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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Parents Move Close To Home

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.

They did the right thing, even though they may doubt it the first time Mom, a non-driver, needs a bus. Coeur d’Alene doesn’t offer much public transportation. But that’s one of the area’s few weaknesses and one of the many adjustments Mom and Dad will have to make.

The freeway here is bound to frustrate Dad. There’s only one and it’s rarely congested. What sort of challenge is that? Dad’s survival instincts will go to pot. Maybe with them will go the stress lines on his face.

They’ll miss the ocean, the soothing saltwater smell. But on top of Fernan Saddle, they’ll find a sea of pines stretching smog-free to the horizon. At the bottom of the hill, they’ll breathe the heady aroma of hayfields.

Lake Coeur d’Alene will fill their need for whitecaps and sparkling water. They’ll learn they can walk along its shores unafraid. The people they’ll meet most likely will chat about weather rather than look away in fear.

The stores may throw them. Many still accept checks with no identification. Despite heavy growth, trust survives here, and that will take some getting used to.

In the dead of winter, when icicles a foot long hang from their back porch, and night descends at 4 p.m., Mom and Dad may miss their seasonless home by the sea.

That’s when I’ll stop by with their two granddaughters. We’ll talk until midnight about work, school, and laugh at old family jokes. We haven’t been able to do that for 16 years.

Then they’ll know without a doubt that they made the right move.

Aye aye, Cap’n

Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s “H.M.S. Pinafore” set sail on North Idaho College’s stage a few days ago. If you haven’t seen the irreverent Gilbert and Sullivan show, the Women’s Center is offering an unbeatable deal.

The center has 100 tickets for Friday’s 8 p.m. performance. The tickets are selling for $15 each. That’s $3 less than the standard ticket price and all the proceeds go to the center to help victimized women and children.

Call 664-9303 before they’re sold out.

Soured power

The storm that raged through North Idaho a week ago was a real killer. Just ask Kootenai County’s food bank, where lightning caused a power surge that zapped the non-profit agency’s walk-in cooler and freezer.

Both need new compressors, which will cost a cool $2,500. Food won’t last long in the summer heat. If you can help, call 664-3663.

Talk about worst vacations …

Post Falls’ reader Alan Ludington has never forgotten the family vacation 40 years ago. His family lost a suitcase of children’s clothes, was insulted by a French Canadian, then caught all the rainstorms and a contagious skin disease.

The Ludingtons thought they were heading for a cottage on a lake, but ended up in a dilapidated cabin on the banks of a swamp.

But that wasn’t all.

On the way home, the engine in the Volkswagen camper blew up.

Alan’s wife died four years ago, but he still travels, now in a camper with his dog. “We follow the sun, visiting children and grandchildren.”

Would your travel adventures make a good movie? Send in the script to Cynthia Taggart, “Close to Home,” 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 83814; fax it to 765-7149; or call 765-7128 and we’ll negotiate.

, DataTimes