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My Own Private Idaho

Many of you may not be aware of the fact that I grew up in Idaho. Yep, I'm an Idahoan.

Well in reality I might be a Washingtonian, since I was born 90 miles from Mt. St. Helen's... In 1980, but that's a story for another day.

Today we're going to talk about the Gem State. Which is of course the proper nickname for my home. Not the potato state, although as our license plates so back-stabbingly put it... We do have famous potatoes.

ID is also where you would learn about the Nez Perce tribe in 4th grade state history. You would learn about Chief Joseph and his eloquent "I Will Fight No More Forever."

But those are all facts about that oddly shaped state. And not what I think of when I think of home. Not what I miss.

I miss sleeping out on our dangerously unstable porch and seeing the milky way off to the right, so thick in the darkness that it looked like a streak of clouds.

I miss climbing the hill behind my house and seeing mountain upon mountain piling on top of one another until they reached the horizon, miles away.

I miss the pungent odor of sage brush on a warm summers day as I scrambled up the rocky canyon side (that was actually about 5 yards from the house). Always on the look out for the jewels I was convinced had to be in there.

I miss those purple flowers that grew all over the yard. The ones my mom scathingly referred to as weeds.

Those are the things I miss. Especially now, when I live in South Dakota and suffer (some days) from acute agoraphobia. Don't get me wrong it's wonderful here but without mountains around one misses out on a certain amount of majesty that can't be put into words.

So sometimes when I get asked "Where are you from?" I want to reply... "The Rockies. The RIGHT side of the hills. Where we don't have to worry about big twisty funnels of wind, or rain coming down in February. Cause I'm from the mountains. "

'Course then everyone would look at me weird and probably leave mumbling imprecations about odd Idahoans... Which is something else we have a lot of in ID.


Cari Hislop said…
Odd people? In Idaho? You must be joking!!!! ;)

One of the reasons I love Napoleon Dynamite (and one of the reasons it's so funny) is because it's more real than people who've never been to Idaho could know! That house...they really look like that and that charity shop? That was real too! And the characters? I met people who made Napoleon look positively normal.

I hated living in Pocahello because the air was so polluted. I'm sure I was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, but the people? Almost all the people (including the weirdos - and non indiginous weirdos like me)
were just really nice. And yes those mountains are gorgeous. And it gets the most fantastic thunder storms...with lightening so big it makes the sky look small. I do have lots of lovely memories of Idaho...stangely most of them revolve around your that can't be a cooincidence! :)
cannwin said…
Yes! I was going to put the thunderstorms in there but I ran out of room... an literary motivation.

I think that's the reason I hate Napoleon Dynamite so much, because as soon as it started I thought, "oh, my gosh I'm going to be stuck in Idaho for hours!" *cannwin bangs on windows in desperate attempt to get out*

The only part I thought funny, and I mean I laughed so hard everyone thought I was off my rocker, was when the old man shoots the cow in front of the bus load of kids! I could sooooo see that happening.

Ralexwin went through this short lived phase of "wow, look at the housing prices there. We could really live it up honey."

Until he realized I was not budging on moving back to Poky. Cheap houses is fine until you realize the biggest book store in the whole town is small enough to hold your breath and walk around 4 times. Oh, unless you count Deseret Book, which is twice that size.

I love the beauty of the place, but the people, Oh!

-except of course, all my friends that still live there.... none of you are odd at all;)-
Jennifer said…
Oh, that porch!! I remember one time getting home from school and mom had gone out with you younger kids. She had, strangely enough, locked the door, which I had never seen happen in that house before. To be honest, I wasn't away the door could lock - I thought the lock was broken.

No problem! I'd just go in the basement door.

But that was locked, too.

So I climbed up the tree by the back porch and tried to get in the sliding glass door. The door (and all the windows) were locked.

I stood outside in the snow until Mom got home, too astonished at having the house all locked up to be mad about it. :)
Cari Hislop said…
Yes I can understand how you might find Napoleon D clausterphobic, but I think it's favorite parts all revolve around the Uncle who wishes he was still in highscool...and he orders that time machine off the internet and then he gets makes me laugh just thinking about it. My sense of humour has always been slightly warped.

Jen, I'm glad I'm not the only one who ever came home from school to find the house locked and mother gone...actually that happened quite a few times though I don't remember having to wait in the snow...if I had I would have
imagined I was Laura Ingalls Wilder in a winter storm... :)

Oh and Esperity, I think I might have a self portrait for you. I tried to capture my reflection in this 18th century glass. I'll let you know!
Cari Hislop said…
Hey Esperity I finally figured out how to become a blog I'm now officially following your blog! :)
Polly Blevins said…
All I really know about Idahoans are that they are slow drivers...Stay out of the fast lane!!!
cannwin said…
Hey now polly, I'm not a bad driver am I? But of course you can't really say I'm an Idaho driver since I got my license in Utah. So really I'm a Utah driver, which are just as bad since they will take the smallest allotted space allowed for a car and think the person left it open for just them.

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