Caren Ware's Blog

March 10, 2015

FINDING FIT in small towns. Meet my friends, the Whitley’s

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:42 am

Sandpoint, Idaho. IMG_3011 IMG_3010 IMG_3009 IMG_3004 IMG_3002 IMG_3005 IMG_2998 IMG_2987 IMG_2974 IMG_2982 IMG_2960 IMG_2958 IMG_2957 IMG_2952 IMG_2950 IMG_2949  IMG_2953 IMG_2941 IMG_2942 IMG_2939 IMG_2938

As I whirl through this year ( pulling together the real stories and the realities of travel, the raising of my kids and ‘the boys’, taking in so many exchange students and needs, working on my daughter’s wedding and graduation)  I see what is so charactieriscally me… one open weekend and a small sliver window of time.  And what do I do?  I am on an airplane headed to Spokane, a rental car in reserve, and driving toward the Canadian border.  I am taking Paul to meet a town and my friends, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint nestles along a corner of  Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth deepest lake in our nation with silhouetted mountains as the backdrop.  You can hear the Canadian honkers and watch Bald Eagles soar while dodging the deer and moose.  Feel hometown American; hard working people that ride their mountain bikes and ski  Schweitzer Mountain Resort. A banner announces the Gun and Horn Show. Great restaurants with live music are just part of Sandpoint, Idaho.  But it’s the Whitley’s that draw me here.  They are dear friends and amazing athletes.One of the daughter’s and  the mom coach a gymnastics studio.  Another does graphic, fashion design and her beauty and poise is amazing when captured on film. And the son fights fires, skis back country, and did hugs, hellos, and a bar be que than headed off on an all night drive to Seattle to be able to compete in that city’s stair climb. Not to compete, but to win it. I have plenty to say able the depth and uniqueness of this family, but in one sentence.  They give back.  They coach, mentor, and build confidences in whomever has the privilege to brush with their talents in an obscure, almost hidden place. We shared treasured moments at the tippy top handle of Idaho.  A pure delight to witness kids giggling and team cheering at their gymnastics studio . Being homeschooled, the mom built in a lifestyle long before daily workouts became a popular norm.  The years of layering makes extraordinary. To see the conditioning and craft of  silk acrobatics by Chantel Whitley. Disciplined and driven beyond most,  but balanced with the ability to enjoy, celebrate living, and relax.  We chat over specialty roasted  coffee at the ranch with Bo and Michael.  Witness the love for  their Lord and  livestock.  Oh, to find Schweitzer  mushy and pitted with mud. Skiing did  not  take on the form of worthwhile snowfall this season. But  you know  what?   I had a better time just spending time with people. And learning Adventure is not always on other continents.  It can be in what we make of our own backyards. I am enjoying exploring the USA.  I am enjoying rekindling friendships. It really is about the people.

 

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