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Wyoming – the Crossroads of the World!

Posted by Administrator on Mon, Apr 01 2013 12:24:00

Well, not exactly.  But I was looking at our bookings for 2013 and so far we’ve got more than 25 sets of folks from Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and Lapland (really!).  The European countries included Italy, German and the UK (the largest number of guests).  Now this doesn’t include any of our friends in the Northern Provinces – but Canadians, like Americans can be counted on to pass through, because Wyoming and Sheridan is on the way to everything worth seeing in the US of A.

Our International guests enrich breakfast table and front porch conversations with differing viewpoints.  Want to talk about freedom?  Share a cup of coffee with someone who grew up in East Germany or the Soviet Union.  Wondering about the balance of trade with China?, talk to a Taiwanese.  Want first-hand reports on the economic problems of the Eurozone?  Visit as we did with Italians.  The best way to see Paris?, set in our front porch rocking chairs with a Frenchmen (and Frenchwomen).

We have neighborhood kids who know they can stop by and get a geography lesson from somebody who grew up in the countries they are studying, and also a bit of history too.  Sheridan intrigues many international guests, so they learn too, sometimes from the kids in the neighborhood.

How cool is that?

Springtime Reminders

Posted by Administrator on Sun, Mar 03 2013 14:17:00

This is Wyoming, so I KNOW we’ll probably have one more big, wet, slushy snow.   But right now our snow is melting quickly, and I’m reminded of spring.  This weekend, gutters are flowing with melted snow, Sheridan High School had its Spring musical and Rodeo tickets went on sale at  sheridanwyorodeo.com

Forget Puxatawney Phil and the calendar, spring is on the way.

That’s why Bev had Harry and I up on ladders this weekend painting one of the bedrooms, that’s why he and I took a bunch of stuff out of the basement and the shed, and that’s why I decided not to refill the van’s windshield washer reservoir with minus 20F fluid.

Spring is on the way.

The porch needs to be power washed, the rocking chairs need to be cleaned up, for Spring is on the way.   I’m getting more calls from folks interested in the B&B and wanting to know travel times and distances to and from Sheridan.

This year is going to be a blast at Residence Hill, and Spring is on the way.

This Old House… Leaks

Posted by Administrator on Tue, Feb 12 2013 12:46:00

Bev and I are never shy about telling people about this great old house.  So when a local TV reporter called wanting to feature our house as the subject of an energy audit, we said yes.  We’ve replaced at least twenty windows with modern thermopane inserts, added insulation, upgraded most of the electrical wiring and all the plumbing, and put spray foam and insulation in numerous nooks and crannies. Mike Stark and John Snyder

Johns Snyder of Green Steps showed me we’ve got more to do.  In fact, he told me if all the warm air leaking gaps and holes in this old house were added together, they’d be as large as a medium sized window.  Ouch.  This old house leaks.  The good news is I can do the work myself, and over time an investment of less than $500 and 100 or so hours labor will pay itself off the first year.

The audit and our conversation was recorded by Mike Stark of KOTA-TV in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Mike’s story will air next week some time, and maybe others will see how the little air leaks add up.Mike Stark white balancing his camera.

So even though we’ve got the big things done on this house, I’ve got a lot of little things to do.  I’ve often said the local lumber yard should give me a designated parking spot, for I seem to go there a lot.  After next week, when Mike Stark and KOTA make me famous, I may ask for valet parking!

Sunrise

Posted by Administrator on Sun, Jan 06 2013 16:39:00

At 7:15 this morning I was driving up the hill on Fort Road to the V.A. hospital where I am blessed to work with ‘my’ veterans.

Behind me, the eastern sky was ablaze in hues of red and orange, for the sun was just coming up, peeking ‘neath a layer of clouds and painting them gloriously.  Spectacular, I thought, followed by “thank you Father!”, followed by “why don’t I have a camera?”.

A week ago we were readying in for the last day of 2012, one of the most contentious years in my half century of memory. Syria in upheaval, Egypt’s fledgling democracy tottering, east coast Americans still homeless because of a gal named Sandy, the vapors of a bitter, bitter presidential election still smelling up the land I love.

And yet, there was this sunrise in January 2013.  Gorgeous, free, unexpected.  If I’d been home I could have seen it painting the peaks of the old Benham house in fiery colors.  I might have ruminated about all the other times Ol Sol had done precisely that – painted that old house in resplendent hues.  Maybe Carrie Benham saw those colors in 1920, or Beatrice Crane spied them in 1941.  Did Marguerite Perkins look on the spectacle in 1950?  Did Rosemary Perkins Flanigan admire them in 1963 or perhaps did Dr. Williams and Cherry see them in 1975?  Maybe the Morrises in 1978 or the Caldwells in 1984 or the Koesters in 1995 looked at those colors and wondered as I did how and why God chose to paint our mornings.

Maybe it’s a January reminder, when the year has been tough.  A reminder that some of the best things come about without,and in spite of, human intervention.  This is a reminder that no matter how hard our race labors to mess things up, there’s a grand painter up above with an untold array of colors and textures who chooses to use our earth, His creation, as his canvas.

Our job is to appreciate His sunrise.

New Years Day, 2013

Posted by Administrator on Tue, Jan 01 2013 07:05:00

So its Tuesday morning, Jan 1, 2013.  The nation has gone over the ‘fiscal cliff’, the Mayan Calendar end-of-the-world came and went, we had a most contentious Presidential election, and Hostess isn’t making Twinkies in the US any more.

Yet we live.

As the sun rises in the eastern sky Wyoming remains a place of promise and hope.  On this cold winter morning, nothing is moving except a lone car crunching snow on Thurmond hill.  Certainly, the best thing to do is stay inside enjoying  a cup of fresh coffee.  My thoughts wander like a hawk catching an updraft, rising steadily, then turning on one wing to swoop down on a target, but then turning again to find  another rise of wind.

The house breaths.

There’s movement upstairs.  Someone is up.  This day has promise for them as they travel across Wyoming to a new place.  A new year, a new place, maybe a new life.

There is promise.

This old house has seen 104 New Years Days.  Every one held secrets that were only revealed when their time came. Love, pain, birth, death.  Joy, sorrow, fun, silence.  How many New Years resolutions?  How many Christmas ornaments put away?  How many pancakes, cups of coffee, shovels full of snow?

There is consistency.

Sunlight splits into a rainbow on the entry way floor because the cut glass requires it.  There’s a shallow bowl in the center of each oak stair where thousands of feet have stepped.  They creak now as someone descends toward breakfast.

Bev will visit in the kitchen, giving me a few more minutes to savor the newness I sense.  But then I’ve got my own chores to do.

Living requires movement.

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