A cup of convenience-store coffee, a camera and a snowy afternoon. Twas definitely a perfect combination for me as I drove away from Sand Creek Conoco yesterday, deciding which way to turn.
Oh yeah, I also bought one of those Reece’s wafer sticks and, as usual, thought wistfully of Mother.
Most of my afternoons almost three years ago involved stops at the Sand Creek Conoco for coffee and for two of those bars.
Then, it was off to Life Care to visit with Mother.
She enjoyed those candy bars as much as I did.
I found out later that my two sisters share a similar appreciation for them too. So, we women of the family must have all landed on the same sweet-tooth page.
These days, I don't stop at the convenience store on a regular basis, but when I do, I purchase the wafer stick.
Each bite satisfies my palate and helps me renew a pleasant and sweet memory of beloved figure in my life.
So, while enjoying the candy-coffee combo and heading toward the HWY 95, Schweitzer Cut-off intersection, I decided that on this day the Suburu would not go north on 95.
Instead it would take a roundabout route home through Selle farm country.
I hoped that maybe this half-rain, half-snow would turn to full blown picturesque snow out in the country.
Sure enough, my hope turned to reality as I headed east from Kootenai and eventually turned off HWY 200 onto Hickey Road.
Giant flakes by the thousands were dropping from the sky, creating images resembling those TV screens from back in the old days when one of the three local channels would go off the air.
We called it snow, and probably said some bad words.
Only difference between yesterday and yesteryear----that snow monopolized the screen, offering no hint of images hiding behind it like I was seeing in Oden and Selle.
My trip through the country with stops alongside some of the long established farms offered a lot more excitement on a day when staying indoors watching TV or reading a book probably was probably keeping most folks off the road.
And, that was good for me. I could go down the slightly hazardous roadways without much worry of seeing a perfect photo only to feel the pressure of a car creeping up behind me.
Many potential photos have escaped into oblivion, thanks to those rear-view mirror intruders having the sheer audacity of wanting to get down their country roads in a timely manner.
Yesterday, most of them stayed out of the elements, giving me pretty much a free licence to stop for a rural scene pretty much any time I wanted.
It was photographic heaven, 'cept for how fast the camera got wet whenever I'd poke it out a window or stand on the road to take pictures.
Though I had nobody on my rear bumper, I certainly did feel the pressure of grabbing those images as quickly as possible, lest I ruin my camera.
It was an outing that started off with thoughts of my mother, and the good times continued as I stopped at each scene, thinking about the wonderful history associated with the settings.
Some of those quick mental vignettes included a cast of Selle Valley rural legends, such as Lois and Jack Hickey, Bob and Bernice Wood, the Lockwoods, the Hart family and, of course, my dear neighbors, the Meserves.
I don't know the history behind all the barns or for the implement sitting next to the driveway at my friend Jacque's home. I do know, though, who owns the cows enjoying their afternoon meal in the snow---that would be some of the other Wood family.
The two horses staying out of the elements belong to my friend Leanna who spent several fall sessions working with my horses for a class she's taking. Leanna and I became acquainted when both of our mothers lived at The Bridge for Assisted Living.
I told her once that we have our mothers to thank for our friendship, which I value greatly.
My drive to our home took me on the Forest Siding Loop where the photo at the bottom was taken. I've ridden horses and my bike past that old cabin and have always wondered about the story it could tell.
Bet it's a fascinating tale, and if anyone who is reading today can share some facts on the cabin or any of the structures in these snowy scenes, please do so.
All in all, the trip, like so many I take during my brief afternoon breaks away from home, provided a bounty of simple, lasting gifts.
The experience cost me a few dollars' worth of gas, coffee and chocolate, I kinda figure the return on that investment of money and time is priceless for many, many reasons.
Happy Saturday. GO, ZAGS! Hope you enjoy the seeing photos as much as I did taking them.