With just hours remaining before her return to Seattle for the last week on the job at Groundspeak and the official countdown diminishing for her sabbatical and great adventure in France and Spain, Annie wanted to go fishing yesterday.
So, while Bill went to church, she went to North 40 and purchased a fishing permit. As soon as Bill returned, she saw that his pizza for lunch was warmed up and ready for him to eat on the run.
After all, time is always precious for our Precious.
Bill decided Trout Creek, which runs through the Idaho Fish and Game wildlife management area, would be a good place to go.
So, two kinds of mosquito repellent went along with us. Once there, Dad helped his daughter set up her fly rod, and soon we were tromping across the big meadow leading to the creek.
It didn't take long before we were smothering ourselves with repellent. Those are mighty hungry buggers, ready to start sucking that blood immediately after touchdown.
Bill and Annie made their way up one side of the "crick" while I stumbled through a lot of thick brush and bushes on the other side with my camera.
Eventually we reached a place where a big flat log provided a way across the creek. Bill suggested I make the crossing.
After a moment of initial fear that I would surely fall off that log and land in the creek, I remembered that I was wearing my hot-air balloon t-shirt, reminding me of another day back in February when I overcame another major fear.
So, I stepped up onto the log and confidently walked across. Amazing what one fear-conquering moment can do for each succeeding situation.
While dropping her fly into pools suggested by her dad, Annie kept a close watch on time. After all, we had to drive to Spokane for her 5:45 p.m. flight back to Seattle.
The mosquitoes continued to interfere with our fun. A second spray with the Off can fended them off for a few minutes, during which I found some wild ginger. Lovely stuff with its heart shape. For us Love's, anything with a heart is pretty neat.
Plucking a few, I suddenly had a brainstorm. Wouldn't it be neat for these little green hearts to be pressed and dried and stuffed into a safe place inside Annie's backpack for her trip.
"When you finish your walk and go to the ocean, why don't you drop these leaves from Trout Creek, Idaho, into the water," I suggested while showing them to her.
Annie thought that would be okay, probably figuring the leaves would not add any more weight to her already-heavy backpack, which will carry all her earthly goods as she walks across France and Spain for five weeks.
I took the leaves to the truck while Bill and Annie continued to make good use of time in that beautiful creek. They each caught a small trout.
Soon we were back in the truck, headed home, hurrying to wash off the bug spray and then loading up in the car to go to Spokane.
Bill stayed home to watch a dismal Mariners effort, but we had a pleasant addition when Debbie said she'd like to go along.
Partway to Spokane, Annie learned that her flight was a few minutes late, so the stress level waned a bit. We even had time to stop for snacks at the Conoco convenience store along the way.
It was a bittersweet parting, saying good bye to my daughter on this one of a multitude of trips we've taken to drop her off at the airport.
It's not the length of time until we see her, but it's a bit daunting, knowing that once again she'll take off all by herself for a long, long journey in a foreign land on foot.
A mother worries about those situations, but, along with that maternal concern, this mom is also mighty proud, excited and thrilled to know that her daughter is doing exactly what she wants to do in life and once again allowing the rest of us go along for the ride, albeit vicariously.
We said our good byes, exchanged hugs and wished her well.
This time next week she'll be toting that backpack around Paris before heading to the Camino start in the French Pyrenees.
And, those wild ginger hearts from Idaho will surely add a little warmth to her pack, symbolic of the deep love and pride we all have for her.
Adios, Annie. Can't wait to share in your adventure.
Happy Monday to all.