Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snowy Morning

Milo and I arose early this morning.  We knew we had to climb out of the nice warm bed.  The snowstorm that started just after dark yesterday was still going this morning.  There was work to be done before we could start down the driveway.  Eight inches of beautiful white snow greeted us as we opened the front door.  I grabbed the snow shovel as Milo bounced off the porch.  I shoveled a path to the car, opened the drivers side door and started the engine.  As the car warmed up, I scraped the ice from the windows and swept the snow from the bright red finish of my wife's car. 

Just as I was moving the car the the front door, Jan opened the front door, purse, bag and lunch all in hand.  She was followed by Mike. The snow was a big change for Mike.  He spent the Thanksgiving holiday on the big island of Hawaii and just returned home yesterday.  Jan gave me a good-bye kiss and hopped in the warm automobile.  A few seconds later she and Mike took off down the driveway, leaving Milo and I in the middle of the parking lot.

Milo and I worked our way down the snow covered driveway and out onto the freshly plowed road.  We made it to the flag pole and raised the flag to the top.  The school bus approached but did not stop as usual.  Bob, our normal driver will be off work for the rest of the calendar year.  He is having prostrate surgery today.  Damn cancer!  Our prayers are with him.  Milo and I returned to the house.  Safely inside, we put another log on the fire and fixed breakfast.  There is nothing like a warm fire, hot chocolate and oat meal on a cold, snowy winter day.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Mayor Goes Gambling

Sunday morning, after Milo and I took our walk, I loaded up the car with the comforter from our bed and headed down to the Laundromat.  My favorite place to be on a Sunday morning. (yea...right!)  Donna was working.  She is a beautiful, mature woman in her 70's with well kept gray hair.  She takes in laundry, cleans up the messes and keeps us all in conversation.  There is always room for a laugh at the Laundromat.

As our conversation moved from topic to topic, she asked where I lived.  I told her "up in Sunshine".  Somehow I knew the next question was coming. 

"I know someone up there, do you know Chris?" 

I replied, "Of course I know Chris, he's our Mayor"!  We both laughed because there is no real mayor, we just call him that. 

Donna continued "Well I saw him up at Central City in one of the casinos.  He came over and sat down next to me.  He told me he knew the secret of winning on the slot machines". 

She smiled and continued," He took me over to a different machine and put in one quarter and pushed the button.....a loser.  He did the same thing two more times.  Then (her voice when up a notch in both volume and pitch) he said 'here's the secret'.....He put in 9 quarters and hit the button.....He WON!!!!!! Not only did he win but he won $75!"

Donna and I had a big laugh over that.  I would only happen to Chris.


This morning, Milo and I took our walk at the normal time (7AM).  We passed by the old, burnt out firehouse.  They are starting to rebuild.  As we reached the fork, we heard the sound of Chris's white Ford mustang coming down the road.  Chris stopped in the middle of the road and handed Milo a treat.  I asked him about Donna's story.  Typical Chris, he looked at me with a very serious look and denied that he gambled.  He started to chuckle.  "Do you believe in luck?"  He started to laugh, and said "I sure do, because it was pure luck that I hit on that machine"!   He drove off toward Boulder, still laughing. 

Friday, November 10, 2006

Morning walk - Veterans Day


C.O. Wheeler WW1  My grandfather

Milo and I started down the driveway this morning.  The air was cold, around 30 degrees, and the wind was strong, gusting at 40 MPH.  We made a quick trip to the flagpole and raised the flag.  Now that daylight savings is over, I have asked for some help lowering the flag in the evening.  I do not close my office until 5:30 and it is dark by then.  Our new neighbors, Brian and Megan, are lowering the flag.  I thank them for their time and energy.

My wife, Janice, her sister and father all left today for Socorro, New Mexico.  They will be attending the 27th Annual New Mexico Mineral Symposium this weekend.  Watch out...the boys are home alone!

I have mixed thoughts about veterans day.  I have very few pictures of myself in the Army.  Most of the ones I have were taken at home, with me in uniform.  This one was taken during basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO in July, 1966


I learned that you don't make friends in the Army.  The gentleman on the left and I did not keep in touch after basic.  I have now idea what happened to him.  Most of the people in my Basic Training unit were headed for Vietnam.  Those of us in uniform were not treated very well off post.  My neighbor, Col. Wain and I have reminisced about how difficult it was to walk through an airport in uniform.

I salute my grandfather, my father and my brother, Phil for their service to our country.  They were (are) brave, handsome men who did not shirk from their duty.


LTC Duane J. Wheeler, WW2, Korea, VietNam

If you see a veteran, say "thank you".  Give them a hug.  They deserve it.


Thursday, November 2, 2006

Jackson Hole and the Tetons


When Lewis and Clark made their trip across the North American continent, they went north of Wyoming, through Montana and Idaho.  They did not see the wonders of Yellowstone of the beauty of the Grand Tetons (named by the French Explorer and fur trapper, Jacque LaRamie...look teton up in the french dictionary).  After spending the winter at Fort Clapsup in Oregon, they started their trek back to St.Louis via the same route they took heading west.  On the return trip they split up and explored more of the western territory.  One member of the Lewis and Clark party asked if he could leave and explore on his own.  John Colter went looking for the head waters of the Yellowstone river.  He was one of the first white men to see Yellowstone, Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons.  When he returned to the east he was called a liar when describing the steaming geysers and the boiling hot pools of water.

I have often called Jackson Hole one of the best kept secrets in the world.  There are many pictures taken of the Tetons but very little credit is given to the location.  The destination of many travelers is Yellowstone, not Jackson Hole.  The area is full of things to do. There is some GREAT winter skiing at the Jackson Hole ski area.  My neighbors, Steve and Julie have climbed the GrandTeton Mountain.  In the mood for a chuck wagon dinner?  How about white water rafting, canoeing, or horse back riding?  There is camping or 1st class hotels.  There are plenty of fine eating establishments and a few good bars. Jackson even has a great library.  Fishing in Jackson Lake or Jenny Lake is superb (the water is so clear, you wouldn't believe it)


My older brother, John, walking through the gate of the Chapel of Transfiguration.  (please check out this link)


Mt. Moran from Colter Bay, named after the famous western artist.



My Friend,Dr. Chris and our boys join me at Jenny Lake

I had mentioned to my friend, Dr. Chris (Oxford University) that most residents of Wyoming are only one person away from knowing most people in the state. (It's not hard when there is only one four year college in the state)  He thought I was joking until we took our vacation together to Jackson Hole.   He and his family stayed a couple of days after my family left and returned to Colorado.  Chris took his family to Yellowstone to see all of the wonders up there. He is a early riser and headed up to Old Faithful Geyser before the crowds of people arrived.  He noticed a couple of official looking people with clip boards near the geyser.  Thinking this might be a good point to see if I was speaking with a forked tongue, he approached the gentleman and engaged him in conversation.  He asked him where he was from and the gentleman mentioned a town in Wyoming,  His crew was recording the activities of the geysers.  Chris asked him if he knew David Wheeler.  The man thought for a moment and then replied, "no, but I do know a John Wheeler" (My brother).  We had a good laugh over that one.


Here fishy, fishy!

Well partner, that's about it for my travel log of my home state of Wyoming.  There is so much more to see and do.  The one thing to remember is that Wyoming has ninety of the most beautiful days of summer you can find.  Just ninety!

"If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence,
try orderin' somebody else's dog around."