Monday, August 06, 2007

A Visit From My Sibling(s)

My brother, Jim, and his fiancé, Patricia, were here from Portland Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, and I was far too busy enjoying their visit to spend time blogging. My apologies to the faithful few who read regularly.

We did and saw as much of the Bitterroot as we could while they were here. Our efforts were limited, however, by the thick cloud of smoke that hangs in the valley right now from all the forest fires surrounding us. Fires in the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness are generally allowed to just burn themselves out unless they are endangering homes, and there are several big ones burning right now. We always have some smoke to deal with in August, but we have had an unusually hot and dry summer, so the fires are worse than usual this year. The sun burns dimly, a glowing red ball through the thick grey-brown haze, and the air quality is very poor. Nightfall comes early. It’s kind of a depressing scene, but we made the best of it while they were visiting. At least the air temperatures have cooled a bit, with highs averaging ten degrees less than they were in July.

We were able to spend one day at lovely and warm-ish Lake Como, an evening playing down at the river’s edge, a late afternoon/early evening hiking a little way up Bass Creek and playing in its chilly-willy waters. We went to Stevensville’s 95th annual Creamery Picnic, enjoying the Grand Parade complete with spirited horses, classic cars, old tractors, Shriners on mini-bikes and shiny fire trucks; followed by lunch at the state BBQ championship and locally made ice cream—the traditional dessert at Creamery Picnic since the event’s inception in 1911. We topped off the visit with lunch yesterday with the whole gang, including Mom and Dad Chidwick and Grandpa and his lady-friend, Marilyn.

We had a really nice visit. The whole family is so anxious for this wedding to finally take place, so we can claim Patricia as our own. She’s so wonderful. My brother has good taste. The family feels very fortunate to add such a quality woman to our ranks. The exact date for the wedding should be solidified in the next few weeks, as soon as they can confirm availability of a suitable location, but it looks like I will be another sister richer by the end of the year. I couldn’t be more pleased.


Jeannie said...

We couldn't be more pleased--too!

Glad you guys had a great visit!

Cindy said...

Sounds like you had a great visit. Chad and I are very excited for Jim and Patti. So it will be fun to see you...maybe before next year. :)

Eagle-eye Di said...

Love your pics.It sounds like you all had a good time togeather for a few days.I hope they can verify their day very,very soon.Chuck's last posted vacation comes the first week in October and if we knew the date he could check on postponing it until their wedding.Try to get them to hurry.I realize if they are waiting on someone else to let them know,its alittle tough.Love ya.