Friday, August 30, 2013

McKenna and Whitney

There was time when McKenna loved to take pictures with her father, but now she hides her face whenever the camera appears. It seems we have to practically beg, even to take family pictures, but once in a while, she finally consents, "Okay, just one." These are rare moments, but much appreciated. 

I took these pictures yesterday, and I love this one of my girls. We took these pictures at my step-father's land near Usk, Washington. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


After the Riverfront Powwow, we went to Cheney to visit our niece. Just as were getting out of the car, I looked out and saw the sun setting over a beautiful wheat field. I motioned for Dakota to follow for another impromptu photo session. 

I was still dressed for the powwow, so it made a wonderful opportunity for a new picture. I rarely wear two braids, but that day it turned out perfect. 

The sunset over head of wheat. 


I made a brief appearance at the Riverfront Powwow this year, just long enough to see a few dances and visit friends and relatives. I believe this photograph was from the prairie chicken competition. 

Grand Coulee Dam

After we left Dry Falls, we continued driving to Grand Coulee Dam to see the laser show. I had forgotten how much the presentation is really a propaganda piece for the American colonial domination of the Columbia River. I mean, the lasers are fun to watch, but it was depressing to hear the narrator describe the destruction of the tribal lifeways, not to mention the salmon - only to then justify that destruction. If "man" had not tamed the "wild" waters of the Columbia, the desert would have never reached its full "potential," or so they said. They even said that "man" did what nature could not accomplish when it provided "rain" to the parched soil of central Washington in the form of irrigation. I suppose in their mind the economic benefit of the dam outweigh the cultural and ecological destruction of that massive structure. 

I really didn't like the show, but much to my surprise, my youngest daughter also expressed her displeasure. She said, "I hated that show. They made it sound like God: 'I am the river; I am life,'" she mocked the deep, god-like voice of the narrator. Then she said, "When I grow up, my kids are never allowed to watch that show."

Dry Falls

As the sun fell below the horizon, we watched the last light descend over Dry Falls. My daughter asked me to pose for this picture with her. 


Rhonda and I overlooking Dry Falls. 

McKenna finally let me take one picture. 

Lake Lenore Caves

Lake Lenore Caves overlook the highway part way between Soap Lake and Coulee City. We arrived just before sunset, during the so-called "golden hour" of photography. This provided the backdrop for another impromptu photography session with Dakota. We parked at the base and then hiked up the trail toward the caves. 

We had originally stopped for Dakota's senior pictures, but Whitney also climbed the hill. When I saw her beautiful long hair blowing in the wind and the golden highlights of the sunset, I had to take some pictures of her too. 

It was a beautiful day with my beautiful family. I only wish McKenna would let me take more pictures of her. She is always missing from our family pictures - by her own choice.  

The Davenport

These photographs were taken at the Davenport Hotel,
 adding a more classical atmosphere. 

Glass Alley

Dakota started his senior pictures at "Glass Alley" in downtown Spokane. I say that he started his senior pictures because his father sometimes acts the part of a photographer, which means that he is not restricted to the time limits of a professional studio. For the last few days, we have rushed off to whatever background idea that comes to mind. I have truly enjoyed the spontaneity and combined creativity of these photo shoots. 

He finished his first installment at a place known informally as "Glass Alley," just across the street from the Old Spaghetti Factory. It is named for the broken glass that often litters the ground. 

These pictures suggest a certain urban flair. 

We stopped at other alleyways...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Afternoon Hike

Sadly, I have not gone hiking nearly as much as I like, but this afternoon, I had to put away all excuses and go back into nature to collect my senses. It's something I never regret. The plants, flowers, and medicines bring me back to my spirit. 

Wild mint flower.

Wild mint.

Wild mint. 

Stinging nettle.

There was a patch of teasel that was literally crawling with grasshoppers. It was the strangest thing...

...and a little bit creepy. 


My daughter and I went to Unity in the Community a few days ago, but I'm sad to say that I was a little disappointed. All we got to see was the end of a hula dance and a lone Thai dancer (below) with an audience of about seven people. Maybe we showed up at the wrong time - I don't know. Even so, my daughter and I had a really great time just spending the day together. 

A young Thai dancer - very graceful. 

The old American Pavilion
(From Expo '74). 

The hood ornament from a car. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Yesterday, Rhonda and I had the chance to watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Spokane's Civic Theater. We had already seen it once before during the dress rehearsal, and of course, we saw it multiple times years ago when it was performed by the kids at CYT. Even after watching this production maybe ten or twelve times, I've decided that Joseph is my favorite musical. 

Actually, Joseph is my favorite story from the Bible. If you go back and read the biblical account, Joseph's family displays a level of dysfunction not unlike an American soap opera: jealousy, betrayal, violence, physical abuse, deception, seduction, and ultimately forgiveness. I relate to Joseph, especially to his prophetic dreams.

Years ago, I first seriously read the story of Joseph on my mission. I was riding a chicken bus in western Guatemala and passing time by reading the Bible. The story of Joseph came alive, almost as if I had never seen it before. More powerfully, I saw something of myself in the story. By the time I reached Genesis chapter 45, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers, long after their betrayal, and wept. I don't know what came over me, but I sat there on the bus bawling. All these years later, I still cry when I read the story. I even cry during the scene of the play when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers - no matter how many times I watch the story.  

Dakota singing "Those Canaan Days." 

The brothers groveled before Joseph
in fulfillment of his dream. 


The Civic. 


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