It has been a tough week in the Methow Valley after the tragic car accident that took the life of a young shining star, severely injured two others, and, as these things go, left one with no visible injuries, but surely with trauma that will remain forever in his life. As we with more life experience look back, who among us does not remember a choice in our young life that could have gone differently?
I thought back to a time when my high school girlfriend and I stole an opportunity without parental approval to drive my family’s Dodge Dart to a cabin 20 miles up Mill Creek to meet our boyfriends at the time. Only 15, I tore up the gravel road, anticipating a night of fun at one of the boy’s grandparents’ cabin, only to meet a curve much too quickly, slid disastrously down the barrow pit, and came within inches of a barbed wire fence — inches from a different outcome.
By all accounts, Kierra Reichert was one of those people who is graced with the saying, “She was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.” Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable described her as “a bright-eyed, curious and kind-hearted soul with a magnetic personality who was loved by all who were fortunate enough to know her.”
He wrote in a letter to the Methow Family on the school district website of another website being created titled methowfamily.com containing local resources for those needing support themselves and ways to support the Reichert family.
For this writer who was also a girl who loved horses, Kierra’s senior photo with her horse evoked a deep sadness for her short life lived. Kierra wrote, “Make the most of every day, be kind to everyone, smile a lot, even if you don’t have a reason to — it’s worth it.” Thank you, Kierra. May your forever words of wisdom reach far and wide.
Another disturbing note: Smash-and-grab thieves struck the Rainy Pass trailhead parking lot for PCT northbound hikers this past week. Compared to life, stuff is just stuff, but it is still unnerving to return to your car after a refreshing outing to find the window smashed out and whatever was within reach stolen.
In one case here, it was clothes, a laptop and hearing aids. The obvious advice is to never leave valuables in the vehicle, but also don’t leave any items easy to grab in sight. These thieves do not seem to care that some things (another person’s clothes) have no value to them, but readers may recall when my car was the victim of a smash and grab at SeaTac last year, it only rendered $5 in chump change to the crooks.
Barnaby, salsify, mosquitoes, flies, and gnats/add to the usual summer pests — grasshoppers and a rabid (?) bat/what do you think of that? OK, I’m not much of a poet, but on a recent horseback ride on Big Valley Trail, I was writing poetry in my head while commiserating about the summer pests, all the while swatting mosquitoes and watching a cotillion of grasshoppers leap in unison as the horses strode through their territory. Our neighbor reported on the strange-acting bat, walking on its wings as if some kind of circus performer. Fortunately, arrival at the cool clean water of the Methow River was a reminder of the beauty of summer.
Along the trail, Tom Venable, his wife, Annie, and son Elliot were taking some time to walk their dog Aggie and enjoy the healing beauty of the outdoors.