My Trip to Bountiful

Back to the regular grind of life. It feels like my life has been on a high for the past 4 days. I figured today I would give some details since everyone keeps asking, starting last Friday night when my brother Mark and sister Pam came down from Kalispell on Friday night to spend the weekend with me. I have felt a bit estranged from my family for so long, but this weekend we all really connected and I feel the bond with my brother stronger than I ever have. Saturday was a flurry of getting the house ready for an incredible party. My nephew Brenden showed up a little after 10 and we began to clean through everything on the property. There were still remnants of the wind storm from the previous week, though I had been trying to clean up most of it throughout the week. I had this old set piece, the Bountiful house, for a stage production of The Trip to Bountiful, that I had laid the foundation for, but had never quite assembled but have been trying to put together for 8 years now. It took us about 6 people to assemble it on a flat stage in a theater, now I was trying to assemble it on the bank of a creek in the back yard. Between the three of us we managed to get all the pieces of heavy steel frame together and standing. It kind of becomes one of the focal points of my back yard. I saved it because I thought it would make an interesting backdrop for outdoor images. So we cleaned and weeded everything as Pam completely cleaned the inside of the studio. Early afternoon a wave of helpers came by and we set up tables and chairs and torches for the party, others came and began to decorate. I somehow managed to crawl into bed and took a snooze with kitty, Bob. Mark, Pam and I rubbed pork loins with spicy rubs and prepped salmon to be grilled.

The party was magical, the back yard was transformed into a beautiful garden terrace. You see I have not quite had a chance to finish the back yard yet, and am actually on my 2 year of a 10 year plan, so it very rough still, but beginning to take shape and when I am done will become one of the most extraordinary places to hang out. So many people came bringing all kinds of food, and drinks. Glenn had somehow orchestrated the entire process from his potato fields in North Dakota. It was amazing I saw people I have not seen in a long time. It was like suddenly all my different worlds were colliding. My family, old friends, new friends, and models I have been working with. I felt truly humbled by their presences. It lasted into the night, the air filled with the rapture of laughter. When everyone had left Mark, Pam, the kitties and I were alone, with very little mess because Pam had already cleaned most of it.

Sunday morning I was awakened at 730 am, a call from Sky Dive Montana, that the skies were a go and I could jump according to plan. I needed to be the Ronan Airport by 10 for an 11 jump which was an hour away. Mark, Pam and I had coffee and talked as my nerves began to unravel as to what I had possibly gotten myself into. I was seriously having doubts at this time. The drive up seemed interminable, my heart racing faster the nearer I approached, my eyes always searching to the sky in wonder.

The waiver I had to sign was six pages with more clauses needing to be initialed than a mortgage. Other friends and family began to arrive as I prepped to for the event. I will tell more about this event in another posting when I get the pictures and video. My dad and a great group of supporter arrived to witness. The fall itself wasn’t too bad, but the after effects seemed to linger for hours beyond. When your body moves at such velocity it tends to have an effect on your stomach and pressure in your head. We had lunch in the nearby town and I was so woozy I could hardly eat anything and after everyone parted, my dad drove me home. When I arrived home, I fell into a deep sleep, my body relaxed into a comfort like I have never known.

A special thanks to Mark and Pam for coming to make this event such a success and so memorable. Thanks for sharing such a huge part of my life with me. I have reestablished a bond I thought lost or missing for years. To me this was actually the greatest part of the whole experience. I love you guys so much.

Today is Mark’s birthday, so Happy Birthday, to you Mark, next year it your big day to hit 50 and I hope to help make your day as big of an adventure as mine.