“Eskimo Kisses in Stehekin!” Loving Family Tradition

by | Oct 29, 2021

Lady of the Lake took us up to Stehekin. Judy surprised me with this beautiful gift on my 44th birthday, July 6, 1989. Our log home out in the Icicle Valley in Leavenworth was getting closer to the finish line. We wanted to share this moment as a family as a crossroads… We flew back to Chelan the next day. We felt God’s presence during that time as a family. The Eskimo Kiss sealed the deal for me! Tap the photo. Lady of the Lake
In honor of this special moment for our family 30 years ago, Judy and I returned to Stehekin to treasure this so very treasured and spiritual memory. We hope Sarah will keep this tradition alive with her husband and do the “eskimo kisses” at Stehekin. I know she will…

“Learning who you are is a life long labor of love.” Steve Sparks www.survivethriveptsd.org

This is where the story begins with the profound love of a mother and child. I didn’t know it until that moment July 6, 1989 at Stehekin, Wa.

Think of it…that moment, a precious moment, a deeply profound moment for me, for us as a family. God spoke to us in that moment 30 years ago.

It was early summer in Atlanta in June of 1989. And it was so hot that going outside was like getting a blast from a hot furnace.

Judy, Sarah, and I along with Sadie, our most dear and loving yellow lab, we were all giddy with excitement planning for our family vacation to Icicle Valley to check out the progress of the new homestead, under construction.

We dreamed of total cozy in a log cabin. We thought and talked and laughed with excitement about escaping Atlanta.

I was ready for a new life in Chelan County. I had no idea what we would do to make a living. Judy and I always agreed that the criteria for decisions was as long as we found ‘adventure and romance’ in the mix, anything was possible.

In all fairness, our family war chest looked pretty healthy at the time. I believe now that angels protected us then, but I didn’t know it yet. This gave me short term security only because I would soon grow insecure and afraid of the future.

I didn’t know God yet. There was something special about living in the mountains surrounded by streams, rivers, high mountain lakes, and a protected wilderness owned mostly by the US Forest Service and BLM.

The balmy winds blowing down from Icicle Canyon into the valley felt magical and healing to me. This is where the Wenatchee and Icicle Rivers joined up for the ride to the mighty Columbia River in Wentachee…

Riding the rapids from Leavenworth to Wenatchee was a blast in early summer. We couldn’t wait! It was truly a dream come true to be here, realizing we could live this dream together as a family…

Eskimo Kisses

Eskimo Kisses came to our family in Stehekin over 30 years as the Sun was setting in the west. After dinner, Sarah was restless and wanted to play outside before it got dark…

As we walked out side and stood there watching the Sun slowly disappear, Judy and 3 year old Sarah stopped to look at each other, just like the photo above, shot in that precious moment so long ago now…

Sarah then touched her nose to her Mamma, as the both said sweetly with love, “Eskimo Kisses, Eskimo Kisses, Eskimo Kisses!” In that moment, as I snapped the above photo, forever etched in my mind.

It’s this tradition, “Eskimo Kisses, in Stehekin,” remains as a most loving and fun family greeting to this day. I watched Sarah do this loving nose touch with Liam while we were visiting the first time, following his birthday on June 24, 2021…

Seeing Sarah and Liam do Eskimo Kisses, moved me so, I teared up. I felt a tug on my heart and soul. I felt a peace never felt before now, a beautiful place of peace came over me…

It’s now Sarah’s soul and heart, and love of family traditions, given to Liam to pass along to his children someday…

Think of it! This precious moment of love in 1989 in Stehekin, lives forever in our hearts. “Eskimo Kisses” will always remind me of the true loves in my life.

Steve and Judy Sparks
Children and Families in Life After Trauma
Sarah Sparks Fitch and Liam Skai Fitch October 2021
Liam Skai Fitch 4months

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
View all posts by stevesparks →

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