About Me

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Our names are John and Cathryn and we live in  Kalispell, Montana with our beautiful Golden Retriever, Annie.  After we both experienced some rough patches late in life, we met each other through a mutual friend in October of 2014. Last summer (2016) we returned to Cathryn's home in Montana after a year long RV trip together around this beautiful country.  We traveled over 31,000 miles and drove through over 35 states.  It was an adventure to remember and one that sealed a friendship between us that we hope will last the rest of our lives.  We have decided to continue living here in Northwest Montana and have started building our "together" home in the country outside of Kalispell.  As our new home on two country acres becomes our special place to live out our golden years, we hope you will share the adventures with us through this blog. We are happy, content and enjoying life "one day at a time" to the fullest! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

GLACIER PARK SUMMER CONTINUES

I THINK I GOT A HUG FROM MY ANGEL TODAY

Sunday, August 3, 2013

Today was another busy work day for me.  It was Roberta’s day off and Bob had gone to their in ranch in Big Sandy for the day.  Diane and I had a lot of housekeeping to do before the guests started arriving.  I had five cabins to clean and six beds to change. 

As I was cleaning cabin #1, I kept hearing a sound like a weed-wacker outside.  Since I am the official weed-wacker guy around here I knew something was not right.  Finally I looked around and above me was a solid glass window and a hummingbird was trying to get out.  He (or she) had somehow flown into the cabin and couldn’t figure out how to get out…..probably flew in when I had the door open as I sometimes do when cleaning.

I climbed up on the counter so I could try and catch the little bird and I was able to put my cap over him so he would settle down.  Once that happened, he just sat there while I picked him up carefully and cradled him in my hands.  He was so small and beautiful…greenish colored.  He was shaking and scared to move I am sure.  Can you imagine?  This would be like being Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk when he met up with the giant!

I took the little fella outside and sat him on the wood railing on the front porch.  He sat for a few seconds and then took off like a rocket!  Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone or a camera with me to take his picture….he sure was pretty.   I have never held a hummingbird in my hands before and it was very special.  It was especially special because he didn’t hurt himself or die and I watched him fly away straight up into the sky until I couldn’t see him anymore.

 I wonder if I just had a visit from a very special Angel I know that may have decided to just drop in to for a quick hug before she flew back to Heaven after doing her Earthly duties. 

It makes me feel good to think so since sitting on our back porch in Texas watching the hummingbirds was Pati’s favorite place to be.

OLD BLUE IS UNDER THE WEATHER 
       
We have two golf carts at the Lodge that we use to move our stuff from cabin to cabin while cleaning.  They are really important because we have to carry a large basket of linens and towels and our cleaning “bucket” with all our cleaning supplies and replacement items for the kitchen and a vacuum and mop and broom.  That’s just one way.  When done, we have dirty linens, towels and trash to bring back.

Well, my golf cart, Old Blue I call him, decided he was a little tired so he slowed down to the point of crawling.  Bob and I tried everything to figure out the problem with no success.  Yesterday, Diane and I had to share one cart which meant changing our whole strategy to get the job done.  We were able to do it without a lot of work on our part, like carrying heavy loads from point A to point B.

Today Berta and I had to share one cart, Berta’s cart, so you can imagine who was carrying most of the load.  Fortunately, my four cabins only had one that was leaving and the others were what we call “stay overs”.  I used Berta’s cart to get all my stuff in the area and put it all on Old Blue, who was dead for all intents and purposes.  I then was able to accomplish my duties without too much effort.  Since the folks in the Loft decided to sleep in and not leave until after 11am, checkout time, I even had time to do some weed-wacking in areas I had not gotten to before.

I tell you this because this morning I really didn’t want to even get out of bed.  I just felt “off” and it never got better.  I didn’t even want to go to work.  I have been dragging around all day so after work I decided to take a little nap around 3pm.  Well, that turned out to be a two hour nap!  I will admit I feel a little better as I write this but not 100%.  

MONTANA HOSPITALITY

Monday, August 5th, 2913

I was invited by my temporary new neighbors that are staying in the little cabin beside my rig to dinner tonight at Tony’s house.  Remember that Tony owns the land and cabin I sit on and these are friends of his that live in Arizona but used to live here.  They are really nice folks and very friendly.

Rich used to own a bar here many years ago but he got lucky and thought of the idea of putting a face on a coffee mug.  Well…he patented that and is now very successful with companies around the world putting faces on mugs and selling them.  His wife, Linda, is a RN and has her own clinic in Mesa Grande, Arizona.

Anyway….Rich made dinner for Tony a few days back and he and Linda brought me a plate of some very good Enchalas.  Tonight Linda is going to cook dinner and they invited me to come to Tony’s house and join them.   I don’t even know what we are having but I bet it will be good.  I had one good bottle of wine left so I gave it to them for the occasion.

Linda told me she will write a prescription for Dexter to become a “service dog” for me so I can take him into places that would not otherwise allow him to enter.  This is kinda neat because he is a service dog and served Pati for many years while she was struggling through her issues.  He never left her side and gave her great comfort so Dexter defiantly deserves the title and the privileges that come with it.  My big concern is how do I stop him from lifting his leg on every table leg in the place!

I really enjoyed my dinner tonight.  I met Tony’s sister, Jane, who lives in a beautiful home behind the Grand Lodge and golf course.  She is about 80 years old and very witty and cusses and drinks like a sailor!  I liked her immediately. 

Linda made beef short ribs with rice and/or potatoes and salad for dinner.  It was wonderful and I can’t remember the last time I had short ribs.  I brought home two of the bones for Dexter to chew on.  They are good for removing tarter from his teeth.

I had a good time with a bunch of folks I’ve only known a short time but feel like I’ve known them much longer.

Friday, August 9th, 2013

It is Friday now and overcast and rainy.  I can’t even see the mountains as I sit here typing but it is still morning.  I slept in today because I couldn’t seem to get to sleep last night so I took a couple of sleep aid pills about the middle of the night that I bought at Costco.   They must have worked because I didn’t wake up until 9am.

As I am sitting here writing I am listening to my CD music.  Ronnie Milsap is singing “It Was Almost Like A Song” and it makes me think of Pati and makes me very sad.  In the song he loses his love too for an unknown reason but he makes a point that this kind of love only comes once in every life.  I don’t think  I will ever hear another sad country song without tearing up and wishing I had my girl back with me.  Every day is so empty without her to share it with. 

I didn’t mean to drift off and feel sorry for myself again but it is therapeutic to me to write about my feelings at times.  In the book I am reading for the third time, “Seven Choices; Finding Daylight After Loss Shatters Your World”, the author  talks about how important it is to talk with someone who will simply listen as you talk about  your grief and feelings.  I really haven’t had anyone like that around since Pati died so I am using this forum to talk about my feelings.

Dexter and I drove over to Kalispell yesterday to get some things.  I bought some grapes, sandwich rolls and avocados at Costco and took half of them over to Diane and Bob since I just don’t have enough refrigerator space to keep them.

I am cooking eight big grand biscuits in my little toaster oven now and they sure smell good.  I have some sausage gravy ready to make on the stove burner and I am going to have my favorite breakfast in a few minutes….biscuits and gravy. 

I have tried, without success, to find a place around here that knows how to make biscuits and gravy so I will make my own from now on.  I will also have about five biscuits left over to have with my dinners the next few days.  Waldo (brother) sent me his curry chicken recipe so I plan to make that with some veggies and avocado and a big grand biscuit the next few nights.

Well I had my breakfast and it was pretty good but I don’t really like the McCormick gravy mix as much as the Pioneer gravy mix I had down in Texas.  It wasn’t available at the store here but I am sure I will be able to get some when I get back to Oregon.  If not, I will just have to have Hazel mail me a bunch of packets.

All afternoon I have been up and down the ladder to the trailer roof installing new vent fans and rain covers.  It has been quiet a job and I am tired from being on my knees and going up and down.  Typical of me, I installed one fan backwards so I had to do it twice. 

I swear, getting old is a real bitch.  It’s times like this that I realize how age takes away my ability to do the things I used to do.  All I have left to do is install the inside trim over the bed and it is giving me a hard time.  I have walked away from it and I am relaxing with a nice Maker’s Mark whiskey (or two) and writing while I listen to my cd’s. 

These fans will be real important when I am dry camping or “boondocking” without power during hot weather.  They also work very well at preventing condensation in the trailer during cold weather.  One of the fans is reversible and can bring in cool air or take out hot air.  The one in the kitchen is an exhaust fan and takes the heat out while pulling in cool air from an open window.  So I can have fresh air flow by using one or both as needed.  My bedroom fan is reversible and has a remote so it will be really nice at night.

I have one more to install in the bathroom before I leave here if I can.  There is a very small and loud fan in there now and I am replacing it with a fan like I put in the kitchen to exhaust out the wet air during my showers.  I don’t want to have any mold in my home.   I like to keep fresh air flowing at all times, day and night.

It is after five now and the sun came out and it is beautiful with white puffy clouds and blue sky.  My Droid says it is 71 degrees outside now…pretty nice.   I am sure sorry for the folks in Texas and other southern states that are still  fighting the heat.

I am a little hungry since I didn’t eat any lunch but I think I will keep it light tonight with  an avocado, tomato and some cold chicken from that chicken I bought at Costco. Later…maybe after 6 or 7pm.

I am listening to the Statler Brothers singing “Do You Remember When” and it sure brings back memories of yesteryear.  I am so lucky to have grown up in the 50’s and 60’s, what a great time to grow up and have the memories of it, especially growing up in the country in rural Texas.  I love listening to music and letting it take me wherever the memory is….even the memories I don’t want to remember that make me sad.  I think that’s what life is all about…..memories, good and bad. 

I have been making some good memories the past year since Pati passed and I hope some of them, and my new and old friends, will help me see that life can be beautiful and rewarding after the loss of a spouse.  Maybe in the coming months and years these memories I am making now will be front and center and my grief of some past memories will be less.  I don’t want to ever forget the past but I do want to be happier and less sad and feel that there is a reason God chose Pati and not me to join him in Heaven. 

My greed and selfishness tell me that she should still be here with me but my heart and logic tell me that she had suffered enough with her health issues.  I know I could not have lasted as long as Pati did with all the surgeries and health issues she went through.  Her passing was for a reason and, as much as I miss her, I am relieved she is not in pain and suffering and sad anymore.  I know she is in a place that does not know such pain or turmoil and I know some day we will be together again in Heaven, without all the problems we faced the past twenty years.


I am looking forward to leaving this job because there is no church here due to the location. I miss and want to attend church but I also work on Sundays.  I like the feeling of fellowship and love and I will get back to that when I leave here.  It has really helped me the past year to go to church and and hope there is something beyond “now”.  I am only saying this has helped me and I am not critical of others that have their own beliefs about religion or non-religion. They will cross that bridge, no pun intended, when the time comes.