Category Archives: Idahome

festinate.

[v. fes-tuh-neyt; adj. fes-tuh-neyt, -nit]

verb (used with object), verb (used without object),festinated, festinating.

  1. to hurry; hasten.

adjective

  1. hurried.

The town of Ketchum has been gearing up for a Wagon Days Festival. But hurried and hastened it is not.  “Meandering musicians” litter the town. They have to dodge 200 or so camp chairs that have already been set up on the sidewalks for tomorrow’s Wagon Days Parade, the largest non-motorized parade in the Northwest.

I meandered to the Ore Wagon Museum to witness the “Cowboy Poet Story Swap” because how could I miss that? I was the only gal under the age of sixty who got the memo. One cowboy’s poem was so moving, there wasn’t a dry eye in the chilly cabin, even his own.

In front of me, a woman in a frayed leather jacket was knitting a sweater with quiet wooden needles. The man next to her wore a button-up with an elk embroidered on the back. Big cowboy hats obscured my view. This all made me think, how did I get here?

A cowboy poet approached the microphone; he had his cane tied to his belt loop. Public speaking was not his specialty and I made sure to smile at him when he looked my way to provide a bit of encouragement.

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On Saturday, coffee shop lines were full of people in scarves and hats as folks geared up to watch the parade. Amidst all the chairs that had been there for hours and hours I find a poll to lean against that was in the sunshine with the mountains in the background. My pumpkin spice latte is getting cold because it’s a really chilly 55 degrees. The announcer loudly states, “Hold on to your cowboy hats, ladies and gentlemen! That parade will start in less than an hour. But the streets are still open. Be careful. Be like this gentleman in front of me in the bright yellow jacket. Way to go, sir. Have you ever been to a Kenny Roger’s concert?”

He rambles on. The people watching is the top-notch. Everyone is so thin, zipping from one place to another on their bikes or with kids on their hips. It’s chilly so puffy vests are a plenty. One dad rides with two little toddlers in a cart behind him and they look impossibly cute in their helmets and covered in blankets.

As I am writing notes on my phone, a guy about my age walks up to his dad and says, “Dad, here’s Governor Schwarzenegger.” I figure he’s kidding until I hear Arnold’s voice. His friend asks if he’s been shooting much skeet lately and Arnold’s response is, “they only shooting I’ve done has been on the movie sets!”

He isn’t a tall man; but he wears a tall cowboy hat, an over-sized belt, and big boots. He shakes everyone’s hands, introduces his lady friend, and tells them he hopes to see them soon. I sit about three feet away and just gawk.

The parade begins and it’s the most charming parade I’ve ever seen. The horses are stunning. They do poop a lot, wherever and whenever they wish. Luckily, there are good looking hockey players skating around with shovels to pick it all up.

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Kids wave from their wagons. Adults wave. I wave back. The lady next to me, one of Arnold’s friends, asks if I would like part of her sandwich. This town is special. The festivate without festinating.

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well-nigh.

adverb

  1. very nearly; almost.

I have well-nigh decided that an evening serving job is my calling in life. I do not set an alarm for the morning. I open my eyes early anyway and think about the mountains surrounding me outside saying, “Come dance with me” (My favorite Banner Days song).

So I get up and make enough coffee for Randy as well and head out on another dance. There are multiple mountain ranges in the area and even if I’m here for a year, I don’t think I’ll be able to see everything. I take my morning coffee with me and stroll. I smile at the trees, some them have leaves that have turned yellow, welcoming Autumn. I smile at all of them, so the slower, all-green ones do not feel left out. When the trail steepens, I find a log in the sunshine and sip more coffee. I feel alive and thankful and refreshed.

Then I go to my favorite coffee house and read and write a bit before my shift at the saloon. It is well-nigh the most exciting place I’ve worked. I meet exceptional people daily. I get free coffee from the bar and five lemons in my iced tea if I so desire. Customers can’t get over how little I am, most likely because the two close-by lady cocktail servers are over 5’9”. Some have called me “Gidget” because of the old TV series with a petite gal in it. They love my boots and tell me about who I remind them of. Some people take photos. They squeeze my waist and touch my hair. Some people would hate this, but it’s done so sweetly, I don’t mind it a single iota. They give me nicknames, for instance, the Muscle Hamster (because a Boise State alum is now with the Buccaneers, and I’m from the Tampa area…I guess that’s a good enough reason?)

Another group of gals said, upon hearing my name, “Beth isn’t quite…BIG enough for you.”

“Oh yeah? I’ve thought about going by Eliza,” I said.

They shrieked. “No…Liza! You better fully be Liza by the next time we’re in!”

A regular named Sam stated, “Beth is a classic name. But I will call you Eli from here on out.”

I feel like I’m not just well-nigh being welcomed to this mountain town, I am fully accepted. Does that mean I have a long list of friends to call to eat brunch with me? Neh. But bacon by myself is better than no bacon at all.

Muscle Hamster out.

laconic.

[luhkon-ik]

adjective

  1. using few words; expressing much in few words; concise.

My new Idahome is in the small town of Ketchum. And here’s my laconic description from my five days here.

Ketchum, ID: where bikes and wireless networks are left unlocked. Today is August 24th and I was chilly. The closest Target is two hours away. The library has a huge fireplace surrounded by over-sized leather chairs. If you aren’t dressed in a cowboy hat or in hiking boots or in your bike helmet, you do not fit in. There is no fast food; the closest thing is a hot dog stand called Dumpster Dogs, open until 2am. You’ll pass at least ten trail heads if you drive five miles on the highway (two lane road with as many elk crossing as cars driving). When I asked my roommate about where to get my oil changed, he said, “Oh my buddy will come get your car while you’re at work, change the oil, and return your car to your parking spot.” He keeps his house unlocked and said, “I found my house key after I lived here for six months.” The bank has routine barbecues and gives out hot dogs on the corner. There are over 150 millionaires who live here, millionaires who do not like being surrounded by a ton of people and who appreciate the beauty of mountains upon mountains upon mountains. You never know who you are serving.

Ketchum is awesome.

mnemonic.

[ni-mon-ik]

adjective

  1. assisting or intended to assist the memory.
  2. pertaining to mnemonics or to memory.

noun

  1. something intended to assist the memory, as a verse or formula.
  2. Computers. a programming code that is easy to remember, as STO for “store.”.

It’s funny that this is today’s word, because I spent my Friday evening trying to come up with mnemonic devices to remember cocktails and liquor brands. I am not a big drinker. I enjoy a glass of red wine (for my heart health) or a cold amber beer on draft every once in a while, but I am fairly clueless when it comes to single malt whiskeys with oak tones and perfect Manhattans and Old Fashioneds and new fangled mixed drinks. I really enjoy learning new things and I think this will be a fun challenge, although right now it seems overwhelming. My favorite mnemonic so far is one I found online for the cocktail named the B-52. I just have to remember Bad Guys Kill. Baileys, Grand Marnier, and Kahlua.

I will not be making the drinks, but I cannot be utterly clueless when someone says, “What drink do you recommend with Kahlua?” or “What is your finest Scotch?”

Tonight I’ll learn which garnishes go on which beverages. When in doubt, I’ll add a lime. Unless it’s a B-52. A cherry? Who doesn’t like a good cherry on top?

I’ll need to practice opening a bottle of wine in a classy way, because I usually don’t even take the foil off first.

If you have any advice for me, please comment below.

eleemosynary.

[el-uhmosuh-ner-ee, –moz-, el-ee-uh-]

adjective

  1. of or relating to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
  2. derived from or provided by charity.
  3. dependent on or supported by charity.

Ketchum, ID. Whew. I think today I realized it’s a little New Zealand-esque. Mountains cast their shadows on the other mountains. And the mountains go on and on and on. The Sawtooth National Forest is full of cattle because it’s open range. Bikers, fly fishermen, and hikers fill the streets and I imagine they’ll trade in their bikes, rods, and boots for skis before long. I wish I could have bottled up the breeze to send to you, because it was unreal. It was chilly enough to have a pair of boots on, but sunny enough to wear a t-shirt.

My new pal, Randy (how I met Randy) is so caring and I’m loving the fact that I get to know him because of a random interaction. He offered me his guestroom for as long as I need it, knowing it’s better to meet potential roommates before just moving in. He set out coffee on the counter with a note. He got me a job at the saloon. He has a refrigerator full of chocolate. His doormat reads “Fo shizzle. Welcome to my hizzle.” He’s eleemosynary and I don’t mind being a charity case. Sometimes we need help and I’m gladly accepting. He said he’s paying it forward because someone helped him out twelve years ago when he moved here.

Tonight at the saloon, I donned my cowboy boots, jean skirt, and cowgirl shirt and trained as a greeter, though I’ll ultimately be a cocktail server if all goes according to plan. I loved this and I felt like I made some friends because people were intrigued that I drove from Florida and moved to Ketchum because it “felt nice.”

A customer around my age came in and gave me his name and I asked, “Is everyone in your party here?” The saloon is THE place to be and reservations cannot even be made. An hour wait here is actually a good thing. The customer rested his arm on the table next to me. “Here’s the thing, my uncle is a celebrity and he can’t be just sitting in the bar area. They work with us so well here. So the rest of my party will be here soon and I’ll let you know.”

Turns out his uncle is Chris “Boomer” Berman from SportsCenter. I was the only gal in the front who knew who he was and I thank my dad and brothers for that. His voice was so familiar, it sounded like I was back in my Palm Harbor living room. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Thank you for helping us out.”

When he left a couple hours later after taking pictures with several adoring fans, he said, “Aloha” and was off.

Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks are known to frequent the saloon, so much so that it’s not a big deal for my coworkers. I think it’s wonderful and I will let you know what their chosen cocktails are.