Saturday, June 10, 2017
We had just finished Friday night family dinner at Sweet Lou's in Ponderay. Last night's version had a definite festive flair since my sisters had just completed their final day of teaching for Lake Pend Oreille School District 84.
With that accomplishment, I proudly noted that we three sisters had put in 100 years in the classroom for local schools.
If we were to count up all the other years of education put in by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, outlaws, children, etc., within our extended family over multiple generations, I'm sure the year total would be astounding. Guess you'd could safely call teaching the family business.
Conversation remained upbeat throughout dinner as we talked about a vast array of exciting plans for our summer.
We also talked about a new CD which my sister Barbara, a devoted pop music lover, has been playing constantly in her truck.
"Two Irish songs," my sisters told me, knowing full well that would be music to my ears.
They also figured that I needed to hear that CD, so when we began to leave the restaurant, Barbara announced that "Marianne needs to go home with us," implying that plan would provide an opportunity for me to hear at least some of the songs on British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran's 2017 album Divide.
Sounded good to me, so I said "good bye" to Willie and Bill and headed off with my newly retired sisters.
The first plan: Sunnyside.
Then, how about the loop from the Idaho Club golf course leading back to the Northside School and Pack River Cemetery where flower pots from Memorial Day would be gathered from our parents' grave.
Then, why not Trestle Creek? After all, we have to hear the whole album. Besides, there was a bathroom at the Army Corps of Engineers picnic/swimming area.
After all, I had not quite anticipated a full-blown evening road trip when I first left the restaurant, and, for sure, my bladder would eventually start complaining.
So, to Trestle Creek we drove on an absolutely gorgeous June evening where sun rays peeking through billowy clouds created golden accents to the blue waters of a rising Lake Pend Oreille and the Pack River Delta. No more mud flats in June. Now water aplenty for beauty, boaters and the fish and wildlife---not necessarily in that order.
By the time we were rounding the bend overlooking the lake on Highway 200, and the road gently curved eastward from the flats toward Trestle Creek, I had heard enough from the CD to comment that this Ed Sheeran, with his pure and beautiful voice singing lyrics focusing on romantic relationships, seemed a lot like a male version to Adele.
Barbara heartily agreed.
And, so, continuing down the road, we listened and gazed at the vast expanse of evening beauty all around us. When we turned in to the Trestle Creek recreation area, a sizeable flock of Canadian geese, with their young'uns had gathered on the grass above the lakeshore.
Our intervention set them into motion. Soon a tight mass of feathery creatures slowly disappeared over the hill leading to the beach.
No cameras. Darn!
Three "clicking sisters" with beauty, beauty everywhere but not a chance to click.
Well, I did have my cell phone, so I did my best to capture the moments. The geese had reached a safe distance from the shoreline by the time I snapped my photos.
Meanwhile, Barbara and Laurie remained at the pickup, happily gazing toward the lake and most likely thinking of this significant moment in their respective lives.
As we began to leave the park, the Ed Sheeran's voice resumed inside the pickup, but only briefly, interrupted by a phone call.
It was our brother Kevin who was calling to congratulate his sisters on their lifetime achievement. We all chimed in for a short conversation, and then his voice was cut off.
Soon, it was back to the CD and Sheeran's songs, many of which are biographical. And, yes, I loved the two Irish pieces---one about his grandparents from Ireland.
The CD was still playing when we reached the cemetery. We left it booming as we opened the car doors. After all, Mother and Harold would surely love it too.
Memorial Day flowers, which had all but dried up in their pots, were gathered up, and on we went toward South Center Valley Road, where I said good bye.
Beautiful music from a talented artist punctuating a monumental day, along with a spontaneous drive amidst the spectacular grandeur of this place where we've spent our entire lives ----not a bad way to top off two outstanding careers and to create a lasting memory among sisters.
Thanks, Barbara and Laurie. Loved the experience. The fun has begun! And, today marks the first Saturday of your lives where "every day's a Saturday."
So, happy Saturday to you and to all.