Sandy Carpenter Lee

Sandy and Forrest Lee

I had little faith in cyber romance back in 1999 when people told me I should try it, but curiosity led me to place an ad in the Yahoo Personals. Then, I didn’t find Forrest…his granddaughters found ME. Thus began the adventure of my life… just as his granddaughters told me, “He likes to travel…EVERYWHERE.” We married in 2001, and went on a cruise to Mexico with friends on the Sea Princess. Ports of call included Puerto Vallarta, Matzalan, & Cabo San Lucas. It was fabulous; so the four of us took a second cruise in 2006 on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line; flying out of San Juan, Puerto Rico; visiting nine ports of call in eleven days. Other trips have included a trek up through Alaska (my old stomping grounds for 15 years) with the same traveling buddies, & one the next year when we traveled in our campers through Canada, down the east coast & across 28 states. Most people asked when we got back, “Are you still friends?” They thought that was a lot of togetherness. These friends are true gold, though; last April they invited us down to their place at Desert Center, CA in the Mojave Desert to ride our ATVs. We covered lots of miles each day, and on the last day I got to go out riding with the “The broads on quads” (all the ladies in the retirement park)…we covered over 60 miles in one day. THAT was a blast; especially on the sand dunes.

(click on any of Sandy’s pictures to see them larger)

Wells Lake at Ranch
Wells Lake at Ranch
Riding our ATVs
Riding our ATVs
Cedar Home at Ranch
Cedar Home at Ranch
Forest and I with Mom
Forest and I with Mom

Before we married we had introduced my mother to a gentleman we thought would be a good activity partner. Surprise…at ages 84 and 92, THEY beat us to the alter by one month. Later we took them to Hawaii, fulfilling my mother’s lifelong dream; spending two wonderful weeks on Maui and Oahu. Now, nine years later, Dad will be 102 on March 27th; Mom 94 in July. Unfortunately, Dad had to move into a nursing home last winter; so we invited Mom to move in with us. We have really enjoyed having her with us; she’s even taken up playing the piano again. We are so fortunate to still have them both with us at their ages, and enjoy each day with them.

Forrest and I spend our summers at his family’s ranch in Elk an hour north of Spokane; his grandparents settled there in 1920. We enjoy entertaining friends and family all summer long in the cedar home we built ourselves. Last summer we even put in a huge garden (my first in 27 years; his first ever). It really did quite well, even though we had a late spring. Between us we have 4 children, 14 grandchildren, 4 GREAT grandchildren & 2 more due in July and November. Most of them live so far away that we don’t get to see them often. Usually I make my yearly pilgrimage to Alaska to see my son and his family, and have traveled to Texas to visit my grandson and his wife who are expecting.

A couple of years ago we started a new adventure and purchased Honda Rancher 420 ATVs to ride our many logging trails, and with friends in ORV parks. On our first trip we actually conquered “The China Wall” in central Oregon…a feat NOT for beginners we discovered, with rock ledges and almost straight up and down.

Little Blue with Fenders

Since my retirement from Alaska in 1998 we have been spending winters in Western Washington. But now that Mom is with us and can’t make 7 hr. trips, we plan to move in May to our home at Airway Heights just west of Spokane. That way we’ll only be an hour away from the ranch…much easier on Mom. Forrest continues to restore his antique cars and is having his 1947 Century boat restored. We enjoy being a part of the local Model A Club. After having my book published in 2005, I still dabble at writing magazine articles for publication. We are constantly entertained by our dog Bosco and his 4 cat siblings…never a dull moment. Now we are really looking forward to seeing you all at the reunion in September…on my husband’s 9/11 birthday.

Sandy’s blogspot is here.

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