Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Back Home Again!

The Mission Range Of The Rocky Mountains
Charlo, Montana

We had a wonderful time celebrating my father-in-law's 90th birthday. Invitation signs were made and posted around town (there are only five buildings). The turn out was about 350 people with those who didn't attend the party filling the house for the next two days. We joke that the town of Charlo has a population of 100 including dogs and cats. Unfortunately, it's close to the truth. The population is growing older and the town, once a beautiful little spot, has now gone to seed.


The birthday boy was in his element telling tales of early Montana and his many exploits. One segment of the party was a roast where we heard stories of Lewis' kindnesses to his neighbors. We heard many stories of Lewis' ability to grow anything.

Lewis doesn't just have a green thumb, he has ten green fingers and toes with an arm and a leg thrown in here and there. He does all the grafting for the area, has a hugh garden that he trades for canning, and recently won the local garden club's award for most elegant floral arrangement. When I was first married he came to visit us in Yorba Linda, California, where he picked up a pod off the ground at Richard Nixon's birthplace, took it home to Montana, planted it, and grew a tree in his yard.

One of my favorite stories about my father-in-law revolves around his love of fishing. It is said that when Lewis found a good fishing hole he would mark it with yellow irises so that he could find it again. Standing in the valley and turning a full circle you can see patches of yellow everywhere. Obviously the entire valley is a great fishing hole.

That fishing gene has been inherited by my son. He follows the flowers and only differs from his grandfather in that he is a "catch and release" Montanan.

The Birthday Boy

Notice that very large piece of birthday cake? My father-in-law the diabetic was given special permission from his doctor on his 90th birthday to eat anything his heart fancied and my goodness did his heart fancy a lot of cake. There were three hugh cakes and he had a piece that size from each.


These are Lewis' children. Mr. Maven inherited the white hair prevalent in the family, having had it since he was twenty. I think I would take the white hair if I could have his family's longevity. My husband jokes that he will be the only 100 year old man taking his 130 year old father to the doctor. We should all be so lucky.


As you can see, Grandma gets no respect. Funny faces from all the grandchildren. It is so good to see the cousins getting the chance to play together and to get to know each other.


Grandma gets no respect from her own children.

The girls are vertically challenged and jealous of
their brother who is over six feet tall.


And no birthday - family reunion would be complete without surgery done Montana style, with a Swiss-Army knife. It looks much worse than it really was.

We have promised Lewis another bash for his 100th birthday. I'm sure he'll be there, I just hope I make it!


Blogger Lainey said...

Wow! What a terrific family! I loved the story and the photos. Now this is what I call family history!

April 30, 2008 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Lidian said...

You have a beautiful family - lovely photos all. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

April 30, 2008 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Terry Thornton said...

Pass on my congratulations and best wishes to Lewis. What a beautiful place to live --- what a beautiful family --- and what a loving report of the "doings." Thanks.

April 30, 2008 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Crew 9 Book Bloggers said...

Hey! I recognize those pictures and those kids! What a lovely "blodge" about the trip. It was such good time. Short, but fun. Let's do it again!

May 1, 2008 at 5:16 PM  

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