Sunday, August 23, 2015


How lucky are we?  No matter where we go, friends and family find us and come to visit.

Before leaving Parksville, we had two visits from neighbours on Sunhaven Road.  Paul and Paula Williams stopped by to say hello and see our new place on their way to Sidney.  A few days later, James and Vanessa Gibeault (we've known James since he was a toddler; his parents, Rick and Cheryl Gibeault were our next door neighbours) came for lunch as they made their way up island.
James and Vanessa Gibeault came with us to the International Sandcastle Building competition in Parksville
James and Vanessa were married last fall and went to Colombia on their honeymoon in January, and we had a great time comparing notes of our travels and experiences.  They are getting ready to welcome a baby in December, and we wish them all the best.

After a whirlwind 24 hours in Calgary we came back to Rusty Tractor Springs and prepared for a busy summer of welcoming visitors.

Longtime friends Tom and Carol Sydnes pulled their big 5th wheel down for a visit.  Their daughter, Jennifer (who was our flower girl 37 years ago), her husband Sean and their two kids came, along with Nathan, Tom and Carol's 15 year old grandson.
Everybody enjoyed a trip to the Bird Museum in Sagle.  
The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center is an amazing testament to Dr. Forrest Bird who passed away the week after we were there at the age of 94.  Because of his medical inventions, countless people around the world have survived and thrived.
Nathan, Dashiel, and Daegan all got along great and had a ball

Jennifer and her family 

Hanging out on the dock with some cold beverages

After seeing her grandkids have so much fun on tubes, Carol (75 years young) jumped on with Jennifer and I and we had a fantastic ride!

While it might have been their first trip to Idaho, we know it won't be their last.

Next up was Lynsey Ikert - another one we've known since she was a toddler and we've been friends with her parents, Jodi and Paul, since the early 80s.
Lynsey and Roger took the jet skis out for a spin before lunch
Lynsey is a paramedic in Edmonton and has been coming down to Idaho for almost as long as we have and loves it.  She was staying with friends on the lake, but popped over for lunch and we had a wonderful visit with her.

Roger and I love going to the Sandpoint Festival every year, and this year we saw Arlo Guthrie.  Under clear skies and with a great crowd, we listened to Arlo sing the ballads he is famous for such as:  Alice's Restaurant and City of New Orleans.  He is an incredible storyteller and kept the audience mezmerized with the background stories to both of his iconic songs.  When he described how he was chatting with Johnny Cash wondering if he wanted to record the City of New Orleans, a train whistle as if on cue (but couldn't be) echoed through the mountains. Everyone including Arlo murmured it was like Johnny Cash was sending a signal to us.  Very cool.
Not a great picture, but it shows how he was up on stage by himself and the variety of instruments he played.  Great concert.
Brad, Anette, Magnus and Obi arrived and we had an absolute ball with them.
Magnus takes after his dad in many ways.  His need and love for speed was evident when on the jet skis when he kept saying, "Faster, faster!"

I kneeboard once a year to prove I still can.  Just takes a few extra Advil to help out afterwards!

Through many, many downsizings, we kept the rocking horse that Colin and Karen gave Brad when he was 18 months old.  Magnus really had fun with it this summer and would happily get on and rock.
One of the many highlights of their 10 day visit was when one morning Magnus turned to me with a smile that could light up the night sky and said, "I'm happy".  For a two year old to spontaneously express his feelings, just melted my heart and turned me from happy to ecstatic.

We bought the swimming pool for the kids to cool off, but Obi would voluntarily jump in and lie down to cool off during the 39C days.
Good friends, and former neighbours from Sunhaven Road, Ed and Colleen Walsh come down most summers for a visit.
Ed and Colleen sitting in the shade on the dock
Magnus on the tractor - 2015
Magnus on the tractor - 2014

A few days after their arrival, Amy and Shaun Cowan and their two little girls arrived for a week.  The three kids got along really well and we even volunteered to babysit a couple of times so their parents could have some adult time.  

Our very dear friend, Heather Moe was here during most of August at her trailer, and if we couldn't find Magnus, we knew he would be visiting with "Miz Moe".
Miz Moe (Heather) was on hand to help at dinner the night that Brad, Anette, Amy and Shaun went out for dinner.  The kids were great and we were pretty pleased with ourselves!
 Roger's dad John, his wife and her granddaughter came for a couple of days.  While Zunny and Courtney were shopping in Spokane, John enjoyed spending the day with us.
A special picture:  Four generations of Kinleys

Brad had seen lots of campfires along the river the night before, so thought we could still have a fire as long as it was contained in a fire pit.
We all gathered around the campfire to make smores....until the Fire Department showed up and told us there was a total fireban and we had to immediately extinguish the fire .  Fortunately, they arrived after the kids had eaten their treats.
The Cowan Family 

Magnus enjoying his first smore....Obi waiting patiently for some spillage. 
Addy and Brad were born within a day or two of each other; Clare will be 5 in December.

Cowans and Kinleys - 2015

Cowans and Kinleys - 2013
Our family.  Love them to the moon and back.
The property was pretty quiet after the two families left, but we were glad when Roger's mom and her husband Herb, stopped by for a quick visit and lunch.

Later, friends Laurie and Rob Vanderlee and their family who were camping down the river at Riley Creek invited us for a BBQ and we had a great time catching up with them.
The Vanderlees came to Idaho for a visit 6 years ago, and have been coming back ever since.
The only downside to a beautiful, hot summer is the fires that have devastated many parts of Washington and Idaho.  Ash and smokey skies are constant reminders of what many people are dealing with while we marvel at the brilliant sunsets caused by the smoke.

Our last visitors were Whitney Walsh and her boyfriend Ryan.  Whitney is the daughter of our friends Ed and Colleen and this is her second visit to RTS.  Pretty sure it won't be their last as Ryan loved it as much as she did.
Ryan and Whitney on the boat for a trip into Sandpoint
We love that the "kids" of our friends, as well as friends of Brad and Anette's  also want to come and visit, but then again, Rusty Tractor Springs is a magical kind of place.  Nothing fancy, but the really important things in life, in our experience.....rarely are.

It all boils down to being with people you love and care about, and where laughter comes as easily as taking a breath.

Tonight we celebrated years of friendship with our good friends, and RTS partners, Heather and Don Moe.  Heather's dad is visiting this week, and joined in the merriment.
A fantastic dinner amongst friends

Four friends....countless memories

Heather, Don, Bill Jepps and Riley
We will be heading to Parksville in about three weeks and it's the first time in many years that after we close up the trailer at RTS, we get to go home.  And that is a pretty wonderful feeling.

"Happiness is not a goal.  It is a by-product."   
                                                                 Eleanor Roosevelt

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