Last day in Idaho

By Joanne Peterson | Jun 28, 2012

I am in Idaho, visiting granddaughter Annika and her parents.

I’m having a super time and finding it difficult to go home.  It is midnight of my last evening here.

My son the engineer left for work at 9 p.m., and is on a freight train powering through the summer night toward Pasco.

My daughter-in-law, unable to fall asleep, just came downstairs to invite me outside to listen to the crickets and the owl.

The northern Idaho night is thick and dark, no moon and stars showing. Perhaps after this day of summer warmth, tomorrow will be cloudy.

The owl sound enchants me. Whooo. Whooo. Is he in a nearby pine, calling for company? Do the horses look up when they hear the moody voice?

In the barn, Annika’s lamb Woolford probably doesn’t notice exterior noises.  He slumbers nightly to classical music filtering out of an old radio placed near his stall.

Night before last, we had an amazing electrical storm with fierce rain, followed by a cloudy day.

Today, my daughter-in-law and I went plant-shopping and came home with lots of flowers to plant. We worked a long time in the flower beds, in full sun, stopping for iced tea every now and then. Annika helped.

I tried not to complain about the heat. (Sometimes I forget my years in North Central Washington, where summers are hot and winters are cold. I’ve re-acclimated to the Edmonds climate I knew as a child.)

When I was a kid, I went to Brownie Day Camp at Woodland Park. At the end of each day’s activities, our young counselors would herd us onto a grassy knoll where we joined all the other groups and sang “Tell Me Why” and “White Coral Bells” and “Kooka Burra Sat in the Old Gum Tree.”

I’m telling you these song titles because, alarmingly, they apparently stuck in my mind these many years, so I think I should make use of them.

Aside from Brownie Day Camp and visits to my maternal grandparents on Camano Island, nothing about my summer was scheduled. The beach, my bike, the library, my friends—summertime.

In contrast to my simple vacations, granddaughter Annika’s first weeks out of third grade have been busy.

First, she traveled to the Oregon coast with her parents and her maternal grandparents—a great week at the ocean.

Annika came home to a week of basketball camp and a week of junior golf classes (with another golf week coming up in July) and tomorrow she starts something called Goodness Grows Summer Day Camp—which is a gardening camp for kids.  I think she’s already a good little gardener.

My little farm girl Annika’s 4-H involvement takes time, too. She demonstrates how she feeds, waters, walks and grooms her lamb Woolford. Puppy-like, he follows her around the yard. “What kind of sheep is he?” I ask.

“Meat,” she says bluntly, leaving me quite speechless.

We head into the house to play with the kittens.



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