Sincere rains have arrived and it truly feels like spring with everything clean and sparkling. A rim of flowering wild dogwood trees surround the yard and at times they seem to glow.

As legend has it, the cross on which Jesus was crucified was made from a dogwood tree. God decreed that the dogwood tree would from that day forth never grow large enough to be used to make a cross. Thus, the dogwood tree is a small, under story tree.

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree probably originated in the United States early in the 20th century. Alas, Flowering Dogwoods are native only to this country. They are not native to the Middle East and would not have been growing there in Jesus’ time. Nevertheless, the legend persists……so much for legends. Flowering dogwood is named for the showy spring flowers. The common name dogwood comes from one colonial description of the fruit as being edible but not fit for a dog. That makes little sense to me but is probably just another false legend. Be that as it may I very much appreciate the dogwood trees that rim my yard.

Last weekend Jason’s high school buddy Norbert, from The Netherlands, brought his son here to introduce him to country life. Although Norbert and Ollie stayed with the Elsner’s, Jason’s family spent much of the weekend with them. The Elsner’s had a group of us over for dinner one night which was lots of fun. Their children Mike and Gretchen were home as well and it was great seeing them again as they both had been students of mine years ago. Rain was predicted for the weekend but thankfully it cleared enough so outdoor adventures were possible, such as caving, hiking and Ollie took to Latah’s motorcycle which was a new experience for him.

The Lindseth’s enjoying old photos
Norbert on the far right was an exchange student living with the Elsner’s his senior year. He and Jason have stayed in contact over the years. A couple of years ago Jason visited Norbert in The Netherlands.
Bernie Elsner going for seconds
Norbert, friends, and Beverly Elsner
Mike was very much part of my life in the old days
Gretchen lives in Santa Fey with her husband.
Ollie is like a nephew to Gretchen
Trampoline in Dutch is pronounced, trampoline. it happens to be a Dutch word.

Although Norbert speaks several language Ollie does not and spoke no english at all. He was a good sport and learned a few words while here.

When the rain cleared Jason, Jeannette, Sophie and I hiked to the top of Penny Ridge behind my house.
Sophie decided to give her legs a rest.

Since it has been pouring rain for days now I am pretty much stuck indoors. One day I met Jeremy in Stevenson where he treated me to lunch. Thank you Jeremy, as alway I enjoy your company. It was a treat for my recent birthday.

Latah and I worked on a school project. Her assignment was to create a game about the Oregon Trail. At first she dragged her feet about getting started. One rainy day I convinced her we needed to get going. So we did, and she loved working on it. We completed the project and played her game one night after dinner. Latah won beating Teagan, Taylor and myself. Her game was a success. Latah, like her father before , displays her tongue when concentrating. I get such a kick out of that.

There’s that tongue again.
Latah said at one point, “I didn’t know working on the game would be so much fun.”
Although I helped, Latah did the planning, designing, cutting and computer work.
“Going West,” was the name of her game.
Unfortunately Latah whisked the game off to school before I got a photo of the completed project.

These past days have been lots of fun. I loved having Jason’s gang here again and hope they can return soon. As all the kids are involved it gets harder to get every one together so is always a treat when it happens.