Sunday, November 29, 2009


Lulubelle enjoying the view aboard "Moss One."
During this special holiday, dedicated to blessings, we are reminded to think about them. We count the many ways that we are blessed. A good and generous God, our faith and grace, family members to love and cherish, dear and special friends, pets that love us unconditionally, wonderful memories that make us smile, medical miracles that heal us, and beautiful places that re-charge our batteries.
My Blessings overwhelm me. My Blessings bury me in goodness. I love the song that reminds us to count our blessings instead of sheep and "you'll fall asleep, counting your blessings. That's a good thing and something we should remember to do every single night when we crawl into bed.

We received an amazing, unexpected, never-even-dreamed about, blessing at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. We got an e-mail from dear friends, Dianne and Bill Moss. They suggested we might like to use their jet-share and go to Jackson Hole for a few days. We were surprised, overjoyed, excited, and mostly blessed by their thoughtful and most generous kindness.

We hadn't seen our little cowboy cabin, dubbed "The Director's Cabin" since mid-summer. It was here that Ron talked to Kris Elftmann, Nixon Foundation Chairmen, multiple times each day about the process of doing a search. Then when Kris began to ask Ron about the possibility of him assuming the Presidency of the Foundation, we talked about how we better "bank some rest" if we were going to prepare to take on such a daunting task.

Dianne and Bill Moss have visited the Director's Cabin many times. They knew how much we love being in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. To sit and watch the sun light and shadows dance across the jagged peaks, chasing wisps of clouds in an endless, changing tapestry is a most relaxing way to spend time.
When the first rays of the morning sun hit the top of the Grand, it shines bright pink and gradually changes to softer golds and yellows as it moves down the range. It usually spends the day in shades of gray with white and evergreen highlights, but sometimes the hand of the howling wind snatches it away completely. When we first started coming here, I liked to say that I was going to get a Doctorate in Teton Viewing. The plan was to spend the hours needed to earn an advanced degree, quietly sitting and staring at its beauty. I think I've done it. Dianne and Bill thought, but more likely knew, we might like to have a quick visit to re-charge ourselves again. What a gift. What a blessing.
Marja, Kodai and Lulubelle, Ron and I, took off Thanksgiving morning from John Wayne airport's Atlantic Terminal in a seven-seater jet. Kodai, did the classic double-take, when he looked out the window and realized the ground was way down below him. Lulubell found the view mesmerizing. What a way to travel. We all agreed, we could sure get used to that!
As the Teton's came into view, plane side, we all took pictures. Even the pilots.

The old reliables, Michelle and Bill Arnold, had our car waiting at the airport for us. Keys under the floor mat. It only takes an e-mail, and the old reliables get the job done, even on a holiday morning. On-site manager, Ron, had turned up the heat and made sure the water heater switch was flipped. Our on-call, as needed, housekeeper, JoAnne had popped in to see if dusting or cobweb getting was needed. More blessings from special people.
We talked about the ways we could have Thanksgiving Dinner the evening of our arrival, but our little Golf and Tennis Club was closed until early December. Even the good old stand-by Dornan's in Moose was going to be closed. Then another Blessing came our way. Pat and Homer Luther invited us to join their family for a Thanksgiving Feast. Those of you that have experienced Homer and Pat's culinary expertise know how great an opportunity this was. Great home-made bloody marys, wine before the wine (Homer's description), and THE wine with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Pat's family favorite, chocolate fudge pecan pie was the perfect cap-stone to a delicious holiday dinner with pals whose friendships go back to the days of our children's childhoods. The view from their work-of-art house, atop Riva Ridge is always a treat to see again.

We cooked our traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday and also feasted on lots of football, especially seeing Arizona win the Territorial Cup from rival Arizona State. (I spent college-day Thanksgiving weekends as a pom-pom girl at that very game.) It was sunny and cold outside, and cozy inside with delicious smells warming the little cabin. A beautiful fox came trotting down the road Sunday morning, hunting his breakfast, as Ron was cooking bacon, eggs and toast for us.

Somehow I missed mentioning a blessing on my Nixon Connection blog. Perhaps because it was really meant to be a part of my Blessings blog. Our friendship with Shelley Scarney and Pat Buchanan go back to early Nixon days. We went to their wedding. During Geoff Shepard's Domestic council gathering, they had a dinner party for at least 80 of the faithful. It was such a huge event, they had to tent their back yard so everyone could have a place at the table. Ron and I sat with Lynne and Dick Cheney and had a good chance to get caught up with them. Too many wonderful, long-time friends were there. I wish I could name them all, but I decided to not even try. Comraderie and a delicious dinner were enjoyed by everyone.

The long-time, Buchanan McLean home is a beautiful, charming house, amid the trees. Their grounds are adjacent to the CIA. Kristine and Gordon Strachan got turned around and found themselves inside the fence at the CIA. Really a no-no, evidently. They said it was easy to get in, but a real hassle to get back out. Since they now live in Utah, they were driving their god-daughter's car. Oops. Sure hope that being in the CIA data bank doesn't cause her heartburn every time she shops in Tyson's Corner.

Now we prepare to head back to Coyote Base tomorrow, Monday. "Moss One" will depart Jackson Hole at ten am. We HAVE re-charged our batteries, thanks to the thoughtfulness of Dianne and Bill. Thank you's are not enough, but heartfelt in every way.

Tuesday morning early we will fly to the Clinton Library in Little Rock. You can see why we get tired keeping up such a pace. Ron will join his counterparts from the other Presidential Libraries for a meeting. It should be an interesting get together, and the subject of my next blog. Stay tuned.

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