A Story of Love

Cold Mtn

I did this picture for a good friend of mine who inspired me with the amazing story that goes with it.  As you know I don’t usually write much so thank you for taking the time to read.

One of my best friend’s dad built the Cold Mountain lookout tower cabin in the Idaho wilderness, northeast of McCall, Idaho. As a young man, he built it in 1932, by hand, with the tools he had, obviously no electricity and every 30 minutes he would climb up in the tower and look for forest fires. He lived there during the “fire” season from late spring to fall.  The greatest adventure for a single young man in the remote wilderness mountains and streams of Idaho living among the deer, elk and bear in the unadulterated beauty of the land in the 1930’s…*(insert “Lonesome Dove” theme music here…)

Later, when my friend’s parents married and were trying to start a family in the early 1940’s they weren’t able to have children without a costly operation for his mother.  In order to get enough money for the operation,  he decided to go overseas and work for a construction company for 9 mos. building an air strip on Wake Island, in which he would earn enough money for the operation. *(people worked and paid for things in advance back in the olden days, today we’re smarter and more advanced and go into debt…)  After 7 1/2 mos. there, with only a month and a half left till completion,  Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and then headed to Wake Island, and took control of the island and the air strip. He was captured as a  prisoner and taken to Japan where he spent the entire World War in a P.O.W. camp.  All his wife knew, was that Wake Island had been taken over by  Japan and hadn’t heard from her husband.  (There was no texting, or face time or Facebook, ironically, people used to know how to have conversation face to face and see and feel emotion instead of emojis, and they used to listen to one another and develop true deep and meaningful relationships.)

She waited all those months and YEARS for him. Nobody knew anything about the men, where they were, if they were alive, on the other side of the world. No communication. These were not trained soldiers, but construction workers. Eventually, she received a letter from him and that he didn’t know where he was being held, but she at least knew he was still alive.  His dad said he knew when the war was nearing its end because he recognized U.S. planes flying overhead and heard bombing nearby.  A few months after the war, American troops discovered the camp.  So many men didn’t make it and died in the camp, some came home mentally ill and some turned to alcohol. Some of the men’s wives had remarried believing their husbands would never return.  My friend’s dad was very meek and patient and helped so many to survive the experience by keeping his mind focused on helping the other men and on his wife back home.  Finally, after about five years he returned home to his wife.  And they did receive the money to get the operation and it was obviously successful!   My friend was born the youngest in the family, the only son.  By the time he was born, his parents were a lot older and it was in some ways like being raised by grandparents, so, double blessing!

As my friend was sharing this story of his parents, I felt like I was watching a movie. I could see it all happening in my mind and being inspired by  this kind of love and devotion. And at the same time, feeling so grieved at how far, far away our nation is from the foundations of  love and commitment to one another and the value of  children and human life in general.  The value of family and the value in a person’s word. Used to be, that was everything.  Yes there are too many injustices in the world, the greatest being pride and selfishness and the horrible fruit it has produced in our relationships, family, neighbors and communities. There are waaay too many tragic stories involving women and children today but for me, this is a great story about a real hero.  Growing up without a father but now being one, listening to this story, I recognized something was being deposited in me of real value.  We should all be so blessed to have moms and dads like that.  To be moms and dads like that.

Thank you for reading all the way here, happy Mother’s Day moms, you fill your children with memories and provide love and security like nothing else.  Blessings!

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Rest

Shabbat

The most precious gift we have, is time.  Value it, cherish it, with family and friends.  Make it a priority to take time to enjoy it.  No talk about work, turn the TV off, put the cell phone away, far away and have real face to face talk and make someone feel blessed and happy.  Enjoy!!

Coffee Couple

Debbie&BillStarbucks

Chag Sameach!

This is a drawing I did for a couple who enjoys their coffee and have a moment or two with one another. I even misspelled their names just like a real Barista!

Goosefoot Family

Goosefoot

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!  Moms love family photos so here is the Goosefoot Family with Spinach, Beets and Swiss Chard.  Make Mama happy today and eat your veggies.

Mele Kalikimaka

Bubble Lights

Bubble lights are my favorite Christmas lights.  I remember when I was little we had some of these and then you never saw them until a few years ago when they kind of made a come back as “cool”.  When my mom was alive, she was the kind of person that thought it was her responsibility to make Christmas happen, and I don’t mean just in our house, but world-wide! She shopped all year around for big gifts, small gifts, stocking stuffers, candy, and if you mentioned anything that you liked, no matter what time of year it was, you’d be sure to receive a package in the mail with that item(s) at Christmas, so I had to be careful of what I said.  I made the mistake one time of just casually mentioning that I liked Almond m&m’s…Wow! I didn’t know they came in that size…   One year, I slipped and mentioned that I saw some bubble lights like we had when I was little and wanted to get some but before I knew it, a box came with about 7 boxes of bubble lights in it!  We still have those lights and they are very special to us especially since they are full of memories. You find yourself getting lost in thoughts of people, family, Christmas past,  just gazing at them. I love the part of life how something can take you to a memory of childhood or some good moment.  We sincerely hope for new, great memories to be yours this week!

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and so much of it is about tradition. There are few things in all of life better than being with family and/or friends, or someone special and sharing a meal. That’s why I’m posting my traditional turkey sketch. Enjoy and enjoy your family and friends this season of thanksgiving. We really do have so much to be thankful for. Being thankful can totally change your outlook on life and its circumstances. Blessings!

Cold Mtn. Lookout

Cold Mtn

One of my best friend’s dad built the Cold Mountain lookout tower cabin in the Idaho wilderness, northeast of McCall, Idaho. He built it in 1932, by hand.  He would work on it and every 30 minutes he would go up in the tower and look for forest fires. He lived there during the “fire” season from late spring to fall.

Even more amazing is when my friend’s parents were trying to start a family in the early 1940’s they weren’t able to have children without a costly operation for his mother. In order to get enough money for the operation, (people worked and paid for things in advance back in the old days, today we’re smarter and more advanced and go into debt…) he decided to go overseas and work for a construction company for 9 mos. on Wake Island. He would earn enough money for the operation. After 7 1/2 mos. there, the Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and then headed to Wake Island, and took control of it. He was captured as a  prisoner and taken to Japan where he spent the entire World War in a P.O.W. camp. It wasn’t until after the war that U.S. troops discovered the camp and the prisoners were released. All his mom knew, was that Wake Island had been taken over by the Japan and hadn’t heard from her husband. She waited all those months and years for him. Eventually, she received a letter from him and she at least knew he was still alive. So many men didn’t make it and died in the camp, some came home mentally ill and some turned to alcohol. My friend’s dad was very meek and helped so many to survive the experience by keeping his mind focused. As my friend was sharing this story of his parent’s love and devotion to each other, and commitment to having a family I felt like I was watching a movie. I could see it all in my mind. And at the same time, grieved at how far our nation has gotten away from basic love and commitment to one another and the value of our children. There are waaay too many tragic stories involving children today but this was a great story about a real hero. We should all be so blessed to have dad’s like that.