A day off! I wasn’t sure what to do with myself, after working so many weeks in a row. So I headed north to one of my favorite towns, Sandpoint. And spent the morning driving through the majesty of North Idaho, sunbathing on the beach, wandering through the City Park and downtown streets and shops, and soaking up the small-town atmosphere. And remembering good times spent there in the past, and looking forward to more good times in the future.
With Brancy’s help I found The Healing Garden, a peaceful slice of paradise near the hospital with flowers, benches, fountains, and a small chapel. I spent some time lounging there, trying to remember how to relax. I think I made some progress.
In the 20 years since I first discovered this gorgeous town it’s undergone a number of changes, with more and more occurring daily. I still dream of a small log cabin perched at the edge of a meadow deep in the mountains outside of town, or on Cocolalla Lake – but then I picture that small log cabin covered in snow, and that dream fades. Maybe someday I’ll like snow again, and will find that cabin.
Then I headed back to Coeur d’Alene and stopped at Borders, my favorite chain bookstore. I’m SO sad that they’re closing; it’s hard to not hear the death knell of books as bookstores continue to close. I’ve spent the last month working in their cafe (when I wasn’t at the library), and will be so sad to return and find the store gone. I have a hard time viewing this as progress…
To cheer myself up, I drove downtown and indulged in a half-baked cupcake (chocolate cupcake filled and iced with cookie batter) and an iced coffee as I wandered along Sherman Avenue, browsing in the shops, and walking the longest floating boardwalk in the world (or at least it used to be), 3/4 of a mile of rollicking wooden sidewalks that bounce and pop as boats zoom past. The beach was full, the streets of town full, the sidewalk cafes full – a warm summer’s day in Coeur d’Alene.
Eventually I ran out of steam and places to browse and headed home, where I sat in the shady front yard by the fish pond, listening to the trickle of water cascading from the fountain and tried to remember how to write.
I have three more days in Coeur d’Alene. They’re filled with last visits with friends and final appointments – and regret. It’s been a great visit, but way too short. Next year, if I find myself in the position where I can return, I’ll arrive in May and leave in October. Or spend more than five weeks here, anyway. But for now, I have three more days to revel in my time at “home.” Thursday morning I head east, eventually ending up in St. Augustine the middle of August.
If anyone has any idea how to make me like snow and ice and gray skies again, I’m all ears! But until then, I’ll return to the beach and switch my allegiance to sand and palm trees and ocean waves and breezes.
Have a great week! I plan to!