Elizabeth’s bookshelf: read


Grandpa John Couchum

When Grandpa John died on October 31, 1985, I was 15 years old. That was the first time I felt the light go out of my life and I felt numb. I remember going through the motions for the next few days. I was sent to Wells, a town 50 miles away, while my parents, my grandmother, and my cousins planned the funeral. I came back to town the day of the funeral to find everyone rushing around to get last minute things done and all I had to do was ride in the car with my grandmother and attend the funeral. I remember all of the people that had attended. Until recently, I did not know that he knew so many people. The funeral was jam packed with people I either did or didn’t know. I also remember my grandmother telling me not to look in the coffin, however, I did to her dismay. To my shock, I realized she was right. It left a lasting impression.

Growing up I was close to my paternal grandparents. They lived up the road from us so I was able to see them everyday. He drove us and picked us from school. They took on rides, we went to yard sales together, and we went to lots of baseball games because they both liked baseball. I remember listening to them speak Shoshone Indian. I remember making mud pies in their front yard with my cousins. When I was smaller, they came over to our house early early on Christmas mornings to watch us open Christmas presents. As I got older, Grandpa John got sick but funnier. I remember when he was so sick, he was placed in assisted living, but he hated it. He got up, got dressed, walked out the back door, and walked home to Grandma who made him breakfast and they sat there watching TV until someone showed up to find him there. LOL The last trip we took together was to Lamoille even though it was hard on him. We made sure he had his oxygen and was comfortable. When he died, he was in the hospital, I went to see him one last time.

When you are a teenager, you don’t think to ask about your grandparents life; what they did, where they lived, what they were like as a child, about their parents. Questions like that and many more I wish I asked. Now, I am almost 43 and lately, I have been thinking more and more about my grandfather. I have been working on a research paper that includes my grandfather’s work. Who knew he was a writer? Who knew he contributed to the Constitution and By-Laws for the Te-Moak Band of Western Shoshone Indians that was approved in 1938. Who knew that he wrote letters to Washington D.C.? Who knew he kept journals? Who knew anything? I didn’t. He was very quiet about his accomplishments and life. As I begin to write my paper with everything I have learned, I hope that he is looking down and realizes that his legacy still lives on.


Christmas thoughts

It’s twenty days till Christmas. I don’t mind bragging, but I am done with my Chrismas shopping and have been since the first week of November. I haven’t wrapped a blasted thing, but I am on the right track. The other day, I was at church. I used to sing in the choir. Sunday was the first day of Advent. Sitting in church, and listening to homily and I really do try and listen. Our Priest is from Africa and he has a thick accent, so you really do have to be quiet and listen as he speaks The homily was about Advent Season, of course, and how it is the season to love and give. Not take and recieve. It is also the time to change. Change your thinking. Change how you are living. Change what you believe. Change what you take for granted as what is a part of this world that we are living in.
“Change what needs to be changed, accept what should not be changed, and accept the changes that are to come.”
My world is changing constantly. My ideas are changing at a rapid speed. I am not the kind of girl who goes fast, even though my brain works at a warp speed at times, and other times it refuses to move at all. I jump all over and my brother, bless his heart, becomes very aggravated and ask if I am listening to him at all, because as he is on one subject and my brain is already leaping to another subject even though my ears are listening to him.
Such this was on Sunday as I was listenng to Father give homily. I was listening to him and remembering what it was like to be in the choir and a part of me wishes I was singing again. I loved singing at Christmastime and performing in other churches in the valley with other choirs. Then preparing to sing at Midnight mass. I remember the songs by heart as the choir breaks out all of the Christmas music now that it’s Advent season. However, the time came to change things in my life and I decided that I no longer can be a part of the choir.
Christmas is around the corner, I am in the middle of school stuff, and from time to time, I wish I was a kid again living at home and my biggest worry was what I was going to wear to school.
This month is rapidly moving along. Soon it will be time to go home for Christmas. Then soon, I will have to decide what changes I need to make for the New Year. “Change what need to be changed, accept what should not be changed, and accept the changes that are to come.


Today being Thanksgiving Day, one stops to reflect and consider all that they are thankful for. I know that I do forget to say publicly how thankful I am. I always say it to myself and I thank God for what He has given me, but to do it publicly? No, not really. Not my style. It makes me uncomfortable. With that said, here is my list of what I am thankful for. I am THANKFUL for my parents and my brother. They put up with a lot from me. However, no matter what I throw their way, they are always there for me. Thankful for my doctor. He has to have a special blessing too. My life would be much harder without him. Thankful for my really good and true friends in this world. I don’t know how I have managed to stay friends with kids from elementary school through high school and college. The friends I have made outside of school are also around. I am so thankful for that. I am also thankful for my grandparents who have passed and family who I do not see but when I do see them, they always seem to be happy to see me too. That’s a nice feeling. With all the turmoil in this world, I am happy with my life. I am not going to complain. There really is no point in that, is there? So Happy Thanksgiving. Blessings and prayers to all of our military men and women. Special blessings to my parents, Godparents, and my “adopted” parents who helped my parents in raising us.


Holiday Memories; random thoughts

Having a blog was the last thing I wanted. However, since I have one, at least for a semester, I may as well do something with it. With the help of my BFF, Monica, I decided to write about random things. Things people may or may not be interested in. With that said, random thoughts will be just that, random ideas and memories. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it got me thinking what I am thankful, about growing up, and the countless Thanksgiving meals with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins leads me to one word: loud. Another memory I have is crowded. Maybe that is why I lean toward quiet and small crowds. Isn’t that we always go for as adults, something vastly opposite from we grew up with? Now heading into this upcoming Thanksgiving, I am leaning again toward quiet. All on the agenda this year is homework and a movie. However, ridiculous that may sound, I am thankful to make that choice.


Welcome! My name is Ellie and I am a graduate student at Boise State University. I am interested in history, research, and Native American heritage. My goal in starting this blog is to share thoughts, memories, and ideas. This is my first blog and I am excited to see where it leads me and who I will meet on the way.