Making good Mondays is like making coffee -


The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

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Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More about my Wyoming trip

A conversation with Joe, a blog friend, is the inspiration for today's post, along with the first cool day of fall, my favorite season. It made me realize that my summer is almost over and so is the time to finish this piece. First, the dialogue.

Joe's comment: Spadoman has left a new comment on your post "“What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Sounds like you could go on and tell more of each of your experiences, and summer isn't over yet. I'd like to hear more about your visit to the Sundance. I went to one too, and I am leaving for a Pow Wow this Friday. Spent a lot of time in Wyoming. I like Thermopolis, Riverton, Lander and up in the Big Horns.
Peace.
Posted by Spadoman to MAKING GOOD MONDAYS at 8/06/2008 6:24 AM

My reply: Carol Gee has left a new comment on your post "“What did you do on your summer vacation?”"
Thanks for the idea - I will expand the bullets for my next post.
Have fun at the Pow Wow and Peace to you, too.

Posted by Carol Gee to MAKING GOOD MONDAYS at 8/06/2008 8:10 AM

More of Wyoming in summer --
I spent my entire childhood in Wyoming, except for a year and a half in Texas in my early teens. Lander is my birthplace, Riverton was for shopping, and up in the Big Horns was where we camped out in a tent. I like Thermopolis' Hot Springs and proximity to Wind River Canyon, a spectacular drive, every time I make it.


















Wind River Canyon


The Sundance
(Sundance lodge photo from the website)

Though I am not Native American, I grew up on the Wind River Reservation, shared home to the Northern Arapaho and Shoshone tribes, as well as an oil field, and non-native deeded farm and ranch land. My visit to the Sun Dance was interesting, and quietly spiritual, though I was not there during any ceremonies. We only drove through the area. I have attended many Pow Wows over the years and they are very different experiences, much more festive and open. Here is what the Legends of America website has to say about the Sun Dance:

The tribe lived together in small bands, predominantly determined by birth. However, members were free to move between bands at will. Once a year all of the bands would congregate together for the Sun Dance festival, an eight day event at the time of the Summer Solstice. The festival preceded the great summer buffalo hunt. In the middle of the camp, a large open air Sun Dance Lodge would be constructed of wooden poles with the Sun Dance pole standing in the middle. Individual teepees would be erected around the lodge in a large circle.
The participants of the dance fasted during the dance and painted their bodies in symbolic colors. Dressed in aprons, wristlets and anklets the dancers would stare at the Sun while dancing hypnotically before being impaled to the Sun Dance pole by way of tiny stakes punctured into the skin. The Sun Dancer was not to show any signs of pain during the ritual and, if able to do so, would be rewarded with a vision from the Great Spirit.

The annual Sun Dance was their greatest tribal ceremony but they were also active proponents of the Ghost Dance religion when it was made popular in the 1880s.

Thermopolis Hot Springs, "the world's largest."
Many go there for healing. The park is a lovely place for a family gathering or a stroll or a picnic.

• I visited my relatives -- my mom, my brother and two sisters and several nieces and nephews. Mom lived in Thermopolis for a time, near the Hot Springs. My sister lives there now, and is an avid gardener. My brother lives in Casper and my other sister in Lander. I doubt if any of them would live in any other state.

• I come from a family that enjoys good home cooked food. My mom taught us girls how to cook. My sister and I prepared meals for our family at teens, and she later was a professional cook. Growing up, much of what we ate was grown in the garden Mom tended. Our meat came from the animals we raised. Our eggs from the nests and milk from the cow. Horses powered the far equipment, and later, a John Deere tractor. We had a horse to ride, also.

• I hated to leave Wyoming’s clear skies and rugged Rocky Mountains. But it was time to come home to Texas, where I have lived happily for over fifty years. When I return I will again sit by the river, and feel the cool breezes in the evening, and be grateful for both places.

Peace to you, Spadoman, and to all others who happened by this site.

4 comments:

Paola said...

Wow… those are the sweet memories of your vacation trip.

Carol Gee said...

Yes, the memories are sweet. I enjoyed writing this post. Thanks.

Spadoman said...

When I travel West, I wander through Wyoming. I have a good friend in Lusk. I usually take one of the three US highways through the Big Horn Mountains. 14A way up North takes you to the Medicine wheel, an ancient rock laden structure laid out like spokes on a wheel. 14 through the beautiful mountains and 16, the Southern route, which goes through Ten Sleep and Worland, the most direct trail to Thermopolis and the fabulous healing hot springs. From there, it's South through Riverton and a steak dinner at The Bull, or try to catch breakfast in Lander.

I just can't believe how small the world is. I was just there, and you're from there. Maybe it's your spirit that makes it feel so welcome when I pass through.

Now, you'll tell me you live in the Texas hill country, another playground of mine from time to time. New Braunfels? It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Peace to all.

Carol Gee said...

Wyoming is a good place to wander, for sure. It is a good idea to be on a bike or have a tank full of gas, because it can be a long way between filling stations.
I have not visited the Medicine Wheel. Living in the state only as a child & teen, I did not understand the significance yet.
Regarding spirits present in a place, I am a Jungian, which means I believe in the collective unconscious, into which all of us can tap. Thanks for your very kind words. And Peace to you.

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.