Olympian earns ‘gold’ with local skaters

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Figure skating enthusiasts may have met a member of the 2018 Ukrainian Olympic figure skating team over Christmas without knowing it. Yaroslav (Yaro) Paniot was in Coeur d’Alene visiting his aunt and uncle, Ann and Tom Siebert and grandmother Pat Hardy. Yaro, who is training in the U.S. with coach Tammy Gambill in California, got some time on the ice during his visit.

A Saturday morning visit to Frontier Ice Arena to skate was actually spent helping the Lake City Figure Skating Club skaters with their skills and answering questions. By all reports Yaro is not only an Olympic-caliber skater but a really good guy.

It’s a safe bet that Yaro will have a large fan base from North Idaho cheering from afar when he competes in the February Olympic Games in South Korea.

• • •

Along with the sights and sounds of the holidays, tastes and textures also trigger memories of Christmases past. On Christmas Eve eve I decided to make old-fashioned boiled fudge. I never make fudge ... the real kind that you actually cook on the stove using a candy thermometer. I’m not sure why I was inspired to try to make fudge like my dad used to make when I was a little girl but since we had the three ingredients necessary on hand I gave it a whirl.

I will not be getting my own cooking show in the new year or anytime soon. It took me three attempts and had I videoed the first two they would have gone viral since they were such spectacular fails. The first one turned out crumbly when it set up, the second one was like a big giant chocolate rock. I had to add a few cups of water and bring it to a boil to get the stuff to release from the sauce pan so I could throw it out. I told Bert (who was very kind not to laugh out loud) that the third time’s a charm and it was!

So we had a little pan of fudge that is just like my dad used to make, thin and dense. The sense of accomplishment from having made real fudge, even if it took me three tries, will become a future Christmas memory. I’m thinking the fudge should last quite a while because now that I spent an entire evening surrounded by cocoa powder, sugar and butter, I’m kind of over it.

• • •

Our family was very spread out this year for the holidays. My daughters, grandsons, sons-in-law, my sisters, my brother, our mother. Nieces, nephews. Our North Dakota family. Then there’s my tribe of girlfriends family, my “work” families at the Coeur d’Alene Press, Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and my fellow city councilors and the team at the city of Post Falls. My creative family at Mitchell Artists (MAM), my veteran family of the Marine Corps League, VFW and American Legion. My family of “old” Vikings from Coeur d’Alene High School. My Facebook family, some of whom fall into these other categories, are valued beyond the social media heading.

Throughout the year we’ve all shared laughs, adventures, and encouraging words, shared some tears, too, because that’s how life is and what families do. ’Tis the time of year to celebrate our many blessings and each other. A most happy new year to friends and family near and far!

• • •

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,

we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

• • •

Happy Birthday today to Ann Burg, Marc Stewart, Linda Shaver, Jayson Cornwell, Sandy Coleman, Larry Ruff, Butch Peacock, Doreen Irving, Ron Branson and Sally Hart. Tomorrow Chris Holloway, Tim Heidecker, Sharon Cooper (70!), Annie McCloskey, Lynda Thurman and George Rodkey celebrate another trip around the sun.

On Friday wish Jaime Johnson, Molly Shaw, Tammy Engen, Debbie Trimble, Kathy Carothers, Toni Capaul, Sheila Wayman, Connie Haggerty, John Martin, Rachel Pen and Jamie Rowen celebrate another trip around the sun. Blowing out the candles on Saturday are Paul Gorringe (80!), Gayle Jacklin Stegmann, Marsha Dornquast, Nona Rambo, Bryce Raynor, Ilene Moss, Kalia Baltzell, Diane Ahlers, Dave Dutro and LeVenia Jacobson.

New Year’s Eve birthdays belong to Cheryl Freeman, Kalia Baltzell, Sarah Chase, George Holcomb, Phyllis Koepsell, Shaun Leary, Sandy Thompson and Crystal Dean.

On Jan. 1, aka New Year’s Day, Ron Mills, Theresa Wild, Edie Miller, Ron Jacobson, Billy Newman, Jan Leaf, Kathy Edinger Dingman, Linda Jordan, Kevin Johnson, Steve Schiller, Johanna Johnson, Jessica Hammond, David Attridge, Dianna Owens, Holly Childers, Katrina Boyer, Johanna Johnson, Declan Jones, Cheryl Shepherd, sisters Shaun Willams and Shana Crimp celebrate the first Main Street birthdays of 2018. Nicole Barnes, Jerry Roth, Bob McIlvenna and Dion Unruh bundle up the birthday wishes on Tuesday.

• • •

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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