Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Buried Treasure

There is a legend in my family that has been told over and over again over the past couple decades. It is the legend of my oldest brother's buried treasure. 29 years ago he decided to bury a treasure on the mountain behind our home. He left a map with directions to this treasure in his journal. My brother is an avid journal writer - to this day. He felt that if any of his posterity took the time to read his journals - they would be rewarded with a map to a buried treasure. Very cool! 
Well my brother felt the time had finally come. He wanted to take his kids and find his buried treasure. And we were lucky enough to get invited!  So the evening before the 4th of July we started our ascent up the mountainside. 
It was a pretty tough hike - straight up the mountain so sadly some of us (including me) only made it halfway.   But it was a lovely evening and the view was spectacular so we were more than happy to rest and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.  The rest of the story was told to me later...
Finding the treasure was not an easy task.  They dug in a few different spots without success.  They were tired, frustrated, disappointed and it was getting dark.  They decided to dig in one more spot.  They dug and dug - nothing.  They were just about to give up after one last shovel-full.  Then a corner of a garbage bag appeared!  They had found the buried treasure!  

We all scrambled back down the mountain in the dark and took the treasure to my parents' house so my brother and his kids could open it.  He couldn't quite remember exactly what he had put in it.

The treasure was finally opened and the contents revealed:
His missionary tag.
A knife he used when he was a scout.  I think I can tell what his son was the most excited about!
A poem that he had written.
A newspaper from the week he buried the treasure.
There were a few other things  - some were of monetary value and some were symbols of what he loved and the person he was. A piece of willow because he built willow furniture during that time, a feather because he raised and trained falcons and hawks, and a marble egg from his collection because he loved their simple beauty.  There was a cassette tape (!) where he had recorded himself describing each item in the treasure and why he had included it, some songs he composed and his testimony of the gospel.  Of course none of us had a cassette player handy - so we weren't able to listen to it.  We had a good laugh when he found a personal check that he had written out to "my wife" for $100.00.  I am sure that seemed like a lot of money at the time! 
This was a wonderful experience - I am grateful my family was able to be a part of it.  Not only do I love the idea of doing something like this, I loved seeing each item of this treasure and how they represented what an amazing person my brother is!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 4th 2012

As the mountains around Alpine burned, we tried to make the best of it by continuing with our original plans of camping out at my parents' house for two nights. The kids were determined to not miss one single July 4th activity. Tuesday evening was an event all itself which I will blog about later.

The morning of the 4th we woke early in order to attend the traditional patriotic breakfast held in my parents' neighborhood.  The breakfast has been a July 4th tradition ever since I was a child - and back in the day it involved a truck driving around at 6:30 am with a neighborhood band (a "band" in the loosest sense of the word) sitting in the back playing patriotic music to wake everyone up for the breakfast.  My dad always played the trumpet and wore a teeny tiny boater hat (like those worn by barbershop quartets) that he duct taped to the top of his bald head.  It was a funny sight.  I played the flute, bass drum and triangle in that band.  I think the band only "disbanded" a couple of years ago.

After the breakfast - we were off to the parade.

Then it was off to the family reunion/picnic in the park where we were treated to Mom's famous potato salad (which Dad now makes) - the best in the land.

And then, of course, it was time for the traditional relay games planned by the now-revered Brad and Heather and their kids.

The good old spoon and potato relay never gets old!
Something about white shirts and blue striped skirts.  If only I had those cute orange sandals to match!!  
Love these two!
And more cousins!
The games always end with a water bag toss - which always ends in a water fight.

if you are really hot...
you can just do this!
The grand finale of the picnic is one big long family candy bar game.  

We were exhausted after the picnic but the day was far from over!  We headed to Kip's for some afternoon swimming and then ate at PF Changs for dinner.  We spent the evening waiting patiently for the fireworks until 10:30 pm - we watched the show!!!  

Another wonderful July 4th holiday!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Quail Fire

We had driven to Provo with intentions to spend a couple of nights in our pop-up trailer at my parents' house over July 4th when we heard about the fire in Alpine. As I received updates from some friends - we were unsure at that point if our home was in danger. A couple of hours later - Shawn and I were headed back to Alpine to assess the situation. After securing things at my house - we went to my friend's house to get a better view.
It was an incredible sight!  And heartbreaking to watch this magnificent mountain burn.

We decided to continue with our plans of spending the holiday in Provo but it was unnerving and a little tense for a couple of days - constantly waiting for news and updates of the status of the fire containment (I was checking ksl and facebook on the hour!).  Then after the fire had burned out of control for two rained!  It felt like a miracle!  This picture was taken after the rain subsided.  

Wes and I decided to take a drive that evening to see what we could see and we came upon this...
A double rainbow all the way across the sky.  Spectacular!!

I am so grateful for the many firefighters who have worked so hard to protect our homes!  This has been a Fourth of July we will never forget!