Monday, May 5, 2008

Grandpa Mac's 80th Birthday Party Weekend

On Friday afternoon my brother, Trevor and I flew to Washington State to attend our Grandpa's 80th birthday party in Coulee Dam. Despite it being a whirlwind weekend, we were able to see relatives and friends we don't see very often. Out of about 20 cousins, only 2 weren't there.

Because so many people were in town and Trevor and I were travelling alone, we had to sleep on bunk beds at our parent's house. It was pretty funny since we haven't shared a bunk since I was about 4 years old! Saturday morning we got up early and went for a run behind mom & dad's house around the Big Meadow. There are smells at the ranch you don't find anywhere else in the world. Inhaling the smell of the pine trees and creeks and unfortunately a dead coyote carcass are all part of the territory.

After the run we went over to the McClure's and surprised the britches off of our Grandpa, Don as nobody told him we were coming up for the party! It was so wonderful to see his face when we walked into the kitchen as he ate his breakfast! We spent some time chatting with him and grandma and then took a walk to the barn yard where Trevor and I relived some of the millions of adventures we had while spending our summers at the ranch. It is truly amazing none of us broke a bone or did any serious damage when we think of all the things we used to do!

Our next journey was up the hill behind the barn to the infamous Rock Fort. You have to understand it's history to grasp the significance of this "fort." My uncle Gary claims to have originally built the structure of the fort when he was a kid, while each generation there after added on to it here and there. Amazingly, his vast childhood engineering skills have been tested over the course of 40 yeares and the fort is still standing today! It was so fun to walk around the fort and up to the "Old Place" barn with Trevor and relive so many fun time we shared with our family around the ranch.

The party was Saturday afternoon at Coulee Dam Community Church. It was so nice to see so many family and friends we have crossed paths with over the years. There were over 100 people in attendance to help celebrate the last 80 years of Grandpa's life.

That evening we had a huge family dinner at my parent's house at the ranch. There was a bonfire in the front yard for people to enjoy and the food was fantastic as usual! In the spirit of the Derby, we made Nespelem Juleps (not anything like a mint julep, but still tasty!). The party went well into the night as so many of them do.

Sunday Trev and I went on a nice ride with our cousin, Ben. We took the horses on a typical route around the swamp in front of Uncle Gary's house. Again, reminiscing most of the way.

We headed to Spokane to catch our plane and find ourselves back home this morning, reflecting on a wonderful weekend at "home," with our crazy family and friends. Thank you to everyone for your part in the weekend. You can enjoy the pictures by visiting my public album on Google Picasa web albums.

Here is one shot of the whole fam damily!

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