Friday, April 24, 2009

In the writing business we have a saying...conquer the white. This is really just a catch-y phrase for writer's block! Normally this malady doesn't plague me, but two tragic accidents-- within a short time of each other--produced in me a short slump and depression that caused me to have trouble focusing on writing and the like. For a while, it felt like just a lot of winter and darkness around here. However, I'm pulling out of the slump and I ask your forgiveness for writing one entry and then.....nothing. I'm back! To coin one of my favorite Josh Ritter song's: long time comin but now, winter's gone!

For those of us who love travel we push aside the obvious risks realizing they rarely occur. Sadly for our friends, the Feldkamps and the Bucks, this was not the case. The former have a private plane which they sent to pick up family members for a much anticipated week of skiing in Montana with kids and grandkids. (The elder Feldkamps chose to drive rather than fly.) Most of you probably remember this horrific crash since it was all over the news during the March spring break. My husband, attorney for the family, handled all the media coverage. It was a sad, sad loss and we all mourn for that family.

If this weren't enough, not long after the tragic plane crash, we received more bad news. Dear friends, Archie and Beckey Buck, got a call that their son, Isaiah, was in a horrific accident coming home from a church survival outing in Hell's Canyon. On the way home their extended cab pick up slid off the side of a mountain, plummeting 350 feet below. The driver was killed, 5 were seriously injured and one walked away with a few scratches and bruises.

However, the worst injury was sustained by Isaiah, the Buck's youngest son. For weeks he has been in a coma, though there are many good signs he may be coming out. Last Saturday the family was able to move him to a rehab facility in Boise, ID. They have been greatly encouraged, as are all of us who are praying for his complete recovery.

The outpouring of love, kindness and sympathy to the Bucks has been overwhelming. A local pie auction (this is a county of about 8000 folks) raised over $10,000! If you would like to know more of Isaiah's story go to and, where prompted, type in isaiahbuck. To know more you can also become a friend to Archie Buck on Facebook.

Okay, that's all for now but I promise that my next entry (very soon) will take us back to the story of manager, Charlotte Cline. See you soon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Angel Unaware

Every once in a while God smiles down on us in ways we never dreamed possible. Take, for example, my manager at Rugged Country Lodge, Charlotte Cline. Our meeting and her subsequent job employment with us could only be called "A God Thing". It just so happens that on that day God was smiling down on both of us at the same time!

I was going through check out at the local Walmart in Pendleton, Oregon one afternoon with my at the time motel manager, Cheryl. (Unfortunately, it seems we always have a need to make a Walmart run.) I had a blazing headache by the time I reached checkout. (Walmart always does that to me) and I was tired.

I wasn’t paying much attention to the gray haired lady behind the counter ringing up our purchases until she said to Cheryl, "I know you. You’re the manager of Rugged Country Lodge. you remember I stayed there once when I first came to town? I really love your place." (It wasn't quite the run on I made it out to be, but you get the idea.)

I’m not sure if it was her voice, her words or her countenance; but I suddenly looked up and really noticed her. She was a taller stately, middle aged woman with beautiful gray hair, blue/green eyes that looked straight at you and a silken pink complexion. There was a quiet grace and beauty about her no one could deny.

Before I had a chance to even think, the words came tumbling out of my mouth, "Would you like a job?" (Afterall, we were always looking for good people.)

To my utter shock and surprise she immediately said, "Yes." And she meant it! She was miserable at Walmart and standing on the concrete all day was killing her. In addition, she was new to Pendleton, newly widowed and somewhat sad and discourged at being there.

The next day she came by the Lodge, filled out an application to work the front desk, and the rest is history–but what an interesting and amazing story she has! I'd like to write more but time doesn't permit right now! However, for now, let me leave you with this from Hebrews 13:2

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Charlotte lives out this principle in everyway! If you'd like to know more about this remarkable person, check back tomorrow!

In the meantime, Happy trails!--Becky