Meadow Rock Rainbow

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“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
Dolly Parton

Meadow Rock Rainbow

Meadow Rock Rainbow

Some moments are just meant to be captured.  This rainbow was taken moments after I heard about my cousin Veldon passing away.  If you look close at the upper right end of the primary bow, there are supernumerary bows, or extra layers.  Moments earlier it was pouring down rain.

Sunset is still my favorite color, and rainbow is second.

Mattie Stepanek

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Graveside Services for Veldon Black

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Our beloved cousin Veldon passed away last week, and family gathered from far and wide for the funeral in Fredonia, followed by the Interment in Kanab cemetery.

Cousin Veldon Black was buried in style in Kanab, Utah, after a funeral across the border in Fredonia, Arizona where he lived for many years raising his family (son Alan Black and daughter Kayleen Black Robinson ) and loving his grandkids. In fact the young man in this photo is one of Veldon’s grandsons!
He taught school for a long time, and was much loved by his community and family. Fishing was a large part of his life, especially fly fishing, and his dream was to come visit the Gorge again and go fishing with Boyce Black, but time got away from him. Working in the LDS temple in St. George, Utah was a frequent occurrence weekly in recent time, and it was while working there in a very spiritual setting that he slipped out of this life and into the next. I figured that Heavenly Father had taken his hand and pulled him through that veil because he needed help with something on the other side that would help others. That was just the kind of man he was. I forget how many missions he and his sweet wife Ida Lou had been on, at least 2 or 3. Always encouraging and helping others, he also had a marvelous way of making people laugh at life. Humor was a large part of our family, and it continues down the line
our bro Boyce and his wife Kathleen Black gave me the ride to the funeral, and bro Dennis Black and his wife Donetta also came from Iowa for the event. We got to stay with my Aunt Mary Stevens who must be in her mid 90’s now I suppose. Hurray for a wonderful man’s life well celebrated! Hurray for family!

Some of you remember me heading with Boyce to Utah last spring for a funeral also.. another cousin in the Black family line. Dan Bammes, JoAnn Blackburn,Camille Price and Bruce Bammes are more of my cousin network related through my Dad and their Mom. There are so many more! I feel like as we lose our elders it is all the more important to connect with our cousins and help to support one another and love one another.

Hyrum Stevens Homestead

From this angle, the old home would have been behind the old milk house.  Grandpa Stevens built this very solid, with a thick stone bottom half to this 2 story structure.  The top half was accessed from the hill on the back side.

The old homestead built by my Grandfather Hyrum Wallace Stevens in Mount Carmel, Utah is mostly gone now.    Not much left anymore but the old milk house/ grain storage building is still there and very solid, along with many terraced rock walls.  The foundation of the Milk house was a very thick stone wall, built to keep the milk cool in those hot summers of southern Utah.  Later, when I get the photos of the house taken back in the 1930’s from my brother, I will share that as well.   We stopped here briefly on our way to my cousin’s funeral, and got to meet the new owners who have the home to the right now.  Grandpa’s home was on the hill to the left, above  rock walls just out of the first photo.  There are photos below of the homesite as well.

I was so filled with emotion walking around on this land.. thinking of our Mom, Nina Stevens, and how she was raised here as the middle of 11 children.  Her first school bus was a horse drawn sleigh in winter, and wagon in summer.  When the family made a trip to Kanab it took half a day to get there, traveling down the river valley in a buggy or wagon pulled by horses.  They had to watch for some nasty patches of quicksand that could swallow horses and wagons!  Electricity was unheard of and lanterns provided light at night.  Mom took her turn milking cows before school, especially when Grandpa was gone for two years on a mission for the LDS church and Grandma was alone with the kids.  The older boys and girls helped run the farm, milk the cows and take care of the younger children.

So many stories Mom told us or wrote down, I cannot begin to mention them all here, but will try to share some from time to time.

The old homestead built by my Grandfather Hyrum Wallace Stevens in Mount Carmel, Utah.  Sis in law Donetta Black standing in the driveway on October 18, 2014.  Not much left anymore but the old milk house/ grain storage building is still there and very solid, along with many terraced rock walls.

Grandpa Steven’s old home stood here to the left. The old milk house is the only building still standing. Mount Carmel, Utah October 18, 2014.  My sister in law Donetta Black is standing in the driveway.

Autumn in Idaho October 20, 2014

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I am home again from a fast trip to Fredonia, Arizona and other points in Utah, and with so many photos I hardly know where to start!  These are just a few from Monday, when the sweet folks we stayed with in Idaho took us for a lovely drive through nearby valleys and canyons.  There are many more, but bed is calling my name now!

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Journey into Heart and Memories

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A quick trip (with my brother Boyce and his sweet wife Kathy) to northern Utah for the funeral of a much loved older cousin became for me a journey full of memories from childhood mixed with meeting some amazing and wonderful new people.  I had been told there would be no time to stop for photos, so many of these were taken at full speed going down the road while my brother drove.  We saw some gorgeous fall colors, and I always love the red rock country.  At this point I just have time for a quick check in and wanted to leave you with some visuals from along the way.  More will come after I get home!
OREGON:

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Into Idaho:

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and finally UTAH:

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AND MOUNT CARMEL, where my mother grew up and saw this view every day!  the first one was driving by on the way down, the second and third were a sunrise climb up the hill behind Aunt Mary’s house.

We got to spend one night at my Aunt Mary’s who somehow got a lot older in the years since I saw her… and she lives in the tiny town of Mount Carmel, Utah, where my Mother grew up on the family farm along the highway.  The old home built by Grandpa Hyrum Stevens, where he and Grandma Mabel May  raised their 11 children.  Mom was the middle of the batch and was a good milker of cows, often borrowing her brothers overalls to ride the horse out to take lunch to her brothers watching the cattle.

The white cone in all three photos is Sugar Knoll, and mom talked about climbing that knob.

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New Cup Ideas, feedback anyone?

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I am debating about getting a handful of these cups while they are on sale.  Question is, would anyone actually pay $25 for a ceramic mug like this?  Seems too much to me, honestly, but I might order a few to find out.

I would love feedback on this.

Chelatchie Railroad

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It is that time of year again and the Chelatchie Railroad in SW Washington is no doubt busy taking tourists on fun rides on the trains… I highly recommend it!

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Darlisa Black

Starlisa Black Photography