Rocks — painting, placing, finding and re-hiding — has become quite the movement across the country. In 2016 Kelly Walters and Vicky Salinis started the Coeur d’Alene Rocks page on Facebook. Today there are more than 16,000 members of the group.
I became aware of the phenom when my friend Pam Houser began painting rocks last year. I think she surprised herself with her creativity and bona fide artistic talent. She continues to be a blessing to strangers who find her beautiful and often inspirational rocks in unexpected places.
Vicky said she and Kelly were inspired by Whidbey Island Rocks and the Kindness Rock movement.
“We hide our rock-art as a random act of kindness hoping to brighten someone’s day. It’s also about sharing little messages of encouragement for someone who may need it,” she told me.
The benefits of the hobby is the relaxing and therapeutic aspect of creating art without pressure. Hiding rocks or hunting for painted rocks gives young and old a reason to get out of the house away from electronics, breathe fresh air and get exercise, too. Many of the rocks are found in parks and public spaces and on hiking trails.
A couple of weeks ago Bert and I took a road trip to North Dakota to visit family. At a rest stop just west of Miles City, Mont., Bert spotted a rock next to a picnic table. The design was a car with a dog in the back seat traveling down the road. Perfect. On the back it identified the Port Angeles Rocks group. So this Idahoan finds in Montana a rock created in Washington and then re-hid it in North Dakota. I took photos of the rock by our Idaho license plate and posted it to the Port Angeles FB page.
But by far one of the most incredible painted rock stories involves Pam Houser and one of her rocks. The bumble bee rock was pictured on the Coeur d’Alene Rocks page with a backdrop of Prague in the Czech Republic this month! According to Claudia Probst, an 8-year-old girl from Washington was camping in Idaho when she found the rock. Note that the Housers spend a lot of time at their Coeur d’Alene River property in the summer so that makes sense. The little girl and her family took the rock to Vienna before releasing it to be found again in Prague.
I’m thinking the North Idaho State Fair needs to add a painted rocks category in the hobbies department for 2020. Some of these rocks truly are works of art.
Visit the Coeur d’Alene Rocks Facebook page or find out how the Kindness Rocks Project began at www.thekindnessrocksproject.com.
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Labor Day weekend close to home is filled with things to do and places to go. Summer weather is making a cameo appearance ... finally!
Paul Bunyan Days in St. Maries for four days (Friday through Monday) promises to be fun for the family. What’s not to love about traditional logging competitions and what’s billed as one of the largest fireworks displays in the country? Sidewalk sales, a carnival and the self-proclaimed “biggest topless bar in Idaho” ... spoiler alert, it’s the Blue Ox Bar with a roofless beer garden. Fireworks on Sunday and the parade on Main Street, all three blocks of it, on Monday. Info: St. Maries Chamber, 208-245-3563.
Another Maine Street Labor Day parade, and yes, that’s Maine as in the state, is 11 a.m. Monday in Spirit Lake. This parade has been held for more years than anyone can remember and is a couple of blocks long. On Sunday the Labor Day on the Grass Car Show with vendors takes place in Spirit Lake’s Big Park — not to be confused with the small park I’m presuming.
For anyone who’s new to our area I heartily recommend taking in one of these small town celebrations. St. Maries and Spirit Lake might be small but they both represent the history of North Idaho and the best of community pride and the rural lifestyle.
If you’re headed up to Spirit Lake on Monday, enjoy breakfast at the Rathdrum Lions Club’s annual Labor Day breakfast fundraiser at their clubhouse from 7 to 11 a.m. at 16114 N. Meyer Road. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee and juice for $5. The winning ticket for the ATV will be drawn at noon.
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Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra presents the annual Labor Day concert at Coeur d’Alene City Park in the Rotary Bandshell on Monday. This free concert will be conducted by Maestro Jan Pellant from 1-2:30 p.m.
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On Sept. 3, 1932, a local couple were attending a Labor Day barbecue at Silver Beach. About 6 p.m. the woman goes into labor and tells her husband it’s time to get to the hospital, the baby was coming! Off they go and at 10 p.m. the baby entered the world. Burl and Beverly Hagadone’s son, Duane has made quite an impact in his 87 years.
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Happy Birthday today to Dirk Scott, Freya Jensen, Jack Reiswig, Marissa Leupold, Steve Slaney, Michelle Garcia, Samantha Dirks, Becky Fletcher, Darlene Johnson, Judy DeTar, Karen Huber, Laurie Sutton, Loretta Richards, Pearl Brown and Spencer Messina. Best wishes on Aug. 29 to Jeannie Peugh, who shares the date with Ashley Smart, Stacey Holley, Randy Marmon, Cindy Foulk, Bob Myklebust, Lori Barker, Cody Jewell, Merle Bartlett and Arvada Schmacher.
On Friday Cyndie Lempesis, Luke Sommer, Carrie Kralicek, Jarin Bressler, Bjorn Handeen and Stefany Mealey blow out the birthday candles. On the last day of August Ron Nilson, Jill Delavan, Patti Shea, Gen Twete, Craig Wilcox, Andrew Houser, Jamie Ostbert, Dan Poole, Donna Euler, Mike Gerber, Nicole Stark and Rondi Renaldo turn page on the birthday calendar.
On the first day of September Kathy McKahn is celebrating along with Terry Lee, David Mills, Kim Routh, Sharon Latimer, Missy Hansen, Paul Ebert and Travis Best. Doug Wheeler, Tammy Kelly, Bonnie Miller, John Parmann, Kelley Inman, Stephanie Foster, Kelley Taylor, Dale Borley and Debbie Pohlmeier take another trip around the sun on Labor Day. On Sept. 3 Duane Hagadone, Willi Buerge, Lesli Linde, Emily Davis, Kris McIlvenna, Jim Hamby, Robin Merrifield, Patty Jacobs, Jeremy Moser, David Armstrong, Jeff Tyler and Taylor Valente will celebrate. Sept. 4 birthdays will be marked by Paulette Fabian, Maggie DeTar, Steve Yost and Rich Dickman.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.