Saturday, May 30, 2009

"All Things British" (But Not Very)

Give the little guy a break! It was, after all, his first prom, and he is checking out the oh-so-suave older guys and trying to decide if it is acceptable to wear his favorite green high-top Converse shoes with his cool white tuxedo (it was), and he is taking a look to see if he should put on the white gloves he is clutching so tightly now or just before he calls at the home of the Carpenters for Cailan, his first prom date (now seemed to work just fine).

The occasion for all the celebration and the "photo-ops" up and down Chalet Hill was the Holden Village High School Prom, a social occasion to which EVERYONE, regardless of age, gender, or resident status, was invited.

The theme for this year's prom was "All Things British," and this meant that Holden Villagers, in their usual creative style, would freely interpret the theme and arrive costumed more-or-less in keeping with the main idea. Andrew Rogers, dressed as the London Underground (??), witnessed the procession of the students down the hill to the Village Center where the festivities were held.

Jack Coffey, dressed as a vicar (but truth be told, missing a few buttons on his "frock"...reason enough for the pose with the reverential folded hands) oversees the younger men in whose honor the prom was held. The group includes the high school teacher Dave Sather in period costume and students Joe Coffey, August Carpenter, and Olaf Coffey, all quite debonair in all-things-English costumes...uh, tuxedos and tails. SMASHING, you chaps!

In their elegant finery, Dave and Anglea Mietzke stroll down the hill on their way to the Village Center. Dave had (fortunately) been able to get off the crutches in time for walking downhill in a more normal fashion. Dancing, unfortunately, was out of the question.

And posing for a group photo, the entire Holden Village School stops midway down Chalet Hill for parents and friends and staff members to take pictures. (Cailan kneels in order not to tower over her date for the evening.)

This remarkable group of young people decorated the Village Center in a record-breaking 3 hours and had prepared the refreshments in advance as well. On Saturday morning, they cleaned up after their own prom...a necessity since they are in rehearsals for the final school play of the year (The Importance of Being Earnest). The play is scheduled to be performed on Sunday night after the Friday night prom extravaganza.

Elli Vegdahl-Crowell and Nyrie Mietzke dance together. (The hairstyles of the girls provided evidence that, contrary to unspoken and unwritten but universally accepted policy against such accoutrements, there are curling irons at Holden Village!)

Grace Coffey extends a hand to Jordan Mietzke in order to include her in the dancing.

Two sisters dance together. Home from St. Olaf College for the summer, Anna Coffey dressed up as a student of Hogwarts and danced with her sister Mary Coffey Sather, wife of the high school teacher Dave.

Brandon Chenovert arrived as Robin Hood and was joined by Maid Marian, Maggie Hutchinson.

And what kind of posh English party would be complete without a visit from The Queen? Liz Langeland, complete with handbag and a wave, impersonated Her Highness. Jack Coffey kept saying that he needed to go...that he had a sermon to write...but he took some time to visit with royalty. (The part about the sermon is true...he is to deliver the Sunday address.)

Classmates Grace Coffey and Marta Vegdahl-Crowell share a dance.

Katy Fontana (in the "big hair" curling iron needed) and Raina Rerucha-Borges (curling iron a must) share an amusing moment.

While a dreamy (maybe sleepy) Olaf Coffey looks on, Inge Chiles, Raina Rerucha-Borges, and Cailan Carpenter sit out a dance in order to chat.

Chuck and Stephanie Carpenter (a little curling iron action in evidence here) arrive ready to take some pictures of their own.

From the balcony in the Village Center and looking down on the crowd gathered below.

Olaf pauses to give some attention to his green high-top Converse shoes which are much harder to tie when the person doing the tying is wearing gloves.

Mariel Vinge and Angela Gustafson get into some fast dancing.

Tom Ahlstrom takes pleasure in the fact that the villagers are enjoying themselves.

James Stutrud and Tuque took the middle of the dance floor and the spotlight as Tuque proved to be both a dancer and an acrobat, dancing and turning flips. Tuque was watching the crowd with his "spidery little eyes" and wearing a corsage made from flowers currently blooming in Holden's gardens.

Carole Young and Angela Mietzke share a laugh while Nyrie watches the dancers.

This group of 20-somethings took command of the dance floor during several numbers. No wonder. The Spice Girls were among their numbers.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Daffodils

Cued to lock onto the beam,
Their slender-stalked
Funnel faces
Seek the light.

In unison,
And in the manner
Of a tiny farm
Of satellite dishes,
They orient themselves.

Each stands tilted
To face the sky,
Faithfully following
The strongest manifestations
Of the sun and its energy.

And then unto themselves
They gather the colors,
The various yellows, the uncommon gold,
That cheer us on our way
Beside them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Quilts of Holden

Guests arrive at Holden Village to find a welcoming quilt on the beds in their assigned rooms. Each of the beds here is covered with a quilt, and each of the quilts is unique.

Although there are a few exceptions in which a quilt is made by an individual, most of the Holden quilts are made by Lutheran churches and donated to the village. On most of the quilts, there will be a tag identifying the group that made and donated the finished bed covering.

Here are a few examples of the quilts of Holden. Enjoy.

Made with Loving Stitches by the West Linn Lutheran Quilters.

Dian L. Wright
Lansing, Michigan

Grace Lutheran
Port Townsend, Washington

Lutheran Church of the San Juans
Lopez, San Juan, Orcas Islands, Washington

Esther Hogan

Zion Lutheran Church
Camas, Washington

Zion Lutheran Church
Camas, Washington

Sharon Fredrick Brainard

Salem Lutheran Church
Spokane, Washington

Zion Lutheran Church
Camas, Washington

Happy Stitchers of First Lutheran Church
Idaho Falls, Idaho

Immanuel Lutheran Church
Vancouver, Washington

Hope Lutheran Church
Tacoma, Washington

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Saints in Jeans Handle Prom Crisis

The Saints: Gini Stowell and Pat Wubbena. (Gini had arrived for a week's visit with her son, Dave Sather, the high school teacher. Pat was a short-term volunteer, here for a month to work in the book store.)

The Crisis: The theme for this year's Holden Village High School Prom is "Jane Austen." In keeping with the theme, the four young ladies attending Holden Village High School had elected to wear dresses in keeping with what Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennett would have worn on such a social occasion had Mr. Darcy asked her to accompany him! (Dream on.)

As always, "the devil is in the details." A period piece pattern for an Empire waisted gown and the gauzy material with which to make the girls' dresses was ordered. Construction began. It was all too soon abundantly clear that the "gauzy material" was just too other words, such dresses would have been any era.

The Solution: Dave sends an SOS to mom. Mom arrives with her own sewing machine and quickly assesses the problem and possible solutions...another "dress" lying underneath the original dress...a complete the only way to keep the eyebrows of villagers at half mast on Prom Night (at Holden, EVERONE attends the Prom). Mom is assisted in the project by Pat who is given "release time" from the book store in order to sew. The two of them work long hours for a week in order to bring the project to a successful conclusion. By the end of the week, only the hemming and making the final adjustments needed to be done.

Gini examines one of the dresses while Dave gets another one down for the final fitting.

Grace Coffey gets some tips for "accessorizing" once the big night arrives.

Gini and Pat stand with the girls at the end of the week to show the results of their efforts. Marta Rolf-Vegdahl, Grace Coffey, Inge Chiles, and Raina Rerucha-Borges gracefully pretend there are no pins holding material in place for this final fitting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Mary!

On Tuesday, May 12, 2009 Mary Brocker of Portland, Oregon celebrated her 11th birthday. And so how did all of Holden Village know that Mary was 11? To celebrate Mary's birthday, her big sister, Matia, prepared rice pudding to be served as a dessert at Holden's evening meal.

Rice pudding is one of Mary's favorite things, and Matia spent considerable time debating over whether to make rice pudding cooked in a pot or to make rice pudding assembled and baked in the oven. In the end, she decided to secure some space in "The Rainier" (the name assigned to Holden's huge oven) and bake the rice pudding.

This is the birthday message that Matia wrote and placed on the table by the pans of rice pudding so that everyone would know their dessert for the evening was prepared in honor of Mary and her birthday.

Happy Birthday Mary! The rice pudding was delicious, and your big sister was happy to be able to help you celebrate your 11th birthday. There are many fans of rice pudding here at Holden, and we were all happy to help you celebrate as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ready for Prime Time!

For those of you who have never seen "The V.C." (short for Village Center), this massive expanse of newly polished flooring is a wonder in and of itself. During the days the mine was in operation, the V.C. was called the Gym and was used for that purpose and for many other community activities. As a part of Holden Village, in the summer ("prime time") it serves as the worship center for all services and a concert venue, a meeting place for sessions, an activity center...whatever the need in the busy summer season, the V.C. is adequate for that need.

For those who have visited Holden often and know it well, it is a rare sight indeed to see this huge area completely clear of any object whatsoever. (I believe I am right in saying that the only object sitting on the floor is the organ/carillon off to one side.) It is an amazing sight to see it in this manner. The sight is made more amazing by the floor, newly varnished and polished to a mirror finish.

Such good things do not happen on their own. There was obviously much hard and difficult work involved in such a huge project. We owe our thanks and appreciation to Head Maverick, Daniel Roberts; Maverick, Nate Lee; former head Garbologist currently here in a volunteer position, Abbey Dibble; and our two high school boarding students, Inge Chiles and Andrew Dutcher.

Thanks! It is beautiful.