fire trucks and pancakes

2014-07-26 002It’s an annual event and this year a record 740 people came out to eat breakfast and support the fire station.

I thought of my grandson, who would have been thrilled with the Saturday morning combination of fire trucks and pancakes, all in one place.


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After:2014-07-26 009

Banjo Man,  Story Man and GL wait in line.  They look happy, don’t they?  They love being on the blog.  Sometimes.
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“No, I don’t want any more pancakes.”2014-07-26 012

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familiar post-storm scene

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austin in sandpoint


2014-07-25 004Story Man and I went into town for a Big Night Out last Friday.  First we headed to a favorite restaurant on the city beach to see Retired Mountain Lady and Bruce Bishop’s band.

2014-07-25 001Great music, food and view!

Then we hurried over to the Panida for the McMurtry show.  James McMurtry is a very big deal in Austin, especially, and a favorite of Story Man’s.  We saw the “Sold Out” sign and were glad we had purchased tickets weeks ago.

Half an hour before the show and we had a hard time finding two seats together!  The music fans in Idaho were seriously excited about hearing McMurtry.

2014-07-25 020I’d heard him before, in Austin, but in crowded venues where I couldn’t see, couldn’t really hear all that well and couldn’t sit down.

This was much better.

My favorite song, Choctaw Bingo, just about brought the house down.

After the show Story Man ran into one of the band members outside the theater.  To say the guy was surprised to see Story Man is an understatement.  Once he got over the shock of seeing a fellow Texan in north Idaho, he told us the band was thrilled with the crowd and the reception it received that night.  He declared it the best show of the tour, by far.

Story Man had expected to see a younger crowd.  I’m sure he hoped to see women under forty.  He’s been surrounded by over-60 baby boomers for many, many weeks.

I’d expected a younger, hipper crowd, too.  I’d gone prepared, with ear plugs and a candy bar, and expected to curl up contentedly in a corner seat while Story Man mingled with people his own age.


Baby boomers easily comprised 90% of the audience.  Story Man was once again surrounded by gray-haired, rowdy people.  I saw one woman bouncing near the stage, her cane flailing above her head as she kept time to the music.

That’s how we party in north Idaho.

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in praise of a generator

Let me tell you about Wednesday.

My two Montana friends, “The Two Kathies”, as they are known far and wide, leave the mountain and the river to drive to town every couple of months and get their hair done. Because The Two Kathies can turn anything into a party, they bring wine and delicious snacks to munch on while they are being beautified.

And because they are Montanans, they have lots of errands to do when they are “in town”.

I went along with one of the Kathy’s, a day that started at 11 AM. I have known this particular Kathy since 1975, when two of her sisters babysat for Son #1. Kathy is one of nine siblings from California, and to tell you that I adored her family and adored her parents would be an understatement.

I learned a lot from her parents.

I met the other Kathi years later, because she’d been in Alaska cooking for logging crews.

Anyway, Kathy and I did the usual errands— Home Depot, groceries, Dollar Store, bank—-before joining Kathi (with an “i”, that’s how we tell them apart) at the salon. Because afternoon wine makes me sleepy, I brought a little tequila and fruit juice in a travel mug. (I would not be living this down anytime soon.)

We set up a cheese, crackers and organic vegetable stick buffet in front of the hair dryers and spent several hours telling each other wedding and class reunion horror stories. Great fun!!


At five o’clock we headed to a new beer store/pub a few blocks away. Kathy’s nephew and my music teacher play there for two hours every Wednesday. We paid no attention to the darkening sky or the sprinkling of rain drops.

Here we are paying no attention:

photo (33)(left to right:  More Pie, Kathy, Kathy’s sister and Kathi)

Outside a storm raged.  I looked out those windows once and saw the wind blowing the rain sideways.  We heard sirens.  Lots of sirens.  The lights flickered, but the musicians kept playing and singing.  We hollered for “Sea of Heartbreak”.  Kathy’s nephew ignored us.

 The rain stopped.  We headed to a favorite restaurant on the city beach.  The rain started again.   There was a rainbow.

I love this photo so much I’m showing it to you again:

 024Returning to our table, I saw this:

029This is what happens when partying with Kathy’s sister, who has rock-star charisma and knows every younger man in town.

We learned that a tree branch had come down on a table on the restaurant’s patio, breaking the table in half.  A tree had come down on a nearby camper.

Later we would learn that a friend’s grandson had dislocated his elbow while at camp and the hospital’s emergency room had been packed with people injured in the storm.

On the ride home we saw branches everywhere.  Banjo Man called to tell me that a tree had fallen across our driveway and we had no electricity.

But we had a generator, which is something we don’t have in Rhode Island.  And this generator is a little miracle.

We (as many, many others were too) would be out of power for almost 36 hours.  And yet…we had friends over for dinner (I used the crock pot and the grill, not the ovens!) and didn’t have to use flashlights.

My brother-in-law thinks of everything.  He really does.

Today the power is back on.  The generator is resting after a job well done.  The sun is shining.  The sky is blue.   The Two Kathies have great hair.  And Kathy’s sister will have to explain the above photo to her husband.

And now you know about  Wednesday.

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storm in sandpoint

024I took this picture last night from Trinity, on the Sandpoint city beach.  We’d had a sudden wind and rainstorm come up, and afterwards?  A rainbow.

And what a rainbow!

Banjo Man called from home to tell me that a tree was down across the driveway and that the power was out.

The power is still out, seventeen hours later.

But the tree has been sawed and the road is open.

We’re having company for dinner tonight, which means firing up the grill and going to Plan B.

Plan B = grilled peaches for dessert.

(I think I’m really going to like Plan B.)

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happy birthday, sarge

You’re looking good!!!

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remember the parade?

Here are some of the photos of the 4th of July parade!!!

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This year’s theme: honoring our veterans!

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Mike, our float designer.

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Our mountain goat, in honor the Scotchman Wilderness.

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Jon, with his grandson (right) and nephew (left). The boys are wearing his old uniforms.

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Petra and Connie get ready to serenade the crowd.

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A proud grandson.

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Julie, who keeps the beat for all of us.

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The “horn section” waits for our turn in line.

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Very patient Bruce on the bass.

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Linda is ready with her accordion.

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Best Adult Float Trophy!!!

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Story Man thinks we were great.

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So gorgeous!!!!!

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daddy’s birthday

He would have been 89 today.

1993 Dad at TBTS007

We never stop missing him.

How he would have laughed at this scene at the Cousins Weekend!

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With birthdays two days apart, Sarge and Grandpa often shared a party. My dad’s favorite cake was made of Dunkin Donuts!
TonygrandpaSpeaking of birthdays, Sarge is turning 31 soon…

And I’ll bet he wishes he could have a doughnut cake.

I need an excuse to make one.

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until next year…

The Sisters, Etc. visit was another Event, with the parade and the fireworks and the warm weather and a chatty three-year old to entertain us.

There were lots of wonderful meals…
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And many wild card games…
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And conversations that lasted long after sunset…
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See you all next year!!!

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keeping the windows closed

We’ve never seen anything like this before.

This is smoke.



The fires in central Washington are far away, but close enough to fill the air with smoke.

Our hearts go out to those folks in Washington who have lost their homes.  You can read more about it here:


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