Places on Earth: Priest Lake, Idaho

I didn't travel far, and I didn't stay long, but this quick trip went straight to my soul. I didn't take a plane or my passport. I took a short drive, a canoe and a backpack. And of all the places I've been so far, this one is my favorite.

My husband and I loaded the canoe with gear and paddled into white caps on the lower lake. The waves were never big enough to tip us, but it was slow going against the wind and water. For a while, it felt like the lake wanted us to turn around before we discovered its secret.

The upper lake flows through a causeway to the lower lake. I had just finished singing Last of the Mohicans when the water quieted and we discovered that a piece of the Costa Rican jungle had been transplanted into Idaho. Yes, the trees and wildlife were different, but the amount of green was the same. The pictures don't do justice to how the water glowed green. After the rolling lake, the still water made us feel like we'd found something sacred. Watching it was like witnessing art--the whirls and wakes as the oars passed through the water, the line behind the family of Canada geese.

Everywhere we looked, mama ducks were busy with their ducklings. Who doesn't love tiny little duck bums sticking up in the air? I wished I could see their sweet webbed feet churning like mad under the water to keep up with mama. We paddled for an hour and a half, but it wasn't long enough.

The animal sounds were different than Costa Rica, but just as loud. Peace and quiet? Not really, just animal neighborhood sounds instead of people neighborhood sounds. During the night, a lonely grouse dude was flapping an insanely fast beat with his wings, trying to get a date. He was still at it when we woke up, poor guy. We heard a splash and saw a falcon taking off with a fish, and watched a bald eagle circle.

I love people. I really do. But I've never been so happy to not see any. Occasionally, a boat glided quietly past, leaving nothing but ripples in the no-wake zone. Other than that, we were the last two people on the planet, and this was ours.

This tree could have been Costa Rican, too, though it's roots were exposed because of erosion, not because it liked to grow that way. Most perfect fort ever made. 

This, this was the moment, though. I stood for an hour with my toes in warm sand, deciding whether to dive into the sky, or fly into the water.                                           

Idaho, people. Idaho.


Salad Donuts and Sock Pants

A few of you may have seen my occassional Whit of the Day posts on Facebook. I realized I hadn't recorded them all in one place, so I've been gathering them up and thought I'd try to make you smile.  

Whit at Two:

Reading a book together:
"Look, Whit, a parrot."
"It's a owl."
"Nope. It's a parrot. Can you say parrot?"
"It's a owl." 
"It looks like an owl, but it's a parrot."
"It's a eagle."
"Nope. It's a parrot."
"It's a eagle."

"It looks like an eagle, but it's a parrot."
"It's a bird."
"N... yep. Fine. It's a bird."

Whit at Three:

Josh teaching the kids Chinese words at the dinner table. 
Whit: "You know how to say Halloween in Chinese? RAAAAAAAAAAAWWWRRRRR!"

"Mom, you're REALLY old. You're so really older than me, you're old enough to drive a car. That's really old."

"Mom, I used your check-o-scope to listen to the kitty's heart beep."

As we drive- "Hey, Mom, is that a church?"
"Do you have to sit down?"
"That's the boringest." A few moments of silence. "But Jesus doesn't mind."

Whit has his shirt off, points at his nipples and asks, "What are these things called?"

"What do you think they're called?"
"Pom poms?"

Papa and Whit fishing. "Papa, if you take off all the skin of the fish, is he naked?" 

“Mom, are you putting on lipstick eyes?" (eyeshadow)
"How come you want your eyes to be beautiful?"
"So Daddy will want to kiss me. Whadaya think about that?"
-pause- "Gross."

Playing with the humidifier-
"See, you turn this button and smoke comes out! See! Look at this feetacular machine!"

Josh eating a bagel sandwich.
Whit: "Can I have a bite of your salad donut?"

Making spritz cookies with Mimmie and Papa, points to the dough...

"Can I eat that?"
"No, that's for spritz cookies."
Whit stares at Papa. "Who's Sprit?"

Whit says to Mimmie, "I made the earth."

Mimmie- "Oh, I thought that was somebody else."
"Well, Jesus helped."

After spending some time with Papa, Whit wanted to tell me one of Papa's farm stories.

"Papa had a brother and a dog and a wagon. When they sayed . . . (tapping chin)...sig'um, the dog ran. They tied the dog to the wagon, and Papa was the . . . (thinking) . . . the try-dumber, and he got in the wagon and his brother said, 'sig'um!' So the dog ran and the dog went under the fence, and the wagon went under the fence and Papa went . . . ppweht."

Me- "Where are you Whit?"

"I'm in the living room. Hey, is living. . . watching TV?"
"No, that's not living."
"Oh. Then I might die."

"I'm glad you shaved your beard off Dad."

"Really? How come?"
"Because it's just....normal-er. And I can kiss you easier."

Whit had the blues at bedtime. I pulled the blanket I made him up to his chin and said, "I made you this because I love you." Next came Mimmie's quilt. "And Mimmie loves you." Then Nana's monkey blanket. "And Nana loves you."
His chin quivered, then he burst into tears. "I'm just crying because I love the people who love me."

Whit at four: *mere seconds after we leave the parking lot* 
Whit: "I have to go! Really badly!"
Mom and Dad in unison: "Ugggghhh! Why didn't you tell us that in the store?!"
Whit: "Because I like to make you go, Ugggghhh!"

While doing Whit's hair-- "There. What do you think?"
"It's too nerd-like. And my head looks like a nut."


Cannon lost his first tooth. It ended up in a tiny plastic box on the kitchen table, which Addie had to clear for dinner. "I just feel really uncomfortable holding a piece of my brother's head."

Weezie at Two:

"I tooted."
"Hee hee. What do you say?"
"I tooted again."

As I'm putting Weezie's tights on her: "I like deez sock pants."

Dad: "Look at Mommy run, Weezie! She's fast!"
Weezie (who does not pronounce all her S's): "Ya! Mama fat like a dinosaur! Rawr!"
Mom: "Hey!!"

Whit: "You can't wait for an idea. You have to think for an idea. Duh."

Josh and kids playing a pass-it-on story-telling game.
Josh: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Addie: There was a 70 foot tall unicorn!
Cannon: Who's farts smelled like rotten tomatoes!
Whit: And his horn was on FIIIIRRRRRREE!!

And now you know my family, and why they're my best friends.