Category Archives: Idahome


noun [af-ter-gloh] 
the pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc. 

I am so unbelievably thankful that I got a week off to meet my niece and see the rest of my family during the busiest time at the saloon (seriously, thank you, Marcia and Amy!) I couldn’t have enjoyed it any more than I did. Baby Hannah is as precious as she is tiny. Toddler Jack was so fun, repeating everything and going a mile a minute, sometimes stopping long enough for Auntie Bethie to kiss his sweet little cheeks while he giggled. 

I was not looking forward to the airport crowds on the 26th. Who does?? The fun is over. The cookies are gone. Work is looming. And you have to be surrounded by hundreds of people feeling the same way. 

But here I am, on the first flight of my trip, thinking back to multiple sweet stories from the Tampa airport. 

After a few Christmas greetings, the lady at the check-in desk told me about her dad being stationed in Idaho and loving it. We discussed the 17° weather compared to the current 77° and she laughed as she said, “You can have Idaho all to yourself, sweetheart.” 

A woman who looked to be in her nineties was greeted by a man who looked to be in his twenties before going through security. He lifted her bag up for her as he said, “Please let me know if I can help you in any way.”

My coffee and I sat down next to a ten-ish-year-old girl and her dad. She was writing a song for her uncle. “I have fourteen lines written! I’ll take this part here out,” she pointed to her notebook as her dad read and smiled. 

“I hope he likes it!” she beamed to her dad. 

“He’ll love it, honey.”  

I thought about three-week-old Hannah writing a song for her uncle Spanky one day and my heart grew three sizes.

The gate seemed to only have enough chairs for 30% of us, so we squished in, sat on the floor, and leaned against our luggage. A stunning blonde was on the phone with her mom, speaking about four decibels too loudly. Normally, I’d be thinking, ‘just go walk around and chat and don’t make us all listen to your conversation.’ But this sweet girl was in love. She was telling her mom every detail of Christmas with her boyfriend’s family. She could not possibly control her volume as she said, “AND MOM, WAIT UNTIL YOU HEAR THIS PART!!!” I looked up from my phone and saw others smirking, listening along and perhaps remembering when they felt that much excitement about love. 

Maybe we are all basking in the afterglow of the holidays. Maybe as we wait to take off and are staring into space, we’re all thinking about eating BLT’s with our grandmothers, decorating sugar cookies with our fathers, losing in rummy with our brothers, shopping with our sisters, watching cheesy Hallmark movies with our mothers, losing track of time and closing down the bar with precious friends, or reminiscing about the ones we’ve loved so deeply and lost too soon.

Sometimes we don’t get to go home for Christmas and we have to muddle through somehow. This year, I’m so thankful I got to cuddle through somehow instead. It was a sweet, sweet trip, all the way through to the 26th.



[razuh l-dazuh l]

noun, Informal.

  1. showiness, brilliance, or virtuosity in technique or effect, often without concomitant substance or worth; flashy theatricality.

Customer service. Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to smile and to wait on people and to get one more side of sour cream. Sour moods are hard to sweeten.

I needed a night off. I needed a night to sit by the fire with Pal and Taylor Swift’s new CD and a bottle of dark dark dark red wine. But I had one more night of work to get through. I walked in with one goal in mind: to get out early.

Then I approached my first table. I couldn’t even get through my semi-robotic introduction before a ten-year-old blonde blonde blonde little girl spurted out, “It’s my BIRTHDAY! My dad let me pick where to go. I picked McDonald’s! Then he said ‘dream bigger!’ Please tell me you have trout because that’s why I chose to come here for my birthday.”

The sourness dissipated quickly. When I told her trout was our one special for the evening, she threw her hands in the air like she was doing a cheer. “I knew it. I just KNEW IT! Happy Birthday to me!!!”

After she thoroughly enjoyed her fresh Idaho rainbow trout, I brought a birthday mud pie. I uncomfortably sang the entire birthday song even though I can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

Then when I was picking up another table’s food at the grill, she walked by to use the restroom. She said, “Thanks for the mud pie! I sure wish everyone else sang, too!”

I grabbed a new candle and the lighter and walked over to the other tables in the back room and asked them to help me sing to the precious gal. It was the most razzle-dazzle version of “Happy Birthday” you’ve ever heard. She beamed. She crawled under the table, hugged me so hard that I gasped and she breathlessly said, “Thank you for encouraging that! I’m tipping you $1,000,000 in air tip! I want you to be our server every year forever!”

Okay, customer service, tonight you win. I’m depositing that air tip first thing tomorrow.




1. lively or energetic spirit; enthusiasm; vitality.

If you are a Beth of Fresh Air follower (hi, Grandma!), you know that I’ve been trying harder to DO more instead of watching more, attempting to live a life worthy of writing about.

About two months ago, a bartender whom I adore was out with his wife and this is rare so we had a couple drinks to celebrate. The evening turned to one full of vim very quickly. We were the obnoxious group in the corner but it didn’t matter enough to feel the need to quiet down. Sometimes the vim mustn’t be tamed. Bartender’s lovely wife mentioned the Sawtooth Relay race that she’s doing in June. Six runners, sixty miles, all the way from Stanley to Ketchum.

“I’m afraid our sixth will drop out and we won’t be able to do it!”

I took a sip of my Moscow Mule, held it up in the air for some reason, and said, “Oh if she drops out, I’ll do it.”

“Really?” asked the runner.

“Really?!” asked my friend who knows I’m absolutely not a runner.

“Well, if you are in dire need, sure, I will learn how to run,” I said.

A week and a half went by and I totally forgot about the interaction.

Then…a text came through that simply stated, “You’re in! She dropped out!”

I stared into space for a long while. Ten miles. Five miles twice. Here we go, New Beth, this is different, you can write about this, you dummy. So Pal and I started running. He stops when he’s had enough which is usually a quarter mile, so I started going to the YMCA most weekdays at 2pm to watch Ellen. Because she’s full of vim, it’s easier to match her liveliness and run longer while I laugh like a loon.

The race is now four days away. Am I excited about it? Absolutely not. It’s going to hurt. Will the camping in Stanley and the camaraderie and the fries and beer after be incredible? Oh yeah. Do I plan on wearing the shirt on most days even if it’s not that cute? Oh yeah.




verb (used without object)

  1. to pass, spend, or survive the winter.

This guy doesn’t just pass, spend, or survive the winter; he thrives, rolls in it, gulps it up, and basks in it. We could all learn a thing or two from him. He never complains about the low temperature. He surveys his surroundings, wags his tail, and carries on, forcing a slow smile on my face full of cold rosy cheeks. Every walk is full of mystery and adventure and smells and his pep proves this.



These were taken on March 17th. While Big Pal overwinters, Small Gal might be over winter. Isn’t it mind-boggling to think about how many tiny, intricate snowflakes made up this snowbank? I’m ready to be mind-boggled by wildflowers.






verb (used without object), paralogized, paralogizing.
1. to draw conclusions that do not follow logically from a given set of assumptions.

 January and February have been chock of men on ski trips dropping in the saloon for Grand Teton session ales. Several nights ago, fifteen men gathered for their Superbowl and Ski weekend for the 20th year in a row. Two nights ago, five gathered for a 60th birthday. The birthday boy was embarrassed by the attention so I decided it’d be funny to put candles in everything. The brie appetizer, the lamb kabob, the appropriate mud pie. We sang “Happy Birthday” each time. I cheers-ed along with them with my water pitcher. They poured me a glass of their expensive wine. We took pictures together as if I was part of their group. Time passes quickly in these moments and it definitely does not feel like work.

Last night, a group of six large men gathered around a table meant for four. Shannon jokes but very seriously says, “Oh, a group of older men, we’ve got to make sure Beth gets that table.”

You can tell who the characters are before the drink orders are completed. Chris was the character last night. He introduced me the rest of the fellas and I made my best effort to remember names. I walked in the back to order drinks and I wrote the names down. I love the surprised look on people’s faces when you set their food down twenty minutes later and say, “Trent, can I bring you anything else?”

But when I returned with the wine, they had moved tables on me and had started singing “Beth” by Kiss.

Chris said, “Now you’ll for sure not know our names.” I named the distinctly looking Dave, Trent, and Chris and then guessed Mike wrongly twice.

“Well, who the hell is Mike?!”

They laughed. Mike raised his hand and said, “You’re a breath of fresh air.”

Dave chimed in, “You mean a Beth of fresh air.”

I smiled and poured the wine.

Michele spoke up, “Didn’t we see you on a dust jacket in the bookstore? You are THE Beth of fresh air, aren’t you?”

I looked at them in complete shock. Such paralogizing was going on that I was confused. They drew this conclusion in that very instant? They picked up my book and studied my photo where I’m not even looking at the camera and knew this was me?

“Well, I guess that is who I am. You saw the book? You’re joking with me.”

They knew an awfully lot about it and we chatted about how New Zealand would be an ideal place to retreat to if we get a Mad Max kind of situation on our hands. I jotted down a list of my favorite towns. They were my only table at the time, thank goodness.

An hour went by. They were eating their mud pie when my coworker said, “They really like you! I told them all about the book you wrote. They wanted to know all about it.”

So paralogizing it was not. Clever it was.



noun, New England.
1. a wooded, uninhabited area.
Snowshoeing through the willowwacks can be enjoyable to the max–pack up a sack and don’t look back as you head to the willowwacks. It staves off anxiety attacks and limits chances of being surrounded by quacks. There’s not much the willowwacks lacks. These are facts and happiness hacks.





noun, plural sockeroos. Slang.

  1. a notable success.

What might be a notable success to me might not be a sockeroo to you or Sue or Aimee Lou. I think this is something to remember and to hold true. A sockeroo for you might mean a promotion at the job you’ve had for a few years or teaching your toddler the alphabet. And that is so incredibly awesome.

My sockeroo is not waking up to an alarm clock or sitting at a desk, but being surrounded by miles of wilderness with Pal, coming back into town and being around people and trying to make them feel cared for and special, paying attention and writing about things I find fascinating, and connecting with customers over their prime rib dinner.

I received a message not long ago that said, “Are you just out there enjoying yourself? You’re a smart girl, you must have goals.”

Yes, I have goals. They are being accomplished as rapidly as the snow is accumulating outside and there’s about four feet of the fluffy stuff right now. Today was a complete sockeroo for me. I hope yours was for you.