Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My Own Private Idaho -

Rather than stewing about the unknowns, and the knowns, neither that I had much control over, nor did I want to control, I've let go. And the most wonderful summer has just happened.

Scott and I have a new grandson, Asher, born the first of July; my dad did have hip replacement surgery, with a multitude of complications; we've had grandchildren sleepovers; and we were able to spend three weeks in Idaho - MY Idaho.

Typically time spent in Idaho is time spent with my parents and siblings and our children and grandchildren. I step back from being Ronda, mother of 2 + 4, grandmother of 20, and become a first child and sibling. I honestly don't really care for this type of Idaho time. Too many people, too much noise, too much waiting for folks to make up their minds, too much too much. I want one on one conversations, time to really visit rather than chase, cooking time that's creative rather than assembly line, and for this introvert, I am exhausted when I get home.

This summer, because of my dad's health, there was no big family reunion, rather, a simple half day Walker reunion with my Walker relatives. It was enjoyable, and enough. Deciding to attend this, in Rigby, opened the door for Scott and me to determine what Idaho we wanted to be a part of. And this is what we did:

Three nights in Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho. Oh, what stunning gorgeous take-my-breath away beauty enveloped us. This was a totally new area for Scott and I to explore (I had driven through here as a young teen, but very little recollection). I fell in love with Ketchum, and we relaxed and were.

Two nights in Salmon, Idaho. The drive to Salmon was gorgeous, seeing the headwaters of the Salmon River, watching it grow and wind through forests and fields.

Onward to Island Park, Idaho. We met Jenna and Cliff and Tempest and Tommy in Island Park and spent five nights at a cabin, with them, at Macks Inn.

This, this time, was my time to be the mom, the grandmother, and enjoy and define my role. Which was, according to Tempest, to be a grandma and have a fun time.

We did. Jenna had never heard about Macks Inn from my perspective. From my lived experiences here. And I certainly had my story to add to the Walker Family Island Park saga. We had a blast just doing very little. Cliff fished, we sat on the patio and visited, watched the kids play in the water and wander the woods, walked, and just sat still. Sharing, being.

I was in my Idaho, living my authentic self, and oh goodness, learning to love the place I so shut the door on and walked away from some forty years ago, as a teenager, and one I've been needing to return to as an adult.

So we came home from Idaho, hit the road running with my dad's surgery - which actually turned into a life and death situation x 3, as "we" (because he was out of it) battled hip replacement, mild heart attack, aspiration pneumonia, and a myriad of other complications. I am forever grateful for siblings who know how to communicate, know how to compromise, and know how to say, "I don't know." I am blessed with 2 sisters who live nearby, and between the 3 of us we were able to negotiate Dad's hospitalization while also keeping Mom healthy. And we did, with only 2 scares, both including ER visits and hospitalization. Dad came home about 2 weeks ago, and he is smiling, mostly pain free, and he has used up another of his 9 lives. Dad said to me the other day that he needed to have a conversation with Mom about his death and funeral and burial arrangements. He told me what I wanted, and then I told him we'd already had that conversation 3 times. Needless to say, he had no idea how sick he was, how close to death he was.

Scott and I had went back to Idaho, mid-August. We typically leave town the week prior to UVU Fall Semester beginning, and this was no exception. We certainly needed respite time. Caring for Dad, and Mom, was tiring. And honestly, with parents and children so close by, with work demands, Scott and I need time to be alone, together, us, we, ourselves.

Rather than Driggs, the Tetons, Star Valley, we headed back to Sun Valley. And oh boy, I love this area. A six hour drive, that's enjoyable, and then arrival into this valley - stunning, again. This time we got a little involved in some community things - AA meetings, Sun Valley Symphony series, the library's local author round, the Farmers Market, and visiting with people. Felt like home.

After five nights in Sun Valley we drove to Boise for two nights with my brother and his wife. They are brilliant and beautiful people, and I miss them, and I enjoy any time I can catch with them. I love them.

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