Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Home Again

The week since I last posted has been an interesting one. Rather than floating by like a lazy river, it has been an exciting ride, punctuated by one memorable event after another.

On Wednesday Ken and I drove to Jackson Hole to spend four days working hard at getting our Wilderness First Responder Recertification. The recert actually started Thursday evening so we had all day Thursday to ski the big hill. I love that place. It is one of the few ski hills I enjoy skiing almost as much as back-country. The slopes are challenging and huge and you can exhaust yourself by the end of the day without even trying too hard. Somehow we got talked into participating in the Valentine's Day Couple's Slalom Race. We were the oldest couple in the race by about 20 years but it really didn't matter. The course was set up as part slalom, part obstacle: we had to ski a little, stop and grab a Valentine from a cooler, ski some more, stop and throw three rings onto a pole, grab another Valentine, ski to the end, remove our gear, grab another Valentine and run hand in hand through the heart-decorated arch. Corny? You bet! Ken and I watched some of the other couples participating and Ken came up with a detailed strategy about how we needed to throw the rings to gain the most points. I was given specific instructions about where to stand, how hard to throw, how to hold my poles and gloves, etc. Then it was our turn. We took off like bullets (okay, slow bullets) through the starting gate. I could see Ken out of the corner of my eye as he navigated each gate in the slalom and I prayed I wouldn't wipe out and embarass us both. We got to the ring toss and stood back to back, each with 3 rings in hand. I threw my first one - bullseye! The second - another bullseye! Then the third - unbelievably another bullseye! I was psyched! Then I turned back to the course and saw Ken's 3 rings spread all over the hill. So much for that strategy. We didn't win the race but we laughed so long and hard about our failure that it felt like a win just the same.

On Friday morning we entered the classroom with 25 other students (again we were the oldest by many years) and were immediately given our written exam. I have been studying diligently for the last couple of months so wasn't too worried. A passing grade for the exam is 80% and about half the class ended up having to take a second exam at the end of the course to bring up their grades. Lucky for me I did well on the first one so didn't have that added stress to deal with. The next 3 days were intense lectures and lots of outdoor scenarios. I am always amazed at how quickly you forget this is all practice and really get into the role of trying to save someone's life. We were staying at the Teton Science School Jackson Campus and that is where all the classes were held. Time becomes very distorted when you spend all your waking hours going from one adrenelin rush to the next. I could not have told you what day or time it was on any of the days we were there. I could have been there for an hour or a year and I wouldn't have been surprised.

Once everything was over on Sunday afternoon we jumped in the car for the 7 hour drive home. We arrived close to midnight so just checked the phone messages and headed to bed. I was delighted to have a message saying I had won the raffle put on by the Cody Humane Society. I bought 6 tickets a couple of weeks ago but didn't even pay attention to when the drawing was because I never win these things. I won a huge basket filled with several hundred dollars worth of outdoor gear including a new GPS and a bunch of other fun stuff. I plan to pick it up this afternoon in Cody.

Then, Monday morning, I started looking through the 200 emails that had accumulated while we were gone. More joy and excitement as I discovered my "Elvis Lives" quilt had taken first place in the Big Horn Quilts Elvis Challenge. It is a $600 purchase prize so I am very excited to be the winner!
Another email was from Betty Blais of Embellishment Village and author of "Amazing Angelina". She wanted permission to include photos of two of my quilts in her new book on Angelina. Of course I said "yes"!
Not all the emails were good news. I also learned the mother of a good friend had passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. My heart aches for Jeanne and her family and I will keep them all in my prayers.
Ken barely had time to unpack his suitcase and pack another and he is now headed for Cincinnati for a few days. I hope I can get caught up on all the things that piled up while we were gone before he returns. This Friday is another Fast Friday Fabric Challenge already so there is that to look forward to as well.


Christine Thresh said...

Congratulations on your winning quilt, Elvis Lives. I voted for it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah for you Kathy! I am tickled to get some good news from your blog this week, do not have anyones email with me.
hard week on me! But I really appreciate that your prayers are with me. Really! and I will see you soon. your friend Jeanne