My nephew, Josh Griffith is a hard working man, who loves his family, and would do anything for them. He is constantly doing things to improve their home,and he is always able to fix the things that break. Their house is all electric, but they are planning to change it to a gas furnace this year. For now, the family needs 4 trailer loads of wood a year to heat the home without using the electric heat. Josh spend a lot of his free time chopping and splitting the wood so that the family can stay warm all winter. My niece and his wife, Susan helps too, but chopping wood is a tough job for most women, and so Josh does most of it by himself. Josh also spends a good deal of his time keeping the family from being snowed in. He plows snow almost constantly…and does it all without complaint…because he is the provider, and it’s for his family.

Josh has spent a lot of time teaching his girls to ride horses. Susan didn’t grow up around horses, and so she wasn’t too sure about riding horses.Josh worked with her, and before long, Susan has a good time with it. Their daughters, Jala and Kaytlyn have grown up around horses, and so they will be naturals at it. Josh and Jala go riding quite a bit and have even hunted together. Susan says that Josh is definitely the more hands on parent. I suppose that is because Susan has always had such a soft heart. She parents in a different way. Nevertheless, Josh taught Jala to drive more than Susan did because she said, “I was so scared.” It can be scary to teach a child to drive. It seems that usually one of the other parent has the right temperament for it, and the other doesn’t. Clearly, Josh will be the driving instructor for their girls.

Josh does work very hard, but work is not the only thing we do for our families. There is the all important quality time as a family too. This year, Josh and Susan took the girls to the Billings Fair, in Billings Montana. Living in a small town like Powell, the girls don’t usually have a chance to ride on some of the cool rides that they have in bigger cities. This year, the big deal was the Black Out. It is a totally crazy ride, that I would personally never ride. Susan said that all the rides at the Billings fair were so nice, and just seemed safer. Susan doesn’t have to worry about the girls being on the rides, because Josh always rides rides with the girls. Susan stands by holding everyone’s things…sounds like the place I would want to be too. Thankfully for Susan, Josh takes care of that for her…and she is so grateful for that and everything else Josh does for them. Today Is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Mt Moran Plane Crash locationWhen I was about 10 years old or so, my family and my Uncle Bill’s family went to the Jackson, Wyoming area. While we were stopped at a lookout point for the Teton Mountains, my dad told a story, or maybe read the story about a plane that had crashed on Mount Moran on November 21, 1950. He told us that because of the difficulty in reaching the site, the plane and the remains of the 21 people lost in the crash were never removed from the site. My young mind could not seem to get past the fact that those bodies were still on that mountain top. I had a terrible time sleeping. I don’t know if I felt like we were somehow camping someplace we shouldn’t be, which was silly, because that site was miles from where we were camped. Nevertheless, it bothered me very much at that time. Now, many years later, I would know that the mountain was simply a burial place for the victims of a tragic crash.

While I am no longer haunted by the thought of those lost ones buried in the ice at the top of the mountain, I really never lost my curiosity about the crash and just who those people were. Then, a few weeks ago, I found that today would be the 65th anniversary of that crash. It seemed like it was time to find out more about it. The plane, a new Douglas DC-3, was owned by New Tribes Mission. It was on the first leg of a trip to South America. It left Chico, California and was bound for Billings, Montana. The last radio report in was over Idaho Falls, Idaho at 3:48pm. Then it was reported overdue at Billings, leaving the sinking feeling that something tragic had happened. A resort owner said he saw a burning fuselage in the flames far above timberline on the east face of Mount Moran. When the fire subsided, he could see nothing resembling a campfire, which might have indicated survivors. Gaining access to the site was going to prove extremely difficult, and with temperatures seriously low, the chance of anyone making it through that first night were next to none. Of course, you can guess the outcome of the crash. All those on board were lost.

Removing the wreckage and the bodies of the victims proved to be a very difficult, if not impossible task, and in the end, it was decided that the wreckage and the remains would be left on the mountain. The crash site is just north of the top of the handle of Skillet Glacier. Sometimes a glint of the wreckage can be seen to this day on a sunny summer afternoon when the light is just right. The crash site remains a resting place for those lost souls, and hikers who pass the site are expected to show their respect by leaving this mountain gravesite undisturbed. The site is the burial ground for the ten men, four women, and seven children who’s remains are still entombed in the wreckage. I suppose that these days, while the plane might have been left on the mountain, the remains of the victims would have most certainly been removed allowing the families to give them a proper burial.Mt Moran Plane Crash

Hikers who have passed the wreckage have said that it has an eerie feeling. I’m sure it has to do with being so close to the remains of the victims of that horrible crash. I can totally relate to how they felt, because on that day, when we were camping just within sight of the mountain where the wreckage and the victims still remained, I could not sleep. I was not afraid of being haunted or anything silly like that, but rather I guess it felt like I was an intruder, much like the Native Americans felt when the White Man went through their burial grounds. It was just not the right place to be. I think I would feel even more like I was in the wrong place, if I ever hiked that mountain, and came upon that sight. I still have an eerie feeling about it to this day…or maybe it is just a sadness for those lost ones. I’m still not sure about that…to this day.

Every year on July 10th, I take a few moments to reflect of the wonderful gift that God has given me…my husband, Bob. When I wake up on July 10th, it just hits me. Almost 2 years before I was born, the man God planned for me…to be my husband…was born. Bob is so perfect for me. We are good together…a good team. Our personalities compliment each other and we share like interests. What could be more perfect.

I was talking to Bob’s dad today, and he mentioned his memories about the day of Bob’s birth. It is quite a story. The family was spending the day in Billings when my mother-in-law went into labor with Bob. Since this was her third child, things can go very fast. My mother-in-law was determined to have her own doctor deliver Bob…her doctor was in Miles City, which is 145 miles from Billings. My father-in-law said that he sure didn’t want to leave Billings, but she was so determined, so he gave in. I don’t know how much time they had to spare, but I do know that there was definite concern that Bob might arrive somewhere on the highway between Billings and Miles City. Bob waited, and his arrival was in Miles City…after which, my father-in-law breathed a huge sigh of relief.

As my father-in-law spoke about that hurried trip, I could picture the whole scene in my mind. My mother-in-law has always been very strong willed, and my father-in-law has always been pretty soft hearted where she is concerned. I can just imagine how she felt too. At a time like that you want your own doctor, not a stranger, in a strange hospital, is a city you don’t live in…especially since hospital stays for births weren’t 1 day or less then. She knew it would be a hardship on the whole family if they had to try to go back and forth.

In the end, it all worked out, and Bob waited until they reached Miles City to be born. I believe he would have been fine either way, and I suppose being born on the highway would have given them all a story to tell, but it would have been scary too, and I’m glad they didn’t have to go through that. Happy birthday my sweet husband!! I love you very much, and thank God for you each and every day!!

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