Step dad built this house after he sold the one on the corner. I lived there until I left home when i was 18. It was pretty rural. Not too many neighbors. The biker chick was one I met along the way. Sold the bike, but kept the chick.
I live in a small town in the lower left corner of Idaho.
I was born here, which I guess is BioDad's fault.
Were it not for a lot of federal money a hundred years ago, we would still be in the desert. But thanks to that investment, we live in a very fertile farm area, though in the last decades it seems we have built a LOT of very ticky tacky houses.
When I was a kid here there were 8 or 9000 people. Downtown bustled. Saturday night people came to town to buy clothes, food and cars.
Mom bought a lot on the edge of town after my BioDad was killed. She had a tiny house built, but after she married stepdad, he built a larger house on the corner.
Now the people who count say we have 30,000 people living here, but that was before the foreclosure pandemic. Downtown is dead, except for a dozen law offices and an insurance company or two. Even the banks have moved out.
Business has moved to other locations, tearing up some real good farm land in the process.
The house I grew up in was a couple of blocks from the small college in our town. It is one of the oldest colleges in the state. Not big, about a thousand students, but a very decent little college. The two richest families in the state have poured a lot of money into the school through the years, and the buildings show it.
Tonight we went to the college to attend a concert. In spite of the fact that they have a fair number of very good events, we have not attended many.
Tonight we learned that if you don’t mind the back seats (and the concert hall is actually quite small), the price is not too bad, so we will go back again.
It is so easy to get busy and miss out on the really good, affordable experiences that are close and affordable.
The new visitors are full of fright and denial. The old hands are full of advice and terror.
We have been going to these things about as long as anyone, but our path has been much slower than most.
When we talk about our own situation, mine hardly ever changes, or changes much. Most of the people I have attended with through the years have loved ones who are in homes or are getting close to being placed in homes or are on hospice.
But there are others who have come through the years, but now do not. Some are gone, some are in homes, some have situations that would make a saint cry.
Sometimes I am not sure if I belong there. Does it make those who I know, but whose loved one is way down the road, does it make them feel bad? They never say so, but I imagine it must, or could at least.
Still, as long as I can I will continue to attend.
Our last tent camp trip proved one thing: we needed to upgrade some equipment.
Our sleeping bags were new over 30 years ago. They were a good brand when new and even now, there are no rips, no tears, the zippers work well, they just aren’t warm any more.
So I emailed our grandson David. David and his wife Mandy are avid outdoors people and live in North California. What would he suggest.
He wrote back that REI and North Face stores in his area both had yard sales frequently, where they sold returned merchandise, often at very good prices, and that they always had sleeping bags. He was going to go any way, and he would look to see what was available.
The sale was a week ago. REI had a pair of bags like I wanted, a long and a regular that should zip together, since they were the same series, but the colors were not even a close match, so he decided to see what was available at NorthFace.
He called back a few minutes later. They had a double bag (NorthFace Twin Peaks). Two people, one bag. Rated at 20 degrees. Retail $159. “How much?” “$50.” “Buy it.” “It’s yours.”
When we came home yesterday the box containing the bag was waiting. Very nice. It had been the display model in a store somewhere, the one that people looked at and handled to decide what they wanted to buy. A trip through the washing machine and it is ready to go.
More than that. David had sent a message: “Merry Christmas Grandpa.”
And it is only September.
Thanks David, thanks Mandy. We will make good use of it, and if it wears as well as the other, I will be about 105 when it needs to be replaced!
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.