Julia’s Rainbow

Another young much loved woman has passed away this last week, and my heart is so sad.  Trying to continue forward with photography and life, and stay positive.   Julia Little Brave was my stepdaughter by a former marriage, and although I am estranged from her father I have kept track of his daughter as she married and had children.  I followed from a distance, not wanting to interfere, and kept her in my heart.  This is not about me… this is about an amazing young woman and her family.
Julia had  cancer.  She fought hard, and was in remission for some few years while she returned to college and developed a career in hospital lab work. This in itself was impressive in her large Native American family, where education was often a struggle.   All this while being a great mother, and constantly cheering up others, and praying for others in her Native American Church.  Her positive attitude was amazing.  This last couple years the cancer came back, and though she fought with all she had, this weekend she slipped into that dark night and into the spirit world leaving behind her supportive loving husband Matt and their three beautiful children, along with a heartbroken sister/ best friend and brothers and Father, Mother, and a huge extended clan.

Julia’s sister in law has created a GoFundMe donation site to raise money to help the family with burial costs and huge hospital bills left behind.  Any amount you might be able to donate would be gratefully appreciated, even $1. You can find that site here along with her photo and more information.  Just click on that previous sentence in blue and the page will open up in a new tab.

This is the Rainbow I saw soon after I learned of Julia’s passing.. so I have named this Julia’s Rainbow.

Double Rainbow, Taken from Hood River Oregon, looking over the Hood River Bridge into White Salmon and Bingen, Washington on November 9, 2014

Julia’s Rainbow

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Autumn in White Salmon

A day in the life of a small but lovely town along the Columbia River, from a foggy morning start to a Yowser sunset. November 8, 2014, and dedicated to my niece Erin Kyte Huerta and her husband Melicio for their 11th anniversary. Erin grew up on these streets, in this town. Currently in Utah, she misses this place so I am bringing it home to her 🙂 She has had some serious health problems, and struggles to keep working, and I want to bring her some joy.
I love you Erin and Melicio, Happy Anniversary! Grandma would be hugging you right now too if she could.

Dedication Memorial In Honor of Loving Parents

Nina Black at Lewis River

Our Mother, Nina Black, was born Nina Stevens on May 18, 1913 in Mt. Carmel, Utah; and died of a stroke, peacefully  in the  home of her son Boyce on November 7, 2003 in White Salmon, Washington, seven years after her husband, Claude Elias Black (May 8, 2008- Thanksgiving Day 1996).   Nina took her last breaths holding hands with Boyce and myself  and surrounded by three generations of her descendants singing her favorite hymns to her as she passed through that veil between worlds. Claude had a quick heart attack after a Thanksgiving Dinner with the large family, and passed away on his own bed with his boots still on, just the way he would have liked.  His last breaths went through me as I did CPR and I knew beyond doubt that he was ready to go, I could feel him so strongly.

As a young girl growing up in southern Utah, Nina remembered her first schoolbus was a horse drawn Sleigh in the winter. A trip to Kanab, 20 some miles away, took half a day travel time down the old creek bed, watching out for quicksand areas. Her Mother, Mabel May Stevens, always had flowers on their piano, and many of her 10 brothers and sisters loved to sing and play music.  Their Father, Hyrum Wallace Stevens was a hard working man with a farm, and several cows.  Life was hard but full of love, fresh garden produce and plenty of milk!

Nina grew into a lovely young woman

Nina as a young girl

Nina as a young girl

and she met a handsome young man

Dad on his Mission to North Carolina

Dad on his Mission to North Carolina

Claude was her School Bus Driver for awhile, and the day after Nina Graduated from High School they headed off to St. George to be married in the LDS Temple, Sadly, the car broke down on the way and by the time Claude got it fixed and they made it to St. George the Temple was closed.  Claude had to be at Sheep camp the next day, so they found the Bishop and some witnesses and arranged a civil marriage.  After the summer working at the camp (Mom cooked, Dad was a Sheep herder), they returned to the Temple and got sealed for eternity.

Claude and Nina on their wedding day April 15, 1932

Claude and Nina on their wedding day April 15, 1932

The next 18 years found them moving around following work during the depression, having each child in a different town and in 4 states.  After living in Utah (Dad was a mechanic in Glendale, Utah), California (Orange Orchards), Arizona, and Idaho, (Mechanic and driver on road construction),  The Depression was hard times, often with so very little food for the family.  One time about all they had was a little flour, and they found a 50 pound bag of onions laying by the road.  They had baked onions, fried onions, onion soup, and were grateful.    Claude brought  the family to Washington in 1950 to help his brother Clell Black with a Service Station in Husum, and it became the home they had been searching for.  Raising their teenage kids here was wonderful.  Dad worked at Hunsaker’s and then at Ford Garage in Bingen, and I am told the house was always full of kids.  Mom said she had to count the sleeping bags on the lawn or the living room floor depending on the season to know how many kids she had that day to cook for.  To this day there are many who call Claude and Nina Mom and Dad, kids who stayed with us or came over for meals often, kids with troubled homes that my folks took under their wings.

I was fortunate to be born and raised in White Salmon, and went with Mom and Dad everywhere.

Mother was the teacher in life who most taught me to “Love one Another” by example, by actions. Love of beauty in nature was her legacy, seeing the Divine in others was her trademark. Humor was a joy shared with Mom and Dad… laughter and hugs filled our home. This amazing woman raised 6 children, and always had time for a hug and love… or cookies and homemade rootbeer,  or homemade icecream.

Mom and me....

Mom and me….

Mom and me

Mom and me

Nina and Darlisa at Long Beach

Nina and Darlisa at Long Beach

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Daddy and Me

Daddy and Me.  Can you tell I was Daddy’s Girl?  I followed him everywhere, down cliffs, up waterfalls, and  across rivers in search of fish and rocks; and I followed him into the deep woods hunting deer.

Daddy taught me how to handle a gun properly at a young age, but I never did shoot a deer... when I finally got my first deer in the scope, I  put the rifle down and Dad asked what I was doing... I said "I'm really not hungry, Dad".  He laughed and said "you will be come winter!"

Daddy taught me how to handle a gun properly at a young age, but I never did shoot a deer… when I finally got my first deer in the scope, I put the rifle down and Dad asked what I was doing… I said “I’m really not hungry, Dad”. He laughed and said “you will be come winter!”

I don't remember many times I was at Mosquito Lake in snow, but here is proof it happened!

I don’t remember many times I was at Mosquito Lake in snow, but here is proof it happened!

Summers often found us going to Utah to see Grandma Black (Sarah Elizabeth Cox). These journeys were full of visits to amazing places and red rock parks, places my parents had not been to growing up in Utah.

Summers often found us going to Utah to see Grandma Black (Sarah Elizabeth Cox). These journeys were full of visits to amazing places and red rock parks, places my parents had not been to growing up in Utah.

My wonderful brothers sadly left home for Navy, Army and College by the time I was 4 and my sister had already gotten married, so at times it was like being an only child, but when they were around they spoiled me rotten.

Our Family after I came along

Our Family after I came along

Claude and Nina lost their oldest son Sheldon in a hunting accident…and then had me 1 1/2 years later. My growing up memories were of a happy mother full of love and joy… willing to wade with me in the creek, throw a snowball at age 75, and kiss away all the pains. I have often wondered in recent years how she did it… and then I know.  It was because of her absolute faith in God and in what comes after death. She knew she would see her son again, he was not really gone… and so the pain was less sharp.  Her faith nourished her Husband, and all her Children; Nora, Sheldon, Dennis, Roger, Boyce, and myself.

My brother I haven't met in this life, Sheldon, with my "adopted" brother Jimmy

My brother I haven’t met in this life, Sheldon (on the right)  with my “adopted” brother Jimmy.  Sheldon was killed in a freak hunting accident at age 20 in September 1956 by Jimmy, and as I grew up Jimmy was the other brother in our house… I remember him throwing me up in the air and laughing. Mother always said that she knew if she said one angry word to him about shooting Sheldon that he would have killed himself, so she simply took him in her arms.

I am always amazed at the strength of my parents… Not long before they lost Sheldon, Grandpa Alvin Black died of a heart attack in Husum where he had come to help his sons build a home for Clell and Allie.  In the spring after losing Sheldon,  Mom and Dad took their first EVER child free weekend trip to the coast, camping at Copalis Beach in Washington.  That is where I was conceived just when they thought they were nearly done raising children.  Mom was 45 and Dad was 50.  Then, while pregnant with me, Mom’s Mom passed away back in Utah and she made the journey for the funeral.  After all of this, still these amazing people said only kind things and raised me with joy and love.

Roger, Darlisa, Dennis, Boyce

Roger, Darlisa, Dennis, Boyce

Sister Nora and her son Gregory Jon

Sister Nora and her son Gregory Jon at the Beach with us

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Nora and Nina were pregnant at the same time, and David and Darlisa were born exactly 2 months apart

Nora and Nina were pregnant at the same time, and David and Darlisa were born exactly 2 months apart

Mom and my Tippy Dog

Mom and my Tippy Dog

Nina loved this land.   Daily she would point out a lovely hat on Mount Hood or Mount Adams, or some lovely flowers blooming along the roads.  Summers were spent wading in the Lewis River, filling our pockets with rocks while Dad filled his bag with fish.  The smallest or largest moments of beauty around us were pointed out and appreciated.

Claude and Nina at Lower Falls

Claude and Nina at Lower Falls

Dad fishing under Upper Falls on the Lewis River

Dad fishing under Upper Falls on the Lewis River

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Up until a week before her 90th birthday, Mom was still sewing patchwork quilts up on her old Singer Treadle sewing machine. Many of those quilts contained memories… as material salvaged from clothing was often used in her quilts.

50th Wedding Anniversary (I think, or 60th?) The Quilt on the wall may have been one of Mom's

50th Wedding Anniversary (I think, or 60th?) The Quilt on the wall may have been one of Mom’s

My friend Debbie, Mom and myself in around 1986

My friend Debbie, Mom and myself in around 1986.  It was during this time that I was a single mother, and Dad became Grandpa Dad to my daughter.

My dad and my daughter

My dad and my daughter

 

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Frosted Leaves and Mount Adams
Frosted Leaves and Mount Adams.  

Perfect Crystalline Frost on the early morning plants reminds me of my Mother, who taught me to always notice the moments of beauty in all seasons.  In the background on this photo, we see Mt. Adams, one of her favorites… and I see it now as her faith, enduring to the end.

Mother and Father, we love you!!!

The Earth Cries

My heart and prayers go out to the people of Moore, Oklahoma as they struggle to overcome and find their lives after the tornado tore through their town and life on May 20, 2013.  The stories that are pouring out on the news are unbelievably heartbreaking.

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You can find links on the side bar for more information about my work and products along with the music of Leannan Sidhe.  Thank you for viewing, and  for adding your prayers for those who struggle.