Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

August 4, 2009

Filed under: — Constance at 9:07 am on Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We came back to Sanctuary via Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton National Park, accessed by driving through Yellowstone. The inevitable gathering of cars blocking off the road disgourging people running with cameras to capture the essence of a single moose occurred as it has every time we have driven through the park. We have never joined this group, though the day may come when we sit here on a winter’s evening and say, “If only we had gotten a picture of that moose last summer”. Perhaps not.

We have driven the Rockefeller Parkway through the Grand Teton Park a number of times, but we had not stopped before, and this time we wanted to spend a bit of time by one of the lakes and view those incredibly photogenic mountains. Looking at all the boats lined up and awaiting the travelers who would board them to either fish or go across the water to hike up into the valleys, I wished that we had come sooner in our life times when we might have put on backpacks and trekked forth to the snow lines. There were many warnings about the presence of bears, and the stores had classy mace containers with which one might spray a bear and then commence to flee should that be necessary. Before, when we went camping with the children in these sorts of places, we had bear bells that we could ring while walking and singing, sounding like demented monks and driving away all possible wildlife in the area – I have no recollections of meeting either bird or beast on those hikes.

Sanctuary remains green and dense with growth everywhere, presenting us with a very different place than the sweeping vistas of Montana, Wyoming and western Nebraska. We have also had humid and warm weather, another contrast to the cooler, dryer air of the mountains. Yet it is grand to be home with ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini from the garden and a happy Alphie running ahead on the paths. The grasses and wild flowers in the meadow are full of many colors and textures, and they bear names that attest to their variety – Fleabane, Partridge Pea, Goldenrod, Ironweed, Blazing Star, Panic Grass, Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Side-Oats Grama and Indian Grass. This is not a complete list, but it does illustrate that a prairie land is anything but a simple green.

The trip was more tiring than I anticipated, with an intensification of the bone and muscle pain, and an ongoing unease about the possibility of infections that might come forth in unexpected ways. I wore the surgical mask whenever inside with gatherings of people, and we avoided nearly all restaurants with Charles becoming the king of carry-out. I was mostly able to tune out the inner sound track that would begin to complain when I would smile at a child only to be met with a look of caution because of my mask. Children in general had to be avoided because of their potential for communicable sicknesses. This is a loss to me since I do enjoy them with their nearly new brains, wonderful energy and capacity for delight.

August brings a shift in the focus of families; now it is time to gather the school supplies and prepare for the next year of educational activities. After teaching many years, this rhythm remains strong for me, and even in uncertain times, I anticipate the next season with gratitude for all the good things past and hope for the days ahead.


Comment by Heidi Ore

August 5, 2009 @ 9:17 pm


Its good to have you back here in the plains – the mountains are all the more wonderful when you live everyday in a place where you really have to look for the beauty – though sanctuary is kind of a show off – beauty wise much like the mountains.

I really liked your advice as you came back which was climb the mountains while you can – I will work on that, I truly will – One such mountain for me has been trying to can dill pickles – its always been on my list to try – thank you for the cucumbers, the recipe, and the nudge to the edge!

The school supplies, dental work, backpacks, shoes, socks, underwear, etc. have been gathered so we are ready here for the first day of school here – the girls can hardly wait!

Take care!


Comment by Montanans

August 7, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

The shine of Montana lost a glimmer when you crossed its border for the plains of NE. It was a joy to have you here to give us a few lessons in the birds we take so for granted along the river’s edge. The sandhill cranes are teaching their young to fly, the geese are taking long training flights with their youth in hot pursuit, the humming birds are sucking up enough carbs to get them to points south and they yellow finches are flocking together. As the summer sheds the warm rays of the sun (it was 46 here this morning) our flock is also heading for school days—one to teach the rest to enroll yet again and the cycle indeed starts again. I would guess that Alphie who is now “in velvet” will be sporting shiney antlers by the time we see him.

Comment by Cliff Baak

August 9, 2009 @ 6:20 am

Comment by a relative

August 9, 2009

Regarding our recent visit to Sanctuary

We walked together:
We ate together:
We laughed together:
We prayed together:

You strengthened my faith in God:

Thank You!

Comment by irene Beethe

August 9, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

Dear Connie,

I’m glad that you had a wonderful trip, even with the adjustments in what you could do.

I have a picture of Charles as the “carry out King” in my head! Hmmmm!

Love, Irene

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