Rural romance is a dance

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I know Valentine’s Day won’t be here for seven months, but this most wonderful love letter Sherry Mundt posted over the weekend is just too perfect not to share. She and her husband, Larry, farm and ranch just south of Coeur d’Alene in the Mica area. For those of you who think summer revolves around the lake and tourism, here’s a glimpse of a segment of our community who live and work the rural North Idaho life:

“Everyone who knows us, knows Larry and I don’t party. We prefer to be home by dark and spend our evenings on the sofa watching TV to wind down before an early bedtime. But ... we do dance, just not in the conventional way. We dance in the hay field; he in his bale wagon and me in my tractor. We move in tandem, in sync, sweeping back and forth in rhythm to the pulse of the PTO, our direction determined by wind rows, curves along the tree line, and undulating with the shape of the topography. The smiles and waves as we pass each other mimic the dance moves of a choreographed couple, the bale plunger mimics the beat of a drum. Hay chaff is my makeup and sweat my perfume. It’s hard to describe, but as cars pass by along the highway, they are completely oblivious to all the romance going on in that hay field beside them. Yup ... after forty years that man can still make my heart skip a beat.”

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John and Dorothy Anne McDonald moved south 20 years ago, but in recent years I’ve written about John’s birthday adventures here in Coeur d’Alene. He celebrated his 94th birthday by swimming from Tubbs Hill to Independence Point last year. Before that it was parasailing. His lifelong sweetheart and biggest cheerleader was always at his side. Sadly, Dorothy Anne (Hauge) McDonald, 95, passed away at their Palm Desert home on July 9.

At Coeur d’Alene High School she excelled at academics, played clarinet in band and orchestra, and was Queen of the Job’s Daughters in 1939. In 1941 she was salutatorian of her CHS graduating class. On Feb. 12, 1945, she married her sweetheart, John McDonald, and spent 73 loving years with him.

Dorothy Anne attended the University of Idaho, graduating at the top of her class in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics, while also having the first of four children and living for long stretches without John (who served as an officer in the Pacific theater during World War II). In 1971, at age 48, she earned her master’s degree in education from Whitworth College.

Dorothy Anne was a trailblazer, and an example of a life well lived. Much love to John and the family.

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The Coeur d’Alene Tribal Julyamsh Powwow — first held in 1998 — has been a generous gift of shared culture and sacred traditions of dance, drums and prayer. Powwows are celebrations, social gatherings and friendly dance competitions surrounded by ceremonial traditions and teachings.

If you haven’t attended, please make a point to experience the horse parade and grand entry, when all of the dancers enter the arena with the centerpiece of the warriors color guard. The sights, sounds and traditions are unique to these native peoples gatherings, a singularly impactful experience for all who attend.

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Highlights of summer fun:

Tonight, Downtown Farmers Market on Sherman and Fifth Street, 4 to 7 p.m.

Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. North Idaho College’s annual Summer Splash at Sunspot on NIC beach. Also on Thursday, from 6 to 8 p.m., the Riverstone Summer Concert Series.

Friday through Sunday, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s Julyamsh Powwow at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. www.julyamsh.com

Friday and Saturday celebrate Rathdrum Days. Friday night street dance with live music and beer garden on Main Street. Saturday parade, car show, movie at the football field. www.rathdrumchamber.com

Friday is the Annual PFPD K-9 Golf Tournament at The Links, tee-off at 9 a.m. 208-777-7611 www.postfallspolice.com

On Sunday Heart of the City Church hosts its 11th annual Blessing of the Bikes (motorcycles), 1 p.m. at 772 W. Kathleen in Coeur d’Alene, followed by a group ride to Round Lake for a no-host lunch. All motorcyclists welcome.

Makers Market in The Coeur d’Alene Resort convention center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Also on Sunday at 7 p.m. the fifth annual Teen Cabaret showcasing young performers at the Jacklin Arts Center. 208-660-2958, www.cdasummertheatre.com

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Happy birthday today to Eric Wurmlinger, Jessica Ohlig, Annette Davis, Kathy LaTourrette, Dustin Peacock, Lori Nelson, Sandie Husby, Joanne Anglin and Cody Jones. Tomorrow David Kilmer, Maria Dawson, Vic Grilli, Bill Noordam, Hillary Main, Sherri Dust and Micheala Cocoran-Hall toast to another year. On Friday Duffy Smock, Linda Litalien and Kymber Baker mark another trip around the sun. Saturday birthdays will be marked by Jim Lien, Cathy Meeks, David Miller, Todd Jenicek, Zofia Schell, Janet Allen, Shane Bell and Matt Gardner. Sunday celebrants are Joe Malloy, Jim Coleman, Debbie Brown, Jennifer Schmidt, Tina Vandenheuvel and Sam Paul. On Monday Katie Brodie, Jeremy Epstein (40!), Marilee Wallace, Bill Singleton, Chris Olson-Wood, Carolyn Kreager, Ginger Harmala, Cassie Ohlig, Anne Kulinsky, Jessica McLean, Darin Hayes, Steve McCabe and Brett Surplus will blow out the birthday candles. Marie Price, Tom Taggart, Karen Youman, Mark Hunsaker, Karen Prosser, Doug Miller, Shelby Stone, Anthony “A-Train” King and Srinivas Gundari share July 24 birthdays.

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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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