Today in North Idaho it is sunny with a high of 57°. I have known it to snow at this time of year so these mild October days seem like an Indian Summer.
When you live in a seasonal area there is a kind of trajectory your life takes as one seasons turns to the next. Winter is not far off and I’ve noticed that people tend to congregate at the boat ramp as the time draws near to remove your boat. If your snow shovel gave up the ghost last year you may meet people buying a snow shovel or new gloves at the local hardware store. If it is time to get your snow gear ready you may run into a similar group at the ski shop where skis are waxed and adjusted or at the local garage buying snow tires. Everyone is busy bringing in lawn furniture, lawn mowers, cutting back bulbs and arranging for snow removal. It is a never ending revolving activity in a seasonal area. There is quality in similarity as we all toil for the expected change in weather.
The city that I live in is a tiny suburb of a small city that is a commonly known tourist destination. So you may think it odd that you wouldn’t constantly run into the same people daily. Winter brings droves of tourists to a nearby mountain for skiing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing. There is a vast amount of summer activities as well such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, etc. Simply put, it is beautiful here. Mountains populated with Alder, Aspen, Birch and Firs, just to name a few, several lake beaches, pubs, eateries, wildlife from bear to turkey, a limited crime rate and a genuinely happy local population. Winter and Summer get so busy with tourists that the locals generally avoid town when possible. This seems a logical explanation for limited contact with your neighbors. You’re either out exploring with your group of friends or your running into other locals preparing for the next adventure.
I have five siblings. They all live in California and when we get together it has been common practice that we gather here in Idaho. Our aim is a yearly reunion and North Idaho is undoubtedly a major departure from my siblings hectic lifestyle. There is often talk of California’s political intrusion, moratoriums and outrageous taxes. A vast difference from North Idaho and its known motto, “Welcome to Idaho. Now slow down.”
My siblings and I share an interesting start in life and so I think it is for this reason we all crave the peace that can be found in this area. Remember when I commented that my childhood was a Jerry Spring episode? Well, here is your first tidbit. My siblings and I all share the same father. However, there are three mothers between us. My oldest sibling has a separate mother, then there is my mother, then the youngest four have the same mother. My mother and my oldest sibling’s mother are sisters. Both were adopted from different families by a loving catholic family. The mother of the youngest four was my mother and her sister’s best friend in high school. My oldest sibling is six moths older than I am and we grew up believing we were cousins. Talk about skeletons! I didn’t know about the other four siblings until I was in high school. I didn’t meet my biological father or the younger four siblings until I was eighteen. Wow! That’s a lot to process. We will come back to that later.
And so I share this tool from my own personal Barefoot toolbox: I battle anxiety regularly and over the years I have actively fought it and sought out new tools in which to fight it. My favorite is a drop of Frankincense oil on a napkin or handkerchief in a Ziploc bag. (sometimes I have to double-bag it) When I feel that anxiety building up, I pull out my napkin which triggers summer church camp when I was a child. Playing all day usually in bare feet until happily exhausted. Falling asleep with a full stomach and wet hair after an evening shower. The memory of a teepee or cabin in the forest with five other girls who have also collapsed into a deep sleep. All of those memories bubble up through whatever tries to weigh me down and warms me with a singular contentment that disperses negativity like oil rising through vinegar. True story.
My gift to you is find your scent and keep it handy.
The photo you see above is of a small creek that I was surprised still had a small amount of water in it. This was near the secret bridge from yesterday. I love the cattails and fall colors. Hope you enjoy it as well!
As for yesterday’s shenanigans… I did go out of my way to familiarize myself with the local city bus route. I road for an hour and got to know the local drop sites! This makes me giggle and shrug my shoulders. It was just THAT kind of day and that is where my feet took me!