"Angel Baby" "Patrick" and "God's Will":
The sounds of cooing are in the air. Owner Debi Rolfing has added foster mothering to her many projects. The first newborn guests to the newly established Cradle
Care at the Kootenai Lodge: "Angel Baby", "Patrick" and "God's Will".
"Thank you precious Debi for the wonderful privilege and honor of being able to help you with your very first miracle, "Angel Baby" - could she have
been more special?! What a true GOD SEND.
"Debi and Mark, thanks for a wonderful tour of Kootenai Lodge. What a great piece of history! And we are all very grateful it is in your hands."
"Debi and Mark, thanks for the tour of your other piece of paradise! This is truly a special place - one of the most terrific restorations I have ever seen! We can
tell it is an ongoing labor of love.
"I swam to the middle of the lake. The water was cold and crisp and clear. I stood for a while in the shallow, the sand was warm. The breeze fresh … The Kootenai
shore green and yellow. All around was quiet and still. For a moment, so was I …From far downstream I smelled the running water. Thank you for this lift."
"If I could take the peaceful, beautiful and happy feelings of Kootenai Lodge with me into the sometimes harsh world, I would be in good stead. Kootenai is indeed
awesome and beautiful as is its "princess in charge" of this glorious place." … What a tremendous "treat" we have had.
Ann Mundy: Writer/Producer Restore America - Montana
"Debi, An Angel Mother to many. I enjoyed exploring the past and present here, The "big picture" and details: Big Sky, Big Fork, Big Thunder, Big Hearts and
the tranquility, drumming, healing, memories of my childhood camp … being a member of the Kootenai Tribe, Running alone at night, being scared and being brave. An ugly
duckling becomes a swan at last …"
Frankie DeJoseph: Director of Photography - Restore America, Cinema 26 Productions
"In my travels with "Restore America" I must say that Kootenai Lodge is no doubt the most beautiful restoration project I have ever seen."
John Van Der Does: Restore America - Montana, soundman
"May you always be on the golden path, for you are truly blessed."
"Thank you so much for giving us such a wonderful vacation. It's funny and so very special how much happiness I experienced and continue to feel. I will never
take for granted my wonderful memories of Kootenai Lodge. Your wonderful qualities shine through to help us all. Once again, thank you for a wonderful two weeks at
Kootenai Lodge - tubing water-skiing, swimming, running to the bridge and back, dinner on the porch, root beer floats!"
Nick Meyer, age 12:
"Thank you for an absolutely fabulous time at Kootenai Lodge this summer. Fishing was not good for me this year, although I caught some wonderful weeds. I can't wait
until next year so we can swim across the lake, scare ourselves silly with cougar and bear stories, hike six and one half miles in socks with duck tape and eat three
layer chocolate cake every week!"
Peter Meyer, age 7:
"Thank you for letting us stay at Kootenai Lodge. It was fun. I am going to miss midnight macaroni!!"
"I began this as I think you did, with some trepidation. How could we match the memories of last year - our first trip - to Kootenai? We were also missing an
integral part of the heart of Kootenai - Mark! But also the magic is still here because the magic comes from your heart. Kootenai is beautiful. We loved our hike to Fawn
Lake - not Dumb Doris - and to have the girls try their first water skiing and knee boarding was a thrill. But we feel blessed to have been able to share angel baby
Patrick with you. Thanks for allowing us that opportunity. It has again been a marvelous week of excitement and warm memories. Love to you, Holly"
"Kootenai is good but you're the greatest! We had a wonderful family time again! Thanks so much for everything. You are a very special person and the Finchem Family
loves you dearly. See you soon, Tim"
Kelly Finchem, age 11:
"I had a wonderful time at Kootenai Lodge. We went on a great hike. I caught my first fish at Fawn Lake. We went swimming, canoeing, pattle boating and thunder
tubing. I had a great time with angel baby Patrick. This year was great. Love Kelly
P.S. I won $120 at BINGO.
Carey Finchem, age 9:
"I had a wonderful time at Kootenai Lodge. I had fun doing these 10 things: Canoeing, Paddle-boating, Water-skiing, Knee-boarding, Fishing, Tubing, Swimming and even hiking.
Inside: Pinball and pool I can't wait to come back next year. Maybe in the winter. Love, Carey
P.S. Good Luck with Patrick."
"If heaven were to fall to earth this is where it would land. This place is magical!"
"It was such a pleasure to be at Kootenai again! Everything is just perfectly the same and a timeless summer experience … Montana hospitality is a special
blend of warmth, helpfulness and reserved self-sufficiency that is uniquely western."
"Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart … being at Kootenai is always the nearest place to heaven and where our Angel Patti is."
Debi and Mark with their moms Mickey
Drexler (left) and Mary Bogue inside a hot air balloon, brought in for
Mickey's birthday party.