Grandma Gertie always said there's not a savory dish that can't be made tastier by just a touch of tarragon.

Tsunami and Me

Tsunami and Me
too big to escape now....

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Back Home in Stevens County

Mt. Rainier from Alaska Airlines Window Seat
Since I left Long Beach in 1987, the longest I've lingered in one place...and there have been eight, counting my present Southern California shoebox, was in the tiny rural community of Arden, seven miles south of Colville. Not surprisingly. much of Northeast Washington State still feels a bit like home. So when the Avis Representative at the airport last Monday afternoon offered to provide me with directions to get to my destination, I shook my head.

"I spent eight years driving to and from this airport every six weeks when I served on the Washington State Medical Commision," I explained. "It it weren't that my friend lives at the top of a twisty mountain road north of Colville, I could probably get there blindfolded." Not that I would do such a stupid thing, I hastened to reassure her, as she handed me the car keys.
A doe and 2 fauns atop Jane's cement hilltop house.

I did drive from my house on Pend Oreille Loop to that Spokane airport once, with a broken left shoulder and my arm immobilized in a sling. From my garage to the airport parking structure 76 miles away required exactly six turns, three lefts and three rights. Not quite like driving the Los Angeles and Orange County freeways.

Chris, Ann, Sr. Sharon, Rusanne, Terri
Three years had elapsed since I left Stevens County, so in my four days with my friend, Jane Conn, I had a bit of dashing about to do to catch up with everyone. Surprisingly, I saw nearly everybody. We headed one afternoon to the Chewelah Country Club to meet with several members of the book group I'd belonged to. Some of them were playing golf that morning, so it seemed an ideal locale. After we caught up on what's going on in one another's lives, we settled down to the serious business of recommending books to one another. High on my list now is "A Tale for the Time Being," by Ruth Ozeki, as well as Louise Penny's "Still Life." Also, I plan to get the DVD of the recent documentary that PBS aired on Martin Luther.

On the drive back to Jane's we stopped at the new Pour House Pub, to sample a flight each of the 15 ales and ciders on tap. My picks included from left to right below:  Lost Coast Watermelon Wheat,
Huckleberry Pucker Shandy, City Fruit Cider and Festiva Peche ale. Jane chose Lost Coast and Festiva, and a couple of other IPAs.Though the Pour House doesn't serve food, it provides free popcorn. There's also a giant jar of animal crackers for anybody with a sweet tooth.
An Andrew Carnegie legacy in Colville.
On Thursday we went to the Colville Library to another book group that I'd belonged to for ten years. Our discussion concerned "13 Reasons Why," a young adult novel written a decade ago by Jay Asher, and much in the public eye right now because of a Netflix series released this past season. Our conversation covered not only adolescent suicide, but another topic that commanded the front page that morning of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, a high school shooting in a small community just southeast of Spokane.
Colville bookies Jane, Joby, Nancy, Terri, Maggie.

In retrospect, it's no wonder that I packed on a couple of pounds during this visit, with all the dining out with old friends. I'd been delighted to bump into old Colville Horizons colleague, Ann Van Dielen, and was able to meet her for lunch. Also, Jane and I met friend Nancy Folkestad at Meyers Falls Market's first wine tasting of the season. That evening I had a chance to catch up on the news of the Colville Branch AAUW that I'd enjoyed so many years with. Jane and I also dropped in one evening at the Colville Travel for a South American evening that turned out to be cancelled. Instead, we had a pleasant evening visiting and sipping wine with the proprietor and Jackie McGregor, Colville AAUW friend.
With Ann Van Dielen at Mavericks, where the bill appears in a boot.
I was so happy at seeing Jackie who has been traveling extensively since her husband retired from the Colville branch of Community Colleges of Spokane. Jackie bills herself as a "professional volunteer," and that she has been indeed. She's been a treasure for the community with her work with Friends of the Library, as well as AAUW and other groups.
Terri, Jane, hostess Rita, Nancy at a wine tasting at Myers Falls Market
Just for the record, my favorite wine at the Myers Falls Market tasting was an Australian Red Blend, mysteriously titled 19 Crimes. Believe me, there was nothing criminal whatsoever about this smooth treat, nor the hospitality of our hostess, who kept us supplied with olives, crackers and great cheese.

When will I return to Colville? The next time I'll pack my passport and revisit some Canadian haunts as well. I hear the siren songs of Grand Forks, Cristina Lake and Winston.

1 comment:

  1. I am fascinated by your travels and your spirit of adventure.