Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Getting Settled In

I know its been a while since I've updated my blog. A lot has happened. My visit to Washington, DC ended wonderfully. I met a lot of wonderful people and had so much fun. I did have one problem. I started to have a toothache. This toothache was under my new cap. hmm...this is beginning to hurt..bad. Ok, onward. I get back to Denver and there is my friend, Maggie waiting for me. It's so good to see her again. The next day I am not feeling too well, so I find a dentist and make an appointment for Wednesday. I spend the day with Kailyn and she is a hoot. (Kailyn is Maggie's daughter) When I wake up Wednesday Morning the right side of my face is swollen. I should have taken a picture, but I was in so much pain, I couldn't even think. I get to the dentist and I can't even think very well. But I know I heard the dentist say, my new dental work I had done 2 months ago was not in properly and that is why I have a cavity. She has to drill through the bridge to give me a root canal. Please, do it, help yourself....I look like Quasimoto now. The procedure is done and I have a script for antibiotic and vicodin. The next day, I am still swollen and feeling like doo doo. By Friday, I am feeling better, almost human. That night we went to see Patrick (Maggie's husband) race at the local raceway. This was nice, it was a little chilly! Which is a great relief since it has been hot since I got here on Monday. (And they don't have central air or swamp cooling). By Saturday morning I was feeling really good. I spent the day driving around, checking out the area. On Sunday I went to Church and met a wonderful new ward. They are just like the ward in Tucson, friendly and very welcoming. On Monday I had a meeting with a temp agency, did all the formalities and registered. I hope they call with something good. I also have an opportunity to work at the Olive Garden, I would love to be a food server, as a change of pace, and get out of the secretary rut.
Life has been good, with its ups and downs but all in all when I think about the changes I have made in my life I feel good about everything. I do miss my old house, sitting outside at the picnic table, playing with Spartacus and enjoying the morning sunshine. (Right now it wouldn't be comfortable, but in the fall it was really nice.) But when I get on the computer and look at homes here in the Denver area, I get a little excited about the idea of starting over. Picking out a place on my own, not a place my ex picked out for me, but my decision. I also miss my daughter, Summer. We do talk often, but I miss her company daily and the way we would goof around. But I know she's just a phone call away. She once told me that I was more than just a mom, but her best friend. I feel the same way. I am so blessed to have her in my life, her young insightful counsel and her way that she can talk to me. I hope I bless her life also. Kiddo, If you are reading this, I love you and am so proud of what you have done with your life. Keep up the good work and know that I, too, am only a phone call away. Ok enough for now. If you want my new mailing address, please leave a comment and I will send it to you. I don't want to publish it publicly, but will look forward to hearing from you.
Love to all!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

National Indian Pow Wow - Washington, DC

The National Pow Wow has begun. What an awsome sight. Hundreds of natives in their traditional, and some not so traditional dress, dancing in celebration of one Nation. They have the honor guard of Ira Hayes, Pima Indian, who participated in putting up the flag in Iwo Jima, the Native American Veterans Honor Guard, the traditional Native American Honor Guard, gosh, so many honor guards and so many flags, I can't name them all. The ceremony started off with dancing of the "golden" dancers. Better known as senior sector. These seasoned dancers were very elegant and sure footed, maybe a little slower than the next two groups, but still beautiful. The next group, the adult dancers, followed by the teen group then the tiny tots. They have 10 groups of drummers competing also. There are certain songs each group must know and master, all in different languages. The sound is so beautiful. After dinner we were honored by 5 of the original Navajo Code Talkers. They didn't speak, but most of us were able to go up and meet them and shake their hands. I found out that these men were sworn to secrecy for 23 years about their mission as code talkers and couldn't even tell their families until 1968. We were told about the only time that the American Flag was captured, not by another country, but by a Nation on it's own soil. By the Indians at Little Big Horn, pretty cool, huh. They gave tribute to Lori Piestewa, the first woman to be killed in war. They did a long tribute to her. She was from Tuba City, just a little way from my village, Moenkopi. There are lots of vendors with jewelry, baskets, pottery, clothing and food. I met a man from White River who knows some of my uncles. He will be dancing Saturday with the Apache War Dancers. This will be a treat to see since I haven't seen this type of dance since my grandfather was alive. So much to learn, and I have only stratched the surface. More tomorrow!

Kerri Lynn

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Washington DC Day 1

I'm in Washington, DC! And I thought it was hot in Tucson. It's 100 degrees here and HUMID! But I went site seeing anyway. First I went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. What can I say, it was very informative and humbling. They take you on a tour through the place with movies, examples of things like Hitler's people burning books, how he came into power and pictures, hundreds of pictures of families and people who were killed. The most disturbing was the train car where they would put up to 100 people in each car, no ventilation, restrooms, no heating or cooling and these cars would sit on the tracks for days at a time. These cars were small and I can't imagine being put in one. Ok - on to something else. A little lighter - I hope.
I saw the Washington Memorial and started walking in that direction. This is like Vegas - objects are further than they appear. I found the monument and got all excited, but you need to get a ticket, they are free, but they were all out. So on to something else. I started out for the Lincoln memorial. Wow that statue is huge. What a nice tribute for such a wonderful President. Then I headed off to see the VietNam Memorial. This was really emotional for me. My brother-in-law's name is on that memorial - Charles Leroy Martin dob August 9, 1949 dod June 16, 1971 his name is on wall 3W - 37th line. He and my sister were married in June 1970, they weren't even married a year when he was killed in Danang. He worked on the flight line and was out on the tarmac when they were attacked and was run over by one of the airplanes. It was a shock to us all when we got the call. My sister was alone with her son Richie when she called mom. My mom and step dad, Tom, were separated at that time and Tom was living across the street in his old house. Karen, my sister called my mom saying that there were two Air Force officers at her house and that Chuck had been killed. They didn't want her to be alone so now my mom was to come over to be with her. I remember my mother screaming into the phone yelling "No, No, oh God, No" then she looked at me and said to go get my dad. I ran across the street in my nightie (it was about 6 am on a Sunday Morning) and banged on the door. I remember my dad answering the door and me telling, no yelling to him that Chuck is dead, Chuck is dead. My dad replied - "Oh God no!" I will never forget that day. I wonder how many other people have a story of a fallen soldier who died in VietNam? I know they are all different, but I know the loss they must have felt, and even feel today. I am glad that there is a monument with his name on it, to show that he died for our freedom, to show that he was someone, that he had a family and people who loved him. It's not been easy for Karen, but she does still get the widow's pension from the government, and got her college education paid for by the government.
Ok on to something a little happier. I walked back to my hotel, people are very happy to help you with directions. The cops are nice, and nice looking if I must say so myself. When I got back to the hotel I noticed that the lobby was filling with Indians, this must mean the Pow Wow is getting ready to start!!! Yipppeee. I can't wait to see the fancy dancers and listen to the music. I'll write more later! Sleep well all!
Kerri Lynn

Monday, August 6, 2007

Leaving Tucson

I made it to New Mexico! I started this part of my journey on Sunday, August 5. It was hard to say good bye to my close friends, Cece, Sande, Jessica, Nancy and Family. My ward family, Martha, Ted, Juliet and Linnea, Bishop Willis, Emily Evans, Emily, Tim and baby, Keri Lee and family - good luck to them in Hawaii, you'll love it! I love you all and appreciate all the best wishes you gave me. The hardest good bye was with my best friend of almost 30 years, Donna, sorry I lost it, I didn't mean to cry so hard.....I love you my friend and we will stay in touch, always. And now my daughter, you have grown into such a wonderful young woman. Your successes have always made me happy and proud to be your mother. I know you will be fine and you have plenty of people to call on if you need anything. I am blessed to have such good friends. I love you my daughter and I know I will see you soon. OK enough of the mushy stuff, on to the trip.

I left Sunday afternoon and made it to Chandler to visit with my brother and his family. I got there just in time for dinner. Alba is a good cook. We had a nice visit then off to bed, Ashley has to be at school (Zero hour - Seminary) at 6:20 am. So we were up early, Ashley woke me up at 5:15 am. For those of you who know me - I am not a morning person. Everyone is up and happy, this is such a happy family - morning people....hmf. I left the house around 6:30am, just in time for the Phoenix rush hour. Needless to say it took me a while to get out of Phoenix. I stopped to see my cousin Richard in Chambers/Saunders off of I-40 past Winslow. I spent a while with him. Then I just played tourist and stopped off at trading posts here and there. I finally got to Albuquerque (It rained off and on) and had dinner with my cousin then headed off to Las Vegas, New Mexico. So this is where I will sleep here tonight and head out to Denver in the morning. As long as I don't mess around I should be there by noon. Then I leave for Washington, DC on Wednesday morning to attend the National Pow Wow. Kewl. More later!



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Reflecting on Hawaii

Well, here I am, back in Tucson. Wow. It seems like I just woke up from a dream. I'm really sad that my trip is over.

Here's a recap of my last week in Hawaii. Summer left on Sunday July 22. I spent Monday cleaning, doing laundry typical housekeeping. I also had to pack for my trip to the big island, oh yeah - I have an airline ticket and hotel room for one night. Thought I'd see the other islands since they are so close. So I just rested.

Tuesday, July 24 - I head to the airport and head to the island "Hawaii" aka "The BIG Island". I met this cute guy - Summers age - and he was visiting friends in Oahu and going home. He told me of all these neat places to visit and eat. He was really nice, and cute and very gay. I'm having a great time looking out the window, taking pictures of the other islands then before I knew it - we were landing. Quick plane ride. When I looked out the window - there was a landing strip in a field of rocks known as lava. Jason told me that this was the old side of the island and that Mt. Kilauea had just erupted on July 21 - last Sunday - and was having lava flows. Hmmmm, this sounds expensive.....um I mean interesting. So we get off the plane - now this is an old fashioned airport. Remember way back when you would walk out on to the tarmac and climb a set of stairs to get into the aircraft? Well, that’s the way this works too. AND you can exit out of the back of the plane. KEWL! I go and get my car and me and my trusty GPS - now named Betty - because she is equally as irritating...lol (Betty is my late step dad’s recent wife). I find my hotel and check in. Not anything fancy but I'm just there to sleep. I hop in the car and start driving around. I found this cute little town with lots of shops and restaurants. Then I see it - Bubba Gumps. I gotta try this place. I go to park - holy cow! $12 dollars to park for 2 hours! Ok - I park. The restaurant was ok - nothing great to say - service was lousy and the waiter reminded me of some hippie I saw once in San Francisco in the early 70's. Then to the shops. They had this one shop with all sorts of jewelry and carvings and shells. I spotted a necklace made of Peridot (Summer's birthstone which she doesn't care for) The necklace was only $8 bucks, then another made of Volcanic Rhidorite, $8, and amethyst $10 and another of Volcanic Obsidian $8 bucks. I had to have them - just had to. Apparently there is a place where these rocks are easily available to the natives and they hunt for them and clean them up, put them in tumbler and make these for almost nothing. Then they sell them to the tourists. If you want to see them - let me know and I'll show you. I was just walking around when I spotted this lovely Hawaiian lady wearing a jewel studded shirt saying Blue Hawaii Helicopters. So I stopped her and asked her about the volcano activity on this island. We talked and walked and she told me about the volcano - history of volcanoes on this island, the last eruption and so much, come to find out she's part owner of the company. So needless to say I found myself buying a ticket for the next day to see the volcano. And yes - it was expensive, but a chance in a life time. That afternoon I went and visited the Mormon-Laie Hawaii Temple. This place was so beautiful and the workers were so kind. In fact everyone was nice. I met the Temple Matron and since my ankle was still bothering me and very swollen, I asked her if she knew of any available Elders or priesthood holders. She directed me next door to their Stake Center. I didn't even see the Stake Center amongst all the plants and flowers and the Temple is so beautiful I didn't see anything else. But there it was. I had a meeting with the Bishop and another priesthood holder and the words given were so applicable to me, things I really needed to hear and close to my heart. I felt like this Bishop knew my heart and my needs and he expressed the prayer so wonderfully. Thank you Bishop. They invited me to hang around and have pizza. The kids were having Mutual and they were playing that game with the sticks that the Tongan children were teaching them. It was fun and I was tired and ready to sleep - big day tomorrow!

Wednesday - July 25 - Did I mention Summer bought me newest the Harry Potter book? Well I spent the morning reading this fantastic book! Time for me to go to the Helicopter Port. I'm all ready and raring to go - thanks to Dramabeans. I get to the location and get ready to go - we get the safety video and instructions on what to do in case of an emergency. OK already - lets go. We get on the aircraft, me, a couple from Utah (Yes, Mormons!) a couple from Australia and the pilot, Toshi. Yahoo!! This is pretty cool. I get my camera out and - - the battery died. Shock - Horror - this can't be happening, but it is. But as things have it - my new friends from Utah, Terry and Lori do have a camera, and she said she would send me some photos. Thank goodness! Moving along, this was FANTASTIC! I could see the sulphur venting out of the volcano - we flew over the red hot lava flows and could see it spurting red lava into the air, there was one place where you could see how fast the lava was moving. It cooled and turned black-then it dawned on me, we were witnessing the island growing. Did God feel as overwhelmed as I did at this fantastic miracle? The world was growing in this small part of the world and he got to do all of this from the beginning. Watching creation. I had a baby and that was the best - and this rated right up there - creation. Heavenly Father is always amazing and here's proof and I was looking at this with my own eyes. Then we had to fly over other things like the black beach and waterfalls, the rainforest and more beaches and then we got to go over the lava again. This was definitely a highlight of my trip. After this - I was off to the airport and on my way back to Honolulu.

Thursday, July 26 - Just hung out on the beach at Waikiki - went to a movie "Ratatouille" cute movie - then I went and saw my friends at Coconut Willy's then back to the apartment.

Friday, July 27 - I rented a car and went back to the Polynesian Culture Center. There is so much to see and I wanted to visit this one more time before I left. This was a nice day - just like all the others in paradise.

Saturday, July 28 - I got up early so I could go snorkeling at Hamauna Bay - grrrr I had a car blocking me in. Finally around 8:30 the guy moved his car - so off to the bay. I get there around 10 am - the parking lot is full and they aren't letting any more people in. So I drive down the road and go to Sandy Beach. Man - the waves here are fierce. There is a very sharp drop off and the ocean makes these violent waves that crash into this drop off. There were locals swimming and body surfing. I watched this for about an hour and saw alot of tourists go in and now knowing what they were doing. The lifeguard would get on the PA every 15 minutes telling people if they were not familiar with this type of surf or were not expert swimmers to get out of the water you could drown. And he was right - I saw a couple people get knocked around and have their bell rung. Eventually I made it to the bay and went snorkeling.

Sunday - July 29 just hung out - did laundry - started packing. I leave for the mainland tomorrow. BUMMER

Monday - July 30 - My friend Greg is going to take me to the airport tonight, I can't believe it's time to go. The day is spent saying good-bye to the friends I've made - Gillian, Koyu, Dustin, Lana, the girls at the Food Pantry - and to Coconut Willy's. Greg picks me up and off we go. He was so nice and we had a very nice visit - all of a sudden the tears begin to flow, I don't want to leave - he had sung my favorite song - Honolulu City Lights. Then he presented me with a beautiful Leu with white trumpet roses and pink roses. The smell was the sweetest I had ever smelled. My trip was over. I had made some good friends and here was one who was making the end so special. He even bought a lei for me to take home to Summer. And then he drove away. I was on my way. The trip was uneventful, quiet, quick I couldn't sleep. I did see a fantastic sunrise. I made it to Summer's apartment on Tuesday around 4 pm. Time to dream of Hawaii.