It’s been a month since I’ve posted, but Dad’s birthday adventure seemed as good a time as any to come back.
Dad would have been 78 Sunday, so my mom, sister and I — and six of our eight kiddos — took a little time off to celebrate his life, with his old stomping grounds of New Rockford, N.D., in our sights.
I can’t quite narrow down all the photos into one post, however, so I’ll do it in parts, starting with the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Mandan, where his body was laid to rest in January.
We were disappointed that despite what we’d been told, Dad’s headstone still wasn’t up. Still just the marker – hopefully next visit, there will be something more.
But it was nice to honor him, to listen to the birds singing, to watch the clouds dance overhead.
It’s a beautiful spot out here – better than the snow-filled version. I took it all in.
Another 12-gun salute was going on during our visit. It reminded us of the one we experienced in January.
Dad would have said, enough of the sad stuff. Let’s go exploring. So we set a course toward my sister’s place of residence.
But first, a visit to Salem Sal. It’s always exciting to spot her from the interstate.
Some horse-back riders wanted to see her, too.
Ah, what a sight that big old Holstein — the world’s largest, the sign says, weighing in at 12,000 pounds.
Newcomers might think Sal’s the main attraction…
But what they don’t know are the secrets Sal keeps.
Oh, they are lovely secrets. Secrets of wildflowers…
And blessed perches…
Of unusual, natural-made formations.
We met up with a guy from Georgia who said his next house is going to be built right here.
Good luck convincing Sal. She guards her home pretty well. But she does love company.
Dad used to bring Camille and I walking in the Badlands near our home in Northeast Montana. I remember grabbing our walking sticks and chugging along, enjoying nature with him.
When walking started getting hard for Dad, life changed.
I hope he’s getting a chance to walk easily again, free as the birds and the grandkids he loved.
Light as the wind.
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