Thursday, July 20, 2006

Books, barns and wolves

I nailed up my "wolf crossing" sign yesterday. Within five minutes of tacking it to an sawed-off utility pole at the end of our new driveway, I notified the Book family to let them know that the yellow warning sign they'd given me years ago had not sat idle for very long.

Visitors coming into our driveway on Great Northern Road often wondered about the sign. I'd just tell them Larry and Ardella thought we needed it after I'd spotted what I thought was a wolf in a field along Woodland Drive. The story after my sighting turned into a classic called "To Assume It's a Wolf" and appeared in my second book.

Of course, I've not yet seen any wolves out here in Selle, but there's always the possibility that they might sniff out where I've moved and make their way out here. Therefore, all who drive by the Lovestead will have advance notice now that the sign appears along their route.

I saw Ardella yesterday driving past me as I walked through the Bonner Mall parking lot, and she yelled something about an art tour, asking if I was going on it. I wasn't quite sure what she was meant, but I heard another phrase about artists' homes. This morning my understanding became more complete when I read about art tours here in the Sandpoint area.

One story focused on the annual artwalk and listed where artists' works will be displayed. Of course, Judy Pederson's name jumped out from the list. She is a magnificent water color artist, and her works are on display at Northwest Handmades. She's also a friend and neighbor from our old neighborhood. Judy loves barns, and last year, she painted an awesome piece of our Upper Tibbs Place barn and machine shed. It's now sitting in our new living room waiting to be hung, as is the autographed poster for this year's Festival crafted by my classmate and friend Dann Hall.

Somewhere among the boxes to be unpacked, I've yet to find a piece by Larry and Ardella who specialize in carving birds from local pieces of wood. In fact, before we moved, Larry came to salvage our birch tree at the end of the driveway. Sadly, the beautiful tree suddenly died last summer, so now Larry will bring it back to life many times over, using it for his carvings of wildlife.

I discovered this morning that Larry and Ardella are not listed on the artwalk; instead, they're part of the Artists' Studio Tour, which offers some amazing works with special events this weekend and next. There's a website at ( which shows the artists featured on the tour and offers a place to obtain more information. The Books live on Woodland Drive in northwest Sandpoint where they operate their Wood'nWings studio.

I don't know if they feature any wolves in their collection, but I'm sure that if I were to ask, Larry would happily carve me one and laugh himself silly through the process just like he did that day I assumed I saw a wolf and got the old Dodge Caravan stuck. Larry saved me from that dilemma, but I'm sure he, Ardella and their daughter Jolene will never forget the price they paid to serve as Good Samaritans to Marianne.

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