creston, bc was to be our next adventure. but i was sad to leave that bridge over the kettle river in grand forks. it was just so much fun. creston turned out to be another fun little town, though. plus, even if i didn't like it we wouldn't have had to stay long! (perks of being a gypsy you guys).

this little town holds some dear memories for me. it had so much character. it was just like, the flowers on the street lights and the old time theater. you know? mostly though, i just loved running in the morning with my husband. we ran every single morning while we were there and it was fun! amazingly. and one morning we saw this:

which reminded us of our dear friends who left us while we were in chase. and it made us sad. but also happy because they are such good friends and we can't wait to hang out with them again this winter!!

a funny story from creston...

one day i decided that i was going to be productive and do some laundry. so, i loaded up all the clothes into our laundry basket, grabbed the detergent, bleach, oxy-clean spray (because duh, that stuff does wonders), and fabric softener (because, well, no one hates soft clothes!). so i proceeded out the door awkwardly holding all of these laundry supplies in my hands because our basket was too full to try and fit them in there.

now, the laundromat was across the highway from where we were staying, right next to the dairy queen; where, mind you, a group of four old men sat everyday for hours eating their vanilla cones and talking up the talk. what they were discussing for that long none of us will ever know. but they were there nonetheless, every single day, for hours. like i said.

so as i am approaching the crosswalk right in front of the men, something horrible happens. my hands start feeling like they were going to give up on holding all that bleach and detergent and oxy-clean spray and fabric softener and dryer sheets! (which i forgot to mention earlier, but as you can see we like our clothes extra soft around here). and i was thinking, oh no! am i going to have to set all of this stuff down in the middle of the street right now and rearrange in front of all of these old men who will most certainly talk about this for days, even weeks, to come!? *breath*

but instead i gritted my teeth and i held on and kept holding on until i had safely kicked open the door to the laundromat, thrust my way inside and set all of my clothes-cleaning supplies down on a folding table like a real-life classy lady. and then i realized that classy ladies probably don't parade their dirty laundry across main street in downtown creston. and then i looked down and in my attempt to keep the bleach steady, i had somehow gotten some on the front of my shirt.

but i didn't want to take the car, because it was just right across the street... you know?

creston in my mind:
yoga in the park
lemon scones
hauling that laundry
running in the mornings
the old guy who gave us the door & his story
reading the kitchen house
midnight movie
summer night walk
the mosquitos (sooo many of them)
ticket to ride, like every night
those old guys in front of dairy queen
becoming the oa
those dishes. ugh.


Grand Forks

we left greenwood on monday morning (july ninth) and headed to grand forks, bc which was only about 30 minutes away. thank goodness! grand forks was hot, hot, hotttt. and i loved it. summer doesn't start feeling like summer in canada until about july and man did it hit us full force in grand forks. we were right on the border and so i think we were getting some of that southern heat ;)

we took full advantage of the warmth and one morning we went down to the kettle river to swim and swing off the rope swing. when we got there plans changed a little bit though. we ended up jumping off of this bridge instead.

now, i know it doesn't look that tall, but trust me--it is. when you are standing out on that platform looking at the water rush underneath you it feels like the scariest thing in the world. really. it's about 30 feet high and the scariest part is having to swim as fast as you can to get to shore (that little patch of sand you can see in the top pic) before you get whisked away down the river too far. it was exhilarating, and also exhausting. but i had so much fun!

so we jumped and swam and jumped and swam and the more we did it, the more i felt like summer was finally here. while we were busy playing in the river, peyton was busy playing in the sand. she was digging and rolling around and just going crazy. i think it was the best day of her puppy life. so before we left we decided to let her try her paw at swimming and see if we could wash the sand off of her better. at first i don't think she was too sure, but once she got the hang of it she decided she liked the water.

this little girl played sooo hard that she slept for almost the whole rest of the day. it was the cutest thing ever--in the entire history of the world. yawning, sluggish, exhausted puppies are the b e s t!

later that week we broke down and finally decided to put a collar on peyton. not sure she liked it, but we knew it had to happen. she grew so much that week and we are continually amazed at how big she is getting every single day! blows my mind! lot's of firsts for her this week. first swim, first collar... ugh. growing up way way way too fast!

grand forks memories:
church in here
peyton's first swim
the collar
fishing angels
those kids
peyton under that bush. sigh.
a drive to washington
reading  the peacegiver
night jumping at the bridge
a fire by the river  & hot dogs
all those deer
that thunderstorm
the love shack



when i came back to canada and saw samuel again, i had never been more happy to see anyone in my entire life. i know we were only apart for a week. but so much happened in that week!! i had new lessons in my head and that freshly hydrated plot of earth deep down inside of me, and basically a new heart. he just held me for a long long time and i breathed in his smell and ran my fingers through his hair. this was home, i decided. right here in these arms. it's where i had always wanted to be, and i was overjoyed to be back.

samuel was still in greenwood when i returned, and i am so happy he was. that place is awesome. it is an old mining town that has shrunk significantly since its big mining boom in the 1890s. they call it "canada's smallest city" because when it was incorporated as a city the population was more than double what it is now, and they were able to keep the title of "city" even though the population declined so much. places with populations similar to greenwood’s are usually called "districts" or "villages" in canada. the history was all very interesting. you can read about it here, if you like.

what intrigued me most about their history was the fact that 1,200 japanese canadians were sent to greenwood in 1942 during world war II. it was mostly interesting because for a town of about 625 people there are actually quite a few japanese families that still live there. i think it is so fascinating that even though these people were forced to greenwood they chose to stay there for the remainder of their lives instead of leave.

another interesting fact about greenwood is that it has “the best tasting water in the world.” no really, this is a thing. they actually won some sort of contest or experiment where one lucky soul got to travel around and taste the water of every little tiny town and city and determine that this place took the cake. er, water.

or did they just sit at home while all of these cities sent in samples of their tap water? (whoever they is, i don’t know). so all they had to do was sip water samples all day and cross their fingers that they didn’t get some sort of harmful bacteria in one. and what kind of criteria would a person judge this water on anyway? is it solely a matter of opinion or is there some sort of scientific equation or algorithm that determines the winner? these are the sort of questions that keep me up at night people. i know, like i said, i think too much.

so anyway. there are a lot of rad buildings in greenwood. sam and i drove around town and took pictures of some of them. then we enjoyed a delicious burger at deadwood junction, which is probably one of the coolest burger joints i’ve been to. and they have all kinds of homemade spices and dog bones and antiques and awesomeness. it’s a pretty nifty place so if you ever make it to greenwood, bc you should probably check it out.

greenwood memories:
that amazingly strong woman and her son
$6.50 blast off! cones (oops)
in his arms again
peyton! learning how to be a good puppy
a drive in the hills
the day at christina lake


like desert rain.

my forth of july in nevada was much needed and well worth all the extra traveling. sometimes you just need to go home to clear your head and catch your breath. the only thing was, i really missed that husband of mine. so the next afternoon (the fifth) i headed to reno in megan's car to meet up with logan (her fiance). logan had come down for his grandma's funeral and so we decided we would drive back to canada together.

one thing about growing up in rural nevada is that you learn to adapt to having to drive a really long way to go... basically anywhere. the closest walmart is like, three hours away. just sayin'. so being that i am such a great adapter (*cough*), i now love driving. but i don't just love driving in general, i love driving in nevada. there is nothing like coming out of a mountain pass, down into a valley and seeing the whole big, wide open landscape in front of you. i love all the trees and green in canada. but i missed those views. the endless sky that makes it seem like you can see on and on forever and the way the road just lays straight out in front of you for miles until in the distance you can see it start to curve up into the next pass. it's perfect.

it was amazingly comforting and oddly therapeutic--my drive across that big desert. there is such a huge part of me on that lonely highway 50. sometimes--especially early in the morning--it literally feels like you're the only person left in the world. just you and all that sky. i've made that drive more times than i can count, and it seems that each time i have, i haven't been the same keisha. there is no place that i can think better than on that road. and i can't explain it. i'm trying... but i'm not saying it right. and maybe no one will ever know how it feels or what i am talking about, and that's ok. because i do. 

but this particular drive was different. because i had never been more different than those other keishas. for heaven's sake my name wasn't even the same. it was more than that, though. it was the fact that i was going back to a place where i changed so much. and it was weird. really, it was. the only thing more perfect than those views on that drive was when a small miracle happened. right on my windshield. i know, i was honored. it was the tick, tick, tick sound of little rain drops falling from the sky. and for the first time since april the desert was getting some rain. next thing i knew there was a rainbow on my right, and a rainbow on my left, and my windows were down--in the rain. i rode like that for a long, long time, and just thought. like i always do.

the air was heavy with the scent of sagebrush and wet dust (if you live in nevada you know what i mean). there is nothing like it. it's different than rain in washington, or in canada where i had just come from. there, it rains all the time. sometimes too much... but out here? it's something special. and it was extra special to me that day. there was something inside of me that needed to be there for that. i can't really understand why, maybe i never will. but if i could try....i'd say that the desert was like something inside of me. something that had been sitting there for months and maybe even years, thirsting and dying from the lack of something (not particularly rain, but...). all these other parts of me were well watered. they were cared for and nourished, but this one patch of dry desert earth was still cracked and dry. and then, before i even knew what was happening i started to feel the healing in that piece of earth. i could almost see it, soaking up that water and those cracks disappearing. and there was wholeness. and it felt so good.

i pulled in to town and all of the familiar sights and sounds and the way the freeway turns there and this exit, and that sign, and remember when, and my mind was just a jumbled mess. i had a life there. in reno. but it wasn't my life anymore. but it was still a little part of my life. and it was weird. i was so far away from all of that, but just being there pulled me into a pool of memories. there wasn't closure there, in reno. there was closure with the people that i left behind, and there was closure with the university i un-enrolled from. but not with this city. i left hastily. one day, after my last final, i was packed up and gone. and i knew deep down i wasn't ever coming back, and nothing would ever be the same, but i didn't let myself really know it.

and then now that i was back i didn't know how to feel about it. until that night when i was trying to fall asleep; restless, and anxious to go to the temple the next day. i lay there and those feelings from the desert rain came flooding over me. and i felt that again, that wholeness. and i knew it was okay to close that chapter. and i knew that all those other well-watered plots inside of me were the right ones. and i felt that healing in the dry, cracked plot of earth deep down in there, somewhere. and i knew that i had made the right choices. and a little voice whispered, "it's okay to feel this way, and it's okay to let go, too." and then i slept.

and the next day, i was finally here. in the most wonderful place. and there was only... p e a c e.


everyone wants a broke horse.

i had my mom's boots on and the wind was blowing so hard i could feel the dirt sticking to my sweaty face. i knew that it was also slowly whipping my hair into thinly dirt coated knots. i knew because it had happened so many times before. after you finally push a heard of cows off the range and get off your horse, you know that if you look closely in the mirror you would be able to see the dirt clinging to your face and with one touch to your head you know your hair is holding more dirt than what's on the bottom of your boots.

i missed that feeling. and i reveled in it as i sat on that tire and watched my dad turn this gelding in circles with only his hands. i wanted so badly to get up on that beast and feel his unruly power underneath me. i wanted that rush. i wanted to be on a horse again so badly, but i knew it was stupid. carmelo hadn't even ever had a saddle on his back, let alone a rider.

so i watched as my dad kept working, and working, until finally he got far enough to lay across the horses back (still no saddle). i couldn't believe it. and it didn't stop there. after only a couple of hours we had him saddled. and after a few jumpy circles in the round corral carmelo settled down and finally let samuel mount him. i was in disbelief. only a few short hours ago this horse was running around aimlessly and was pretty skitish, now my dad was leading him around with my little brother on its back?

it was beautiful. the whole process. from getting carmelo to turn this way and that by the point of a finger, to getting him to come to my dad with the click of his tongue. i hadn't seen so much raw.. progress in months. it was astounding. finally, i knew what i had to do. i jumped down off that tire and walked up to that horse. my dad kind of looked at me with a questioning sideways glance, but i nodded my head and he knew. next thing i knew i was climbing on top of carmelo's warm back. every breath he took made my legs go in and out and i could feel his racing heart beat while his heavy breaths rang in my ears. this was happening.

we were out in the middle of nowhere, and no one was saying a word. just us and the desert. i sat atop carmelo and my dad turned him right and left as i applied pressure to the appropriate side with my foot. i just soaked in the smells, the dust being stirred up from carmelo's foot steps, and the experience of the change that had just taken place in this beast. he was finally broken.

as i swung my leg over his back to dismount, i glanced up at my dad with such admiration. how does he do it? how do you make an animal obey you, respect you, tolerate you this way? i was in awe. at this man that i am lucky enough to call my dad, and at carmelo's calmness--after all of that. we've broken horses together before, my dad and me--but never like this. what i remember before is a few bucks, a mouth full of dirt, and a "get back on," from my dad. this was different. this was elegant. this was artistic. i guess my dad's just getting smarter about horses, or horses are getting smarter about my dad. who really knows?

all i know is that what my dad said as we walked away from the pen that carmelo was safely locked up in has stuck in my mind since that evening. "well, everyone wants a broke horse," he said. and it stuck. just like i said, it's been there ever since. i don't know why, but i mused on it all night. i always think too much, about everything. if you know me at all you know that. but i twisted and turned that sentence in my mind over and over again until it was so pliable i could have made it into a pretzel.

and that pretzel looked like a stark realization. nothing comes easy. and i know people say that all the time, but after this day it hit me like a ton of bricks. everything requires effort, talent, practice, work. you have to develop relationships. work at them. cultivate them. just like breaking a horse.

and just like breaking a horse, you have to train yourself as well. happiness, contentment. these things don't just happen. your disposition is something that you have to refine. moods that are easy aren't the good ones. being angry, being sad, those emotions are easy to feel. being happy, being positive is something you have to work at.

my dad was so right though. everyone wants it easy. they want the easy way out of their problems, the easy way to have fun... everyone wants a broke horse. that's the problem with our society. that's why our nation is so far in debt, that's why the divorce rate is through the roof, that's why people lie and steal. it's just so much easier.

the fourth of july, in america.

after we left chase, samuel headed down to greenwood and on the way dropped megan and i off in kelowna at the airport so we could go home for the fourth of july. now, there are a lot of things i have loved about canada, but i was so excited to go home for america's birthday. you don't even know.

so after a long night at the airport, on literally no sleep megan and i finally landed in vegas on monday morning (the first). i can't even explain the feelings that came over me when i stepped out of that airport. i took a deep breath of that hot, dry desert air and just sighed. i was really home, sort of. i wasn't even mad that we had to sit in the heat for a few minutes waiting for my mom. i felt like my skin was just drinking in the heat, and maybe my heart was too.

when we landed in seattle i walked off the plane and saw this. i wanted to kiss the ground. missed the usa so much!
it's a weird thing, leaving a place that is so familiar to you. you don't realize how comfortable you are there until you leave for awhile. all my longing for the desert was all the sudden quenched just sitting on that bench outside of passenger pick up. i still remember the old van pulling up and a little tanned  odey (odessa) jumping out to give me a hug. couldn't believe how tall her and sam had both gotten in just a few months! boy oh boy was i happy to see them. they are so amazing. there is nothing better than happy, smiling children greeting you like it's christmas morning and you are the best present they have ever gotten.

then it was a trip to the mechanic to get the ac fixed (thank goodness) and one amazing dinner at cafe rio. i really thought i was dreaming after that first bite. finally some good mexican food! and horchata! i was in heaven. after we gorged ourselves we then took a drive to see my dear friend camille and her family. it was so nice to catch up with them, not to mention partake of here mom's amazing cooking!

my whole goal going home was to go to the temple. that is all i wanted to do, and so badly that my heart ached for it. i hadn't had a chance to go since we were married and i was so longing for those feelings, especially being far from home in a different country. so we decided to stay the night since the temple is closed on monday's and go to a session the next morning. meanwhile my siblings took full advantage of camille's family pool. so fun.

the next morning my mom and i got dressed up and made the drive across the valley to the hill where the temple stands. it was so beautiful i could have cried...and then, almost did when we found out it was closed for renovations. talk about a bummer. so we did what all good women do, we went shopping!

that night we headed back to the ranch and every mile we drove seemed to elevate my spirits. gosh, i really miss that place. we pulled in late, and all i did was unpack and go to bed, but it felt so good to be back in that place. the next day was the forth of july, and usually it's a big deal and we go to the parade and are busy all day... but not this year. this year called for some good quality together time, doing something we all love--breaking a horse.
click on "breaking a horse" to read the extended post.



after vernon and lumby we made the short trek to chase, which is a small town to the north west of vernon. on the way to our new home-for-a-while, we stopped at the Route 97 50's Ice Cream Parlor & Diner and ate the best burgers around. i can almost taste the juicy goodness just thinking about it. is it bad that i dream regularly about shoving a bite of that thing into my mouth?

not only did we eat an amazing burger at this place, but it was on this fateful day (june 24th) that we discovered blast-off ice cream. here in this very restaurant. our lives would never be the same. this stuff is seriously so so sooo good. samuel and i are both heavily addicted.

chase is also a really small town (go figure). and it was so sad to see so many people's homes being flooded by little shuswap lake. it was kind of crazy because people were sandbagging their property lines while i was on the phone with my dad in nevada who was telling me that it hadn't rained since april. (post coming about this later). people in chase were praying for the rain to stop and my family back home was praying for the rain to come. funny how things work, isn't it?

i will forever have a special place in my heart for chase, though. this is because our family grew here. yep, we got our little puppy peyton in this town and i am so glad that we did. she brings so much fun into our lives and is just so smart and loyal and loving. we really like her if you can't tell.. ;)

chase was:
a puppy
the chiropractor on the lake
on our own
sitting at that table
a long walk
megan's birthday
friends leaving
photos of peyton courtesy of devon kendall.