I vowed my first day in the new Mazda last spring that no dirt would darken that virgin minivan.
But after summer started, the only clean water to hit the car fell from the clouds.
I know Labor Day weekend is the time to strip summer slime from the family funmobile. But I'm not sure I'm ready.
No one knows Coeur d'Alene's thrift stores like my daughter. I am in awe of Megan's ability to turn a simple dollar into an elaborate outfit complete with shoes and jewels.
Thrift-store shopping bores me but thrills and challenges Megan, who's 14. Where else but Goodwill could she find men's shoes on three-inch high platforms spray-painted gold? Or a three-dimensional poodle poster?
Her shopping circuit includes seven stores and starts at Goodwill at 1212 N. Fourth St. Goodwill moved into the old supermarket two years ago, scrubbed the floors, added neon signs inside for a department store look and trashed the idea that all thrift stores smell musty.
Blame Kellogg's population explosion on Alice Edwards. She's a great-grandmother who likes to bring the flock home - at least for one weekend every now and then.
In her case, the flock is 2,000 to 3,000 strong. Alice invites home anyone who wore the purple and gold of Kellogg High.
"We just like to get together and visit, talk about people we dated. It's so much fun," says Alice, making the mega-gathering sound like a family picnic.
The daisies outside the bedroom in the house where I grew up belong to someone else now.
For all I know, the soft white rug on which I collapsed to do homework is serving as a nest for some other teenage girl.
This year, Mom and Dad sold the house that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. They'd lived there 30 years. But the crime, earthquakes, traffic and smog finally pushed them north. On Saturday, they arrived in Coeur d'Alene to stay.
The Ridenours have turned "Annie" into a family project. Stephanie, Katy, Vickey, Steve and Elizabeth are all involved in the production at Lake City Playhouse. Photo by Sandra Bancroft-Billings/The Spokesman-Review
Unpublished correction: The name of Higgens Point is misspelled in this story. This information is from the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation.
Starlene Staudt and her sometimes-Elvis concrete goose stop traffic on Fourth Street in Dalton Gardens. Photo by Craig Buck/The Spokesman-Review
The smiling faces in a newspaper engagement announcement a few weeks ago enraged Anneliese Miller.
The woman in the photo was a home health nurse who had stolen $1,200 from Anneliese's grandmother-in-law, Estella Barnes, a year ago. According to the engagement announcement, Sabryna Klug of Rathdrum, Idaho, still is a nurse's aide.
The state's Board of Nursing confirmed the news. It had renewed Sabryna's certificate in January, four months after she had confessed to grand theft. The reason for the renewal: Sabryna, 24, hadn't abused or neglected Estella.