The hill top area did get a short break from the rainy weather on Sunday, May 17. The sun came out around 12 o’clock and we enjoyed about five hours of wonderful sunshine. During that time we took an ATV ride down to Reggie and Peggy Ball’s home and had lunch with them. Peggy had made a beef stew in her Instant Pot. What a wonderful kitchen appliance it is. The stew was delicious.

Around 5 p.m. we watched dark storm clouds move in from the west. Before it reached us the wind changed and the storm moved off to the northeast.

On Monday morning we woke up to dense fog. The NOAA forecast is for more rain throughout the week.

Over the weekend we did get a raised bed established in a corner of the garden and planted it with strawberries. The tomato plants have been transplanted into larger containers.

They are in a garden cart that can be moved out of the barn when the weather permits. Our night time temperatures have been in the 40 degree range, so due to the possibility of frost, it looks like the rest of the garden will have to wait until after June 1st.

The May 15 issue of the Capital Press reminded us of the 40th anniversary of “The Big Blast” written by Dan Wheat. A farmer named Dennis Dean remembered the Mt. St. Helens eruption and the massive impact it had on everyone east of that location.

On the morning of Sunday, May 18, he had completed his early morning check on his cattle and decided the wheat and peas looked good. Around 9 a.m. he was back at the house when he heard a loud boom. He thought it was a sonic boom from a military jet.

The Dean family headed for church where he discovered that the loud boom he heard was actually the Mt. Saint Helens eruption which was about 200 miles west of their location.

The next morning there was six inches of volcanic ash everywhere. This eruption was ranked as the deadliest and most economically destructive volcano even in the history of our country. Fifty-seven people were killed, a total of 250 homes, 17 bridges, 15 miles of railway and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. The loss of agricultural crops and timber was estimated at 1.1 billion dollars by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Dean commented that what looked like a great year with money to be made turned into a year of just surviving. He realized God’s plans are not our plans, that you can’t put your trust in worldly wealth, and that things of eternal value are more important.

Dan Wheat’s report for the Capital Press was very interesting. It reminded me that we have to take each day as it comes and to be thankful for the blessing we receive.

The Coronavirus pandemic we are experiencing this year is another chance for us to look at what we value and to be thankful for what we have.

There is still time to participate in the 20th Annual Retreat to Weippe, “Three Mile Run/Walk”. The event will be held at the Weippe Mini Park on Saturday, May 23. Late registration sign up time is at 7:30 p.m. Call 208-435-4362 for more information.

Call the Idaho Clearwater Extension Office at 208-476-4434 to find out if space is still available for the June 1 North Central Idaho Hay Day. This program was last offered in 2015. Several topics related to hay production will be covered. It will be held at the Fraser Community Center. Start time is 1 p.m.

Recently I visited with Linda Beard on the telephone. She and Mike returned to their ranch in April and their family came for a visit. The vegetables in the greenhouse were thriving and the fruit trees are full of blossoms. Linda is looking forward to a good harvest this year.

The Kinney family will hold their annual Memorial Day potluck picnic on Monday, May 25, starting around 12 o’clock.

The Clearwater Historical Museum continues to add to it’s collection. The 1921 White Western Star Finke Logging Truck was restored and donated to the museum by the Finke Family. The cab of the truck would be a real problem if OSHA had anything to say about it. We are looking forward to visiting the museum when it does open.

The photos of the goose on the peak of our barn roof and the Common Tern did not appear in last week’s Fraser News because the internet was out of service, so I have included it with this week’s column.

Happy Birthday Greetings go out to Piper Marie Denison on May 23 and to Harlee and Cora Harris on May 24.

Steve Green sends Happy Birthday Greetings to his granddaughter Amelia Lain Green on May 24.

Marie and Gerry Armitage send Happy Birthday Greetings to their son Buck on May 27.

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