In the relatively remote area in which we live, goods and services are certainly available but somewhat limited. Our nearest “big” city is Spokane, which my son describes as “just a big Lewiston” when it comes to shopping. He means it’s just the same stuff but more of it. He has a point.
So, getting out to a real population center like Denver is a treat in itself. Ask me what sights I want to see in the big city and I’ll tell you that visits to the local marketplaces will do it for me – even the grocery store. I admit, though, that the festive “get ready for the holidays” feeling that I enjoyed with our Halloween visits was mostly lacking with this late summer trip. It was just a little too early for holiday teas.
We left the Mile High Warnocks’ near Denver early Monday morning (Sept. 12) and arrived at Clint’s in Gooding for supper. The drive is long between Denver and Gooding – about 11 hours – but it’s doable. We left Clint’s about 5:30 a.m. MDT on Tuesday (Sept. 13) and were home by 1:00 p.m. PDT. We spent the afternoon unpacking, putting away, re-packing for the farm, and Mike washed the car.
In the end maybe it’s just best to shop at home. In fact, Mike and I have always believed in supporting home-town services. Even as Kelly was showing me the autumn-based products at Bath and Body Works (Yancey’s employer), I resolved to buy at the Lewiston store, located in our dilapidated shopping center. That store can surely use my business. (But I will say that Kelly did an excellent job of showing me the stock and explaining what’s available.)
So Wednesday morning, Mike and I agreed that I would shop for groceries while he hid a geocache at Pomeroy on behalf of the Boy Scouts, which constituted a refreshing motorcycle trip, of course. And for my refreshment I stopped at Jo-Ann Fabrics where I took advantage of senior discount day and bought the fabric for the assigned embroidery club project, a table runner. I planned a Halloween theme and already had fabric in mind, so my selections came together quickly. As the associate cut my pieces, she commented that I must be making a table runner. (How did she know?) She added that it was going to be delightful, and I felt affirmed. (Never mind that she felt she had to placate me because she skipped my number in the cutting queue.)
As I stood in line to check out with three other “guests,” the cashier called out, “Just in case any of you happen to qualify, today is senior discount day.”
“That’s why I’m here,” I sang out. “Are you going to card me? I mean – perhaps I don’t look like I’m over 60.” The other two guests didn’t smile.
“And you don’t,” she said diplomatically, “but no, I’m not going to card you, even though the company says I’m supposed to. I just hate asking people if they qualify,” she went on. “I think it’s an insult.” And I can see her point. It’s impolite to ask someone’s age, especially those of us who qualify.
With the shopping done, Mike and I loaded the Dakota and came to the farm. Temps were in the 90s while we were gone and the garden suffered. At this time of year when the growing season is winding down, I just have to say – “Oh well.” I picked a couple of zucchini and I see one lemon cucumber on the vine.
And there’s lots of work to be done – pears to pick (the most beautiful fruit I’ve seen on our tree) and continued apple experiments, raspberries to thin and prune, and various other pruning and yard improvements. Yesterday evening I made applesauce with those little green apples from the newly pruned tree at the pond, an adequate batch and good with the barbecued pork chops.
Days are noticeably shorter. And this morning it’s overcast and cool with a few showers -- a change in the weather, as we say. I looked up from my laptop to see a doe running across the north field. Life is good. KW
[The first photo was taken on the Salmon River below Riggins, Idaho, as we returned to our town home. The other two were taken on the farm this morning.]