1. Cousin John and his wife Gloria came to Aunt Lila's in Orofino to see Mom, and, a bit later, I joined in and I was reminded again of how much I enjoy my cousins in Orofino. Lura on Friday night, full of good wit and fire, and John, on Saturday, full of stories and and information and questions and points of view about everything from the current climate in logging to successes and failures of vocational training in Idaho.
2. Saturday, Mom and I stopped in a little cafe outside of Potlatch on US 95. It was a little unclean. The waitress was slow and apathetic. The cook was stressed, talked non-stop in a frantic voice, and the food took quite a while to come out, despite the few customers. But, when it did come out, wow! A thick bacon cheeseburger with tomato, onion, lettuce and a thick swipe of sweet relish on a homemade hamburger bun. It would have been the best burger I ate all weekend, except
3. I rode on the back of Scott's powerful Honda and Ed drove his Yamaha and we took a trip from Wolf Lodge on Highway 97, overlooking Coeur d'Alene Lake's many spectacular bays: Beauty, Powerhorn, Gotham, Echo, Arrow Point, Turner and others, and stopped for lunch at Carlin Bay. The restaurant staff was very shorthanded, our order took nearly a half an hour to come out, but when it did, wow! I ordered the Carlin Burger, a double patty, cheese, Canadian bacon Dagwood burger on a sesame bun. I ate it as slowly as possible, trying to make this magnificent burger last as long as possible. Three days, three great burgers: Ponderosa, Potlatch, Carlin Bay.
4. Jodi Jewell grew up in Orofino, a close friend of Mom. Jack Robinson grew up in Kellogg with Dad. Jodi married Jack. Mom married Dad. Jack and Jodi's daughter, Jeri, is my age. Jeri and Jodi arrived in Kellogg Friday night, while Mom and I were in Orofino, to stay four nights at Mom's. What a pleasure to see Jeri and Jody. The whole Labor Day weekend has been made much happier by being able to sit down several times and visit with Jeri, a friend I've known for as long as anyone.
5. My favorite time to be in a casino is between about midnight and nine a.m. Sunday morning Ed and I left Kellogg at seven a.m. to go play at the Coeur d'Alene Casino for several hours and ended our time with an exciting roller coaster ride on three or four Open the Vault machines. We always end our sessions at the casino by each putting about ten bucks in an Open the Vault machine and having it give us a lot of winning spins, combined with too many losing ones. Today was the first time we came up empty, but we played for nearly an hour on twenty bucks and had a lot of fun laughing, groaning, hoping, even if we did end up losing.
6. My Lo Mein noodles Sunday night at Kellogg's Wah Hing restaurat were to die for.
7. Oh boy! Don't get me started talking about the necessity to be flexible with students when they hand in work late. It happened tonight at the dinner table. Silver Valley Girl and PKR hosted Mom, Jeri, Jodi, me and the rest of their family for dinner tonight, and I got happily worked up about my approaches to teaching writing. I tried not to dominate. Sometimes I did. I listened, too. The lively conversation made the dinner a delight. (So did the barbecued burgers: three days, four burgers!)
8. After the casino, Ed and I took a little side trip Sunday to the Black Rock development near Rockford Bay. We ranted about the sheer ugliness and conspicuous excess of wealthy people's houses overbuilt, redundant luxury houses.
9. My nieces mocked me with looks of feigned fascination as I pontificated at the dinner table tonight. It was fun to remember my own mocking personality when I was their age and would listen to adult know-it-alls.