Happenings

Standard
001

Fall colors on our local golf course just off the 16th green

Its been a few weeks since I last blogged.

Its cool at night and the mountain world we live in is awash with crimson, gold and brilliant amber.

The smoke is gone and most of us aren’t living with the fear that the next lightning strike could be The One.

001

Outside of Lincoln, MT on my most-recent road trip.

My silence in the blogosphere wasn’t intended.

I just haven’t had time.

I went to Bismarck twice in September which is a ten or eleven-hour haul one-way.

005

Cruising through Great Falls, MT!

The first trip back was for a wedding in our old community of Watford City. The bride was radiant, the ceremony was lovely and the reception was fantastic.

044

Showgirls! The beautiful bride, Kira was in my Tiny Tot skating class back in 1997 and toured with Disney On Ice. I’m so proud she can blame me for this corruption!

A great part about the day was exploring highways, houses, ice rinks and medical clinics in towns we used to live in.

We reminisced together about people we knew and adventures we shared in Hazen, Beulah and Watford City.

018

Our former home in Hazen, ND

019

Alistair’s former clinic in Beulah, ND

017

Our ice rink (brrrrr!) in Hazen where Alistair drove the Zamboni, we co-coached high school hockey and I taught power and figure skating.

We joked during the drive about names and faces we may or may not remember. Who would be at the wedding and what their spouse’s name was. How the town of Watford City, the heartbeat of the oil patch, had changed and what incredible developments had taken place since we left in 1997. How so many license plates were not from North Dakota anymore.

029

Our former home in Watford City, ND. We couldn’t give it away when we moved!

When we first moved there in 1994, we were as foreign as it got being from Canada.

Now Watford City is a melting pot of cultures, colors and beliefs.

While so much within the town itself has changed, it was wonderful that our relationships with great friends had not.

041

Alistair & I with Corey, one of our Junior Gold hockey players from the late 90s!

045

Alistair and Gretchen (the mother of the bride) together again!

It was a beautiful day, a beautiful time, and now a beautiful memory.

026

The ice rink in Watford City doubling as rodeo grounds during the off-season.

Then it was back to Bismarck where my hair, teeth and garden were tended to and I was again amazed by the jobs that are out there.

I’ve said it before- that you have to be a fool to not be able to find work in Bismarck right now.

047

Jobs of all types for all skill levels exist on almost every road I drove on. Its a sea of neon signs offering why THIS is the place you should work!

046

There aren’t enough workers for the jobs so each business is trying to out-entice the other.

062

I think they actually spelled their name wrong… seriously, if you want to impress people you should know how to spell your company’s name!

Restaurants, delis, hotels, driving companies- you name it, they want YOU!

048

Most of the jobs are entry-level but that’s why the imbalance. The pay, while quite decent from the looks of things, is entry-level. Rent, sadly, is not.

066

Its an employee’s market right now. Why stay someplace where your demanding, asshole boss rides you about being online all day when you can work just about anywhere else in the city? Bosses are having to curtail their complaints!

064

The moral of all of this is that regardless of training, education and maybe even motivation, if you have a place to stay and you want to work and you don’t mind a bit of wind and you don’t care about oceans or mountains but you like pheasants and Labrador retrievers and wearing camo and driving your pick-up with its gun rack and you are totally cool with winter temps, Bismarck might be right for you right now!

067

(I joke about the camo and pickups… we have just as many in Montana and Bismarck is really a very nice city with universities, golf courses, fun restaurants, a nightlife and bustling airport.)

014

most of the herd in Bismarck

My most recent trip back was to help Alistair out for a planned surgery to scope his knee.

Again.

He came through with grace, his terrific sense of humor, less ratty cartilage in his right knee and a ridiculous need for greasy food.

028

Post op that afternoon. You have to love him!

I brought the 3 dogs with me on this trip. They did great and seemed to like “helping” their Daddy with his recovery.

025

UB making sure Daddy rested like the doctor told him to!

And everything was going well as I drove us home across highway 200 until little Loki reminded us all of the year we have been having and that she’s got some issues.

Loki had her first seizure.

In her crate in the back seat of the truck at a rest stop between Jordan and Lewistown.

030

Loki and step-gammy in Bismarck.

It lasted 20 to 30 seconds (which feels more like 2 to 3 minutes) but it ended and she got a bit of a walk before we felt like we should continue.

And Alistair and I pretended we weren’t medical professionals for a few minutes.

“What do you think caused that?” asked Mr.Fyfe.

“I don’t know,” Mrs.Fyfe replied.

346

Snoozing Loki loves being under the covers!

Pretending was fun but it didn’t last long.

We both know that epilepsy isn’t a disease for older animals or people. And we know that she is about 14 years old.

And we know she doesn’t leave our eyesight when she’s outside because of her own blindness and that we didn’t change her food and she had no access to toxins or medications and the other dogs were fine and that she has had her share of personality changes that we like to call quirks this year on top of some unusual infections that might mean her immune system is busy elsewhere.

Like maybe in her brain.

004

The same rest stop on a previous trip back to Bismarck.

But that’s all I want to say about that because she has been absolutely fine (albeit a bit yeasty… one of the new issues) since then.

Eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, playing, kicking up the grass, bonking into Chiddy Pats, snoring, begging for Chicken Mozarella and cuddling into us at night.

She is tolerating the various meds & shampoos I am trying to combat the yeasty smell (think wet tortilla) and we are loving her much as we can.

021

Loki’s winter gear.

And we’re heading towards her least favorite season but we will make it as special as we can for her.

So seasons change and houses sell and kids grow up and young adults get married and jobs are everywhere and dogs get old and some get tumors and knees get operated on and golf balls get hit and we try to enjoy every moment because sometimes our special old companions might not be with us.

And that, my friends, has been our happenings of late and why I haven’t blogged until now.

022

Our old property outside of Watford City, ND

042

One of the bride’s skating classmates, Zane from Tiny Tots all grown up!

002

My writing “assistant”.

I Am Completely Normal (or, The Case For Step-parents)

Standard

I have never wanted to have children of my own.

There.

I’ve said it and I’m glad.

156

Luigi and me!

Not human ones, anyhow.

I remember telling the dressing room of skaters my feelings about that as a kid.

It was one of those group discussions about how many kids each of us planned to have and I announced I would be having none.

That I would have to find a man who already had his own kids because he wasn’t getting them from me.

014

Apparently I had things all figured out back then…

And it isn’t because I don’t like kids. That’s not it at all.

I love kids. They’re fun, they’re goofy, they like to play make-believe, they giggle freely, they like my stories, they like Rhonda, they like to watch me skate, they are full of wonder and, generally, they trust and believe openly.

26808_119301048086784_6357537_n

Harry and I back in the first version of my little vet clinic with the local pre-schoolers

I am completely comfortable around groups of kids regardless of whether I’m doing veterinary education or coaching figure skaters or hockey players.

I don’t break out in a sweat, I don’t have panic attacks, and I actually quite enjoy kids of all ages.

014

Slightly blurry pic of a pic of our real wedding day with Gareth

So it was quite fortuitous that I met and married a man with all of the requirements.

015

Same day, with Whitney

I had no expectations because, at 21, I had no friends dating older persons with their own kids.

None of my friends or siblings had any non-infant children of their own at that point so there was nobody to turn to for questions or suggestions.

I just winged it and tried to make our family as normal as possible.

026

A long-ago blonde phase with Whitney & Gareth on our trip to Disney World

The kids even moved in with us in Watford City when Gareth was in grade 4 and Whitney was in grade 2.

At that point a few friends thought I was crazy (think I was 22 by then) but it never occurred to me that it was wrong.

Its not like Divorce was unheard of in the ’90s, its just that it didn’t happen much in the close-knit Doukhobor community and family I grew up in.

247851_10150193668225528_2825177_n

Fyfe Family time on the outdoor ice rink in Watford City

So there was no reference point other than having 2 loving parents who wanted to make the best life possible for their kids.

Even if they weren’t my kids.

It has always helped that Alistair and his first wife had a fairly amicable divorce.

There was no throwing of cutlery or evil phone messages.

387444_10150447317410528_1325683366_n

Visiting the kids in Vancouver (with Rhonda)…

It may have helped that the ex lived in Vancouver, many miles and a country away. We have a mutual respect for one another, (particularly now that the kids are grown) and appreciate that we offered very different ‘mothering’ styles to the kids.

Maybe it also helped that I was so young- there are as many years between Alistair and I as with Gareth and I.

Which was fun when they were teens and we could sometimes sort of hang out.

252096_10150194476915528_4611767_n

Camping trips with the kids & their friends

And listen to the same music and share our friends and learn to be a different but normal type of family and shop at Abercrombie together and be a part of each other’s lives as we were all growing and changing.

253494_10150194456425528_886588_n

Fyfe Life classic… Old Maid with Morgie!

And I can’t tell you how many of the kids’ friends I keep in good touch with via social media.

And some we even hang out with when we can.

Morgie&me

Morgan and I enjoying a great meal together in Bismarck a couple of years ago

And I think I am a very lucky woman to have the relationship I have with my now-adult stepkids.

They have never called me “Mom”. I was adamant about that because they already have a mother.

I was “Tan” back then and I’m “Tan” still.

Just because a person didn’t give birth to a child doesn’t mean they can not love them.

327

Gareth’s high school grad with Whitney & I in Bismarck

Or be immensely proud of them and their achievements.

10400260_58042210527_4498632_n

Whitney’s high school grad a couple of years later in Vancouver

I have loved helping raise these 2 cool young people and I have so enjoyed watching Alistair raise them and care for them, too.

They aren’t my own children but I am his partner and I worry about his worries and I’m excited for his excitements.

322

Proud Dad with Whitney’s hockey!

The main difference, which I had to remind the kids from time to time (like after the group of AAA hockey boys made a run on the Go Karts a living Hell for the owners of the place… AGAIN or the one prom night I won’t go into), was that I didn’t have that built-in ability to love them no matter what.

008

Gareth, assuring me it wasn’t going to be like the summer before when we all almost got kicked off the course… (he was very, very wrong)…

When I used to say that I didn’t want kids I would get the typical responses:

“You will change your mind when you’re all grown up.”

“Once your friends start having kids you’ll feel differently.”

“You don’t mean that.”

But I did mean it.

023

Me. Not wanting to have kids.

As years went by those comments turned bitter:

“You’re being selfish.”

“What’s wrong with you not wanting kids?”

“That isn’t normal.”

You know what, though? It IS normal for me.

I have always been career-driven and I knew, as a little girl, that children might get in the way of that.

vetpic7

One of my careers

I also knew that I was extremely motivated to succeed- whether it was on the ice, with my textbooks, coaching, writing, slinging bling- whatever.

I moved away from home at the age of 12 to pursue skating at the highest level.

I graduated high school at 16 to get going on an education.

I moved by myself to Tokyo at 19 to make some money teaching English.

015

Training & competing at as a high a level as I could dream. I couldn’t do that in my home town.

And deep down inside where you have a core that you know is your true self I knew that there was the slightest, teensiest possibility I could have a child who wouldn’t be like that.

And that would disappoint me.

And that would be wrong.

I knew that you shouldn’t ever be disappointed in your own child but there it was and I never, ever wanted to resent a child of my own.

025

4th grade boys at their track meet in Watford City

So I didn’t mind that Alistair had his own kids. Heck, they could pee and eat on their own by the time I showed up so that was a huge bonus right there!

I took an active role in their parenting and have never felt like I missed out on anything.

276

Whitney and I in Saskatoon, right around my vet school graduation!

And I absolutely love the young adults they have become and the journeys they have been on and we celebrate together in person or over a phone line or Facetime or we say goodbye to a group of animal companions that each and every one of us has loved on a sunny day with pink roses and we cry and hug together and laugh at shared memories and encourage one another’s dreams and we enjoy the good old days and the great ones now and the endless possibilities ahead.

060

Whitney & I show-girling with the Luau men on Kauai

And I appreciate how truly lucky I am to have the relationships I do with these two.

011

Vet school grad, 2005, Saskatoon

And I look forward to the times ahead… perhaps on a golf course or two…

10928194_607720194753_978925055991540343_n

We are in the process of corrupting Whitney by making her a golf addict. We had both made par on her first day playing last month!

And its still fun to look back at where we all began.

011

Hallowe’en, 1995, Watford City (goodness, there’s Rhonda again!)

And I know I am normal for me and you are normal for you.

Mulder3

Whitney & Mulder a couple of years ago visiting us in Montana

205

Gareth and the RX-7 for prom… (no, that’s not THE prom story…)

020

Much younger Gareth and much younger Boomer back in Bismarck

63085_430231100527_408608_n

Lucky stepmom, (taken a few years ago in Vancouver)

Highs & Lows

Standard
ND1

Headed East

My highs have been pretty high lately.

The entire month of March was one big tidal wave of laughter, adventure, hugs, joy and success and I’m still beaming from the experience.

Alistair and I got to spend 3 whole weeks together where we were both healthy and hospital beds weren’t involved.

002

My cool traveling buddies en route to Bismarck!

Loki, UB and I traveled back to Bismarck with him for my North Dakota book signing tour. Loki navigated the house there as if she had full vision- our little blind grand-dog is a trooper!

ND2

My view, #2

Once you leave the sky-high mountains of western Montana the terrain changes.

The road becomes straighter, the sky becomes larger,  the mountains become buttes and the fenceposts get further and further apart.

ND3

My view, #3

And then suddenly you realize you’re driving on the horizon in a straight line through the prairies.

There are few houses and few driveways.

There are miles and miles of fenceline.

There are cows, calves, horses, foals, sheep, lambs and antelope (didn’t see any antelope-lings).

There isn’t much shoulder and there’s nowhere to pull over but that doesn’t really matter because we were practically the only vehicles on the road.

038

Cocoa, Fumie, Penner, Shilo and Flash… some of my ND gang

I enjoy going back to our home in Bismarck.

I love seeing our horses and chipping golf balls at Fyfe’s Backyard Driving Range and watching prairie thunderstorms roll in.

040

Fyfe’s Backyard Driving Range. Pants optional.

I love how New Neighbor doesn’t disappoint me when I have to roll my eyes at least once at their trying-to-fit-into-the-hood-ness. This time NN came by to apologize for his dog going into our garage and tossing our garbage all over the place.

“I don’t know if he’s done that before…”

“Yes. Yes, he has, but Alistair never mentioned it.”

“Oh. Say, are you guys getting ready to go somewhere?”

(In my head I wanted to say, ‘no, I always wear sparkly jewelry and have my hair all styled with gobs of makeup on a Saturday on the farm…) Out loud I told him about my book signing.

bookevent

We got the BIG table 🙂 at Dunn Bros. coffee in Bismarck, ND! (photo by Rebecca B)

Selling and signing books I climbed that tall wave of happiness as I got to see so many people who have meant the world to me for many years.

bookevent7

Skating world and book world combined!

My top figure skaters and their moms came down and joined in the fun. We talked skating, book-writing, jewelry, coaching, college, how mothers-always-know, and high school graduation.

ND7

Leanna, me, Alicia & Andrea… 3 of my top figure skaters when I coached in Bismarck

Friends from the hockey world stopped by. Parents of players we had coached in both Watford City and Hazen.

bookevent8

Hockey friends, Sonny, Wendy and Sherry!

Friends we have known for the 15 or more years hubby has worked at his hospital, like Geneva, who was one of his first nurses.

bookevent6

Geneva, who had already read the book, sharing with me how she just started taking piano lessons!

And friends whose parents we’ve known who have grown into pretty cool adults now!

ND8

Rebecca and Ben Brick (wedding photos in a blog from last August…)

The very next day I was off to Watford City, where Alistair and I first played house back in 1994.

It was a lovely day for a 3-hour drive on roads I haven’t traveled for awhile.

Roads that have weathered many windy winters through the “Badlands” (aka North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park).

011

by The Park

010

more of the jagged, craggy landscape that has been created by forces of water and wind and boat loads of time

Although the highway was the same there are things new to the area that are almost unbelievable.

014

Sunday morning truck traffic in North Dakota

This is the heart of oil country now and while the jobs and money and people are there, it is a far cry from the Wild West we used to live in. Its progress, alright, but its a bit unsightly.

009

The landscape dotted with ‘progress’…

And even though I have read about this growth and people told me about the development I still wasn’t ready to see the “Man Camps”… where people from all over the US have settled in row after row of RVs or box-car-like homes on fields that once housed cattle.

015

Man-Camp just outside of Watford City

Once I got to Main Street, things looked more familiar and I made my way to our old house.

017

Our first home together, Watford City

The house we moved to after having just met a few months prior.

The house I got my first cat in.

Where we got our first ferret.

ND10

Gareth with Koshka and Marshal & Alistair in Watford City, 1995-ish

The house we got dressed up to go elope in when Alistair got 2 hours away from the pager.

The house where the kids came to live with us… where rugby lessons were given, hockey was played on the driveway, school was skipped for skating sessions, cookies were baked, tennis balls were thrown, dogs were walked, field trips were taken, homework was done, garter snakes and Larry the Lizard were kept and Hallowe’en Parties were held.

ND9

The Rugby Lesson, with Scottie, coach Alistair, Whitney, um… Troy? Sean, Gareth and Mychael (whose folks, Sonny and Wendy came to Bismarck’s book signing!)

ND12

Hallowe’en Party, 1995, Watford City

Its the house where our beloved Golden, Mitch, laid down by the back deck and died peacefully in his sleep one sunny afternoon.

Where I held him and cried my eyes out knowing I had to tell the kids and Alistair that our faithful companion was running free.

Mitch

Whitney & Mitch in Watford City

But its just a house, right?

I wiped my eyes and made it to the Civic Center for my book signing combined with a fundraiser.

The local paper had done an article beforehand and I got to see just about everyone from the good old days.

018

Kira, who was one of my youngest figure skating students back in “Tiny Tots” in the then-brand-new ice rink… she has since toured with Disney on Ice, graduated college and become engaged!

It was fantastic to see everyone and share my stories with them all. Some didn’t even know I’ve become a veterinarian since living in Watford City.

How everything changes while staying the same.

019

Back in shiny jewelry and makeup in Watford City! (Signing Kayla Hansen’s book while mom, Lynette took the picture)

Driving home I made a point to stop at our old farm which, happily, isn’t made into an oil field or a Man-Camp.

020

View of our old quarter-section just outside of Watford City… happily undeveloped

I smiled, with tears in my eyes when I saw Mitch’s hill and the pole that marks his final resting place.

021

We love you, Mitchie!

And then I smiled some more looking towards the taller hill by the driveway, where I rigged up a Happy Party one drizzly spring for Whitney and her girlfriends, complete with a watermelon-shaped cake and horseback rides on old Sonny.

ND13

The first ever Happy Party more than served its purpose 🙂

The highs of March continued with tremendous online sales of my Chloe + Isabel jewelry, where I made my goals and earned myself some incredible bling.

I’ve been riding that enormous wave of happiness and its been a good ride.

Its been much needed and Alistair has enjoyed sharing it with me.

ND11

Whitney & Gareth playing on one of the old cars on our ND farm back in the day

And I made the trek back to Montana with UB and Loki after they shared a fun week on the prairies, too.

Back to a home where the word, ‘attrition’ has been used too often these past few months… where it may be used again soon.

006

Casey (with Cleo) this morning

Casey’s laryngeal paralysis is finally doing what I’ve feared it would do.

How can I be surprised by something I’ve been expecting for close to 2 years?

101

Casey this winter

He isn’t able to go for our short walks without turning blue and gasping.

That’s not cool for him.

025

My old friend, Casey this winter, “helping” me shovel the decks

If he isn’t worked up he still wags his tail, leaps and devours his food; he isn’t suffering or in pain.

But he isn’t allowed to be Casey, either.

422

Casey and Dad a summer or two ago

So, unless I have to step in beforehand, I will wait for Alistair’s return this week and I will do what must be done.

Again.

Until that point you can bet Casey will be loved up the ying-yang, even if he bonks into me.

Casey3

Several years ago, air-dancing with Casey!

And I will keep on keeping-on, enjoying my high-level highs and making more adventures possible. I’m setting up an online jewelry party for the Fyfes in Scotland… talk about a high!

Mitch is going to get a kick out of Casey.

I just hope they have tennis balls in Heaven.

bookevent2

High times in Bismarck with hubby

039

View from the deck in ND

007

Casey Fyfe, a good old boy, noshing on his kibs this morning

21 Years Later…

Standard

Right around this time of year, 21 years ago, I met Alistair.

011

Some promo pics taken after the show, the night Alistair was in the stands watching

We were set up by mutual friends and we both had big things coming up in our lives that made it kind of silly to start a relationship.

I had contracted to return to Japan for 2 more ice shows starting a month after we met and he was moving to the United States.

We were going nowhere as a couple.

013

Oh, Patti…. if you only knew! (Maybe you did) 🙂

But this wonderful, fun, special friend of mine set us up.

She also helped bring me in to guest skate that night in Creston for their skating club’s annual ice show.

I had babysat Patti’s kids when they lived down the road from us in Grand Forks and we had kept in touch over the years.

That year, 1994, I was living in Nelson. I was coaching both there and in Grand Forks, which was 90 minutes over a mountain pass away.

009

One of my Nelson students, Jessica. I don’t think she’ll kill me for posting this.

I have always loved coaching. I loved helping kids achieve their goals and watching them improve and seeing the joy in their eyes when they, too, knew they had improved.

Or passed tests.

Or won medals.

010

One of my Grand Forks skaters, Tyler. I’m actually more concerned that he has the connections to kill me for posting this but he is a well-respected coach now, too, so hopefully its all good.

That was a strange year for me, spending so much time on the road in ‘Duff’, my Mercury Topaz.

I had returned from a year of teaching English in Japan with several extra pounds and no fiancée. I was a half-assed vegetarian who kind of stopped drinking for awhile.

I blamed meat and alcohol for my weight gain but, really, it was just me learning how to be an adult in a body that wasn’t training umpteen hours in a day. And, really, you can’t have Kahlua and cream every night and not pay for it.

028

One of my Nelson students, Laura. Always a pretty smile on her face and she always got the jokes.

I came back to Canada without any of the goals I’d had before I went to Japan. I’d broken up with my fiancée by phone (I sympathized with Rory McIlroy last year when he did the same… hey, sometimes its the only way, alright?) and returned without any expectation of meeting anyone.

Which is why I threw myself into my work.

Until I met this guy.

021

Schwing!

He was in the audience and our mutual friends took us out for drinks afterwards and I was leaving and he was moving and we weren’t going anywhere.

But after our first meeting he drove from Creston to Nelson to watch my big ice show there, Starstruck.

015

Me and my girls from our opening number in Startstruck, Hot Hot Hot!

The biggest show I’ve ever choreographed and produced, this was a big deal.

It was also a bit of a family affair.

018

Little sis, ready for her modeling gig in the show

My sister came in as a guest skater for the show and also did a little modeling in one of the routines.

019

Svetlana working on my sister’s ‘do for the show

My cousin, Svetlana, a stylist, donated her time and did the girls’ hair for us all.

017

Me and a very young Robyn in Nelson

Even my little cousins, Robyn and Pamela were there from Victoria and came to watch the show with their folks. (Robyn is now a major model in NYC…. I can only hope the sequins, spandex and makeup from 1994 inspired her!)

And there was Alistair… happily joining in the celebrations and helping me host my champagne breakfast and video review the following morning.

020

Some of my Grand Forks skaters at their ice show that same spring!

And then he was in Grand Forks watching me guest skate again and cheer on my students in their annual ice show a couple of weeks later.

That’s the same weekend I met his kids.

Which was a weird deal for a lot of 21 year-olds but it didn’t seem weird to me at all.

They were just his kids.

And they were pretty cute, and old enough to eat and pee on their own, which is obviously a bonus.

And they met me in sequins and spandex and fishnets and I tell you, there is something magical about that when you’re a little kid!

026

Our hotel room in Spokane with my going-away buddy, Seemore

And then he took me to the airport in Spokane and sent me on my way to Japan to be Sailor Moon and a glitzy showgirl all over again.

027

My bedmates in our little house in Japan

Without the Internet back then we wrote letters and faxes and fell deeper in love… old school style.

And when I came home 2 months later I stayed with him in his beautiful log home in Creston with his sheep, Golden Retriever, ducks, geese and horses.

And I made some changes to myself.

024

Getting a grip on who I was with a big old smile (and horribly high-waisted pants! Ick!)

And Alistair embraced my quirks and my humor and even my family.

023

Little sis and her friend and I before a ride… said Friend fell off her horse twice that day. I didn’t know that was possible, to be honest.

And we moved to the states and his kids spent the summers with us and we became our own little family and we never cared much about our age difference and I went back to school and he was a doctor and all the while he kept on supporting my skating and coaching needs.

We didn’t have an indoor ice rink in Watford City, ND, but I had brave friends from Nelson and Grand Forks who would help with that.

And hard working, incredible friends in Watford City (Tim & Wendy) who amazingly agreed to help make this fundraiser happen.

037

The first Raise The Roof ice show with Tim & Wendy (my ND support group and source of sanity), Little sis, Jen, Leslie, Laura, Shantalla and Alistair

We put Raise The Roof together, revamping that Hot Hot Hot opening number on the outdoor rink and indoors in Williston. Each of us performed solo routines as well.

030

Laura, so impressed with the outdoor rink… but still smiling!

It was cold but it was pretty awesome at the same time. People sat in their cars with their headlights on, adding to the lights of the outdoor rink for the show there.

The crack that extended across the width of the rink from the cold only became a problem when Jen got her toe pick caught.

035

So much silliness and laughter in this pic, along with so much respect for the skaters & hockey players who joined my show and performed because I asked them to.

The Watford City hockey boys were part of the show, too, and I am amazed that they participated and maybe had fun. (Pictures are from the indoor rink in Williston, where we spent the next 30 minutes signing autographs).

036

The boys and I… hard to believe they actually wanted a part of this after what I would put them through in Power Skating

And all along, Alistair has supported this.

These dreams, these zany visions and notions I have. We did a Raise The Roof the following year but none of the Nelson girls made it. My sister and a castmate from Ice Capades joined us, though, so there was some continuity.

And its crazy fun that I’m Facebook Friends with so many of the skaters in this blog (and their parents!)

What began as a blog about step-parenting turned into a stroll down Nostalgia Lane and back to the frozen world of figure skating.

022

Looking like this, you’d think I would have driven a Subaru back then (no, that’s not my car in the background…. Mercury Topaz, remember?)

It turned into a review of who I was in 1994… a young woman who had been on her own and traveled and lived and done the ice shows and been engaged and coached in two cities and drove too many miles and experimented with a variety of styles and looks and didn’t have any animal companions and finally went back to being a carnivore who enjoys her red wine.

025

Becoming Me, with Babe and Shadow along to help.

And a gorgeous boyfriend with 2 cute kids and nobody to give advice on what to do because none of my friends were going through that back then.

Sinead O’Conner sang, “How could I possibly know what I want when I was only twenty one”….

I didn’t necessarily know exactly what I wanted but I knew I was enjoying what I had.

Immensely.

With no more Kahlua and creams….

038

My show girls… before boarding the train for 2 days to get back to Spokane. Thanks, Shantalla, Diana, Laura and Jen! I think of you guys often and its always with a smile. xo