Amy and I flew out to Idaho to see the Skrivseth family for ourselves. We found them just as we expected, taking turns gathering around this famous bar. The favorite meeting place is located at the home of Sid and Ruth Skrivseth, my parents. Each day we ate mom’s delicious meals here. Each day someone of the family stopped by for coffee and talk here. We had a wonderful time.
Mom and my sisters are a gift to me right when I need to talk about my questions. They didn’t feel over-burdened with the amount words I had to offer. Nobody understands quite like family. So when I firmly and somewhat loudly said that I will not take the radioactive iodine treatment as a solution to my overactive thyroid; they listened and received and bounced the ball back kindly.
I have to talk to think. Elv gets overwhelmed with the sheer volume of words, understandably, but Mom assured me that she wanted to hear all of it. She might know how much that meant to me.
One day we girls and mom got together at Judy’s little house for coffee. Perfect tulips and cookies made it special as well as being together. Judy helps us to laugh. She is a great encourage-r.
Coffee figures big in the day of a Skrivseth. It’s so much more than a hot drink to us. We have our first cups as soon we get up in the morning along with Quiet Time. The next cup is with anyone else who shows up in the living room first thing in the morning. We plan our day and solve. Then there’s breakfast or mid-morning coffee just before everyone goes off to his separate adventures for the day. Lunch coffee. Then a fresh pot for when everyone gathers back in for supper. In the evening, if anyone shows up for a short visit, out comes that steaming pot and rows of mugs.
Amy got to know a few more of her many cousins while we were there. They’re all big kids now and some of them are getting married. Most of these only have lots of girl friends and boy friends for now. At this age we are not so much going out in the world to seek our fortunes as we are testing the weight of our words and hearts on each other. Spats and laughter and hard mountain hikes for now.
Sure enough, there are flowers coming up there where she knew to check. She scraped away the mulch with her gloved hand and found the first green shoots. Mom is the garden designer. Dad does the lawn care. They work together at it really.
Each day they take a walk. One day we walked across country to Norv and Sharon’s store at 3-Mile. I felt like I was in England walking to somewhere each day. We had breakfast at Norv’s store and our second cup of coffee.
On another day, we walked with Dad to “The Rim”. This time we had to walk across country another direction for over a mile till we came to where we could see Kooteni Valley underfoot. The river and Bonner’s Ferry way down there. It was a brisk, breezy day. Perfect for clearing the head.
Amy and I posing. This proves that we really were there.
Mom and Dad made nitrogen ice cream one evening for everyone. The house filled up with most of the four other families of mine who live there: adults, youth, children and all. It was a lot of people. Sharon brought the ice cream mixed and ready to freeze.
Mom poured it into her largest stainless bowl and poised the hand mixer over it. Dad did his part and dumped nitrogen from the tank in small splashes and mom dug in with her mixer. Splash and scrape the sides and mix with clouds of “steam” rolling everywhere. It’s exciting and dramatic and fun. We had our own “rock concert” with all that “smoke” rolling around.
Another evening Mom pulled out her cumbersome, disorderly collection of photographs, the yield of 70 years of living. Boxes and boxes of pictures and I remember most of it. Every one a thousand words and not enough time. I felt yanked from one life to another somehow. And we didn’t see nearly all of them. After a long time, tired, we went to our beds. Later, after I was home for a couple of days I happened to think about that huge mess we made on the living room floor digging through those pictures and wondered who put them away. Sometime I am going to stay till I’ve seen every one!
When I am 70, I hope to be just like my mom. What more could one ask?
Hope you enjoy this picture, Mom. I know, the dog isn’t yours, nor the fireplace, but there you sat rocking that new baby of April’s, contributing to our loud discussions. Thanks Mom for teaching us truth, and how to find it.
This is as good a place as any to say that I was refreshed by joining Mom on her ongoing quest to learn something new everyday. The first morning I was there, she invited me to listen in to the next in line of a series of medical lectures she was enjoying about Lyme disease. Okay, after hearing unscientific ideas/ health crazes, I have to say as kindly as I can that this was absolutely comforting to me. Yes! The world is NOT spinning out of control. God still shows truth to those who seek it. And Mom seems to be able to detect truth from fiction just as well as ever. What a great mom she is.
April won’t like this picture, I suppose, but she should. She is in a bumpy part of the road of motherhood, her baby being five weeks old, and she still plays with her camera. She’s been posting her camera paintings on Instagram again. Her stuff is really, really good.
Which reminds me. Shilah teaches school. She took off for a day to spend time with me while I was there. Precious, grabbed moments to savor. Sunday evening we walked down across the bridge over the Kooteni River into Bonners Ferry proper and visited as fast we could while we walked. Shaunti noticed an ambitious beaver far below in the water who had started on a dam. Some folks are like that beaver and set out to dam the Kooteni River not realizing that it cannot be done. But I had to admire his spirit and endeavors. At least he was busy and doing what he was inclined to do, his best. You never know, maybe our project will reach after all, if we just get started. That is certainly better than not doing anything just because it seemingly can’t be done. I’m thinking about that a lot lately. We excuse ourselves from doing what we should because “what can one person do?” Fortunately, many people have started out anyway, alone, with a vision, and pressed on.
When I was little girl at home, we used to take drives on Sunday afternoon just to explore and see what’s down that road.
This walk reminded me of that. They had to see what was over that hill or around that corner. I should have had a step counter on me.
Just playing with my camera and edits here. Bonner’s Ferry is down there on the right. Lovely view.
Snow covered mountains are much more dramatic than the summertime mountains, methinks.
Live well, be kind, and don’t complain.
6 thoughts on “Idaho Visit And Oddments of Thought”
Beautiful story telling. And of course I'm feeling bad cuz I crave a visit like that with them. Looks and sounds like it was well worth it!
Yes, that! Amy Jane. Your story telling was random and relaxed. I thought of Grandpa while reading it. Not to mention that now I am crying inside for all the love we give each other.
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I'm glad you came Arla, and I am glad the beaver inspired you to say that about doing what needs doing…
As I began reading your description of this family time, I felt a longing, a tugging from deep inside somewhere and I didn't really know what it was. Then I got to the first photo of your mom and I started crying, thinking, “Yes, that is why I was feeling this way – it's Mom-Eva. I'm missing her, and I didn't even know it!” There sits her sister – a part of her. And here I sit, a part of her. It is very sweet of you to provide the link with such a beautiful blog post. (Grief is such a funny, surprising journey!) I feel much better now. So, again, thanks. 🙂 Danette
Hello Danette, and I brought the K genealogy file home from Moms computer to edit. Thanks for your encouragement. Mom was pleased that we cared.