We didn’t make our annual sojourn to Idaho in 2020, of course, so the trip this year was almost essential. It started as usual: We had to be at the airport by 6 a.m.
6 a.m. is no stranger to me, but I am usually found with a cup of coffee and a pencil to do the Sudoku after logging into Messenger and saying “good morning” to those expecting me. Youngest Son works the night shift on the Slope and usually gives me a wave as he heads for bed. #1 Son has a dog to walk so he is usually on his second cup and says “good morning” and gives me a Healy weather report. Granddaughter #5 has Miss One-Year at her house as the automatic wake-up call so she gives me a sleepy “hello.”
I have noticed many of the same people other than my kids online each morning, too. I can tell they are there by the little green dot by their name on my “friends” list indicating they are active and I wonder if anyone else has considered that social media isn’t much different from an electronic ankle monitor. I have not signed on a couple of times, but by 8 a.m. I get an email or text from the designated Tattle-Tale of the Day wondering what is going on, is everything OK? so it is easier to just say “Hi” to everyone in the beginning and skip the drama.
But, I was on my way to Idaho. The plane was an hour late leaving Anchorage because of some computer shutdown thing. I think they unplugged, waited 20 seconds, plugged it back in, and started it, but first they had to call in someone’s grand kid to pull the plug.
Seattle airport was a real mess. More people than I’ve seen there at one time in the last 40 years. And that plane was an hour and half late leaving because of essentially the same problem as Anchorage. And we didn’t bring the kid along so had to wait for IT to unplug and replug. But the wine was still free crossing the Cascades.
When we landed at Pullman/Moscow at 6 p.m. it was 100 degrees. We stayed 12 days and every day we were there, the temperature reached 100 sometime during the day.
#1 Son and the “Real Barbara Walters” were there, also, as were Daughter and S-I-L. One of the reasons we chose that time was for the memorial for my lifetime BFF who died last November. While we all commiserated over the phone and email at the time, it was good to see all her kids and Spouse and get to give them a hug. Our kids were there for that reason. It was a great get-together, despite the somber reason, although it was made less solemn because the family chose that time and place. The “picnic at the pond” was her favorite thing to do during the summer. She would have loved the crowd, and lamented the heat along with all the rest of us.
Granddaughter #6 surprised us and flew in for the weekend from Fairbanks. She has been planning to come to Kenai, but discovered she could fly to Idaho cheaper, so took advantage of the chance to get together with the aunts and cousins. Granddaughter #2 drove up from Pendleton also, so we enjoyed a mini-reunion with available family. And while she was there her fiance surprised everyone and got down on one knee in front of us and all the cousins and Aunts and proposed to her. I commented that at least he knows what he is getting into as regards her family!!
The remainder of the trip was spent visiting various family members and helping Hubby’s brother with a few little errands. It was too hot to enjoy much time outside except first thing in the morning, then toward the end of our stay smoke from surrounding forest fires settled in to make even the mornings questionable.
The locals were lamenting the heat and the lack of rain. Crops were not going to be very good and even the hayfields were stunted. Listening to the grim predictions and sad commentaries on how it used to be, I silently interjected “salmon” whenever someone said “wheat” and thought I had been transported back to the Kenai. And so it goes. The trip back was fairly uneventful. We were even glad to come home to rain.
We travel to that place that used to be and are a little miffed that it isn’t there anymore but every time we try a reset one of the Grands insists on an update to versions 2021. The say That’s progress!
Virginia can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org