Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thursday Thoughts and TBT's

Daughter-in-law Debbie trying out snow shoeing on a gorgeous day a few years back at the Colburn farm, where she now lives. 

Yesterday did not present much of an opportunity to get outside and enjoy taking photos. 

Instead, we spent a good portion of the morning cleaning out after the snow dump from the night before. 

We also were waiting to hear from our "appliance doctor" about a belt he had ordered for our dryer. 

By noon or so and when the rain began, I decided it was time to take those clothes that had to be rewashed after sitting in the dryer for two days to the laundromat. 

I also took along a book which I had given to both Bill and Annie for Christmas.  It's by travel aficionado Rick Steves, and it's called Travel as a Political Act

We, as a family, have all always loved travel, but these days it seems like we do approach the act much differently than in the old days when travel meant getting to go on a trip, somewhere, anywhere. 

These days, we tend to think more in terms of expanding our cultural education than all-out fun, and so Steve's observations seem very timely for us. 

After putting my clothes into a dryer and being told to come back in about 30 minutes, I drove to Starbuck's, sat down with a cup of coffee and began to read. 

As Steves gave a few examples of cultural traditions he had observed, including a fun vignette about a conversation he'd had with a native of the west coast of Ireland, my mind wandered a bit. 

I'm reading this book about traveling in that big, wide fascinating world out there, and, here I am, sitting less than a mile from my childhood home, which is just across Sand Creek and a short distance down Boyer Road from Starbucks. 

Who'd a thunk it back in the late '40s, early '50s that this little country girl would some day consider "traveling abroad" as almost a yearly expectation. 

Back in those days, the few people who did travel to Europe from Sandpoint earned front-page coverage in the local newspaper because it was such a monumental event and certainly worthy of a news story. 

After all, the rest of us would read these stories, never envisioning ourselves having the same opportunity.  

In those days, we figured we'd just have to get our world culture by thumbing through the pages of Lands and Peoples, an accessory set of books that came along with several volumes of Popular Science when our folks purchased the Americana Encyclopedia, 1960 edition. 

I can remember back in those days discussions of which encyclopedia set your parents bought was the best.  It was kinda like arguing over models of cars.  

Some of my contemporaries thought the Britannica was much better than the Americana, while others thought The Book of Knowledge led the pack. 

I think it all just depended on which traveling encyclopedia salesman showed up at the house first. 

My, how our households have changed since those days! Do people even have encyclopedias in their living rooms?  Would kids even know how or want to use them?

I saw a Spokesman video yesterday where some kids were given the task of using a rotary dial phone to try to call someone.  

I didn't watch the whole video, but am guessing they may have been a bit dumfounded. 

Anywho, during that brief moment yesterday at Starbuck's reading Rick Steves' book sent me off into a brief "we've come a long way" interlude.  

The 30 minutes went by quickly, so I headed back over to the nearby laundromat.  With the load slightly damp, I went to the attendant and asked for more help.  After all, ya don't use the $6 worth of quarters I'd brought with me to dry your clothes. 

Paper money is a necessity, and then you get a card to put in the slot and determine your time. 

I don't go to the laundromat very often, so the procedure certainly has changed, like so many other aspects of the "simple" process of odds-and-ends transactions we do when we go to town. 

The attendant put 10 more minutes on my load, which gave me time to engage in a fun conversation with two other women doing their laundry.  

By the time I walked out of the facility with my dry clothes folded and deposited into bags, I had gotten to know Jenny and Sunny, both transplants and both interesting, fun women. 

In retrospect, I'd really like to see my dryer belt, but I'm happy to have had the opportunity to go to town, sip on coffee, read from a book, do a bit of reflecting on where life has taken me and to have added two new friends and their stories to my circle. 

Yes, travel can be political and culturally uplifting, even when we don't travel very far. 

Once again, today's "Thursday Throwback" photos don't have any central focus. I simply found them on old Wal-Mart CD's and among my many picture stacks. 

Still, every single one of them means something special to me.   So, I hope you enjoy as I indulge myself with more lovely memories. 

I shed a tear or two when I found this heart-warming photo on a CD, which has been sitting in a storage space for years.

The expressions:  priceless.

That's my younger brother Jim and our beloved mother. 

The farm where we lived for 30 years while the kids were growing up.  Quest Aircraft Co. now owns it. 

Our dad Harold sittin' and thinkin' while waiting for the first holiday dinner served in my sisters' home. 

At a horse show, in the fairgrounds bleachers.  

My mother knew how to focus, so rather than focusing on my camera, she was focusing on hers.

Bill, brother Kevin, niece Laura, Mother and sister-in-law Mary, also Laura's mom. 

One year while we were still teaching, my sister Barbara and I had the opportunity to join 90-plus other teachers, including my friend Rick Gehring, on a week-long visit to the U.S. Naval Academy.

They treated us like royalty.

We also did some touring in Washington, D.C. 

Some of my students when I taught English in Portable 2 behind Sandpoint Middle School. 

Some class leaders from Willie's Class of 1995 working on a project.  Julie, Alyssa and Rachel. 

I believe this young lady named Grace will be graduating from Sandpoint High School this spring.

Time flies! 

My cousin Barb came up from her home in Phoenix one summer and learned about geocaching from Bill. 

Brother Jim on the 4-wheeler. 

Happiest of 70th birthdays today to my longtime friend and former neighbor Susie "Sky" Baldwin, right.

She's pictured here with her classmate at Sandpoint High School, Marilyn Dalby, owner of Eve's Leaves in downtown Sandpoint.

Susie left Sandpoint her sophomore year and graduated from high school in Missoula, Mont., where her father worked for the Forest Service.

During the five years she lived in Sandpoint, my visits to her house or hers to mine eventually happened almost daily. 

We both loved horses, still do.

I can say with certainty that since those days, Susie has led an adventurous and fascinating life, traveling the world, riding the trails and continuing to embrace all that life has to offer.

Though the years have passed since our childhood friendship here in Sandpoint, I'm happy to say that we have maintained that friendship to this day.

So, Happy Birthday, dear friend.  Welcome to the 70s.  

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