Journey into Heart and Memories

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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BREATH OF LIFE

Lewis River, famous for it green color, was a home every summer in my growing up years.  I can feel the presence of my loved ones in this magical place.

Lewis River, famous for it green color, was a home every summer in my growing up years. I can feel the presence of my loved ones in this magical place.

BREATH OF LIFE

Breath of life, wash through my body

as I walk besides this sacred stream…

Father and Mother nearby,

I feel them in the smell of the forest,

in the dark of the deep cave…

they are in the water cascading down the mountainside,

in the fish that leap and glide…

their presence warms my heart

I lay upon the freshly wet forest duff..

Their love wraps itself around me like the softest blanket

as I give my tears to the earth…

and send my prayers on wings to the Creator.

Ancient Cedars carry my heart upwards

as the sap rises in the spring, and oh the smell!

Fresh pine gum fills my mouth with the tangy aroma of life,

as I sense my mother’s presence, she

who taught me to chew the delightful gum.

Sounds of the forest catch my attention,

and I remember my dad teaching me to track thru snow…

be alert, always scanning to the front and back

between quick glances at the ground.

A magical place, a sacred space,

not far from home,

yet in another world.

I follow the creek up over waterfalls

and around boulders and logs.

Rich yellow green mosses carpet rocks and soil

in an enticing paradise,

illuminated by spirit, refreshing the soul.

Sacred place,  mystical space….

the burdens of the heart melt deep

into accepting earth,

draining away with my tears into the ground.

Slowly, new life creeps up from the Mother,

infuses the cells of my body with vibrant life energy,

and replaces the pain with joy…

A prayer bursts forth with passion,

Crying to my Father above for release;

a prayer of hope,

a prayer of faith.

As I sit up, reborn from the water of the forest,

I give thanks with all my heart.

The Lord’s Prayer comes to my lips, not as a rote piece,

but full of meaning and life, color and depth…

… each phrase complete

each word from the heart.

I dip my hands into the blessed water

and wash my pain away.

A new life has begun.

~Darlisa~   3/21/05

Mother enjoying her favorite campground where we spent every summer deep in the mountains on the Lewis River ~ Nina Black, born May 18, 1913; died November 7, 2003

Mother enjoying her favorite campground where we spent every summer deep in the mountains on the Lewis River
~ Nina Black, born May 18, 1913; died November 7, 2003

Memories Spin in a Gust of Wind

This first photo was taken by my bro Larry Andreasen, also known as bobshots on Flickr.  Kind and gentle soul, he captured a feeling of timelessness here that I love about the lake.

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At times when the wind blows, it seems to pull me right out of my body and take me on a journey through life and time, as senses expand and tingle and scents from long ago drift by in full color.

Myself out in the fields of flowers with my old dog Rio.  This photo was taken by my good friend Janice Lorentz.

Myself out in the fields of flowers with my old dog Rio. This photo was taken by my good friend Janice Lorentz.

Before I got seriously into photography in about 2007, I wrote.. pages and pages of emotional processing after losing loved ones, interspersed with descriptions of the beauty around me.  Tonight  the mood returned for a bit.  If you are only here for the photography, now is the time to close the page and return to browsing.

This photo below is from around 1994-96.  Looking at it now, and then looking in the mirror I am surprised at the difference.  I keep thinking of cutting my hair off once again like I did back then, but now it would be half gray, with many more lines and wrinkles in the face and each wrinkle with a story behind it.  As to the hair, I wonder if the curls would return if it was short again.  Mom’s were…her hair was so pretty and silver curling around her laughing face. and her wrinkles were soft and full of love.   Funny how time slowly erodes us away.  Back when this photo was taken 20 years ago (oh gosh is it really 20?)  I even cared more how I look… now i just dress guerilla style, rough and tough, ready to be out in all conditions at any moment.  Forget to brush my hair some days and my clothes don’t always match.  At least my socks still do!

Myself and husband David Reel in about 1994-96.  He passed away  on January 16, 1996. Clicking on this image will take you to a previous post of memories.

Myself and husband David Reel in about 1994-96. He passed away on January 16, 1996.
Clicking on this image will take you to a previous post of memories.

 

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 I hear the wind whipping around outside tonight and feel the spirits dancing free, unhindered now by bodies that were failing. My mind seems to jump and spin as the clouds whip on by, and the moist air washes through my body as I breathe in deeply.  Perhaps if I step into that wind it might carry me far and wide to see the lands I dream of,  the friends I have only met online, and the places where the spirits dance and sing and pray to help guide us along our sometimes rocky way.

Peace be with you

always.

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Another photo of me and my old dog Rio in the wilds, taken by my friend Victor Vonsalza Gosh I miss that doggie!

Another photo of me and my old dog Rio in the wilds, taken by my friend Victor Vonsalza
Gosh I miss that doggie!

Larry Andreasen took the next two photos

LOL and I must include this one of me in the foggy Painted Hills one early dawn, taken by my Bro Larry Andreasen

LOL and I must include this one of me in the foggy Painted Hills one early dawn, taken by my Bro Larry Andreasen

On a wintry day, having wonderful fun on the closed road near home in White Salmon, with Larry who took the photo, and my daughter

On a wintry day, having wonderful fun on the closed road near home in White Salmon, with Larry who took the photo, and my daughter

and the darling daughter who makes my day when I hear her lovely voice

My daughter and I out playing in the snow. I did take THIS photo... the only one on the page that I took!

My daughter and I out playing in the snow. I did take THIS photo… the only one on the page that I took!

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Falling into lovely Memories

Along the Lewis River!  I found and scanned some older images from one of my favorite camping places from lifelong adventures with family, and am sharing them here for fun.  The stories are in the captions which can be seen by clicking on the images and scrolling through them with the arrows.

At the bottom of the page you will also find links for my three calendars currently available.

To see more information about my calendars including pics from inside all three calendars, click on this image!

Cover for Old Barns and Buildings.  Click to learn more about all three calendars.

Cover for Old Barns and Buildings. Click to learn more about all three calendars.

I also have several books for sale that make great presents as well, such as this Trout Lake and Beyond Coffee Table book.  Click on this image to go to the Menu page for all books and calendars.

Front Cover of Trout Lake and Beyond.  This and other books can be seen by clicking on this image

Front Cover of Trout Lake and Beyond. This and other books can be seen by clicking on this image

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!!!

Buffalo Breath and Memories

 

 

This one is dedicated to my deceased husband David Reel… who passed away January 16, 1996 following a long illness. We had been together for 4 years when he got sick… and soon after that we had a large community wedding on Winter Solstice 1991, sort of a blend of new age, native american and christian…. a ceremony we created more or less on the spot and involved the whole crowd. The men followed David into the chapel from outside and circled the building clockwise to make a circle filling the whole room, and the women followed me in a counter clockwise circle ending up in a circle inside the circle of men… with David and I standing together with our Native preacher friend… My daughter joined in our ceremony, by reading out loud a wonderful poem she found called “Don’t you Quit!”
The ceremony was profound, I felt… and later was told that forming part of the circle was an experience for many rather like getting married all over again, renewing their own vows . After the ceremony was over, musician friends of ours in Port Townsend started playing a Polka, and David and I danced all around the room until we were breathless… joined by the others after the first few moments…

At the time, David had a IV port in his arm, and had energy for only one dance, but oh, we had so much fun! Sadly he ended up back in the hospital once more after one night of honeymoon.

The reason I chose this photo (taken on January 15, 2009) was because of a memory from our extended family honeymoon that took place in May of 1992. We all drove across Idaho camping at hot springs along the way, with David almost entirely blind at the time.  Often, after the camping chores shared by all 3 of us were done, I would read out loud to both he and my daughter before bed. It was a timeless journey, with fishing and hot springs, laughter and frustration both. We came to Yellowstone and spent a week or so wandering around… my daughter still remembers me sitting in the open door of the camper van playing my Native American flute for the herd of Buffalo crossing the road and wallowing in the dust nearby. She tells me they came closer, listening to the flute.

At one point, my girl and  I were outside the van, taking photos of the buffalo and a large moose with calf off the road a ways. David, who could not see more than some movement and light, was sitting in the van with the window down… while a buffalo was browsing in the low bushes beside the road not far away. Later, he told me he learned a new breathing meditation….. “Buffalo Breath”. As the Bison grazed, she would take a deep breathe and exhale it all out with a whooosh… so for awhile when things got rough David would practice his “buffalo breath meditation. Hmmm… now that I think of it, it was rather a lot like the kind of breathing they teach a woman to use in labor!

Back here in 2009, In this photo, it was freezing cold out, with rime frost on the trees and plants… and as the Bison breathed, their breath became the fog you see around the back buffalo. Seeing this I was transported back in time to the trip to Yellowstone.  This small herd was living on a ranch near Trout Lake, Washington, but change comes to all things eventually and the herd is gone now.

Life has never since been the same

 The “Don’t You Quit” Poem

 

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Warm Up Time

Snows of November 2010

Up on a hill near Trout Lake, this morning I woke to the sound of snow melting and dripping off the roof. first time in awhile that it started a day that warm around here! I could see a warm color south near Mount Hood and to the west over the hills, but Mount Adams nearby was socked in and gray clear below treeline. It is also possible that someone farther away could see her poking out of the clouds, but I was too close and under the heavy cover.
I have been enjoying this brief stay back up in Trout Lake, it often seems more like home to me up here than down in White Salmon, perhaps because summers as a kid we spent most of the time up here in the woods and down on the Lewis River… fishing, picking Huckleberries, hunting, and just camping and relaxing. This brings many thoughts to mind, a realization of how much I am like my parents this way…. when I feel unstable in any way in life, I head for the hills to find healing. Nowadays my camera is my hunting tool, and helps me record those magical moments of light and life; to help bring healing to others as well.

Ok, I am meandering in thought, so I will just leave you with a few photos  to smile about