Rock in Winnipeg. How amazing to have a beautiful park-like setting complete with a river to celebrate a baptism! Talk about God’s country…………
Around here everything revolves around the outdoors. On the weekend we were up in the hills again, this time near Cashmere. Rotary Club was showing an outdoor movie. Yep, they hang screens from trees around here.
And then I was off to another production by Leavenworth Summer Theater. This time the venue was The Fish Hatchery and the musical was Bye Bye Birdie.
And I can’t possibly forget the kick-off potluck dinner for Village Voices. The Bavarian Brass serenaded us with Christmas music while we ate and then the ladies enchanted us with their musical selection.
It’s August already? What happened to July? Since I returned from Springdale, the days have been a blur of activity. Aside from the usual exercise classes, bridge games and lunches with friends at the senior center, there have been other things on the agenda.
Along with my friend Becky, we volunteered one night at the concession stand for Leavenworth Summer Theater’s production of The Sound of Music. The venue is atop a hill, albeit a considerable amount of smokey haze somewhat obscured the spectacular view of the mountains. The audience numbered approximately 500 people, and it was well worth the climb uphill to reach their seats. In the opening scene, Maria sauntered through the woods singing as she made her entrance onstage. What an ideal setting for this musical!
The Rotary Club held a barbecue at a park in Wenatchee. Clubs from Leavenworth, Cashmere and Wenatchee were represented. The park had a swimming pool, a playground and tennis courts. About 100 people attended this event.
Last Friday I braved the smokey skies and headed for Lake Chelan. I was delighted with the museum and enjoyed viewing the variety of items on displayed. I sauntered through the churchyard and headed down to the water, but it was far too smokey to stay very long. I then had a lovely lunch at BC McDonalds before returning to Leavenworth.
Guess what some of us did last Saturday morning at 8 am? Nope, we didn’t sleep in. We attended a four hour CPR/First Aid class held at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. And we now have a two year certification by the American Red Cross. I hope we never have to use these skills but it’s good to have reviewed basic first aid, CPR and the use of AEDs. It’s also interesting to note how the laws vary from state to state, quite different from the classes I took back in Canada where lawsuits were only lightly mentioned.
Earlier in the week on the internet I obtained my Washington food handlers certification. I want to volunteer in the kitchen at the Senior Center where this course is required. And this week I began a new course online entitled Rethinking Ageing offered by The University of Melbourne. I also had my home group online from Church of the Rock in Winnipeg.
Earlier this week I also went out to Plain with my friends Dee and Karen. The first stop was Plain Hardware.
Karen then gave us a spectacular tour of Grunewald Guild. She used to live here and we spent hours touring the buildings and the grounds. Once again, I took far too many photos, but here is a sampling.
We then took a short drive through Lake Wenatchee State Park, where despite the smokey haze, surprisingly quite a few people were swimming and boating.
I am heading to the golf course shortly to have lunch with Charlene. Wild Huckleberry is one of my favorite restaurants in Leavenworth. Not only is the food amazing, but the view is also spectacular. Perhaps the deer will be out today. A lovely start to the weekend!
Last week marked one of the most amazing weeks of my life. The occasion was Vacation Bible School at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene. It’s incredible to think that only a year ago I arrived in Leavenworth and had never even heard of VBS. I recall walking into the sanctuary for the first time and seeing the decorations. And then I was enthralled with the voices of the children as they were the praise team that morning. I knew that I had experienced something really awesome, and that I wanted to find out more about VBS and the church’s role in the community.
Becky Goodman is the pastor for children and families, and we soon became good friends. This dynamic lady hales from Indiana and is a treasure in the ministry of the church. Her passion and drive are amazing. I am always in awe of how she remains so calm, collected and cool no matter how gargantuan the challenges may be.
I first got my toes wet when I helped at Light the Night last fall. I was back in Mexico for the winter when Becky asked me if I’d be interested in volunteering for VBS (Vacation Bible School). I was definitely interested. I told her that I was flexible and to put me where she needed me, as I was totally unfamiliar with VBS and what was entailed in planning the program.
Becky decided that co-director of the preschool/kindergarten program would be a good place. When I arrived back in Leavenworth in May, I soon found myself engrossed in planning meetings. I met Heather, the other co-director, and we were soon busy organizing and purchasing supplies, as well as decorating and setting up classrooms for activities.
The statistics are impressive. There were 204 children registered and 134 volunteers involved. The children were divided into groups of five, each with a crew leader to assist them in the activities. Each station had two rotation leaders. Other volunteers were in registration, in the kitchen, doing security, assisting with light and sound, as well as setting up and taking down of decorations.
The mission project for the week was raising funds for a concrete floor to replace the existing dirt floor in a home serving as an orphanage in The Democratic Republic Of The Congo. Earlier that month, the missionaries themselves had visited our church and told us about their experiences working with the African people, describing in detail the poverty and the decrepit conditions in which they lived. The goal was to raise $1600. The generosity of the community was overwhelming, and the total amount raised was a staggering $5222.50. Not only will there be a concrete floor, but there will also be a ceiling and beds for the children.
The theme of VBS was Maker Fun Factory. A typical day at VBS began with an opening program in the sanctuary. The children were introduced to a Bible Point and a Bible Buddy. A skit was presented by two teenagers. The 29 children in the praise team enthusiastically ensured that there would be lots of singing. Everyone sported wristbands to remind them to “Watch For God”. Each day God sightings were discussed and colorful lights were added along the walls in celebration.
The elementary division held their activities in a separate area of the church. The children rotated between Bible Discovery, KidVid Cinema, Imagination Station and Maker Games. The preschool/kindergarten division rotated between Bible Adventures, KidVid Cinema, Craft & Play, Exploration Station and Games. There was even a group of nursery children all three and under who checked out these stations as well. All children were provided with a healthy lunch prepared by volunteers in the kitchen.
Here are some photos taken in the preschool/kindergarten division.
A closing ceremony at the end of the day showed a video with highlights of the day, as well as a discussion about the Bible Point and the Bible Buddy. Parents were encouraged to attend this daily event.
On the last day, a preview of VBS 2018 was shown on the screen and the squeals of delight from the children added to the excitement. 2017 was my first experience with VBS and I know that I will be back for more. Will you?
Wherever I may happen to be living, I try to immerse myself in that particular culture. Here in Washington state, there are always so many events and activities to choose from on the weekends.
This weekend my favorite town of Cashmere had its Founders Day celebrations. While it all sounded interesting and exciting, I opted to stay here in Leavenworth to attend other events.
Friday night some fifty-five children and adults gathered together at Icicle Junction for pizza and mini-golf. Pastor Becky Goodman from Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene did an amazing job of organizing this event. The kids had a wonderful time golfing followed by games in the arcade. By some miracle, they were lured out of the arcade to pose for a group photo.
On Saturday I found myself at the Cascade High School watching a performance of The Little Mermaid. This production by Upper Valley Connections touched my heart as the majority of the cast members were from the special needs community. I worked in this field in Canada, and was moved to tears by their beaming faces as they acted, sang and danced for us on the stage.
Another event on Saturday was a car show held in the downtown area. I have never been a car buff, but some of the vehicles on display did attract my attention, especially the Corvettes. The temperature was above ninety degrees, and with no shade I didn’t stay very long.
I went to church Sunday morning and the guest speaker was Rev. Bob Luhn. He will be back again next weekend, and I look forward to hearing him again. Although he is retired, he is highly requested for speaking engagements and we are fortunate to have him here in Leavenworth.
Next weekend may be Canada Day where I am from, but I will be at a potluck in Cashmere as well as hanging out near the gazebo here in Leavenworth to listen to music. And Fourth of July is right around the corner…………………