Perhaps I’ve mentioned something like this before, but I really kind of like winter in North Idaho.
Up where I live (Twin Lakes Village), a decent share of the population heads to Arizona or Florida or wherever as soon as the temperature drops a little bit — or the golf course closes — and I get that.
There are times, especially when winter drags on, that I wouldn’t mind a dose of Maui myself.
But as a guy who grew up in California and left right after college, I really came to appreciate the change of seasons — first in the Midwest and now here.
What I noticed in Kansas and then Illinois was that people seemed …
Not exactly friendlier, but always willing to be there when needed, as though we’re all stuck in this icy thing, so let’s do it together.
I definitely feel that here, and I like it.
And honestly, if I can get my bad right ankle to cooperate, I’m thinking about getting back up on the slopes.
Alpine skiing is a rush I can’t describe to folks who haven’t done it.
I need that again.
IT WAS predictable, I suppose.
Some readers have objected to my column suggesting we’ll soon be seeing an initiative to legalize cannabis in Idaho.
To them, I say …
First, I was just stating a fact: Look around, everybody, and you’ll see marijuana being legalized everywhere.
On the practical side, it truly bothers me that so many Idahoans are buying some version of the weed and sending a truckload of tax money to Washington and Oregon.
We’re a conservative, low-tax state — which means there isn’t a lot of money for things like roads in booming areas like Ada and Kootenai counties.
So why on Earth, when cannabis is everywhere you look already, shouldn’t we be the ones to pocket a bucket of tax money?
If you object on moral grounds or something like that, well …
Selling booze in every strip mall is a lot more dangerous than pot.
More on this subject later, because the debate is just heating up.
ONE MORE time, deep thanks to everyone who has written in to cheer for Sammie the World’s Greatest Cat.
Sammie would express some gratitude herself, but of course she expects all the fuss.
She descends from a long line of creatures with very little humility.
But from me …
It’s amazing how many of you seem to have battled similar intestinal problems with your loveable kitties, and been terrified as they lose more and more weight.
I’ve saved or written down every suggestion that you’ve offered, although I know for certain that the vets at Rathdrum Animal Hospital have tested Sammie for most of the things you’ve mentioned (her thyroid levels are fine), and they’re leaving no stone unturned.
I’m not giving up, not by a long shot.
And especially not while Sammie is still ”playful” enough to shut down my internet connection by stepping on the power strip “Off” button — which is hidden behind the TV.
Yes, of course, she did it on purpose.
A cat owner wouldn’t even ask that question.
She lay there on the carpet afterward, enjoying the day, as I tried to discover (with Frontier’s tech people on the line) why I’d been cut off from the world.
Sammie TWGC has lost none of her “game,” my friends.
LET’S WRAP this thing with a couple of retail items.
Like a lot of you, I shop at Walmart for some essential items that we buy in bulk.
Paper towels, things like that.
But Walmart doesn’t jump to mind when you think of fine, durable clothing.
And yet …
You can get lucky.
With no intention to do so at all, I grabbed an orange hoodie last week — you know, that color so bright that you can see it from Montana.
I assumed it would be good for one wearing (I wanted to use it for a single photo) before shrinking or just falling apart.
So guess what?
My $8.99 fluorescent orange hoodie has gone though the wash, taken its normal beating, and still fits perfectly.
LAST RETAIL observation for today …
Like a lot of folks in this part of the country, I’ve begun grabbing most of my coffee at various street-corner huts — or even buying some great ready-made, heat-it-up stuff at the grocery store.
Yes, I know it’s more expensive — of course it is — but I just can’t make coffee at home that tastes like that.
Maybe there’s a local barista who would volunteer to help, but even then I’m not sure coffee falls into my top skill set.
And look, maybe I’ll get hit by a truck someday, and while I’m bleeding to death on the highway, somebody will say, “You know, your estate would have $2,447 more if you’d stuck to making coffee at home.”
You think that’s going to bother me?
Hell, I’m going to be lying there and wishing somebody would turn up with a large café mocha.
Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.
A Brand New Day appears from Wednesday through Saturday each week.
Steve’s “Zags Tracker” column on Gonzaga basketball runs on Tuesday.