May 20 – June 17, 2019
Back in the Evergreen State… which continues to get greener and greener as the annual revenues to the state from the now-legal cannabis industry must be the fastest growing bubble since Microsoft or Boeing, or both, hit their stride.
After too short of a visit with Kris’ mom in Anacortes, we hopped aboard an Alaska flight for the short hop across to the East side of the state.
Unlike American Airlines, who nickel and dime you to death (they now charge an additional fee for any checked baggage), Alaska Air seems to be one of the last customer service oriented airlines in the industry. Even on a flight lasting less than an hour, they still manage to give you a complimentary beer or wine (if you ask politely and they have a bit left, you even get refills!).
During the next four weeks, we migrated between Spokane, Pullman, and the lake property outside Sandpoint.
If the sale of the lake property solidified, this would likely be the last time we would be in that neck of the woods. It had provided a sanctuary away from the grind of everyday life for nearly thirty years and, though my parent’s decision to sell was 100% sensible, we couldn’t ignore that we felt more than a twinge of sadness that it was happening.
Still, we enjoyed every moment we had there, not only relaxing as we had done dozens of times over the years before, but also rummaging through the handful of boxes that we still had stored there (deciding what would survive the additional cut and return to Spokane with us and what would be donated to the Sandpoint Humane Society’s thrift store), as well as helping out with some of the yard work (surprisingly, the lack of grass trimming and weed pulling on Exit’s daily duty roster made the task more nostalgic than mundane).
Amazingly, during our time in Spokane we got to repeatedly see a family of coyotes (the mom and five pups) who apparently have a den in the forest just behind my parent’s back yard. They would stop by and play at the edge of the yard almost daily. Unbelievable, considering that the house is in the middle of a city populated by over 100,000 people.
As is always the case, we had to make a trip to our old hometown of Pullman, where we spent most of our lives before setting out on a new life trajectory in 2008. Seeing our old friends that we grew up with and still hold dear always makes the trip more than worthwhile.
We never seem to be able to offer enough thanks to our parents, as well as our best friends Shannan and Vicki, for all their hospitality, fabulous company, and good will.
Kris had the added bonus of traveling to Las Vegas with Vicki for three full days (for Vicki’s bowling tournament), which meant the opportunity for her to see the Grand Canyon, in addition to all the “standard” Vegas fare (See Kris’ blog “Las Vegas…Why Not?!?!”)
Overall, an incredibly enjoyable and successful trip back to the States. We arrived with only carry-on bags and returned to Exit with two additional forty-five pound checked bags full of spare parts and goodies.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that every time we return to the Palouse we feel a bit more and more detached from the area… more and more like outsiders, less and less like we really belong there as anything but visitors.
Nevertheless, we also can’t deny feeling an unmistakable draw to keep coming back. As the Andy Grammer song says, “…It don’t matter where we go, we always find our way back home!”
…even if it inevitably results in adding ten percent to my body mass.